1st thing's 1st
You need to have CCO aacount to download the software
Login with your credentials to cisco website
Download the required next version of ios/firmware/bootloader
I required only IOS but having a latest boot loader is recommended.
Ftp access that supports files above 32MB
Direct console access
Console and Web user/pswd, mostly same unless modified, default username/password admin/admin
You should not move between major updates of any software in production environment.
If your version of firmware/boot loader is 4.0xxxx, you should not try to move to version 5.xxx.
First cross the .0 barrier for example move to next nearest version number to version 4.0 and before 5.0 for example between 4.1 to 4.9 and then you can update to version 5.0 -5.9 in next step.
This strategy is mostly common in all cisco softwares, especially when you cannot afford risks.
Always check "path to upgrade", it also helps you to move between major updates, but as I said this article is related to upgrading a device in production environment. If you have a testing environment you can make scenarios and test run,but real environment is critical.
Also check primarybootimage and backupbootimage on your cisco via console It is preferred to use console access because during updates controller restarts and you might loose web or related.
Console access is provided via direct serial cable
connect via com1 through hyperterminal with default settings(by pressing default button)
Also console access is preferred as you can see the updates during restart and apply any emergency boot in case anything goes wrong.
To see detailed view execute trace command on device.
By the way and its very important in web interface that when i say download its actually "upload from controller" and "download to our system".
You should go to upload option in web interface. Same holds for console as well.
Since all the steps is being performed via ftp "our connected machine" is called "server" or "ftp server"
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