Defaulting Cisco LWAPP/CAPWAP APs When You Have No Login Credentials

Occasionally you may come across an instance where you need to reset a Cisco 'lightweight' AP to it's default configuration. However, if the AP is not associated to a controller and you do not know the local username/password of the AP, then this can be something of a challenge.

In summary, here are the steps to default the AP when you cannot get in to the AP via the 'usual' methods:

  • Put a console cable in to the AP and fire up your terminal emulation program
  • Power up the AP with the reset button pressed at the same time
  • Release the reset button after 15 - 20 secs
  • On the console, you should now be dropped in to a 'ap:' prompt.
  • Type in the following command to see the files on the AP: 'dir flash:'
  • One of the files listed should be 'private-multiple-fs'
  • Enter the following command to remove the configuration: delete flash:private-multiple-fs
  • Reboot the AP - you will be able to login to the AP using the usual defaults (i.e. enable/Cisco)

(Note: this cannot be performed remotely, you must be able to physically access the AP)

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