Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Multiservice Switch Routers

Field Notice: Boot Flash Size Too Small for Next Release of Catalyst 8540MSR Cisco IOS

October 8, 1999
Revised on October 13, 1999
Revised on November 24, 1999


Products Affected 

Product Description
C8545MSR-MRP3CLK=   73-2644-05 Rev. B0 and earlier have an 8 MB boot Flash SIMM.  
C8545MSR-MRP4CLK=   73-2644-05 Rev. B0 and earlier have an 8 MB boot Flash SIMM.  
C8541CSR-RP=   73-3775-02 Rev. B0 and earlier have an 8 MB boot Flash SIMM.  

Problem Description 

The original boot Flash size on Catalyst 8540 route processors was 8 MB. Multiservice Switch Router (MSR) release 12.0(4a)W5(11a) and later will require more than 8 MB of Flash space. Currently released Campus Switch Router (CSR) images, including CSR release 12.0(4a)W5(11a) can fit into 8 MB boot Flash as well as the upcoming 12.0(5)W5(13) release. However, CSR images released after the upcoming 12.0(5)W5(13) release will become too large to fit into 8 MB boot Flash; this CSR release is currently slated for FY00.

Problem Symptoms 

Check to see that your system has a 16 MB boot Flash SIMM by entering the show hardware EXEC command. The route processor part numbers with the default 16 MB boot Flash SIMM are as follows:
73-2644-06 Rev. A0 for the Catalyst 8540MSR
73-3775-03 Rev. A0 for the Catalyst 8540CSR

You can also check to see if your system has a 16 MB boot Flash SIMM by entering the show version command. An example is shown below:

C8540# show version

Cisco Internetwork Operating System Software
IOS (tm) PNNI Software (cat8540m-WP-M), Version 12.0(4a)W5(11)
Copyright (c) 1986-1999 by cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Fri 24-Sep-99 03:17 by
Image text-base: 0x60010930, data-base: 0x60946000

ROM: System Bootstrap, Version 12.0(4.6)W5(13) RELEASE SOFTWARE

tequila uptime is 2 weeks, 4 days, 21 hours, 58 minutes
System restarted by power-on
System image file is "slot0:cat8540m-wp-mz.120-4a.W5.11"

cisco C8540MSR (R5000) processor with 262144K bytes of memory.
R5000 processor, Implementation 35, Revision 2.1 (512KB Level 2 Cache)
Last reset from power-on
1 Ethernet/IEEE 802.3 interface(s)
12 ATM network interface(s)
1 Channelized T3 port(s)
507K bytes of non-volatile configuration memory.

16384K bytes of Flash PCMCIA card at slot 0 (Sector size 128K).
8192K bytes of Flash internal SIMM (Sector size 256K). <---------- Check this line to determine if you have 16 MB.
Secondary is up
Secondary has 262144K bytes of memory.

Configuration register is 0x2002

A copy error results if the image size is too large for the boot Flash SIMM.


Initially, the 8 MB boot Flash SIMM was sufficient because image sizes were only 3 to 4 MB. As the number of features and line cards increased, the image size has grown beyond 8 MB.


If you have an 8 MB boot Flash SIMM and have no additional memory installed, order a spare Flash PC card programmed with the latest version of the system image (part number MEM-8540M-FLC20M=). When upgrading Cisco IOS to fix caveats in the previous release, see the upgrade form at the end of this notice.

You may also choose one of the following options to accommodate the larger image:

Option 1:

If you already have a Flash PC card, download the system image to the Flash PC card.

To accommodate the images, ensure that you have a 20 MB PCMCIA module installed in the route processor before downloading these larger images.

Note: If you have a Smart Modular, Sharp, or Intel 2+ Flash PC card that was formatted using a Cisco IOS software release other than Cisco IOS 12.0(4a)W5(11a), reformat it with Cisco IOS 12.0(4a)W5(11a) prior to downloading the image (you might need to boot the image from a TFTP server to format the PC Flash card). Do not erase the system image on the boot Flash SIMM. If the procedure fails, you will need it to recover.

Next, complete the following steps:

  1. Enter the config-register 0x2102 global configuration command to change the configuration register to boot from the Flash PC card instead of the system-code SIMM (default).

    Note: If you have a redundant route processor configuration, you need ROMMON image 12.0(4.6)W5(13) or later.

  2. Enter the boot system slot0:filename global configuration command to specify the system image to boot on the Flash PC card.
  3. Enter the copy system:running-config nvram:startup-config privileged EXEC command to save the configuration changes to non-volatile RAM (NVRAM).
Option 2:

Download the system image to a TFTP server and boot the system image from the TFTP server. Enter the boot system tftp filename ip-address global configuration command to boot the system image from the TFTP server instead of the system-code SIMM (default).

Note: You can boot only the primary route processor from a TFTP server. You cannot boot the secondary route processor.

Upgrade Program

C8540 PCMCIA Flash Card Upgrade

If you have any questions concerning the upgrade program, you can e-mail

Note: Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required fields.

Company Information
*ZIP/Postal Code
Product *Quantity
Contact Information
*First Name
*Last Name
*Phone 1 Ext.
Fax 1 Ext.
*Internet E-Mail
Please use the following format:
*Upgrade Order Reference Number
Please provide a number that you can use when inquiring about order status
*Serial Numbers of Affected Units 2
1 For phone and fax, include 011 and the country code outside North America.

2 When entering more than one serial number in the serial number text entry field, be sure to type a comma between each serial number to separate them.

For More Information 

If you require further assistance, or if you have any further questions regarding this field notice, please contact the Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center (TAC) at (800) 553-24HR, (408) 526-7209, or send e-mail to