AC88U USB Issue

langesgnu

Occasional Visitor
Hi Everybody,

I have an Asus AC88U where I now run Merlin 386.4 and usually also most of the available scripts installed via amtm. Now I had it for the 3rd time that the routers behavior got quite odd and all the time it seems to be the usb stick, where the stick seems was damaged and I had to replace it. I am now on the 3rd stick (always connected to the rear port) and again having issues.

What happend this time was, that certain web-pages were not reachable anymore (e.g. duckduckgo.com) while everything else worked fine. What did I do:
- Connected my PC to the modem, everything is running fine, so it is the router
- Factory reset of the router, everything running fine
- Doing my usual configuration, then formatting the usb stick, still everything running
- Creating the swap via the amtm menu and starting first script installs, webpages are not working anymore
- Factory reset and everything again, but the router can't detect the usb stick anymore
- Now connected the usb stick to the front usb 3.0 port and trying again...

If I get now the same issue with the front usb port then probably I need to replace the router or live without any scripts. Onyone ever experienced something similar?
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Get an external USB enclosure with a small SSD inside instead.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
USB flash is the wrong media type for this use. External enclosure keeps the heat away and SSD's typically last much longer.
 

langesgnu

Occasional Visitor
Thank you for the fast reply, a great help! If it is really "only" the usb-stick then at least I do not need to search on specific router settings or other issues anymore.

I am still a little bit reluctant to buy an external drive for the 3-4 GB of space needed here, probably need to check if something small and suitable is available that is lasting longer as the typical USB stick....
 

capncybo

Regular Contributor
Thank you for the fast reply, a great help! If it is really "only" the usb-stick then at least I do not need to search on specific router settings or other issues anymore.

I am still a little bit reluctant to buy an external drive for the 3-4 GB of space needed here, probably need to check if something small and suitable is available that is lasting longer as the typical USB stick....
I went this route many many firmware flashes ago & have yet to experience any trouble. Extensive entware programs & custom scripts. But In my case... I think its an older slower HD rather than an SSD. However, I have not experienced any drive corruption... YET (Crossing fingers & toes)
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Ugreen USB 3.0 2.5" SATA is $11
Kingston A400 120GB SSD is $24

It will last longer than your router. Much faster than most USB sticks as well.
 

gk802

Occasional Visitor
I have the AC68U, and I've used both mem sticks and SSD drives. I currently have 2 attached SSD drives (1 port connected, 1 hub connected) and 2 mem sticks (hub connected). Merlin software, swap file and multiple custom scripts in use. I health scan them about once/month, but aside from that, they've all been in service 24/7 for 1-3 years without issue. Hard to envision a USB drive corruption would result in web sites not being accessible...if it's related to the router at all, I'd almost think more about an NVRAM corruption.
 

langesgnu

Occasional Visitor
The strange is that I had it 3 times now and all the times a reset and new setup of the USB stick did bring everything back to normal life. When I tested the whole thing now everything got corrupted after I created the swap partition on the USB stick, as soon as I unplugged the stick everything went back to normal. I will try now the SSD approach instead of the USB stick, if this does not work then probably the router has an issue.

Is there any way to test if anything else is broken?
 

gk802

Occasional Visitor
The reset should be resolve most all sins. Suggest checking NVRAM usage (Tools page on the GUI). Not sure how your model is on NVRAM capacity. Mine is nortoriously short and I have to run a script at each startup to make additional space available. Beyond that, I would leave swapoff and see if it runs without issue for a period of time. If it does, then it's prudent to recheck everything about the swap file you're using... size of the Linux partition, format of the partition (mine is 1.5GB ext3 parition on an old 4GB stick), size of the swap file within the partition (I'm defined at 256MB), etc. Run the health check on the stick as well. I have to say I don't really notice any difference with or without the swap file active. Occasionally, I see 4-5mB of the swap file in use when I'm moving a big file over Samba, but other times it'll sit at zero for days.
 

langesgnu

Occasional Visitor
NVRAM is a bit more then 50% and as far as I remember has always been in that region, never really more. The swap is mainly there because Skynet does require it, but actually I do not need it at all being used according to the router statistics. Maybe I was really unlucky with bad quality usb sticks, or they somehow get too hot over time when attached directly to the router. Concerning the configuration of the partition and the swap I did always stick to the amtm recommendations (ext 4, journaling on, 2 GB swap).

I could try leaving the swap away for some time, but actually this would also mean having all the scripts off and I really like some of those quite a lot. Besides that, it always took 2-3 months until the behavior of the router got so bad that I needed to do the reset, so actually I would need to be patient for that long a time, then plug the USB stick in and check again for some months. I'm not sure if I want to wait that long ;)

What I found strange was that the first 2 times the usb stick was really damaged, at least I could not format it on the router or on my pc afterwards while it was clearly working fine when I first plugged it into the router. So those 2 went into the bin, now the 3rd stick seems to be ok after formating and putting it into the front port instead of the backside one.
 

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