Are there any caveats in formating the file system on a catalyst 2900 series switch?
This switch that I have was given to me, and was passworded and nobody knew the password. I proceeded with the password recovery of the switch, and updated the IOS to c2900xl-c3h2s-tar.120-5.WC17.tar
Now I have ports 1 thru 4 all orange including the system led. On bootup it tells me that ports 1 - 4 "front-end post: port# loop-back packet not received"
It never did this until I updated the IOS
The switch originally was configured with about 20 Vlans.
This kind of POST failure usually indicates physical damage to the interface. If an Ethernet Controller that controls four interfaces fails, those ports fail too (1-4 in your case). A common cause of such damage is ESD (Electrostatic Discharge). For Catalyst 2900XL switches, the issue is documented in Cisco bug ID CSCdm13915.