The below details how to recover a Cisco router if you have forgotten the password of there is a problem with the configuration.

WARNING: By doing this you may loose any configuration on the router.

1. You will need to be physically connected to the console port
2. Turn the router off
3. Turn the router on while holding down CTRL and repeatedly pressing BREAK. If this goes well then you should get a message saying *** System received abort due to Break Key ***

cisco_ios_router_recovery_1.JPG

4. At the rommon> prompt type confreg 0x2142 and press enter

cisco_ios_router_recovery_2.JPG

5. Type reset and press enter, the router will now startup and ignore the saved configuration.
6. When prompted with “System Configuration Dialog” either select yes and run though the wizard or no.
7. At the router> prompt enter en and press enter
8. Type conf t and press enter
9. Type config-register 0x2102

cisco_ios_router_recovery_3.JPG

If you want to keep your previous configuration and just change the password

10. Type copy start run and press enter to reload your previous config
11. Type enable secret <new_password> and press enter
12. Type copy run start and press enter

cisco_ios_router_recovery_4.JPG

13. Type exit and press enter
14. Type reload and press enter to restart the router and check everything is working

If you want a clean new configuration

10. Type copy run start and press enter

cisco_ios_router_recovery_4.JPG

11. Type exit and press enter
12. Type reload and press enter to restart the router and check everything is working

Author: Phil Eddies

I am an IT Operations Manager, managing all aspects of the IT infrastructure and service for a mid sized UK based company. I have been working full time in IT since 2001 in 1st to 3rd line and System Administration roles. MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, Citrix CCA