T-850 initiating reboot in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

Cameron HUD reboot

Cameron reboots in "Samson & Delilah".

Terminators can sometimes reboot or restart themselves. This happens automatically after a chip is reinserted, a terminator leaves standby mode, or a Terminator suffers damage which temporarily disables them.


  • In The Terminator. the T-800 seems to be knocked out by the explosion of the tanker. It managed to reboot after a while.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-800 reboots after having his chip re-inserted. The T-800 also reboots later on alternate power after being left for "dead" by the T-1000.


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Several Terminators have been temporarily disabled by damage, and subsequently rebooted 120 seconds later:

  • Cameron rebooted after Sarkissian's bomb. Later, Cameron got knocked out with a clock radio in water. John and Sarah were unable to remove her chip in time. "Samson & Delilah"

A few Terminators have had their chips removed and re-inserted:

  • Vick activated a reboot function when John applied too much power to his chip, and was in the process of seizing control of the PC and its communication peripherals before being disconnected again. "Vick's Chip"
  • Cameron rebooted after John took her chip out, and then re-inserted it. "Vick's Chip"
  • Cameron also rebooted after John put her chip back in, after he had taken it out because she had gone rogue due to damage from Sarkissian's bomb. "Samson & Delilah"

Several Terminators have rebooted within 15 seconds after leaving standby mode.

  • Carter rebooted from standby when the mercenary shoved him over. Interestingly, Carter displayed the autonomic response to catch himself on his fists before the eyes indicated a return to full function. Later, he rebooted from standby again when Cameron attacked him. "Heavy Metal"


  • There appear to be two types of reboots:
    • A full reboot: This reboot takes two minutes.
    • A standby reactivation: This is a 15-second reboot from standby. It lasts until the Terminator is moved or triggered to be awake. [1]
  • A reboot appears to help clear corruption or damage to a Terminator's chip:
    • The T-850 in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines rebooted himself after the T-X infected him with nanobots, and was able to restore his mission to protect John Connor. Interestingly, the reboot did not restore his original Skynet settings, but allowed him to access the mission that had been re-programmed into him by the Resistance.
    • Cameron rebooted after John Connor clean up and restored her chip in "Samson & Delilah", and was also able to override her mission of terminating John Connor. Previously, a bomb had damaged her chip and restored her original settings, which included an imperative to terminate John Connor.
  • A reboot also allows some Terminator series to access alternate power supplies, such as the T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.


Sarah: (referring to Cromartie) Did you stop him?
Cameron: 120 seconds and the system reboots.
Season One, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot episode

(A corrupted Cameron investigates the holy water font for clues)
Sarah: Now. (activating the electrical trap) Two minutes.
John: I know.
Priest: What are you doing?
Sarah: Stay away. Please. I told you to go away. You have to stay away. Go! 70 seconds.
John: The knife isn't sharp enough.
Sarah: Well, push harder.
John: How much time?
Sarah: [sighs] 55.
John: Oh, wait, I see it. I see it, I see it. Screwdriver, screwdriver.
Sarah: 35.
John: Oh, it's not the right size.
Sarah: 20 seconds.
John: Okay, okay. The knife, the knife. Damn it! We can't do this.
Sarah: Come on, John.
John: She's waking up. She's waking up!
(John and Sarah flee the church as Cameron comes back online)
Season Two, "Samson & Delilah"


  1. In "Heavy Metal", Carter is mentioned as being "powered down to standby mode until he's moved or triggered awake."

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