Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quickly convert your Cisco 1131 autonomous AP to lightweight

I've always been a proponent of priming your APs on the bench before deployment.  It is much easier to iron out any issues while you have all your troubleshooting gear at your fingertips.

I recently found myself being handed a batch of  "lightweight" 1131s to install at a new site (at the last minute), where only the AP VLAN existed. 

After installing the APs and patching, I noticed the LED came up green when it booted, but that was all.  After calling someone and having them issue "show cdp neighbor" on the CLI of the switch, my theory ("AP" on all interfaces where APs were patched) that the APs I had been handed were autonomous was confirmed.

The new site didn't have Internet access, so off I went to find it. I knew if I could quickly get the right image on the APs, they would boot up just like the do out of the box, hit the controller and download the code from the controller.  It was either that, or drive several hours back to the main office and prime them like I normally do.

After spending an hour or so researching, I figured out the easiest way would be to simply tftp a later autonomous image to the AP directly from my laptop, reboot the AP, then tftp the lightweight image to it, install it back up on the ceiling and let the infrastructure do the rest.

Here are the steps to do the job quickly:

*download these two files from CCO first and place in your tftp root directory*


1.  Set laptop wired interface to, connect AP to Laptop via ethernet ports

2.  Console into AP from laptop

3.  Hold mode button in and connect power brick, I held it for 30 seconds and released it.

4.  "Console in" -- default username and password is Cisco/Cisco

5.  Paste this into your AP:

interface BVI1
ip address
no ip route-cache
no shut

6.  Start your tftp server application on your laptop

7.  Paste this in:  archive download-sw /overwrite tftp://

8.  Watch the console output...  when finished, reboot the AP

9.  Log back in to the AP, then paste this in: 
archive download-sw /overwrite /force-reload tftp://

Notice the spaces before the slashes this time.  For some reason the syntax changed slightly and required spaces.

10.  The AP will reboot and not find the controller because it is attached to your laptop.  Go install the AP and plug it in, and if the infrastructure is configured properly, it should get the download the same code the controller is running and then start broadcasting the WLANs in the default AP group.