Cisco 7300 Series Routers

Field Notice: NSE-100 Fails to Boot

September 11, 2002

Products Affected

Product Top Assembly Comments HW Rev.
Part Number
7300-NSE-100   68-1002-03   Cisco 7300 Network Services Engine 100   5.0  

Problem Description

A new revision of the NSE-100 (Hardware Revision 5.0) is being introduced. This revision requires Cisco IOS® Software Release 12.1(12c)EX1 or later.


The new revision (5.0) of the NSE-100 is being released to address end-of-lifed components; to replace some components with improved, newer technology versions; and to add an enhancement in hardware Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) so that software can check during bootup if they are actually operational. Some of the replacements are not backward compatible. For example, the SDRAM memory chips used for data storage on the PXF processor are being replaced because the vendor is terminating production of those chips. The replacement chips available require configuration of different timing parameters and are not compatible with Cisco IOS Software releases earlier than 12.1(12c)EX1. The FPGA enhancement introduces new FPGA code versions on the NSE-100.

Problem Symptoms

The first time a Cisco IOS software release earlier than 12.1(12c)EX1 is loaded on this NSE-100 version, it will prompt for FPGA downgrades on the NSE-100. There are two such FPGA's - the Motherboard (MB) FPGA and the Daughterboard (DB) FPGA.

If the DB FPGA is downgraded, then any subsequent reload will cause the ROM Monitor code in the golden boot ROM to upgrade this FPGA with a later version. If the same pre-12.1(12c)EX1 Cisco IOS software is loaded, the Cisco IOS software image will try to downgrade it. The upgrades and downgrades will take tens of minutes and keep the system out of service for an extended time. System operation during the upgrades and downgrades is not recommended in order to minimize or eliminate any chances of interruption to the upgrade or downgrade process.

If the MB FPGA is downgraded, then any subsequent reload with a pre-12.1(12c)EX1 Cisco IOS software image will fail due to a MISTRAL_IO_BUS_INT_MASK_LO related fatal error interrupt. See Error 1 below for more details on the error.

If the MB FPGA is not downgraded by responding with n to the Downgrade slot NSE MB FPGA ? [y/n] prompt, the pre-12.1(12c)EX1 Cisco IOS will fail to load due to PXF exceptions. See Error 2 below for more details.

Error 1

Mistral Global Registers Dump
global hazard reg = 0x0
gigmac stat reg = 0x0
$0 : FFFFFFFF, AT : 41A60000, v0 : 00000000, v1 : BEA00000
%Error: Fatal Error interrupt, reloading 
FPGA 0000 LC 0000, OIR 0000, ENVM 0000

Error 2

%Error: TMCINT 
PXF[0] Exception: mac_xid=0x10000, cpu_xid=0x0 
IHB Exception: ihb_x_type=0x8 ihb_x_mask=0x0
PXF[1] Exception: mac_xid=0x4, cpu_xid=0x0 
Exception in External Column Memory 2:
tmc1 Crash Summary 
0040 0300 XHXType :80000000 Global Halt 
0040 0308 MACXID :00000004 External Column Memory 2 Exception
0040 0404 XRXType :00000004 Parity error type 3 
%Error: Fatal Error interrupt, reloading 
FPGA 0043 LC 0000, OIR 0000, ENVM 0000


Use Cisco IOS Software Release 12.1(12c)EX1 or later versions. Note that this also applies to any bootloader image, such as the -boot- image, being used.

Note: Cisco IOS release 12.1(12c)EX1 images are compatible with NSE-100 revisions prior to 5.0.

How To Identify Hardware Levels

To determine the hardware revision of your NSE-100, use the "show diag 0" exec level command.

Router# show diag 0
Slot 0/1:
NSE Card state: Primary
Insertion time: 04:06:04 ago
C7300 NSE Mainboard EEPROM:
Hardware Revision : 2.3

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) by one of the following methods: