Currently I have (2) 2621 (running IOS12.1) routers and (2) 3550 switches and studing for my CCENT. I need to upgrade the IOS's on all of them but I do not have a service contract or warranty with cisco. They were purchased on EBAY. The DHCP Feature is not working on the routers. I am unable to setup DHCP pools or set the DHCP feature when configuring an interface. Is there a work around for this or a way to upgrade the IOS? I am just trying to share my home internet, to 3 workstations on my switch.
I am afraid that there is not an answer to this question that will make you happy. Without a service contract there is not a legitimate way to get the IOS upgraded. That is one of the issues when purchasing equipment from sources like EBAY that you get the equipment "as is" and upgrades are problematic.
Although the device is EoL there are more recent ios versions available than the one which we are running. So although the ios version I'm trying to get will have vulnerabilities, there will be fewer than the ios version that I'm currently running
If the device is covered by a service contract and if there are software updates that are available then I do not understand why your service provider is not able to get the software update for you.