Fixed: Can't change settings on Administration-System page on RT-AX88U in 384.17

Cor Kroon

New Around Here
Maybe I'm simply doing something wrong, but I remember this working differently in the past...

I run two RT-AX88Us, one as router, the other as AP. Both are on the release version of 384.17 and work fine in general. Kudos for the Merlin firmware!

However, when I try to make changes to the Administration- System page, it won't save my settings when I click "Apply". The page prefills the admin username and shows the error "This account already exists. Please enter a different name." both with or without a password filled in.
If I simply clear username it tells me "Username cannot be blank" and won't save settings either.

I seem to remember I could simply change a setting and click "Apply". Is this a user error or a bug?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
You are using a password filling app? Or the browser is doing it for you?

Use a different browser to troubleshoot. Or, use the browser you have now in 'incognito mode'.
 

Cor Kroon

New Around Here
You are using a password filling app? Or the browser is doing it for you?

Use a different browser to troubleshoot. Or, use the browser you have now in 'incognito mode'.
It's not filling the password, but the admin username. I'm not using a separate password filling app. I have tried this with Chrome (my default browser), Edge and Chrome in incognito mode.
When the admin username is filled in (with or without a new password) the page shows "This account already exists. Please enter a different name." and refuses to apply changes. Without the username filled in it says "Username cannot be blank." and also refuses to apply changes. Either way I'm unable to change settings. I've tried to set USB mode from 2.0 to 3.0 and Disable LED from off to on, both to no avail.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Reboot the computer and try again. Edge Chromium and I assume Chrome doesn't actually close itself (unless you've changed this behavior in the settings).

You can also download another browser and don't import any favorites or other settings into it too.
 

Cor Kroon

New Around Here
Reboot the computer and try again. Edge Chromium and I assume Chrome doesn't actually close itself (unless you've changed this behavior in the settings).

You can also download another browser and don't import any favorites or other settings into it too.
I have done the following:
- Rebooted the computer. Plus tried this on my other laptop AND my desktop AND my smartphone.
- Tried this in Chrome, Edge Chromium, IE and Samsung browser.
- Made sure my browser does not prefill admin username OR password on the router login screen for any of my devices.
- Filled in different usernames for the admin on the Administration - System page. Including the correct one and ones that do not exist.
- Tried that with the existing admin password, a new admin password and no password at all
- Clicked "apply" after making changes to the Administration - System page and also without doing so
- Tried it on both my "main router" RT-AX88U and the access point RT-AX88U.
- Iterated through combinations of the above to make sure I've covered all the bases.

The result is always the same:
- If ANY username for admin is present in the page, clicking "apply" will throw the error "This account already exists. Please enter a different name." even when there is no such account, e.g. "foobar".
- If NO username for admin is present in the page, clicking "apply" will throw the error "Username cannot be blank."
Either way, settings are not applied.

This used to work. I've used this functionality before on my RT-AX88U (as well as on my previous RT-AC88U and RT-AC87U, all of which were running Asuswrt-Merlin firmwares) with simply leaving username prefilled and password fields empty.

Can anyone with an AX-88U please test this on their setup?
 

dave14305

Part of the Furniture
Kinda guessing, but is the same admin user listed as the first user in the usb Samba user list? I think it expects it to be. I could be completely wrong.
 

Cor Kroon

New Around Here
Kinda guessing, but is the same admin user listed as the first user in the usb Samba user list? I think it expects it to be. I could be completely wrong.
It's the name of the router's admin account, the one used to login to the GUI on the router's login page. And no, it's not "admin". Never leave your router's settings at default values, right?
It's not the same as the first user in the USB Samba user list, but the router admin account is in the USB list by default. And I agree, I think it's expected to be.
 

dave14305

Part of the Furniture
It's the name of the router's admin account, the one used to login to the GUI on the router's login page. And no, it's not "admin". Never leave your router's settings at default values, right?
It's not the same as the first user in the USB Samba user list, but the router admin account is in the USB list by default. And I agree, I think it's expected to be.
You can either reset factory defaults and start over or try your hand at reordering the values in nvram so your admin user is listed first.
Code:
nvram get acc_list
nvram get acc_webdavproxy
 

Cor Kroon

New Around Here
You can either reset factory defaults and start over or try your hand at reordering the values in nvram so your admin user is listed first.
Code:
nvram get acc_list
nvram get acc_webdavproxy
This is interesting! Thanks for your suggestion, Dave! Both routers have inherited their settings by exporting from a previous router (RT-AC88U) and importing it on the RT-AX88Us.
I've never noticed the admin account was not in first place in the Samba user list but in last place. That means the first regular user cannot be deleted, while the admin one could... Weird stuff! :)

However, this got me thinking and I've found a workaround/fix that works without doing a factory reset of going into NVRAM:
  1. Go to the Administration - System page. Replace the admin login with the name of the first user in the Samba list, but leave the password fields blank. Click "apply". Router will save settings!
  2. Logout from the router.
  3. Try to login with previous admin username and password. Router will say it's invalid.
  4. Login with with first Samba user's username and previous admin user's password. Login works!
  5. Go to USB Samba list and change the username of the previous admin account to any username not yet in the list.
  6. Go to Adminstration - System page and change the name of the admin login account and password to the desired values here. Click "apply". Your username and password are being saved.
  7. Check back on USB Samba userlist: your admin account is now in first place. :)
I've just confirmed these steps on the AP (least damage if I had to do a factory reset after all). Will now continue to perform my "fix" on the main router too.

Thanks for your help!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
You have caused these issues by importing a saved backup config file from a different router. :rolleyes:

You may think you've fixed it, but this will come back to haunt you in other ways I'm sure.

A full reset to factory defaults including checking the 'Initialize all settings' checkbox and afterward formatting the JFFS partition on the next boot (and hitting 'Apply' at the bottom of the page and then rebooting 3 times in the next 15 minutes waiting for at least 5 to 10 minutes between reboots) is my suggestion.

Follow this by not importing a saved backup config file at all and minimally and manually configure the router to secure it and connect to your ISP. Additionally, do not 'blindly' input old/previous settings that may not be applicable anymore. The M&M Config and the Nuclear Reset guides found in the link in my signature below can help with further details, including recommended defaults after a full reset as described above.

I hope your 'fix' works for a while. Best to plan when (not if) you will configure the routers properly to have your network stable and reliable and your routers back to a good/known state too.

HTH. :)
 

Cor Kroon

New Around Here
You have caused these issues by importing a saved backup config file from a different router. :rolleyes:

You may think you've fixed it, but this will come back to haunt you in other ways I'm sure.

A full reset to factory defaults including checking the 'Initialize all settings' checkbox and afterward formatting the JFFS partition on the next boot (and hitting 'Apply' at the bottom of the page and then rebooting 3 times in the next 15 minutes waiting for at least 5 to 10 minutes between reboots) is my suggestion.

Follow this by not importing a saved backup config file at all and minimally and manually configure the router to secure it and connect to your ISP. Additionally, do not 'blindly' input old/previous settings that may not be applicable anymore. The M&M Config and the Nuclear Reset guides found in the link in my signature below can help with further details, including recommended defaults after a full reset as described above.

I hope your 'fix' works for a while. Best to plan when (not if) you will configure the routers properly to have your network stable and reliable and your routers back to a good/known state too.

HTH. :)
To my defense, in this review by DongKnows of the RT-AX88U I've read that
Code:
During the setup process, you’ll have a chance to upload settings from a backup file. In this case, you can upload settings of almost any other Asus routers. Like most Asus routers released in the past five years or so, the RT-AX88U supports universal setting restoration.
Better safe than sorry, so I'll heed your advice and plan a complete factory reset and manual reconfiguration of both devices.
 

netware5

Very Senior Member
To my defense, in this review by DongKnows of the RT-AX88U I've read that
Code:
During the setup process, you’ll have a chance to upload settings from a backup file. In this case, you can upload settings of almost any other Asus routers. Like most Asus routers released in the past five years or so, the RT-AX88U supports universal setting restoration.
Better safe than sorry, so I'll heed your advice and plan a complete factory reset and manual reconfiguration of both devices.
That's just another confirmation that we should not trust to such "reviews". I am a strong believer in the concept of factory default reset and manual entering of settings after changing the router. The only exception could be (but just COULD) the DHCP fixed assignments.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@Cor Kroon dong knows what he knows, we know what we know. :)
 

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