Cisco ASA 5505 DIY RAM Upgrade

Output from a show version on my pet Cisco ASA 5505:

Hardware:   ASA5505, 256 MB RAM, CPU Geode 500 MHz
Internal ATA Compact Flash, 0MB
BIOS Flash M50FW080 @ 0xfff00000, 1024KB

So the ASA 5505 shipped with 256 MB RAM. Upgrading the Compact Flash card last week gave me the chance to have a quick shufti inside the chassis. There’s a single slot for a stick of RAM.

Interior of the Cisco ASA 5505

Interior of the Cisco ASA 5505

The original RAM is a stick of 184-pin SMART brand RAM which I can upgrade myself. I have lots of older RAM carefully pack-ratted away in a Wall-E-esque fashion, stuff that I’ve swapped out when upgrading other machines. Some of the stuff is bordering on antique, but I like to think I am less a-very-special-episode-of-Hoarders, and more why-do-you-collect-commemorative-NASCAR-china-plates.

A cursory snuffle through the search engines tells me the 5505 will probably take a stick of 184-pin 400MHz DDR RAM. Folks on the Interwebs report installing various brands of RAM in the ASA. Seems a bit hit-or-miss, though.

I have several sticks that might suit and I try them one at a time. The ASA is not happy with a stick of Kingston ValueRAM KVR400X64C3A/512 2.6V. All the green link lights at the rear flash on and off repeatedly like an ’80s disco.

ASA 5505 Rear Lights Bad RAM

ASA 5505 Rear Lights Bad RAM

The link lights at the front of the unit are flashing on and off as well, and the STATUS light is amber. Nothing comes up on my SecureCRT console.

ASA 5505 Front Lights Bad RAM

ASA 5505 Front Lights Bad RAM

And then, success on the second try! A stick of Nanya Super Elixir M1U51264DS8HC3G-5T, pulled from a Mac Mini when I did a RAM upgrade on it a while back.

After booting up, my ASA coughs up this result when I run a show version

Hardware:   ASA5505, 512 MB RAM, CPU Geode 500 MHz
Internal ATA Compact Flash, 0MB
BIOS Flash M50FW080 @ 0xfff00000, 1024KB

My pet ASA recognizes the 512MB RAM. Good little ASA, time for walkies!

Additional Information:

Show version command in the Cisco ASA 8.4 Command Reference.

Instructions for hardware installation in the CIsco ASA 5505, including removing the chassis cover from

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  1. mroks
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi can you tell me which version your asa is it show on a sticker at the bottom

  2. andinator
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    This totally worked for me, and saved me a good chunk of change! Thanks a ton!

    Oh, and while you are in there, it is child’s play to replace the clock battery with a brand new BR/CR2032 if you happen to have one on hand….

  3. Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    zKMX2g Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Thanks Again. Will read on
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  • By Setting up an ASA5505 - on May 17, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    […] unit lights and halted the CLI, which is indicative of a faulty Flash or DIMM memory module. I used this website as a reference, but basically I just needed to reseat my existing RAM which had come loose. Anyway, if your […]

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