Bricked AC5300 with weak leds

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leeeeeo

New Around Here
Hello, all, this is my first post in this forum. I read a lot of threads about my issue with no success at all.

First, I'm a happy user of an AC87U model, running Merlin firmware well for years. The firmware question and security concerns let me think about a hardware substitution.

So I bought a bricked RT-AC5300 in Brazil, hoping to restore the firmware, as this model looks like high quality hardware.

The original owner tells me that he was using it normally, when things stopped working and he tried the Asus Recover Tool without success.

Then, I got the router and tried:

1) Asus Recovery Tool - tried the last stock firmware, the stock firmware v384 and Merlin v380 - all failed. At this point, power LED was the only led that was up with strong light (all times).

2) Web Recover - tried the same as above using the web interface after entering restore mode (power LED flashing). I also tried to clean nvram from the web interface. All tentatives failed resulting in a boot with only the LED power on (all times).

3) So I tried a version of dd-wrt using the Asus Recovery Tool. Initially the upgrade looks promising, because I flashed the firmware and went to a meeting. 2h later, I could see the dd-wrt initial screen on the web browser and a lot of leds turned on. But when I tried to reconfigure the router in dd-wrt, nothing was responsive and after reboot, all I got was solid power LED only again. :(

4) At this point, recovery mode (press reset when turning on) changed. I got only some seconds with static IP with ping with TTL=100 to flash a new firmware using dd-wrt (my guess is that it's a dd-wrt feature).

5) After a new flash attempt, I turned the router on with the WPS button pressed. Power LED starts to blink, then I release it after a few seconds. After this procedure, I noticed a different behaviour on LEDs after power on. Intermittently, I got a full strenght stuck power LED on and other times two leds (power and WPS) looking weak. In both situations, no response from the router.

6) After this, I had to try a lot of times to turn the router on by pressing reset to access recovery mode. One time I got success and flashed again Merlin v380 by TFTP.

7) The "weak WPS/power LED" condition got worse and almost all attempts of turning the router on failed. I turned off the unit for 12 hours and tried again - accessing the "original" recovery mode (web and Asus Recovery tool was available). I chose to flash via Asus Recovery Tool the v384. As all previous attempts, the recovery tool shows a success message after 2% and then waits for reboot. After reboot, I got "weak WPS/power LED" most of the times or solid power LED with no response.

8) I try to use a USB-TTL adapter to access console boot messages. Despite all forum tips, specially connecting 2 seconds after boot, I failed all times and no single character was shown in Putty.

9) I also tried a different power unit after step (6).

Now I think I have a bricked AC5300 with stock v384 with different LED behaviour when I turn the unit on: only "weak light" on power and wps leds. Can't access recovery mode anymore. Can't ping anymore.

Are there any ways to recover the unit? If not, does one of my procedures lead to this "weak light leds" behaviour?

Thank you and forgive my English errors.

Leo
 

AndreiV

Very Senior Member
Try another power supply unit before doing anything else , they often fail and result in issues like this.
 

leeeeeo

New Around Here
Thank you, @AndreiV.

I already tried original power unit, power unit from AC87U and a generic notebook power unit. Same issues... :(
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
Thank you, @AndreiV.

I already tried original power unit, power unit from AC87U and a generic notebook power unit. Same issues... :(
Did the notebook power supply you used provided 19 V? If you use a supply with more voltage than specified you will let the magic smoke out of the router and too low voltage may not work either.
 

leeeeeo

New Around Here
Did the notebook power supply you used provided 19 V? If you use a supply with more voltage than specified you will let the magic smoke out of the router and too low voltage may not work either.
Yes, I'm aware of this.

The "weak leds" intermittent issue starts after boot with WPS pressed. The unit was already bricked, but things got worse. As I can't access boot messages through serial USB-TTL, it's hard to debug. If I connect WAN port to the notebook, the WAN led start to blink.

Thank you.
 

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