Is it possible to load cisco ios 15.x into an old 2960 or 3560? I tried to do that (study purpose) and it's throwing an error. The error I see apparently has to do while decompressing the image or at least that's what I see. Is it because the boot loader (version 12.2) is unable to handle the new image? Any pointers will be appreciated if it can be made to work.

Below is the output from 2960

**Switch#show version**

Cisco IOS Software, C2960 Software (C2960-LANBASE-M), Version 12.2(35)SE5, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Copyright (c) 1986-2007 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Thu 19-Jul-07 20:06 by nachen
Image text-base: 0x00003000, data-base: 0x00D40000

ROM: Bootstrap program is C2960 boot loader
BOOTLDR: C2960 Boot Loader (C2960-HBOOT-M) Version 12.2(25r)SEE1, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)

Switch uptime is 1 minute
System returned to ROM by power-on
System image file is "flash:/c2960-lanbase-mz.122-35.SE5/c2960-lanbase-mz.122-35.SE5.bin"

cisco WS-C2960-24TT-L (PowerPC405) processor (revision D0) with **61440K/4088K** bytes of memory.
Processor board ID FOC1201X3F7
Last reset from power-on
1 Virtual Ethernet interface
24 FastEthernet interfaces
2 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces
The password-recovery mechanism is enabled.

64K bytes of flash-simulated non-volatile configuration memory.
Base ethernet MAC Address       : 00:1F:26:E9:83:80
Motherboard assembly number     : 73-10390-04
Power supply part number        : 341-0097-02
Motherboard serial number       : FOC12012A23
Power supply serial number      : AZS115203QK
Model revision number           : D0
Motherboard revision number     : A0
Model number                    : WS-C2960-24TT-L
System serial number            : FOC1201X3F7
Top Assembly Part Number        : 800-27221-03
Top Assembly Revision Number    : B0
Version ID                      : V03
CLEI Code Number                : COM3L00BRB
Hardware Board Revision Number  : 0x01

Switch   Ports  Model              SW Version              SW Image
------   -----  -----              ----------              ----------
*    1   26     WS-C2960-24TT-L    12.2(35)SE5             C2960-LANBASE-M

Configuration register is 0xF


**Switch#show flash**

Directory of flash:/

    2  -rwx        1373   Mar 1 1993 00:47:09 +00:00  config.text.old
    3  -rwx    13475840   Mar 1 1993 00:11:07 +00:00  c2960l-universalk9-mz.152-5c.E.bin
    5  -rwx         556   Mar 1 1993 03:00:01 +00:00  vlan.dat
    6  -rwx        1204   Mar 1 1993 02:39:44 +00:00  myconfig.txt
    7  drwx         192   Mar 1 1993 00:06:12 +00:00  c2960-lanbase-mz.122-35.SE5
  626  -rwx           5   Mar 1 1993 00:04:12 +00:00  private-config.text
  628  -rwx        1259   Mar 1 1993 00:04:12 +00:00  config.text

32514048 bytes total (10697728 bytes free)

**Switch#dir nvram:**

Directory of nvram:/

   61  -rw-        1259                    <no date>  startup-config
   62  ----           5                    <no date>  private-config

65536 bytes total (64220 bytes free)

---------CHANGE THE BOOT OPTION-------------------

Switch(config)#boot system flash:c2960l-universalk9-mz.152-5c.E.bin**

---------AFTER RESTARTING-------------------------

Initializing Flash...
flashfs[0]: 607 files, 19 directories
flashfs[0]: 0 orphaned files, 0 orphaned directories
flashfs[0]: Total bytes: 32514048
flashfs[0]: Bytes used: 21816320
flashfs[0]: Bytes available: 10697728
flashfs[0]: flashfs fsck took 11 seconds.
...done Initializing Flash.
Boot Sector Filesystem (bs) installed, fsid: 3
Loading "flash:c2960l-universalk9-mz.152-5c.E.bin"...uncompress: Unknown mzip segment type: 3

Error loading "flash:c2960l-universalk9-mz.152-5c.E.bin"

Interrupt within 5 seconds to abort boot process.
Loading "flash:/c2960l-universalk9-mz.152-5c.E.bin"...uncompress: Unknown mzip segment type: 3

Error loading "flash:/c2960l-universalk9-mz.152-5c.E.bin"

Interrupt within 5 seconds to abort boot process.
Boot process failed...

The system is unable to boot automatically.  The BOOT
environment variable needs to be set to a bootable
  • 3
    It seems you are trying with a wrong file. Where did you get the IOS file from? There's a 15.X version available for WS-C2960-24TT-L but it is c2960-lanbasek9-mz.150-2.SE11.bin (or .tar)
    – JFL
    Sep 2, 2018 at 13:33
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Dec 25, 2018 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


There are different models within the 2960 series. Looking at your "sh version" output you have WS-C2960-24TT-L. According to the Cisco website the latest IOS you can get for this is 15.0.2-SE11.

You are trying to install an c2960l-universalk9-mz.152-5c.E.bin image for 2960l switches. This will not work.

Same for other switch series, e.g. 3750*.

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