What is the minimum configuration necessary to use SDM?
After a long learning journey with Cisco routers, I now know the value of Johnnylingo's advise and I've taken the next smallest (read $$) step and found an 871W with SDM CDROM on eBay. Contributing to this decision was the long time it was taking to establish any basic configuration compared to other cheapo home office solutions. This is due to a combination of factors such as IOS/hardware incompatible instructions from what I can gather here and elsewhere (what you can do on one router you can't do on older routers; vlan for one), domain specific learning curve (I have software programming experience which doesn't help).
What then is the minimum configuration necessary to enable the SDM software?
The modem arrived with a password, which I reset. I don't know if there was any config on the router before the reset, but there isn't anything on it now (show run, show ip??--something like that)--none of the interfaces are configured with an IP. Of course, SDM needs the router's IP to startup. There's only one twist in my setup, and I'm not sure if it really is a twist. I have a server with the 9-pin serial port which is Linux and a dual boot Vista and Linux without serial. Therefore, I installed SDM on the Vista partition and connected with a straight through ethernet cable to the outside ethernet port as shown in the SDM Quick Start Guide.
Now all that seems necessary is to create a basic minimum config, or download a factory running-config for the 871 and TFTP it onto this 871w.
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