Reset Dell PowerConnect Switch with Serial Connection

I recently reconfigured one of my Dell PowerConnect 3548P switches to prepare it for another task.  To perform this task, I connected to the serial interface, logged into the CLI console with my terminal emulator and reset the device, and configured an ip address in preparation to use the web GUI.  Here’s how I performed these tasks.

Connect to Dell PowerConnect Switch Through Serial Interface

Connect the Serial Cable to the Rear serial port of the Dell PowerConnect Switch

Connect the Serial Cable to the Rear serial port of the Dell PowerConnect Switch

The first step is to find the serial cable that came with the switch, or any other typical serial cable.  Connect it to the back side of the Dell PowerConnect in the serial port interface as shown in the photo.

The other end gets a little more involved with today’s computers.  If your computer has a serial port, then you are in luck, connect it there.  If not, you will have to find a computer with a serial port, or get a USB to Serial adapter.

Tripp-Lite Keyspan USB Serial Adapter

Tripp-Lite Keyspan USB Serial Adapter

For this task, I used my Tripp-Lite Keyspan USB serial adapter which I plugged into my USB port and then connected the serial cable to the 9 pin male end of the Tripp-Lite Keyspan adapter.  You can see how it connects in the photo.

Next, find a terminal emulator that will recognize your serial port.  Typical terminal emulators are putty or hyperterm on Windows workstations. I used Zterm on my Mac OS X box.

This leads to the next step.  You will need to configure your terminal emulator’s line settings to 9600,8,n,1.  You can see the settings below that I found configured in my Dell PowerConnect switch:

console> show line
 Console configuration:
 Interactive timeout: 10 minute(s)
 History: 10
 Baudrate: 9600
 Databits: 8
 Parity: none
 Stopbits: 1

This should get you connected to serial console.

Reset Dell PowerConnect Switch to Factory Settings

The next step after connecting with the terminal emulator was to reset the switch to factory default settings.  We do this by deleting the startup-config file and then reloading the switch as shown below:

console> en
console# delete startup-config
console# reload

This will reset the switch to factory default settings.  Now, it’s time to configure it with an address:

Assign Ip Address to Dell PowerConnect Switch VLAN 1 Interface

The next step that I took was to assign an IP Address to the VLAN 1 interface.  First, I just checked to see if an address was assigned already:

console> en

console# show ip interface

  Gateway IP Address        Activity status       Type
----------------------- ----------------------- --------

      IP Address                I/F            Type
----------------------- -------------------- ---------

Nope, no addresses configured on any interface.  So let’s configure one:

console> en
console# configure
console(config)# interface vlan 1
console(config-if)# ip address 
console(config-if)# ip default-gateway

Now, we make sure that it took:

console(config-if)# exit
console(config)# exit
console# show ip interface vlan 1

  Gateway IP Address        Activity status       Type
----------------------- ----------------------- --------                Active                  static

      IP Address          Type
----------------------- ---------             Static

Enable WebGUI Admin User on a Dell PowerConnect Switch

Dell_PowerConnect_WebGuiAt this point, I plugged in an ethernet cable from my workstation to interface e1 of the switch.  I configured a static address on my workstation and verified that I could ping the switch’s VLAN 1 IP Address.  I then took my browser and directed it to the switch’s ip address.  I found that while I could browse to it, I couldn’t login.

So, back to the serial console to enable an admin user for login to the web gui.

console> en 
console# config 
console(config)# ip http authentication local 
console(config)# username admin password mypassword level 15

That did it.  I returned to the browser and am now able to login successfully with the web gui to complete my configuration!

At this point, I don’t want to lose any of the work that I have done on my PowerConnect switch, so I will now save my work by copying the running-config to the startup-config.

console> en

console# copy running-config startup-config
Overwrite file [startup-config] ?[Yes/press any key for no]....01-Jan-2000 01:38:40 %COPY-I-FILECPY: Files Copy - source URL r
unning-config destination URL flash://startup-config
01-Jan-2000 01:38:47 %COPY-N-TRAP: The copy operation was completed successfully
Copy succeeded

That’s it.  My Dell PowerConnect switch is configured with a new ip address on VLAN 1, and I can login successfully using my browser.  I am now ready to add any site-specific configuration that I need for my specific needs.


Where to Get More Information on Dell PowerConnect Switches

Dell PowerConnect 3500 Series Specification Sheet:

Dell Networking 3500 Series:

Dell PowerConnect 3500 Getting Started Guide:

Dell PowerConnect 3500 User’s Guide:

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Jeff has 20 years of professional IT experience, having done nearly everything in his roles of IT consultant, Systems Integrator, Systems Engineer, CNOC Engineer, Systems Administrator, Network Systems Administrator, and IT Director. If there is one thing he knows for sure, it is that there is always a simple answer to every IT problem and that downtime begins with complexity. Seasoned IT professional by day, Jeff hopes to help other IT professionals by blogging about his experiences at night on his blog: You can find Jeff on or LinkedIn at: LinkedIn or Twitter at: Twitter

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1 comment for “Reset Dell PowerConnect Switch with Serial Connection

  1. Thomas
    December 4, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for the helpful info Jeff!

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