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Help! Xmodem ios transfer to Catalyst switch fails- accidentally deleted flash image


I accidentally deleted some of the startup images from the flash on a Cisco Catalyst 3650. I am going through the steps of transferring a new ios image using a serial cable and extraputty, however when I get to the transfer portion, the switch begins the transfer and immediately self aborts. 


I still have some files showing in the flash directory, I thought maybe I need to clear the rest of these so tried the format flash: command, however i get the "invalid argument" response. 


I also tried to create a specific flash directory for the image and it gives me a directory not created, read only file system. 


What am I doing wrong here? Pulling my hair out due to a stupid mistake

4 Replies 4

VIP Guru VIP Guru
VIP Guru

is this old 3650 or white 3650 new once ? and post output of 


switch: dir flash:


or try emergency recovery :



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Thanks for your reply. I was able to use a USB to boot from and then transfer the bootable image to the devices internal flash storage and recover the system. 



The switch was a dark gray Catalyst 3650. 


Incase anyone is looking here in the future, I followed this guide: 

My Network Lab: Cisco Catalyst 3650 IOS Recovery via USB (

I glad all working - because the new one has USB easy to recover, so we are not sure before suggested what steps to follow. that is the reason asked what model is this. good to know you sorted.



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PuTTY or your extraputty skin for PuTTY may not be able to sustain the connection as long as you need for Xmodem transfer.  I had the same issue when using Teraterm, and no matter what the connection cut out.  I then downloaded a free trial of SecureCRT, and that program was able to complete the transfer without becoming disconnected.


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