RT-AC68U stuck on version 384.19 after firmware updates

drenzio

New Around Here
Help! - I spent pretty much my entire weekend researching and trying everything I could find to resolve this issue.

I have a RT-AC68U with Merlin firmware version 384.19 on it and when I flash to any other version it says complete and is still on the same 384.19

What I've tried so far:
Factory & Hard resets before & after installing firmware.
Restore using Asus restore tool.
Updating from the mini server and clearing nvram
Clearing JFFS from the system tab
Tried different versions higher & lower firmware Asus or Merlin, and even tried going back to 378.55.
Is it just junk at this point?
 
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Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Flash Asuswrt 386_41634 with Firmware Restoration Tool and go from there. Do hard factory reset after. This was the last firmware with 40MB file size before V4 support was added. The newer versions with >90MB file size don't work with Firmware Restoration Tool. Good luck.
 

bennor

Very Senior Member
Restore using Asus restore tool.
Use 386.4 with the Asus firmware restore tool. As Tech9 pointed out there is an issue using higher versions with that firmware tool. RMerlin comments about the issue in the following post (and later post in that thread):
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/did-i-brick-my-ac68u-with-the-386-7_2-merlin-fw.80403/#post-784601
Asus recently switched to a combined firmware image for the RT-AC68U, where it contains two firmwares for two different models. I suspect that Firmware Recovery does not work with these combined firmwares.

Try downloading version 386.4, which will have the smaller single model image and flashing that in recovery mode.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Welcome to the forums @drenzio.

Also, be sure you've removed all USB devices from the router. Unplug all Ethernet ports before rebooting and then flashing the suggested firmware.

Double-check that you are downloading the correct file for your model router. Be sure you are verifying the hash posted.
 

drenzio

New Around Here
Checked MD5 hash - Removed all cables & USB, did a hard reset, then factory reset.
Ran restoration tool with Asuswrt 386_41634 got to 100% and then received "Failed to recover system message"
Did this method 2 times. Any other suggestions? Running fine under 384.19 but I want to upgrade.
 

Darkje

Regular Contributor
Checked MD5 hash - Removed all cables & USB, did a hard reset, then factory reset.
Ran restoration tool with Asuswrt 386_41634 got to 100% and then received "Failed to recover system message"
Did this method 2 times. Any other suggestions? Running fine under 384.19 but I want to upgrade.
First flash RT-AC68U_386.1_0.zip then move up.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
I have to ask the obvious question - Is this a genuine Asus branded router or a T-Mobile version?
 

Darkje

Regular Contributor
Flash or Restore? I've been flashing it says complete and then remains on the same version 384.19
You have flashed the first version 386.1 or newest? Normally I would suggest to regular flash is. If that failed then a restore.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
It's T-Mobile. Never had an issue flashing before.
That's why. Later firmware versions will not install on that model.

Q: Why can't I update my (modded) TM-AC1900 firmware?
A: Because you are running Asuswrt-Merlin on an UNSUPPORTED model, and Asus recently changed the firmware validation process to prevent such a thing. You will have to revert back to the original TM-AC1900. Beyond that, you're on your own.
 

drenzio

New Around Here
That's why. Later firmware versions will not install on that model.

Are you sure? my co-worker has the same t-mobile and is running the latest version of Merlin, I watched him flash it so I would know the steps.
 

Ronald Schwerer

Very Senior Member
Yup. With an incorrectly modified TM router, Merlin's newer firmware just quietly refuses to update. OTOH, Official ASUS firmware will roll you back to a version of T-Mobile firmware/CFE and lock the CFE. So consider yourself lucky.
 

drenzio

New Around Here
Yup. With an incorrectly modified TM router, Merlin's newer firmware just quietly refuses to update. OTOH, Official ASUS firmware will roll you back to a version of T-Mobile firmware/CFE and lock the CFE. So consider yourself lucky.
Crap...any workarounds?
and would I be able to use this version to aimesh with my ASUS RT-AC3100 using the latest Asuswrt?
 

bennor

Very Senior Member
Are you sure? my co-worker has the same t-mobile and is running the latest version of Merlin, I watched him flash it so I would know the steps.
As already indicated incorrectly modified T-Mobile RT-AC68U devices cannot be updated to the latest firmware or will be locked to earlier Asus firmware. Your co-worker likely correctly modified their router. Either ask them for the steps they used or search elsewhere for the correct steps. Any more discussion on the conversion process risks thread lock. A thread warning posted to another subforum:

 
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drenzio

New Around Here
Thank you everyone for taking the time to answer and get to the bottom of my issue, greatly appreciated!
 
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