How to upgrade the IOS version in Cisco switch C2960S

This article explains you how to upgrade the IOS version of your Cisco switch C2960S in only 6 steps:

  1. Get the IOS image
  2. Get the TFTP Server Application
  3. Take note of the current version IOS
  4. Copy the new IOS image to the switch
  5. Verify the new IOS image checksum
  6. Modify the boot image location


1.- Get the IOS image

The first thing you need to do is to logon to the Cisco Website with you cisco-id account and visit this link:

It is from there that you would be able to download the latest version of IOS version for the Cisco 2960S, the 15.0.2.SE11

Download Cisco IOS Image from Cisco website

Download the file to a location of your choice, or a computer where you can install the TFTP server program


2.- Get the TFTP server application

Next, visit this site ( and download the TFTP64 application, install it on your machine and configure it so that it points to the folder where you have the IOS image previously downloaded. In my example below I'm pointing to the folder F:\TFTPServerIOSBackup\IOS

Prepare the TFTP Server for the IOS upgrade



3.- Take note of the current version of IOS

This step is just done for documentation purposes, in case we need to roll back when you upgrade the IOS version. Run this command on the switch and take note of the current image that it has

#show version

Show version before you upgrade the IOS version in Cisco switch C2960S

Run also the command "dir flash:" to see if there is any other image on the switch from previous upgrades that you need to delete



4.- Copy the new IOS image to the switch

Run this command:

#copy tftp flash:

And when prompted, enter the IP address of the machine where the TFTP server is running, and paste the name of the new IOS image (that previously you would have copied to the clipboard), then wait for the file to be copied across

Copy ftfp flash to Cisco switch C2960S

Run "dir flash:" just to verify that you have both images in the flash storage



5.- Verify the new IOS image checksum

Visit the TFTP application, and ensure the copy process has been done successful and without errors, once it reaches 100% check the log tab to see if there is any errors

Verifying transfer of the IOS version

In addition, run this command on the switch to double-check that the new image has been copied correctly

#verify /md5 flash:c2960s-universalk9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin

If at some point the above command pauses, the image has NOT been copied correctly, and you need to do it again. Use CRTL+Z to come out, then use this command to delete the corrupted image and, guess what...try it again! 

#del flash:c2960s-universalk9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin



6.- Modify boot image

First of all, enable break at boot just in case we need it:

(config)#boot enable-break

To change the boot image, go to conf t and  type this: 

(config)#boot system flash:/c2960s-universalk9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin

 do a "show flash:" and a "show boot" to ensure the image is pointing to the right location, the save and reboot

(config)#do wr

(config)#do reload


Thank you for reading, and I hope this guide has helped you


London, 15 December 2017 


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