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I have a cisco 7206 that terminates a bunch of pppoa sessions for dsl users. Today I noticed that if I tried to "show run" nothing happened. I mean that it doesn't show anything and just sends me right back to the command prompt. I decided I should probably try and back up the config and that is where I'm stuck. Any time I try to copy the running-config to tftp or to pcmcia card that I know is not full I get the following error:

%Error opening system:/running-config (Bad file number)

I get this error when I try to do anything with the running config. I've been googling around, but I haven't found any thing else that talks about this error. I've seen people say to erase the nvram and then try to "copy run start", but I don't want to erase the nvram until I can pull off a copy of the running-config. I would try to reboot it, but the startup-config that is on the nvram looks to be woefully out of date (good job me!).

Any ideas what might be wrong? or how I can get the running config off the router?

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This sounds like there is something going on with your flash/memeory. can you dir system: ? can you copy the startup-config off to tftp (at least if the systems does go down hard you'll have somewhere to go from).

Also i would open a TAC case.

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This could be indeed a hardware fault (memory/flash), but this also looks like ios bug CSCek71149.

"Error getting file system status (Unknown error 0) or (Bad file number)" was observed when issue "dir "

Note that the rest of file systems have no problem (ie. dir nvram/flash/usbtoken0:... etc)

Check on cisco's bug toolkit if the IOS you're running is in the list of the affected versions, and upgrade to the latest version. It was corrected in 12.4.15T5 and respective other feature sets.

By the way, if you open a cisco TAC case, they'll tell you first to upgrade it, and see if it happens again.

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I have very limited experience with this, but maybe something I say will point you in the right direction.

First, I'd disconnect everything from the router except your connection for the command prompt.

Then, I'd reboot the router and attempt every command that allows you to display or edit the running-config.

If you can display it, you can pipe it to a file.

I know this all sounds pretty obvious, but who knows... maybe something I said helped.

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no no no this sounds like the internal memory going south a reboot could possible hose the system making it completely unusable not just unable to read the running config. – Zypher Aug 5 '09 at 19:45

If you have a SNMP RW community configured on the router, you could try getting if off that way. SolarWinds has tools that can do this or you can try Billy the Kids SNMP tool and I'm sure there are others that someone could point you to.

It sounds like your running config may be corrupt in some way or that the router has suffered a soft crash -- enough to affect normal operation but not enough take take it down completely. A reboot may fix this but of course you will lose any changes since the last save.

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as far as I can tell, normal operation of the router has not been affected. I'll try enabled snmp rw and see if I can get the config off like that. – jasondewitt Aug 6 '09 at 3:14
Those tools will not help. All they do is use the cisco-config-copy MIB to trigger the equivalent copy command. If copy running-config tftp fails, so will those programs. – Justin Apr 25 '10 at 6:01

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