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Is it possible to make a Cisco router (2821 and 2811 model today, possibly any member of the 28xx or 38xx family in the future) use a config file on the compact flash card or a generic USB thumb drive as the startup-config (ignoring whatever is in NVRAM)?

I'd like to use this as a mechanism to get configuration information onto a router straight out of the box, without having to serial into the console port at all.

The config will be pretty vanilla stuff, IP and speed assignment for F0/0, T1 controller configuration -- nothing I would expect to require the "secure eToken" product.

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You still have to serial onto it to tell it to boot from CF - sorry.

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There is functionally called autoinstall that may be a workaround to your problem. Take a look to : This feature allow a router (or a switch) to load it's configuration from the network when there is no configuration file on the nvram. It's not what you want but you could have a process like this:
1) plug an ethernet cable on the switch
2) boot the switch
3) the switch take a dummy it's config using dhcp/tftp
4) on the dhcp/tftp server you can be aware that a switch as been booted by tracking logs file with a script. Make this script to connect on the router (you will always send the same dummy config with the same ip/login/password) and run the needed command to boot from CF then reload the switch

This need to plug a cable, but it's still easier than using the serial port.

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