ScreenOS – Initiating Factory Default

ScreenOS provide two methods to reset a device to the factory default settings.

Hard reset (Pinhole reset)
Soft reset (Console login)

The pinhole reset method can be difficult to achieve if you do not have a console session going to see the prompts.  As the process requires two times holding in the reset button at the correct intervals.  This can be done by observing the lights but can be tricky to get the timing right.

The console login with the serial number is quite easy if the cable is available and the unit accessible.

Reset Disabled by Configuration

An important caveat to using these methods is that both of these reset functions can be disabled by a configuration statement.  And if the current configuration does disable the feature you cannot perform that type of reset.  Check for this in the configuration.

set admin hw-reset

Lost root login alternative

If you do not have the root login to the device but have another login, you have other options.

Reset the password of the root user if your account has permission, download the configuration and replace the root login statements with these default ones that will set the user/password to netscreen/netscreen. Then load and replace this configuration into the device.

set admin name “netscreen”
set admin password “nKVUM2rwMUzPcrkG5sWIHdCtqkAibn”


How to reset screenOS firewalls

If the reset is in a NSRP cluster use these instructions.

Originally Posted May 22, 2011
Last Revised on October 17, 2012