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Cisco Router or Switch PASSWORD RESET instructions

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  • Cisco Router or Switch PASSWORD RESET instructions

    For Future Reference, here is how to Recovery a lost Cisco router or switch password:

    Please note, these are the GENERAL procedures but procedures vary on varying devices!

    1. power off and back on the device
    2. hold down control and hit BREAK (may have to do this a few times)
    3. Once you are at the rommon> prompt, type confreg.
    4. Say "n" to all options except this one:
    enable "ignore system config info"? y/n [n]: y
    5. Say "n" to all other options
    6. once back at the rommon prompt, type reset
    7. the device will reboot
    8. Once the device is booted, you will know that you are bypassing the config because you will be asked this question (say no):
    Would you like to enter the initial configuration dialog? [yes/no]: no
    9. Once booted, if you do a show version, you will see that your config register is 0x2142.
    10. Now, you can either go to enable mode and do a show startup-config to see what the enable password is OR, if you have an enable secret password set, you can replace it by doing a copy start run, then going into global configuration and creating a new enable secret with enable secret cisco, then copy it back with copy run start.
    11. Now, you want to change the config register back. In global configuration, type config-register 0x2102
    12. save your configuration with wr or copy run start
    13. reboot the device and you should be back with your original configuration but with a password that you know!

    Attached to this message is a log file of exactly how I did this on my Cisco 2600 series router.

    Post your Cisco Router & Switch questions here!

    -David Davis

    For more complete info on all Cisco devices, see this link:
    Attached Files
    David Davis - Petri Forums Moderator & Video Training Author
    Train Signal - The Global Leader in IT Video Training - Free IT Training Products
    Personal Websites: &

  • #2
    Thanx !

    It's an essential information. Thanx for sharing over here. Reviewing Cisco doc for
    this is time consuming. Last time my 1 fresher ( Engineer at our company ) went
    to another city to deleiver Cisco 2950 Switches and router's. He knew how to clear password of 2600 series router but not of Cisco Switch. We told him step
    by step process. That time i also refreshed my memory...Hehe....I forgotten all
    step's required to reset password of switch. I guess it's must to know thing for
    every CCNA. John Chambers should take back CCNA of one who dont remember
    this all..Ha !!!
    Not many fresh CCNA's know about WIC1-t, WIC2-t, BRI WAN int add on
    card's. In CCNA syllabus Cisco can think of adding intro of those cards... and various cables like smart serial back to back, V.35 << Very neccesary when we
    have leased line and modem which has V.35 int and at router end serial ......
    I also did not know about those add on cards before joining company who deals
    in Cisco products. I also learnt how to remove DRAM of Cisco router. It is recomanded to replace DRAM in sequence as early due to the IOS thing ? Talking
    about Cisco devices is a great fun..At Cisco forum there r all CCIE's who answers
    question at various topic's.
    All in 1
    Solaris,Linux & Windows admin + networking.


    • #3
      Re: Cisco Router or Switch PASSWORD RESET instructions

      A quick addition to David's excellent instructions:

      On point 2 if you cant get in using the break method from the console then on most switches you can power cycle whilsts holding the mode button. On some switches you should let go after the port 1 light has gone out. You shoudl then be able to get to the rommon prompt.

      Hope this helps
      Server 2000 MCP
      Development: ASP, ASP.Net, PHP, VB, VB.Net, MySQL, MSSQL - Check out my blog

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      • #4
        Re: Cisco Router or Switch PASSWORD RESET instructions

        As a side note to this topic-

        I created a free video on How to Reset or Recover your Lost Cisco Router or Switch Password

        It goes through these instructions step by step
        Last edited by daviddavis; 11th October 2007, 13:00.
        David Davis - Petri Forums Moderator & Video Training Author
        Train Signal - The Global Leader in IT Video Training - Free IT Training Products
        Personal Websites: &