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Cisco ACS Recovery Procedure


In this post we will cover the recovery procedure steps of a Cisco Secure Access Server ACS. We assume you have the ACS Recovery disc and that you have physical access to the appliance.

Insert the recovery disc into the drive and boot the ACS appliance. Select the first option if you access the box with a keyboard and a monitor:



The system formats the file system and copies necessary packages:



At the prompt, enter setup


Configure all IP information:


Now the basic device configuration is restored. We will enable SSHd.

ACS-recovery-procedure-10We enable the GUI interface:


If we want to add GUI user accounts, it is done with the following command:


As we can see, the appliance shows an error message. It says it needs a valid license. This is because the GUI of the ACS appliance is only accessible after we install a license that is generated from the Product Activation Key.

Let’s say at this stage we have configured an ip address. We will use it to access the GUI interface.

When we access the GUI, ACS prompts for a username and a password. For a fresh install here are the default credentials:

username: ACSAdmin

password: default


Once you get past this menu, ACS requests a license file:


This license should have been generated out of the PAK. The PAK is written on a sheet of paper that should have come with the product.Unfortunately, if you don’t have the right PAK, you can not generate the license:


I’m going to skip this step because I don’t have a valid license.

Once you finish the configuration, save the configuration with write mem and halt the appliance with halt:


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