Identifying parts in ASUS AC3100 board

nonfatalexec

New Around Here
I have a bricked ASUS AC3100 router that I have interest in reading/flashing the BIOS with a CH341 programmer and SOP8 test clip. The problem is I have very limited hardware knowledge. I removed the casing and took pictures of both sides. I know I'm supposed to remove the battery and find the BIOS. However, it doesn't look like it has a battery and I don't know which is the BIOS chip. Can anyone help identify the BIOS?
 

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Tech9

Part of the Furniture

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I have interest in learning to reflash dead routers.

How do you know the flash is the issue, if you have limited hardware knowledge?
I have repaired multiple Asus routers and none of them had a bad flash. It takes efforts to kill an Asus router with incorrect firmware.
 

nonfatalexec

New Around Here
The router doesn't have a battery or a BIOS. It's not a PC.

According to this the RT-AC3100 uses an ESMT F59L1G81LA-25T flash memory chip. Which is a TSOP48 package. See pages 15 and 16 of this document.
Thanks for the information. It looks like the CH341A can only read ESMT, but can't write to it. I'll check what I need for this.
How do you know the flash is the issue, if you have limited hardware knowledge?
I have repaired multiple Asus routers and none of them had a bad flash. It takes efforts to kill an Asus router with incorrect firmware.
You have a good point. I can't jump to the conclusion that the flash data is corrupted, but only it's one possible cause. This device powers on, and the power and 2.4 GHz light turn on. I don't see the SSID broadcasted. If I plug in the WAN cable, the WAN light turns on for about 10 seconds then turns off, and connecting a network port to a computer doesn't give an IP.
In rescue mode, while uploading the firmware, the power light turns off while upload is happening, but the upload doesn't time out. Then rebooting with power off/on, gives the same behaviour as above.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Don't reboot it manually. It may take an hour or more to fully flash and reboot itself. Be patient and let it do what it needs to (if its doing anything at all, of course).
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
In rescue mode, while uploading the firmware, the power light turns off while upload is happening

Flashing firmware in Rescue Mode may take some time. Don't interrupt the process, wait for the router to reboot itself.
 

nonfatalexec

New Around Here
Is it possible for the rescue mode to be corrupted? I tried several times to upload the firmware and wait for it to reboot itself, but it never did. I waited 12 hours before deciding to reboot. I did notice one difference is the 5 GHz comes back alive until the next reboot.
 

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