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Unable to update ASUS RT-AC68R to Merlin 386.10_0

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Dear all,
I have been updating my home network consisting of one RT-AC68 and a RT-AC1900 (configured as AiMesh) without problems up to this late version.
The firmware uploads and there is no error message, but no update really occurs.
I have done many factory reset and factory defaults restore (with the initialize checkbox marked).
The NVRAM usage is 58377/65536.
I do not have any parameters set other than the network and wifi configurations.
So, my questions are:
1 - Is this NVRAM usage normal?
2- If not, Why my attempts to clean the NVRAM have failed?
3- Can anyone help me to correct this issue to allow me to continue to update the firmware of my routers?

Thanks to you all.
What version are you coming from?
Did you do a full factory reset before the install, or are you trying a dirty upgrade?
1 - Is this NVRAM usage normal?
2- If not, Why my attempts to clean the NVRAM have failed?
3- Can anyone help me to correct this issue to allow me to continue to update the firmware of my routers?
1. Yes.
2. See #1.
3. Use the forum search feature to search this subforum and the ther subforums dealing with the AC series of Asus routers. There are a number of recent thread discussions on trying to deal with NVRAM issues with the RT-AC68U and the later Asus-Merlin firmware. Typically a hard factory reset is enough. There are a number of other suggestions ranging from removing or moving manual DHCP IP address assignments (or using YazDHCP) to running various code/script commands via SSH to nock down the NVRAM by removing or clearing certain values. Generally those code/script methods do not survive reboot and have to be run again post boot.

Edit to add: Other troubleshooting steps if firmware update fails.
  • Use a different web browser.
  • Use a computer wired to the router with NO other devices connected to the router.
  • If a USB hard drive is attached to router, disconnect the USB drive before flashing new firmware.
  • Do not load a saved router CFG file after performing a firmware update/upgrade.
  • Do not connect or setup AiMesh until the main router's firmware has been updated and running properly.
  • TM-AC1900 (T-Mobile) routers have a separate issue that prevents later Asus (and Asus-Merlin) firmware from being installed. Search the internet for discussions about that specific router and firmware update issues on other websites.
Last edited:
Thank you for the replies.
Answering the questions:
1 - I was using Tomato until March 2022
So I had to flash the 386.4_0 firmware to allow the repartition.
2- The newer versions were loaded as "upgrades"
3- After the first attempt of installing 386.10_0 as an upgrade (several times), I did some 30-30-30 resets and the WPS "hard reset" (with and without WAN and LAN cables connected).
However, I had never tried other browsers and/or disconnecting the external USB.
4- My AC-1900 is NOT the T-mobile version, just the "regular" RT-AC1900.
Upgrade successful after running the SSH command " for line in `nvram show | grep ^[^=]*=$ `; do var=${line%*=}; nvram unset $var; done; nvram commit " with all LAN cables connected as well as the USB external drive.
My question now is: can I do this with the AiMesh node? It seems to have the same IP address>
Thank you all
Hi again,
After some thinking I realized that it is impossible(?) that two devices have the same IP so I fumbled a little more on the router GUI and discovered the IP of the AiMesh router.
I did the same as above and was able to update the firmware.
Thank you

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