In preparation to try to attain my CCNA certification I will try to set up a little lab at home. I obtained two cisco 2500s - just the boxes (not even power cords) I was wondering where I can get help to set them up ? a website? what kind of connectors do I need?
First I need to check that they are in working order and that they were not diposed of because they are faulty - I need to know how to run diagnostics to verify that the check out OK (for that I need to know how to connect to the console port, what cable I need and how to remove any passwords that may prevent me from getting into them.
Then I want to connect them back to back to simulate one local and one remote and play around with them. Can anybody help?
First, aquire some power cords so you can plug them in and see if they power up.
Second, you will need a rollover cable, a DB-9 adapter (attach this to the COM port of your PC), attach the other end of the cable to the console port. (Note, a rollover cable is a type of null modem cable and are usually flat in order to distinguish from other Cat-5 cables).
Once you have aquired this and have the cables attached, you will need a terminal emulation program. There are many out there. I happen to use SecureCRT but you can use Hyperterminal, Putty, Terraterm, etc. You'll want to set it at 9600, 8, N, 1 in order to communicate with the routers.
When you are connected and have your terminal program open, power up the router. You will see console output. If passwords are configured, you'll need to do a password recovery. See this link for the password recovery procedures on a 2500 series:
Finally, if you want to connect the routers back to back you are going to need a DTE/DCE cable. Each end will connect to a serial port on the router. One side will be the DCE and the other a DTE. The clock rate will need to be configured on the interface with the DCE cable plugged in for the link to be operational.
Once you're into the router, get familiar with what is loaded on it. Do a "show version" This will tell you what version of the IOS you have loaded, how much RAM you have in the router and lots of other information. Once you know what version, you can look into the IOS configuration guides on Cisco's website.
You may also want to purchase a CCNA book to cover basics of navigating the IOS and doing configurations.