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New Member

Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP


1) Does anyone have experience with this procedure that they would be so kind as to share?

Is it easy? difficult?

Any glitches?

I have read the first few pages of the procedure.

2) Are there any differences between the AP you end up with after the conversion and the AP you would get if you ordered the LWAPP version of the 1131?

3) Roughly how long does it take per AP?

Regards, MH

Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

Hi Mark,

We have just started this in our lab in preparation for converting our Wireless network to LWAPP. Have a look below for what I have termed Tips, for some gotchas we discovered.The end product after converting from Autonomous to LWAPP is basically the same as an AP ordered with an LWAPP image. There is a large cost and time savings if you already have Autonomous AP's deployed in your environment.As for time, it takes about 15 minutes per AP if done 1 up, but I beleive you can actually do 6 AP's simultaineously.

Pre-stage Configuration for LWAPP Access Points

This feature simplifies the deployment of LWAPP access points in remote locations by adding a new set of CLI's to the Recovery IOS image. The static IP address, Netmask, Default gateway, and Primary Controller IP address may now be configured on the access point. Configuring the Primary Controller IP address will help the access point discover and register a specific Controller over the WAN links. In a deployment scenario where a DHCP server is not available in remote locations the CLIs may be used to configure the static IP address and the initial LWAPP controller information.

The new pre-stage CLI commands are listed and described in Upgrading Autonomous Cisco Aironet Access Points to Lightweight Mode. Click this link to browse to that document:

Special Notes

The following are special notes about Cisco IOS Release 12.3(11)JX upgrade and recovery software image:

Use the Autonomous To Lightweight Mode upgrade tool to load this image onto Cisco Aironet autonomous access points currently running Cisco IOS Release 12.3(11)JA or later.

From this good doc;Release Notes for Cisco Aironet 1100, 1130, 1200, 1230, 1240, and 1300 Series Access Points for Cisco IOS Release 12.3(11)JX1

http://full LWAPP image.


1. If you are using the internal TFTP server, make sure it is up and runnuing before you start the upgrade.(The Mini-IOS Image section refers to Cisco IOS Release 12.3(7)JX (available in the Software Center tables on loaded by the upgrade tool that allows the access point to join the controller. The tool provides two options for downloading the Cisco IOS Release 12.3(7)JX image: using the tool's internal TFTP server or using an external TFTP server.)

2. Time synchronization is very important (The System Time Details section provides the time setting that the upgrade tool uses to specify the start time and date of the self-signed certificates validity period. You have the option to select Machine Time, meaning the time configured on the computer which is hosting the upgrade tool, or you can specify a time. The controller time must be synchronized with this time setting so it can validate the self-signed certificates from the access point.

The WLC time should be synchronized with the machine that hosts the upgrade utility. The upgrade utility configures the access point to generate a self-signed certificate with a validity interval, beginning with the machine time of the utility host or a time specified at run-time. If the WLC time is outside the validity interval of the SSC, the access point cannot join the controller. To configure the WLC time, use the WLC web-interface found by choosing Commands > Set Time

3.Make sure that on the Controller (Under Security) that you have checked the check box to allow self-signed certificates before you start the upgrade.

Hope this helps! And good luck!


Please remember to rate helpful posts.........

New Member

Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

Very good information here. Have another area of concern, we are also converting over to LWAPP, but at this time we have to convert several LWAPP APs (ordered LWAPP) back to IOS, due to an expansion of an existing WLAN (all IOS 1200, 1230). Will we face any issues converting these 1242 APs back to LWAPP when we are ready for a full LWAPP deployment?

Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

Hi Kevin,

That shouldn't be any problem at all. We have performed both the upgrade to LWAPP and downgrade back to IOS on the same AP's in the lab. So if you need to deploy the 1242's for a period of time as Autonomous and then want to change them back to LWAPP you should be fine. Here is the process to revert the AP from LWAPP to Autonomous;

Converting a Lightweight Access Point Back to Autonomous Mode

You can convert an access point from lightweight mode back to autonomous mode by loading a Cisco IOS Release that supports autonomous mode (Cisco IOS release 12.3(7)JA or earlier). If the access point is associated to a controller, you can use the controller to load the Cisco IOS release. If the access point is not associated to a controller, you can load the Cisco IOS release using TFTP.

Using a TFTP Server to Return to a Previous Release

Follow these steps to revert from LWAPP mode to autonomous mode by loading a Cisco IOS release using a TFTP server:


Step 1 The static IP address of the PC on which your TFTP server software runs should be between and

Step 2 Make sure that the PC contains the access point image file (such as c1200-k9w7-tar.122-15.JA.tar for a 1200 series access point) in the TFTP server folder and that the TFTP server is activated.

Step 3 Rename the access point image file in the TFTP server folder to c1200-k9w7-tar.default for a 1200 series access point, c1130-k9w7-tar.default for an 1130 series access point, and c1240-k9w7-tar.default for a 1240 series access point.

Step 4 Connect the PC to the access point using a Category 5 (CAT5) Ethernet cable.

Step 5 Disconnect power from the access point.

Step 6 Press and hold MODE while you reconnect power to the access point.

Step 7 Hold the MODE button until the status LED turns red (approximately 20 to 30 seconds) and then release.

Step 8 Wait until the access point reboots, as indicated by all LEDs turning green followed by the Status LED blinking green.

Step 9 After the access point reboots, reconfigure it using the GUI or the CLI.

From this doc;

Hope this helps!


Please remember to rate helpful posts...........

New Member

Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

Thanks Rob, glad to know other folks are doing this as well.

New Member

Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP


1. Yes, do it as described in the Document. You should follow the Procedure Word by Word, check the requirements, especially the IP-Document with IP-Address, telnet username and password etc. I used the internal TFTP Server (shutdown WCS or other TFTP Server if installed).

2. Yes, the converted AP supports only 8 SSID?s. If you have done the Conversion, the AP?s Certificate is only registerd to the WLC you have converted with. Provide the Certificate to the other Controller(s), if necesserary (use WCS and the conversion outputfile).

3. if you have a working setup, approx. 10 to 15 minutes. If you have defined more than one AP?s in your IP-File, they will be converted sequentially, not simultaniously.

Regards, Michael


Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

New Member

Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

I was actually having the same problems, I tried everything in the documentation, and nothing worked until I used an external TFTP server. Once I changed that, everything worked fine!


Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

One of the gotchas is if you have a personal firewall running on the host machine. Those usually block TFTP. It's worth checking.

New Member

Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP


please be aware.

I have tried an update up to 3 APs in parallel.

But unfortunately only one AP worked well after the update, the other APs are not reacheable after the update. I have debugged the output, the reason for the failure was a wrong certificate.

I have tried the update once again with only 2 APs, the same problem.


Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

I am also trying to upgrade my autonomous 1231 to LWAPP. However, I am using 4012 for the testing but there is no SSC command for me to import the SSC to the WLC. According to the Cisco doc. the current LWAPP IOS do not support 4012, so it can't work.

Could anyone advise the successful case to upgrade the 1231 to LWAPP w/ 4012 WLC. If there is no solution, I have to get the new WLC ASAP.

Thx. in advance.

Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

Hi Jack,

You are going to be out of luck with the WLC 4012,but

you could order AP1000's that would work with the WLC 4012,have a look at this Product Bulletin No. 3058

The following Cisco Aironet access points have the ability to operate as autonomous access points or lightweight access points:

Cisco Aironet 1240 AG Series Access Points

Cisco Aironet 1230 AG Series Access Points

Cisco Aironet 1200 Series Access Points that contain 802.11g (AIR-MP21G-x-K9) and/or second-generation 802.11a radios (AIR-RM21A-x-K9 or AIR-RM22A-x-K9)

Cisco Aironet 1130 AG Series Access Points

Cisco Aironet 1100 Series Access Points that contain 802.11g radios (AIR-AP1121G-x-K9)

Cisco Aironet 1300 Series Access Points/Bridges (AIR-BR1310G-x-K9 or AIR-BR1310G-x-K9-R). A Cisco Aironet 1300 Series operating in LWAPP mode only operates as an access point. This series does not support LWAPP bridging mode.

The LWAPP-capable access points listed above can be ordered configured for lightweight operation, or can be upgraded from autonomous access point mode to lightweight mode using the Autonomous to Lightweight Mode upgrade tool. Orderable access points configured for lightweight operation contain an "LAP" prefix in the part number, such as AIR-LAP1310G-x-K9. Orderable access points configured for autonomous operation contain the standard "AP" prefix, such as AIR-AP1242AG-x-K9, or "BR" in the case of AIR-BR1310G-x-K9.

All lightweight access points must be used with a Cisco wireless LAN controller. It is not possible for an access point that has been upgraded to LWAPP to operate independently.

The Cisco Aironet lightweight access points listed above are supported on the following controllers that have the requisite memory to hold the additional Cisco Aironet access point image bundles:

Cisco 2000 Series Wireless LAN Controllers

Cisco 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controllers

Note: The Cisco 2000 Series Wireless LAN Controller is not equivalent to the Airespace 3504, which has insufficient memory to support the lightweight Cisco Aironet access point.

Cisco Aironet LWAPP-capable access points are not supported by the Airespace 3500, 4000, or 4100 Series, or the Cisco 4100 Series Wireless LAN Controllers.

Cisco 1000 Series Access Points will continue to be supported as lightweight access points communicating via LWAPP with Cisco 2000, 4100, or 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controllers or Airespace 3500, 4000, or 4100 Series Wireless LAN Controllers. These access points are supported by all Cisco wireless LAN controllers but cannot operate in autonomous mode.

From this doc;

Cisco Aironet Access Point Support for Lightweight Access Point Protocol

Sorry about that!

Hope this helps!


Please remember to rate helpful posts........


Re: Cisco Autonomous AP converted to LWAPP

Thanks a lot. Rob. What I suspect is the 40xx cannot support SSC so it didn't work.

I will work w/ Cisco to try to find some solutions but do not have expectation due to it is hardware / firmware limitation.

Thanks again for your help.