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Fixing a Cisco AIR-CAP2602i WAP that fails to connect

If you're having trouble getting your Cisco WAP (Wireless Access Point) to connect to its controller, you might notice these symptoms: Wireless device cannot connect, Blinking red, red/green LED, and the device not showing on the controller for Cisco WAPs that use a controller. The Cisco WAPs that have "CAP" in their model number require a controller.

Troubleshooting can be done in this order: reboot, reset to factory defaults, and booting to original firmware.


First, let's try the easiest fix. To reboot the WAP, simply unplug its power source (the cable plugged into the Ethernet port). Wait 5 seconds. Then plug it back in. Wait 5 minutes to see if it comes back up (solid blue LED light).

Factory Reset

If not, try a factory reset by pressing and holding the MODE button while you reconnect power to the access point. Hold the MODE button until the Status LED turns amber (approximately 1 to 2 seconds), and release the button. Wait 5 minutes to see if it comes back up (solid blue LED light).

If you are still unable to resolve the issue then your problem may be an internal firmware or configuration issue that requires a more technical response - it is likely you have a corrupt image (firmware/software operating system inside the WAP).

Fix the firmware

To complete this process you will need the following: the failed WAP, Cisco wireless controller, a Cisco serial USB-RJ45 console cable, laptop/desktop computer with available USB port, a serial terminal program like the free Putty, a PoE (Power over Ethernet) injector or PoE capable port on a switch, and 2 Ethernet cables. Follow these steps to fix the configuration or firmware.

  1. Connect the Cisco console cable to the RJ45 (like a large phone jack) Console port on the back of the WAP.
  2. Open your terminal application and set it to connect to your serial port used by the Cisco console cable.
  3. Now plug in the WAP to a PoE port on a switch or PoE Injector to the Ethernet connector.
  4. Verify you can connect the WAP through the console cable. You should see the WAP go through the boot process and get a login prompt.


NOTE: You may need to configure your terminal software to know which serial port to use. For example, with Putty, go into the Windows Device Manager (click the Start button, type Device Manager, and click on the one under Control Panel. Under Ports, you'll see it. For example, mine shows USB Serial Port (COM4). In Putty, it defaults to COM1. Change this if you need to and then on the bottom of the tree, under Connection, click the + on Serial. Set the serial settings to 9600 baud (speed), 8,N,1. Turn off flow control (not supported) by changing it to (DTR/RTS Disable).


Then click the Open button and you'll see the WAP load/boot.

If it fails to load its image (ending in .JB), it will show this in an error message. Then you'll see an AP prompt.

Type the following 2 lines (case sensitive) and press the ENTER key:


set BOOT flash:ap3g2-rcvk9w8-mx



You will then see the WAP reboot.

From this point on, you'll need to be near the controller.

This will boot to the new -mx image file, download new .JB images and configuration files from the controller.

This process will reboot the device several times and could take over 20 minutes.

Use MSIE to login to the Cisco WAP controller panel. When the new WAP shows, click on its name, then clear the configuration (button), change the name, and the type.

You have to wait until the device reboots and downloads the new configuration. This will take another several minutes.

Usually, solid blue means it's associated and working. Red or Red/Green for more than 5 minutes, it cannot connect to the controller.

We hope that this information is helpful. Please let us know how this has helped you or if you have additional questions. As always Firestone Technical Resources, Inc. is here to help with your computer support issues - "Providing personal service for your impersonal technology."



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