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RT-AX86U can't upgrade from 3.0.0.4.388_21709-g74151b7 and settings won't save

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DulanW

New Around Here
Hi,
My ASUS router is having some weird issues, I can't seem to upgrade 3.0.0.4.388_21709-g74151b7, I tried the ASUS firmware recovery tool and also tried to use the merlin firmware but it won't upgrade, no errors and it seems to complete the process and restart the router but the firmware version stays the same, and it wipes all the settings.

After a few tries failing to upgrade and change settings, I tried to change operating mode in in http://www.asusrouter.com/QIS_wizard.htm?flag=welcome to Repeater Mode which what I wanted to do but after going through all the steps it just resets the router and all the settings are gone and I'm put back into the welcome page.
I'm currently using it in access point mode but I would like to change it to repeater mode, which it won't let me do.

Any help will be greatly appreciated
 
What are you upgrading to ?
I'm tried upgrading to 3.0.0.4.388.23285 (the latest version available on the asus website), I also tried downgrading to the version before the current one 3.0.0.4.388.20566 but neither of them seems to change the firmware.

Also something I noticed on the firmware recovery tool is that the progress bar only goes up to 53% in the first step, then it jumps to the next step with no error.

I attached a pic I took right before it ended this current step in the installation.
 

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Don't use the phone to proceed with the upgrade. Use a PC instead.

Be sure you download the correct firmware for your router. Verify the hash after you've extracted the zipped files.

Remove all USB devices connected to the router. Remove all WAN and LAN cables too.

Remove the power plug from the router (leaving the power button 'on') and remove the AC adaptor from the AC wall plug. Wait a minute or two before powering up the router and attempting the following.

Perform a WPS Button reset on the (use the appropriate method from the link below for your router).



You may have to do the reset a few times to get your router to a good/known state. The following link may be helpful in doing so.



After the router is fully reset, configure and secure it as much as possible without connecting the WAN or any LAN cables. Use WiFi to flash the firmware you want to use.

After successfully flashing the latest firmware, you will want to do a full reset again to ensure the router is truly in a good/known state with the newest firmware and is seeing/using the expected default settings it is programmed for.


The following links may also be helpful too.
 
I'm tried upgrading to 3.0.0.4.388.23285 (the latest version available on the asus website), I also tried downgrading to the version before the current one 3.0.0.4.388.20566 but neither of them seems to change the firmware.

Also something I noticed on the firmware recovery tool is that the progress bar only goes up to 53% in the first step, then it jumps to the next step with no error.

I attached a pic I took right before it ended this current step in the installation.
From your screenshot it looks like you might be trying to install the zip file rather than extracting the content and uploading that.
 
Don't use the phone to proceed with the upgrade. Use a PC instead.

Be sure you download the correct firmware for your router. Verify the hash after you've extracted the zipped files.

Remove all USB devices connected to the router. Remove all WAN and LAN cables too.

Remove the power plug from the router (leaving the power button 'on') and remove the AC adaptor from the AC wall plug. Wait a minute or two before powering up the router and attempting the following.

Perform a WPS Button reset on the (use the appropriate method from the link below for your router).



You may have to do the reset a few times to get your router to a good/known state. The following link may be helpful in doing so.



After the router is fully reset, configure and secure it as much as possible without connecting the WAN or any LAN cables. Use WiFi to flash the firmware you want to use.

After successfully flashing the latest firmware, you will want to do a full reset again to ensure the router is truly in a good/known state with the newest firmware and is seeing/using the expected default settings it is programmed for.


The following links may also be helpful too.
I didn't use the phone to do it, although I tried the app once to see if trying to update through that will do anything but it's the same issue.

I tried a bunch of different things including the one that you linked to above, I also tried holding down reset button then unplugging it, and waiting a few seconds and turning it back on all the while holding the reset button to get into recovery mode.

It enters recovery mode fine and the recovery tool and even the router config webpage (192.168.50.1) doesn't give any errors, it's just that the firmware doesn't actually change, it doesn't show the new version and when I try merlin, it doesn't say Merlin on the header and the version shows the same old version.

The only thing I noticed is the progress bar on the recovery tool only goes up to 53% in all the steps, and the 1st step for uploading shows only half the size of the file.
 
I don't believe you're following the instructions fully.

I don't recommend using Recovery mode on the router (except as a very last step). Very easy to brick it like that.
 
I don't believe you're following the instructions fully.

I don't recommend using Recovery mode on the router (except as a very last step). Very easy to brick it like that.
The hard reset is one of the first thing I've tried, and I tried your steps but unfortunately doing the hard resets and trying to update fw through the web interface doesn't make a difference (or through any other method).
 
Those are not the only steps suggested.
 
Those are not the only steps suggested.
not sure what your problem is, you're accusing me of lying because I didn't copy and paste all the instructions when I just wanted to differentiate what I did (using recovery tool, or would you prefer that I type out the whole instructions for you?) and what you mentioned. just wanted to see if I could get this fixed or at least put it to repeater mode cause I only bought this to use with my oculus quest 2 but I'll just RMA it with ASUS since there's still a few more months before it's out of warranty.
 
Not sure what you mean?
The router is an AX86U, that's the model it says at the back label.

They mean it is very common to accidentally download the wrong firmware (AX68, AC86, etc). So make 100% sure you grabbed the right one.

Unplug everything except one wired PC. Hard factory reset using procedure below, configure just enough to get into the web GUI, upgrade to the new firmware, then hard reset again.

1. Turn the router off.
2. Press and hold the "WPS" button and turn the router on.
3. Power light is on (keep holding the WPS button).
4. Release the WPS button after the power light is off.
5. Reboot your router by manually pressing the power button.

If that doesn't work, sounds like something may be hosed on it. There was someone here that couldn't get their settings to save and it was related to the filesystem having gone read only and they had to do some commands to re-partition it.
 
Well, all the usual's have chimed in with their helpful suggestions. So, here goes another...

A Hard Factory Reset (https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1039074/) is usually in order to get to a "basic" router state. Method #2 for the AX86U. However, the AX86U can be a stubborn cuss and not completely clear settings with a Hard Factory Reset, AKA WPS reset. Doing a Factory Reset with Initialize usually worked for my AX86U but before I sent it in to Asus under warranty there were a couple of tries that failed. What works? Flashing the firmware that is on the router might be a good place to start. However, if you are using it as an AP or repeater the version on the router is good enough. If all that fails it may be the router is beginning to brick itself. Asus did send me a refurbished router that I used as an AiMesh node for a while but it acted up and is currently gathering dust.
 
No problems here. Just trying to help you.

Use the information as you wish.
 
I was reading through this thread last night and wanted to ask the OP if you had tried the built in firmware updater vs manually downloading / flashing. What I usually do is log into the web UI via a web browser go to firmware update and check for updates through that UI and let the router download the firmware vs doing it manually. That usually works fine for me, and I've downloaded firmware manually as well.

Anyway, after reading through and not seeing this method being tried, just thought I'd ask. Though, it does sound like there is a bit more going on here, than normal.
 
I didn't use the phone to do it, although I tried the app once to see if trying to update through that will do anything but it's the same issue.

I tried a bunch of different things including the one that you linked to above, I also tried holding down reset button then unplugging it, and waiting a few seconds and turning it back on all the while holding the reset button to get into recovery mode.

It enters recovery mode fine and the recovery tool and even the router config webpage (192.168.50.1) doesn't give any errors, it's just that the firmware doesn't actually change, it doesn't show the new version and when I try merlin, it doesn't say Merlin on the header and the version shows the same old version.

The only thing I noticed is the progress bar on the recovery tool only goes up to 53% in all the steps, and the 1st step for uploading shows only half the size of the file.
You ain't the only 1 with this issues. I can flash different firmwares but also only see 53% on the asus recovery app. Also even after multiple factory resets using different methods and on fresh cleaned browsers I see different wifi settings from time to time. I believe the ax86u has severe issues and it started back when the update went out that bricked units. Best thing to do is part with it or if you can rma it. Dunno how it got rated so well😂
 
You ain't the only 1 with this issues. I can flash different firmwares but also only see 53% on the asus recovery app. Also even after multiple factory resets using different methods and on fresh cleaned browsers I see different wifi settings from time to time. I believe the ax86u has severe issues and it started back when the update went out that bricked units. Best thing to do is part with it or if you can rma it. Dunno how it got rated so well😂
in typical asus fashion they refuse to RMA it, says I have to return it to the store, bought this like 2 years ago and my brother can't even find the receipt
 
I was reading through this thread last night and wanted to ask the OP if you had tried the built in firmware updater vs manually downloading / flashing. What I usually do is log into the web UI via a web browser go to firmware update and check for updates through that UI and let the router download the firmware vs doing it manually. That usually works fine for me, and I've downloaded firmware manually as well.

Anyway, after reading through and not seeing this method being tried, just thought I'd ask. Though, it does sound like there is a bit more going on here, than normal.
I asked for help from another forum member (ColinTaylor) and after trying some stuff, he said it's most likely a flash memory issue and I would have to RMA, ASUS support has been unhelpful as always refusing to RMA, so I'll try calling them tomorrow to see if anything changes but I'm just going to give up at this point and never buy anything asus again.

 

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