HP MSM720 Wireless Controller Factory Reset & Firmware Bug

I couldn’t find any correct documentation about how to actually reset the configuration of a HP MSM720 Wireless Controller without using the web interface and I had to figure it out for myself – the issue that caused me needing to do this is in the second half of this post. Here’s how you do it:

Connect via serial to console port

Here’s a screenshot from PuTTY with everything you need to know:

MSM 720 Serial Settings

Reset the configuration

Type in the following commands to clear the configuration and reboot the device:

factory settings

What doesn’t work

The documentation talks about using the Reset and Clear buttons together to return the device to factory defaults. Here’s a picture of the device:

MSM 720 Front Panel Features

What you actually find when you try it is that there isn’t a clear button, only a hole. I’ve seen this on at least two different controllers so this definitely isn’t a manufacturing fault but I’ve no idea why. What this means, of course, is that you have to use the CLI method above to reset the device.

The original issue

I install a lot of HP MSM equipment and am used to the more than occasional idiosyncrasy (more on that another time) but by and large they do what you tell them to do. This one had me stumped. Consider the following:

Access Network VLAN IP:
Internet Network VLAN IP:
Default Gateway IP:
Static Route: Destination, next-hop

Here you have the basic information for the initial configuration of an MSM720 with an “inside” and “outside” network assuming that the internal LAN/WAN is based on 10.x.x.x addresses and the internet is available through the gateway on the Internet VLAN at You need the static route as you can’t have two default gateways and need the controller to be able to talk to the APs across the internal networks. All completely textbook.

Unfortunately, when configuring these settings, in this order, on a controller that came out of the box running version – the controller stopped responding when applying the static route. Power cycling the box would appear to work but I couldn’t ping the device on the LAN or Internet VLANs but the console was perfectly responsive once I’d figured out the very odd serial settings.

After resetting the box, I upgraded it to V6.0.0.1 and went through the above steps with no issues this time. It’s also my understanding that this issue is fixed in but I’ve not fully tested this.

4 thoughts on “HP MSM720 Wireless Controller Factory Reset & Firmware Bug

  1. Umm… the “hole” is the button…. insert a straightened paperclip and the button is in there waiting for you. This is commonplace on many older pieces of equipment to prevent accidental button pushes.

    • This is what I thought too but there was definitely nothing behind it on the units that we’d received (we sent the first back as we thought it was defective). The unit shares the same physical chassis as the 2615 and 2915 switches which also have the reset holes so maybe that’s why or possibly part of an odd batch. Either way, was a weird one hence the post 🙂

  2. Your putty configuration helped, perfect indication. I was not able to access the console interface until changing the baud rate to 115200 as you indicated. Once connected, pressing enter brings up the login prompt as the documentation suggests. Ran through the rest of the reset just as the manual says and reset just fine. Thanks!

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