Removing Flash Card from Operating Router

Hello community,

I have an INE lab at home and several times I have removed the flash card from a router that is powered on and then re-inserted it to continue work. At least with my home routers, nothing has ever happened but I read a Cisco documentation about performing hardware and software upgrade and they state a flash card should never be removed when the router is powered on.

I always had the impression that once the router boots, it transfers the IOS from the flash to RAM and unless you perform a command that needs the router to access the flash, the router no longer reads anything off the flash so I do not see anything wrong with removing it with the router powered on. Having said that, I am about to perform an IOS upgrade on a production router and my plan was to remove the flash card with the router powered on and use a USB memory card reader to erase the old image, copy the new one in it (the flash card does not have enough space to hold both images), re-insert the flash card, and only then reboot the router so it loads the new image.

After reading that Cisco document about never removing a flash card with the router powered on, I am a little skeptical about following the steps mentioned above and I wonder if anyone has had any issues doing this on a production router. Even though my home lab routers never gave me any issues, I am unsure if it's because I really do not have a lot going on in my home routers and probably a production router would have some hiccups if I just remove its flash card.

Any thoughts or experience to share with me please?

Thanks in advance :)

Comments

  • peetypeety ✭✭✭

    I'd say in general it's platform dependent, but most any semi-recent router is OK with live card swaps.

  • I have an INE lab at home and several times I have removed the flash card from a router that is powered on and then re-inserted it to continue work. At least with my home routers, nothing has ever happened but I read a Cisco documentation about performing hardware and software upgrade and they state a flash card should never be removed when the router is powered on.

    It is recomended becasue it may cause hardware issue. Cisco gives warranty for any kind of products and at lest they never want us to cause any damages due to our negligence which they would have to replace if it is under warranty. :-)

    HTH

  • I have an INE lab at home and several times I have removed the flash card from a router that is powered on and then re-inserted it to continue work. At least with my home routers, nothing has ever happened but I read a Cisco documentation about performing hardware and software upgrade and they state a flash card should never be removed when the router is powered on.

     

    I don't think live card swap should be a problem as you have state above.

    you can insert a new one and load new ios image into it.

  • I figured Cisco advises against removing it when the router is powered on to protect their warranty but I personally never damanged any of my routers by doing it. I was just wondering if maybe a production router that has more features running that a lab router, might behave different and possible break if I removed its flash card.

    I guess not too many people pull it out when the router is powered on.

    Thanks everyone :)

  • peetypeety ✭✭✭

    I certainly can't say "I do it all the time", but I do it reasonably often and wouldn't consider it risky.  At work, we can insert/remove flash cards without violating change control as long as we aren't removing the currently-configured media for the device.  I'd say the biggest caveat is to learn your platform and know the specifics of formatting.  I've seen some platforms require that the flash card is formatted in THIS ROUTER if you want THIS ROUTER to be able to boot from it.

  • Cool, I appreciate everyone's input here :)

  • Gabe,

    I recently got a news from cisco support that then won't suggest us to swap flash cards because of warranty and cisco doesn't want to take risk due to someones negligence.. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't. It doesn't matter pulling flash card while powering on. But during boot time cisco reads ios from flash so it's not recommended during boot time.

     

    Cool, I appreciate everyone's input here :)

     

  • peetypeety ✭✭✭

    I recently got a news from cisco support that then won't suggest us to swap flash cards because of warranty and cisco doesn't want to take risk due to someones negligence.. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't. It doesn't matter pulling flash card while powering on. But during boot time cisco reads ios from flash so it's not recommended during boot time.

    Cisco doesn't have risk.  Your risk is that the router could crash, the pins could get bent in the card reader, and it won't boot back up.  Cisco isn't liable for anything more than replacing your router under SmartNet (if you have it) within the timelines purchased (you'd better have registered your SmartNet already!), and they could potentially bill you for the replacement gear if they determine that your actions caused the pins to get bent, etc.

    At least in the US, there's also the Magnuson-Moss Act, which protects consumers' warranties from aggressive tactics by the warrantors.  If Ford says "change your oil every 3000 miles" and you decide to change it every 6000, then your engine dies, Ford has to either warranty the engine or prove that your actions caused the damage; they also can't "drop your warranty" because of your maintenance interval.  The same applies here: Cisco can't decide to not support you unless they can prove that your actions (against their guidance) caused the damage.

  • Hi Peety,

     

    I liked your example of ford.

    Definitely Cisco does care about the hassle we will be in if something unusual happens during changes on hardware.

    But i don't think if we carefull take some actions, the pins won't get bent..:P

    well ya as i also told that routers may crash and won't boot back.

    So that might be the issue cisco suggested not to.

     

    Cheers....:)

    I recently got a news from cisco support that then won't suggest us to swap flash cards because of warranty and cisco doesn't want to take risk due to someones negligence.. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't. It doesn't matter pulling flash card while powering on. But during boot time cisco reads ios from flash so it's not recommended during boot time.

    Cisco doesn't have risk.  Your risk is that the router could crash, the pins could get bent in the card reader, and it won't boot back up.  Cisco isn't liable for anything more than replacing your router under SmartNet (if you have it) within the timelines purchased (you'd better have registered your SmartNet already!), and they could potentially bill you for the replacement gear if they determine that your actions caused the pins to get bent, etc.

    At least in the US, there's also the Magnuson-Moss Act, which protects consumers' warranties from aggressive tactics by the warrantors.  If Ford says "change your oil every 3000 miles" and you decide to change it every 6000, then your engine dies, Ford has to either warranty the engine or prove that your actions caused the damage; they also can't "drop your warranty" because of your maintenance interval.  The same applies here: Cisco can't decide to not support you unless they can prove that your actions (against their guidance) caused the damage.

     

  • Hi Gabe,

    Go ahead and do it. Nothing will break or die. Just take a backup of the old software . In the worst case you can roll back if needed.

    HTH

     

     

    I figured Cisco advises against removing it when the router is powered on to protect their warranty but I personally never damanged any of my routers by doing it. I was just wondering if maybe a production router that has more features running that a lab router, might behave different and possible break if I removed its flash card.

    I guess not too many people pull it out when the router is powered on.

    Thanks everyone :)

     

Sign In or Register to comment.