Solved Router no longer working after updating to RT-AC68U_386.1_2

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Vernier

Occasional Visitor
Dear all,
yesterday, I updated my router RT-AC68U to the last release: 386.1_2
I am updating it regularly and never had any issue so far. I got a message "updated successfully please reboot your router manually".
I though that everything was ok but after rebooting... nothing.
Wifi SSID were not visible even after waiting a long time, I tried to connect via cable and I could get nothing but "unidentified network". No internet and I could not even access 192.168.0.1

I tried to do a factory reset... No luck here as well.
I see other posts of user happy about this last update, am I the only one having this issue? Is it anything I can do to save my router?
The led on it seems to work properly but I cannot connect to it at all :(

If someone knows what to do, I would be really grateful.
Thank you
 

eibgrad

Very Senior Member

Bullet point #4?

Also, did you do a dirty upgrade (i.e., NO factory reset, just upgraded over the old previous settings)? I suspect you did since you tried 192.168.0.1, while the default from a factory reset is usually 192.168.1.1. Sometimes a dirty upgrade can lead to weird problems, esp. if coming from oem/stock firmware, or a major change from Merlin (e.g., 384.19).
 

Vernier

Occasional Visitor

Bullet point #4?

Also, did you do a dirty upgrade (i.e., NO factory reset, just upgraded over the old previous settings)? I suspect you did since you tried 192.168.0.1, while the default from a factory reset is usually 192.168.1.1. Sometimes a dirty upgrade can lead to weird problems, esp. if coming from oem/stock firmware, or a major change from Merlin (e.g., 384.19).

Hi, thank you for your reply. Do yo mean that I should have done first a factory reset before upgrading to this firmware?
I cannot make screenshot as I have no access to the device (that is actually the problem) but I download the upgrade from the Merlin website, and updated as per relevant panel on the router menu... I do not see what is "dirty" here?


regarding the point 4 (Webui very slow or unreachable after upgrading (this is normal as the router is doing database maintenance, just give it time, can take 5-60 mins depending on the router model)):
I gave the router a few hours and nothing changed. I used the default gateway from ipconfig.

Anyway, it is anything I can do here? I would rather avoid to throw it away :(

Thank you
 

eibgrad

Very Senior Member
Many users like to NOT do a factory reset before performing a firmware upgrade, thus preserving their current settings. That's called a "dirty upgrade". Dirty in the sense you didn't start w/ a "clean, known state". And while *sometimes* that works, it doesn't always work. That's why it's recommended you *always* do a factory reset before doing the firmware upgrade, then manually reapplying the settings.

But perhaps there is some other issue here that would have occurred regardless how you updated. There's no way for anyone to know for sure. But dirty upgrades sometimes do result in weird, unexpected problems.

Best I can recommend at the moment is trying one of the following options. Btw, I'm very familiar w/ that particular router since I own several.

Force a hard reset, which requires holding both the reset and WPS buttons at the same time, then applying power. Continue to hold those buttons until all the LEDs flash in unison (might take a few seconds), pull the power, then reapply power and see if it finally boots.

If that fails, place the router into recovery mode, which is a bit tricky w/ that particular router. In my experience, it requires holding the reset, WPS, and wifi on/off buttons, and only then applying power, until the power LED begins to flash very slowly. Once in recovery mode, you can use the CFE (available through your browser) or tftp (a command line utility) @ 192.168.1.1 to install either Merlin or OEM/stock firmware. Just beware that you only have 2-3 mins to initiate the firmware upgrade before it will exit recovery mode and attempt to boot normally.
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@eibgrad the proper sequence is:

  1. Flash the firmware you want to use on the router, first.
  2. Then, perform a full reset to factory defaults (and as many times and as many different ways as necessary to get the hardware to a good/known state).


On some routers and for a few users, the reset to factory defaults is required both before and after (to even flash to the firmware they need to use:
  1. Perform a full reset to factory defaults (and as many times and as many different ways as necessary to get the hardware to a good/known state).
  2. Flash the firmware you want to use on the router, first.
  3. Perform a full reset to factory defaults (and as many times and as many different ways as necessary to get the hardware to a good/known state).
 

eibgrad

Very Senior Member
@eibgrad the proper sequence is:

  1. Flash the firmware you want to use on the router, first.
  2. Then, perform a full reset to factory defaults (and as many times and as many different ways as necessary to get the hardware to a good/known state).


On some routers and for a few users, the reset to factory defaults is required both before and after (to even flash to the firmware they need to use:
  1. Perform a full reset to factory defaults (and as many times and as many different ways as necessary to get the hardware to a good/known state).
  2. Flash the firmware you want to use on the router, first.
  3. Perform a full reset to factory defaults (and as many times and as many different ways as necessary to get the hardware to a good/known state).

Fair enough, but should the dirty upgrade fail, you now risk what appears to be the OP's problem; an unbootable router. Now what? Now things get considerably more complicated, esp. for those less familiar w/ the entire firmware upgrade process. I still recommend always doing a factory reset first (or if the GUI provides the option as part of the upgrade, selecting it). But then I'm extremely conservative by nature when it comes to stuff like this. I also don't *chase* every firmware upgrade that comes down the pike unless I have a compelling reason (e.g., to fix known vulnerabilities). Heck, I'm amazed how many ppl chase down *alpha* builds too, only to be outdone by those who decide to do *remote* firmware upgrades (good grief).
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
What I feel the OP's issue is, is that the router was rebooted (manually) when it shouldn't have been. Asus and RMerlin should remove the 'Reboot the Router Manually' message. This is a recurring problem for my customers (new ones 'only', of course).

I would leave the router plugged into the AC and 'on' for at least a few hours. Then, I would leave it off for at least an hour with nothing connected to it at all (not even the power cord, even if it is not plugged into the AC wall outlet).

Then, I would be doing the appropriate WPS Button reset method for their router as described in the following link and alternating with the Reset Button method until the setup wizard is shown when connecting to the default 'Asus' SSID's for that router.

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global

And I would keep doing that until the router responds (and know to be patient and wait for up to 10 minutes or more for the router to fully boot up and show any RF signs of life).
 

Vernier

Occasional Visitor
Force a hard reset, which requires holding both the reset and WPS buttons at the same time, then applying power. Continue to hold those buttons until all the LEDs flash in unison (might take a few seconds), pull the power, then reapply power and see if it finally boots.

IT WORKS! You are a genius, thank you so much! thanks to you, I saved 120 €. Thank you so much!
I did this set up 3 or 4 times. It didn't seem to work at the beginning; I never reached the situation in which "all the LEDs flash in unison" but anyway, at the moment I was about to try the second solution, the router decided to work again :)

And it rebooted with RT-AC68U_386.1_2 just all of my settings got erased. I guess that is the point of a reset ;)

Anyway, I learned my lesson with "dirty updates" and I will be more careful in the future.

[B]L&LD:[/B] Asus and RMerlin should remove the 'Reboot the Router Manually' message.
Do I understand then that all of those issues I had were caused by the fact that I rebooted the router, while I should actualy not have followed this instruction? If so, well indeed it should be removed, I know for the future but I am probably not the only one who faced this issue
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I have not seen that method anywhere else before! Holding down both the Reset and the WPS buttons simultaneously while plugging in the power cord while the power button is depressed in the 'On' position.

I think in this case, either the Reset or the WPS button takes precedence (I'm not sure which) but would be interested to hear what others think.


And @Vernier, if you had left the router either unplugged or plugged in for a while (see my previous post) I would have expected it to work (eventually). :)
 

Diamond67

Senior Member
I got a message "updated successfully please reboot your router manually".

I think I haven't seen that message for ages.

I just start uploading the new firmware from Merlin GUI using MS Edge, watch the upload bar proceeding and wait until I can log in again. Then I let the router settle down for some 10 minutes and only after that I manually reboot. And wait again for the router to settle down and check that all the addons are up and running OK etc.

edit: with 386.1 settling down took a bit longer than 10 minutes, but anyway.
 
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