Cisco ASA5500 Update System and ASDM (From ASDM)

Do the same from command line

KB ID 0000073 Dtd 11/01/12


Below is a walkthrough for upgrading the OS image and ASDM using the ASDM, this method does not require access to a TFTP server.


Before upgrading/updating the ASA to version 8.3 (or Higher) Check to see if you have the correct amount of RAM in the firewall ("show version" command will tell you). This is VERY IMPORTANT if your ASA was shipped before February 2010. See the link below for more information.

ASA - Memory Error (Post upgrade to version 8.3)

Warning 2:

Be aware, if you are upgrading to an OS of 8.4(2) or newer you can no longer access the device via SSH when using the default username of "pix" you need to enable AAA authentication for SSH, do this before you reboot/reload the firewall or you may lock yourself out.

ASA Enable AAA LOCAL Authentication for SSH


1. Firstly make sure you have the latest system and ASDM images on your PC, you will need a valid service agreement and a CCO login with Cisco to download them.

download asa software

2. Connect to the ASDM either via the client software or a web page pointed to https://IP_OF_THE ASA (NOTE you need to be on an IP that's allowed to connect to to the ASA.)

connect to asdm

3. Tools > Upload Image on Local PC.

upload image form pc to cisco

4. Select "ASA Image" > Browse Local.

5. Navigate to the ASA image file on your PC > Open.

browse laptop

6. Browse Flash.

upload form laptop

7. OK.

upgrade asdm software

8. Upload Image. > Go for a Coffee.

upload image

9. Halfway there > OK.

upload asdm

10 Configuration > Device Administration > Boot Image > Boot Config File Path Section > Browse Flash. NOTE on older ASDM's this is on the Properties Page.

boot variable

11. Select the new one.

upgeade ASA

12. File > Save running configuration to flash.

5500 save changes

13. Tools > Upload Image on Local PC.

file management ASA

14. Select ASDM Image > Browse Local.

asdm browse disk0

15. Locate the new ASDM Image on your PC.

upload to asa

16. Browse Flash.

asdm flash directory

17. Select the new one > OK.

asdm browse flash

18. Upload Image.

upload via asdm

19. OK.

upload to asa

20. Configuration > Device Administration > Boot Image > ASDM Image File Path Section > Browse Flash. NOTE on older ASDM's this is on the Properties Page.

asa change boot image

21. Select the new one > OK.

asa change os

22. Apply. (If you get an Error - see step 26).

apply changes

23. File > Save running config to flash.

save asa config

24. Tools > System Reload.

reload asa

25. Schedule Reload.

schedule firewall reload

26. Occasionally the Firewall will error, and the OS will not update, if this happens, either connect via telnet or the console cable, then issue the commands shown below. (substitute asa722-k8.bin for the filename you uploaded in step 7).

ciscoasa# conf t
ciscoasa(config)# boot system flash:asa722-k8.bin
ciscoasa(config)# reload
Proceed with reload? [confirm]

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Author: Migrated

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