NVRAM Error - Fixable?

Answered Question
Apr 23rd, 2008

I have a 2801 router with advanced ip services installed on it (12.4-15T). After rebooting and getting ready to configure I noticed an NVRAM error message:

NV_BLOCK_INITFAIL: Unable to initialize the geometry of NVRAM

The recommended action is to reduce the configurations in the NVRAM

As I do not have any, I tried to copy over the running-config which appears to be fine, but it fails with the following:

startup-config file open failed (Unknown error 0).

Even trying to "show file info nvram" it is returning %Error opening flash:nvram (file not found).

Is this error fixable, do I need to open a TAC?

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by Sushil Kumar Katre about 8 years 7 months ago

Hi,

I also found a BUG - CSCsj27963. The IOS you are running is affected.

Symptoms:A router running Cisco IOS may show the following error when doing

a "write memory":

%SYS-4-NV_BLOCK_INITFAIL: Unable to initialize the geometry of nvram

Conditions:This happens when the size of config is greater than the size of

nvram.

Trigger:This will happen while attempting to store the config of size larger

than size of the nvram. error messages observed during write memory.

Impact:The entire config will be lost without warning and nvram is corrupted

too after a reload.

Workaround:

If this error message is seen during write memory,

1. Enable 'service compress-config' to compress the configuration before 'write memory'.

This compressed config will take less nvram space, due to which nvram geometry will be

initialized correctly.

2.

a.) erase the nvram by write erase

b.) unconfigure some configs to fit the configs into nvram.

c.) Issue write memory

Repeat steps a, b, c until this error message vanish.

3. On platforms that support it, "boot config ..." can be used to save the

configuration to another file system other than nvram.

4. If the router has already been reloaded "write erase" should reinitialise

nvram and allow "write memory".

Further Problem Description :

This will have impact only when we create 'startup-config' file (through write

mem or through copy command)

of size that occupies almost all the nvram, leaving only 0 to 1023 free bytes.

In this condition, if we reload the router, the startup-config won't be

recognized, and won't be applied into running-config.

This will have impact only when platforms store that much huge startup-config

file. This issue is a very corner case.

http://tools.cisco.com/Support/BugToolKit/search/getBugDetails.do?method=fetchBugDetails&bugId=CSCsj27963&from=summary

Require CCO ID.

Follow the workaround given.

-> Sushil

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Sushil Kumar Katre Thu, 04/24/2008 - 01:44

Hi,

First the release you are running 12.4(15)T is a deferred release. 12.4(15)T3 would be suggested.

However try the following -

1) Try "service compress-config" command.

2) If this does not works, check how much flash and ram is there on the router. You need to have 64MB Flash and 192MB DRAM to run this release.

3) Is this a new router or an old one which was already running. What changes were done recently. Any IOS upgrade done?

-> Sushil

Correct Answer
Sushil Kumar Katre Thu, 04/24/2008 - 01:47

Hi,

I also found a BUG - CSCsj27963. The IOS you are running is affected.

Symptoms:A router running Cisco IOS may show the following error when doing

a "write memory":

%SYS-4-NV_BLOCK_INITFAIL: Unable to initialize the geometry of nvram

Conditions:This happens when the size of config is greater than the size of

nvram.

Trigger:This will happen while attempting to store the config of size larger

than size of the nvram. error messages observed during write memory.

Impact:The entire config will be lost without warning and nvram is corrupted

too after a reload.

Workaround:

If this error message is seen during write memory,

1. Enable 'service compress-config' to compress the configuration before 'write memory'.

This compressed config will take less nvram space, due to which nvram geometry will be

initialized correctly.

2.

a.) erase the nvram by write erase

b.) unconfigure some configs to fit the configs into nvram.

c.) Issue write memory

Repeat steps a, b, c until this error message vanish.

3. On platforms that support it, "boot config ..." can be used to save the

configuration to another file system other than nvram.

4. If the router has already been reloaded "write erase" should reinitialise

nvram and allow "write memory".

Further Problem Description :

This will have impact only when we create 'startup-config' file (through write

mem or through copy command)

of size that occupies almost all the nvram, leaving only 0 to 1023 free bytes.

In this condition, if we reload the router, the startup-config won't be

recognized, and won't be applied into running-config.

This will have impact only when platforms store that much huge startup-config

file. This issue is a very corner case.

http://tools.cisco.com/Support/BugToolKit/search/getBugDetails.do?method=fetchBugDetails&bugId=CSCsj27963&from=summary

Require CCO ID.

Follow the workaround given.

-> Sushil

JonGauntt Thu, 04/24/2008 - 04:19

As this was a brand new router without a config on it yet, I knew that it wasn't a part of the compress-config. It looks like it is a factor when installing the 256 MB memory card that the NVRAM did not like the change. I was able to use the write erase to clear the NVRAM and then reload the router and am able to use it.

Thanks for the pointer and I'll look at the change in IOS...

Jon Gauntt

Sushil Kumar Katre Thu, 04/24/2008 - 04:26

Hi Jon,

Great to know that the issue is resolved now.

I know how frustating it could be if you get a new router and land into such issues.

Wish you good luck working with the router.

-> Sushil

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