After doing some shopping on ebay, I have acquired a nice-looking Cisco cabinet. It’s pretty old, and started off pretty-much functionless :

  • Cisco 4003 - 3 slot cabinet (1 supervisor, 2 sets of ports, dual power supplies)

  • Cisco 4012 - Supervisor module

  • 2 x Cisco 4148 - 48 port PoE unit

There are several steps to setting this up.

Connect the Console

This connects via serial port to the DB-25 connector (into the 9-pin serial on my ageing laptop). Use minicom set to : 9600,n,8,1 (9600 baud, 8 bits, no-parity, 1 stop-bit, no flow-control).

The console responded with :

ROMMON (\d+) >

which indicates that it’s basically been wiped clean. Moreover show version tells us the ROMMON version - basically 4.8.2 is very early, and not even capable of loading later versions of the Cisco IOS. So upgrading takes several steps.

Software Required

Don’t ask me where to find this, but after some searching the following became available :

  • cat4000.4-5-2.bin

  • cat4000-promupgrade.6-1-5.bin

  • cat4000.6-4-15.bin

Upgrading is a multistep process, since ROMMON doesn’t have the necessary functionality to execute the promupgrade directly (AFAIK), and version 6-4-15 of the IOS can’t be loaded by ROMMONs before 6-x-x anyhow.

Put software images on local TFTP server

I put these in a folder ‘CAT4000’ on a server with IP YMMV, of course.

Connect to the network

At the ROMMON prompt :

rommon 5 > set ip route default
rommon 6 > set interface me1
rommon 7 > tftpserver=

Now connect the Cisco 4012 to the LAN (using the RJ45 socket on the 4012), and test the connection with :

rommon 8 > ping

Boot into 4-5-2

At the ROMMON prompt, with the tftp server set as above :

rommon 9 > boot CAT4000/cat4000.4-5-2.bin
#... various diagnostics...
# Finally ...
(password) {ENTER for a blank, default password}
Console > enable
(admin-password) {ENTER for a blank, default password}
Console (enable) >
# This  is now booted into 4-5-2, ready for IOS commands...

Upgrade ROM to 6-1-5

(paraphrasing slightly on the Cisco questions) :

Console > (enable) copy tftp flash
tftp server address []
ftp file [] CAT4000/cat4000-promupgrade.6-1-5.bin
local file [...] cat4000-promupgrade.6-1-5.bin
# downloading...
Console > (enable)
Console > (enable) show boot
#... last line must read 'boot:image specified by the boot system commands'
Console > (enable) set boot system flash bootflash:cat4000-promupgrade.6-1-5.bin prepend
Console > (enable) reset
# ... rebooting ...
# hopefully get to ROMMON once again
rommon 1 > set
# ROM VERSION: 6.1(5)

Boot into 6-4-15

Now, with the upgraded ROMMON, booting into 6-4-15 should be possible :

rommon 1 > set ip route default
rommon 2 > set interface me1
rommon 3 > tftpserver=
rommon 3 > boot CAT4000/cat4000.6-4-15.bin
#... various diagnostics...
# Finally ...
(password) {ENTER for a blank, default password}
Console > enable
(admin-password) {ENTER for a blank, default password}
Console > (enable)
# This is now booted into 6-4-15, ready for IOS commands...

Clean up the flash drive, download local 6-4-15

Console > (enable) clear boot system flash bootflash:cat4000-promupgrade.6-1-5.bin
Console > (enable) del bootflash:cat4000-promupgrade.6-1-5.bin
Console > (enable) squeeze bootflash:
Console > (enable) copy tftp flash
IP address or name of remote host []?
Name of file to copy from []? CAT4000/cat4000.6-4-15.bin
Flash device [bootflash]?
Name of file to copy to [cat4000.6-4-15.bin]? `

`11534208 bytes available on device bootflash, proceed (y/n) [n]? y
File has been copied successfully.
Console > (enable) set boot system flash bootflash:cat4000.6-4-15.bin prepend
BOOT variable =bootflash:cat4000.6-4-15.bin,1;
Console > (enable) reset system

Autoboot into (local) 6-4-15

This should just work… Here’s the output, just to show a working installation (the Fan Failed at the end is just because the second power supply was not plugged in) :

0:00.513570: No gateway has been specified
0:00.515263: ig0: 00:30:19:31:b2:fe is
0:00.515883: netmask:
0:00.516260: broadcast:
0:00.516627: gateway:
WS-X4012 bootrom version 6.1(5), built on 2003.03.19 16:59:08
H/W Revisions:    Meteor: 4    Comet: 10    Board: 2
Supervisor MAC addresses: 00:30:19:31:af:00 through 00:30:19:31:b2:ff (1024 addresses)
Installed memory: 64 MB
Testing LEDs.... done!
The system will autoboot in 5 seconds.
Type control-C to prevent autobooting.
rommon 1 >
The system will now begin autobooting.
Autobooting image: "bootflash:cat4000.6-4-15.bin"
Starting Off-line Diagnostics
Mapping in TempFs
Board type is WS-X4012
DiagBootMode value is "post"
Loading diagnostics... 

Power-on-self-test for Module 1:  WS-X4012
Status: (. = Pass, F = Fail)
processor: .           cpu sdram: .           eprom: .
nvram: .               flash: .               enet console port: .
switch port 0: .       switch port 1: .       switch port 2: .
switch port 3: .       switch port 4: .       switch port 5: .
switch port 6: .       switch port 7: .       switch port 8: .
switch port 9: .       switch port 10: .      switch port 11: .
switch registers: .    switch sram: .
Module 1 Passed
Exiting Off-line Diagnostics

Testing Switch Chip 0 switching memory...passed.
Cisco Systems, Inc. Console

2009 Jul 31 06:59:39 %SYS-2-PS_NFANFAIL:Power supply 2 and power supply fan failed

Enter password:
Console >

Martin Andrews

{Finance, Software, AI} entrepreneur, living in Singapore with my family.