How-To Copy and Replace Wireless Access Point in Prime 3.2

This is an example process to operationalize replacement of failed AP Hardware in a production environment.

The Prime 3.2 Copy and Replace AP process is very important to the operations side of managing a Cisco Wireless Infrastructure. It allows the easy replacement of defective AP(s). The key point to know however, is that if there is any advanced or specific programming in the AP(s) logic then the settings will not be copied and a ticket to the Wireless Engineer will be necessary (or an addendum to this process).


  • AP is down due to critical software failure or hardware failure.
  • AP has been replaced with new AP and the Wireless Controllers and Prime have on-boarded the AP into the wireless system.
  • Familiarity with Cisco Prime Infrastructure.


Step 1. Verify that the AP is down.


Step 1.5 (Special Step) You can pull up the Site Map to verify that the AP is down and if the AP has special configuration. 

Note: The main thing about this step is to realize that the AP Copy and Replace routine doesn’t copy/replace any advanced programming of the AP. It will place the AP into local mode and put it into the correct AP Group. If the AP is configured for a different mode, static channel and static power, the programming will not be transferred.


Step 2. Navigate to the AP Copy and Replace routine.


Step 3. Navigate to the AP Copy and Replace routine.


Step 4. Select Single AP copy.


Step 5. Select the Source and Destination AP. 

Note: The Source AP is not reachable, but some configuration is stored in the database container.


Step 6. Verify that the job is running and that it successfully completes.


Step 7. Verify that the job is running and that it successfully completes.


Step 8. Verify that the AP is now replaced.

Note: If the organization uses advanced configuration then additional programming may need to be done. For example if you use static channels, static power, or special AP modes, the programming will not be copied/replaced.


Step 9: Change AP Mode (If necessary)


Step 10: Verify the AP Mode and AP Group is correct. If it is incorrect, you will need to change the configuration.


Step 11: Select correct AP mode.


Step 12: Select Save and click through several warning boxes. The AP will reboot.


Step 13: Verify that the change was successful by re-selecting the AP and reviewing the details of the configuration.


Step 14: Open a Helpdesk Ticket with details and send to Wireless Network Engineer to verify/configure any other advanced programming for the AP.

Note: Wireless system has to be very accurate and needs to be exactly as designed. A power or channel change can have a ripple effect through the floor or building. Be advised.

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