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How to use a USB Drive to Upgrade IOx on an IR829/809


These various articles imply that one can use a USB flash drive to copy an image to a Cisco router for upgrade purposes. Clearly that would be a lot easier than having to set up a tftp server.

Using a USB flash drive with your Cisco router - TechRepublic

Upgrade Cisco IOS with a USB Drive - Spiceworks

Upgrade IOS through USB PEN drive | WAN, Routing and Switching | Cisco Support Community | 5991 | 11056466

To test this, I have a MS-DOS FAT formatted 2GB USB drive, which I insert into an IR829 and IR809 with Cisco IOS Software, ir800 Software (ir800-UNIVERSALK9-M), Version 15.6(1)T0a, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1).

Nothing happens, in that no messages appear to indicate that the USB drive has been recognised.

If I use the "dir" command I see only the internal flash:


Directory of flash:/

    1  -rw-         660  Feb 11 2016 10:27:42 +00:00  vlan.dat

    2  -rw-    61750062  Dec 19 2015 03:28:22 +00:00  ir800-universalk9-mz.SPA.155-3.M

    3  drw-           0  Dec 19 2015 03:19:28 +00:00  managed

   13  drw-           0  Dec 19 2015 03:19:28 +00:00  eem

If I leave the USB in the device and reload it, the result is the same as above: using the "dir" command from rommon-2, and when IOS has been booted, shows only the internal flash.

It seems that this should work, at least on other Cisco platforms, but does not here. Do you have any advice please?

Many thanks


Steve Zhang
Cisco Employee

Currently the USB flash drive access is only available in GOS, not IOS.

Many thanks for the update Steve. Is there a DDTS number I can use to track this defect please?

Cisco Employee

DDTS is only for Cisco internal. We can NOT share that to you.


Thank you for following up. The link above is for the publicly accessible Bug Search Tool.

Cisco Bug Search Tool (BST) is designed to improve the effectiveness in network risk management and device troubleshooting. The tool allows partners and customers to search for resolved and outstanding bugs based on product, release, and keyword, or aggregates bug details, product, and version number.

So, when a bug like this arises, it is normal to ask for the DDTS/CDETS/Bug ID so that one can track it.



Nathan John Sowatskey

Consulting Engineer - IoT, Programmable Infrastructure, DevOps and SDN



Skype: nathan_sowatskey

Twitter: NathanDotTo

Ian Waddell

I have this same problem, when will this be resolved?

I had a 809 go into Rommon 1 mode (SR 682519894) and I had no option to boot from an IOS on a USB stick.  This is very frustrating.



You may simply recover to factory setting How to reset the IR829 to factory settings

I'm not sure if you have access to my SR, but I can't reset to factory settings.  It's stuck in rommon1 and I can't run the boot flash<IOS> command.

However, the real frustrating part is that the 809/829 does not read USB sticks.  My FAT32 usb drive works with all other cisco devices.  I would like to know when the IOS will be updated to recognize USB drives.  As you mentioned "Currently the USB flash drive access is only available in GOS, not IOS. "



Recovery from rommon via USB Procedure: If device is stuck in rommon1 mode, IR809/IR829 can certainly recognize USB drive. Steps:

[1]. device in rommon1>

[2]. Insert USB drive with native hypervisor and IOS images

[3]. rommon1>reboot


At this point, we should be able to view the USB

[5].rommon1>copy usb:<hypervisor_image> flash:<hypervisor_image_copy>

[6].rommon1>copy usb:<ios_image> flash:<image_image_copy>

[7].rommon1>boot usb:hypervisor_image, or, alternatively, boot flash:hypervisor_image_copy


[8].rommon2>boot flash:image_image_copy

In rommon2> mode and beyond, USB is not accessible, it is emulated to IOx, not IOS




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