Get Cisco 3500 into factory defaults

Ever needed to get an old Cisco 3500 EOL switch into factory defaults? Well I did. Since no ROMmon is available for this model a different approach is needed. That said I made a little recipe to get the system going:

  1. “Power-up” the switch while pressing the mode button at the front;
  2. Release the mode button when Port1x LED goes out;
  3. You now have the switch: prompt;
  4. Type flash_init
    • switch: flash_init;
  5. Type load_helper
    • switch: load_helper;
  6. Check the flash contents
    • switch: dir flash:
    Directory of flash:/
    2    -rwx  1645807   <date>  c3500XL-c3h2s-mz-120.5.2-XU.bi
    3    -rwx  94680     <date>  c3500XL-diag-mz-120.5.2-XU
    4    drwx  6784      <date>  html
    111  -rwx  272       <date>  env_vars
    112  -rwx  600       <date>  vlan.dat
    113  -rwx  2363      <date>  config.text
    843264 bytes available (2769408 bytes used)
  7. Rename the config file
    • switch: rename flash:config.text flash:config.old.text
  8. Reboot the switch
    • switch: boot
    Loading "flash:c3500XL-c3h2s-mz-120.5.2-XU.bin"...
    ###########################################################################
    ###########################################################################
  9. Erase vlan database
    • Switch#delete flash:/vlan.dat
    Switch#delete flash:/vlan.dat
    Delete filename [vlan.dat]?
    Delete flash:/vlan.dat? [confirm]
  10. Copy current config to flash (creates new config.text)
    • Switch#copy running-config startup-config
  11. Delete old config file
    • Switch#delete flash:/config.old.text
    Delete filename [config.old.text]?
    Delete flash:/config.old.text? [confirm]
    Switch#

Done!

Detailed information may be found at Cisco’s website.

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3 thoughts on “Get Cisco 3500 into factory defaults

  1. Just the thing I was looking for today! Thanks for posting this! Please note that when you do a directory listing on the flash, you have to do a “dir flash:” (with the colon, it won’t work without it). Probably obvious for someone familiar with Cisco gear, not so obvious for someone trying to follow a step-by-step guide.

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