Cisco Catalyst 3850 Password Recovery

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“I’m trying to do password recovery on a Catalyst 3850 switch, and I can’t figure out what I have to actually do.” For network users it is a common problem that you lost or forgot the password of a network switch. How to recover password on a Cisco switch/Cisco catalyst 3850? We will show you the following basic steps needed to recover the password on catalyst 3850 series.

Power cycle the switch. Immediately press and hold the Mode button. Hold the button for approximately 12 seconds, the Status LED will go amber. On the console you should be in Boot Loader.

Add the following variables.

Then boot the switch.
Switch: boot

Once the switch has booted you can copy the saved config back into the running config.
Switch# copy start runn

Next set your password(s). Finally we want to remove the variables we set while in Boot Loader.
Switch# no system ignore startupconfig switch all
Switch# system disable password recovery switch all

Save your new config.
Switch# copy runn start

Since we are on the topic of passwords, I beleive you should configure AAA even if you’re using local credentials. Here’s an example of how easy it is to setup.
Switch(config)# aaa new-model
Switch(config)# aaa authentication login default local
Switch(config)# username mmessier privilege 15 secret StAnLeYcUp
Switch(config)# line vty 0 4
Switch(config-line)# login authentication default

It’s that easy! You can now remove the passwords from under the VTY. Those passwords are easily reversible and should not be used. Instead use AAA and the secret keyword in configuring the username. It SHA encrypts the password and is not reversible (yet).

More Cisco 3850 Tips:
Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series- the Industry’s first Fixed, Stackable GE Switch
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