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Resetting Catalyst 2955?!?

Posted on 2009-05-18
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I have a Cisco Catalyst 2955 that I've got to configure. I was able to get into the switch and get everything configured that I needed up until I started to put the TACACS+ info in. I got disconnected (session timed out) before I could get in all the correct info, so I thought, no biggie, I'll just log back into the terminal, all is well. That's not the case, When I get to the prompt where it says hit return to get started, I think it's looking for the TACACS server to authenticate, and it won't let me get into the switch. I've tried rebooting and hitting the break key, but everything I've seen on which set of keys is the break key hasn't worked on my terminal session. I've tried the CTRL +break to no avail. Please can anyone help me?!? I'm unsure what to do next, are there any physical resets I could do?
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Question by:53tin
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JFrederick29 earned 150 total points
ID: 24413658
Follow this procedure.

he Catalyst 2955 series switches do not use an external mode button for password recovery. Instead the switch boot loader uses the break-key detection to stop the automatic boot sequence for the password recovery purposes. The break sequence is determined by the terminal application and operating system used. Hyperterm running on Windows 2000 uses Ctrl + Break. On a workstation running UNIX, Ctrl-C is the break key. For more information, refer to Standard Break Key Sequence Combinations During Password Recovery.

The example below uses Hyperterm to break into switch: mode on a 2955.

    C2955 Boot Loader (C2955-HBOOT-M) Version 12.1(0.0.514), CISCO DEVELOPMENT TEST
    VERSION
    Compiled Fri 13-Dec-02 17:38 by madison
    WS-C2955T-12 starting...
    Base ethernet MAC Address: 00:0b:be:b6:ee:00
    Xmodem file system is available.
    Initializing Flash...
    flashfs[0]: 19 files, 2 directories
    flashfs[0]: 0 orphaned files, 0 orphaned directories
    flashfs[0]: Total bytes: 7741440
    flashfs[0]: Bytes used: 4510720
    flashfs[0]: Bytes available: 3230720
    flashfs[0]: flashfs fsck took 7 seconds.
    ...done initializing flash.
    Boot Sector Filesystem (bs:) installed, fsid: 3
    Parameter Block Filesystem (pb:) installed, fsid: 4

    *** The system will autoboot in 15 seconds ***
    Send break character to prevent autobooting.


    !--- Wait until you see this message before
    !--- you issue the break sequence.
    !--- Ctrl+Break is entered using Hyperterm.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps628/products_password_recovery09186a0080094184.shtml

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by:giltjr
giltjr earned 150 total points
ID: 24413666
Just to make sure:

When you say you are attempting to login to the terminal, are you using hyperterm on Windows and a serial cable into the console port?

So that you are following:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps628/products_password_recovery09186a0080094184.shtml

That I am aware of there are no physical resets.
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by:jjmartineziii
jjmartineziii earned 100 total points
ID: 24413701
You might be able to login with a console cable. Had you configured the line con 0 already?  

You can also do a password recovery procedure. It will rename the config and allow you login to a blank config, rename the config back, load it, and finish configuring (requires physical access)

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps628/products_password_recovery09186a0080094184.shtml

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Author Comment

by:53tin
ID: 24413807
Yes, I'm logged in using hyperterminal and console cable. I've tried following the article jfrederick posted, but to no avail. It's as if the switch doesn't recognize the command when I'm trying to send it. I've tried every combo I could find, and nothing gets the autoloader to stop. Is there any reason why this wouldn't be working? I've even tried the simulating the break key by changing the baud rate and going that route, and still nothing. Is it possible the break key is disabled in the switch somehow? This is impossible!!!
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by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 100 total points
ID: 24413835
This is one of the gotcha's with configuring remote authentication. If the switch can't find the server, then you'll need to do a password recovery (you're not really recovering the password though) to get into the config.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps628/products_password_recovery09186a0080094184.shtml


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Expert Comment

by:JFrederick29
ID: 24413857
Try using Putty instead of hyperterminal and see if you get the same results.  For grins, try holding the mode button down on the switch just in case you have a 2950 instead of a 2955 :)

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html
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Expert Comment

by:jjmartineziii
ID: 24413896
Also, you may have a keyboard with the F-Lock?
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Author Comment

by:53tin
ID: 24414121
Okay, I've tried PuTTY, another computer, and still no luck... Is there any way to completely wipe out the config?I can rebuild the switch if necessary, it isn't that much to do...
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by:JFrederick29
ID: 24414149
Did you try holding down the mode button on boot up?
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Author Comment

by:53tin
ID: 24414226
No, It's a 2955, no mode button....
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Expert Comment

by:JFrederick29
ID: 24414281
So, when you see this message below, you are hitting the CTRL+Break button (multiple times)?

    *** The system will autoboot in 15 seconds ***
    Send break character to prevent autobooting.

Has to be something with your PC/keyboard.
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Author Comment

by:53tin
ID: 24414426
I've tried several different keyboards and even a different PC, but still nothing. Is there a way I can force the switch to reload the IOS or renaming the flash somehow without being inside the switch? I'm even looking at reinstalling the IOS possibly? I'm open to trying anything right now!
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by:giltjr
ID: 24414781
If there is away, only Cisco knows.

You could try taking the cover off and see if there is a "reset me" jumper, but I doubt if there is one.
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by:JFrederick29
ID: 24414783
No, unfortunately you need to "break" into it via the serial/console connection to do anything.  Have you tried a different console cable?

Your hyperterminal settings are as follows, right?

Bps - 9600
Data bits - 8
Parity - None
Stop bits - 1
Flow Control - Hardware    <--try off as well
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Author Comment

by:53tin
ID: 24414805
Thought about that, and I don't even see how the cover comes off.... This is so very stupid.. Thanks for all the help and if you guys can think of ANYthing at all, please let me know. I'm stuck at this point until I talk to Cisco.
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by:giltjr
ID: 24414880
Well in the pictures I see I can't see the back, but I would assume that either there are screws on the back or that the ground screw on the front releases something.

There are also what appears to be a couple of slots on the sides that MIGHT be able to pry the front/back off.

Have you contacted Cisco?
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Author Comment

by:53tin
ID: 24415038
No I haven't contacted them yet, I'm not sure if this switch is under warranty. Isn't there a service that you can buy (I think it's called smartnet or something like that) that ensures they get the problem fixed?
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by:JFrederick29
ID: 24415056
Yeah, you can buy a 8X5 NBD SmartNET contract for the switch.  If they can't get it working, they'll RMA you a new switch.
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