Setup Mode

Posted on August 1, 2009. Filed under: CCNA, ICND1 break down | Tags: , , , , |

When you power up a Cisco switch or router, it will first run a POST test to ensure all hardware is ok, and then look into the Flash to load the IOS. Once the IOS is loaded, it will then check the NVRAM for any configuration file. 

Cisco Switch has a default configuration file stored in NVRAM even when it first turned on, therefore, directly goes into USER EXEC mode. Cisco Router, however, don’t have a default configuration file store in NVRAM when it first start-up. If the router won’t find any configuration file in the NVRAM, it will go into “setup mode”.

The setup mode is a step-by-step process which helps you configure basic aspects of the router. When using this setup mode, you actually have 2 options:

  1. Basic Managment Setup, which configures only enough connectivity for managment to the system.
  2. Extended Setup, which allows you to configure some global parameters and interfaces.

It should be noted that when you are prompted to enter a value at the console prompt, whatever is between the square brackets [ ] is considered to be a default value. In other words, if you hit enter without entering anything, the value in those brackets will be set for the specific question.

You can try out the Setup Mode at your home lab with Cisco Packet Tracer. The following code is tested on a Cisco 2620XM Router.

For a first turned on router, it will directly go into setup mode:

Continue with configuration dialog? [yes/no]: y

Would you like to enter basic management setup? [yes/no]: y

Note that if you enter no at the “Would you like to enter basic management setup? [yes/no]:” prompt, you will enter the extended setup to configure more specific system parameters.

If the router already have configuration file, we can enter setup mode by erasing the nvram filesystem with command “write erase”, then rebooting the router with command “reload”. We then select yes for the following questions to start the setup mode:

Router#write erase
Erasing the nvram filesystem will remove all configuration files! Continue? [confirm]
Erase of nvram: complete
%SYS-7-NV_BLOCK_INIT: Initialized the geometry of nvram
Proceed with reload? [confirm]

%SYS-5-RELOAD: Reload requested by console. Reload Reason: Reload Command.
System Bootstrap, Version 12.1(3r)T2, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Copyright (c) 2000 by cisco Systems, Inc.
cisco 2620 (MPC860) processor (revision 0x200) with 60416K/5120K bytes of memory

Self decompressing the image :
########################################################################## [OK]

              Restricted Rights Legend

Use, duplication, or disclosure by the Government is
subject to restrictions as set forth in subparagraph
(c) of the Commercial Computer Software – Restricted
Rights clause at FAR sec. 52.227-19 and subparagraph
(c) (1) (ii) of the Rights in Technical Data and Computer
Software clause at DFARS sec. 252.227-7013.

           cisco Systems, Inc.
           170 West Tasman Drive
           San Jose, California 95134-1706


Cisco Internetwork Operating System Software
IOS ™ C2600 Software (C2600-I-M), Version 12.2(28), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc5)
Technical Support:
Copyright (c) 1986-2005 by cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Wed 27-Apr-04 19:01 by miwang

cisco 2620 (MPC860) processor (revision 0x200) with 60416K/5120K bytes of memory
Processor board ID JAD05190MTZ (4292891495)
M860 processor: part number 0, mask 49
Bridging software.
X.25 software, Version 3.0.0.
1 FastEthernet/IEEE 802.3 interface(s)
32K bytes of non-volatile configuration memory.
16384K bytes of processor board System flash (Read/Write)
         — System Configuration Dialog —

Continue with configuration dialog? [yes/no]: y

At any point you may enter a question mark ‘?’ for help.
Use ctrl-c to abort configuration dialog at any prompt.
Default settings are in square brackets ‘[]’.
Basic management setup configures only enough connectivity
for management of the system, extended setup will ask you
to configure each interface on the system

Would you like to enter basic management setup? [yes/no]: y
Configuring global parameters:

  Enter host name [Router]:


One of the most important things about Setup Mode is knowing how to get out of it without saving the configuration. We can use the CTRL-C key combination to abort this mode and ignore the changes.

Cisco switch also has setup mode similar to Cisco Router’s. To enter setup mode from CLI in Cisco Router or Switch, use command “setup”.



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