Cisco PIX 501 stuck in reboot cycle

Posted on 2006-05-12
Last Modified: 2013-11-16
A Reload command was sent to our Cisco PIX 501 6.3(4) and it is now stuck in an endless reboot cycle.  The loop block is pasted below:

Embedded BIOS Version 4.3.200 07/31/01 15:58:22.08
Compiled by morlee

PCI Device Table.
Bus Dev Func VendID DevID Class              Irq
 00  00  00   1022   3000  Host Bridge
 00  11  00   8086   1209  Ethernet           9
 00  12  00   8086   1209  Ethernet           10

Cisco Secure PIX Firewall BIOS (4.2) #6: Mon Aug 27 15:09:54 PDT 2001
Platform PIX-501
Flash=E28F640J3 @ 0x3000000

Use BREAK or ESC to interrupt flash boot.
Use SPACE to begin flash boot immediately.
Flash boot interrupted.
0: i8255X @ PCI(bus:0 dev:17 irq:9 )
1: i8255X @ PCI(bus:0 dev:18 irq:10)

Using 1: i82557 @ PCI(bus:0 dev:18 irq:10), MAC: 0012.43b6.3133
Use ? for help.

This is as far as it gets, over and over.  How can we reload/reinstall the IOS with the unit in this state?  Is there another way to fix this that does not involve reloading the IOS?  We have the current version of the software.  This is time sensitive as it has taken our entire network (and office) down and no one here is well versed in IOS; step by step instructions would be much appreciated!
Question by:kikifly
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    The 501 is sensitive with the power cord - it'll often reboot itself if you twist the power cord where it plugs into the back of the PIX.  Also, if there's a power spike or possibly a brownout, it can cause it to get stuck in a reboot cycle.  Most likely the power cord got moved/twisted.  Try slightly twisting the plug where it connects to the PIX, even just a few millimeters either right or left, & see if it stabilizes.  If you can't get it to stabilize, you could try getting a new power adaptor.  There's known problems/defects with some older power adaptors.

    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    Can you press Esc to enter the monitor mode? If so, you can follow these steps to reinstall IOS using monitor mode (its an administrative access mode used for some emergencies - stored in ROM): , start at "monitor Command" section

    Dont forget to set up TFTP server prior to that and put you IOS image on it.

    Good luck
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Alright, I noticed that you actually do interrupt the flash boot. If its rebooting after entering the monitor mode, then I really don't know what you should do, except for following calvinetters advice.

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