Asuswrt-Merlin - Not Able to Upgrade Firmware in AiMesh Node

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
Greetings!

I recently migrated my main router (RT-AX88U) to Asuswrt-Merlin. It worked like a charm. However, when I try to do the same with my AiMesh node (RT-AX56U) I receive the message "Unable to connect to the Parent AP."

My main router is in Wireless router mode / AiMesh Router mode (Default) and it's now running Asuswrt-Merlin Firmware Version 386.8 (latest). The AiMesh Node is running Asus default firmware Version 3.0.0.4.386_49380-gb9aceaf (also latest for this model). Everything seems to work as it should be in AiMesh mode between the router/node as far as I know (topology shows both itens, I can use the node with no issues, etc.).

However, one thing does not work: I can't connect to the AiMesh node's webgui interface at all anymore.

When I point the browser to the hostname/ip of the aimesh node, it says "Detecting AiMesh router...", then says "Unable to connect to the Parent AP.", and suggests me to "Ensure that your AiMesh router has been powered on." & "Reboot your AiMesh router and try again."

Also, if I try to upgrade my standard Asus firmware to Asuswrt-Merlin it pops up the same window and I got the same error (see below).

1667589814567.png


I tried rebooting. But obviously that doesn't work.

Anyone has any clues why I can't get to the node's webgui at all? How can I upgrade it's firmware now? Or is it not supposed to work anymore?

Thanks.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
Greetings @edpassos!

Have you tried removing the node from the AiMesh setup? This should fully reset it and allow you to update the firmware.

If that simple step doesn't work, try fully resetting it with the appropriate method below before trying again.

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global
Hey L&LD,

I have removed the node and also hard reset it. None of them worked.

I suspect it's something to do with Asuswrt-Merlin as it works fine with Asus vanilla firmware (I've seen a similar report to mine, with no conclusion). In my case, now I upgraded the firmware from my second router removing it from the AiMesh network, having it as a regular router and them added it as a node again. However, I'm afraid I won't be able to updating it when a new version is available because it's still inaccessible when it's working as an AiMesh node. It's really a pity =[
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
If resetting the node doesn't work, then that usually indicates a hard reset is also needed for the main router too. I would do both, minimally and manually configure them, and then observe if the issue is fixed then, before coming to any conclusions.

Do not use any saved backup config files. Do not insert any USB drives into any router (particularly if you're using any amtm scripts (or others).
 

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
If resetting the node doesn't work, then that usually indicates a hard reset is also needed for the main router too. I would do both, minimally and manually configure them, and then observe if the issue is fixed then, before coming to any conclusions.

Do not use any saved backup config files. Do not insert any USB drives into any router (particularly if you're using any amtm scripts (or others).
Oh! That's a real bummer. I may try it when nobody is connected. =[
 

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
If resetting the node doesn't work, then that usually indicates a hard reset is also needed for the main router too. I would do both, minimally and manually configure them, and then observe if the issue is fixed then, before coming to any conclusions.

Do not use any saved backup config files. Do not insert any USB drives into any router (particularly if you're using any amtm scripts (or others).
The magic trick did the job! Reseting and reconfiguring both routers indeed worked.

One final question: when I factory reset the routers (following Asus instructions) they kept Asuswrt-Merlin firmware. Shouldn't they restore the original firmware?
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I suspect it's something to do with Asuswrt-Merlin as it works fine with Asus vanilla firmware

And you are correct. Wireless node discovery is broken in Asuswrt-Merlin. Resetting is a temporary fix, it may happen again. I can demonstrate this behavior every time on the two available routers in my signature. Only stock Asuswrt on both routers works as described by Asus.
 

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
And you are correct. Wireless node discovery is broken in Asuswrt-Merlin. Resetting is a temporary fix, it may happen again. I can demonstrate this behavior every time on the two available routers in my signature. Only stock Asuswrt on both routers works as described by Asus.
Indeed! I checked after I have installed Diversion and it's happening again. That's very of frustrating if the only solution is resetting the routers every time. Maybe Asuswrt-Merlin is not a good option when using AiMesh.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Wired is okay, but wireless has issues. Unfortunately, everything around AiMesh is closed source and what's wrong is unknown and can't be fixed. It's like this at least from the introduction of AiMesh 2.0 in 386 firmware. If you want stable wireless AiMesh - both routers on Asuswrt.
 

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
Wired is okay, but wireless has issues. Unfortunately, everything around AiMesh is closed source and what's wrong is unknown and can't be fixed. It's like this at least from the introduction of AiMesh 2.0 in 386 firmware. If you want stable wireless AiMesh - both routers on Asuswrt.
I'm wired between routers. I don't think this is the problem.

1667878184304.png
 
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edpassos

Occasional Visitor
What is curious is that when it won't connect to the secondary router it display this message instead of appearing the login screen directly. Maybe it's some kind of http/https config I'm missing.

1667877906651.png


1667877935567.png


1667877964418.png


1667877998952.png
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
What is curious is that when it won't connect to the secondary router it display this message instead of appearing the login screen directly.

Not sure what you are trying to do. You can't login to AiMesh node. Main router AiMesh page is where node controls are.
 

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
Not sure what you are trying to do. You can't login to AiMesh node. Main router AiMesh page is where node controls are.
It happens when I go to Administration > Firmware Upgrade and then click on "Manual firmware update: Upload" for the router working as AiMesh node. It should pop up a window with the login screen and then I could upload the file.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Ah, okay. I don't remember testing firmware update to the node. So it works with Asuswrt, but it doesn't with Asuswrt-Merlin?
 

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
Ah, okay. I don't remember testing firmware update to the node. So it works with Asuswrt, but it doesn't with Asuswrt-Merlin?
Exactly. And somehow it worked when I reset both routers as suggested by L&LD. But it stopped working again soon after that.
.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Reset is the common suggestion on this forum when people have no clue what's going on. The node, the router, the modem, the neighborhood, the ISP... turn this node into an AP and forget about it. It will work the same way and you'll have more control over it. The only drawback is no GN to the node, but you have to make a decision what is more important to you - Asuswrt-Merlin extra features or stable AiMesh.
 

edpassos

Occasional Visitor
Reset is the common suggestion on this forum when people have no clue what's going on. The node, the router, the modem, the neighborhood, the ISP... turn this node into an AP and forget about it. It will work the same way and you'll have more control over it. The only drawback is no GN to the node, but you have to make a decision what is more important to you - Asuswrt-Merlin extra features or stable AiMesh.

I guess I could troubleshoot it. I changed the Authentication Method from BOTH to HTTP in Administration > System and it worked. Now the screen after select the Upload is this.

1667880616562.png


But turning this node into an AP may be a good option too. I'll test for the next days and see if it still has issues.

Thanks.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Wired is okay, but wireless has issues. Unfortunately, everything around AiMesh is closed source and what's wrong is unknown and can't be fixed. It's like this at least from the introduction of AiMesh 2.0 in 386 firmware. If you want stable wireless AiMesh - both routers on Asuswrt.
This has to be model specific, because a few weeks ago I had no trouble connecting two Asuswrt-Merlin nodes together over Ethernet.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@edpassos, glad the reset worked and you found the real issue (Authentication Method).

AP mode isn't an option when you want to propagate Guest Network 1 to the whole AiMesh.

I know what works on RMerlin firmware because I've been using it for the last 9 years or so. Not just for my personal network(s) either. For my customers that want the extra touch that RMerlin releases bring, they too are happily using it for almost as long as me.

Don't put too much stock in opinions from some who occasionally 'test', but don't actually use, Asus + RMerlin firmware. The general technical bits of info may interest you from time to time. But their opinion isn't a good reflection of what to expect from an RMerlin-powered Asus router.

When I know so many examples from myself and my customers that a certain scenario should work (and it has taken days to get/find a solution) that indicates to me that a router isn't in a good/known state. That is why a reset is suggested.

You may have seen some of these links before, but I'll include them here for you directly.

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



When you follow the links above, be sure you keep good notes on your (minimal and manual) setup of the router. That way, it is easy to track down where the issue lies.

In your case, it wasn't RMerlin firmware being an issue, it wasn't any of the scripts. It was simply that option you choose in the Authentication Method. (And this is another benefit of doing a full reset; it truly allows you (or anyone else) to track down the issue in a logical fashion).
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
But turning this node into an AP may be a good option too.

You can increase almost 2x the aggregate throughput to clients by running the AP on different channels. You also have Tx power control over the AP, not available in AiMesh. It may help adjusting the roaming between the two routers better. It works always, no matter what the main router is and what firmware it runs. If you don't need Guest Network in this part of your house, it's better than AiMesh node. No firmware update issues either.

This has to be model specific

AX86U running Asuswrt-Merlin 386.7_2 couldn't find wirelessly AX86S as node running 386.49599 or 386.7_2 from 3x attempts. Both flashed with 386.49599 the main finds the node in about 20 seconds. 386.7_2 wired works with failback to wireless after, but I don't know for how long it will keep going. This is what I tried few weeks back because a friend of mine wanted AX86S and I had it for few days to run some tests on AX86U + AX86S.
 

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