Replacing or Recovering Passwords
This chapter describes how to recover a lost enable or console login password, and how to replace a lost enable secret password on the Cisco 10000 series router.
Note It is possible to recover the enable or console login password. The enable secret password is encrypted, however, and must be replaced with a new enable secret password.
Password Recovery Procedure Overview
Following is an overview of the steps in the password recovery procedure:
•If you can log in to the router, enter the show version command to determine the existing configuration register value.
•Press the Break key to go to the bootstrap program prompt (ROM monitor). You might need to reload the system image by power-cycling the router.
•Change the configuration register so that the following functions are enabled:
–Ignore startup configuration
–Boot from Flash memory
Note The key to recovering a lost password is to set the configuration register bit 6 (0x2142) so that the startup configuration (usually in NVRAM) is ignored. This allows you to log in without using a password and to display the startup configuration password.
•Power cycle the router by typing reload at the
•Log in to the router and enter the privileged EXEC mode.
•Enter the show startup-config command to display the passwords.
•Recover or replace the displayed passwords.
•Change the configuration register back to its original setting.
Note To recover a lost password if the break function is disabled on the router, you must have physical access to the router.
Password Recovery Procedure
To recover or replace a lost enable, enable secret, or console login password, use this procedure:
Step 1 Attach an ASCII terminal to the console port on the router.
Step 2 Configure the terminal to operate at 9600 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit.
Step 3 If you can log in to the router as a nonprivileged user, enter the show version command to display the existing configuration register value, then go to Step 6. If you cannot log in to the router at all, go to the next step.
Step 4 Press the Break key or send a break from the console terminal.
•If break is enabled, the router enters the ROM monitor, indicated by the ROM monitor prompt (
rommon>). Go to Step 6.
•If break is disabled, power cycle the router (turn off the router or unplug the power cord, and then restore power). Then go to Step 5.
Step 5 Within 60 seconds of restoring the power to the router, press the break key or send a break. This action causes the router to enter the ROM monitor and display the ROM monitor prompt (
Step 6 Set the configuration register using the configuration register utility. Enter the confreg command at the ROM monitor prompt as follows:
Answer yes to the enable "ignore system config info?"
Step 7 Reboot the router by entering the reset command:
The router initializes, the configuration register is set to 0x142, and the router boots the system image from Flash memory and enters the system configuration dialog (setup):
--- System Configuration Dialog --
Step 8 Enter no in response to the system configuration dialog prompts until the following message appears:
RETURN to get started!
Step 9 Press Return. The user EXEC prompt appears:
Step 10 Enter the enable command to enter privileged EXEC mode. Then enter the show startup-config command to display the passwords in the configuration file as follows:
Router# show startup-config
Step 11 Scan the configuration file display, looking for the passwords (the enable passwords are usually located near the beginning of the file, and the console login or user EXEC password is near the end). The passwords displayed appear similar to the following:
enable secret 5 $1$ORPP$s9syZt4uKn3SnpuLDrhuei
enable password 23skiddoo
The enable secret password is encrypted and cannot be recovered; it must be replaced. Go to the next step to replace an enable secret, console login, or enable password. If there is no enable secret password, note the enable and console login passwords. If the enable and console login passwords are not encrypted, go to Step 16.
Do not execute the next step unless you have determined you must change or replace the enable, enable secret, or console login passwords. Failure to follow the steps as shown might cause you to erase the router configuration.
Step 12 Enter the copy startup-config running-config command to load the startup configuration file into running memory. This action allows you to modify or replace passwords in the configuration.
Router# copy startup-config running-config
Step 13 Enter the privileged EXEC command configure terminal to enter configuration mode:
Router# configure terminal
Step 14 Change all three passwords using the following commands:
Router(config)# enable secret newpassword1
Router(config)# enable password newpassword2
Router(config)# line con 0
Router(config-line)# password newpassword3
Change only the passwords necessary for your configuration. You can remove individual passwords by using the no form of the above commands. For example, entering the no enable secret command removes the enable secret password.
Step 15 You must configure all interfaces to avoid having the system be administratively shut down:
Router(config)# interface fastethernet 0/0
Router(config-int)# no shutdown
Enter the equivalent commands for all interfaces that were originally configured. If you omit this step, all interfaces are administratively shut down and unavailable when the router is restarted.
Step 16 Use the config-register command to set the configuration register to the original value noted in Step 3 or Step 7, or to the factory default value 0x2102.
Router(config)# config-register 0x2102
Step 17 Press Ctrl-Z (hold down the Control key while you press Z) or enter end to exit configuration mode and return to the EXEC command interpreter.
Do not execute the next step unless you have changed or replaced a password. If you skipped Step 12 through Step 15, go to Step 19. Failure to observe this caution causes you to erase the router configuration file.
Step 18 Enter the copy running-config startup-config command to save the new configuration to NVRAM.
Step 19 Enter the reload command to reboot the router.
Step 20 Log in to the router using the new or recovered passwords.