Dell PowerConnect 7048
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Firmware - Images - Configuration

Access via the GUI is here: System, File Management (upload and download are from the Switches perspective)

Image1 and Image2 is the Firmware (the term Image and Firmware is essentially inter changable). Active Image refers to the running firmware and BackUp Image refers to the "not running" firmware. Firmware upgrades work as follows;

  • New Firmware? When any new firmware is installed, it overwrites the BackUp Image. And upon reboot, the old image is used until the new image is activated.

startup-config and backup-config are where the settings. "Running Config" is a third storage area where changes are made to the Switches while it is running. This means that the SAVE Button needs to be clicked for the modifications to be saved to the startup-config file. This is great when experimenting and a setting goes south. Just unplug it and back to the settings that worked. But if one makes some key changes and forgets to click the save button, there ain't no warning like in Microsoft Word where it asks if you want to close it without saving it. With the PowerConnect, settings are just lost.

Even though this is about a Dell PowerConnect 7048 Switch, it applies to a huge range of their switches in the PowerConnect series including the 2700, 2800, 3400, 3500, 5400, 5500, 6200, 7000, 8000, and 8100 series. It is not a step by step article on how to configure the device. This article is only about the cable. And the reason I'm writing this is because there was so little information available to me about the cable pin outs. Everyone wants to sell you a cable, but hardly anyone has information about the cable itself.

If you've purchased one of the above devices off of eBay the device probably is not set to factory defaults. And odds are the seller has no clue about the device at all, other than what they can sell it for. How do you know what the user name / password is, IP Address, or how to reset the unit to factory defaults? The answer is you have to connect into the device with an old fashion serial / terminal connection. Again, this is not a step by step on how to do that and is only focused on the cable.

I will give you a couple of hints if you want to reset it. Once you're in the boot menu, select item 10 to reset it to factory defaults. And after it is reset, be patient during the next boot. Wait for the "wizard" to appear and set the user name / password and out of band IP Address. Once that's done, you can access the device with a web / GUI interface by connecting the "out of band" port to another switch or directly to a computer.

In short, the cable is an "RJ45 rollover cable" ( Technically RJ45 is not correct in this case, 8P8C is the correct term ( It's the same cable Cisco uses to connect to most of its routers.

Useful information about the cable:

Useful information about the serial port settings:

Pin out Information;

DB9 8P8C (RJ45)

1 Not Connected

2 3

3 6

4 7

5 4 and 5

6 2

7 8

8 1

9 Not Connected