Tag Archives: cisco firewall asa5520 ram failure

Cisco ASA 5520 Won’t Boot – Booting System, Please wait.

I recently had an extended power outage at work in which our battery backups ran out of power and took our network offline. After the power outage – the network started coming back online.

The Problem

While the entire network came online and I could access everything locally – I was no longer able to pass traffic to the outside world.

A trip to my network closet showed the status light on my Cisco ASA 5520 firewall was blinking a steady green. After hooking up the serial cable to the console port on the firewall and monitoring the boot up with Tera Term – I was greeted with a message, “Booting System, Please wait.” The startup never went any further than that message.

The Fix

I decided to take the top case off the fire wall to see what I could do to recover the config file. There are 16 screws across the top and on the side of the unit that are extremely easy to remove. Once inside – I saw two pieces of ram(same that is in a computer). On a whim – I pulled one of the ram chips out and powered on the firewall. Sure enough – the Cisco ASA 5520 was able to boot again.

Long story short – I had some ram from other computers that I was able to replace the bad memory and was back up and going! Took me the better part of a Saturday to get the school back online and saved the school about $6,000 at the same time!

This ended up being a very easy fix. The ram was as easy to replace as a computer! Plus, I had enough spare ram to actually give the unit an upgrade.