PowerConnect 6000 Series Update and Commands

If you've recently acquired a slightly older Dell PowerConnect 6000 Series Ethernet Switch, most of the documentation and commands one finds relates to the newer 7000 Series and up.

Below are the most common things and commands you'll need to do after buying a used switch.

General Notes

  • Cable to Use: DB9 Crossover / Null Modem
  • Serial Settings: 9600 8 1 No None (Baud Rate, Data bits, Stop bits, Flow Control, Parity)
  • PowerConnect Switches have two "disk drives" (image1 and image2), so in Windows, Linux, or PC parlance, it has "dual boot" capability.
  • In the Web Interface / GUI, the terms "Upload" and "Download" are from the switches perspective.

Show IP Address

  • show ip interface management (for a 7000 Series Switch the equivalent command is: show ip interface out-of-band)

Set IP Address

Change a User Name / Password

  • enable
  • config
  • show users (just to check and see what's configured)
  • username WhatEverUserName password WhatEverPassword level 15 (admin is the default user name, level 15 is the 'highest privilege' IE Administrator)
  • For a 7000 Series switch use the term privilege instead of level

Change Web Interface / GUI from HTTPS to HTTP

  • enable
  • config
  • ip http server

Why would this be done? Well, after a certain date in 2021, the HTTPS certificate is busted. That means no GUI access until a new certificate is installed OR access is gained via HTTP.

Upgrade Firmware

  • In Web Interface / GUI: System, File Management, Download, Firmware, TFTP, WhatEverIP, WhatEverFileName, BlankIfFileIsInRootDirectory

...the rest is from the command line

  • enable
  • show version (just to make sure the image got uploaded properly and to check which image it is currently booting from)
  • boot system image1 OR boot system image2 (depending on which image it is currently booted from, set it to the other one)
  • update bootcode
  • Router will reboot and install new firmware
  • show boot-version (just to make sure it finished the upgrade and booted to the expected image)
  • For a 7000 Series Switch: copy tftp://WhatEverIP/WhatEverFileName image (where image is the name of a file), boot system image# (where image# is the image that isn't the current one and is also the one that will be updated), update bootcode (answer yes to question and switch will reboot, update firmware)

Reset to Factory Defaults

  • enable
  • delete startup-config
  • reload (switch will restart)
  • StartUp Wizard will start after reboot

Enable SSH Access

  • enable
  • config
  • crypto key generate rsa
  • crypto key generate dsa
  • ip ssh server

Enable HTTPS

  • crypto certificate 1 generate
  • key-generate <512-2048> (the <512-2048> means pick a number like 512, 1024, 2048)
  • exit
  • ip https certificate 1
  • ip https server

"Restart" / "Reset"

...nope: reload

ENABLE via Telnet or SSH

When accessing the switch via ethernet through Telnet or SSH, the enable command will not work unless a password is set. Oh, unlike the serial connection the switch requres a password when "enabling", and if one isn't set, the enable command generates an error: Authentication failed.

In the GUI: System, Management Security, Enable Password: set a password (recommend it match the "admin" / root password)

Documentation Faux Pas

In the 3.3.18.1 ZIP file, there are instructions to upgrade the firmware. There are a couple of minor issues. On page 6, the 3. item will not work, even though the instructions say this is for upgrading any 3.x.x.x version firmware. Use the GUI to download a new image file.

And oddly, there's not mention of, "Oh, by the way, if the upgrade for the first image works and you want to upgrade the second image firmware, then 'rinse and repeat'." IE, do the entire upgrade process again after booting to the other image.