Is there an order to do things when flashing firmware? What is the difference between the reset button and WPS button to factory reset?

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jusjohn55

Regular Contributor
Whenever I flash firmware, I always seem to get a more unstable router every time I do it. Here is the order I do things. When I use Merlin or ww drt, I install it, let the router reboot, I then factory reset the router with WPS after it reboots, set it back up with the new firmware.

I keep seeing people say that you should factory reset the router BEFORE you install the new firmware. I just factory reset after the router reboots once the firmware flashes. If I messed up the firmware, can I do something to fix it so it is not as unstable because my router has become severely unstable after I flashed it.

If I am doing something wrong here please let me know. Also, what is the difference between WPS and just holding the reset button?

Also, is it possible to firmware flash a router with a USB drive that has the firmware on it?
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Whenever I flash firmware, I always seem to get a more unstable router every time I do it. Here is the order I do things. When I use Merlin or ww drt, I install it, let the router reboot, I then factory reset the router with WPS after it reboots, set it back up with the new firmware.

I keep seeing people say that you should factory reset the router BEFORE you install the new firmware. I just factory reset after the router reboots once the firmware flashes. If I messed up the firmware, can I do something to fix it so it is not as unstable because my router has become severely unstable after I flashed it.

If I am doing something wrong here please let me know. Also, what is the difference between WPS and just holding the reset button?

Reset FAQ
Reset Button/webUI Restore
WPS Button Hard Reset

OE
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Can you flash firmware onto a router with a flash drive?

You should be able to use any storage that is accessible from the browser used to login to the router webUI. I download the firmware file to my PC and upload it from there to the router.

OE
 

jusjohn55

Regular Contributor
You should be able to use any storage that is accessible from the browser used to login to the router webUI. I download the firmware file to my PC and upload it from there to the router.

OE
How do I know if a firmware corrupted? Everything is running and it shows "Merlin" up top but the ping in my games spikes so often now. Also, did you upload via ethernet or just wifi? @OzarkEdge
 

jusjohn55

Regular Contributor
Also, should you factory reset before or after the firmware flash? Is it ok to flash a different firmware if the other firmware is buggy? If you end up damaging your router from flashing, can you repair it some how?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
How do I know if a firmware corrupted? Everything is running and it shows "Merlin" up top but the ping in my games spikes so often now. Also, did you upload via ethernet or just wifi? @OzarkEdge

I always use a wired PC on a UPS to manage firmware.

You use an MD5 checksum utility to confirm a downloaded firmware file... to be extra cautious.

OE
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Also, should you factory reset before or after the firmware flash? Is it ok to flash a different firmware if the other firmware is buggy? If you end up damaging your router from flashing, can you repair it some how?

Did you read the FAQ?

Yes, you can flash a different firmware.

If the power glitches while flashing firmware, you might brick the device. A UPS can help to avoid this.

OE
 

SomeWhereOverTheRainBow

Part of the Furniture
What is an MD5 checksum?

An MD5 checksum is a 32-character hexadecimal number that is computed on a file. If two files have the same MD5 checksum value, then there is a high probability that the two files are the same.
After downloading an AsusWRT firmware, you can compute the MD5 checksum on the firmware file. Use the computed MD5 checksum to compare against the MD5 checksum provided for that firmware file on the download page. By doing this, you can verify the integrity of your download.
There are a variety of MD5 checksum programs available on the Internet.
 

jusjohn55

Regular Contributor
An MD5 checksum is a 32-character hexadecimal number that is computed on a file. If two files have the same MD5 checksum value, then there is a high probability that the two files are the same.
After downloading an AsusWRT firmware, you can compute the MD5 checksum on the firmware file. Use the computed MD5 checksum to compare against the MD5 checksum provided for that firmware file on the download page. By doing this, you can verify the integrity of your download.
There are a variety of MD5 checksum programs available on the Internet.
How can I download the firmware that I have on the Asus router now to compare?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
How do I know if a firmware corrupted?
If you try and upload a corrupted firmware the router will not apply it a report an error.

How can I download the firmware that I have on the Asus router now to compare?
You can't. It would be pointless anyway, it would be like trying to compare the Windows directory on your PC with the installation CD.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
How can I download the firmware that I have on the Asus router now to compare?

If you doubt the installed firmware, download the firmware you want from the OEM product support website, install it from a wired PC browsing the router webUI, reset it using the Restore\Initialize option in the router webUI, and then configure it from scratch. Ideally, protect all power with a UPS to protect the process.

The Asus support website has many FAQs to answer the usual questions. You can search for these using the FAQ search field at the bottom of the router webUI, or simply visit the product support website directly for same.

OE
 

Ronald Schwerer

Very Senior Member
OP states instability after flashing new firmware. That can be caused by many things. It is hard to diagnose the problems without specifics. A factory reset may or may not address these issues but is always a good start. Other possibilities (depending on what old and new f/w is used) would be invalid/corrupted /jffs storage. I am under the assumption that /jffs does not get erased by a factory reset or WPS reset. Depending on the firmware used, the /jffs partition might get re-sized during new firmware installation. Or some of the files might be corrupt/incompatible. With Merlin, you can specify that jffs gets formatted on the next boot. This should eliminate these issues.

I'll add that I've also seen performance/stability issues after a firmware update. Sometimes it takes time for new firmware to "sort out" the environment. Other times it is just a matter of getting the settings correct. I recently switched my main router from an AC68U to an AX3000 and the 1st day I was disappointed enough as to consider switching back. But eventually things started running smoother. I think it was a combination of the tweaking settings and the firmware sorting-out the environment. Now I'm very happy with the new hardware and it is very stable for my purposes. Note that default settings are only a starting-point/best guess.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
To rule out (or confirm) if instabilities are user or hardware-related, the following steps are recommended to be followed in full.

Fully Reset Router and Network
 

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