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A Cisco 1700, 2600, 3600 or 3700 series router is unable to boot from a TFTP server from ROMmon mode due to no Cisco IOS image being in Flash


Core Issue

Unlike other Cisco routers, these series routers do not have a boot image in ROM or bootflash.


To resolve this issue, perform these steps:

  1. If booting an image from a TFTP server from ROM Monitor (ROMmon) mode is required on a Cisco 1700, 2600, 3600 or 3700 series router, verify that a bootable image is in Flash.

    Issue the dir flash: command, as shown in this example:

    rommon 1 >dir flash:
    program load complete, entry point: 0x80008000, size: 0xb2a0
    Directory of flash:
    2       6821196   -rw-     c3725-i-mz.122-8.T5.bin
    1668    15373100  -rw-     c3725-is-mz.122-11.T6.bin
    rommon 2 >
  • If a bootable Cisco IOS  image is in Flash, issue the boot filename [tftp-ip-address] command to boot from a TFTP server.

    For example, to boot an  image named c3725-ds-mz.122-13.T.bin from a TFTP server with the address of, the ROMmon command would be as shown:

    boot c3725-ds-mz.122-13.T.bin

  • If no bootable Cisco IOS image is in Flash, copy one into Flash by issuing either the xmodem command or the tftpdnld command before attempting to boot from a TFTP server.

    Note: The tftpdnld command is only available with the Cisco 1700 and 2600 series.

    For step-by-step procedures, refer to these documents:

    Once a bootable image is in Flash, booting from a TFTP server is possible.

  • If you would like to boot from the TFTP server at every reload, rather than from ROMmon, issue the boot system tftp filename [ip address] global configuration command, as shown in this example:
    router(config)#boot system tftp c3725-ds-mz.122-13.T.bin

    Save this configuration before reloading.


There are some good resources for the Cisco 1700 here including password recovery documentation

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