Memory issues

Unanswered Question
Feb 26th, 2012

I am trying to upgrade my IOS on a 3550 switch.

The switch has 15MB of space total.

When I delete the current IOS it leaves only 8MB of space.

I need 10MB of space for the new image.

Where is this other space being taken up?

Can I do something to free up the space somewhere?


Switch#dir flash:

Directory of flash:/

    2  -rwx         916   Mar 1 1993 00:06:53 +00:00  vlan.dat

    3  -rwx        3790   Mar 1 1993 00:39:12 +00:00  config.text

    4  -rwx          24   Mar 1 1993 00:39:12 +00:00  private-config.text

    5  -rwx     5687963   Mar 1 1993 01:11:18 +00:00  c3550-ipbasek9-mz.122-25.SEB4.bin

    8  drwx         192   Mar 1 1993 00:04:40 +00:00  c3550-i9q3l2-mz.121-22.EA1a

15998976 bytes total (3300864 bytes free)


Accessing tftp://

Loading c3550-ipservicesk9-mz.122-44.SE6.bin from (via Vlan1): !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(more exclamation marks)

%Error writing flash:/c3550-ipservicesk9-mz.122-44.SE6.bin (No space left on device)


Thanks for your help guys.

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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
Jason Dance Sun, 02/26/2012 - 07:04

The entry c3550-i9q3l2-mz.121-22.EA1a has a drwx next to it, which indicates its a directory.  It appears to be an older image that you may not be using any more.  If not, you will need to delete the contents of that directory before deleting the folder itself.

terrelstinnett Sun, 02/26/2012 - 07:06

i will try that but it also looks as if its taking up a relatively small amount of space. still looking into it. thanks

Leo Laohoo Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:56

Stanley, can I request if you refrain from making multiple posts of the same issue?

Jason Dance Sun, 02/26/2012 - 07:08

Btw you can verify it by typing dir flash:/c3550-i9q3l2-mz.121-22.EA1a and you will see the missing files.

To take care of it, you may have to delete each file one by one, or perhaps del flash:/c3550-i9q3l2-mz.121-22.EA1a/* might work (I don't remember unfortunately).

You can remove the empty directory with either the rm flash:/c3550-i9q3l2-mz.121-22.EA1a or rmdir flash:/c3550-i9q3l2-mz.121-22.EA1a commands (again, I don;t remember the exact syntax).



Jason Dance Sun, 02/26/2012 - 07:09

The folder itself takes up minimal space, but the files underneath will be your space hogs.  The bytes of the folder actually reflect the space taken for the folder entry, and doesn't include the space taken by its contents.

swordcrowned Sun, 02/26/2012 - 19:38

Hmmm.  Could have sworn I posted an answer to this before i went to bed last night.


Use the "show boot" command to find out which IOS the switch is currently booting from.  If it is the IOS in the directory, just delete the .bin file (delete flash:c3550-ipbasek9-mz.122-25.SEB4.bin).  If the current boot ios is the ipbasek9 .bin file, then delete the directory (delete /force /recursive flash:c3550-i9q3l2-mz.121-22.EA1a).  That should free up enough room for you to load the new ios.  Once the IOS is loaded, use the "boot system" command to change the boot IOS.  Save your config and reload the switch to ensure that everything is fine.  Once the switch is reloaded on the new IOS delete the old IOS so you dont run into memory issues the next time you need to upgrade your IOS.


Bryan Hefner

Richard Burts Sun, 02/26/2012 - 19:47


You are correct that you posted an answer to this question. But not in this forum. Stanley has posted this question in the Getting Started with LAN forum where you answered. And he posted this question in the WAN Routing forum where you also answered it. And here he has posted the same question in the LAN switching forum - and you have answered it again.

I absolutely agree with Leo that Stanley should not post the same question in multiple forums. And until his behavior changes I will not be answering any of his questions.



Leo Laohoo Mon, 02/27/2012 - 00:51
I absolutely agree with Leo that Stanley should not post the same question in multiple forums. And until his behavior changes I will not be answering any of his questions.

I second the motion.  (+5)

swordcrowned Mon, 02/27/2012 - 02:47


Well, thats just plain annoying.  I was drinking alittle last night, so when i saw the question again i still had the txt file open that i typed the answer in, so i just thought i forgot to hit the post button.  Then i thought it was deja vu this morning.  Sucks that i wasted my time. 


Richard Burts Mon, 02/27/2012 - 04:40


It is unfortunate that this happened and that you wasted your time on a duplicated post. But I hope that you will continue to be active in the forum and will continue to share your insights with the rest of the community.



Leo Laohoo Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:35

I quite understand if one opens two threads of the same issue in different sections.  But this issue was duplicated more than that.

Plus this is not the first "issue".  This is the second.


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