Is my PIX515 hardware busted? Possible DRAM problem??? baffled..

Answered Question
Dec 20th, 2004
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hey guys

i upgraded a 515 from pix601.bin to pix633.bin and then put on pdm-301.bin for good measure..

both images went on fine. then i rebooted it ;)

i found myself in a reboot loop. ;(

i then went thru the monitor mode to try with pix631.bin and pix634.bin both had exactly the same problem.. last week i upgraded 2x515's to pix633.bin without any problem exactly the same way..

i have captured the console session for you to kindly have a look at ;)

>>>this is what happens when i try to load the image

monitor> interface 0

0: i8255X @ PCI(bus:0 dev:13 irq:11)

1: i8255X @ PCI(bus:0 dev:14 irq:10)

Using 0: i82559 @ PCI(bus:0 dev:13 irq:11), MAC: 0003.6bf6.872f

monitor> address


monitor> server


monitor> file pix633.bin

file pix633.bin

monitor> tftp

tftp [email protected].....<OUTPUT OMMITED>...

Received 2064384 bytes

Cisco Secure PIX Firewall admin loader (3.0) #0: Wed Aug 13 13:38:20 PDT 2003

Flash=i28F640J5 @ 0x300

BIOS Flash=AT29C257 @ 0xd8000

imgsum_config: sumval(0x93b7) md5(0x96a6bc99 0xfdcbe539 0x38a4f658 0x28d53468)

imgsum_verify: chksum(0x0 ) md5(0x61da7483 0x99d8177a 0x1e1c36c0 0x25446c8f)

Checksum verification on flash image failed.

Serial Number: 405290590 (0x18283e5e)

Enter Activation Key

Part 1 of 4:

>>> this is what happens when i rebbot it ;)

Cisco Secure PIX Firewall BIOS (4.0) #0: Thu Mar 2 22:59:20 PST 2000

Platform PIX-515

Flash=i28F640J5 @ 0x300

Use BREAK or ESC to interrupt flash boot.

Use SPACE to begin flash boot immediately.

Flash boot in 10 seconds.

Reading 1962496 bytes of image from flash.

imgsum_config: sumval(0x93b7) md5(0x96a6bc99 0xfdcbe539 0x38a4f658 0x28d53468)

imgsum_verify: chksum(0x0 ) md5(0xd7888078 0x2fb5ea09 0xce71ae69 0x8b3d03ab)

Checksum verification on compression loader failed.


Scotty, can you save me ;)

thanks guys


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Overall Rating: 4 (2 ratings)
scottmac Mon, 12/20/2004 - 07:30
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Did the same images work on another Pix?

Did you verify the MD5 checksum after you downloaded the files (i.e., possible corruption of the image on the download)?

Maybe try reseating the RAM & Flash if you can.

Try erasing the flash before loading the new image (maybe a "bad sector" in the flash).

If you have another (spare) Pix, try swapping the RAM and / or flash.

Good Luck


robmurraylyon Mon, 12/20/2004 - 17:35
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hi scott,

thanks for your reply.

i have used the same pix633.bin on my hard drive to upgrade several 515's in the past.

the correct ammount of bytes are being transfered to the pix for pix633.bin (2064384 bytes). however, when the pix reboots, it only regognises the image as 1962496 bytes.

i dont have a spair 515 i can pull the flash out of to test. i did however have a spair ram chip, which when i swapped out, produced exactly the same problem.

i think i have a workaround solution. see my reply to scott clayton below ;)



scoclayton Mon, 12/20/2004 - 10:02
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I would suggest an RMA on this box. Looks like a possible flash issue on your PIX. Go ahead and open a TAC service request and ask that a replacement PIX be sent to you. Sorry for the problems.


robmurraylyon Mon, 12/20/2004 - 17:19
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hey scott

thanks for you reply.

i dont have a service contract with cisco. i am unable to lodge a tac request. my current cco login has "registered partner" access only. looks like i am on my own here.

i heard about a file called erasepix622.bin (or similar name) that when loaded, will erase the flash entirely.

its evident that even though the entire 2064384 bytes are recieved, only 1962496 bytes are retained.

now, i know that there are more images in the flash, and im fairly confident that the bad sectors in the dram are at the end of the dram where i loaded the new images.

if i could erase the flash entirely, i could load up pix633.bin in the start of the flash on the good sectors.

that leaves me with one problem. i didnt write down the activation key before i loaded in the new image. when i erase the flash entirely, its going to wipe my activation key isnt it.

how difficult is it to get a new activation key? it was UNLIMITED/DES before. i know the DES key is now free, but the unlimited bit may be difficult to sort out.

is there a way to get my activation key from monitor mode?

is there a disgnostics bin file i can load up to get the important info out of flash?

thats scott, its a lot of questions ;)


robmurraylyon Tue, 12/21/2004 - 03:26
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since i last spoke, i have tried the following images...










all of which fail.

however, when i ran, np63.bin it loaded up the password eraser just fine. i selected to erase the passwords and it went ahead and erased the passwords just fine.

trying the pix images again after resetting the passwords made no difference.

if anyones got any ideas that would be great. does anyone have that flash eraser bin file?



robmurraylyon Tue, 12/21/2004 - 07:14
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hey boss,

that worked perfectly.

the pix633.bin image loads without error and then requests the activation keys.

i have sent a request off to licensing. hopefully they will respond soon so i can get this box back into production.



robmurraylyon Tue, 12/21/2004 - 09:54
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it appears that i may have spoken to soon ;)

althought the image loads correctly, and i am able to configure the pix ok, when i reboot the pix, it goes back to giving me the "Checksum verification on compression loader failed" error message again.

to get back into the ios, i have to go into monitor mode and load the image again, then it load the image without rebooting.

i am ready to throw the towel in on this one.. ;(

as i am now ready to accept that its a 'real' hardware issue ;) what do i have to do to get cisco to look at it?

i dont beleive this box is covered by any cisco support, what do i have to do to get it under support so it can be swapped out?

are there any alternatives to a hardware support contract? ie, once off payment for fixing it/swapping it out?

ive never had cisco hardware die on me before and as such have never needed a support contract.. ;(

whare do i start? ;)




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