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Password recovery Cisco PIX 501


We are having problems remembering password of an old Cisco PIX 501.  this firewall hasnt needed to be updated in years but now we need to change something and noone remembers the password.

is there any easy way to do this?

also, i have managed to find the last config layout, the typical:

Building configuration...
: Saved

in this the password is listed encrypted... is there anyway to use that encrypted password to figure out the unencrypted one?

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Check this cisco document on how to recover the password


yes i saw this, but i'm terrified about reseting the pix...

that means i need to use a paperclip to reset the pix?  how do i know for sure it will recognize the process and find the diskette and only erase the password and not everything in the pix?
The cisco ocument states:
Note that performing password recovery on the PIX erases only the password, not the configuration.

Hi calcaraz,

broeckske is correct in that the process outlined in the link provided will not erase your existing configuration.  Just make sure you download the correct .bin file for the version of PIX code you are running and follow the procedure.


my pix 501 does not have a reset button infront as it says is should have in the cisco web:

Push the Reset button on the front of the PIX.

does it mean unplugging and plugging in the pix?

or using a paperclip to hit the tiny reset button behind?

The reset switch will have the same effect as power cycling the device, it will not reset your device to factory defaults, factory defaults is done from command line not with the reset button

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