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ROMmon Recovery for the Cisco 1600 Series Router

Cisco - ROMmon Recovery for the Cisco 1600 Series Router


This page describes how to recover a Cisco 1600 Series Router stuck in ROMmon (rommon# > prompt).

Before You Begin


For more information on document conventions, see the Cisco Technical Tips Conventions.


There are no specific prerequisites for this document.

Components Used

The information in this document is based on the hardware platform below:

  • Cisco 1600 Series Router

The information presented in this document was created from devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If you are working in a live network, ensure that you understand the potential impact of any command before using it.

Looking for a Valid Image in Flash

Follow the instructions provided below:

  1. The first thing you need to do is see which devices are available on your router. Do this by issuing the dev command.

    rommon 1 > dev
    Devices in device table:
              id  name
          flash: flash
    rommon 2 >
  2. Issue the dir [device ID] command for each available device, and look for a valid Cisco IOS® software image:

    rommon 3 > dir flash:
             File size           Checksum   File name 
       3407884 bytes (0x804b4c)   0x6ba0    c1600-y-mz.121-5 
    rommon 4 >
  3. Try to boot from that image. If the file is valid, this brings you back to normal operation mode:

    rommon 5 > boot flash:c1600-y-mz.121-5 
    program load complete, entry point: 0x80008000, size: 0x804a30 
    Self decompressing the image : ################################### 
  4. If none of the files are valid, you have to download a new one using one of the following procedures:

    • Download using the Boot Image and a TFTP server

      Since the 1600 Series has its Boot Image in ROM, it cannot be corrupted and is always available. This procedure is faster than the Xmodem download.

      If you are unable to go to Rx-boot mode, the problem is probably hardware-related.

      Go to How To Upgrade from ROMmon Using TFTP with Boot Image for the detailed instructions.

    • Download using X-modem from ROMmon

      You can also download a new Cisco IOS software directly from ROMmon through the console port, using X-modem. See Xmodem Console Download Procedure using ROMmon.

    • Use Another Router to Get a Valid Cisco IOS Software Image into the PCMCIA Card

      In the event that you have a similar router (or at least one other router which has a compatible PCMCIA flash card filesystem - see PCMCIA Filesystem Compatibility Matrix), you can also use that Flash card to recover the router:

      • If both routers are identical (same series), you can use the Flash card from the other router to boot the one you want to recover.

        caution Caution: The 1600 Series can be run-from-flash (classic 1600) or run-from-RAM (1600-R).

        • If the name of the image is "c1600-xxx-l", it is a run-from-flash router.

        • If the name of the image is "c1600-xxx-mz", it is a run-from-ram router.

          Run-from-flash routers run their Cisco IOS software directly from the Flash memory, so removing the Flash card from a running router stops the router.

      • If both routers are different but have a compatible PCMCIA Flash card filesystem, you can use that other router to load a Cisco IOS software image into a Flash card, which you can then move to the router you are trying to recover.

Related Information

Updated: Jan 23, 2008
Document ID: 15076