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All IOS files erased from flash on Catalyst 2960: is it possible...

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Feb 2nd, 2009
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I'm a teachers assistant at college. Some students inadvertantly erased all files from the flash on a Catalyst 2960 switch. Now when the switch is powered up, there's nothing but the boot loader and its ultra basic commands. I have a copy of the IOS files on a PC saved from another 2960. If I console in with the PC that has the IOS files, is there some way with the boot loader commands to copy the files to the flash of the dead switch? If not, is it possible to transplant the flash from the working switch into the dead one, boot it, put the original flash back in then restore the files from a TFTP server?

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ashfamic1 Fri, 11/20/2015 - 22:18
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Dear Gents , i show this above conversetion which was seven year old , i do have also some problem due to power interpption my Cisco Catalyst 2960-8TC-L Compact Switch is black out nothing promting please need your help to resolva this issue .

Richard Burts Sun, 11/22/2015 - 14:56
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You have chosen to add your question to a very old discussion whic is about symptoms that are very different from your symptoms. You would have been better off to start your own new discussion on the forum. In the original discussion the flash had been completely erased. He was getting a prompt and the discussion was how to get the image file to the flash. In your case there is no prompt and this is a significantly different issue.

On your switch are any lights illuminated? Do the fan operate? From the very little bit of information that you provide I would guess that it is an issue with the power supply of the switch. If the switch is covered by a maintenance contract I would suggest that you open a case with Cisco TAC and discuss with them the possibility of an RMA of the switch.



ashfamic1 Mon, 11/23/2015 - 22:58
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Dear Mr.Richard burts , very much appreciated your reply , yes it's right my switch flash is formatted so i am going to reinstall that . thanks for prompt response
chuckwirth Mon, 02/02/2009 - 13:23
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Do NOT use the xmodem method unless you have several hours to waste.

Connect your TFTP server to the switch and assign it a static IP address.

Then at the ROMMON prompt (for example):







then type in


where TFTP server is the IP of the PC and TFTP_FILE is the file on your tftp server.

This will take only a few minutes to download.

Please see the following reference:


ajwalker101 Mon, 02/02/2009 - 13:46
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Hey! Thanks for the quick responses, I really appreciate it.

In response to your suggestions, I think I may have to try the xmodem procedure as it seems my only hope. There is absolutely no IOS left on the flash so I don't get the


prompt anymore. There's also no connectivity when I plug in a ethernet cable to any of the ports. The only functionality I have is through the console cable. From this connection I only have the basic boot loader prompt from the ROM


I'm not sure if the Catalyst 2960 boot loader interface supports the xmodem command. I'll check tomorrow and hopefully it does so I can get this very expensive switch back.

Thanks again.

Richard Burts Mon, 02/02/2009 - 13:46
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I agree with Charles that tftpdnld is much better than xmodem.

Be aware that in setting the variables that they are case sensitive.



vineesh.viswanath Mon, 02/02/2009 - 14:52
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copy the existing ios to the tftp

do an xcopy to the one which have lost the ios .

its pretty easy ,

only problem is it will take more time than a standard tftp copy

ajwalker101 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 07:50
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Thanks again for everyone's input. For anyone who's interested, here's what I had to do to get the switch back.

First I had to get a good image on a tftp server. Next I had to console in from the tftp server and use the boot loader commands because there was nothing else available since the IOS had been completely erased. I'm not going to repeat the exact sequence of commands, but here's the basics. Using the boot loader commmands you tell the switch that you're going to load something in flash using xmodem protocol. Once the switch starts listening to the console cable using xmodem, you use the xmodem function of your tftp server to start signaling. The two shake hands and the transfer begins. I used the free Solar Winds tftp server readily available for download. The transfer took almost three hours, but I got an expensive switch back on line for lab work! The exact command syntax if you need it is on the Cisco site under boot loader for 2960 catalyst switch.


Tshi M Tue, 02/10/2009 - 07:55
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Glad to hear you got it to work. So, I see you ended up using the xmodem as I had suggested.

Though I agree with the other posters that it does take a longer time than the other methods.

But, as you said, the point is that you got your device back to live.


p.s. rate helpful posting :-)

ajwalker101 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 15:52
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Xmodem at about 7600 baud was definitely slow. Unfortunately that was my only option. Since a student inadvertantly erased the flash completely, the switch had no other functionality other than the console cable connection and the skeleton boot loader command line interface. To use a tftp server and the ethernet ports you have to have the IOS.

Thanks again and I hope somebody else benefits from these postings.

glen.grant Wed, 02/11/2009 - 16:03
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If you had changed the transfer speed to 115200 it would have taken about 7 minutes , its actually fairly fast when you change the baud to 115200.


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