Password Recovery Procedure for the Catalyst 6500 with Supervisor 720 (WS-SUP720 / WS-SUP720-3B / WS-SUP720-3BXL) Running Cisco IOS Software Prior to 12.2(17)SX

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  • Power up the router
  • Press Break on the terminal keyboard right after the RP gains control of the console port. On the Catalyst 6500 that runs Cisco IOS, the SP boots first. It then turns control over to the RP. After the RP gains control, initiate the break sequence. The RP has gained control of the console port when you see this message. (Do not initiate the break sequence until you see this message):
00:00:03: %OIR-6-CONSOLE: Changing console ownership to route processor
  • Break Sequence when connected through Opengear Console Server over SSH: ~~b. Caution: On some systems, you have to hit the ~ key twice to get one character, so in fact you would have to type ~~~~b to actually get ~~b. Try first in an unused terminal!
  • Type confreg 0x2142 at the rommon 1> prompt to boot from Flash without loading the configuration.
  • The switch crashes with a Software Forced Crash:
  • Type no after each setup question, or press Ctrl-C to skip the initial setup procedure.
  • Type enable at the Router> prompt. You are in enable mode. The Router# prompt is displayed.
  • It is important to issue the configure memory or copy start running commands to copy the Nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM) into memory. Do not issue the configure terminal command.
  • Issue either the write terminal or show running command. These commands show the configuration of the router. In this configuration, you see the shutdown command under all the interfaces. This means that all the interfaces are currently shut down. You see the passwords either in encrypted or unencrypted format.
  • Issue the configure terminal command to enter global configuration mode and make the changes. The prompt is now hostname(config)#.
  • Issue the enable secret < password > in global configuration mode to change the enable password.
  • Issue the config-register 0x2102 command, or the value you recorded in Step 2 in global configuration mode (Router(config)#) to set the configuration value back to its original value.
  • Change any virtual terminal passwords, if present:
Router(config)#line vty 0 4
Router(config-line)#password cisco
  • Issue the no shutdown command on every interface that is normally in use. Issue a show ip interface brief
    command to see a list of interfaces and their current status. You must be in enable mode (Router#) to execute the show ip interface brief command. Here is an example for one interface:
Router#show ip interface brief
Interface                  IP-Address      OK? Method Status                Prol
Vlan1                YES TFTP   administratively down dow 
Vlan10                   YES TFTP   administratively down dow 
GigabitEthernet1/1         unassigned      YES unset  administratively down dow 
GigabitEthernet1/2         unassigned      YES TFTP   administratively down dow 
GigabitEthernet2/1         unassigned      YES TFTP   administratively down dow 
GigabitEthernet2/2         unassigned      YES TFTP   administratively down dow 
FastEthernet3/1     YES TFTP   administratively down dow 


Router#configure terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
Router(config)#interface fastEthernet 3/1
Router(config-if)#no shutdown 
Router(config)# <do other interfaces as necessary...>
  • Press Ctrl-Z to leave the configuration mode. The prompt is now hostname#.
  • Issue either the write memory or copy running startup commands to commit the changes.