RT-AX86U ... no cferom fw version after 386.5_2 ... consequences ???

kernol

Very Senior Member
Not a coder ... but been around here for a good while. Background ...

386.5_2 without doubt [in my book] the best, most stable and "clean" Merlinware version released for my RT-AX86U's [if not for all models]. So much so that after many years of dirty upgrades - and even though 386.5_2 was running smooth - I rebased my routers by nuclear resets and full manual rebuilds with fresh USB-3 flash drives etc. Easy rock steady process - and full settings, JFFS etc backups retained.

Then for this router model Asus hit an "air pocket" and released [then pulled] a stock firmware update which bricked a number of these routers. The cferom provided by Broadcom was apparently identified as the probable cause - and from that point on @RMerlin released 387 Alpha's, Beta"s and the final firmware version 386.7_2 for this model without the cferom.

Here's the thing ...
I had played with the early Alpha's which included problematic wifi drivers from Asus stock and the subsequent versions which included updated wifi drivers ... but still experienced some oddities in the logs and intermittent connection issues. So after flashing 386.7_2 I decided to do full factory reset and rebuild manually from scratch. Major struggle ensued and I experienced many of the issues described by others who had reset after 386.7 in the Release and in the Intermittent Loss of Wi-Fi threads [log spamming with unusual messages, intermittent connection losses etc].

Fixed by re-flashing to 386.5_2 cferom firmware - JFFS format and factory reset - followed by restore of 386.5_2 settings and JFFS.
Back to fully stable 386.5_2 with clean logs etc.
Then ran dirty upgrade to 386.7_2 and its rock steady, with clean logs solid connections etc.

So ... finally :rolleyes: ... my question to the experts - is there some "sauce" in the cferom that is now missing in Merlin 386.7 et sequi which could contribute to reset and rebuild problems ??? :confused:
 

rxe25

Occasional Visitor
I'm just about to do the same on my 88U, I have 386.7.2 and will be attempting to downgrade to 386.5.2. It's good to see someone have a good experience with this idea. If I get a stable 386.5.2, I will not be upgrading to 386.7.2 until there is a newer release that has no widescale reports of these wifi and connection drops.
 

kernol

Very Senior Member
386.5_2 has a very stable Asus stock foundation version 3.0.0.4.386.46065 which had been widely released by Asus across the range supported by RMerlin. He has had a tough time with 386.7 [in my view and judging by the large number of commits] given the hiccups experienced with closed source sections over which he has no control.
 

iJorgen

Regular Contributor
I have had the same thoughts as you @kernol. I flashed the alpha 1 containing the cferom and seemed my router swallowed it. Only thing was a message saying I had to do a manual reboot after flashing the alpha 1, but that's maybe a good sign telling my router did flash the rom?!
My router has been rock-solid on all releases from 386.5_2 (alpha 1 with cferom alpha 1 without cferom Beta 1 etc.) and now running 386.7_2.
Best Wifi-performance I have ever had so far with not a single drop-out and clean logs...
 

128bit

Regular Contributor
well, i only upgraded to the "official" releases as i've not got the guts for betas these days. too many scars from some 40 yrs in the business, perhaps.
still, my dirty upgrade has been solid (5 days). i will admit that i have 2 flakey devices with improved connectivity. one in particular would drop on occasion and especially so with the now retired ac86u. both devices are on opposite ends on the house, so it's not a big surprise. with this latest release - no observed drops at all!

this ax86u is pricey and perhaps even overkill for my household needs but it seems to put out a slightly stronger signal and maintains the connection better than its predecessor. i have several log entries but i've been told that the iot weather devices are prone to this behavior. even so, they all work.

i appreciate this post and will be watching.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Asus has also removed the cfrerom from all released HND firmware. I don't know if it's temporary or permanent, but the latest GPL now deletes the generated cferom images at the end of building.
 

kernol

Very Senior Member
Asus has also removed the cfrerom from all released HND firmware. I don't know if it's temporary or permanent, but the latest GPL now deletes the generated cferom images at the end of building.
Many thanks for replying ... any idea whether lack of cferom flashing may compromise the build after full factory default restore? Found it strange that many issues arose trying to configure 386.7_2 manually after factory resetting. Believe me I am familiar with resetting methods [got the T-shirt and don't believe I messed up].

Useful tip to try for others having this problem on the AX86U - totally successful if clean install after flashing cferom 386.5_2, resetting, allow time to stabilise and then dirty flash to 386.7_2 ... that results in rock solid router [many thanks for your efforts].
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Many thanks for replying ... any idea whether lack of cferom flashing may compromise the build after full factory default restore?
It shouldn't, since that is how Asus themselves are providing updates lately.
 

rxe25

Occasional Visitor
Just want to report that my downgrade via rescue restore to 3.86.5.2 went great and everything is back working again, no more WAN drops, no more GUI lag, no more issues with wifi connections, and constant DHCP lease refreshes on the LAN.

I see 3.86.8 beta has dropped but I see nothing in release notes that would encourage me to try it.
 

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