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Format Install via TFTP

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, one year and 306 days ago. Viewed 930 times. #2
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EX device is complaining about errors which boil down to it complaining about being able to read/write to its disk.

The JTAC will usually ask you to do a format install of the switch before they will authorize a RMA, even though I've personally never seen this do anything other than waste time.

(Pro Tip: Tell the JTAC in your initial contact with them that you performed a format install and that the disk issues persisted after that.)

A "format" install has the switch reformat its disk partitions, in an effort to produce usable file systems for the installer.

As a side effect of this, you will lose your configuration.


  • make sure you have an installable copy of the running configuration
  • connect a console
  • reboot the device
  • interrupt the boot process when it says
    Press SPACE to abort autoboot
  • enter the following, with appropriate substitutions (note that the gatewayip may not be necessary if you are on the same subnet as your tftp server)
=> set ipaddr
=> set netmask
=> set gatewayip
=> set serverip
=> install t>>
  • the switch will boot the new kernel, format the partitions, then install the firmware. On a EX2200 this took in excess of 40 minutes to run.
  • the switch will reboot into Amnesiac state.
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