The boot loader provides access into the switch if the operating system cannot be used because of missing or damaged system files. The boot loader has a command-line that provides access to the files stored in flash memory.

The boot loader can be accessed through a console connection following these steps:

Step 1. Connect a PC by console cable to the switch console port. Configure terminal emulation software to connect to the switch.

Step 2. Unplug the switch power cord.

Step 3. Reconnect the power cord to the switch and, within 15 seconds, press and hold down the Mode button while the System LED is still flashing green.

Step 4. Continue pressing the Mode button until the System LED turns briefly amber and then solid green; then release the Mode button.

Step 5. The boot loader switch: prompt appears in the terminal emulation software on the PC.

The boot loader command line supports commands to format the flash file system, reinstall the operating system software, and recover from a lost or forgotten password. For example, the dir command can be used to view a list of files within a specified directory as shown in the figure.