PCMCIA flash card on Catalyst 6509

Unanswered Question
Aug 14th, 2008

Does any old PCMCIA flash card work in this slot to tftp new IOS to it? the one I installed isnt being recognized.

I have this problem too.
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Giuseppe Larosa Thu, 08/14/2008 - 11:06

Hello Allen,

if your Cat6509 supervisor has a PCMCIA slot you can try.

I recommend you to format the flash on the catalyst supervisor before copying a file over it.

The only problem is that modern IOS images for C6509 are quite big and bigger then the size of most old flashes.(typically only 16, 20 or 32 MB)

CatOS images are smaller and could fit.

Hope to help


abuswell Thu, 08/14/2008 - 12:05

thanks for the quick response. The flash card is 48MB. I have a Sup1/MSFC2 combination in this Cat6509. the IOS is presently 12.1(2)E and I am trying to upgrade to 12.1.26E9 which right at 20MB so I definitely need a flash card to put it on.... but I cant seem to get this Supervisor to recognize it when I put a PCMCIA card into it. it keep saying "%Error opening slot0:/ (No device available)"

is the slot only recognized by the CATOS on this 6509? does the CATOS have to do something before the IOS can see it?

thanks for any help,

Giuseppe Larosa Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:27

Hello Alan,

you are in hybride mode so the MSFC2 is a separated device from the supervisor.

You can see this if you do

sh cdp n

from the MSFC shell you see its only neighbor is the supervisor /L2 machine on a link that is 15/1 or something like that.

Try to see if there is any way to address the supervisor slot0.

I think something like sup-slot0: this will be a shortcut to a tftp download from supervisor.or sup-disk0:

look at the link


look for the section

Unable to Read the External Flash Card from MSFC2

This section addresses a Catalyst 6500/6000 switch that runs hybrid mode and is unable to read the Supervisor Engine 2 Flash PC Card (PCMCIA) or Flash PC device from MSFC2. The same external flash card is writable by the Cisco IOS on the MSFC2 and readable by CatOS on the Supervisor Engine module.

and at the end of the section:

The file systems that are available in the Supervisor Engines (disk0:/disk1:/slot0:) are mounted in the Route Processor (MSFC) as network file systems in hybrid mode. The behavior is similar to that of the tftp: file system.

I'm afraid it cannot work this way, you should try to treat the supervisor like a tftp server from MSFC2's point of view.

Hope to help



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