PIX501 Resurrection

I was having an issue with a PIX501 (4.2 Embedded Firmware) just hanging randomly after variable amounts of time under minimal load. I updated to the latest image available 6.3.5 and the latest pdm 3.0.4 but still had issues. Decided to revert back to 6.3.1 and the PIX began to hang after only a minute or so. Then tried to update back to 6.3.5 and the PIX hung mid flash. Now it just constantly reboots. When I try to tftp either of the images I get a checksum error and then it begins asking me for an activation key (which I don't have, nor a copy of the previous running config). what next?????
hookssystemsAsked:
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Can you get into ROMMON mode? if so delete everything in the flash then try and TFTP in the image you want - if that fails copy the image in using XModem from Hyperterminal
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hookssystemsAuthor Commented:
Are you referring to "monitor" mode. If so, once I get in there how do I completely clear the flash?
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Alan Huseyin KayahanCommented:
          You dont have to clear flash. Just tfpt your IOS image under monitor mode, it will start installation and clear flash.
               
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hookssystemsAuthor Commented:
That is where I have been throughout this process, in "monitor" mode. That is where I get the checksum error and am asked for the activation key. I found though that if I hold Ctrl+C at bootup I get taken to "System BIOS Setup" where there are a few options, none of which "appear" to be useful. I'm just curious of why it is asking for the activation key. Isn't that normally embedded? I know on previous updates to the image upon reboot it asks if I want to regenerate keys, is this the same thing? When I tftp the image over the transfer goes fine. It is upon reboot I get the checksum error. Which look like:

imgsum_config: sumval(0xe086)
imgsum_verify: chksum(0x0     )
Checksum verification on flash image failed
Serial Number# XXXXXXXXX

Enter Activation Key
  Part 1 of 4:

Not sure exactly what is happening..........
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hookssystemsAuthor Commented:
Also, I don't think the image is actually corrupt. I get the same error with three different images that all have worked previously.......

Even if the image were corrupt I still don't understand why it is asking for an activation key.....
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hookssystemsAuthor Commented:
is there a way to set the PIX to boot from tftp? In the "System Bios Settings" menu there is and option called "Basic System Setings" (or something to that extent) that gives you some boot options. But when I enter that menu the text scrolls over top of itself several times and makes it where you can't choose and option. All other menus work normally so I don't think its the communication from the console to the PIX.....

by the way if you guys just think this thing is toast don't refrain from letting me know.......
(holdin escape  when powering on takes you to a "System Test" which allows you to test memory, floating point calcualtion, etc.. and all of these tests pass, otherwise I probably would have already trashed it)
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Alan Huseyin KayahanCommented:
            rawrite.exe may be helpful if PIX has a floppy
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hookssystemsAuthor Commented:
no floppy on a 501....
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hookssystemsAuthor Commented:
Well.... Registered for 3DES encryption and they sent me the activation key which got me back into the PIX.......... thanks for the effort
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Computer101Commented:
PAQed with points refunded (500)

Computer101
EE Admin
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