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NVRAM corrupt or broken?

Today some of my colleagues and I “rebuild” an existing ESX with NetApp network. We change multiple VLAN’s and did a lot of reconfiguring. Unfortunately some other people were working on the power, so sometimes all equipment had to power down.

After we did our job, we started testing the environment. All DMZ VM’s weren’t able to connect to their default gateway, which is a Cisco ASA 5550 active/standby firewall. I did some research and noticed that the DMZ switch lost his configuration. At first I thought that I didn’t save the configuration to NVRAM. Luckily I had a backup configuration, which I copied and pasted into the switch. To be sure I issued a write mem, which gave me the following response:

SW01#wr mem
Building configuration…

nv_done: unable to open “flash:/”
nv_done: unable to open “flash:/”[OK]
NVRAM Verification Failed

Hhhuuuummm, I tried a show flash: and even a format flash:, but no success. Cisco’s SupportWiki tells me to try and erase the startup-configuration from NVRAM and issue a new write mem, but again no success. While executing the command erase start, the following message appears on the console:

Jan 24 16:05:31: %SYS-7-NV_BLOCK_INIT: Initialized the geometry of nvram

Looking at Cisco’s website, they have the following description with the error message:

%SYS-7-NV_BLOCK_INIT : Initalized the geometry of nvram


Explanation    The NVRAM block geometry has been initialized. NVRAM block geometry is a part of the NVRAM that hosts nonconfiguration data files. Typically these files are used by SNMP to store and retrieve nonconfiguration persistent data across the system reload.

Recommended Action    Unavailable.


Unfortunately I don’t have any spare switch, so I am afraid of reloading the switch. The customer will try to get a spare switch to replace this one. Maybe I try to recover the switch, when I replaced it with a new one.