Troubleshooting Aruba Campus Access Point Deployments

You’re out deploying a Campus AP to your network, and it doesn’t seem to come up -- doesn’t broadcast, repeatedly rebootstraps, never lights up with all green LEDs.  It’s getting power.  Existing APs are working fine. What gives?

 Here’s a list of common causes...

 * The AP does not have a valid IP configuration.  It requests via DHCP by default.  Is DHCP available?  Reachable from that endpoint?  OR, if IP config is statically defined, double check settings.  (see TESTING, below)

 * The AP cannot reach the Controller.  Is Controller even reachable?  Is DNS working?  Try to ping host ARUBA-MASTER.  That is the final step of the AP’s Controller discovery process.  (see TESTING, below)

 * Inadequate Licensing.  Ensure there are enough AP Licenses to cover the AP count.  So if enough licenseswere purchased -- were they activated and added  to the Controller?

 Other causes:

 * Cisco Switch Port PoE Setting may cause PoE to “cycle” over and over.  In the Switch IOS, on the corresponding port, issue this command: 

power inline delay shutdown 20 initial 100


Establish a console session to the AP, using your favorite Terminal Emulator, set to 9600-8-N-1-N.  Apply power (or cycle) the AP.  Break out of the image boot, into the “APBoot” ROM mode, by hitting ENTER when prompted.

(A note about APBoot ROM mode -- after a minute or so of inactivity, it will time out, and the AP will reset.  You will need to break out into APBoot again.)

APBoot (build 20343)
Built: 2008-12-27 at 17:03:46
(...hardware info...)
Hit <Enter> to stop autoboot:  0

Enter the command “dhcp” and it should get an assignment.

apboot> dhcp
en0:    Up     1Gbs Full duplex, (port  1)
BOOTP broadcast 1
DHCP IP address:
DHCP subnet mask:
DHCP def gateway:
DHCP DNS server:

(or, if unsuccessful, it will look like this)

apboot> dhcp
en0:    Up     1Gbs Full duplex, (port  1)
BOOTP broadcast 1
BOOTP broadcast 2
BOOTP broadcast 3
BOOTP broadcast 4
BOOTP broadcast 5

Retry count exceeded; starting again

If IP was statically assigned, enter the command “printenv” and it will list the IP config at the bottom.

apboot> printenv

If you wish to reset the AP to Factory Defaults at this point, enter the following commands in sequence:


So now, is the Controller reachable?  Is DNS working?  On that endpoint, from a laptop/etc, try to ping host ARUBA-MASTER (no FQDN).  Make a note of the IP Address.

Back on the AP Console session, in the APBoot ROM mode, ping the IP address of the ARUBA-MASTER, example below:

apboot> ping
Using en0 device
host is alive

NOTE: This is the order in which the AP attempts to discover the Controller:

1)    “master” parameter set (manually) on the AP

2)    dhcp option 43

3)    ADP multicast & broadcast

4)    DNS aruba-master               

Inadequate Licensing?

As mentioned earlier, ensure that there are adequate licenses for the number of APs deployed.  Also, for all licenses purchased, make sure they are activated and added to the controller.

If one over count, that AP will "see" the controller, but it won't "activate".  This may not be apparent when in the field, and can be a headscratcher.  Here's how to verify...

Make sure the AP is connected.  Log into your Controller GUI, then navigate to Configuration > Wireless > AP Installation.  IF it can reach the Controller, it will be displayed here.

Look under “Flags” for the flag of “L”, which indicates that the AP is Unlicensed – it’s likely there are no more available AP licenses in the pool. 

Disclaimer: Enterprise Networks Solutions assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for, any damages to your computer equipment/software or other property on account of your access to, use of, or browsing of this site.