Solved Did I brick my AC68U?

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TheHammer

New Around Here
Hi all - could use a bit of help here. I just got a new Asus RT-AC68U router and was hoping to flash it. When I tried to do load a new firmware I got a compliance message that said I couldn't do it...

So I found some other instruction that told me to use the Merlin version first. I did that and got the Asus UI, but with the Merlin logo at the top as well. Trying to flash the NVRAM and get to dd-wrt didn't work, I just kept going back to the Asus UI w/ the merlin logo. Hope that makes sense.

Next I tried following the instructions here: https://tedstechshack.com/2015/10/2...edtomato-firmware-on-an-asus-rt-ac68u-router/ in order to get AdvancedTomato working. I remember using Tomato by Shibby years ago and had a good experience. I got the recovery UI and loaded the firmware, but the router never completed it's reboot. Since then I have been unable to get to any UI.

I've tried holding the WPS button and rebooting. I've tried holding the reset button and rebooting.

I ran wireshark, and there does seem to be network traffic, but I can't make out if it's all local or if something is actually going to the router. The LAN1 LED does light up when connected to the computer, so something is going on.

I currently have a slow flashing power led and a slow flashing red internet led

Any tips on what to try next would be greatly appreciated!
 
Last edited:

Tech9

Very Senior Member
I just got a new Asus RT-AC68U

What exactly version RT-AC68U? Some of them are not supported by AdvancedTomato. It's very old now, based on Tomato by Shibby, no support. The instructions you have followed may not apply to your AC68U. FreshTomato is the current Tomato development - https://freshtomato.org/. Do you see the Mini CFE web at router's default IP address?
 

TheHammer

New Around Here
Looks like it's HW v3, FW v3.0.0.4.385.

And thanks - hopefully I'll get a chance to try freshtomato.

No UI at all that I can find. Just get the 'no internet' message in the browser.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
RT-AC68U V3 is not supported by any Tomato version at the moment. FreshTomato will add support from version 2021.3 up. You should check those things before attempting flash. Flash back Asuswrt-Merlin until FreshTomato adds support for your router. Fix your PC LAN adapter first to IP 192.168.1.5, sub 255.255.255.0, gateway 192.168.1.1 - there is no DHCP with Mini CFE webserver. Hold the Reset button with router OFF, power the router ON. When you see the power LED slowly flashing, release the Reset button and type 192.168.1.1 in your Web browser. You should see the Mini CFE webserver. Upload Asuswrt-Merlin, wait patiently. It may take 30+ min time, don't interrupt the process! You can set ping -t 192.168.1.1 in Command Prompt to see when the router is ready for upload (TTL=100), when it reboots (timeout) and when the new firmware is up (TTL=64). When you complete the process, turn the router OFF, hold the WSP button, power the router ON. After about 15 seconds it will power itself OFF (or the power LED will turn off, there are 2 reset methods, not sure which one applies to V3), power it back ON (or power cycle if the power LED only turned off) and let it boot normally. Restore your PC LAN adapter settings to Auto, unplug the LAN cable, wait for 10 seconds and plug it back in, access the Setup Wizard on 192.168.1.1. I guess the default IP for this router is 192.168.1.1, but it may be 192.168.50.1. Adjust the above as needed. By the way, Asuswrt-Merlin is the better firmware for Asus routers.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Very careful what firmware you upload! Double check firmware for AC68U. No model verification in Mini CFE webserver. Your router is not bricked now, but it will be if you upload by mistake firmware for similar named AX68U, AC86U, AX86U models. Use stock Asuswrt, if you want to restore it the way it was.
 

TheHammer

New Around Here
RT-AC68U V3 is not supported by any Tomato version at the moment. FreshTomato will add support from version 2021.3 up. You should check those things before attempting flash. Flash back Asuswrt-Merlin until FreshTomato adds support for your router. Fix your PC LAN adapter first to IP 192.168.1.5, sub 255.255.255.0, gateway 192.168.1.1 - there is no DHCP with Mini CFE webserver. Hold the Reset button with router OFF, power the router ON. When you see the power LED slowly flashing, release the Reset button and type 192.168.1.1 in your Web browser. You should see the Mini CFE webserver. Upload Asuswrt-Merlin, wait patiently. It may take 30+ min time, don't interrupt the process! You can set ping -t 192.168.1.1 in Command Prompt to see when the router is ready for upload (TTL=100), when it reboots (timeout) and when the new firmware is up (TTL=64). When you complete the process, turn the router OFF, hold the WSP button, power the router ON. After about 15 seconds it will power itself OFF (or the power LED will turn off, there are 2 reset methods, not sure which one applies to V3), power it back ON (or power cycle if the power LED only turned off) and let it boot normally. Restore your PC LAN adapter settings to Auto, unplug the LAN cable, wait for 10 seconds and plug it back in, access the Setup Wizard on 192.168.1.1. I guess the default IP for this router is 192.168.1.1, but it may be 192.168.50.1. Adjust the above as needed. By the way, Asuswrt-Merlin is the better firmware for Asus routers.
Thank you so much! Had to play around w/ my network adapters a bit (had to bridge connections and then set the IP/gateway as you noted above) - but finally got to the mini CFE and it seems to be uploading asuswrt-merlin now. Current TTL=100. I'll check on it in the morning
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Keep this router on Asuswrt or Asuswrt-Merlin for maximum performance, unless you need some special Tomato options you're familiar with. Asuswrt is modified Tomato under the hood and comes with the newest Broadcom drivers. RMerlin's version is enhanced Asuswrt - it looks the same, but adds options not available in stock Asuswrt. See https://www.asuswrt-merlin.net/ for more information.
 

Hazel

Regular Contributor
Good to hear. Please edit the title of your first post and change the prefix to ‘Solved’.

Thanks in advance.
 

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