Cisco Catalyst 2960L - Is it dead? (Yes)

audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
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Hi All,

I just received a used Cisco Catalyst switch fired up and not getting much out of it. First thoughts is that it's dead but I'm reserving judgement until I get some more advice from someone who may know more than me.

I installed the Cisco Serial USB drivers which seem to work fine and also manage to "connect" to it with Putty using the Cisco recommended settings (9600 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, No Parity, No Flow Control) via the console mini-USB port.

Al I get from Putty when I turn the switch on is this:
▒▒k[j774ji7b▒̛[j77▒4▒▒5▒qD19▒▒1D99D1D▒D1DQ!▒▒▒kA!67▒7▒▒▒k!!i77▒▒▒▒k[i677▒!▒▒̫[k77▒!▒▒qk477!i7a▒g477!i▒77b▒k@!a▒4▒7▒7b▒▒k!!▒a47▒7▒▒▒k!!477▒▒▒▒kYi677▒!▒▒▒a677▒!i9▒g▒477!a▒4O▒

The Status Light is Green (all the time), The mode button doesn't seem to respond to anything when pressed, and none of the ports seem to work when I plug my laptop in.

Am I missing anything, or is it dead?
 

altmind

Active Member
Sep 23, 2018
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Try a different baud rate - maybe the sw is configured to have a rate over 9600 - maybe 38400, 57600 or 115200.
If nothing works, erase the config and start fresh with the same serial settings.
 

audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
23
1
3
Try a different baud rate - maybe the sw is configured to have a rate over 9600 - maybe 38400, 57600 or 115200.
If nothing works, erase the config and start fresh with the same serial settings.
Thanks for that. I didn't have much hope but 115200 seems to have done the trick. Having said that... This is what is says... Dead right?

BootROM 1.41
Booting from NOR flash
BootROM: Bad header at offset 00000000
BootROM: Bad header at offset 00200000
BootROM: Bad header at offset 00400000
BootROM: Bad header at offset 00600000
BootROM: Bad header at offset 00800000
BootROM: Bad header at offset 00A00000
BootROM: Bad header at offset 00C00000
BootROM: Bad header at offset 00E00000
BootROM: Trying UART
 

altmind

Active Member
Sep 23, 2018
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Did you wait for 2 minutes for any additional output? This may be a normal boot process in progress.
 

audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
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Did you wait for 2 minutes for any additional output? This may be a normal boot process in progress.
Yeah it just seems to stay there... I'll leave it a few more mins and then assume declare it done... (unless there's any other suggestions by anyone...)
 

audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
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OK, I think I'll call this one a bust as it seems to hang at "BootROM: Trying UART." I tried various things, including issuing a break command and it refuses to give me a terminal to type anything in. If there's any other proposals (including the advanced open it up and....) it's heading for the bin.
 

altmind

Active Member
Sep 23, 2018
207
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OK, I think I'll call this one a bust as it seems to hang at "BootROM: Trying UART." I tried various things, including issuing a break command and it refuses to give me a terminal to type anything in. If there's any other proposals (including the advanced open it up and....) it's heading for the bin.
Try to send a firmware over the serial with xmodem.

Does your switch have an external SD/CF/mem card? Maybe slots for ext storage? Then you can copy it over, break the boot and load from an external storage.
 
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audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
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Try to send a firmware over the serial with xmodem.

Does your switch have an external SD/CF/mem card? Maybe slots for ext storage? Then you can copy it over, break the boot and load from an external storage.
Already tried doing a blind xmodem send via ExtraPutty and it doesn't do anything. No external SD,CF or Mem Card but it does have a USB port. I read somewhere Cisco routers can update via the USB so formatted a stick at FAT16 and put the tar file firmware on it root. Nothing... Worth opening it up to see if there's a memory card in?
 

audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
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Okay so I opened it up out of curiosity and noticed the FPGA chip is kaput… RIP little switch…
7B12B2A7-790A-4790-9739-02F9D6A81E26.jpeg
 

audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
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So the million dollar question now is what does that chip actually hold? I can get the chip replaced but if the ROMmon is on that chip I would not be able to upload the firmware on it... anyone know?
 

audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
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these sold on eBay as low as $300. are you sure it's worth the effort?
It's $60 to replace the chip and the Switch was free... Trying to assess probability of success as $60 vs $300 is not a bad shout. More about the challenge of it now tbh :)
 

BoredSysadmin

Not affiliated with Maxell
Mar 2, 2019
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Did you ever do surface-mounted components (SMT) resolder yourself? it could be quite tricky without the right equipment
 

audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
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Did you ever do surface-mounted components (SMT) resolder yourself? it could be quite tricky without the right equipment
Yes, badly :rolleyes: $60 is to have it swapped a professional (including chip). Chip is only $15 but don't fancy trying it myself.
 

Oarman

New Member
Feb 28, 2021
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You're assuming the IC is the only faulted component. ICs generally don't fry themselves, especially if they weren't hot enough to justify heatsinks in the first place, without other components frying as well.
 
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audiobahn

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
23
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You're assuming the IC is the only faulted component. ICs generally don't fry themselves, especially if they weren't hot enough to justify heatsinks in the first place, without other components frying as well.
True… couldn’t see any other burn marks but you’re right. Will probably skip.