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Basic Router Configuration

Basic Router Configuration



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Published by: api-3805926 on Oct 17, 2008
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M.A. Leel Nilanta
What are the Internal Components of a Router?
Most of the components in a router are hardware.
Major Components of a Router
The major components of the router are shown in the
The following table lists the description of each of these components:

Random access memory contains the software and data structures that allow the router to function. The principle software running in RAM is the Cisco IOS image and the running configuration.

Read-only memory contains microcode for basicfunctions to start and maintain
the router.
Flash memory
Flash is primarily used to contain the IOS software image. Some routers run the
IOS image directly from Flash and do not need to transfer it to RAM.

Non-volatile random access memory is mainly used to store the configuration. NVRAM uses a battery to maintain the data when power is removed from the router.

The configuration register is used to control how the router boots up.
The physical connections to the external world for the router. These interfaces
include the following types:
Ethernet and Fast Ethernet
Asynchronous and synchronous serial
Token Ring
Console and auxiliary ports
M.A. Leel Nilanta
Stages of the Router Power On/Bootup Sequence
The sequence of events that occurs during the power-up or the booting of a router is important to understand.
Knowledge of this sequence can assist in accomplishing operational tasks and troubleshooting router problems.
Order of Router Bootup Events
When power is initially applied to a router, events occur in a particular process order:
Router Bootup Process Table
The following table summarizes the router bootup process.
What Happens
Power On Self Test (POST)

This event is a series of hardware tests to verify that all components of
the router are functional. During this test the router also determines
what hardware is present. POST executes from microcode resident in
the system ROM.

Load and run bootstrap code

Bootstrap code is used to perform subsequent events like finding the
IOS software, loading it, and then running it. Once the IOS software is
loaded and running, the bootstrap code is not used until the next time
the router is reloaded or power cycled.

Find the IOS software

The bootstrap code determines where the IOS software to be run is
located. The configuration register, configuration file, or Flash
memory are the normal places to house the IOS image. Where and
what image file to use can be configured.

Load the IOS software

Once the bootstrap code has found the proper image, it then loads that image into RAM and starts the IOS running. Some routers do not load the IOS image into RAM, but execute it directly from Flash memory.

Find the configuration
The default is to look in NVRAM for a valid configuration.
Load the configuration

The desired configuration for the router is loaded and executed. If no configuration exists the router will enter the setup utility or attempt an autoinstall.

The router is now running the configured IOS.
M.A. Leel Nilanta
Starting a Router
This lesson describes the initial configuration for a Cisco router
Initial Startup of Cisco Routers
This section covers startup and initial configuration of a Cisco IOS router.
How Startup Routines Start Operations
To start router operations, the startup routines must:

1. Make sure that the router finds tested hardware.
2.Find and load the Cisco IOS software that the router uses for its operating system.
3.Find and apply the configuration statements about router-specific attributes, protocol functions, and

interface addresses.
When a Cisco router powers up, it performs a Power-On Self Test (POST). During this self test, the router
executes diagnostics to verify the basic operation of the CPU, memory, and interface circuitry.
After verifying the hardware functions, the router proceeds with software initialization.
Examining the Initial Bootup Output from the Router
Some startup routines act as fallback operations that are able to perform the router startup should other
routines be unable to do so. This flexibility allows Cisco IOS software to start up in a variety of initial situations.

If no valid configuration file exists in NVRAM, the operating system executes a question-driven initial
configuration routine referred to as the system configuration dialog. This special mode is also called
the setup dialog.

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