Goal: To have dual configurations on the router using 2 different CF Cards.
Problem: One configuration is used for training and the other is used for production. Because of the data passed on production, no information can bleed over from either config.
Example: I start with the training CF Card. I load the 12.X IOS on it and copy the current startup-config over to the CF as well. I delete the local startup-config so there are no traces of IP's, etc left in NVRAM. I need to be able to take out the Training CF Card and insert the Production CF Card and have the router boot the IOS and config information from the CF.
I am not sure that I have a full understanding of what your full requirements are. But based on what I think I understand so far I believe that the solution that you are looking for is to use the boot config command. Most of us are used to the boot system command which is used to identify the image to boot. Not so many of us are also familiar with the boot config command. But I believe that it does what you need. If you use the boot config command you can tell the router to look on flash for the config file instead of looking in NVRAM.
If you use the boot config command you can have the router boot not only the image from flash but also read its config from flash. This would allow you to establish real separation in image and in config between your production flash card and your test flash card.
I am trying to focus on 1/2 of the problem. I need to get the router to boot of the IOS and startup-config from flash. I used the boot system flash: and boot config flash: commands but it isn't working. Here is what I have done. Loaded the IOS onto the flash. Booted up the router and built a config. I then copied the config to flash using copy running-config flash:Production. I then reloaded the router without saving anything. I entered two lines to create the local startup-config file: boot system flash:c2800... and boot config flash:production. I then saved the running config using write mem. I assumed that on the next reboot that the router would load the local startup-config and then boot the IOS from flash and load the settings from the production file to the running config. What happens is this: the router loads the IOS and then I get the router> prompt. When I do a dir flash:, the production file on flash: was overwritten by the local startup-config file. Essentially the entire config I built has been erased. I need to get passed this part first. How to load the router from an IOS and config file that is on flash and not the local nvram. The next step will be to ensure that there is no data from the config file left in the local nvram when I turn off and remove the flash.
It has been a while since I experimented with this feature and I do not remember all the details clearly. I do remember that some of what it did was not intuitive. Based on what I think I remember I would suggest this:
- starting with your test environment
- do not worry about copy run flash:production.
- put the boot config flash command in your local (NVRAM) config file.
- put the other config details that you need for your test environment (IP addresses, etc).
- perform copy run start
- verify that there now is a file in flash that is your startup config with the appropriate test addresses etc. (more flash:
- reload the router and verify that it has loaded the correct image and that the running config is your test environment.
Then insert the flash card for your production environment.
- if the IOS image is different between your test and production environments then reboot the router to get the right image running. (you might want to erase startup before you reboot to remove the test config).
- put the boot config flash command in the config.
- put the other config details that you need for your production environment (IP addresses, etc).
- perform copy run start
- verify that there now is a file in flash that is your startup config with the appropriate production addresses etc. (more flash:
- reload the router and verify that it has loaded the correct image and that the running config is your production environment.
Now when you put a flash card into the router and reboot it should load the image that you want (test or production) and should load the corresponding config file.
Let me just clarify the steps here. My concern is that when I have the Production CF Card in that I can still see Test configurations and vice versa.
Are you saying that after I "put the other config details that you need for your test environment (IP addresses, etc)" and then "perform copy run start" that the settings will be saved to the flash: instead of the local nvram? Is this because of the boot config flash: statement?
What I think I remember is that when you use the boot config flash command and you do copy run start is that it copies the running config to flash. And I believe that your earlier post confirms this. You had copied a config to flash as "production". But then when you did copy run start it overwrote your "production" file in flash. Is that not what you described?
I did not experiment with quite the situation that you want to have. But I believe that if you use the boot config flash command that it will create a sort of self contained environment in which you will have an image file and a config file for test on one card and an image file and a config file for production on the other card. I believe that when you insert either of these cards into the router and reboot that it will load the image that you want and will have the corresponding config running.
Give it a try and let us know how it works.
If i understood you correctly, you can simply do this by using the "boot config flash:startup-config" command to point to your startup configuration on your CF card rather than the default on the NVRAM, and in this manner the startup configuration is loaded from your CF cards according to which CF card you've installed.
 Rick, sorry for the cross post.
No problem. I am glad that we both think the same alternative would be the solution that George is looking for. One of the great strengths of the forum is that so many good people are looking at the questions and proposing answers. Sometime cross posts like this happen.
Thank you very much, the greatest fortune of this forum is having experts like your self with such great manners and spirit.