Cisco Catalyst 4000 Series Switches

Field Notice: Catalyst 4000 Switches Defer 12.1(11b)EW Image - System Failure Possible

July 29, 2002

Products Affected




Catalyst 4006 Supervisor III (2 GE), Console(RJ45)


Catalyst 4000 12.1(11b)EW IOS Image

Problem Description

The Catalyst 4000 Cisco® IOS Software Relase 12.1(11b)EW used by the WS-X4014 Supervisor Engine (Supervisor III) can stop working under certain conditions. This can manifest as either an unexpected reboot or the switch stopping traffic forwarding while continuing to respond to the CLI.


The IOS 12.1(11b)EW image may stop working or unexpectedly reboot on a WS-X4014 under some conditions.

Problem Symptoms

There are two different symptoms which can occur. Both are a result of the same problem. When the problem occurs, either symptom can randomly manifest.


  1. WS-X4014 may stop switching traffic on all connected ports at the same time. Incoming data traffic on those ports will be dropped. To detect this condition, users can issue a show platform software interface statistics command. While the switch is in this state, NoPacketBuffAvailOrCdmFifoOverruns counter from the output of show platform software interface statistics will increment on all ports with incoming data traffic. This condition will persist indefinitely.

  2. WS-X4014 may crash with a console message saying:

    Fatal K2 Error FFE 800008 PPE XXXXXXXX (Xs mean that value of PPE can be anything, it does not matter). Analysis of the crashdump would show that:

    1. PC register, or address of the first stack frame, points to K2FatalErrorInterruptMan::onInterrupt function.

    2. Word 14 from the start of the "Pushed Stack" should be 0x00800008. The other symptom is that the switch may unexpectedly reboot without any message explaining why.


The Cisco IOS Software 12.1(11b)EW image has been deferred and removed from

Recommend customers upgrade to the 12.1(11b)EW1 image or roll-back to the 12.1(8a)EW1 image which is not affected. There is no other workaround.

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:

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