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This is the procedure we can use to upgrade the firmware of, for example, PowerConnect 5448 and PowerConnect 5424 switches.
You should have set up a tftp server in same network as switch admin ip is.
First, connect to to your switch via ssh or serial cable (COM) and enable privileged commands:
Copy new firmware from your tftp server:
# copy tftp://tftp_server_ip/switch/powerconnect_54xx-20046.ros image
# copy tftp://tftp_server_ip/switch/powerconnect_54xx_boot-2000.rfb boot
Now, you should view the new firmware image ready, but not active:
Select image-2 as active for the next boot:
|# boot system image-2|
The image is selected as active for the next system boot (note that the asterisk now is on non active text):
Now, we only have to reload the switch to boot with updgraded image.
In this way we can upgrade several switches and in all of them the switch configuration will be preserved.