This document explains how to use the backup image on a Wireless LAN
Cisco recommends that you have knowledge of these topics:
The information in this document is based on these software and
Cisco 2000 / 2100 / 4400 Series WLC that runs firmware 5.0
LWAPP-based access points, Series 1230, 1240, 1130, 1250, 1140 and
The information in this document was created from the devices in a
specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with
a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you
understand the potential impact of any command.
Technical Tips Conventions for more information on document
The WLC, by default, maintains two images. These images are the primary
image and the backup image. The primary image is the active image used by the
WLC while the backup image is used as a backup for the active image.
The controller bootloader (ppcboot) stores a copy of the active primary
image and the backup image. If the primary image becomes corrupted, you can use
the bootloader to boot with the backup image.
You can change the active image in two ways.
Assuming that the WLC has a valid backup image, reboot the controller.
During the boot process on the WLC, press the Esc key in order
to see the additional options.
This output shows an example:
Initializing memory. Please wait. 256 MB SDRAM detected
BIOS Version: SM 02.00
BIOS Build date: 09/17/02
System Now Booting ...
Booting from disk..., please wait.
Cisco Bootloader Loading stage2...
Cisco Bootloader (Version 18.104.22.168)
.o88b. d888888b .d8888. .o88b. .d88b.
d8P Y8 `88' 88' YP d8P Y8 .8P Y8.
8P 88 `8bo. 8P 88 88
8b 88 `Y8b. 8b 88 88
Y8b d8 .88. db 8D Y8b d8 `8b d8'
`Y88P' Y888888P `8888Y' `Y88P' `Y88P'
Booting Primary Image...
Press <ESC> now for additional boot options...
Please choose an option from below:
1. Run primary image (Version 22.214.171.124) (active)
2. Run backup image (Version 126.96.36.199)
3. Manually upgrade primary image
4. Change active boot image
5. Clear Configuration
Choose Option 4: Change Active Boot Image from the
boot menu to set the backup image as the active boot image. Now, when the
controller resets, it boots with the new active image.
You can also change the active booting image of the WLC manually with
the config boot
Each Cisco WLC can boot off the primary, last-loaded OS image or boot
off the backup, earlier-loaded OS image. In order to change a Cisco WLC boot
option, issue the config boot command. By default,
the primary image on the controller will be chosen as the active image.
> config boot primary
> config boot backup
In order to configure the boot order using the WLC GUI, complete these
From the WLC GUI, navigate to the Commands
From the Commands on the left, click Config Boot.
The Config Boot Image page appears.
This page displays the Primary and Backup images presently available
on the controller, and also indicates the Active image.
In order to change the Active image, select the desired image from
the image drop-down menu and click Apply.
In this example, Backup is
Save the configuration and reboot.
When the WLC reboots and comes back up, it will boot with the backup
When you upgrade the WLC with a new image, the WLC automatically writes
the new image as the primary image and the previously existing primary image is
written over the backup image.
Note: The previously existing backup image will be lost.
In order to see the active image that your controller is currently
running, click on Monitor from the WLC GUI and look at the
Software Version field under Controller Summary on the controller GUI. From the
CLI, you can issue the show boot command to view the
primary and backup image present on the WLC. Here is an example:
(Cisco Controller) >show boot
Primary Boot Image............................... 188.8.131.52
Backup Boot Image................................ 184.108.40.206 (active)
In order to remove or overwrite an image on the WLC, boot up the WLC
with the image that you want to keep and perform an upgrade. This way, the new
image replaces the primary image.