Upgrading IOS on a CISCO catalyst 2950 Switch

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Recently I was tasked with upgrading one of my 2950 switches from Version 12.1(22)EA13 to EA14, mainly because I wanted some crypto on there to play around with SSH. Most probably know how to upgrade a router, you assign an IP to the interface connected to your TFTP server and bobs your uncle. Sort of similar with a switch however these switches are layer 2 so we can’t just assign an IP to an interface like normal. In this short tutorial I will show you how to upgrade your IOS.

Get a TFTP server and a copy of your IOS:

Any TFTP server will do, cisco always recommends solarwinds; It’s simple and works out of the box and is free, you can just google it or get it here. To get the IOS from cisco’s website you need to be a partner, however I’m sure you could find an image via the usual means. Assign a static IP to your host where the TFTP server will be run, anything will do I used

Put your IOS that you managed to “obtain” in your TFTP root directory, you can rename it if you like as you will have to type the filename at the CLI later.


Assign management VLAN an IP Address:

On your switch jump into config mode. You want to access the VLAN interface of your choice, normally I use VLAN 99 for my management VLAN

 Switch(config)#interface VLAN 99
 Switch(config-if)#ip address
 Switch(config)#no shut

Notice how the IP address is on the same network as our host(TFTP SERVER)


Assign port to management VLAN

Now that we have set an IP address on our management VLAN we need to assign a port to that VLAN remember we used 99.

Switch(config)#interface fa0/1
Switch(config-if)#switchport mode access
Switch(config-if)#switchport access VLAN 99
Switch(config-if)no shut

In this example my host is plugged into fa0/1

At this point maybe after a few seconds Winking smile you should be able to ping your TFTP servers address, which in this example is


Remove old IOS and other configs, html ,etc from the FLASH


Switch#Delete Flash:*


This will delete your entire flash contents so be very careful, it will ask you about every file though before it deletes it.


Copy the IOS from the TFTP server


Switch#copy TFTP FLASH

Now simply follow the prompts, it will ask you the address of the server, in this example: and then the filename of the IOS (remember I said earlier to rename it something easy) And then the destination filename but you can just hit enter to keep it as is.


Tell the Switch to boot from the new IOS image


Switch(config)#boot system Flash:C2950.bin

As you can see in this example I called my IOS image C2950.bin

And finally just do a reload, you DON’T want to save any changes to the config if it asks you.



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