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Whoops! Asus RT-AC68U dd mtdblock1

Discussion in 'ASUS Wireless' started by bikeseat, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. bikeseat

    bikeseat New Around Here

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    Mar 7, 2018
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    Asus RT-AC68U

    I made a pretty awesome blunder and wiped out the mtd boot partition/block. And by wiped out, I mean: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mtdblock1

    Now, when powering on, only the USB2 blue led comes on, with the power light faintly on. I'm _pretty_ confident this is a brick. This was an old device I got off craigslist so I'm not too worried. Out of curiosity, I'm wondering what could be done to recover.

    I'm assuming that there can be no tftp because that is in the CFE?
    Will anything come out of the serial port if I get one of those cables?

    I have access to a hot air rework station, so it could be a fun experiment to try and flash the nand.


    Also trying to understand how these work. I've thought of it like a PC, with the nand being the hard disk. What's on the various "partitions" of the mtd?

    mtd0: "boot"
    mtd1: "nvram"
    mtd2: "linux"
    mtd3: "rootfs"
    mtd4: "ddwrt"

    Where is the "partition table" that lays out the mtd stored?

    Is there something analogous to an MBR or GPT?


    Thanks!
     
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  3. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    If you only erase mtd1 (and anything after), then the bootloader should still be intact (it's on mtd0). Try turning the router on with the reset button pressed until the power led starts flashing, then release it. At that point you should be in recovery mode, able to use Asus's recovery tool.
     
  4. bikeseat

    bikeseat New Around Here

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    Mar 7, 2018
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    mtdblock1 was a typo, should be mtdblock0.

    Tried reseting with via wps button as well as the reset button on the back. Still only get the solid usb2 light and a dim power light.
     
  5. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    If mtd0 was overwritten, then it's game over. You'd need jtag access or something similar to recover it.
     
  6. bikeseat

    bikeseat New Around Here

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    That's what I figured. Sounds like this router doesn't have jtag access yet but does have serial access.

    As I understand it, the serial access only helps of the cfe is there to interact with. With mtd0 gone, there would be no cfe, making serial access not helpful?

    Are there any guides available on how to flash the nand directly. I'm comfortable removing the chip from the board, but I don't know the specifics of how to flash it after I get it off.
     
  7. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    That's correct.

    Not that I know.
     
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