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AP Joined a WLC with incompatible firmware/code


For anyone that runs into the same issue.


So, I moved 100+ APs, 3502s, using Prime to a WLC that had updated firmware. The 3502s are not compatible with, so the WLC I moved it to showed some CAPWAP errors stating, " no license present with the AP trying to join". We disabled Licensing on it. Using: Config ap cert-expiry-ingore mic enable/disable. It took about 10-15 mins and the APs joined a WLC that was compatible with the 3502s. I then used prime to reconfigure them to the appropriate WLC. 

2 Replies 2

Scott Fella
Hall of Fame Guru Hall of Fame Guru
Hall of Fame Guru

You always need to look at the compatibility matrix.  Never assume when you upgrade or downgrade or introduce a new device.  If you consoled into the ap, you would see a message stating an error about the code not being supported.  Anyway's, if you don't have it, here is the link to the matrix:

Cisco Wireless Solutions Software Compatibility Matrix - Cisco

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Rich R
VIP Advisor VIP Advisor
VIP Advisor

"config ap cert-expiry-ingore mic enable/disable" has nothing to do with licensing - it disables/enables certificate date validity checks.

Like @Scott Fella said you need to read release notes, deployment guides, TAC recommendations and support matrix docs before embarking on major changes.

In this case if "config ap cert-expiry-ingore mic enable/disable" solved your problem then you were hitting the certificate expiry issue very comprehensively documented (and referenced dozens of times on these forums) in the field notice:


TAC recommended codes for AireOS WLC's   and   TAC recommended codes for 9800 WLC's
Best Practices for AireOS WLC's   and   Best Practices for 9800 WLC's
Cisco Wireless compatibility matrix
Field Notice: FN-63942 APs and WLCs Fail to Create CAPWAP Connections Due to Certificate Expiration
Field Notice: FN-72424 Later Versions of WiFi 6 APs Fail to Join WLC - Software Upgrade Required
Field Notice: FN-72524 - During Software Upgrade/Downgrade IOS APs Might Remain in Downloading State
     after 4 Dec 2022 Due to Certificate Expiration - Fixed in and latest 9800 IOS-XE releases
     also fixed in (8.5 mainline) and (8.5 IRCM) if you can't upgrade to 8.10
     TAC confirmed that Mobility Express AP TFTP download is not affected so ME still works but see FN-74035 below
Field Notice: FN-70479 Out-Of-The-Box AP Fails to Join WLC or Joins with Single Radio due to Country Mismatch - RMA required
How to avoid boot loop due to corrupted image on Wave 2 and Catalyst 11ax Access Points (CSCvx32806)
Field Notice: FN-74035 - Wave2 APs DFS May Not Detect Radar After Channel Availability Check Time
     fixed in and see the field notice for 8.5, Mobility Express and other fixed releases
Check your WLC config with Wireless Config Analyzer using "show tech wireless" output (9800) or "config paging disable" then "show run-config" output (AireOS) and use Wireless Debug Analyzer to analyze your WLC client debugs
Leo Laohoo's list of bugs affecting 2800/3800/4800/1560 APs
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