Cisco Recovery Password

This document describes the procedure for recovering enable password or enable secret passwords. These passwords are used to protect access to privileged EXEC and configuration modes. The enable password password can be recovered, but the enable secret password is encrypted and can only be replaced with a new password using the procedure below.
This password recovery procedure can also be used for the following products:

* Cisco 806
* Cisco 827
* Cisco uBR900
* Cisco 1003
* Cisco 1004
* Cisco 1005
* Cisco 1400
* Cisco 1600
* Cisco 1700
* Cisco 2600
* Cisco 3600
* Cisco 4500
* Cisco 4700
* Cisco AS5x00
* Cisco 6x00
* Cisco 7000 (RSP7000)
* Cisco 7100
* Cisco 7200
* Cisco 7500
* Cisco uBR7100
* Cisco uBR7200
* Cisco uBR10000
* Cisco 12000
* Cisco LS1010
* Catalyst 2948G-L3
* Catalyst 4840G
* Catalyst 4908G-L3
* Catalyst 5500 (RSM)
* Catalyst 8510-CSR
* Catalyst 8510-MSR
* Catalyst 8540-CSR
* Catalyst 8540-MSR
* Cisco MC3810
* Cisco NI-2
* Cisco VG200 Analog Gateway
* Route Processor Module

Step-by-Step Procedure

Follow this procedure to recover the enable password or enable secret passwords.

  1. Attach a terminal or PC with terminal emulation to the console port of the router. Use the following terminal settings:
    9600 baud rate
    No parity
    8 data bits
    1 stop bit
    No flow control
  2. If you still have access to the router, type show version and record the setting of the configuration register; it is usually 0x2102 or 0x102.
  3. If you don’t have access to the router (because of a lost login or tacacs password), you can safely consider that your configuration register is set to 0x2102.
  4. Using the power switch, turn off the router and then turn it back on.
    Important: To simulate step 4 on a Cisco 6400, pull out and then replace the Node Route Processor (NRP) or Node Switch Processor (NSP) card.
    To simulate step 4 on a Cisco 6×00 using NI-2, pull out and then replace the NI-2 card.
  5. Press Break on the terminal keyboard within 60 seconds of the power-up to put the router into ROMMON.
    If the break sequence doesn’t work, see Standard Break Key Sequence Combinations During Password Recovery for other key combinations.
  6. Type confreg 0x2142 at the rommon 1> prompt to boot from Flash without loading the startup configuration from the nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM).
  7. Type reset at the rommon 2> prompt.
    The router reboots but ignores its saved configuration.
  8. Type no after each setup question or press Ctrl-C to skip the initial setup procedure.
  9. Type enable at the Router> prompt.
    This puts you in enable mode where you can see the Router# prompt.
  10. Important: Type configure memory or copy startup-config running-config to copy the NVRAM into memory. Do not type configure terminal or copy running-config startup-config or write memory. This erases the router configuration stored in the NVRAM.
  11. Type write terminal or show running-config.
    The show running-config and write terminal commands show the configuration of the router. In this configuration, you see under all the interfaces the shutdown command, which means all interfaces are currently shutdown. Also, you can see the passwords (enable password, enable secret, vty, console passwords, and so on) either in encrypted or unencrypted format. The unencrypted passwords can be re-used; the encrypted ones have to be replaced with new passwords.
  12. Type configure terminal and make the changes.
    The prompt is now hostname(config)#.
  13. Type enable secret sec_password to change the enable secret password, for example.
  14. Issue the no shutdown command on every interface that is used. If you issue a show ip interface brief command, once you exit the configuration mode (CTRL-Z), every interface that you want to use should be “up up”.
  15. Type config-register 0x2102, or the value you recorded in step 2. This makes the router load the startup configuration from the NVRAM during the next reload.
  16. Press CTRL-Z or End to leave the configuration mode.
    The prompt is now hostname#.
  17. Type write memory or copy running-config startup-config to commit the changes.

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