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Recovering the Root Password for Switches


If you forget the root password, you can use the password recovery procedure to reset the root password.


The root password cannot be recovered on a QFabric system.


You need console access to the switch to recover the root password.

To recover the root password:

  1. Power off the switch by switching off the AC power outlet of the device or, if necessary, by pulling the power cords out of the device’s power supplies.
  2. Turn off the power to the management device, such as a PC or laptop computer, that you want to use to access the CLI.
  3. Plug one end of the Ethernet rollover cable supplied with the device into the RJ-45–to–DB-9 serial port adapter supplied with the device.
  4. Plug the RJ-45–to–DB-9 serial port adapter into the serial port on the management device.
  5. Connect the other end of the Ethernet rollover cable to the console port on the device.
  6. Turn on the power to the management device.
  7. On the management device, start your asynchronous terminal emulation application (such as Microsoft Windows Hyperterminal) and select the appropriate COM port to use (for example, COM1).
  8. Configure the port settings as follows:
    • Bits per second: 9600

    • Data bits: 8

    • Parity: None

    • Stop bits: 1

    • Flow control: None

  9. Power on the device by (if necessary) plugging the power cords into the device’s power supply, or turning on the power to the device by switching on the AC power outlet the device is plugged into.

    The terminal emulation screen on your management device displays the device’s boot sequence.

  10. When the following prompt appears, press the Spacebar to access the device’s bootstrap loader command prompt:
  11. At the following prompt, enter boot -s to start up the system in single-user mode.
    ok boot -s
  12. At the following prompt, enter recovery to start the root password recovery procedure.
    Enter full pathname of shell or 'recovery' for root password recovery or RETURN for /bin/sh: recovery
  13. Enter configuration mode in the CLI.
  14. Set the root password. For example:
    user@switch# set system root-authentication plain-text-password
  15. At the following prompt, enter the new root password. For example:
    New password: ABC123
  16. At the second prompt, reenter the new root password.
  17. After you have finished configuring the password, commit the configuration.
    root@host# commit
  18. Exit configuration mode in the CLI.
  19. Exit operational mode in the CLI.
  20. At the prompt, enter y to reboot the device.
    Reboot the system? [y/n] y

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