I was upgrading a Catalyst 3850 48 port switch from version 03.07.01E to version 16.12.07. I’ve done this upgrade quite a few times. Followed the Cisco upgrade procedures that you find online when you download your software file. I always have them open, or the command needed to start the upgrade process. Console access showed me that my switch after my reload ended up in ROMMON mode.
I was greeted with the ROMMON mode prompt. I look through the flash drive to see what’s going on with the files.
From what we can see on the flash drive are a bunch of these .pkg files from our previous version and the version we tried to install. We also note the packages.conf and packages.conf.00-. These files get installed during the expansion of the original bin file. Here is an example of my upgrade. We can see the expansion of the bin file and the creation of a provisioning file. This provisioning file is the packages.conf file. The old previous version provisioning file packages.conf gets renamed to packages.conf.00-.
In my case I tried to boot again from my packages.conf file. Again, we see the same results unable to boot from our install file.
Reviewing the file nothing seems odd, but editing the file is not recommended.
I tried to fall back to the previous version but that also failed. I ran into some issue renaming the packages.conf file. At this point my only option was to reinstall again. For that I would need the IOS-XE installation bin file. Once downloaded it was copied to a usb flash drive. Plug in that usb drive into the switch. Then proceed to boot from the file right off the usb flash drive.
Once booted and logged in we can proceed to copy the bin file to the internal flash of the switch. Then began the process of installing in INSTALL mode. We do this because technically we are currently in “Bundle” mode. The desired mode I want is INSTALL mode. Verification shows our boot file points to the packages.conf file.
Once reboot is completed, we can breathe a sigh of relief. Switch is now back up and online. Finishing touches would be to unplug the usb thumb drive and clean up any old files.
As always if you have any questions on getting Catalyst Switch set up for you and your business and would like to schedule a free consultation with us, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help!
Pablo Mirsoian, Network Engineer