Does the card have any other responsiblities other than an alternative option to save the config? When saving the configs to the card, is this used for backup purposes b/c the cisco will boot back up by default from nvram, correct?
The flash card normally has these responsibilities:
1) storage of the IOS image file.
2) storage of crashinfo files if the router has crashed and needed to create crashinfo.
In my experience if you use the option to copy the config to flash then it also causes the router to boot from the config in flash (rather than the config in NVRAM). You are correct that the default is to boot using the startup-config in NVRAM. But when you configure the router to copy the config to flash the router also changes the default and sets the option to boot the config in flash.
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