Once this procedure becomes familiar upgrading the IOS is pretty straightforward. You can either perform the upgrade with a BIN file which contains just the base image or using a TAR file which contains the image as well as all the HTML files required to manage the device using a web browser. Before performing the upgrade always make sure there is enough free space in flash to store the new image (#show flash).

Upgrade Using a BIN File

1. Upload the new .BIN file to the switch/router

#copy tftp flash (and follow the prompts)

2. Configure the device to boot using the new image

(config)#boot system flash:/<folder-name>/new_image.bin)

3. Verify new boot configuration

#show boot

4. Save the configuration and reboot


5. Verify the correct image is loaded following a reboot.

#show version | incl bin

Note: On reboot, after the image is decompressed, the device will re-generate some microcode which takes a few minutes.

Upgrade Using a TAR File

When using a .TAR file the upgrade procedure is more streamlined. During the upload process the .TAR file will be automatically extracted and the correct configuration applied so the device boots from the new image next time it restarts. Two different flags can be used for this procedure, depending whether you want to leave the old image on flash or overwrite it, ‘/leave-old-sw‘ leaves the old image in flash while ‘/overwrite‘ will delete the old files.

#archive download-sw /leave-old-sw tftp://


#archive download-sw /overwrite tftp://

Deleting Folders Manually

Deleting files can be done with the ‘delete’ command but to delete a non-empty directory you will need to use the command below. Obviously this is only needed if the upgrade is performed using the ‘/leave-old-sw’ flag.

#delete /force /recursive flash:<directory name>