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The reliability and the availability characteristics of a 2-unit cold standby system with a single repair facility are analyzed under the assumption that the failure and the repair times are both generally distributed. System breakdown occurs when the operating unit fails while the other unit is undergoing repair. The system is characterized by the probability of being up or down. Integral equations corresponding to different initial conditions are set up by identifying suitable regenerative stochastic processes. The probability of the first passage to the down-state starting from specified initial conditions is obtained by the same method. An explicit expression for a Laplace Transform of the probability density function (pdf) of the downtime during an arbitrary time interval is obtained when the repair time is exponentially distributed. A general method is suggested for the calculation of the moments of the downtime when the repair time is arbitrarily distributed.