Blocking P2P traffic makes IOS update impossible

A while ago, one of my routine tasks turned into some serious mind cracking. I couldn’t copy a newer IOS version to a Cisco 1811 router via Internet – all kinds of connections were dropped at a certain point. The router was running IOS version 12.4(15)T8.

I’ve tried three different methods:

  • HTTP:
    Router# copy http://myiosserver.com/c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin flash:c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin
    Destination filename [c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin]?
    Translating "myiosserver.com"...domain server (A.B.C.D) [OK]
    Loading http://myiosserver.com/c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin !!
    %Error reading http://myiosserver.com/c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin (Broken pipe)
    
  • FTP:
    copy ftp://user:pass@myiosserver.com/c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin flash:c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin
    Destination filename [c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin]?
    Accessing ftp://*****:*****@myiosserver.com/c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin...
    Translating "myiosserver.com"...domain server (A.B.C.D) [OK]
    Loading c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin !!!
    %Error reading ftp://*****:*****@myiosserver.com/c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin (Connection timed out)
    
  • SCP:
    copy scp://user@myiosserver.com/c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin flash:c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin
    Destination filename [c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin]?
    Translating "myiosserver.com"...domain server (A.B.C.D) [OK]
    Password:
    Sending file modes: C0644 20462852 c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    %Error reading scp://*****@myiosserver.com/c181x-advipservicesk9-mz.124-15.T11.bin (Transfer aborted)
    

None of the above methods allowed me to successfully copy the BIN file from two different, independent servers. Ultimately it turned out that blocking P2P traffic (specifically eDonkey traffic) on the router’s WAN interface was the cause of the problems. Turning that feature off allowed me to successfully copy the file using all three methods described above.

It’s worth mentioning that the problem didn’t reoccur while running the updated software.

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