Message - device non-volatile (NVRAM) memory is full - when trying to copy

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Jul 15th, 2009
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This message comes up when trying to do copy to startup-config on Cisco 7604 router with SUP32 module.

The problem became worse and worse and later customer could not even do a show log show run or show startup.

All these commands would just return to the prompt with no output at all from teh command, including the reload command.

Finally he had to reboot ( by turning OFF / ON )the Cisco 7604 to get over the problem.

Vrsion of IOS is:

12.2(33)SRB and the file name is:


Forwarding of user traffic was still Ok in spite of these problems.

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r.robins Thu, 07/16/2009 - 14:01
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Hi there,

What were you trying to copy on the router, and where too.

If this was a code upgrade then surely you should be copying this to flash and not nvram.

Nvram contains the config files and flash, whether built in or an external flash disk is where you would need to place the IOS binary file.

astanislaus Thu, 07/16/2009 - 14:49
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The following commands such as:

write memory


copy run start

will cause the error messaage.

After a few hours:

show log

sho start

show run

or any command at all will just come back with the



and no output at all.

Then the Cisco 7604 was turned OFF / ON because even the reload command did not reload the router.

iyde Mon, 07/20/2009 - 01:58
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I'm not sure but it could be that you have a memory leak that's totally depleted your free memory.

Were you able to communicate with the switch after the reload? If yes, it sounds even more like a memory depletion.

For checking if memory is depleted, do a "show mem stat" and observe the output. You could do that on e.g. a daily base and see if free and/or maximum memory is going down.


cisco24x7 Mon, 07/20/2009 - 02:22
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I had the exact same problem on my Cisco 2621 router running IOS version 12.3(24a). This router is used to protect my home network. Under normal condition, everything is OK. However, as soon as I turned on Bittorrent on one of my machines behind this router, this router is also performing NAT overload as well, I got the exact same sympton you are referring to, and that the only way to fix it is to physically turn OFF/ON the router.

I do not think that this is a memory leak but probably a NAT bug with Cisco.

r.robins Mon, 07/20/2009 - 03:54
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I have seen this also on a Router with NAT overload.

It is memory depletion dure to a high number of connections being NAT'ed through the router.

I solved it by using kron command to clear the ip nat translation table every hour.


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