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Flash memory shows as Read Only in the output of the show version or show flash commands


Core Issue

Routers that run Cisco IOS  Software from Flash have a feature called Flash Load Helper (FLH).  When this is present in both Cisco IOS Software and ROM, the Flash is set to Read Only.


Because this is a cosmetic issue, it does not prevent copy operations. The copy process is handed off to the FLH. This can be demonstrated by issuing the show flash command from Cisco IOS Software, then issuing the same command from boot mode.

First, issue the command in Cisco IOS Software with FLH support, as shown in the following example:

Router#show flash all
Partition Size Used Free Bank-Size State Copy Mode
1 16384K 5594K 10789K 8192K Read ONLY RXBOOT-FLH

Next, issue the command in Cisco IOS Software in boot mode (without FLH support), as shown in the following example:

Router(boot)#show flash all

System flash directory:
File Length Name/status
addr fcksum ccksum
1 5728436 c2500-i-l.120-10 
0x40 0x38C9 0x38C9
[5728500 bytes used, 11048716 available, 16777216 total]
16384K bytes of processor board System flash (Read/Write)

When Problem Occurs