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For further clarification: I'm looking for some hardware way of factory-resetting a D-Link DGS3224TGR switch (as any terminal access to this switch is restricted by password).

There is no "reset" button on it; the user manual doesn't say a thing, and a service manual is not to be found.

This is no sketchy activity, I assure you; the thing is, that the previous network admin who knew the password, well, died (and thus took the password with him).

  • 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 could provide and accept your own answer. – Ron Maupin Aug 10 '17 at 1:49
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Try the following (quote from other D-link switch manuals)

  1. For security reasons, the Password Recovery feature requires the user to physically access the device.Therefore this feature is only applicable when there is a direct connection to the console port of the device. It is necessary for the user needs to attach a terminal or PC with terminal emulation to the console port of the switch.
  2. Power on the switch. After the boot image is loaded to 100%, the Switch will allow 2 seconds for the user to press the hotkey (Shift + 6 ) to enter the "Password Recovery Mode". Once the Switch enters the "Password Recovery Mode", all ports on the Switch will be disabled.
  3. In the "Password Recovery Mode" only the following commands can be used.

    • reset config
    • reboot
    • reset account
    • reset password
    • show account

The reset config command resets the whole configuration back to the default values, with the exception of the account settings. The reboot command exits the Password Recovery Mode and restarts the switch. The reset account command deletes all of the created user accounts. The reset password command resets the password of the specified user. If a username is not specified, the password of all the users will be reset. The show account command displays all previously created accounts.

if this doesn't work, contact D-Link. They know how to generate a password based on the MAC -- this you can learn from the notes on firmware 3.01.030:

Problems Resolved: Fix the security issues recently reported for unauthorized system access.

Enhancements: Limit the access by passwords generated by "D-Link PWD calculator". Before, if customers forgot their configured passwords, D-Link could generate passwords based on the MAC addresses provided by customers via D-Link HQ maintained PWD calculator. Thus customers can use those "backdoor" passwords via telnet/ web/ console to logon to their switch again. Now the access of those passwords generated by "D-Link PWD calculator" will be limited to console access only. This is to minimize the security concern.

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  • Nope, not working. The aforementioned approach may work on the newer models, whilst the DGS3224 does not even offer the 2-second window (the telnet iterface looks different and all). As for D-Link, the support for this model has been discarded (only a rather generic automatic questioner bot remains there). – Johnny Dec 18 '13 at 9:00
  • Did you try here support.dlink.com/search.aspx ? – chx Dec 18 '13 at 15:00
  • Indeed. When I mentioned the "rather generic automatic questioner" thing, I was referring to the link you provided. It fails to give any specific, meaningful answer on the topic of password reset. – Johnny Dec 21 '13 at 16:30
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I have a DGS-3224TGR switch that I bought second hand and had the same issue. I found in another forum how to correctly do the factory reset, and it worked for me. Here is what I found:

connect your switch to your computer and set it up for the basic 9600 for the CLI

once you see the switch starting to boot displaying the ...

Please wait, loading runtime image..................... 00%

hit SHIFT + 3 ( not NUM 3)

It will then ask to reset to factory settings.

NOTE if you hit Shift + 3 during the post it will only give you a shorter menu to flash new images onto it

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Parabéns!!! O procedimento abaixo funcionou perfeitamente no D-link DES-3250TG.

Please wait, loading runtime image..................... 00% hit SHIFT + 3 ( not NUM 3) It will then ask to reset to factory settings.

Grato,

Fernando.

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