3Com 4400 Switch Password Recovery and Factory Reset/Defaults

Here’s one from the history books. You are unlikely to encounter these switches, but if you do and wish to restore them to defaults, this will be your saviour.

Password Recovery

Use the password recovery method outlined below to reset the admin password.

1.Use a console cable to connect to the CLI, and enter username “recover” and password “recover” to place your unit in password recovery mode. The unit will remain in password recovery mode for a maximum of 30 seconds, before it returns to the CLI login prompt.

2. During the 30 seconds, perform a hard reset on the unit while it is still in password recovery mode by switching it off (pulling the power on it), waiting a few seconds, and switching it on again.

3. When the unit has rebooted following the hard reset enter a new password for the “admin” user account.

4. Enter enable to leave password recovery enabled, or enter disable to turn it off. You are now logged in as the default “admin” user. WARNING: If you enter disable here, you will not be able to perform password recovery again! I have not figured out a way to get around this… It is best to leave it enabled!
Reset Factory Defaults

Use admin login (not manager). Use procedure above if you have lost the admin username. The manager username does not have as much access rights to perform the steps below.

Once logged into the CLI, use command: gettingStarted – this will allow you to set IP address, amongst a couple other minor things. Follow prompts, and apply settings, reboot. Done.

For full factory reset/defaults, issue command: system, control, initialize. Then type Yes to proceed.

This is what you should see at the console.

Menu options: ————–3Com SuperStack 3 Switch 4400—————
initialize         – Reset to factory defaults
reboot             – Perform system reboot
softwareUpgrade    – Perform agent software upgrade

Type “quit” to return to the previous menu or  ? for help
————————————Stack 005 (1)———————–
Select menu option (system/control): initialize
WARNING: This command initializes the system to factory defaults (excluding
Management IP Configuration) and causes a reset.
Do you wish to continue (yes,no)[no]: yes

24 thoughts on “3Com 4400 Switch Password Recovery and Factory Reset/Defaults

  1. I have been searching for days to find a way to reset the 3C0m 4400 switch back to the default password and this one actually WORKS!! I have now reset several 3Com 4400 switches. Thank you!!

  2. Thanks from Mexico…. JIT jijiji u save me a lot of time this is not on user manual at least i dindt find it ….

  3. Could you please advice in case we want to recover the password for the 3Com 8800 familly.

    thank you very much for your help

  4. To recover a password on the 3Coms, get to the prompt for your username in password. In both of those fields, use “recover” (no quotes). It will give you 30 seconds to do a hard reboot. Unplug and plug it back in. It will prompt you for a new password.
    Hope this helps you aout kettani.

  5. I am struggling to configure 4400. it is not like 4500 where you have the luxury of typing command your self. in 4400 you only select the options and it is difficult to configure things like banner and supper password.
    please help if there is a way that i can configure 4400 by typing commands rather than selecting from the menu. Desparately need to do this to cover my deadline.

  6. Hi Errol. Unfortunately the 4400 do not work that way. It’s got an old menu style CLI where you do not get to type the commands in yourself.

  7. It’s the best working with a single cable USB to SERIAL. You have to use hyperterminal in windows (or other console command line interface).

    It’s working like a charm if recovery is ON. Unfortunatelly i have one switch with recovery turned OFF. Probably i need to upload new firmware, but still searching a solution how to do it without knowing the passwords.
    Any idea ?

  8. u can do this too:

    Connect the sw to the computer with the console cable.

    Start the putty for connection with the sw;
    turn on the switch;
    press control+B;
    press enter;
    press 7 (skip current config file) , enter, y, enter;
    press 0 (reboot), enter.

    After restart:
    press enter;
    user-group system
    local-user admin
    password simple “password”
    authorization-attribute level 3
    service-type telnet terminal
    local-user manager
    password simple manager
    authorization-attribute level 2
    service-type telnet terminal
    password simple monitor
    authorization-attribute level 1
    service-type telnet terminal

  9. I have 2 unit (3C17203) that will go in recovery mode and let me put in a new pass. but after reboot.. it was to no vial… it keep telling password wrong..

    after a init I tried admin / admin.. again without vial…

    Any tips?

    With regards,


  10. I still have about 100 of these switches deployed. Other than the fans dying, they’re pretty bulletproof, 100mbps is fast enough for our needs, and you can buy used replacements for a song! This post just helped me today.

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