I will show you the how to do a Password Recovery Procedure for Cisco Routers without losing current SAVED configuration.

This is tested on Cisco 1700/1800/2800 Router Series but it will also work on other Cisco routers with similar IOS…doesn’t have to be same IOS version. If you find another one, do let me know so I add it to the list.

Before presenting the steps to reset your Cisco router (privileged mode) password, I will assume you already know how to connect to the console port of the router via terminal or computer with terminal emulation software. Just as a reminder the terminal settings should be:

  • 9600 baud rate
  • No parity
  • 8 data bits
  • 1 stop bit
  • No flow control

Password Recovery Procedure STEPS

1. use the power switch to turn the router off and then on
2. press Break key (if you are trying this on virtual simulators like Cisco Packet Tracer keep Ctrl pressed from your keyboard along with Break key) while the router is booting up (within 60 seconds) to put the router into ROMMON.
3. into the new marker you get which should be “rommon 1>“, type confreg 0x2142and you should have something like this:

Password Recovery Procedure for Cisco Routers

This step bypasses the startup configuration where the passwords are stored.

4. into the rommon 2>prompt, type “reset” without the quotes and the router will reboot, while ignoring the saved configuration with the unknown password

5. type no or Ctrl-C for each configuration wizard you get, as we don’t need that.

6. after the router has started and loaded the IOS, type “enable” at the Router>prompt to enter privileged mode

7. type copy startup-config running-configin order to copy the nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM) into memory NOTE: Do not type copy running-config startup-config or write. These commands erase your startup configuration.

8. type configure terminal, and set a new password with enable secret <password> which will be your new password to replace the one you don’t know/remember. For example: Router(config)#enable secret password1

9. after you’ve changed the password with above command, type this to set the config register parameter back to its normal state: #config-register 0x2102

10. type write memory or copy running-config startup-config in order to commit the changes and store the new modified password and to make sure these settings will be kept.

 

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