From time to time, IT personell find it feasible to purchase autonomous access points for later converting them to lightweight access points which connects to a central Wireless LAN Controller (WLC).
Fortunately for us, the conversion from autonomous to lightweight is simple and straight forward.
In this example I’ve converted a SAP1602i access point.
Download the software
First off, you need to obtain the recovery image for a given access point. This is obtained through support.cisco.com
Choose to download Lightweight AP IOS Software
And choose the image which has rcv in its filename, like the following image for the 1602i-access point.
Copy the software over to the access point
I prefer to move the software over to the access point if there is enough space on the device. And I also prefer to use ftp, but for this example we’ll stick to tftp. =)
copy tftp://192.168.1.10/ap1g2-rcvk9w8-tar.152-4.JA1.tar flash:/
Install the new software on the access point
Issue the command and wait for it to reboot. Obviously you will lose the configuration on the access point, so beware to back it up in case you need to re-implement the configuration.
archive download-sw /overwrite /reload flash:/ap1g2-rcvk9w8-tar.152-4.JA1.tar
In case your access points does not have enough space you can also do archive download-sw from external sources (tftp/ftp).