AP541N drops all clients

Answered Question
Jun 21st, 2010

As I posted about in the other AP541N thread about degraded performance, mine did a strange client disconnect last week. It dropped all authenticated clients, but they all thought they were still connected. A quick disable/enable of the wireless card on the laptop would get the computer back on the AP.

This same thing happened again today.

Device information and configuration:

Device: AP541N

H/W: V01

S/W: 1.9.1

Wireless: Channel 11, Key Refresh: 0, WPA Personal, TKIP

Log shows all the clients authenticating earlier in the day.

Hours later, I get a rash of:

Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:cc had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:bb had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:aa had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:zz had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:yy had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:cc had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:bb had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:aa had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:zz had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:yy had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:13     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx had an authentication failure.

Followed by:

Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:cc IEEE 802.11: deauthenticated due to inactivity
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address 00:1b:77:94:dd:89 had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:bb IEEE 802.11: deauthenticated due to inactivity
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address 00:18:de:4c:fd:26 had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:aa IEEE 802.11: deauthenticated due to inactivity
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address 00:13:e8:f9:c9:f5 had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:zz IEEE 802.11: deauthenticated due to inactivity
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address 00:21:5d:36:3e:c4 had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:yy IEEE 802.11: deauthenticated due to inactivity
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address 00:16:6f:10:fb:9f had an authentication failure.
Jun 21 10:30:43     info     hostapd     wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx IEEE 802.11: deauthenticated due to inactivity

Cycling the wireless switch on my laptop yields:

Jun 21 10:33:41       info       hostapd       wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx WPA: group key exchange completed
Jun 21 10:33:41     info     hostapd     The wireless client with MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx has been successfully authenticated.
Jun 21 10:33:41     info     hostapd     wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx WPA: pairwise key exchange completed (WPAv1)
Jun 21 10:33:41     info     hostapd     wlan0: IEEE 802.11 STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx associated with BSSID xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:dd
Jun 21 10:33:41     info     hostapd     wlan0: IEEE 802.11 Assoc request from xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx BSSID xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:dd SSID MYAPSSID
Jun 21 10:33:39     info     hostapd     wlan0: IEEE 802.11 STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx deauthed from BSSID xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:dd reason 4

I changed the channel from 11 to 9, and started having this occur like mad. I've got it at 3 now. It was odd, as last week, this only happened once early in the week, and was fine for the rest. Same thing this week as far as it happening early in the week.....

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by streaves about 6 years 3 months ago

Thank you, Chris. I have notified the engineering teams. Your feedback will deifinitely help

us with a permanent solution.

Stephanie

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success2006 Mon, 06/21/2010 - 09:05

Thanks for your e-mail. I am on vacation and will respond on my return. If you need help in my absence, please call the office at 215-968-7577. Peter.

Christopher Adlam Wed, 06/30/2010 - 11:38

Just to update this. Since changing the channel, this has yet to happen again. So perhaps that was the fix. Quite bizarre.

Christopher Adlam Mon, 07/19/2010 - 08:33

Well, this has just happened again this morning. Same experience. Cycling the wireless switch on the notebooks reconnected them.

Christopher Adlam Mon, 08/02/2010 - 22:33

Had it happen again.

After a discussion with Cisco, I changed the config from WPA/TKIP to WPA2/AES to match my personal AP541 and have yet to have it repeat. This may have fixed it. Of course this would then also point to a software issue.

I'll be giving it a few weeks of testing to make sure.

-Chris

streaves Tue, 08/03/2010 - 15:53

Thanks, Chris. Please keep us informed on the results.

Stephanie

Christopher Adlam Wed, 08/18/2010 - 07:44

Two weeks and not a single drop.......

I'm going to say the change from WPA/TKIP to WPA2/AES fixed it.

So this would definitely be a software bug then.

-Chris

Christopher Adlam Wed, 09/01/2010 - 11:26

Stephanie:

We are now into September. Not a single disconnect since the security settings change. Can we flag this as some sort of software bug you guys can follow-up on? Since there was, and is obviously nothing wrong with the hardware. It works perfect with WPA2/AES.

-Chris

Correct Answer
streaves Wed, 09/01/2010 - 12:27

Thank you, Chris. I have notified the engineering teams. Your feedback will deifinitely help

us with a permanent solution.

Stephanie

streaves Thu, 09/02/2010 - 14:49

Hi Chris -- Our engineering team would like to get some more information from you on this issue and your experience. If you're willing to share, would you please send me email 'streavesatciscodotcom' and include your contact information?

Thanks,

Stephanie

cwilli01 Thu, 01/06/2011 - 18:58

Hi there,

Switching to WPA2/AES only didn't help me. Any other thoughts?

Christopher Adlam Thu, 01/06/2011 - 19:05

I would say your issue is different than mine then. This AP is used in a business environment and has ~20 PC's connected to it. Since the change to WPA2/AES, it hasn't dropped a single client and has been rock-solid.

Product Identifier:AP541N-A-K9
Hardware Version:V01
Software Version:AP541N-K9-1.9(2)
Serial Number:
Device Name:AP541N-A-K9
Device Description:802.11n Dual Band Access Point - Single Radio
System Uptime:139 days, 22 hours, 40 minutes
System Time:Thu Jan 6 2011 22:05:55 EST
cwilli01 Sat, 01/08/2011 - 06:53

FWIW I made two changes - either of which may have resolved the issue. So far no drops after about a day of limited usage.

The changes I made are:

-- disabled 802.11d regulatory support

-- switched from b/g/n to only b/g

I'm guessing it's moving away from N that fixed it but don't understand why that would matter.

anschackt Sun, 01/16/2011 - 07:10

I can confirm that switching from b/g/n to only b/g seems to have solved this issue for me too (I'm on the latest firmware).

brgds,

AS

mika_cesim Wed, 01/18/2012 - 12:20

I can confirm similar behavior with firmware 2.0.1, so this one is not fixed. It logs the same events as for the parent when the clients lose their connection.

I disabled WMM (in QoS). Yes, I know this is not nice performance-vise (max. 54Mbps for some clients), but our main point is reliability.

Disconnection used to happen multiple times a day with about 10 clients, but now we've run about a week without a single interruption.

We have WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES enabled for compatibility and radio in b/g/n mode, so the previous workaround in this thread are not in use. Regulatory domain is enabled.

I hope that Cisco will find a solution for this. I have always trusted their hardware and this is the first time I am having problem with them. Big problems: the AP does not work reliably with default settings, but requires tweaking.

nextstepsrl Wed, 02/08/2012 - 15:34

ap541n

i have the same problem with ap541n connect to uc500 with spa525g2

ap541n release 2.0.1

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Trondheim1 Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:37

We have two of these access points - and they both - but one a litlte less often than the other drops the connection with the log stating:

cisco IEEE 802.11 STA 88:53:2e:8e:01:84 deauthed from BSSID 64:ae:0c:ea:a9:30 reason 3

Where I understand from:http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/controller/3.2/configuration/guide/c32err.html

that error code 3 means: The access point went offline, deauthenticating the client.

This indicates that the cause may be in the network. We have had problems with all our routers and access points - which all behave similarly. What is so strange is that one should think this would also hit a client with a cabled connection - but it does appear to be so - or a cabled connection reestablishes itself so quickly that the client does not notice it.

The interval with which the writelss is dropping th econnection etc. varies. Sometimes - suddenly - it may last for a longer period of time. And then today Everything worked for at most 1 minute.

We have tried a lot of different variations, with or without authentication, channels, dhcp setting etc.  no help.

we have tried to connect it to many different switches - still the same trouble. Something really weird is going on - adn if you know it - please let us know.

I have exactly the same issue.  I only use one AP541N, no clustering, two VAPs.  Firmware 2.0.2 - full reset and reconfigure after install.

Configured for 2.4Ghz, WPA2.  I had it as TKIP+AES, but then after a bulk disconnect, I switched to AES only - today experienced another full disconnect.  Switched to TKIP only.

Every time this occurs, the event log is full of client's being "deauthed" - once this occurs, no-one can connect to the AP541N until it gets rebooted.  The time between disconnects is not constant, but it is definite.

Cisco:

What is going on here?  This device has been out for more than 2 years now, and these issues persist.  This is a business class product, and is very expensive - the level of service I receive from it should be better than the level of service received from a $89.00 linksys home access point - but it just isn't so.

When can we expect resolution?  Is there team allocated to get this product working correctly?  I have all cisco hardware in my network and if my experience with any of the rest of it was anything like this AP541N, I would have just used crappy linksys or netgear consumer grade product.

Please Advise,

Bob

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