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ASA5520 Memory Upgrade


Just bought an ASA5520, opened the box to upgrade the memory to 2 GB to support 8.3, and discovered that the unit only has 1 memory module connector.  I thought all the ASA5520 units came with 4 slots?  There are hole patterns for the other 3 slots, but nothing installed on the circuit board.  As it is, the most I can load the unit with is 1 GB (ASA5520-MEM-1GB), but there are not any suggested 2 GB modules.  If my console output didn't show ASA5520, I'd wonder if I didn't have a 5510 board installed in a 5520 chassis.  Any one else seen anything like this?  These are so hard to find right now, that I hate to have to return it to my reseller, as I don't think I can get a replacement for a couple of months.  Any possible 3rd party memory fixes for this?

36 Replies 36


Smartnet or not, Cisco put non-conforming units out in the field, and has a responsibility to help you deal with that.  As we can see here, some folks at Cisco are still in denial, almost 16 months since I first raised this issue.  However, TAC being what it is, prepare yourself for a bumpy ride.  Good luck.

If you bought this from an all-mighty cisco certified reseller, then they should help you.  I had this problem, and the reason I was told that cisco couldn't help me, was that I didn't buy it from a certified reseller.  In the end, with some convincing, my hardware was replaced by the reseller.  This new one is kosher, right number of memory slots.  I think that the hardware I previously had was some funny business, like a 5510 board in a 5520 chassis.

Hi Mike,

Any answer for my question above?

Shane, contact me offline at, and I'll share some information with you.


Jay Johnston
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Cisco's response to this issue is posted in the Release note of CSCtg55418. Please note that this issue is not a hardware, software, or manufacturing defect.

Text from the Release-note:

Since the release of Cisco ASA software version 8.3(1) and the related recommendation

to upgrade the RAM in all Cisco ASA-5520s and/or ASA-5540s, some Cisco ASA customers

have contacted the TAC reporting devices with only one DIMM socket.

Working with these customers, Cisco conducted a detailed investigation and identified the

affected devices as Cisco ASA-5510s that were modified post-manufacture to look like

Cisco ASA-5520s or Cisco ASA-5540s.  Cisco has always manufactured these products

with either 4 or 2 DIMM sockets, so these modifications were completed without our consent and

outside of our control.  Cisco takes this situation very seriously and through our

Brand Protection team is sharing these findings with the appropriate authorities.

Cisco's commitment will always be to quality products and supporting our customers. 

That is why we also offer service and support contracts for products purchased from authorized Cisco partners.

If your device was purchased from an authorized Cisco partner, it will be supported. 

In other cases we encourage you to contact the original point of purchase to determine next steps.

Could I have a link to this Release Note?  I would be the proof i need to convince a manager that we were scammed by his reseller.

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