Overview

The following switch models are subject to a common problem when used as a lab switch:

  • Cisco Catalyst 2900 XL Series Switches
  • Cisco Catalyst 2950 Series Switches
  • Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches
  • Cisco Catalyst 3550 Series Switches
  • Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
  • Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series Switches (requires minimum NETLAB+ version 2015.R2.beta.5)

By default, these switches will not respond to a console break signal the same way routers do. There are two "environment variables" which affect this: "Enable Break" and "BOOT path-list".

The following procedure explains how to check these variables and set them so that the console port will respond to a break signal.

Symptoms

If the environment variables are not set correctly, you may experience one of the following symptoms:

  1. Pod test fails with a message such as "unable to put the switch into monitor mode"
  2. Lab automation such as scrub fails
  3. Users cannot perform password recovery

When to Use

You must initialize the environment variables when:

  • Installing a lab switch for the first time
  • The Enable break environment variable is set to "no"
  • The BOOT path-list environment variable is set

This procedure does not apply to control switches.

Determining the Boot Status

From the enable mode, issue the following IOS command.

Lab_Sw# show boot

BOOT path-list:       flash:c2950-i6q4l2-mz.121-22.EA4.bin
Config file:          flash:config.text
Private Config file:  flash:private-config.text
Enable Break:         no
Manual Boot:          no

Follow the following procedure Enable Break is set to yes, and/or the BOOT path-list is set to an image.

Setting Enable Break and BOOT path-list for 3650 Switches

Lab_Sw# configure terminal
Lab_Sw(config)# boot enable-break
Lab_Sw(config)# boot system flash:packages.conf
Lab_Sw(config)# end
Lab_Sw# copy run start
Lab_Sw# show boot

BOOT path-list:
Config file:          flash:config.text
Private Config file:  flash:private-config.text
Enable Break:         yes
Manual Boot:          no

Setting Enable Break and BOOT path-list (all other switches)

Lab_Sw# configure terminal
Lab_Sw(config)# boot enable-break
Lab_Sw(config)# no boot system
Lab_Sw(config)# end
Lab_Sw# copy run start
Lab_Sw# show boot

BOOT path-list:
Config file:          flash:config.text
Private Config file:  flash:private-config.text
Enable Break:         yes
Manual Boot:          no

Verification

With Enable Break set to "yes" and removal of a BOOT path-list, a pod test should pass.

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