Removing Flash Card from Operating Router
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