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Unsupported chassis type 65535

Symptom

After going through the POST procedure while booting up, the system will display an error message, display some great ascii art and then reboot again.

              Restricted Rights Legend

 Use, duplication, or disclosure by the Government is
 subject to restrictions as set forth in subparagraph
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 Rights clause at FAR sec. 52.227-19 and subparagraph
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           cisco Systems, Inc.
           170 West Tasman Drive
           San Jose, California 95134-1706



 Cisco IOS Software, Catalyst 4000 L3 Switch Software (cat4000-I9S-M), Version 12.2(25)EWA11, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
 Technical Support: http://www.cisco.com/techsupport
 Copyright (c) 1986-2007 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
 Compiled Thu 25-Oct-07 16:10 by kellythw
 Image text-base: 0x10000000, data-base: 0x114BC09C

 ####### ######  ######  ####### ######    ###
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 #       #     # #     # #     # #     #   ###
 #####   ######  ######  #     # ######     # 
 #       #   #   #   #   #     # #   #        
 #       #    #  #    #  #     # #    #    ###
 ####### #     # #     # ####### #     #   ###

 Unsupported chassis type 65535, system can not boot
 Rebooting in 10 seconds...
 10  09  08  07  06  05  04  03  02  01  ÿ

Conditions

This can happen if you receive a new 4500 series supervisor (purchased or through RMA) and any E-Series chassis. If the version of IOS that came on the supervisor is less than 12.2(37)SG, the system will not boot and will give the error message above. This is stated on the product data sheet under the Software requirements section, but is very easy to miss.

Solution

Simply install IOS Version 12.2(37)SG or later on the supervisor and the unit will boot right up.

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