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How to save and back up your configuration on Dell PowerConnect, Force10, and N series switches via CLI

Summary: How to save your configuration on Dell Switch, How to save config on Force10, How to save config on N Series, How to save config on PowerConnect

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Article Content


Article Summary

    This article explains the process, and importance, of saving your configuration and backing it up via CLI. 

    Table of Contents

    1. Save your configuration
    2. Back up your configuration to an external device
    3. How the switch uses it's configuration files
    4. Why and when to save and backup configurations

    Also See:  How to save and back up your configuration on Dell EMC N series switches via Web GUI

    Save your configuration

    To save your configuration, input the following command:

    console#copy running-config startup-config

    Note: On some older models, inputting copy run start instead of the full copy running-config startup-config will result in the switch creating a file named start, and not saving the configuration.

    Back up your configuration to an external device

    To back up your startup-config to an external device, input the following commands:

    This example uses the IP address for the TFTP server and filename backup.cfg

    console#copy startup-config tftp://

    Note: A TFTP server must be on the network, and the switch must be able to reach the TFTP server before you can back up your configuration.


    How the switch uses its configuration files

    All Dell switches covered by this guide have at least two configuration files. The startup-config and running-config. It is important to understand how these configurations are used and stored by the switch.



    • Stored in NVRAM
    • Because it is stored in NVRAM the switch will keep the startup-config even if the switch reboots or loses power


    • Stored in RAM
    • Because it is stored in RAM, the switch clears this file when the switch reboots or loses power

    When a switch powers on, it loads its startup-config file. From there it copies the startup-config file over a blank running-config file, since the running-config is lost after the switch loses power or reboots. From there, the switch runs and acts off its running-config. Any configuration changes on the switch is applied to the running-config, which is how most configuration changes take affect live without a reboot. Changes in the configuration are not written to the startup-config until you run the copy running-config startup-config command.


    Why and when to save and backup configurations

    Saving Configuration

    Saving configuration is crucial. It ensures the switch retains its current configuration in the case of power failure or reboot. Risks that can cause a switch to reboot unplanned include power outages, physical security breach, unforeseen circumstances.

    Backing up configuration

    A backup should always be performed before any of the following.

    · After configuring a new switch

    · Before a firmware update

    · Before changing a working configuration

    · Before replacing a switch

    · Before physically moving the switch

    · Before changing the hardware on a switch (Modules, cabling, power supplies)

    If a backup is performed at each of these steps, then if something unforeseen happens there is now a backup of the switch configuration. Instead of having to reconfigure the switch completely if the configuration is lost, you can now just upload the backup file to the switch.

    Article Properties

    Affected Product
    PowerSwitch N2000 Series, PowerSwitch N3000 Series, PowerConnect 3524, PowerConnect 3524P, PowerConnect 3548, PowerConnect 3548P, PowerConnect 5524, PowerConnect 5524P, PowerConnect 5548, PowerConnect 5548p, PowerConnect 6224, PowerConnect 6224F , PowerConnect 6224P, PowerConnect 6248, PowerConnect 6248P, PowerConnect 7024, PowerConnect 7024F, PowerConnect 7024P, PowerConnect 7048, PowerConnect 7048P, PowerConnect 8024, PowerConnect 8024F, PowerConnect 8100 Series ...
    Last Published Date

    10 Apr 2021



    Article Type

    How To