RT-AC86U stops networking after a few days?

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.

Rici

Occasional Visitor
Hi all,

When I had Merlin 384.14 running for a couple of months, my AC86U was running rock solid.

Since I upgraded to 384.18 two weeks days ago, the router stops networking after a few (e.g. 3) days.
  • The router LEDs are still very active and on or flashing, indicating activity.
  • But no WIFI or LAN connections are possible - for example, clients do not get an IP address any more.

How to fix that?


Also, when looking at the system log, hoping to find out what was causing the issue (e.g. Diversion, Skynet etc.) I could see that the last entry in the system log is from May 4, followed by the next entry of August 9 (so no log entries shown in between).
Is this logging issue a known bug, too?

Please help.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Seems like you haven't reset your router fully for a long time.

Moving 3 or 4 firmware version up without doing so is almost bound to give you issues. A full reset to factory defaults, after flashing the firmware you want to use, and then minimally and manually configuring the router (don't use a saved backup config file) is required.

See the link for a practicable solution. But I believe the one most likely to help will be in the last two paragraphs of the link below.

 

Rici

Occasional Visitor
Going from 384.14 to 384.18 *requires* a factory reset ?!?
That means it would lose all of my configuration settings... a drastic step.

I did the reset after installing 384.14 - which is just 7 months "old". Factory-resetting isn't something one should do regularly.

Any other solution?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Regularly or not, one should be done when needed (as it seems to be in your case).

From the README-merlin.txt file included with each zipped download.

Installation
------------
Simply flash it like any regular update. You should not need to
reset to factory defaults (see note below for exceptions).
You can revert back to an original Asus firmware at any time just
by flashing a firmware downloaded from Asus's website.

If the firmware upgrade fails, try rebooting your router to free
up sufficient memory, without any USB disk plugged in,
then try flashing it again.

NOTE: resetting to factory default after flashing is
strongly recommended for the following cases:

- Updating from a firmware version that is more than 3 releases older
- Switching from a Tomato/DD-WRT/OpenWRT firmware

If you run into any issue after an upgrade and you haven't done so,
try doing a factory default reset as well.

Always read the changelog, as mandatory resets will be mentionned
there when they are necessary.

In all of these cases, do NOT load a saved copy of your settings!
This would be the same thing as NOT resetting at all, as you will
simply re-enter any invalid setting you wanted to get rid of. Make
sure to create a new backup of your settings after reconfiguring.
 

Rici

Occasional Visitor
Strange. I wasn't aware of that, otherwise I would have upgraded in incremental steps.

Can I downgrade from 384.18 to 384.14 - as that version was running flawlessly for me?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Sure, you can downgrade.

But I recommend flashing 384.19 Beta 1 or later and then doing a full M&M Config reset afterward when you can. The RT-AC86U will more than likely need it anyway because the JFFS partition got truncated by Asus.


 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
When I had Merlin 384.14 running for a couple of months, my AC86U was running rock solid.
When I had RT-AC86U routers I also found 384.14 to be the most stable Merlin version on this particular router.
 

Rici

Occasional Visitor
Downgrading from 384.18 to 384.14 on my RT-AC86U: Can I just install the firmware?

Does it matter that it is an older version than the one currently installed?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
You can install it. Just be prepared to reset it if you see any issues. I'm guessing you will.
 

Rici

Occasional Visitor
Hmm, it's getting strange.

  1. While trying to log on locally via LAN to the WebUI of Merlin, I was unable to do so - no Merlin WebUI response...
  2. So I SSH'd into it, invoked SCMERLIN and restarted the Merlin WebUI - boom, then I could log in.
Thus, I am not sure it's my RC86U that is running wrong because of installing firmware by going directly from 384.14 to to 384.18...


Is there an issue with the Merlin WebUI server?
For me, it clearly is.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
No issues with the RMerlin WebUI server on many RT-AC86U's.

The steps you have taken though may be the reason your router isn't stable anymore.

I would recommend doing a full reset to factory defaults at this point.
 

Rici

Occasional Visitor
Doing a full factory reset - and loosing all settings as a result - would be the ultimate step. Since it takes hours to get everything restored manually and tested, while being without Internet, I of course want to avoid that as much as possible.

You might not share my pov, but lots of others do.

Stating that lots of others don't have an issue doesn't help either, unfortunately.

Why WebUI https should stop after a few days ?

IMO, FW 384.18 has issues.
Diversion etc. running fine on the very same router shows to me, my confirmation - with a factory reset - is good. The error is somewhere else, I suspect.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
By definition, if it's working for others, then what is different on yours is the likely suspect.

Keep searching for answers, and I hope you find them, but it is not hours to do a full reset to test either.

Simply create a backup of your current Config and the JFFS partition along with the firmware that was working for you.

Perform the reset and test.

If the results aren't satisfactory, flash back to the firmware that worked for you and restore the Config backups you made.
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
Downgrading from 384.18 to 384.14 on my RT-AC86U: Can I just install the firmware?
Flash it on top, see if it works properly. If not, reset it and set manually. There is nothing much you can do. I would start from scratch.

WebGUI definitely has issues and there are multiple posts/threads about it. It got worse after 384.14 firmware on this specific router. Less issues reported with other models. I personally tested 1:1 setup on an RT-AC68U. It works properly on it and it doesn't on RT-AC86U. Merlin is not the problem here. It's the bad Asus base firmware. 384.xx is a different software on different routers. The GUI is the same. My advice - replace this router with AX88U or something else. This is what I did. With something else.
 

Rici

Occasional Visitor
WebGUI definitely has issues and there are multiple posts/threads about it. It got worse after 384.14 firmware on this specific router.
Thanks for confirming, so I am not alone with this issue. I also got confirmation about in when asking about is specifically in another thread.

@L&LD : Not sure about your motivation here. I was asking kindly, but your statements such as "By definition, if it's working for others, then what is different on yours is the likely suspect" are less than helpful.
Actually, it's the other way around: "Only because most are right I am wrong" is definitely not a guideline in my life and also not for all of the software development I was involved in. Sad to see such recommendations here from (what I thought) renowned admins...
Aside from that, as you can see now, I am not alone with this WebUI. Just because you like to ignose/downplay it it doesn't mean it does not exist. I clearly get it, you are not interested in a solution other than what you suggested. Again, not helpful.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
My motivation is to try to help you and anyone else get your router/network back to a good/known and stable working condition. And I am replying kindly too. Sorry if that isn't coming off from the words on your screen. I am trying my best to improve my English communication skills every day.

You're looking for an easier solution than I've already presented. It doesn't seem to exist. At least not to anyone here that may be able to help you since August 9 when you first posted this thread.

From RMerlin's ReadME-merlin.txt file included with every zipped download, which I've already linked above.

NOTE: resetting to factory default after flashing is
strongly recommended for the following cases:

- Updating from a firmware version that is more than 3 releases older
- Switching from a Tomato/DD-WRT/OpenWRT firmware

If you run into any issue after an upgrade and you haven't done so,
try doing a factory default reset as well.
I'm not an admin, just a volunteer with my time here as everyone else is too (except for Tim).

There is nothing to downplay (I am not responsible for everyone else's router, nor do I know what they've done to them or tried to fix them with).

I am offering you a known course of action to fix the issues you're having, as noted in RMerlin's notes, but saying I'm not helpful is really missing the point of my posts.
 

Smokey613

Senior Member
I had some glitches on my original RT-AC86U but I had not done a full reset since Merlin 384.13 When I recently purchased my second RT-AC86U and updated both to 384.19 (I had played around with the new AiMesh 2.0 on them briefly) I finally did a full reset after installing 384.19 on them. Now my system is rock solid. I run only minimal scripts anymore, mainly Skynet. I have not done any further “scripting” other than briefly Cake-QoS, which I no longer use. I have other things for now to spend my time on and it is nice to just enjoy a very stable network environment. Take the sage advice, do a full reset, slowly restore your settings manually, making notes between changes. I even do backups of my config/jffs between changes to establish restore points if things get flaky. All my 29 devices have static DHCP assignments so I understand how daunting doing a full reset can be.
 

Cobra Kai

Occasional Visitor
I have an 86u. Recently, I came over to ASUS from using other brands. Why? I wanted to be able to play with my configs, load new things and load Merlin FW. There is a learning curve. These routers need lots of procedures followed. Is this for all? Probably not. I like being back to the Admin and full control on my systems. Have I had issues? Yup. Who was to blame for them? Me - I didn’t follow the procedures or guidance provided. Do I have any regrets? Nope. I have 3 virtual learners on the network, 2 wfh workers. Yeah, I got folks counting on the network to work. I can’t comment for anyone besides my experience. I was able to overcome my struggles early with the 86u to a better place. Just my 02.
 

Rici

Occasional Visitor
@L&LD : A nightly restart of http daemon with a CRU script solved my issues. Running rock-solid since then - so no labor-intense hard-reset of the configuration needed.

That means: the http server of Merlin (or Asus, or both) in 384.18 clearly has issues. As I could see here in one forum, it's not only me, but others who faced that issue as well.

So it might be worth checking what's the issue with the http server.


Note: A hard reset and manual rebuild of a comprehensive configuration is a worst-case scenario and something I would not recommend unless all other options failed (as it is nmot the case here).
 

Similar threads

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top