They say that you get what you pay for! In the case of the best-selling Cisco 2960 switch, a reliable enterprise-grade Ethernet switch with a lifetime warranty, the quality does come with a price. It makes sense for a buyer to look around for a used model.
When buying a used switch, you may face a problem if the seller has forgotten to reset his password. Luckily, recovering the password on this switch is straightforward. You can interrupt the boot sequence during the power-on, and then assign a new password.
However, if this functionality is disabled, you'll only be able to recover the password by agreeing to lose your old configuration: in that case, the system configuration will be restored to factory settings. The password recovery process on Cisco 2960 switches will differ depending on whether the password recovery is enabled or disabled.
On the other hand, you can very easily reset the password on your Cisco 2960 switch to default. Be aware that while rather uninvolved, the reset procedure reverts your switch back to its factory settings: all your settings will be wiped out, not only the old password! This procedure only works if you have physical access to the device. The auto setup should be disabled.
First, power off your Cisco 2960 switch by unplugging its cord. As you reconnect the switch to the power source, press and hold the "Mode" button. On Cisco 2960 switches, this button is located on the front of the switch, on the left hand side.
After three seconds, the LED above the button should change from amber to green and start blinking. You are supposed to hold down the button until the light stops flashing. Release the button.
Congratulations, you have just reset your Cisco 2960 switch! The password is now set back to factory defaults.
Obviously, you should only use this procedure if you don't care for the current configuration, because you'll lose your configuration in the process of password recovery! The old configuration will get renamed ".old".
This reset procedure can come in handy in those cases when you need to move a switch from one network to another, or when a configuration has become too complex, and you'd want a fresh start.
The default password for Cisco 2960 switches is "cisco", and the username is also "cisco".
Now that you've had successfully recovered your Cisco 2960 switch password, don't leave it as a default for too long. Hackers know these default passwords too, and may try to use them to access your device and change your network settings. To prevent the unauthorized access to your network, change the default password as soon as possible.