Best practice to uploading latest Merlin 386.1

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homeofwind

Occasional Visitor
I have a AX-86U with update factory firmware. As Merlin 386.1 stable is out, I like to upload it. Can anyone share the best practices to do that?

Appreciate it.
 

homeofwind

Occasional Visitor
Upload it, do a factory default reset, then manually reconfigure it.
Thanks! And great work! Shall I save the current setting first? If yes, just use the "save setting" function or have to note them down before uploading Merlin? I am newbie and not sure the new UI will be similar to the factory one so I can find the setting locations?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
If you want a backup in case you have to go back you'll need the backup file created by "Save setting" and a copy of your currently installed firmware which can be downloaded from the Asus website.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Download and save the actual firmware that you have running now.

Save a backup config file from the router's GUI.

Save a backup of the JFFS partition from the router's GUI.

Put the above in a save place for (if) you need to get your router up and running again quickly (you would flash the firmware you saved, fully reset the router to factory defaults, import the backup config file and the backup JFFS file you created above, done (less than 10 minutes).

The best method I have found (recently!) till today for 'remembering' any settings is to download Firefox and save each page as below.

Save Settings From Router


The 'best practices', step by step setup you can do on a full factory reset router is outlined in the links below.

Update/Reset Mini Guide

Reset Mini Guide + Control Channel Setup Details

Control Channel Setup 2021


After the above is completed and you have a fully functional and stable router/network, the link below can add security, performance, and other enhancements to your router with the addition of a spare USB drive. I recommend the 128GB Patriot Elite drives or better (I use the 512GB drives myself). The best is to use a 128GB or larger PCIe m.2 SSD in a UGREEN PCIe to USB enclosure (for some, this is the same cost or less to the 512GB drive I use, with much better endurance and better matched to the writes the nand of the drive will be subject to (vs. just a USB 'key').

amtm Step-by-Step https://www.snbforums.com/threads/amtm-step-by-step-install-guide-l-ld.56237/#post-483421
(Note, do not 'install' amtm as suggested in the guide above if using RMerlin firmware 384.15_0 or later).



The following link may be of use too for further reading.

L&LD | SmallNetBuilder Forums
 

homeofwind

Occasional Visitor
Download and save the actual firmware that you have running now.

Save a backup config file from the router's GUI.

Save a backup of the JFFS partition from the router's GUI.

Put the above in a save place for (if) you need to get your router up and running again quickly (you would flash the firmware you saved, fully reset the router to factory defaults, import the backup config file and the backup JFFS file you created above, done (less than 10 minutes).

The best method I have found (recently!) till today for 'remembering' any settings is to download Firefox and save each page as below.

Save Settings From Router


The 'best practices', step by step setup you can do on a full factory reset router is outlined in the links below.

Update/Reset Mini Guide

Reset Mini Guide + Control Channel Setup Details

Control Channel Setup 2021


After the above is completed and you have a fully functional and stable router/network, the link below can add security, performance, and other enhancements to your router with the addition of a spare USB drive. I recommend the 128GB Patriot Elite drives or better (I use the 512GB drives myself). The best is to use a 128GB or larger PCIe m.2 SSD in a UGREEN PCIe to USB enclosure (for some, this is the same cost or less to the 512GB drive I use, with much better endurance and better matched to the writes the nand of the drive will be subject to (vs. just a USB 'key').

amtm Step-by-Step https://www.snbforums.com/threads/amtm-step-by-step-install-guide-l-ld.56237/#post-483421
(Note, do not 'install' amtm as suggested in the guide above if using RMerlin firmware 384.15_0 or later).



The following link may be of use too for further reading.

L&LD | SmallNetBuilder Forums
Thanks for the help! Will uploading Merlin will change mobile app setting at all? How about wifi name, password etc? Do I need to reconnect devices?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

homeofwind

Occasional Visitor
Just flashing the firmware shouldn't change any configuration settings you have made.

Just note that it could be 5 to 60 minutes (changelog, RMerlin), up to 3 hours (various), and even 15 hours (@pirx73).

No matter how long it takes, the wait will be worth it (the takeaway is; give it the time it needs before judging it). :)

Release - Asuswrt-Merlin 386.1 is now available | Page 18 | SmallNetBuilder Forums (snbforums.com)
seems the time is quite unpredictable-may have to do it on weekends-can't do without wifi during day time.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
No issue with the network, working. Just accessing the router's GUI. I say; no need to wait for the weekend for that.
 

pirx73

Senior Member
@L&LD you are absolutely correct - all this time GUI was inacessible, i did not had any problems with network access from connected devices whatsoever. Network was rock stable.
And i think there was a noticeable WiFi coverage improvement on 5GHz on 2nd floor as well. Might be just my imagination of course.
 
Last edited:

zd59

Regular Contributor
Over the weekend I have a plan to upgrade my RT-AC86u on 384.17 to latest 386.1
I've read all suggestions/manuals here. L&LD manuals are excellent, but I'm not sure about all:

When to do a factory reset? Prior or after new FW upload?
Is it right to reboot right after new FW upload or I have to wait (how long?)
When is a long waiting time for databases to settle - after router rebooted with new FW?
 

JohnD5000

Senior Member
The best method I have found (recently!) till today for 'remembering' any settings is to download Firefox and save each page as below.
Is there any reason to use Firefox over a Chrome based browser (Brave, Chrome, Edge, etc.) using Save Page As (Ctrl-S)? Or should this suggestion just be Save Page As in browser?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@zd59 you may have missed my post above. Very 'verbose' and explicit steps, I think. :)

 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@JohnD5000 what Firefox does is save the webpage (as a webpage). This allows for hidden (*****) input boxes to be displayed by clicking inside them (just like you can do within the GUI). I don't know of any other 'save as' that works this easily or gives this level of use.

I use Edge myself for normal use. Firefox is installed for this reason, alone.

Try it for yourself to see which you prefer, but there is no comparison.

No need to scroll to 'capture' the next parts of the webpage, the ability to select/copy and then paste, is a boon to clumsy fingers everywhere (including mine).

And most important? All the settings are in context. Not just to what they pertain to. But in relation to all the surrounding options too.

And all this with a single 'CTRL S'. :)
 

JohnD5000

Senior Member
@zd59 you may have missed my post above. Very 'verbose' and explicit steps, I think. :)


No I didn't, your post specifically mentions using Firefox to take the screenshots. This functionality is in other browsers and I was asking if there was a reason for using Firefox over other browsers. I use the Brave browser (it's more secure out of box than Firefox) and wanted to know if I am missing something using its "Save Page As" feature over Firefox's.
Thanks
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@JohnD5000, why are you replying to my post to @zd59? :)

I replied to you two minutes before your post (look above). ;)
 

JohnD5000

Senior Member
@JohnD5000, why are you replying to my post to @zd59? :)

I replied to you two minutes before your post (look above). ;)

Sorry, must have been typing when you posted it..

So, I don't have Firefox loaded on my machine, wasn't aware of the hidden (*****) input boxes to be displayed just by clicking. Anyhow, I tried it with Brave. Clicking the (*******) doesn't work, but I can right click it and select Inspect, and it is there. So, Firefox saves a few clicks in this one specific situation, but doesn't seem worth it for me to have Firefox browser on my system, but thanks (I wasn't aware of the hidden (*****) being viewable.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Brave (browser)? I'm not brave enough to install that on my system. :)
 

DCT

Occasional Visitor
If I have to do a factory default reset, which is the preferred method for the AC86U, just hold in the reset button for 5 sec. or turn the device on while keeping the WPS button pressed?
 

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