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The "%SYSTEM_CONTROLLER-SP-3-ERROR" and "%SYSTEM_CONTROLLER-SP-3-EXCESSIVE_RESET" error messages appear in Catalyst 6500 or 7600 Series Switches that run Cisco IOS system software


Core issue

The error messages can look similar to this:


%SYSTEM_CONTROLLER-SP-3-EXCESSIVE_RESET: System Controller is getting reset so frequently

The most common errors from the Mistral ASIC on the Multilayer Switch Feature Card (MSFC) are TM_DATA_PARITY_ERROR, SYSDRAM_PARITY_ERROR, SYSAD_PARITY_ERROR, and TM_NPP_PARITY_ERROR. The possible causes of these parity errors are random static discharge or other external factors.

The TM_NPP_PARITY_ERROR: error message indicates that there was a parity error detected in the next-page pointer of the internal Table Manager. If the switch runs Cisco IOS  Software Release 12.1(8)E or later, the switch detects the parity error and resets the Mistral ASIC, which is an interface ASIC connected to the Switch Processor (SP) CPU. The switch can then continue, without the need to reload. A random static discharge or other external factors can cause the memory parity error.


If the error message is only seen once or rarely, the recommendation is to monitor the switch syslog in order to confirm the error message was an isolated incident.

As a workaround, you can also try to reseat the Supervisor Module during the maintenance window.

If the problem persists, use the TAC Service Request Tool in order to open a case with Cisco Technical Support.

Refer to the MSFC2 Crashes with a Parity Error section of Troubleshooting Hardware and Related Issues on the MSFC, MSFC2, and MSFC2a for more information.