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Catalyst 9800-40: Upgrade method INSTALL vs BUNDLE?

Bernd Nies


Did anyone have success to upgrade a Catalyst 9800 with IOS XE 17.3.x using the INSTALL method? I was only able to use the BUNDLE method. Also the official Cisco documentation is a bit confusing with the different upgrade methods (BUNDLE, INSTALL, ISSU).


We have two separate WLC working as active and standby using the same configuration. It was advised by the consultant not to use the cluster so one can test new releases first on the backup WLC.


How I once tried to upgrade using the install method: Remove inactive files:

wlc2#install remove inactive
install_remove: START Tue Mar 22 21:09:03 Central 2022

Mar 22 20:09:04.241: %INSTALL-5-INSTALL_START_INFO: Chassis 1 R0/0: install_engine: Started install removeCleaning up unnecessary package files
  Scanning boot directory for packages ... done.
  Preparing packages list to delete ...
      File is in use, will not delete.

The following files will be deleted:
[chassis 1/R0]:

Do you want to remove the above files? [y/n]y

[chassis 1/R0]:
Deleting file bootflash:C9800-40-universalk9_wlc.17.03.04c.SPA.bin ... done.
Deleting file bootflash:C9800-mono-universalk9_wlc.17.03.03.SPA.pkg ... done.
Deleting file bootflash:C9800-rpboot.17.03.03.SPA.pkg ... done.
Deleting file bootflash:packages.conf ... done.
SUCCESS: Files deleted.
--- Starting Post_Remove_Cleanup ---
Performing Post_Remove_Cleanup on all members
  [1] Post_Remove_Cleanup package(s) on chassis 1/R0
  [1] Finished Post_Remove_Cleanup on chassis 1/R0
Checking status of Post_Remove_Cleanup on [1/R0]
Post_Remove_Cleanup: Passed on [1/R0]
Finished Post_Remove_Cleanup

SUCCESS: install_remove  Tue Mar 22 21:10:05 Central 2022

Add the new package via downloading from the install server.

wlc2#install add file
install_add: START Tue Mar 22 21:10:37 Central 2022
Downloading file
Mar 22 20:10:37.955: %INSTALL-5-INSTALL_START_INFO: Chassis 1 R0/0: install_engine: Started install add
Finished downloading file to bootflash:C9800-40-universalk9_wlc.17.03.04c.SPA.bin
install_add: Adding PACKAGE
install_add: Checking whether new add is allowed ....

--- Starting initial file syncing ---
Info: Finished copying bootflash:C9800-40-universalk9_wlc.17.03.04c.SPA.bin to the selected chassis
Finished initial file syncing

--- Starting Add ---
Performing Add on all members
  [1] Add package(s) on chassis 1/R0
  [1] Finished Add on chassis 1/R0
Checking status of Add on [1/R0]
Add: Passed on [1/R0]
Finished Add

Image added. Version: 17.03.04c.0.77
SUCCESS: install_add  Tue Mar 22 21:13:15 Central 2022

Mar 22 20:13:15.956: %INSTALL-5-INSTALL_COMPLETED_INFO: Chassis 1 R0/0: install_engine: Completed install add PACKAGE bootflash:C9800-40-universalk9_wlc.17.03.04c.SPA.bin

Show available images.

wlc2#show install summary
[ Chassis 1/R0 ] Installed Package(s) Information:
State (St): I - Inactive, U - Activated & Uncommitted,
            C - Activated & Committed, D - Deactivated & Uncommitted
Type  St   Filename/Version
IMG   I    17.03.04c.0.77

Auto abort timer: inactive

Activating the new image file fails:

wlc2# install activate file bootflash:C9800-40-universalk9_wlc.17.03.04c.SPA.bin
install_activate: START Tue Mar 22 21:15:04 Central 2022

Mar 22 20:15:05.218: %INSTALL-5-INSTALL_START_INFO: Chassis 1 R0/0: install_engine: Started install activate bootflash:C9800-40-universalk9_wlc.17.03.04c.SPA.binERROR: install_activate: Nothing to activate.
    For SMU activation, please specify the SMU to be activated.
        Usage: install activate file smu_name.
    For image installation, please make sure image has been added.
        Usage: install add image_name followed by install activate.
    For ISSU upgrade, please specify the issu keyword.
ERROR: install_activate  exit(2 ) Tue Mar 22 21:15:30 Central 2022

What am I missing or is it a bug?

2 Replies 2

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend VIP Community Legend
VIP Community Legend

I always use and recommend Install Mode (one-shot, CLI) but I will never, ever, recommend anyone use ISSU unless TAC is present.  


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