How to Reset My Cisco Catalyst 3500

Written by ben brassart
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How to Reset My Cisco Catalyst 3500
Switches are the main interconnects within computer networks. (switch image by martini from

Even the most vigilant network administrator will occasionally find flaws or problems in his network configurations. This is especially true with Cisco Catalyst switches due to their versatile and complex configurations. Sometimes, resetting the switch to factory defaults is the most desirable option when dealing with a problem configuration. It is also a good idea to reset switches if they are being moved to another network where the current configurations could cause problems.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Catalyst 3500 switch
  • Computer with serial port
  • Rollover cable

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  1. 1

    Connect the rollover cable to the port labelled "CONSOLE" on the switch. Connect the other end to the serial port on your computer.

  2. 2

    Download and install a program called PUTTY (see Resources), which will connect to and configure the switch.

  3. 3

    Open PUTTY. In the "Category" box on the left, select "Serial." In the "Serial line to connect to" box, select the correct COM port. Click "Open," which will open the command line of the switch allowing you to modify the configuration.

  4. 4

    Type "enable" at the command line and press "Enter." The prompt will change from "Switch>" to "Switch#."

  5. 5

    Type "write erase" and press "Enter." Press "y" to confirm that you want to reset the configuration.

  6. 6

    Type "reload" and press "Enter." This will restart the switch, loading the factory defaults.

Tips and warnings

  • Back up your configuration before resetting the configuration; you never know when you might need to refer back to it.

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