Change switch branding from H3C to HP

If you still have some original H3C branded switches in your network, it is possible to re-brand them to HP, so they will be recognized as the HP counter-part of the H3C model.

To change the brand, use the brand command in the user-view of the system. Make sure some recent firmware is available, since the brand command was not included in the original H3C firmware. This is an example on the 5800 switch:

Original device version information

<5820-1> display version
H3C Comware Platform Software
Comware Software, Version 5.20, Release 1808P23
Copyright (c) 2004-2014 Hangzhou H3C Tech. Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.
H3C S5800-32C uptime is 0 week, 0 day, 5 hours, 59 minutes

H3C S5800-32C with 2 Processors
512M    bytes SDRAM
4M      bytes Nor Flash Memory
512M    bytes Nand Flash Memory
Config Register points to Nand Flash

Hardware Version is Ver.B
CPLD Version is 003
BootRom Version is 220
[SubSlot 0] 24GE+4SFP Plus Hardware Version is Ver.B
[SubSlot 1] No Module


Update the brand to HP and reboot

<5820-1> brand hp
 Configuration will take effect after next reboot.
 Do you want to continue? [Y/N]:y
 Configuration is successful.

<5820-1> reboot
 Start to check configuration with next startup configuration file, please wait.........DONE!
 This command will reboot the device. Continue? [Y/N]:y
#Apr 26 18:00:18:848 2000 5820-1 DEVM/1/REBOOT:
 Reboot device by command.

%Apr 26 18:00:18:948 2000 5820-1 DEVM/5/SYSTEM_REBOOT: System is rebooting now.
Press Ctrl+D to access BASIC BOOT MENU
Press Ctrl+T to start heavy memory test

*                                                                              *
*                   HP A5800-24G Switch BOOTROM, Version 220                   *
*                                                                              *
Copyright (c) 2010-2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

Updated device version information

<5820-1> display version
HP Comware Platform Software
Comware Software, Version 5.20.105, Release 1808P23
Copyright (c) 2010-2014 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
HP A5800-24G Switch uptime is 0 week, 0 day, 0 hour, 2 minutes

HP A5800-24G Switch with 2 Processors
512M    bytes SDRAM
4M      bytes Nor Flash Memory
512M    bytes Nand Flash Memory
Config Register points to Nand Flash

Hardware Version is Ver.B
CPLD Version is 003
BootRom Version is 220
[SubSlot 0] 24GE+4SFP Plus Hardware Version is Ver.B
[SubSlot 1] No Module


UPDATE 5/10/2015:

I just learned that changing the brand from e.g. an original 3Com branded chassis to HP also has the benefit of the licensing enhancement, since HP branded firmware does not require any licensing.

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6 Responses to Change switch branding from H3C to HP

  1. Jeff Carrell says:

    The ‘brand hp’ also works for some of the older 3Com branded switches. See chapter 35 of the “HP Networking and Cisco CLI Reference Guide, Version 2” for additional information of the effects of the brand command. See this post for more information about the HP CLI Guide –

  2. Michael M. says:

    Don´t “brand hp” a 3Com 2928/2952 SFP Plus to HP V1910G or “brand h3c” it to a H3C S5120-SI or you cannot use current software any longer (boot loop). And no, you cannot revert it back to 3com…

  3. Marcus Will says:

    Before updating 58×0 switch series to firmware level >= 1810p03 it is absolutely necessary to brand them to “hp”, otherwise the switch will fail to reboot. Afterwards they’ll be branded to “hpe” , which is the new value for the brand command afterwards -> “brand hpe”.

  4. John says:


    I have an HP 5120-48G-PoE EI switch that is still H3C branded. I read the port numbering order is not correct after re-branding and that it can’t use Non-HP SPF modules which makes me assume it can now, but I haven’t tried. I also think this may be old information and the incorrect port numbering order has been corrected.

    It’s hard to sort the information that became available as the changes were made. Is this information correct? Are the ports numbered according to the face numbers and can it use Non-HP SPFs?

    Also, I’m new to this level of networking having never used anything beyond a home type wired router/switch combo but it was very basic. It had a serial port but the commands were very limited. I read an awful lot before buying the HP because I wanted good L3 support. I also wanted an internal DHCP server which many don’t have until you go way up the ladder, price wise. I found a great deal on this switch, I couldn’t pass it up.

    I didn’t realize this model doesn’t have some of the more advanced L3 routing features such as OSPF, RIP and VRRP etc. I wanted to build a stand-alone IP network with sub-net based VLANs, which I was able to do. But I need a few more routing features from what I understand. I had Inter-VLAN communication and Multicast enabled for SAT2IP, but I couldn’t get internet from a router in bridge mode doing no routing what-so-ever. I had my default routes too ( for all of my VLANs. It’s exactly what I wanted but I couldn’t get internet to work on any VLAN.

    It’s just a port/cable like you’d plug into a dumb switch to be able to plug in more devices. I need the HP to handle everything. I can add another router, I have a nice MikroTik but I’d like to make it work without it.

    My last question has to do with your comment that re-branding had the benefit of license enhancement. What did you gain and do you know what I’ll gain or lose? Any chance of gaining commands without losing anything?

    Thank you.

    • Hi John,

      * 5120 has this funny (not) place for g1/0/1 (up/down inversed), but that is a physical aspect, this will not change with the branding.
      * non-HP modules could also be used in H3C brand IIRC, you just get these ‘unsupported’ log messages, so I do not believe this has changed with the branding
      * you basically only changed the brand (H3C>HP), so no new features/commands will be available, just the brand changed
      * this switch does not do NAT, if that is what you need for your internet connection. For NAT you must have a router (or sw based VSR)
      * this switch is positioned as access switch, so no advanced routing here. It is also based on cmw5 platform, so do not expect to get much enhancements anymore (all focus is on cmw7)
      * license applied to the (old) 3com chassis switch, does not apply to fixed port switches

      Hope this helps!

      • John says:

        Hello Peter,

        Thank you for the super quick answer. And yes, my ports are 1 on bottom, 2 on top, 3 bottom, 4 top, going left to right to 48 on top. I did read a brand migration guide that said your port numbers wouldn’t match the ones on the face and it was for the 5120. I do have another guide that doesn’t mention that. You can see why I’m confused.

        Page 5
        The order of its physical ports changes to be the same as on the HP switch chassis, and the port numbers marked on the 3Com chassis panel become useless. You must create a port number map between the 3Com switch and the HP switch and re-configure the ports. For the order of the physical ports on the HP switch chassis, see its installation guide.

        Click to access HPASeriesSwitchesBrandMigrationFeatureGuide.pdf

        I have my VLANs set up using the 3 groups of ports just as they are laid out, 1-16, 17-32 and 33-48 but they are not port based, they’re IP sub-net based VLANs. Why? To learn how but it works so well I left it that way. The first port of each group goes to a MikroTik RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN with wifi, but I use a Cisco 3502i AP for wireless. So each VLAN has their own port to the router and it works very good.

        It all started with two satellite receivers that do SAT2IP or SAT>IP, I still have a really nice, big old dish. I needed a network for all of that video and since I’m building it I went with a PoE switch so I can add anything I want to in the future, like the 3502 and cameras. But the fans! It’ll end up in the basement for certain. I didn’t realize they’d be that loud.

        It’s a little overkill really, but the price was right so I went for it. My wife was sure I lost it until she seen it working. Before, when the satellite receivers were on wireless, streaming HD video took out the whole network and the video skipped too, just a mess. Now I can stream from both receivers to any device without any problems, anywhere.

        I’ve been running Linux for years, been in computers for 35 years and love learning. But I’d never had the opportunity to get under the hood of a decent switch. I think I will replace it with something smaller, quieter and a little more advanced/energy efficient sometime in the future, but for now, it rocks. I’m just a tech junkie, knobs, buttons, whatever, I want one. I like to say I’ve been trying to electrocute myself since I was 8.

        I’ve read about VPNs forever but only in passing. Now that I know what they are I think my friends and I are going to set one of those up too. I just never got into networking beyond file sharing between upstairs/downstairs and I used an old D-link for years. But now everything is networked and along came these receivers so I expanded and had to learn all of this stuff. I’ve had and am having a great time, and thanks again for your quick reply. I’ll probably be dropping back in when I have time.

        Have a nice day,


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