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Cisco 2900 Series flash erased

By rt ·
My 2900 switch had its flash memory erased. Now when it boots, it says

"The system is unable to boot automatically. The BOOT environment variable needs to be set to a bootable image."

Next it brings me to a switch: console with limited commands. How do I restore the image? I have the file on my tftp server but how do I connect?

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by master3bs In reply to Cisco 2900 Series flash e ...

I believe the instructions on this page will do the job for you:


If not, Cisco has instructions for password recovery which includes connecting to the AP. It might be helpful as well:


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by ernieofori In reply to Cisco 2900 Series flash e ...

First of all you need to get the ios image in .bin format on the PC connected to the switch by hyperterminal console.

At the switch: prompt make sure there is enough space in flash memory by doing dir flash:

then issue the following command to put the switch to listen for xmodem transfers:
copy xmodem: flash:flash_filename

now from the "transfer" dropdown menu on the hyperterminal, select "send file" and choose "xmodem" in the subsequent dialog box and browse for the flash_filename (the downloaded IOS bn file) and send.

The process takes a while but it works...

Good luck

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100% Correct

by charles.gaskin In reply to

Thanks, your post really helped me a lot.

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100% Correct

by charles.gaskin In reply to

Thanks, your post really helped me a lot.

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by daleerice In reply to

I've had a similar problem with a 3548 switch. I was asked to load a newer image into it and it's been a while since I've played around with one of these so I copied the original IOS, erased the flash, then copied the IOS back in using the xmodem method described here. It worked fine so I figured OK, I've had some practice, let's go for the new image. I erased the flash again copied the new image in using xmodem as before and when tit finished and rebooted I got a "no bootable image found" or some such error. The flash is now mostly full and I can't erase it again because I keep getting a "permission Denied" error. The xmodem copy of the old image tries to copy in after a while it quits saying "insufficient space".
Can you PLEASE tell me how to get out of this mess? If I could only clear the flash, I could reload the old image and at least the thing would work again.
Thanks in advance!!

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