Cisco ASA5520 stuck at Booting system, please wait…

Table of contents

  1. Booting system error
  2. Booting with 1 Gybte memory
  3. Memory replacement

Booting system error

I have two ASA-5520 firewalls running in an Active/Standby setup. One of them did not start and displayed the following message on the console during boot:

    Booting system, please wait...

From my experience, the message Booting system, please wait… can be caused by a faulty memory, and so I was going to check the hardware.

The ASA-5520 has four memory slots, where two of them are occupied and give the system 2GByte of RAM. I removed one of them, booted the ASA5520, and it came up as expected.

To cross-check, I removed the other memory, inserted the one I removed first and booted the ASA5520. Same error: Booting system, please wait…. Therefore I knew the memory I removed first is the faulty one.

Cisco ASA-5520 identifying faulty memory

Booting with 1 Gybte memory

By booting up with one memory installed (1 GByte instead of 2 Gbyte) the ASA5520 shows a warning that the memory requirements are not met to run with the ASA software I am normally running:

    Platform ASA5520

    Use BREAK or ESC to interrupt boot.
    Use SPACE to begin boot immediately.
    Boot interrupted.

    Link is UP

    MAC Address: hhhh.hhhh.hhhh

    Use ? for help.
    rommon #0>
    **                                                                     **
    **   *** WARNING *** WARNING *** WARNING *** WARNING *** WARNING ***   **
    **                                                                     **
    **          ----> Minimum Memory Requirements NOT Met! <----           **
    **                                                                     **
    **  Installed RAM: 1024 MB                                             **
    **  Required  RAM: 2048 MB                                             **
    **  Upgrade part#: ASA5520-MEM-2GB=                                    **
    **                                                                     **
    **  This ASA does not meet the minimum memory requirements needed to   **
    **  run this image. Please install additional memory (part number      **
    **  listed above) or downgrade to ASA version 8.2 or earlier.          **
    **  Continuing to run without a memory upgrade is unsupported, and     **
    **  critical system features will not function properly.               **
    **                                                                     **

Memory replacement

Because I do not want to downgrade my ASA software, I keep this one running in my Active/Standby setup and ordered a memory replacement, which will hopefully arrive soon.

And if you enjoy some hardware photos, here is one of my ASA-5520’s running as Active/Standby. Enjoy!

Cisco ASA-5520 Active/Standby