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Did I Wipe the Cisco Router's Configuration?

Posted on 2005-04-28
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I pulled three Cisco routers out of storage to see if I could configure them for a new Point-to-Point T1. The routers had been configured for PtP before, but were put in storage after the remote offices moved back to the main office. (As detailed in another question, I've never worked with Cisco routers before as was looking forward to learning by doing...)

I found that they were password protected, so I started Cisco's password recovery procedure on one of the 1720s. <http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/474/pswdrec_1700.shtml>

I got to the part were I could see the running-config and the unencrypted password. I had a hunch that that was the encrypted password as well and also the password for the other two routers, so I powered off the router (I had read that this was a way of avoiding changes being permantly written.)

I connected to the other routers and found I was right about the passwords...

But when I went back to the first router, it prompted me to go into the initial configuration! At the Router# prompt, it looks like all the running-config is gone. Or is it?

Did I permanently loose the configuration info? Or is it still in memory in a place I'm not familiar with?
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Question by:TerrellITC
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Accepted Solution

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lrmoore earned 300 total points
ID: 13890216
>Did I permanently loose the configuration info? Or is it still in memory in a place I'm not familiar with?
I don't think you lost the config, but during the recovery procedure you tell the router to ignore the startup config so that you can recover it. Later in the procedure you have to set the config register back to "not" ignore the startup config.

But, if you didn't follow step 10 correctly, and did a "write mem" at any point you would overwrite the existing config with basically a blank config with nothing but the password...
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Expert Comment

by:rshooper76
ID: 13890317
You probably just need to change the startup register back to it's original value.  Console to the router, follow step 5.  Once you into the router follow step 14 and reboot.
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Expert Comment

by:Chireru
ID: 13890384
It sounds like you have done the first part right:

Reboot it, hit CTRL+BREAK,
at ROMMON, run:
rommon1> confreg 0x2142
rommon2> reset

Now the router will boot without reading it's config file.  This is where I believe you are.

Your next step is to log in, and enable.  Run this:
$ enable
# config term
# copy startup-config running-config
(config)# enable secret [newpassword]
(config)# config-register 0x2102
(config)# exit
# copy running-config startup-config
# reload

Since you are rebooting without config, there is no enable password, so we can now enable.  Next, we basically 'slam in' the old configuration, including the unknown password... however, we are enabled, so we can change that password, set it back to "read the config file on boot", then save the new password in the configuration and reboot.
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Author Comment

by:TerrellITC
ID: 13890821
I don't believe that I did a "write mem", but perhaps the failures below may indicate that I did...

For rshooper76's solution, I get the following error:
  rommon 1 > config-register 0x2102
  monitor: command "config-register" not found

For Chireru's solution, I get the following error:
  Router>enable
  Router#config term
  Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
  Router(config)#copy startup-config running-config
                          ^
  % Invalid input detected at '^' marker.
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Assisted Solution

by:rshooper76
rshooper76 earned 300 total points
ID: 13890843
Try confreg 0x02102 instead of config-register 0x2102.
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Assisted Solution

by:Chireru
Chireru earned 600 total points
ID: 13890848
The first error is that "confreg" is spelt wrong (it's not "config" it stands for "configure register")

The second one is my mistake, it should be:
$ enable
# copy startup-config running-config
# config term
(config)# enable secret [newpassword]
(config)# config-register 0x2102
(config)# exit
# copy running-config startup-config
# reload
0
 

Author Comment

by:TerrellITC
ID: 13891264
Well, it looks like I've learned how to reset a Cisco router to default. :-)

lrmoore is probably right that I did do a "write mem"--I don't specifically remember. But I was jumping between other tasks and reading the reference manual to learn more about what I was doing.

Unless there's any other advice, I'll divy up the points tomorrow.
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Expert Comment

by:Chireru
ID: 13892004
You said the other routers had similar configs..  If they are untouched, you can transfer the configs between them.  

The best way is a TFTP server... cisco, aswell as other people offer a TFTP server.. just install it on your PC and fire it up.  Make sure you have a network connection between the router and your computer, then to save a config, run:
# copy running-config tftp
and answer the questions (server IP, filename)

Then, to put it on another router, make sure your connected to it, and run:
# copy tftp startup-config
(answer questions again)
# reload

The cheapo-easy way is to copy & paste the output of show running-config across, but that doesn't always work.
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Author Comment

by:TerrellITC
ID: 13897609
Thanks all for the help. Since lrmoore turned out to be right about me erasing the config, I awarded the answer to him, and spread points around for being so helpful. I sure learned a lot!
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Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 13898224
Thanks!
Cheers, mate!

<8-}

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