www.neil.blog memo to myself. do the dumb things i gotta do. touch the puppet head.

February 28, 2017

Cisco Catalyst switch software upgrade hangs at Extracting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — npd @ 11:03 am

While upgrading the software from 12 to 15 last week on a Catalyst 2960-X over TFTP, I noticed that the upgrade hung at “Extracting” for a very long time. I had just finished a similar update on a 2960S that was a few years older and did not notice a similar delay. 5 minutes passed and I started to get nervous. 10 minutes later I started Googling to see if this is normal. I didn’t find anything and wondered if something had gone wrong.

Of course, the prior action on the screen was this:

Old image for switch 2: flash:/c2960x-universalk9-mz.120-2.EX5
  Old image will be deleted before download.

Deleting `flash:/c2960x-universalk9-mz.120-2.EX5' to create required space
Extracting images from archive into flash...

So I was very nervous that any attempt to kick this thing back into action would leave me with no image on the switch. It’s 9pm on Friday night and I’d like to go home! After about 15 minutes of waiting, the rest of the process finally kicked back into action and showed this message on screen. Would have been helpful if it had come up when it was actually relevant!

Warning: Unable to allocate memory to display the tar extraction of files, however upgrade process is still continuing. If you would like to see the tar extraction output, try upgrading one switch at a time.
Installing (renaming): `flash:update/c2960x-universalk9-mz.152-2.E6' ->
New software image installed in flash:/c2960x-universalk9-mz.152-2.E6

In conclusion: don’t sweat it! It is normal for the Catalyst upgrade process to hang at Extracting.


  1. Thanks for the post Neil. I’m 12 minutes into it hanging on extracting to switch 4

    Comment by Adam — September 2, 2018 @ 10:02 am

  2. good god, just like you said, 15 or so minutes of anxiety and the warning message appeared. But then it hung on that warning message and I got two more as I waiting another 20 minutes. Finally, it finished. I appreciate your post, gave me hope, thank you.

    Comment by Adam — September 2, 2018 @ 10:39 am

  3. Thanks for sharing. I got hangs too. around 20minutes. Your post gave me hope and patience.

    Comment by Chris Fung — December 12, 2018 @ 2:07 am

  4. Thank you! I also had time to get nervous before finding your blog. With given patience it finally got going.

    Comment by Johnny — January 30, 2020 @ 9:06 am

  5. archive download-sw /overwrite tftp://

    c2960 stack 2 members

    FW update:
    start 16:23:00
    end 17:03:00

    reload after upgrade (boot image upgrade):
    start 17:04:00
    end 17:13:21

    Comment by Arie — February 4, 2020 @ 11:15 am

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