Converting DSL-AC68U to RT-AC68U for use as AiMesh Node – Solved

Home Forums Wireless Routers & Modems … ASUS Converting DSL-AC68U to RT-AC68U for use as AiMesh Node – Solved

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  • #2470
    Zigzag
    Participant
    • Posts 7
    • Recruit

    Hi, I’ve been following this thread with interest and referring to the guidance it initially provides converted my DSL-AC68U into RT-AC68U.  I have to say, UK Sentinel and Six have given some absolutely brilliant advice in respect of this, and also to you booji with regards to your specific issue.

    I see that one of the pics you posted on 20th March shows your firmware as being version ‘3.0.0.4.384_2118’, while the other indicates version ‘9.0.0.4.384_56087’, so clearly something is wrong here.  And coincidentally Asus has just released version ‘3.0.0.4.384_56087’ for the device!!

    I’m no expert in this field at all, but if I was you I would be following Six’s suggestion of trying to clear/reset the NVRAM.  I’ve stumbled upon a post in which someone says the syntax to achieve this on RT-AC56 and RT-AC68U routers is:  ‘mtd-erase2 nvram’. I’m not sure maybe you’ve  tried this already…

    The thread then goes on to recommend doing a power cycle immediately after this in order to clear the nvram – the advice in this respect is either to press the reset button for 5 seconds while the router is on, or turn it on with the WPS button pressed, wait 10 secs, then release it.   Incidentally, the thread I’m referring to is here:  https://www.snbforums.com/threads/rt-ac66u-reset-clear-nvram.13550/

    Good luck – hope this works for your DSL-AC68U

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Zigzag.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Zigzag.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Zigzag.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Zigzag.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Zigzag.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Zigzag.

    #2500
    booji
    Participant
    • Posts 32
    • Regular

    Hi Zigzag,

    Thanks for replying. The firmware difference is due to trying experimenting with lots off different firmwares, new and old. I spotted 3.0.0.4.384_56087 a few weeks ago as a beta in the whirlpool.net.au forum so thought I might give it a go but alas no joy.

    I’ve updated this post after a few hours of work. It looks like the NVram seems to clear the system after all . I have since discovered that “booji” is just there instead of the “+” icon for adding PVC. I thought this was a corruption that was surviving an NVram set but it’s not the case. When viewed in IE it shows the “+” icon. It seems Chrome is displaying the word “booji” over the “+”  icon.  I’m not sure why but it’s a problem with chrome so for now I’m not worried. I also thought that a username and password field was surviving a nvram reset since it was displaying a username and password profile when openVPN server was enabled. This has now been dispelled as it now seems that the router automatically sets a username/password the same as the router username and password. It threw me a bit since it only does this for openvpn server and not PPTP server. I also mentioned that I could only get the router working if I uploaded an existing profile but this is not the case now. From a NVram clear I can get the router working on an external modem set to Ethernet Wan to Lan 1 and plug in a HG612 modem into it.

    So having dispelled the 2 supposed anomalies it seems the only fault I have is that the router is not detecting the DSL modem and not loading the DSL drivers.

    One thing I have managed to do was to export a copy my CFE bootloader and use a hex editor.  I did this a few days ago to search for the word “booji” but since I have found out tonight that “booji” is just a chrome thing it can now be discounted.

    I am now leaning towards the failed firmware upgrade may have stuffed parts of the CFE after all resulting in blocking the DSL part of the router. I would like a copy of the CFE bootloader for the DSL-AC68U so if anyone could supply me with a copy then I would be grateful although if this is against forum rules then please let me know.

    I’m toying with buying a second hand DSL-AC68U from ebay and maybe just setting up this one as a repeater or add it to aimesh (if Asus ever get it working properly)

    Other than that I might ditch Asus altogether and get a new router . I like the look of the FRITZ!Box 7590 but haven’t seriously been looking for replacements yet until I’ve exhausted all attempts at getting my router back.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by booji. Reason: typos
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by booji.
    #2515
    Zigzag
    Participant
    • Posts 7
    • Recruit

    Hi @booji,

    Its apparent that you’ve spent a lot of time in trying to restore the full capabilities of your DSL-AC68U.

    I also have DSL-AC68U and like you had it connected to a HG612 modem on LAN1.  That setup worked well but I wanted to connect another a device to that ethernet port so I followed the instructions in this thread and converted the DSL into an RT-AC68U.

    I initially felt the conversion had been a complete success, but then occasionally was unable to get a Wi-Fi connection to the DSL, acting as a RT-AC68U Ai-mesh node, and at the same time experienced Wi-Fi calling issues, which I don’t know may have stemmed from this changeover.

    Restoring the full capabilities of the DSL-AC68U appeared to go well, though once this had finalised, I couldn’t then get the device to make a VDSL connection to my ISP!!  I initially tried to use LAN1 as the WAN port, but that failed – no WAN or gateway IP addresses were assigned.  And this situation was replicated when I then attempted to use the built-in DSL capabilities of the device – absolutely no connection, nothing.

    I was then starting to think that I was in similar pickle to you @booji.  Trying to clear/reset the NVRAM and following all the other good suggestions on this thread didn’t make any difference,  I just couldn’t get the DSL to make a connection.  Fortunately, I then remember that prior to converting the device into an RT-AC68U I had backed up its configuration via the administration settings in the router’s Web UI, so I restored this and bingo the connection sprang into life – sorted!!

    So, my question to you now, is whether you also backed up your DSL’s configuration via its Web UI?? (This process creates a CFG file)

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Zigzag.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Zigzag.
    #2518
    booji
    Participant
    • Posts 32
    • Regular

    Hi Zigzag,

    Thanks for the post. I did back up a config file back in 2015 and loaded it up but it didn’t restore the connection, the PVC settings were all there though after the restore but they didn’t work.

    Indecently I found out why chrome was showing a spoof profile. It seemed that it was autofilling a username on the “+” icon of the PVC setting icon. I have no idea why. I guess I should have looked at the router web interface on another PC as this would have stopped me barking up the wrong tree.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by booji. Reason: spam police
    #2520
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 2429
    • Skipper

    Hi Zigzag, Thanks for the post. I did back up a config file back in 2015 and loaded it up but it didn’t restore the connection, the PVC settings were all there though after the restore but they didn’t work. Indecently I found out why chrome was showing a spoof profile. It seemed that it was autofilling a username on the “+” icon of the PVC setting icon. I have no idea why. I guess I should have looked at the router web interface on another PC as this would have stopped me barking up the wrong tree.

    So Chrome was to blame for the spoof profile, that is good news you found the cause, just very weird that Chrome does that but glad issue is resolved ;-)

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2521
    booji
    Participant
    • Posts 32
    • Regular

    Yes,

    Just the issue of getting the DSL part of things working now. I’m still none the wiser that the DSL firmware and drivers are missing. I’m now leaning towards that some sort of corruption occurred when updating the firmware after all, knocking out the DSL part.

    I’m getting an old DSL-AC68U from ebay now. Options are to just convert my broken router into the RT version or maybe do a cfe dump of the ebay one, modify the mac codes and secret number to match my broken router and reflash the cfe. I think I will make sure I know what I’m doing before I attempt that though.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by booji.
    #2523
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 2429
    • Skipper

    Yes, Just the issue of getting the DSL part of things working now. I’m still none the wiser that the DSL firmware and drivers are missing. I’m now leaning towards that some sort of corruption occurred when updating the firmware after all, knocking out the DSL part. I’m getting an old DSL-AC68U from ebay now. Options are to just convert my broken router into the RT version or maybe do a cfe dump of the ebay one, modify the mac codes and secret number to match my broken router and reflash the cfe. I think I will make sure I know what I’m doing before I attempt that though.

     

    Backing up the .cfe (common firmware environment) is interesting as is re loading it, do you have details on how to do this for the DSL-AC68U?

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2525
    booji
    Participant
    • Posts 32
    • Regular

    Not exactly but there’s is a youtube vid on changing the TM to a RT  so I have assumed it would be very similar. I managed to copy over my cfe onto a USB stick using the same instructions. If you have details for doing it for the DSL-AC68U then I would like to have them just to satisfy that i’m doing the right thing. I don’t want to break any forum rules though but I don’t think I am just doing a legit restore of a router.

    #2527
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 2429
    • Skipper

    Not exactly but there’s is a youtube vid on changing the TM to a RT so I have assumed it would be very similar. I managed to copy over my cfe onto a USB stick using the same instructions. If you have details for doing it for the DSL-AC68U then I would like to have them just to satisfy that i’m doing the right thing. I don’t want to break any forum rules though but I don’t think I am just doing a legit restore of a router.

    I have asked ASUS for exact instructions, hopefully this will stop any mistakes causing a bricked router ;-)

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2530
    booji
    Participant
    • Posts 32
    • Regular

    That would be great if you could do that for me. I’ll hold fire until I hear back from you. Once again than you all for your support.

    #2531
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 2429
    • Skipper

    That would be great if you could do that for me. I’ll hold fire until I hear back from you. Once again than you all for your support.

    No problem, I did not hear anything back from ASUS today regarding the .cfe, so hopefully Monday……

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2542
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 2429
    • Skipper

    That would be great if you could do that for me. I’ll hold fire until I hear back from you. Once again than you all for your support.

    These are the commands / guidance I received from ASUS regarding your .CFE file

    —————-

    Use dd command to backup CFE.
    The input file is /dev/mtd0
    The output file could be USB disk, e.g. /mnt/<disk name>/<backup file name>

    dd if=/dev/mtd0 of=/mnt/DISK/cfe.bin bs=1k count=512

    To restore CFE, exchange input file and output file.

    ————————

     

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2564
    booji
    Participant
    • Posts 32
    • Regular

    I actually loaded the CFE over the weekend using the method used to change TM1900 to the RT version using the mtd-write2 command to flash the CFE. It seems to go well changing the CFE from BL version 1.0.0.2 to 1.0.0.5. I thought everything would spring into life again but no such luck. The reflash didn’t fix anything . Then I thought I might just use it as an imesh node instead but when I use the new router to search for my old router it doesn’t see it. Following the asus instructions for imesh I also found out my old router keeps its wifi settings if I set factory default from the “Restore/Save/Upload Setting” from the Advanced  tab. I can only set it to factory setting via Telnet or Power on/WPS method.

    I might try the dd method you described above to see if it makes any difference but I think I have exhausted all options now. At least the ebay one I bought works but my old router seems pretty useless now without DSL or imesh.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by booji.
    #2566
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 2429
    • Skipper

    Forum member @six has converted there DSL-AC68U to be an RT router and has this set up in AiMesh as a node, if I remember correctly.

    I am sure your old DSL-AC68U still thinks it is a DSL rather than RT? or it is damaged/faulty etc.

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2567
    booji
    Participant
    • Posts 32
    • Regular

    Yes, my old DSL-AC68U does think its a DSL although I though both my DSL-AC68U routers support imesh in the stock Asus firmware now so I assumed they would work together. I might change my old DSL-AC68U as an RT again and set it as a node and try again.

    Edit: I changed my old DSL-AC68U to a RT-AC68U and it worked. I didn’t realise you can only use the DSL-AC68U as a primary router in Aimesh. It’s a pity I couldn’t seem to fix my old router but after trying everything I could think of I was resigned to unit not being fixed. At least I have a use for it now. Thanks everyone for all your help.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by booji.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by booji.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by booji.
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