Cisco IPS 4200 Series Sensors

FN - 23854 - Intrusion Detection System 4230 Sensor Inductor Failure

Published Date

Revised June 29, 2005

June 2, 2003

Products Affected

Product Comments
IDS-4230-FE   IDS 4230 Fast Ethernet sensor appliance  
IDS-4230-SFDDI   IDS 4230 single FDDI sensor appliance  
IDS-4230-DFDDI   IDS 4230 dual FDDI sensor appliance  

Problem Description

An inductor on the Intrusion Detection System (IDS) 4230 motherboard fails, rendering the unit non functional. About one percent of the units have been verified to have experienced this failure.


A capacitor on the motherboard is slightly underrated for the power current passed through it. Over time this may cause the inductor for the second Central Processing Unit (CPU) to deteriorate and eventually fail. Failure typically occurs after a few months or a year or more of operation.

No other Intrusion Detection System NRS or 4200 series platforms are affected by this problem.

Problem Symptoms

The inductor failure may occur during the power on process or after a period of normal operation. When the failure occurs some smoke is produced by the inductor and briefly exhausted from the chassis. After failure the unit may stay powered on with fan or light-emitting diode (LED) operation but will cease to function and become unresponsive to network traffic and console activity.

There is no shock or other safety risk resulting from this failure. The component burnout has been tested for and verified to be entirely limited to the inductor and interior of the chassis.


Customers with support contract can order replacement IDS 4235 units should use the RMA (Return Material Authorization) process. One rack mount rail kit may be chosen per 4235 unit requested. One set of return packaging (IDS-4230-PKG=) should be requested per each unit replaced as the IDS 4235 packaging cannot be used to return the 4230 chassis.

Note: The IDS 4235 sensor only supports Ethernet media. There is not an available Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) replacement model.

Physical Space and Mounting Considerations

Software and Management Considerations

The minimum software version supported by the IDS 4230 is 2.2(0). The minimum software version supported by the IDS 4235 is 3.0(5). Replacement 4235 units shipped from the service depots have units with mixed software versions. However, the 4235 accessory kit presently contains both 4.0(1) and 3.1(3) CD's that may be used to re-image that unit to either software version.

The IDS management software must also be considered when planning 4230 to 4235 upgrades. The below table summarizes the IDS management options relevant to the 4230 and 4235 and their supported IDS software releases.

IDS Management Application Software Support
The IDS 4230 and 4235 chassis designs are significantly different. Careful consideration must be taken when planning the installation of IDS 4235 units in place of existing 4230 units. Below are the chassis specifications:

IDS 4230 and 4235 Physical Specifications
Specification IDS 4230 IDS 4235
Rack Units four one
Height 7 in.(17.78 cm) 1.67 in. (4.24 cm)
Width 17 in.(43.18 cm) 17.6 in. (44.70 cm)
Depth 22.9 in.(58.17 cm) 27.0 in. (68.58 cm)
Weight 55 lb (24.95 kg) 35 lb (15.88 kg)

In addition, when ordering IDS 4235 units the appropriate rack mount rail kits must be selected. Two options are available for either two-post or four-post racks or cabinets. Consult the IDS Sensor Accessories Installation Instructions for more details.

IDS 4235 Rail Kits
Kit Description
IDS-RAIL-2= Two post rail kit for the IDS 4235 sensor platform
IDS-RAIL-4= Four post rail kit for the IDS 4235 sensor platform

Management Application Minimum IDS Release Maximum IDS Release
IDS Unix Director 2.2(0) 3.1(x)
Cisco Secure Policy Manager 2.2(0) 3.1(x)
IDS Device Manager & Event Viewer 3.0(1) 4.x
IDS Management Center 3.0(1) 4.x

These notes are guidelines and the appropriate product documentation and release notes should be considered in order to verify IDS sensor and management software compatibility:

IDS Sensor, IDS Unix Director, IDM/IEV Documentation

CSPM Documentation

VMS/IDS MC Documentation

For More Information