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[WLC] How to back up or restore your WLC

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Article ID: KB27699 KB Last Updated: 15 Aug 2013Version: 1.0
Summary:
This article describes how to back up a WLC system and how to restore it, with all the options available.
Symptoms:
Explain the procedure for backing up and then restoring a WLC, with all options available.
Cause:

Solution:
  1. To create a backup file of the current state of the controller, use the following command:

  2. WLC# backup system [tftp:/ip-addr/]filename [all | critical]

    The backup command creates an archive in Unix tape archive (tar) format. If you specify a TFTP server as part of the filename with the backup command, the archive is copied directly to the TFTP server and not stored locally on the WLC.

    For example:

    WLC# backup system mx_bckp_test
    Starting backup process. Please wait ...
    Archival finished. Moving to destination ...
    Backup done. Verifying ...
    success: backup complete.


  3. Verify that the backup file was created:

  4. WLC# dir
    ================================================================================
    file:
    Filename Size Created
    .......................
    file:mx_bckp_test 211 KB Jun 17 2013, 08:38:32
    .......................

  5. To copy the file mx_bckp_test from nonvolatile storage to a TFTP server, if not already saved here at step 1 above, type the following command:

  6. WLC# copy mx_bckp_test tftp://<TFTP_server_IP_add>/mx_bckp_test

    If you copy the backup file to your computer and extract the archive you can see the contents of this backup.


  7. To restore the system from a backed-up file, use the following command:

  8. WLC# restore system [tftp:/ip-addr/]filename [all | critical] [force]

    The restore command unzips an archive created by the backup command and copies the files from the archive onto the WLC. If a file in the archive is duplicated on the WLC, the archived version of the file replaces the file on the WLC.

    The restore command does not delete files without duplicates in the archive. For example, the command does not completely replace the user files area. Instead, files in the archive are added to the user files area.

    The backup command stores the MAC address of the WLC in the archive. By default, the restore command works only if the MAC address in the archive matches the MAC address of the WLC where the restore command is entered. The force option overrides this restriction and allows you to unpack one WLC archive onto another WLC. But if you restore one WLC system files onto another WLC, you must generate new key pairs and certificates on the WLC.

  9. Both the local and TFTP version for the command have two optional parameters:
  10. critical - Backs up or restores system files, including the configuration file used when booting, and certificate files. The size of an archive created by this option is generally 1MB or less. This is the default for the restore command. Use the critical option if you want to back up or restore only the system-critical files required to operate and communicate with the WLC.

    all - Backs up or restores the same files as the critical option, and all files in the user files area. Archive files created by the all option are larger than files created by the critical option. The file size depends on the files in the user area, and the file size can be large if the user area contains image files. This is the default for the backup command. Use the all option if you also want to back up or restore WebAAA pages, backup configuration files, image files, and any other files stored in the user files area of nonvolatile storage.

    Other considerations:

    The maximum supported file size is 32 MB. If the file size is too large, delete unnecessary files (such as unused copies of system image files) and try again, or use the critical option instead of the all option.

    Neither of these options archives image files or any other files listed in the boot section of dir command output. The all option archives image files only if the files are present in the user files area.

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