How to: replace a Cisco 2960 switch and upgrade firmware

I may know many different things in the IT realm, but when it comes to Cisco switching and IOS, I used to be clueless…  but no more!

When it came time to replace a Cisco 2960 switch and upgrade firmware, I was left cold.  I didn’t feel like engaging our VAR this time, and instead, I put my time into figure out how to do it.  So for my sake (and yours), here’s how you do it… (I’m assuming you have some basic knowledge of IOS like I have and have left out many generalized steps.)

1. I have a 4-stack of Cisco 2960S switches.  The same principle applies to 3750 switches also.

2. One of the switches is bad and needs replacing.  The master of the stack is not bad.

3. My new switch needs the same IOS version as the old switches.

4. Login to the old switches and run the command:  show ver      to find the version you need.  My output looks like this:


5. I need to login to Cisco TAC and download version 15.0 (2) SE to my laptop.

6. After the download is complete, I connect my laptop to my new switch on port 48 via ethernet cable.  I started up a free TFTP server on my laptop and pointed the folder to the folder where my downloaded file is.   The filename is c2960s-universalk9-mz.150-2.SE2.bin.  You can verify that this is the same as the old switch by running the command:  show flash  on the old switch and checking the latest firmware file date and matching it.

7. Connect the Cisco terminal cable from your computer to the terminal port on the new switch.  On a Mac, I’m using ZOC to connect using the Serial protocol.  Turn on the new switch and let it load the configuration that is default.  Skip through all the options.

8. You now need to put your computer’s ethernet jack into a custom IP address:,,

9. Now on the switch, enter enable mode.  Now type the following commands (I’ve bolded what you have to type in, then press ENTER at the end of each line).

#conf t 
(config)#int Vlan1
(config-if)#ip address
(config-if)#ip default-gateway
(config)#int Gi1/0/48
(config-if)#switchport mode access
(config-if)#switchport access vlan1
#show run

10. Now you should verify your settings.

11. Next you need to connect to the TFTP server and upload the firmware (I’ve bolded what you type in).

#copy tftp: flash:
Address or name of remote host []?
Source file name []? c2960s-universalk9-mz.150-2.SE2.bin
Destination file name []? c2960s-universalk9-mz.150-2.SE2.bin

12.  It now accesses your TFTP folder and copies everything over.

13. Now check for new IOS in your flash by typing in:  sh flash

14. Now change to the new flash as the boot system flash, save your settings to memory, and reload the switch:

#conf t
(config)#boot system flash: c2960s-universalk9-mz.150-2.SE2.bin
#copy run start
(enter to save to startup config)
(enter to confirm reload)

15. After the switch is back up, do a show ver and verify that the switch is the same version as your existing stack.

16. Now I’m going to go unplug the whole stack, change the stack module into the RMA switch, then turn everything back on at once.  There we go!



Credit:  Some help was from this post:



3 Responses to How to: replace a Cisco 2960 switch and upgrade firmware

  1. dong December 2, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    HI,Philreynolds16. I have bought some 2960 switch from,I also need to update firmware.But when I copy tftp: flash: the switch say my flash is full ,is it mean that I must remove old firmware first.But I have no idea how to do it ,and your article didn’t write,can you tell me?

  2. dong December 2, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Ok,got it ,thank you very much.

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