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Cisco switch 3850

I am trying to reset the Cisco Switch 3850 to factory settings due to not knowing the password for the switch. Last system administrator of my organization did not record any credentials and when i joined I didn't have enough time to ask him for the credentials. 


So when I follow the instructions to reset the password or Reset the Switch to default factory settings, this is what i follow. 


1. reboot the switch and hold the mode button. 

2. flash_init 

3. bring up the flash dir to delete the nvram_config 

Unable to delete nvram_config ( no device found) 


When i try to go through the rename dir it won't let me and i did verify the Dir is read and write. 

When i try to run the load_helper file, its missing. 


I even tried to boot through the Usb Boot file that i downloaded form Cisco site for this 3850 model its timing out after 5 sec. 


please help. 


How can i factory default this switch? 

4 Replies 4

Reza Sharifi
Hall of Fame Master Hall of Fame Master
Hall of Fame Master

Can you try this by renaming the config file?


switch: flash_init

switch: load_helper

switch: rename flash:config.text flash:config.old

switch: boot


Unable to load_helper, seems like its missing. also i wanted to try to switch the flash: to read and write from read only. is that possible. if i can switch flash: to read and write i will be able to delete the nvram-config.txt and the other config files and leave the ISO and boot, might work.

Does "dir flash" work? If not, the flash maybe corrupted.


format flash is bad idea , it will erase all files, including ios
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