What is the reason for the verison statement in the startup-config file? Is it used by the loader to choose the correct IOS?
example from startup-config file
service timestamps debug uptime
service timestamps log uptime
The version statement is used by the IOS to determine the compatibility of the saved configuration file that will be loaded when the device boots up. Sometimes, if you save the configuration using a different IOS train (say 12.3) and boot the device with IOS 12.2, some commands may not be compatible. In that case, the router will display a warning message and that determination is done based on the version information.
Hope this helps.