How to load IOS image to a dysfunctional router

Unanswered Question
Feb 5th, 2008


May i urgently ask anyone with a solid knowledge on the above subject to please lead on the steps to load an IOS image into a router not currently functional.

I have been given this IOS image already on my PC, i will appreciate one who lead a novice in this area direction.


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smitty6504 Tue, 02/05/2008 - 08:26

We need some more information. What type of router? What is wrong with it? Do you know the boot strap version?

microcisconet Wed, 02/06/2008 - 02:23


Here is the current output of the dysfunctional router.

device does not contain a valid magic number

boot: cannot open "flash:"

boot: cannot determine first file name on device "flash:"

System Bootstrap, Version 12.2(8r) [cmong 8r], RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)

Copyright (c) 2003 by cisco Systems, Inc.

C2600 platform with 262144 Kbytes of main memory

rommon 1 >

I hope this provides enough to assist you to help me further?


Reading your text the question thst jumps out is what does router not currently functional mean?

If you can telnet into the router you can TFTP the IOS with the command copy tftp flash: and follow the prompts. Youcan also Xmodem if you are able to use the console port. the two links below should be helpful.

at /en/US/customer/products/sw/iosswrel/ps1831/products_qanda_item09186a00800a775f.shtml#ip_address.

Step 3 Copy the new software image from the TFTP server to the router or access server.

Router> enable

Password: password


Router# copy tftp flash

If needed, you can copy an image from device to another. Instructions are located at /en/US/customer/products/sw/iosswrel/ps1831/products_qanda_item09186a00800a775f.shtml#ram_copy

daswafford Tue, 02/05/2008 - 17:29

boot the router to rommon, bypass the startup config by issueing "config-register 0x2142" and then issue boot:flash

search cisco on how to boot to rommon if unfamiliar with that part.

if the image is corrupt, you can boot an image stored on a tftp server by doing this:

type set, press enter

type "IP_ADDRESS=", press enter

type "IP_SUBNET_MASK=", press enter

type "DEFAULT_GATEWAY=", press enter

type "TFTP_SERVER=", press enter

then type "tftpdnld -r" press enter

note -- "-r" means load the image only into memory and boot from memory, this way you can boot the router even if the flash is bad.

if this was helpful, please rate, thanks.


microcisconet Wed, 02/06/2008 - 03:42

Hello David,

Thanks a lot for the help. But my question is which IP ADD do i need to supply in the following outlined?.

type set, press enter





"tftpdnld -r"

Will all the required details be that of the functioning router or what?


microcisconet Wed, 02/06/2008 - 12:29


I am very grateful for your help once again. But yet, following the procedure of the provided link (Xmodem), i got stalled at the stage where reset or power cycle was required.

Though not too sure what power cycle means, therefore typed reset and expected the router to execute accordingly so that the image could now be transfered, but unfortunately it was endlessly presenting illegible characters even over an hour, i restarted the machine yet the same character continues.

Explaining exactly what reset or power cycle means might be of grate help i believe.

My apologies in advance if inconveniencing you at all.


daswafford Wed, 02/06/2008 - 08:01

the ip of the device so that it has an ip for the tftp server to talk to. if on a busy network the load may fail, i had to physically move the network connection of the failed router to a small switch with only my laptop and it connected in my case described below.

btw, did you recently upgrade your ios? i had this same problem just two days ago after upgrading to 12.4(15)t3 on a 1760 router. the workaround for my situation was to boot via tftp sever the same image then add the command "boot flash:" to the config file (save config by issuing "write memory".

hope this helps,


daswafford Wed, 02/06/2008 - 13:19


first install a tftp sever to your computer, i suggest "TFTP Desktop by Wierd Solutions", its free and can be found via Google search.

then place the file (ios image) into the tftp root directory,if using tftp desktop then this would be in "c:\program files\tftp desktop"

next make sure that any firewall application on this pc is eaither disabled, or explicitly allowing inbound tftp traffic.

then proceed with the tftp load from rommon as described earlier.

hope this helps, sorry for the mispellings--i'm typing one handed due to recent surgery in other shoulder,


microcisconet Wed, 02/06/2008 - 13:41

Hi David,

Thanks a Terabytes for your prompt response. I strongly believed you have resolved my wrong conception by telling me to push the IOS to the root directory of the TFTP, that was exactly what i couldn't figure out before.

I pray God will visit you and restore you a perfect health. Thanks for taken the pain for replying.

Best Regards


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