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Er0n

New Around Here
Hello there,
After quietly upgrading the firmware of my RT AC68U from the 386.2_2 to the 2_6, It is now bricked.

What I tried:
- Sha is correct so file is the right one
- reset/reboot/nvram flush with WPS. Did not worked
- enter Rescue mode and use the recovery tool to upload the Asus firmware: when hitting the button, it says it cannot connect to the router (see below about IP's)
- TFTP upload: it says Permission Denied

Now the issue is that I see a weird IP (169.254.xxx.xx), and of course the default IP 192.168 doesn't work.
Arping and pinging i found out the router IP address (169.254.255.255) but cannot reach the GUI.
The MAC address seems to be screwed or I could not find it.

I've read the TFTP issue may be related to this weird IP, but I am stuck and I do not know how to proceed.

What do you guys suggest? Thank you very much.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
This doesn't sound like a quiet upgrade.

Did you verify that you downloaded the RT-AC68U firmware and not the RT-AC86U or the RT-AX68U firmware?

Pretty hard to impossible to brick an Asus router if using the correct firmware.

Unplug the unit from its power source and leave the power button in the 'on' position. Leave it like this for 10 minutes.

Try the WPS Button reset method again using the appropriate method for your router.

Btw, this isn't a T-Mobile converted unit, is it?

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global
 

Adooni

Senior Member
I was helping with the same situation lately for 2 different AC68U.

Power down router. WPS button pressed (all time) than power up - wait more than 30-40s for power LED to start blink ( I do not know why but it take more than 10s). When Power LED start to blink power down router wait 2minutes, power up and wait about 15minutes (up to 1h)

then try to log to router again with Firefox (preferred) and should be OK. If not then use Firmware restoration.
 

Er0n

New Around Here
This doesn't sound like a quiet upgrade.

Did you verify that you downloaded the RT-AC68U firmware and not the RT-AC86U or the RT-AX68U firmware?

Pretty hard to impossible to brick an Asus router if using the correct firmware.

Unplug the unit from its power source and leave the power button in the 'on' position. Leave it like this for 10 minutes.

Try the WPS Button reset method again using the appropriate method for your router.

Btw, this isn't a T-Mobile converted unit, is it?

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global

Thank you for your prompt reply.

Schermata 2021-07-10 alle 18.56.16.png


As you can see the file is the right (Merlin) one.
Regarding the model, it's a unbranded, Amazon brand new buys (less than 7 months ago).
Yep, I was trying to upgrade, as I checked the availability of a new firmware and I realized I even missed the Merlin 2_4 release.

Here is the feedback of your suggestions:
Unplugged, left ON for 10 minutes and WPS resetted. To be sure, following this link, I've redo the workflow few times. Nothing changed so far.

About lights:
as earlier, WAN blinking red (slow, no madness) and power blinking blue (also slow). Sometimes they seems to fix for a second, WAN becomes blue and power stands still, but the IP is still 169.254.39.something, sub 255.255.255.0. And no router IP in the connection info.

Sigh. :(
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Unbranded? Never heard of that before.

Not something that I would trust my network to.
 
Last edited:

Er0n

New Around Here
Unbranded? Never heard of that before.

Not something that I would trust my network to.
I meant: not related to any specific provider. It's a common, normal Asus RT AC68U.
So, back to the issue, any clue?
 

Er0n

New Around Here
I was helping with the same situation lately for 2 different AC68U.

Power down router. WPS button pressed (all time) than power up - wait more than 30-40s for power LED to start blink ( I do not know why but it take more than 10s). When Power LED start to blink power down router wait 2minutes, power up and wait about 15minutes (up to 1h)

then try to log to router again with Firefox (preferred) and should be OK. If not then use Firmware restoration.
Thank you very much Adooni, I tried your method, but still did not worked.
After 1,5 hours of waiting, I was seeing again that odd address:

IP.png


Actually, the behaviour that followed is extremely weird thus interesting for other cases.
I finally manged to get into rescue mode (i am not 100% sure exactly how, after all the failed tries I just started some random mix of workflow. What seemed to worked is the OFF/WPS 45seconds/OFF to flush NVRAM plus the OFF/Reset/ON straight forward).
When I tried to upload the standard Asus firmware, latest version (93mb), for 3 times in a row it stopped at 79,9% saying i was not in rescue mode.

79.png

So I tried the Merlin one (less than 40mb), and when it reached 79,9% it stopped...but after a second started again and went on until 100%.
Success!

It now sees the standard IP 192.168 address again.

Thanks, I really hope what I wrote will be crawled by Google and will help other people in trouble (spent on this 9 hours, gah).
 

Adooni

Senior Member
it is hard to tell what is exactly procedure to unbrick it as all try something before post question :)

For me it was C1 version for both of them and before I got them to help people were trying to recovery those for hours.
I have version A1 and did not have challenge with it.

What is strange that WPS + power is not working after 10s what is normal but after 30-40 or even more second.
And with FR it is strange that with new soft very often you need to try more than 1 times. I had one AC68U long time ago that I spend few h to put new soft via FR on it.

I am glad you recovered it.
 
Last edited:

Tech9

Very Senior Member
I don't have a V3 in my hands, but I believe it uses a different CFE and has hardcoded minimum firmware version requirement. I remember developers around SNB having issues with this one. The hardware may be the same, but the pre-loaded software makes it different than older AC68Us.
 

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