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Fixed - Pix 515E won't boot

I was experiencing an issue with my Pix 515E that I've seen in a few posts in this forum, and in several others (after Googling for a solution myself). The issue manifests itself as follows:

The Pix 515E begins to boot, and you see something like the following in your terminal emulator:

CISCO SYSTEMS PIX FIREWALL

Embedded BIOS Version 4.3.207 01/02/02 16:12:22.73

Compiled by morlee

32 MB RAM

PCI Device Table.

Bus Dev Func VendID DevID Class Irq

00 00 00 8086 7192 Host Bridge

00 07 00 8086 7110 ISA Bridge

00 07 01 8086 7111 IDE Controller

00 07 02 8086 7112 Serial Bus 9

00 07 03 8086 7113 PCI Bridge

00 0D 00 8086 1209 Ethernet 11

00 0E 00 8086 1209 Ethernet 10

It seems to have failed POST but isn't reporting a specific error. You can't break to monitor mode, and removing additional interface cards doesn't solve the problem.

As my Pix was out of warranty, I had nothing to lose in opening it up and tinkering. [ remember to unplug it first kids ;-) ]

As soon as I opened it, I had a brief flashback to an old PC motherboard that had failed on me in a similar way, which I fixed by clearing it's CMOS.

Using the same logic, I removed the battery on the Pix's motherboard, and moved the position of the jumper next to the battery labelled 'JP5'. (I presumed that jumper to be the 'clear CMOS' jumper - I could be completely wrong - but that's where they usually are and it certainly didn't do any harm...)

After about 2 minutes I replaced the battery and put JP5 back to it's original state. After closing up the Pix and plugging it back in, much to my amazement, it booted smoothly, first time with no errors reported.

So there you are. I hope this helps someone out there from having to carry out an uneccessary RMA.

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Re: Fixed - Pix 515E won't boot

This document helps troubleshoot potential hardware issues with the Cisco Secure PIX Firewall series. It can help to identify which component might be causing a hardware failure, based on the type of error that the PIX experiences. PIX does not support Online Insertion and Removal (OIR) and needs a minimum of two interfaces for normal operation.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/vpndevc/ps2030/products_tech_note09186a0080094fd9.shtml

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