How to Reset a Cisco Catalyst 3550 / 3560 Switch to Factory Defaults

To reset the Cisco Catalyst 3550 / 3560 Switch to factory defaults, you need access to the Cisco Catalyst Switch console through either a physical console or a Telnet connection. You also need the console/enable passwords. If you forget the console and enable password of your Cisco Catalyst Switch, you cannot reset the Cisco Catalyst Switch configuration to factory default to reset the password. In this case, you need to follow the password recovery procedures for your switch. Refer to this document for steps to recover the passwords on your Catalyst switches.

Cisco Catalyst Switches running Cisco IOS have a running configuration file and a startup configuration file. The RAM stores the running configuration, and the NVRAM stores the startup configuration. When you make a configuration change to a switch running Cisco IOS Software, the change becomes part of the running configuration. You must save the configuration changes to the startup configuration; otherwise, the configuration is lost during the next reload or power outage. This is because you lose the running configuration stored in RAM when you reload the switch or turn off the power. To save the configuration into NVRAM, issue the write memory command or the copy running-config startup-config command.

On the Cisco Catalyst Switches running Cisco IOS, a separate file stores the VLAN information. The file is called vlan.dat or VLAN Database file and is stored in NVRAM for modular switches or in Flash for fixed configuration switches.

If you have decided to reset the Cisco Catalyst 3550 / 3560 Switch to factory default settings, you have to delete the complete Startup configuration in NVRAM along with VLAN database; there are easy steps to reset Cisco Catalyst 3550 / 3560 Switch to factory default settings.  Log in to your Cisco Switch, in global configuration mode issue the following commands

Steps to Reset Cisco Catalyst3550 / 3560 Switch to Factory Defaults

Enter the login details in Cisco Catalyst Switch, go the privileged mode and enter the below comnads.

delete flash:vlan.dat

Cisco-Switch#delete flash:vlan.dat
Delete filename [vlan.dat]?
Delete flash:vlan.dat? [confirm]

erase startup-config

Cisco-Switch#erase startup-config
Erasing the nvram filesystem will remove all configuration files! Continue? [con
firm]
[OK]
Erase of nvram: complete
Cisco-Switch#
00:04:46: %SYS-7-NV_BLOCK_INIT: Initalized the geometry of nvram

Now reload Cisco Switch with reload command from Privileged mode. Switch will reboots and it will come up with default state as ‘initial configuration dialog’.

Cisco-Switch#reload

Note: If Cisco Switch prompted to save anything before reloading, respond by saying “no”.

Filed Under: Switch General

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  1. Sam says:

    Password recovery cisco 3560 is my fav topic. Thanks for sharing information on that issue. Thanks, Petra 🙂

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