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Cisco Pix 501, factory reset, tftp problems

I was given a Cisco Pix 501 firewall and have found out that I cannot login to it. I want to do a factory reset on it to get it back to the defaults. I found some documentation on the net but I am running into some problems when I try to tftp the image file to the cisco pix.

Here are the instructions that I have


Here is the password recovery method for the PIX 501 according to cisco:

1) Start you terminal emulation software and connect your PC to the

console port.

2) Power on your PIX and when you se the startup messages, send a

break character or press the ESC key to get to the monitor mode.

3) monitor> interface (to specify which interface to use)

4) monitor> address (to specify the ip address of the interface)

5) monitor> server (the address of your tftp server)

6) monitor> gateway (the address of the gateway to reach the tftp server)

7) monitor> file (to specify the filename of the PIX password recovery

file, such as np63.bin)

8) monitor> tftp ( to download the file)

As the file loads, the following message is displayed:

Do you wish to erase the passwords? [y n] Y

Passwords have been erased


At this time I have pix 501 connected via console cable into the laptop. There are no other routers plugged in and there is no internet connection to the pix I have opened hyperterminal and I am able to get into the pix. I am at the monitor> prompt. I have followed all the above instructions but when I get the the part where I type tftp to transfer the image file. It fails. I have a tftp server installed and running on windows xp and I specified the server address on the pix. the only thing I did not specify was a gateway since I am not sure what to put in. I didn't think I needed some since I am on the same network directly connected to the pix.

Does anyone know what I am doing wrong?




Re: Cisco Pix 501, factory reset, tftp problems



Is it neccessary to do it this way otherwise you can just connect it to your network and do this

#copy flash tftp

Address or name of remote host []?

Source filename []? .bin

Destination filename [name.bin]?


what is the message you get after completing the process does the pix reboots or your tftp server never recevies the file.

if helpful, please rate it

New Member

Re: Cisco Pix 501, factory reset, tftp problems

This is the only way I know how to do it. I hadn't thought of connecting it to my other router and assigning a IP and the gateway. I will try this tonight.

About the "copy flash tftp command" I am at the monitor> prompt. I am not sure if copy and flash are valid commands. I did not see those in the command list but I will try them. I know I am able do tftp though, I just haven't been able to connect to the tftp server on my laptop.


Re: Cisco Pix 501, factory reset, tftp problems

You are right you shouldnt to specify gateway IP.. But you can specify as gateway again IP of tftp server.. Verify if TFTP server is addressed from same range like PIX


Hope that helps rate if it does

New Member

Re: Cisco Pix 501, factory reset, tftp problems

You can try 3 things that I can think of:

1) use Hyperterminal on your laptop. Assign an IP address on your laptop in the same network as the PIX. use the command:

write net tftp_IP_address:

2) Or use Hyperterminal and capture the text as you do a "write terminal" command. Use the Transfer menu in the hyperterminal program. Make sure you stop the capture after the whole output has been displayed.

make sure your TFTP server is accepting all connections or is set to Prompt to accept files. Your TFTP server should not need a Gateway. It usually just needs the source ip and a folder where the files will be copied to.

Good luck.

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