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In order of preference/priority, what factors do you consider in driving an upgrade (or downgrade) with Cisco IOS?
If no compelling factors exist, how long would you allow a particular version of IOS to stay running?
You missed out, necessity A switch in a dusty old broom closet probably doesn't need it's IOS upgraded to the latest IOS for security fixes and new features, if it only has a 10 year old ink jet printer attached.
Download the last IOS image designed for your equipment from your Cisco account.
Insert the USB drive into your computer and copy the file from your computer to the root of the USB drive. If the device has more than one USB port, note that the first slot is called "usbflash0:" and the second is "usbflash1:."Connect your laptop to the admin port of your equipment and enter your login and password.
Many Cisco routers include USB slots, which you can use for upgrading the IOS without a TFTP connection.
The USB flash drive you use needs to be formatted using the FAT file system and must have enough space to host the IOS file and the backup you are making of your current IOS.
For example: If you hover your mouse over the filename, you will see some extra information: Above you can see the file name and MD5 checksum.