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How to Download and Install Cisco IOS Software on Catalyst 3750 Series Switches

How to Download and Install IOS on Cisco Catalyst 3750 Switches

If you are using Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches in your network, you might want to keep them updated with the latest Cisco IOS software. IOS, or Internetwork Operating System, is the software that runs on Cisco routers and switches, providing network services and protocols. Updating your IOS software can improve your network performance, security, and reliability, as well as fix bugs and add new features.

In this article, we will show you how to download and install IOS on Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches, which are innovative switches that combine industry-leading ease of use and high resiliency for stackable switches. They feature Cisco StackWise technology, a 32-Gbps stack interconnect that allows customers to build a unified, highly resilient switching system, one switch at a time.

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Before you start the IOS upgrade process, you need to make sure that you have the following hardware and software requirements:

  • A PC or workstation with a TFTP or RCP server application installed. You will use this to transfer the IOS image file from your PC to the switch. You can download a TFTP server for Windows from .

  • A console cable (usually a flat black cable) that connects the console port of the switch to the COM port of your PC. You will use this to establish a console session to the switch.

  • A valid Cisco IOS image file for your switch model and feature set. You can obtain this from . Make sure that you choose the correct image file that supports your hardware and software features, and that your switch has enough memory to run it. You can also verify the integrity of the image file by checking its MD5 checksum.

Steps to Download and Install IOS on Cisco Catalyst 3750 Switches

Once you have all the prerequisites ready, you can follow these steps to download and install IOS on your switch:

Step 1: Establish a console session to the switch

Connect your PC to the switch using the console cable. Then, open a terminal emulation program (such as PuTTY or HyperTerminal) on your PC and configure it with these settings:


Baud rate9600 bps

Data bits8


Stop bits1

Flow controlNone

Press Enter a few times until you see the switch prompt. If you are prompted for a username and password, enter them accordingly. If you do not have them, contact your network administrator. You should see a prompt like this:


If you are in user mode, enter the enable command to enter privileged mode. You should see a prompt like this:


Step 2: Verify the current IOS version and feature set

To check the current IOS version and feature set running on your switch, enter the show version command. You should see an output like this:

Switch#show version Cisco IOS Software, C3750 Software (C3750-IPSERVICESK9-M), Version 12.2(55)SE10, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc2) Technical Support: Copyright (c) 1986-2016 by Cisco Systems, Inc. Compiled Thu 21-Jan-16 08:54 by prod_rel_team Image text-base: 0x01000000, data-base: 0x02F00000 ROM: Bootstrap program is C3750 boot loader BOOTLDR: C3750 Boot Loader (C3750-HBOOT-M) Version 12.2(44)SE5, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1) Switch uptime is 1 hour, 23 minutes System returned to ROM by power-on System image file is "flash:c3750-ipservicesk9-mz.122-55.SE10.bin" ...

The line that starts with System image file shows the name and location of the IOS image file. In this example, the image file is c3750-ipservicesk9-mz.122-55.SE10.bin and it is stored in the flash memory of the switch. The name of the image file also indicates the IOS version and feature set. In this example, the IOS version is 12.2(55)SE10 and the feature set is IP Services.

Step 3: Delete the old IOS image file from the flash memory

To free up some space on the flash memory for the new IOS image file, you need to delete the old IOS image file. To do this, enter the delete flash: command, where is the name of the old IOS image file. For example:

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Switch#delete flash:c3750-ipservicesk9-mz.122-55.SE10.bin Delete filename [c3750-ipservicesk9-mz.122-55.SE10.bin]? Delete flash:c3750-ipservicesk9-mz.122-55.SE10.bin? [confirm]

Press Enter to confirm the deletion. You should see a message like this:

Deleting flash:c3750-ipservicesk9-mz.122-55.SE10.bin...done

Step 4: Copy the new IOS image file to the flash memory using TFTP or RCP

To copy the new IOS image file from your PC to the switch, you need to use either TFTP or RCP protocol. TFTP is a simple and widely used protocol for transferring files over a network, but it does not provide any security or authentication features. RCP is a more secure and reliable protocol that uses SSH for encryption and authentication, but it requires more configuration on both ends.

In this article, we will use TFTP as an example, but you can also use RCP if you prefer. To copy the new IOS image file using TFTP, follow these steps:

  • On your PC, make sure that your TFTP server application is running and that the new IOS image file is in the root directory of the TFTP server.

  • On your switch, enter the copy tftp flash command. You will be prompted for some information, such as the IP address of your PC, the name of the IOS image file, and the destination filename on the flash memory. For example:

Switch#copy tftp flash Address or name of remote host []? Source filename []? c3750-ipbasek9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin Destination filename [c3750-ipbasek9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin]? Accessing tftp:// Loading c3750-ipbasek9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin from (via Vlan1 ): !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [OK - 33509312 bytes] 33509312 bytes copied in 120.456 secs (278213 bytes/sec)

  • Wait until the file transfer is complete and verify that the new IOS image file is in the flash memory by entering the dir flash: command. You should see an output like this:

Switch#dir flash: Directory of flash:/ 2 -rwx 3350 Mar 1 1993 00:04:05 +00:00 config.text 3 -rwx 2072 Mar 1 1993 00:04:05 +00:00 private-config.text 4 -rwx 33509312 Jun 20 2023 17:15:23 +00:00 c3750-ipbasek9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin 5 drwx 192 Mar 1 1993 00:05:42 +00:00 c3750-ipbasek9-mz.122-55.SE10 ...

Step 5: Configure the boot variable to load the new IOS image on startup

To make the switch load the new IOS image on startup, you need to configure the boot variable with the name and location of the new IOS image file. To do this, enter the conf t command to enter global configuration mode, and then enter the boot system flash: command, where is the name of the new IOS image file. For example:

Switch#conf t Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z. Switch(config)#boot system flash:c3750-ipbasek9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin Switch(config)#end Switch#

To verify that the boot variable is set correctly, enter the show boot command. You should see an output like this:

Switch#show boot BOOT path-list : flash:c3750-ipbasek9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin Config file : flash:/config.text Private Config file : flash:/private-config.text Enable Break : no Manual Boot : no HELPER path-list : Auto upgrade : yes Auto upgrade path : NVRAM/Config file buffer size: : 524288 Timeout for Config Download: : 0 seconds Config Download via DHCP: : disabled (ne


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