I am trying to reuse an old Cisco Aironet c2602 Autonomous AP; I need to reset the password. CCO instructions say that I need to hit ESC repeatedly while I am on the console during the AP boot sequence and then rename/copy the config when I get to the ap: prompt (which should be roughly analogous to IOS rommon> prompt).

Ref: https://community.cisco.com/t5/wireless-mobility-knowledge-base/password-recovery-in-autonomous-ap/ta-p/3146670

My problem is that hitting ESC repeatedly from initial power on until I see main aironet OS loading doesn’t break into the ap: prompt. I cannot find other ways to get to the ap: prompt… I also tried using the break command via PuTTY

This AP is running 15.3(3)JF1

How should I recover the AP at this point?

  • 2
    The 2600's have a physical reset button. Hold it for 30s.
    – Ricky
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 0:38

1 Answer 1


In a comment on my question, Ricky said:

The 2600's have a physical reset button. Hold it for 30s.

Technically that button is the MODE button, but yes while the AP is off press the MODE button, power the AP on and keep the MODE button pressed for 30-seconds; ref: Aironet 2600 Data Sheet for location of the button.

The AP LED will turn RED when the boot interruption is complete.

Once you can break the Aironet AP boot sequence, you can get to the ap: prompt and follow the rest of the password reset instructions on the Data Sheet, above (which amount to renaming the configuration so the AP boots to an default config, and then you can login with Cisco / Cisco):

ap: copy flash:config.txt flash:configBackup.txt
ap: delete flash:config.txt

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