Do you know how to reset a Cisco switch to factory defaults w/wo CLI? In this tutorial, you will learn the Cisco IOS commands used to clear all switch configurations with or without CLI/console port and whether you know the enable password.
Also, you will learn how to reset a Cisco 2960 switch back to factory settings manually without knowing the enable password and using the console cable. This guide applies also to the 2940, 2950, 2955, 2900-XL,3550, 3500-XL, 3560, and 3750 Cisco Catalyst switches.
Resetting a Cisco catalyst switch to factory defaults requires deleting the startup configuration and vlan.dat files. One file is stored in NVRAM, while the other file is located in flash memory.
How to Reset a Cisco Switch to Factory Defaults Using the CLI Interface
If you can log in to the switch’s CLI interface and access enable mode, you can wipe all the switch’s configurations (startup and VLAN).
The steps to achieve this task are the same on almost every Cisco switch running Cisco IOS software. To reset the switch to factory settings, follow these steps:
Step 1. Connect to the switch’s CLI interface through the console port, SSH, Telnet, or any other means.
Step 2. Issue the write erase command in enable mode to remove the startup configuration file. You can also use the erase startup-config command. It does the same thing.
SW1# write erase Erasing the nvram filesystem will remove all configuration files! Continue? [confirm] [OK] Erase of nvram: complete %SYS-7-NV_BLOCK_INIT: Initialized the geometry of nvram
Step 3. Issue the delete flash:vlan.dat command to remove all remaining configured VLANs. Depending on the switch’s VLAN configuration, some VLANs may be saved in the startup configuration file, while others are saved in the vlan.dat file.
SW1# delete flash:vlan.dat Delete filename [vlan.dat]? Delete flash:/vlan.dat? [confirm] SW1#
Step 4. Issue the reload command in enable mode to reboot the switch.
How to Reset a Cisco Switch to Factory Defaults Using the Command Line Interface Without Password
Step 1. Connect your computer to the switch using the console cable, and then power the switch on.
Step 2. While the Cisco switch is booting, press and hold the Mode button until the switch interface displays the following output:
Xmodem file system is available. The password-recovery mechanism is enabled. The system has been interrupted prior to initializing the flash filesystem. The following commands will initialize the flash filesystem, and finish loading the operating system software: flash_init boot switch:
Step 3. Issue the flash_init command to initialize the flash file system.
switch: flash_init Initializing Flash... mifs: 10 files, 1 directories mifs: Total bytes : 2917447 mifs: Bytes used : 643463 mifs: Bytes available : 2204095 mifs: mifs fsck took 1 seconds. mifs: 0 files, 1 directories mifs: Total bytes : 4981831 mifs: Bytes used : 1024 mifs: Bytes available : 4970707 mifs: mifs fsck took 0 seconds. mifs: 5 files, 1 directories mifs: Total bytes : 369159 mifs: Bytes used : 9327 omitted output
Step 4. Issue the del flash:config.text command, type in the letter “y”, and then hit Enter to wipe the switch configuration.
switch: del flash:config.text Are you sure you want to delete "flash:config.text" (y/n)? y File "flash:config.text" deleted
Step 5. Enter the del vlan.dat command, type in the letter “y”, and then hit Enter to remove the VLAN configuration.
switch: del flash:vlan.dat Are you sure you want to delete "vlan.dat" (y/n)? y File "flash:vlan.dat" deleted
Step 6. Reboot the switch using the boot command.
switch: boot Loading "flash:2960-lanbasek9-mz.150-2.SE4.bin"... omitted output
How to Reset a Cisco Switch to Factory Default Using the Mode Button
Resetting a stackable Cisco switch, like Cisco Catalyst Switch 2960 series, to factory settings manually is a super easy task.
All you need to do is hold down the switch’s mode button for 10 seconds. In this case, the switch’s lights start to blink, and then all switch configurations are restored back to their factory settings.
Here is a video that demonstrates this procedure.
Finally, this method does not work on Cisco switches that do not have the mode button like the chassis-based switches.
Related Lessons to How To Reset a Cisco Switch to Factory Defaults
- How To Backup Cisco Switch/Router Images Using TFTP Server
- How To Backup/Restore Cisco Switch/Router Configuration Files Using SCP Server
- How To Backup Cisco Switch/Router Images Using FTP Server
- Memory Types Used in a Cisco Router
- How To Reset a Cisco Switch to Factory Defaults
- How to Reset a Cisco Router to Factory Defaults
- How To Backup and Restore Cisco Switch/Router IOS Images Using SCP Server
- How To Backup and Restore Cisco Switch/Router Configuration Files Using FTP
- How To Backup and Restore Cisco Switch/Router Configuration Files Using TFTP Server
- How To Erase Configuration Files on a Cisco Router or Switch
- Cisco IOS More Command
- How To Upgrade Cisco IOS via FTP/TFTP/USB Drive or Console Cable
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