Ah the Cisco switch. That little box of wonders that keeps your network running smoothly. But what happens when things don’t go as planned? That’s when you need to know how to reboot your Cisco switch.

Determine the Need for an Outage

Before you start rebooting your Cisco switch you’ll want to make sure that you really need to do it. If there’s an issue with your network it’s important to troubleshoot the problem first. If it can’t be fixed without a reboot then you’ll want to plan for an outage. This means that you’ll need to inform your users that the network will be down for a certain period of time.

Once you’ve determined the need for an outage you can move on to the command to reboot your Cisco switch. Here’s a handy table with the commands you’ll need depending on the type of switch you’re using:

Switch Type Command
Catalyst 2900 reload
Catalyst 3500 reset
Catalyst 6000 hw-module module [#] reset
Catalyst 6500 hw-module module [#] reset

Command to reboot cisco switch

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Establish Access to the Cisco Switch

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed by what it takes to reboot a Cisco switch? Don’t fret! You don’t need to be a networking whiz to pull it off. In this section we’ll take you through all the steps you need to establish access to your Cisco switch.

If you’re just getting your feet wet in the networking world the first step might sound daunting: getting connected to the switch. But don’t worry–you don’t need an expensive state-of-the-art adapter to make it happen. Most Cisco switches come with an Easy Setup cable; this is usually a good bet for beginners.

Once you have the cable plugged into your computer open your terminal. Depending on your operating system you’ll likely know the drill. If you’ve never used the terminal before no pressure–it’s not that hard. Just follow the on-screen instructions and you’ll be good to go.

Now type in the easy-to-remember command: telnet {ip address}. Enter your login credentials when prompted.

Once connected type “enable” to move up to what’s known as privileged exec mode. This mode is necessary if you want to issue commands to the switch. To be extra safe type “exit” before you move on to the big kahuna: the command to reboot the switch.

Now you’re just a step away from the command that you need. Good work!

Execute the Reboot Command

Rebooting your Cisco switch can be a chore but it doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Fortunately there’s a tried-and-true command you can use to execute the reboot: the aptly named reload command. In this section we’ll cover the details of how to execute the reboot command and what to expect afterward.

When rebooting your switch there are two main options you have: either cold boot (hard reboot) or warm boot (soft reboot). Cold boots require you to manually cycle the power on your switch while warm boots are typically executed via the reload command. For this reason the reload command is often called the reset command.

To use the reload command simply open up the terminal emulator connected to your Cisco switch type in the command and hit Enter:


You’ll then get a prompt asking you whether you want to proceed with the reboot. Select ‘yes’ with [y] (or ‘no’ with [n] if you’ve changed your mind):

Proceed with reload? [confirm]

You may also be told that some of your settings will be reset to the default configuration—if you don’t want that to happen type in no default after hitting Enter.

Once you answer your switch will immediately shut down and begin the reboot process. Note that it can take up to several minutes for the switch to fully reboot (don’t forget to keep track of the time it takes).

And that’s basically it! After your switch reboots you’ll be able to access the management interface again confirm that all of the necessary settings have been applied and get back to work.

Confirm the Reboot and Reestablish Access

Now it’s time for the follow-through. Has your Cisco switch rebooted successfully? It’s time to find out if all the hard work of following archaic command lines paid off and you can re-establish access!

The easiest way to make sure your switch has rebooted appropriately is to simply run the ‘show version’ command. This will give you all the vital information you need to confirm the reboot occurred and that you’re all systems operational.

If everything looks ship-shape the next step is to give your users the green light to go ahead and re-connect. But before they do that make sure they’re prepped and ready to go — they should give the switch a few minutes to let everything settle after the reboot.

Or if you want to be extra careful run a ‘ping’ command to ensure your switch is fully re-established and ready to handle user requests. Again this should be a pretty quick and straightforward process so you don’t need to waste a ton of time here.

Once you’ve pinged your switch and given it a few minutes to settle you’re good to go — time to let your users back in. Enjoy your Cisco switch reboot success story!


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