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Supervisor password becomes unknown due to the incorrect configuration of the set password or set enablepass commands



To resolve this issue, perform these steps:

  1. The command to set a console password on a Catalyst switch running Catalyst OS (CatOS) software is set password. However, if it is entered incorrectly (such as set password <password>), it can change a password to an unknown password. This problem was introduced in CatOS 5.4(1) and impacts the Catalyst 4000, 5000 and 6000 platforms.       

    If users set a local password containing any upper case characters (like 'San') which use an invalid format of the command (set password <password>), then users will no longer be able to log in or change the configured password.

    Note: Passwords without any upper case characters are not affected ('san').

    This issue has been fixed in CatOS software releases 5.5(6), 6.1(3), 6.2(1), and 6.3(1) or later. If the incorrect format is used (set enablepass <password>), this issue affects the enable password as well.

  2. If you are still in enable mode on the switch, issue the set password or set enablepass commands on a different switch.       

    Copy the output from the configuration on this switch to make the password the same as the second switch. For example, if switch A has this issue, without disconnecting from switch A, set the password on switch B.

    View the configuration file from switch B and copy the line set password $2$6IJa$SbEveT/fIdXVUvWifn.i7. into switch A. This changes the password on switch A to the same one on switch B.

  3. Use the password recovery procedure in Password Recovery Procedure for the Catalyst 1200, 1400, 2901, 2902, 2926T/F, 2926GS/L, 2948G, 2980G, 4000, 5000, 5500, 6000 Running CatOS.