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RT-AC68W aimesh problem, and ... got bricked

Discussion in 'ASUS AC Routers & Adapters' started by Lan, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Lan

    Lan New Around Here

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    I had so much trouble adding aimesh node. I have 4 routers. RT-AC3100, TM-AC1900 (Convert to RT-AC68U), RT-AC68P, RC-AC68W. I was able to config AC3100 as main, and AC68U and AC68P as nodes.
    AC68U connected right away, AC68P took me a couple for resets and different firmwares, but I got both of them working eventually.

    When I tried to connect RT-AC68W, thats when the headache starts.
    First, after I finishing config RT-AC68W using LAN cable, and connect back to AC3100. This winodw pop out and disappear in 3 second.
    [​IMG]

    I tried all the firmware on asus website, and reset (using button and through software) + clear nvram (using WPS) + 30 + 30 + 30 more than dozen times. I even reset my AC3100 to default, and also tried Asus Android app.

    I came across an article online saying RT-AC68U is pretty much same as RT-AC68W, I can tried flash CFE to RT-AC68U and use AC68U firmware.

    So export the "original_cfe.bin" file, and upload the this site (cfeditor.pipeline.sh) and choose 1.0.2.0 US Aimesh.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then upload new_cfe.bin & mtd-write & FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx .
    I used AC68U firmware because I had flashed AC68U firmware on AC68W router before.

    Then I did a NVRAM Reset.

    However, after that only USB 2.0 light comes up (without attached to any device). If I plug in a LAN cable, the LAN port will light up. I read elsewhere this means the router is bricked.
    [​IMG]

    I read on this post, the guy was able to bring the router back alive using the serial cable. I just bought the cable.
    Just wonder what is the odds for this to work? Or would it even work at all?
    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/t...d-while-flashing-from-tomato-to-merlin.29077/
     
  2. Lan

    Lan New Around Here

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    Aug 8, 2018
    Messages:
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    Somehow original post won't use dropbox images.

    20180807_224020.jpg

    20180807_231756.jpg 20180808_081710.jpg
     
  3. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    246
    Won't work because somehow your CFE is corrupted. Serial TTL interface only works if it actually boots the bootloader. That is indicated when the power light stays on.
    Just for your info, however, the trx files for all the supported AC68 u/r/p/w are the same. Only the file name is different, and that doesn't matter. IDK what the differences are in the CFE, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't your original problem. So I think your White one is a boat anchor. Just like one of my TM-AC1900s.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  4. Lan

    Lan New Around Here

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    I have done this process at least 5 times on my tm-ac1900, I couldn't figure out what exactly step I did wrong. Should I not modify my cfe file through the website? Or there was something wrong with the router oroginally.
     
  5. follower

    follower Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    83
    I'm sorry. You just wasted some bucks for the cable. The link is for a different situation.
    If you see USB 2.0 light only it means your router is bricked. There is no way to revive your router. The cable job doesn't work for your bricked router at all.
     
  6. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    246
    You didn't need to change the CFE on your 68W in order to run any of the ASUS 68 series firmware. I see from your pic that your original CFE (1.1.1.2) was for hardware revision 1.9. So maybe there is something in the 1.0.2.0 CFE (h/w rev 1.70) that is incompatible with 1.9 hardware. It's a moot point now. (BTW, I've got a TM-AC1900 bricked with the same symptoms - caused by flashing a bad CFE)

    It is possible that some hardware defect caused your original problem setting it up as a node. However many other people have also been frustrated by difficulties adding a node regardless of hardware type. Most likely some flakiness in the immature AiMesh firmware.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  7. Lan

    Lan New Around Here

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    Aug 8, 2018
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    The reason I decided to change CFE was becuase I had flashed RT-AC68U firmware on RT-AC68W, but it still shows RT-AC68W (white router image) when I log in 192.168.1.1.

    I bought this router second hand from offerup. When I contacted Asus and and checked the serial number, it is under in warranty. So I sent it into, and 3 days pass by, they told me they couldn't repair it, so they are gonna replace it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  8. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
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    Great that you are getting service from ASUS. But the "RT-AC68W" that shows up in the gui banner (and elsewhere) comes from the CFE (the original one). Where you went wrong is expecting it to change because you flashed a 68U trx file. The trx files for a 68U and a 68W are identical (same version of course). Only the filename is different. However the CFE files are different in more ways than just the model name.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  9. Lan

    Lan New Around Here

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    Aug 8, 2018
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    I understand by flashing the trx file, it wouldn't change the RT-AC68W because the system is pulling information from CFE which is why I initially decided to flash CFE.

    Update:
    2 weeks after I sent in the RMA, I tried to look on the status page, it couldn't find it. I called and chatted with Asus. They finally told me they don't have RT-AC68W on hand, and will replace it with RT-AC68U. Then waited another week, they finally shipped the unit to me. It will arrive tomorrow. I am pretty confident the RT-AC68U is gonna work right away since it is more popular model.
     
  10. Grisu

    Grisu Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,337
    There is NO difference between these routers beside the color (and showing different names)!
    Here in EU even white can be named RT-AC68U like mine, they use more than one name for same model which all got same or nearly same hardware and identical firmware, others maybe named RT-AC1900, still the same.
     
  11. Lan

    Lan New Around Here

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    Aug 8, 2018
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    status update:
    Got my RT-AC68U today. Flashed to the latest version, and everything seems to be fine for now. I will try joining it to the mesh tonight.