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Cannot save configuration due to simultaneous access to NVRAM: %Error opening nvram:/startup-config (Device or resource busy) error message

Core Issue

These are the two occasions when you may have problems working with Nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM):

  • While showing the contents of the NVRAM, as shown in this output:
        Router#show startup-config 
        Using 5524 out of 129016 bytes
        %Error opening nvram:/startup-config (Device or resource busy)
  • While saving configuration to the NVRAM, as shown in this output:
        Router#copy running-config startup-config
        Destination filename [startup-config]? 
        startup-config file open failed (Device or resource busy)

Resolution

To resolve this issue, perform these steps:

  1. The show users command output shows that there is another user connected to the router through the console:
    Router#show users 
    
         Line     User    Host(s)        Idle       Location 
    
        0 con 0   user1    idle         00:00:14   
    
     *  2 vty 0   user2    idle         00:00:00 64.104.207.114
     

    The asterisk (*) next to line 2 vty 0 points to the line you are using in this session. If there are more than two users, clear them all except for the line with the asterisk next to it. That user is accessing the NVRAM at this time and has locked it.

  2. To free the NVRAM, clear the line that the other user is connected on, as shown in this output:
        Router#clear line 0
        [confirm]
        [OK]
     

    Now there is only one user connected to this router, as shown in this output:

     
        Router#show users 
        Line User Host(s) Idle Location
        * 2 vty 0 user2 idle 00:00:00 64.104.207.114
  3. The NVRAM is now accessible. You should be able to issue the show startup-config and copy running-config startup-config commands, as shown in this output:
      
         Router#show startup-config 
         Using 5524 out of 129016 bytes
         !
         version 12.1
         service timestamps debug datetime msec
         service timestamps log datetime msec
         no service password-encryption
              Router#copy running-config startup-config
         Destination filename [startup-config]? 
         Building configuration...
         [OK]
         Router#

Error Messages and Warnings

%Error opening nvram

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