How to Unlock Cisco Transceivers

unlock cisco transceivers

Some designers want to know how to unlock Cisco transceivers so they can be used in conjunction with other manufacturer parts. When Cisco equipment will only work with Cisco SFPs, it can be fairly difficult. That’s why the unlocking process is so important. If your SFP malfunctions, you’ll need to replace it, and you may have to unlock it to determine how. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering unlocking your device.

Read the Caveat Emptor Message Written by Cisco
Cisco has the right to withhold support under warranty. This means that if you unlock a device, it still may not be upheld or protected by the warranty. This is why it’s important to know what consequences you’re facing if you decide to unlock a device. If you unlock a device and use it in conjunction with non-Cisco parts and there is a support issue, Cisco may require you to purchase all Cisco devices and check the design for operability before seeking their help.

If the warning signs do not frighten you, you can proceed and type in this line:

“no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid”

If you get an error, you should try another method:

“%PM-4-ERR_DISABLE: gbic-invalid error detected on Gi1/0/1, putting Gi1/0/1 in err-disable state which means the SFP is just not compatible”

Issues Possibly Associated With Cisco Devices
Often, this method of unlocking will work well for fiber SFPs, but will fail with copper SFPs. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of all of the different unlocking procedures. Cisco-registered SFPs will save you money and time, but you’ll pay a little more for these devices than other devices.

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If you want to know more about these devices, you should consider contacting an expert who can help you learn more about unlocking these devices. It does require some technical knowledge so that you can insert the code properly, but most people can insert it with ease. You should try it yourself first. Seek help if you have complications.

Benefits of Unlocking Cisco Transceivers
If you choose to unlock your Cisco transceiver, you’ll need to follow the instructions and find the best code that will work for you. If you’re confused, there are several listed online and most of them will work. You can always hire a professional if you’re not sure how to complete the process successfully.


Unlocking a Cisco transceiver will allow you to take advantage of the reliability and flexibility of the Cisco design while using alternative OEM parts to complete the design. Most often these alternative OEM devices are more affordable than Cisco transceivers, but using the two together can provide the level of security and functionality that is desired by designers.

When you’re not inhibited by locked devices, you can determine which manufacturer will work best for your design. Most people are not aware at how the smallest specification differences can affect a design. This is why it’s best to keep all your options open until you find the best one for you.

Just as a consumer wants to have options about their carrier when selecting a cell phone, designers want the same type of flexibility with Cisco transceivers. That’s why you should unlock your devices and expand your options to ensure that your designs operate at optimal speeds. Most designers have few difficulties unlocking their devices and are pleased with the results.

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