Reset 2950 and 871 to factory defaults without console access?

Unanswered Question
Aug 11th, 2009

I need to send a technician to a decomissioned remote site with no wan connectivity to clear the configs on a Cisco 871 router and 2950 switch. Is there a button sequence to press to permanently clear the config without requiring console access? There's a reset button on the 871 but it's not clear if using it will permanently clear the config. I'm also aware of the mode button on the 2950 but, as far as I know, it still requires console access to clear the config. Thank you.

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Lucien Avramov Tue, 08/11/2009 - 09:08

This should address your question:

To set the router back to its factory defaults, you can either use Cisco SDM or you can go into the Cisco IOS Software CLI and do a "write erase" on the router itself, or grab the factory default configuration from Cisco Configuration Express. In addition, when the reset button is pressed within 5 seconds of the boot up and there is a valid xxx.cfg file in the flash, the router boots up with the xxx.cfg file and avoids the startup-config file in NVRAM.

Leo Laohoo Tue, 08/11/2009 - 14:03

The c870 series routers have a "reset" button at the back. Power off the router, press the reset button and power it up. Release after 5 seconds.

lbhoang Wed, 08/12/2009 - 05:41

The documentation is not very useful. I needed a straight forward way to wipe the configs permanently, per policy, without requiring console access since the technician is not network centric. As discovered, this is not possible on the 2950 and 871. The "mode" button on the 2950 still requires console access to wipe the config. The "reset" button on the 871 will revert to the factory default config but also creates a backup of the production config in nvram. "erase nvram:" command takes but appears to do nothing as all the files are untouched ultimately requiring a "delete nvram:config.backup" to actually wipe the config.

Leo Laohoo Wed, 08/12/2009 - 14:10

Alrighty, if you don't want to do it that way ...

Before the network technicians starts taking things off the network, someone has to remotely login to each and issue the "wr er" command followed by the "delete /f /r flash:vlan.dat".


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