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Use a TFTP Server to Backup and Restore a Configuration
This is a step-by-step approach to copy a configuration from a router to a TFTP server, and back to another router. Before you proceed with this method, make sure you have a TFTP server on the network to which you have IP connectivity.

At the Router prompt, issue the enable command, and provide the required password when prompted.

The prompt changes to Router#, which indicates that the router is now in privileged mode.

Copy the running configuration file to the TFTP server:

CE_2#copy running-config tftp:
Address or name of remote host []?
Destination filename [ce_2-confg]? backup_cfg_for_my_router
1030 bytes copied in 2.489 secs (395 bytes/sec)
Open the configuration file with a text editor. Search for and remove any line that starts with “AAA”.

Note: This step is to remove any security commands that can lock you out of the router.

Copy the configuration file from the TFTP server to a new router in privileged (enable) mode which has a basic configuration.

Router#copy tftp: running-config
Address or name of remote host []?
Source filename []? backup_cfg_for_my_router
Destination filename [running-config]?
Accessing tftp://…
Loading backup_cfg_for_router from (via FastEthernet0/0): !
[OK – 1030 bytes]

1030 bytes copied in 9.612 secs (107 bytes/sec)


In task 3, we need to upgrade the router operating system to this version of operating system.

So copy that.
We need to leave the current operating system in the flash of the router.

So show flash
shows us the current operating system in flash. But we want to upgrade the router to 15.5(3)

At the moment show version
shows us that this is the operating system that was loaded from flash.
This is the version being used. But we want to go to 15.5(3)

So copy tftp flash
Before I do that again
dir of the flash shows us that there’s only one file in flash.

So copy copy tftp flash IP address of the TFTP server is that, the file that we want to copy is that. We’re going to leave it with the same name and notice it’s copied to the flash of the router.

So dir flash shows us that we now have two files in flassh

Now to ensure that the router boots using the new operating system, we have to go into global configuration mode and type boot system flash and specify the operating system to boot from flash.

So now in the running configuration of the router, we’ve added this command. We have to save the running configuration so that when the router reloads, it reloads and boots using the new operating system. So the router has now rebooted.

Show version, notice a different operating system has been booted from flash. The version now being used is 15.5(3)M4a

So we’ve proven that the router is now using a different operating system.
We have successfully completed these tasks. Were you able to complete the tasks?
They were quite a few to do here but hopefully after doing this, you understand how to backup and restore device configurations and operating systems.

  • David Bombal