Looking forward to your findings!
This is the order I follow when flashing RMerlin's firmware to a new router for customers:
- Download the firmware you want to flash and make sure to check the sha256sum.sha256 hash on the extracted firmware file. This sha256sum.sha256 file is included in the zip file you download.
- I always use Hashtab to verify the file isn't corrupted via downloading, before attempting to use it.
- Perform a quick/temporary wizard setup to gain access to the main GUI.
- Flash the RMerlin firmware (384.10_2).
- Perform a quick/temporary wizard setup to gain access to the main GUI after it reboots.
- Reset the router to factory defaults.
- Make sure you also checked the box that says to 'initialize all settings...' too.
- Perform a quick/temporary wizard setup to gain access to the main GUI once again.
- Let the router idle for at least 10 minutes. (You should notice the CPU graphs go 'quiet' by then).
- Check the box to 'format the jffs partition on next boot' option.
- Make sure you hit 'Apply' at the bottom of the page.
- These steps (6) are most important if you do not have the 'initial all settings...' checkbox next to the reset to factory defaults button in the GUI.
- Now, reboot the router 3 times in the next 15 minutes or so, waiting for at least 5 to 10 minutes between boots.
- Now, perform a hard reboot - unplug the router from the ac power plug (not from the ac power socket on the wall) and wait 2 minutes.
- Hold the WPS button and keep holding it while you plug in the ac power for around 30 seconds. The router should reboot. Let go of the WPS button and wait for the router to boot up. This may take longer than normal.
- If the WPS NVRAM erase procedure was successful above, the wizard setup should now greet you.
- Do a final quick/temporary wizard setup to access the GUI and then re-flash the same firmware.
- After it reboots, complete the wizard setup and proceed to minimally and manually configure the router to secure it and connect to your ISP (See the M&M Config link for more details in my signature below).
- Note that it can take up to an hour for the router to fully settle into its new firmware.
- At the end of the hour, I will reboot one final time to ensure as stable a router and network as possible.
The above steps will ensure that the router and firmware start off from a good/known state
. This will be invaluable when (if) troubleshooting is needed to determine if the issues are firmware/settings related or if they are more likely hardware issues.
The link above has more details of why a reset is necessary in some cases (like when flashing between stock Asus and RMerlin firmware) for Asus routers and why we would want to minimize any inter-firmware interactions in a proactive fashion.
Further information can be found in my signature following the links below.