Replacing AC86U with AX86U - what about settings?

amigohd

Regular Contributor
I am gonna replace an old AC86U with an AX86U. After installing merlinwrt, is there a way to "copy" my settings over? Or do I have to reconfigure the new router step by step?
I'd like to keep settings, DHCP allocations etc. if possible.
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Do not use a saved backup config file. Particularly one from another model router.

Create a new network, minimally and manually.
 

amigohd

Regular Contributor
Can I at least do a nvram save and restore of the settings?
 

amigohd

Regular Contributor
Just to let you know: NVRAM Save/Restore Utility worked without a glitch. Most router settings were transfered. Running system without any problems :)
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
Note the username and wait for another post asking why the router is behaving oddly without mentioning this.

Never ever export/import settings between models!
It's probably advice like the following that muddies the waters over this issue (just guessing):
Screenshot 1.jpg

Screenshot 2.jpg
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
It's probably advice like the following that muddies the waters over this issue (just guessing):
Probably.

There's no such thing as a "Universal settings restoration". This has never been mentioned in any Asus documentation or anywhere else on the internet. This is something that dong just invented out of thin air. Sadly a lot of people read it and believe it.

I see he's still perpetuating this misinformation in his more recent Asus router reviews. Tells you everything you need to know about the quality of his reviews.
 
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Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Not recommended, but it actually works for most core settings like user/pass, SSIDs/pass, wireless settings, DHCP reservations, system settings, etc. whatever is the same between the two routers. Even TrendMicro settings are transferred, but without the data. New settings not available on older router remain at default values. I have experimented with this on AC68U -> AC86U and AC86U -> AX86U. The new router was working properly with no ill effects.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
So new details emerge. You constantly berate Asus' 'toylike' routers but insist on testing them with best and worst practices. So much for your 'testing' credibility.

No ill effects except you look down your nose at them when they don't operate to spec...
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
It's probably advice like the following that muddies the waters

By the way, I remember @RMerlin explaining there is settings conversion mechanism in Asuswrt. It must be doing something. Asus routers don't reject configuration files created on other routers or firmware like they reject wrong firmware files. The oldest AC86U firmware still available for download is 384.21140. The newest firmware available for AX86U is 388.20566. Here is another successful experiment:

The settings on AC86U:
- username/password
- 2x SSIDs with password, no Smart Connect
- fixed channels set with 20 and 80MHz wide
- Beamforming and MU-MIMO disabled in Professional
- TX Bursting disabled in Professional
- USB 2.0 set in System
- Auto Logout set to 10min in System
- 4x DHCP addresses reserved in DHCP server
- 4x devices with custom client names and icons
- all TrendMicro components enabled, AdaptiveQoS manual and 2x devices in Parental Controls with custom filters

I did change some expected the same settings in AX86U basically, in common areas and not too far from what an average user will have.

The result on AX86U:
- all AC86U settings were transferred to AX86U with exception of user icons (different set in 386 and later)
- all TrendMicro components enabled and working, including AdaptiveQoS manual up/down settings and Parental Controls filters
- all non-existing on AC86U settings (like Wi-Fi 6 related) left at AX86U firmware defaults

Note this was a jump from 384 to 388. Moving 386 to 388 would have transferred user icons as well.

I still won't do it because I prefer fresh start, but it's obviously working. At least between similar HND platform routers. I don't have an older AC68U at the moment to test with. Let me know if you want me to test anything else before I reflash the routers.

Don'tKnow is not entirely wrong this time. :)

P.S. Forgot to test WTFast enabled on AC86U. Not sure if I could without an account anyway. It doesn't exist on AX86U. Next time...

Comments @RMerlin, @ColinTaylor?
 
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amigohd

Regular Contributor
I agree to it might not be the best to transfer nvram settings. But it did work and I got the new router setup in less than 5 mins as almost every settings were transfered.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
My issue with dong is that he's promoting this "Universal settings restoration" as an actual Asus feature. It's not. I've never seen anything from Asus even hinting this is a supported practice. (I'm sure their marketing people would be splashing over their web pages if it was.) If it really was a "universal" feature why could he only get it to work on some Asus router but not others.

Sure you can do and it will mostly work but that's not the point. His "testing" is akin to walking across a road with your eyes closed, getting to the other side alive and then declaring this as a normal way to cross. Just because he didn't get bitten doesn't mean other people won't.

The source code for the nvram import is freely available. You can see there is a certain amount of "filtering" that takes place. So it's not like you'll end up with an unusable system. My questions would be, are the settings you end up with a) consistent, and b) optimal. Maybe your average user isn't quite so OCD as I am. They probably wouldn't notice or even care if everything wasn't quite right.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I've never seen anything from Asus even hinting this is a supported practice.

It doesn't say don't do it either and the routers readily accept configuration files. If it was completely wrong and damaging I would expect model and firmware verification in place. No such thing though and the result is positive, at least on my two available routers.

My questions would be, are the settings you end up with a) consistent, and b) optimal.

I did check every setting on AX86U and they are correct. About optimal - it depends. Most users who know little will be close to defaults anyway, usually far from optimal. The whole thing is just about time saving, not the best. Smart Connect kind of experience.

My issue with dong

I know. As I said once I can generate similar reviews without the product available or even released. :)
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
It doesn't say don't do it either and the routers readily accept configuration files. If it was completely wrong and damaging I would expect model and firmware verification in place.
You assume too much IMHO. The reason it's accepted is not because of some clever validation process. It's because Asus are still using the exact same file format that Tomato used years ago. You can import almost any backup file into any router, of any version no matter how old, no matter how illogical, and it will just do it. Do you really expect Asus to list every possible thing not to do with your router. (P.S. I didn't say it was damaging.)
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
You assume too much IMHO.

Yes, and my assumptions are correct most of the time. :)

The file name of AC86U router settings is Settings_RT-AC86U.CFG. It's really easy to prevent loading it on another router just by verifying the file name. How many average users will modify the name in an attempt to "trick" the new router? About optimal settings - AC86U works better on channels 36-48, AX86U on 149-161. Even if I was setting the AX86U from scratch, I have no way of knowing this before actually seeing how it performs. Coming from AC86U experience I would have set AX86U manually to the same wireless channels anyway.

I'm not saying it's the right way, but it's working and pretty well. Dong is wrong about Universal Setting Restoration, but claims it works on the same router and the same firmware only are also wrong. I would say use at your own risk. If something doesn't feel right - reset and configure manually.
 
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jjulez

Regular Contributor
One should not have to do this it manually, when i get my AX86U or Pro version.
That's a lot of work dealing with two vpn configurations and then the actually router settings,port forwarding etc. I am really tempted transfer the settings
 

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