PIX 520 ISA upgrade

Unanswered Question
Oct 14th, 2008
User Badges:


I've purchased a 16MB ISA Flash Card for a PIX520 to operate in a QA environment. Reading the instructions, it states that it comes with Pix 5.2 preloaded.

I've removed the old 2MB card and installed the 16MB but when I boot the PIX I get the usual beeps but no console access. I've removed the new card and resinserted the old, and I get console access.

Have I missed anything, is there anything else I need to do apart from the Cisco instructions or have I been sent a faulty card?



  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 0 (0 ratings)
geraint_williams Tue, 10/14/2008 - 03:40
User Badges:


The documentation provided suggested it was installed, but I thought I'd test out and upgrade to 6.1. This failed, with the following when using the boothelper

Cisco Secure PIX Firewall floppy loader (3.0) #0: Tue Sep 11 07:34:46 PDT 2001

Reading installation media..............


mcwa i82557 Ethernet at irq 11 MAC: 00a0.c9ab.7b17

mcwa i82559 Ethernet at irq 10 MAC: 0090.27a7.2de8

mcwa i82559 Ethernet at irq 15 MAC: 0090.27a4.81a3

Flash=i28F640J5 @ 0x300

BIOS Flash=I28F256A @ 0xfffd8000

Obsolete FLASH card. Upgrade required. See release notes for this version.

I've noticed on the Internet that others seem to had BIOS Flash=AT29C257. Does this mean I need to upgrade something else? If so, any tips?



cisco24x7 Tue, 10/14/2008 - 04:41
User Badges:
  • Silver, 250 points or more

that is completely NOT true. Here is how you

do this. This is very simple.

1- Keep in mind that the Pix520 comes with

a floppy disk drive. You need to download

the boot helper from Cisco and then use

rawrite.exe to decompress this image into the

floppy disk,

2- inser the diskette into the floppy drive of

the Pix 520 and turn on the power. This will

take you to the monitor mode of the Pix.

3- Have the Pix 6.3(5) ready on the TFTP


4- Now you can download the the pix635.bin

from the tftp server into the 16MB flash card,

Easy right?

geraint_williams Tue, 10/14/2008 - 05:21
User Badges:


Thanks for all your help on this, it's much appreciated.

It does sound easy enough, but that's the process that I'm following when i get the obsolete card warning (despite the 16MB ISA card being in the box)

It displays the message then reboots itself...

cisco24x7 Tue, 10/14/2008 - 05:32
User Badges:
  • Silver, 250 points or more

I do NOT have a Pix520. I only use this

technique on a "franken" Pix. In other words,

I use this method on a generic PC with intel

etherexpress NICs. The PC motherboard is

Intel BX440-SE2 (aka Seattle Edtion 2).

When I inserted the ISA 16MB flash into the

motherboard and bootup the pc with the floppy

disk, I was able to upgrade the code to


It could be that the motherboard on your

Pix520 has very old BIOS. If I can recall,

the motherboard on the Pix520 is also Intel

BX440-SE as well. You may want to upgrade the

BIOS on it.


This Discussion