AX86U: Connecting ISP ethernet kills web inteface & no internet

Quitibi

New Around Here
I have spent hours diagnosing and re-setting up and am out of ideas.

I have an RT-AX86U set up with the latest version of merlin. It was stable for a good while, then Monday, out of the blue, while away from home, everything went offline. My VPN to home could not connect and i couldn't do anything until I got home. Once at home, I can't access the web interface. Naturally, I reboot the router. It reboots and same thing. I unplug the ethernet from WAN and reboot... I can access the web interface, nothing seems off... Plug in the ethernet cable and after a few seconds, the web interface is non-responsive. I proceed to do the nuclear reset and reconfigure the router manually with WAN unplugged. Then I plug in the WAN and boom--the web interface is non-responsive once again. At any point, I am able to connect to another device on the network, so the router is routing.

The last thing I tried was a diagnosis with Verizon's FiOS App, it took a few min, asked to check if internet was working, I rebooted router and it was back! So it seems I wasted 2.5 h for nothing and the problem was not with the router.

Then last night, I rebooted the router from web interface. When it starts back up, the symptoms are the same as Monday, except the same steps don't fix it. When diagnosing again, while watching the web interface and plugging in the ethernet to WAN, a message on the main page would say "Internet status: Your ISP's DHCP does not function properly." This led to an internet search which resulted in some suggestions of changing the WAN DHCP mode from aggressive to normal and cloning MAC (because when connecting WAN ethernet to computer, it worked fine). But that didn't work. I tried the 2.5G port as WAN and had same issue. I tried setting up an android phone as WAN source via USB to have SOME internet, but I'm not sure I set it up right.

I gave up last night and left everything unplugged. This morning, I bring up the router and it seems i can't access the web interface, even without the WAN plugged in--I was doing it from my phone, so maybe something was off with my phone.

Today, I have reset & configured again and it's not working. I need help!!! Anyone seen this? Any suggestions besides what I've done?
 

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degrub

Very Senior Member
turn off the modem, router, and anything else hard wired to the router. disconnect WAN and LAN port devices.
Replace the modem to router WAN ethernet cable with a known good one.
wait 15-20 minutes at least. reboot the modem only. let it stabilize for an hour.
factory reset the ASUS while not connected. reboot, power down.
while powered off, connect modem to wan port of router.
power on the router , check the link rate lights, and minimally configure. Make sure it and the ISP connection is stable.

What happens ?
You may want to post the router logs from the last boot up and when any errors start up.
There was at least another thread on here with similar issues. i don't have the link though, sorry.
 

Quitibi

New Around Here
Thank you for reply!

Turn off modem (Verizon ONT), router--did that overnight.
replace ethernet cable--impractical as it goes through multiple walls from outside to router's location and would require cutting & installing new termination. But I guess I can bring in another cable through a window temporarily.

connecting WAN to router after factory reset seems like not the best security practice.

I could post the router logs from bootup... but it wouldn't show any issues.
I wouldn't be able to retrieve the router logs after the issue starts because I can't access web interface, nor ping the router, nor log in via ssh.

I guess I could try all that even though it doesn't seem very different from what I've already done multiple times. Will report back...

BTW, I plugged in WAN again while watching web interface... no "Your ISP's DHCP does not function properly.", but web interface became unresponsive and internet worked.... for a few minutes at least. All lights blink normally.
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
First, latest Merlin firmware tells us nothing. Always best to give the version and not latest.

I would recommend going to Asus Firmware version 3.0.0.4.386_49599. It has been very stable for me even better than the Merlin 386.7 and 386.7-2 firmware. Also do a Factory reset and initialize from the GUI as sometimes the Hard Factory Reset, AKA WPS Reset, does not work on the RT-AX86U.
 

Quitibi

New Around Here
Actually, latest merlin firmware says it all. These posts are dated and you are obviously familiar with what is current. Anyway, it's 386.7_2.

Going to asuswrt loses some merlin features which I would much prefer to have and were working great.

And I guess you're not familiar with the nulcear reset I mentioned? It involves resetting from the web interface multiple times.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
Since you mentioned multiple walls / window / etc for your wiring. Take the Asus to the ONT and use a short Ethernet cable and see if the problem persists. If it does then it's time to pick a new router and be done with all of this.
 

Quitibi

New Around Here
What happens ?

With WAN cable plugged in, the setup wizard does not seem to detect the connection's settings, seems to time out, then requires manual config of typical settings. When getting to wireless network config, it seems to not continue. I rebooted and went through it again, finally getting it to "take" and it's working. Definitely strange behavior. Web interface is responding and connection to internet is good. What's a good way to test stability? I found startrinity page a while ago, but it doesn't seem that useful, in that when the connection is dropped, it doesn't always report a drop, but instead a long response time.

Now I guess I can follow some of the sanitize network instructions to keep things clean.
 

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Quitibi

New Around Here
Since you mentioned multiple walls / window / etc for your wiring. Take the Asus to the ONT and use a short Ethernet cable and see if the problem persists. If it does then it's time to pick a new router and be done with all of this.
I didn't have many issues with Netgear R8500, which had incredible range when installed in the basement. I moved to an Asus AC88U for the features + merlin, and at times regret it, and now AX86U mainly for the faster processor.

Asus with merlin seems to do everything I'd like it to in an all-in one package, except I have pi-hole on a raspberry Pi because I am comfortable with the setup.

What would be some recommendations for routers and have:
  • Always on VPN for all but a couple select devices network
    • I currently use VPN director to set a couple devices directly to WAN, while the rest though one VPN connection or another.
  • VPN server for devices off the network
    • To have devices away from home connecting as much as possible as if they are home, access to home network + pihole filtering
  • DNS Filtering to force devices to use the DNS I specify
  • Guest wifi networks for IoT & untrusted devices routed via VPN but also using pi-hole DNS
  • Apple Time Machine drive
  • Future capability of having backup WAN either via ethernet or USB (for example, a hotspot or android supplying internet access for the router)
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Actually, latest merlin firmware says it all. These posts are dated and you are obviously familiar with what is current. Anyway, it's 386.7_2.

Going to asuswrt loses some merlin features which I would much prefer to have and were working great.

And I guess you're not familiar with the nulcear reset I mentioned? It involves resetting from the web interface multiple times.
I smile at the mention of nuclear reset. Just like the mention of 30-30-30 reset some try to use. Both are useless with Asus routers.

I have used and or tested every Merlin release since my N66U to AC66U_B1, AC86U and now AX86U. Only recently had some unexplainable issues and have gone to Asuswrt. OK, there are some health and family issues involved that moved me to a stable device. I, too, have an ONT outside my house and that has an UPS inside that is giving problems.

If you are having issues with one firmware at least give the factory a try. You might just be pleased!
 

octopus

Part of the Furniture
I can't access the web interface.

If you can't reach web-interface when wan is down, try to disable
Administration => Administration - System => Basic Config => Enable WAN down browser redirect notice => NO
 

Quitibi

New Around Here
If you can't reach web-interface when wan is down, try to disable
Administration => Administration - System => Basic Config => Enable WAN down browser redirect notice => NO
Thanks, I turn that to off when i come across it. It's like those ISP search hijack pages... But still, it's not that the WAN is down, but the whole router seems to freeze up and is unresponsive when the WAN is connected. WAN is good. I slowly added some of the configs I want and seems Guest Wifi or YazFi is the source.
 

rxe25

Occasional Visitor
Thanks, I turn that to off when i come across it. It's like those ISP search hijack pages... But still, it's not that the WAN is down, but the whole router seems to freeze up and is unresponsive when the WAN is connected. WAN is good. I slowly added some of the configs I want and seems Guest Wifi or YazFi is the source.
Your router is fine.

Downgrade to Merlin 386.5.2 and reinitialise settings from the GUI on first reboot.

Rebuild from scratch. A pain but well worth it. Your symtoms are very similar to mine and I am confident, even though you have not stated, that you are on 386.7.x.

https://www.snbforums.com/threads/r...after-386-5_2-consequences.80063/#post-782046
 

Quitibi

New Around Here
@rxe25 I do have 386.7_2. Those dreaded words.... rebuild from scratch. I have done that about 4 times this week. I tried uploading a configuration but it complained about invalid file?

Thanks for your tip, I may try it if setting up YazFi breaks it again.
 

rxe25

Occasional Visitor
@rxe25 I do have 386.7_2. Those dreaded words.... rebuild from scratch. I have done that about 4 times this week. I tried uploading a configuration but it complained about invalid file?

Thanks for your tip, I may try it if setting up YazFi breaks it again.

I have also read elsewhere on the forum that YazFi was causing hassle for people, *however*, I am reasonably confident that when you downgrade that YazFi would be OK.

I have never used YazFi myself on any configuration, but my thoughts are that the hassles people were having were more related to the firmware being buggy than YazFi actually being the issue.

You will need to do testing to figure out this for sure.
 

Quitibi

New Around Here
YazFi is not the problem. Neither is 386.7_2 as 386.5_2 has same issues even with a simpler setup. The most recent reconfigure only had custom DNS, a single VPN Client with 3 VPN Director rules, access web interface via HTTPS and enable ssh with key access. Connect the ethernet cable and boom, symptoms return.

I will try asuswrt next... then throw in the towel when that doesn't work.
 

Quitibi

New Around Here
Asus 3.0.0.4.386_49599 is better in that the web interface is still accessible after connecting the WAN, but the internet does not work. But even with minimal setup the loss of features compared to Merlin is oh so clear.

Towel thrown in. I think it's going back to the store, or RMA, or something.
 

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