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A Cisco 2620 or 2621 series router does not recognize a 32 MB Flash SIMM due to an incompatible boot ROM or Cisco IOS version

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Core Issue

The minimum boot ROM version is 12.1(3r)T1, and the minimum Cisco IOS  Software version is 12.1(3)T. If the boot ROM supports the 32 MB Flash SIMM, but the Cisco IOS version does not, the router boots with a valid image on Flash. However, no Flash commands are available in Cisco IOS. If the boot ROM does not support the 32 MB Flash SIMM, the router does not recognize the Flash.

Resolution

Before upgrading to a 32 MB Flash SIMM in a Cisco 2620 or 2621 series router, verify the boot ROM version by issuing the show version command and look at the line starting with ROM: System Bootstrap, as follows:

2621#show version
Cisco Internetwork Operating System Software
IOS (tm) C2600 Software (C2600-JS-M), Version 12.1(13), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc3)
Copyright (c) 1986-2002 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Wed 30-Jan-02 19:59 by kellythw
Image text-base: 0x80008088, data-base: 0x80FF4290
ROM: System Bootstrap, Version 12.2(6r),  RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
MIN-RA uptime is 4 minutes
System returned to ROM by power-on

In this example, the ROM version is 12.2(6r). Therefore, it is compatible with the 32 MB Flash SIMM. If the ROM version had been earlier than 12.1(3r)T1, a boot ROM upgrade would be required before upgrading the Flash.

After installing the new Flash SIMM, the Cisco IOS Software needs to be loaded from ROM Monitor (ROMmon) mode, as a new Flash normally has no files loaded. This is done by either using the Xmodem procedure or issuing the tftpdnld command. The Cisco IOS Software version should be 12.1(3)T or later for the Flash to be seen by the Cisco IOS Software.

If a Cisco IOS Software version that does not support the 32 MB Flash SIMM is installed, the Flash will not show up in the show version command output. Furthermore, none of the Flash commands will be available, as shown in this example:

2620#show version
Cisco Internetwork Operating System Software
IOS (tm) C2600 Software (C2600-IK2S-M), Version 12.1(18), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Copyright (c) 1986-2002 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Tue 03-Dec-02 00:15 by kellythw
Image text-base: 0x80008088, data-base: 0x80E23E38
ROM: System Bootstrap, Version 12.2(10r)1, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Router uptime is 19 minutes
System returned to ROM by power-on
System image file is "flash:c2600-ik2s-mz.121-18.bin"

Cisco 2620 (MPC860) processor (revision 0x600) with 59392K/6144K bytes
of memory.
Processor board ID JAD05370N75 (2913382771)
M860 processor: part number 0, mask 49
Bridging software.
X.25 software, Version 3.0.0.
1 FastEthernet/IEEE 802.3 interface(s)
32K bytes of non-volatile configuration memory.
Configuration register is 0x2102

Normally, in the show version command output, the Flash is shown directly above the configuration register information. This is shown in the 0x2102 line. The system image file, shown as "flash:c2600-ik2s-mz.121-18.bin", comes from the boot ROM. This boot ROM recognizes the Flash device.

 

Note: The Cisco IOS Software version 12.1(18) is not compatible because it is not in the "T" train of software, such as 12.1(3)T. Only 12.1 software versions that are early deployment release types, such as T, XM, and YB, support the 32 MB Flash SIMM. All 12.2 and 12.3 releases support the 32 MB Flash SIMM.

Attempted commands involving Flash when the software does not support the Flash SIMM follow:

2620#dir
  /all               List all files
  /recursive         List files recursively
  all-filesystems    List files on all filesystems
  lex:               Directory or file name
  null:              Directory or file name
  nvram:             Directory or file name
  system:            Directory or file name
  xmodem:            Directory or file name
  ymodem:            Directory or file name
Unknown file system   

This output shows that the dir command does not list flash: as an option:


2620#dir flash:          ^
% Invalid input detected at '^' marker.
Router#dir flash            ^
% Invalid input detected at '^' marker.
Router#show flash:             ^
% Invalid input detected at '^' marker.
Router#show flash             ^
% Invalid input detected at '^' marker.

To upgrade the router to a valid image that recognizes the Flash, use the Xmodem procedure or issue the tftpdnld command, or boot from a TFTP server. 

Issue the global configuration boot system tftp filename [ip-address] command to boot to a file from a TFTP server. To boot a file named "c2600-is-mz.121-5.T10.bin" from a TFTP server with an IP address of 10.1.1.2, this would be the command:

2620(config)#boot system tftp c2600-is-mz.121-5.T10.bin 10.1.1.2
2620(config)#^Z
2620#write mem

Before reloading the router, verify these steps:

  • You can ping the TFTP server address from the router.
  • The TFTP server software is running.
  • The file is in the root directory of the TFTP server.
  • The filename is spelled correctly. It must be exact. It is case sensitive, as in the following example:
2620#reload

Issue the copy tftp flash command to copy the new image to Flash. This is necessary because booting from a TFTP server only writes the Cisco IOS file to RAM. This is done after the router comes up with the new Cisco IOS. Once the compatible image is copied to Flash, remove the boot system tftp command, as follows:

2620(config)#no boot system tftp c2600-is-mz.121-5.T10.bin 10.1.1.2
2620(config)#^Z
2620#write mem

The router should now boot from Flash to the compatible image at the next reload.

For instructions on Xmodem, refer to Xmodem Console Download Procedure Using ROMmon.

For instructions on using the tftpdnld command, refer to How to Download a Software Image to a Cisco 2600 via TFTP Using the tftpdnld ROMmon Command.

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