Default Passwords for World Wide Packets/Lightning Edge Equipment

Bill Stewart nonobvious at
Wed Jan 13 01:50:37 UTC 2010

A password recovery method I've found very frustrating is to use the
serial number or similar value that's on a label on the bottom of the
equipment.  It's just fine for desktop hardware - but for rack-mounted
gear, it's not uncommon to find out that you need this information
*after* somebody's racked and stacked the hardware, and therefore you
either need to unscrew it (if it was screwed into the rack) or drag it
out (if it wasn't screwed in for some reason like missing
wing-brackets or 23-inch telco racks or random junk piled on top of
it, etc.), and possibly uncable it as well, depending on how much
slack is in the cabling, and you almost certainly want to power it
down first, and you need to have enough flashlights and reading
glasses to deal with reading the bottom of the equipment lying down on
the floor of the data center.

Yes, you *should* be able to find the serial number by looking in the
accurate complete up-to-date spreadsheet of equipment inventory
records, or at least the previous-user-printed Dymo-label on the front
of the box.  But if you had that quality of records, you  probably
wouldn't need to be running password recovery anyway.

(Disclaimer: I'm currently working in a development lab, not
operations, so ideally this doesn't reflect the state of our
production data centers :-)  Most of the time it doesn't reflect our
lab either, but occasionally it does, and of course loaner equipment
often arrives in random condition.

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