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How to recover password on a Cisco 2960 switch?

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To recover the password on a Cisco 2960 switch, use the following steps:

Step 1. Connect a terminal or PC with terminal-emulation software to the switch console port.

Step 2. Set the line speed on the emulation software to 9600 baud.

Step 3. Power off the switch. Reconnect the power cord to the switch and within 15 seconds, press the Mode button while the System LED is still flashing green. Continue pressing the Mode button until the System LED turns briefly amber and then solid green. Then release the Mode button.

Step 4. Initialize the Flash file system using the flash_init command.

Step 5. Load any helper files using the load_helper command.

Step 6. Display the contents of Flash memory using the dir flash command:

The switch file system appears:

Directory of flash:
13 drwx 192 Mar 01 1993 22:30:48 c2960-lanbase-mz.122-25.FX
11 -rwx 5825 Mar 01 1993 22:31:59 config.text
18 -rwx 720 Mar 01 1993 02:21:30 vlan.dat
16128000 bytes total (10003456 bytes free)

Step 7. Rename the configuration file to config.text.old, which contains the password definition, using the rename flash:config.text flash:config.text.old command.

Step 8. Boot the system with the boot command.


Step 9. You are prompted to start the setup program. Enter N at the prompt, and then when the system prompts whether to continue with the configuration dialog, enter N.

Step 10. At the switch prompt, enter privileged EXEC mode using the enable command.

Step 11. Rename the configuration file to its original name using the rename flash:config.text.old flash:config.text command.

Step 12. Copy the configuration file into memory using the copy flash:config.text system:running-config command. After this command has been entered, the follow is displayed on the console:

Source filename [config.text]?
Destination filename [running-config]?

Press Return in response to the confirmation prompts. The configuration file is now reloaded, and you can change the password.

Step 13. Enter global configuration mode using the configure terminal command.

Step 14. Change the password using the enable secretpassword command.

Step 15. Return to privileged EXEC mode using the exit command.

Step 16. Write the running configuration to the startup configuration file using the copy running-config startup-config command.

Step 17. Reload the switch using the reload command.

Note: The password recovery procedure can be different depending on the Cisco switch series, so you should refer to the product documentation before you attempt a password recovery.


  2. CCNA Exploration 4.0 - 2.4 Configuring Switch Security
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 09:06  
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