Convert Cisco lightweight AP to standalone AP

When I purchased in the USA hardware for my Cisco lab, I got also some older AIR-LAP1142N access points. With a wireless controller (I got the AIR-CT2504 model) and in lightweight mode they work fine, but for a special setup I needed an access point running as standalone. The special setup in this case is a small installation where an ASA5505 provides LAN and Internet access and the access point is connected to one of the ASA's Power-over-Ethernet ports.

Note: The same proocess can used to convert the access point back from standalone to lightweight software image.

Therefore I had to convert it with a standalone version and I explain the process here. The process is quite simple and I would like to break it down into the following steps:

1) Boot access point with console cable and laptop connected
2) During boot process, send BREAK signal in your terminal application
3) Set network parameters which are required for tftp download
4) Initialize TFTP, Ethernet and Flash
5) Extract software image from TFTP server to Flash via tar
6) Set BOOT variable to new software image
7) Verify the variables
8) Reboot access point to make sure it comes up with new image


Running Normal Memtest...
Passed.
IOS Bootloader - Starting system.
FLASH CHIP:  Numonyx P33
Checking for Over Erased blocks
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
......
Xmodem file system is available.

DDR values used from system serial eeprom.
WRDTR,CLKTR: 0x88000800, 0x40000000
RQDC, RFDC : 0x80000038, 0x00000212

PCIE0: link is up.
PCIE0: VC0 is active
PCIE1: link is up.
PCIE1: VC0 is active
PCIEx: initialization done
flashfs[0]: 48 files, 9 directories
flashfs[0]: 0 orphaned files, 0 orphaned directories
flashfs[0]: Total bytes: 32385024
flashfs[0]: Bytes used: 11733504
flashfs[0]: Bytes available: 20651520
flashfs[0]: flashfs fsck took 23 seconds.
Reading cookie from system serial eeprom...Done
Base Ethernet MAC address: 30:e4:db:c5:42:95
  
  !!
  !! SEND BREAK HERE TO STOP BOOT PROCESS
  !!
  
The system boot has been aborted.  The following
commands will finish loading the operating system
software:

    ether_init
    tftp_init
    boot
Send BREAK to stop the boot process

At minimum the following variables should be set: IP_ADDR, NETMASK and DEFAULT_ROUTER:


ap: set IP_ADDR n.n.n.n

ap: set NETMASK n.n.n.n

ap: set DEFAULT_ROUTER n.n.n.n
Set required variables

Then the subsystems can be initialized with the following commands:


ap: tftp_init
tftp_init success: You can now use tftp file system!

ap: ether_init
Ethernet speed is 1000 Mb - FULL duplex

ap: flash_init
Initializing Flash...
...The flash is already initialized.
Initialize subsystems of the access point

In the next step the software image must be extracted from a TFTP server:


ap: tar -xtract tftp://n.n.n.n/ios/sap1140/c1140-k9w7-tar.153-3.JD6.tar flash:

extracting info (280 bytes)
c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/ (directory) 0 (bytes)
extracting c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6 (119277 bytes).........................
c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/html/ (directory) 0 (bytes)
c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/html/level/ (directory) 0 (bytes)
c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/html/level/1/ (directory) 0 (bytes)
extracting c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/html/level/1/appsui.js (563 bytes)
  !!
  !! ...AND SO ON...
  !!
extracting c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/final_hash (141 bytes)
extracting c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/final_hash.sig (512 bytes)
extracting c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/img_sign_rel.cert (1375 bytes)
extracting c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/img_sign_rel_sha2.cert (1371 bytes)
extracting info.ver (280 bytes)
ap:
Extract software image from TFTP server to flash

Then it's time to set the BOOT variable to the new software image. In addition I prefer to verify the variables, which can be accomplished by the set command:


ap: set BOOT flash:/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6

ap: set
BACKUPBOOT=flash:/c1140-k9w8-mx.152-2.JB2/c1140-k9w8-mx.152-2.JB2
BOOT=flash:/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6
DEFAULT_ROUTER=n.n.n.n
ENABLE_BREAK=yes
IOS_STATIC_DEFAULT_GATEWAY=n.n.n.n
IOS_STATIC_IP_ADDR=n.n.n.n
IOS_STATIC_NETMASK=n.n.n.n
IP_ADDR=n.n.n.n
MANUAL_BOOT=no
NETMASK=n.n.n.n
NEW_IMAGE=yes
PRODUCT_MODEL_NUMBER=AIR-LAP1142N-A-K9
RELOAD_REASON=58
ROM_PERSISTENT_UTC=1504134020
TERMLINES=0
Set BOOT to new software image and verify variables

Time to boot the access point with it's new software image and to verify it comes up:


ap: boot
Loading "flash:/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6"...############

File "flash:/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6/c1140-k9w7-mx.153-3.JD6" uncompressed and installed, entry point: 0x4000
executing...
enet halted

Secondary Bootloader - Starting system.
FLASH CHIP:  Numonyx P33
Checking for Over Erased blocks
...............................................................................
...............................................................................
...............................................................................
.........
Xmodem file system is available.
flashfs[0]: 249 files, 15 directories
flashfs[0]: 0 orphaned files, 0 orphaned directories
flashfs[0]: Total bytes: 32385024
flashfs[0]: Bytes used: 21245440
flashfs[0]: Bytes available: 11139584
flashfs[0]: flashfs fsck took 7 seconds.
Reading cookie from system serial eeprom...Done
Base Ethernet MAC address: hh:hh:hh:hh:hh:hh
  !!
  !! ...AND SO ON...
  !!
Booting access point with new software image

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