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Copy/Paste config between two routers

Hi All,


I saw there is a discussion about this but I'd like to know more. So I have to copy a running config of a ISR4400 to a brand new one as a backup so in case of an emergency we could swap the two. I copy pasted the config from a text file to the brand new ISR and did run "generate rsa key". but still when trying to copy "crypto ipsec xxxx" or "crypto ikev2 xxx" it throws invalid input. How should I move all the VPN config over to the back up with copy pasting ? I'd appreciate any input!




Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend

Copy the config to a supported USB stick: 

copy start usb0:<FILENAME>.txt

Take the USB to the other unit and reverse the process: 

copy usb0:<FILENAME>.txt run

And do not forget to save the config after the transfer.

Can't I copy paste from a text file? I am working on this remotely and moving usb is not an option!

paul driver
VIP Mentor


Just like to add - Does the backup rtr have the same licensing than primary rtr? 

kind regards

Please rate and mark posts accordingly if you have found any of the information provided useful.
It will hopefully assist others with similar issues in the future

The backup router is brand new and I believe the licenses are both the same. Could the license mismatch be the reason I can't copy/paste the config. I am doing this remotely and can't move USBs. just have a console access. 

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend

@Ava wrote:

Could the license mismatch be the reason I can't copy/paste the config.

License have nothing to do with copy-n-paste.  
I would start by looking at your console settings first.

Jon Marshall
Hall of Fame Guru


So just to clarify, you can paste most of the configuration but not the VPN part ? 


If so, assuming it has the same IOS version,  as Paul suggested check which license is enabled on the router and compare with the one that works. 



It is surprising that some parts of the config are successful with copy and paste but other parts can not be pasted. Especially if the parts that do not work are related to vpn I wonder if it might be an issue of what mode you were in when you attempted to paste. If the commands were in a particular mode in the config and you were not in that particular mode when you attempted paste then invalid command would be the result.


I will add one other comment about cut and paste. When pasting a configuration it is quite possible that your paste operation may feed commands to the receiving router faster than the router can process them, and some commands might get dropped. If you are pasting a small amount of material then it is fine. But if you are pasting a fairly large config then you should either:

- paste a section at a time rather than paste all in one operation

- make changes in your terminal emulator to slow down the transfer (either increase character delay or increase line end delay.



Hi Rick,


yep everything else copied over fine just the crypto stuff throws the error and I tried to copy line by line for those sections but no luck!

Richard Burts
Hall of Fame Guru

Thanks for the update. It might help us understand the issue better if you would post from the config you are using as source of the copy several lines in the config that come before the part that does not work, and the commands that are rejected.


I would also suggest this as a way to investigate the issue: in global config mode use the command

crypto ?

are isakmp or ipsec indicated as options? If so use ? to see what options are given for both of these. Then post your results.