How to format or erase files from Flash and NVRAM permanently

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Jun 22, 2009 4:41 PM
Jun 22nd, 2009

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To remove the files from a Flash memory, perform one of these procedures:

  • For external compact Flash memory cards, issue the erase slot0: command.

  • For internal compact Flash memory cards, issue the erase flash: command.

To remove the files from a compact Flash memory card previously formatted with a Class A or Class C Flash file system, perform one of these procedures:

  • For external compact Flash memory cards, issue the format slot0: command.

  • For internal compact Flash memory cards, issue the format flash: command.

  • For ATA Flash cards, issue the format disk0: command.

       Notes:

  • Disk0: is a Class C file system and bootflash:, slot0:, and sup-bootflash: are Class A file systems.

  • In a system running Cisco IOS  on both the Multilayer Switch Feature Card (MSFC) and the Supervisor Engine, disk0: refers to the PCMCIA device.

  • In a system running Cisco IOS on the MSFC and Catalyst operating software on the Supervisor Engine, slot0: refers to the PCMCIA device (with the exception of the ATA FlashDisk, which is accessed using disk0:).

To permanently delete Flash files by squeezing a Flash file system, issue the squeeze command.

When Flash memory is full, files can be rearranged so that the space used by the files marked "deleted" can be reclaimed. If the squeeze command is issued, the router copies all valid files to the beginning of Flash memory and erases all files marked "deleted". At this point, "deleted" files cannot be recovered, and it is possible to write to the reclaimed Flash memory space.

The squeeze command can also be issued to remove any files that the system has marked as "error". An error file is created when a file write fails (for example, the device is full). To remove error files, the squeeze command must be issued. The squeeze operation can take as long as several minutes because it can involve erasing and rewriting almost an entire Flash memory space.

To remove the data from the NVRAM of a Catalyst switch running Cisco IOS system software, issue the erase nvram: command.

To clear the system or module configuration information stored in the NVRAM of a Catalyst switch running CatOS system software, use the clear config all command.

Note: The NVRAM can only be cleared by using the CLI prompt and it is not possible to erase NVRAM configurations by a hardware procedure.

For additional information, refer to Resetting Catalyst Switches to Factory Defaults.

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