If you're wanting a reliable backbone to your home network an obvious choice is a used enterprise level Cisco Catalyst 3750 series switch. These can be found on eBay anywhere from ~$50-$100 which is dirt cheap compared to consumer options and nowhere near as reliable.
If you need to reset a Cisco 3750 or other Catalyst series switches back to a factory default configuration or if you've forgotten your admin password, here's what you can do to reset it. You'll need a serial console cable and a Serial to USB Adapter if your computer doesn't have a serial port. I've found the Prolific Chipset adapters to work the best.
Connect to the serial port of your switch and open up a console session in a terminal emulator such as Putty.
Power off your switch if it's already booted up. Once you have it powered off, hold down the Mode button and apply power until you see a prompt like below
flash_init and press enter. Your console should show something like the following:
switch: flash_init Initializing Flash… flashfs: 547 files, 19 directories flashfs: 0 orphaned files, 0 orphaned directories flashfs: Total bytes: 32514048 flashfs: Bytes used: 15487488 flashfs: Bytes available: 17026560 flashfs: flashfs fsck took 11 seconds. …done Initializing Flash.
Let's take a look at the flash storage. We're looking for
dir flash: and press enter.
switch: dir flash: Directory of flash:/ 2 -rwx 564 <date> vlan.dat 3 -rwx 1914 <date> private-config.text 5 drwx 192 <date> c3750-ipbasek9-tar.122-55.SE1 6 -rwx 3096 <date> multiple-fs 7 -rwx 2289 <date> config.text
Hint: if you want to make a backup copy of the old config, you can by typing:
switch: rename flash:config.text flash:config.text.old
Let's delete the
vlan.dat files to reset the configuration for this switch. Type
del flash:config.text and
del flash:vlan.dat. Confirm Y on both.
switch: del flash:config.text Are you sure you want to delete “flash:config.text” (y/n)? Y File “flash:config.text” deleted switch: del flash:vlan.dat Are you sure you want to delete “flash:vlan.dat” (y/n)? Y File “flash:vlan.dat” deleted
at the prompt type
boot to reboot the switch and go through the initial configuration process.
That's all there is to it! You should now be back at a switch with a default factory configuration with the password of
cisco. You can proceed to configure your switch.