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Asuswrt-Merlin on converted TM-AC1900 : Problems, upgrade path to 384.6

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Per SNB forum: https://www.snbforums.com/threads/release-asuswrt-merlin-384-6-is-now-available.47941/

"People that have TM-AC1900 are going to have trouble flashing. Even if they never did before. Asus has implemented new hardware checking and that device will not update on account of it. My advice is seek help from outside of this forum. Putting Asus-merlin on a TM-AC1900 is illegal."
Does this work:
Followed these steps to flash to 384.5 via wired Ethernet---
(From anonymous SNB member prior to being removed by moderator)

Used Putty to SCH into router, then entered in sequence:

1.a. ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
b. ./mtd-erase -d asus
c. rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
d. nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot

2. Copied new firmware with WinSCP to tmp/home/root/ and ran
mtd-write2 RT-AC68U_384.5_0.trx linux

3. Did a hard reboot of router

As mentioned, I was able to flash 384.6 via routine GUI upgrade method without issue.
EDIT (11.18.2018) from post # 5 below (with minor changes):

Update: After reading some current and old posts I decided to try the section that said YOU MUST UPDATE THE MTD5 Partition.
This is meant to be a quick dirty guide to update and assumes you have some past experience.
This also assumes you are working with an already converted router: mine was already on 384.5 but would not update.

Save config settings from router, Under "Administration". (as a precaution, you will need to reload settings from scratch)

From a wired connection only. AT YOUR OWN RISK

Download 384.6 Newest from here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/asuswrt-merlin/files/RT-AC68U/

Extract download for: .trx file

Download asus utility: ASUS Device Discovery version 1.4.8.2:
https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RT-AC1900/HelpDesk_Download/

EDIT: Do a factory reset through the GUI before proceeding. (you can enter SSID and Password for minimal setup)

You need to enable SSH under the Administration tab / System
Enable SSH LAN + WAN LAN only
Allow SSH Port Forwarding Yes
SSH Port Allow Password Login Yes
Enable SSH Brute Force Protection No

Set computer IPV4 to static IP: pick number greater than router's IP: (Example, 192.168.1.70)

From Putty run these commands, one at a time, (so "enter" after each line of code.)
( you need your current router login ID and password ID and router IP address)

https://www.putty.org/

mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot

After router reboots
Using Device Discovery log into router and flash new .trx from within the router's built in GUI utility.

If you were on 192.168.29.1 to access control page the above will now revert to stock 192.168.1.1
You can change it back or keep it stock.
This is the reason for using the ASUS Device Discovery application from above. So you have access to router settings.
Stock Username and Password:
admin and admin


You need to reload settings from scratch.
IPV4 set back to automatic or whatever yours was.

I used this page as a reference: (first line of code not used): https://www.bayareatechpros.com/ac1900-to-ac68u/

*Please read additional posts below from other contributors who have also provided additional working methods.*

From Post # 17 : Thanks to "maxmalta"

Upgrade Asus AC-68U (real TM-AC1900) from 384.5 to newest version:

1) Enable SSH Connection (Administration -> system -> Enable SSH -> Lan Only -> Allow SSH Port Forwarding -> Yes

2) Open SSH ( if you use macOS , then use app telnet lite -> download MacOS App Store)
set new connection: 192.168.x.x (router ip), username and password. Set Use SSH2 (port 22).

Commands:
==========
mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs [enter]
mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs [enter]
rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/* [enter]
sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs [enter]
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U [enter]
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot [enter]

Wait for reboot.

3) Upgrade via GUI with new firmware. (download from https://asuswrt.lostrealm.ca/download )

From post # 13: Thanks to asfffsdf13rfa

For my converted TM-AC1900, I took it a step simpler than post #5 and simply enabled SSH, connected via Putty, then ran the commands:

mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot

Once the reboot was complete, I used the GUI to flash the updated firmware. My settings were kept after upgrading.
 
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newtekie1

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Putting Asus-merlin on a TM-AC1900 is illegal.
This I can tell you, at least in the US, is false.

Once you own the hardware, you are allowed to put any firmware you want on it. However, the FCC has put in place a restriction that basically puts the responsibility of ensuring that 3rd party firmware does not operate outside of the allowed frequencies in the US(allow channels 12, 13, and 14 basically). But, AFAIK, Asus-Merlin does not allow those channels to be used, so it is totally legal.
 
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The steps outlined above by a SNB member were taken down.
I know many here have this converted router.
Are the steps valid? In step 2 except for the 384.5 OR should it be 384.6.
Unsure if it was a typo or if you reflash 384.5 as outlined, you can then flash 384.6 normally?

EDIT: This was said by same member:

"FYI, a dirty upgrade of the now-released firmware of 384.6 on top of a previously forced update (as in deleting the required files and partitions) 384.5 on a router previously known as a TM-AC1900 worked perfectly, without, even, requiring a hard reboot."
 
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newtekie1

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I have no idea, I always use the recovery tool to flash ASUS routers. I've never had luck using the GUI to flash firmware.
 
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Update: After reading some current and old posts I decided to try the section that said YOU MUST UPDATE THE MD5 Partition.
This is meant to be a quick dirty guide to update and assumes you have some past experience.
This also assumes you are working with an already converted router: mine was already on 384.5 but would not update.

Save config settings from router, Under "Administration".

From a wired connection only. AT YOUR OWN RISK

Download new 384.6: https://sourceforge.net/projects/asuswrt-merlin/files/RT-AC68U/
Extract for: .trx file
Download asus utility: ASUS Device Discovery version 1.4.8.2:
https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RT-AC1900/HelpDesk_Download/

EDIT: Do a factory reset through the GUI before proceeding.

You need to enable SSH under the Administration tab / System
Enable SSH LAN + WAN LAN only Allow SSH Port Forwarding Yes SSH Port Allow Password Login Yes Enable SSH Brute Force Protection No

Set computer IPV4 to static IP: pick number greater than router's IP: (Example, 192.168.1.70)

From Putty run these commands, one at a time, (so "enter" after each line of code.) ( you need your router login ID and password ID and router IP address)
https://www.putty.org/

mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot

After router reboots
Using Device Discovery log into router and flash new .trx from within the router's built in utility.

Mine updated no problem, but you need to revert to your old settings, reload config settings or start from scratch.
IPV4 set back to automatic or whatever yours was.

I used this page as a reference: (first line of code not used): https://www.bayareatechpros.com/ac1900-to-ac68u/
 
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If you don't care about whatever new stuff is missing (not much), then flash shibby tomato and be done with it. It's rock solid. You can literally leave it up all year long without a hiccup or reboot. Ddwrt is pretty poo.
 
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If you don't care about whatever new stuff is missing (not much), then flash shibby tomato and be done with it. It's rock solid. You can literally leave it up all year long with a hiccup or reboot. Ddwrt is pretty poo.

This is a quote from RMerlin:
"Folks with converted TM-AC1900: I don't care if it was converted, hacked, received a paint job or got transplanted into a new case. A TM-AC1900 is a TM-AC1900, is under different legal licensing terms by Asus, and is NOT supported by me. Asus has added safeguards in the firmware upgrade process to prevent crossflashing these devices now, and I'm not going try to figure out ways to bypass these.

If you have a problem with that, take it to Asus. I'm tired of these forums being flooded with complains about this. It's already explained in multiple sticky posts."

SO, his community is PO'd about all the past history links being taken down after years of support and community help. SNB has done an about face reversal on this product.

TMobile still has these: https://www.t-mobile.com/accessory/t-mobile-wi-fi-cellspot-router
 
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How is Tim doing an about face? I don't recall him ever posting to go out and buy the T-Mobile 1900 and run merlin on the router. Merlin himself probably got sick and tired of people spamming his in box asking for help and stopped supporting the router. He probably asked Tim to pull down and threads that were no longer accurate in flashing the T-Mobile 1900.
 
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How is Tim doing an about face? I don't recall him ever posting to go out and buy the T-Mobile 1900 and run merlin on the router. Merlin himself probably got sick and tired of people spamming his in box asking for help and stopped supporting the router. He probably asked Tim to pull down and threads that were no longer accurate in flashing the T-Mobile 1900.

Today I found out there is a second VARIANT Model TM-1900P. (that maybe harder to circumvent)
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/rt-ac68u-rt-ac68p-rt-ac1900-rt-ac1900p.35759/


Tim is doing an about face by removing all the history. It's one thing to stop going forward due to a change with ASUS.
It's akin to burning books.
Also, it has been in the support list for a long time. The guts of the 1900 as you well know are the 68. As such is has always been cross referenced in the Downloads and Support section as an RT-AC1900. https://sourceforge.net/projects/asuswrt-merlin/files/RT-AC1900/


The TM- designation is superfluous to the argument.
 
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If you can’t flash the CFE on the new revision, then just open it up and flash via serial.

Why are ppl still crying about licensing? No one cares, so stfu. Are you gonna cry about ppl crossflashing linksys, too? I crossflash and edit dvd/bluray firmware, come get me! Lol
 
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ctyt

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The steps to upgrade in post #5 worked perfectly. I made sure to save the previous config settings, but I couldn't restore them. The router goes through the restore process, but ends up just factory-resetting, so I had to start from fresh.
 

asfffsdf13rfa

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For my converted TM-AC1900, I took it a step simpler than post #5 and simply enabled SSH, connected via Putty, then ran the commands:

mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot


Once the reboot was complete, I used the GUI to flash the updated firmware. My settings were kept after upgrading.
 

shimsim

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Just wanted to confirm that I tried the steps in post#13, worked perfectly! thanks :)
 

AAllard

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I just tried post #13 and can say it worked great. I am now running Merlin 384.6 great job. Thanks for the help.
 
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maxmalta

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The post #13 worked great with my TM-AC1900 (AC68U) upgrade from 384.5 Merlin to new 384.7 version. Thanks.
Below the Tutorial:

Upgrade Asus AC-68U (real TM-AC1900) from 384.5 to newest version:

1) Enable SSH Connection (Administration -> system -> Enable SSH -> Lan Only -> Allow SSH Port Forwarding -> Yes

2) Open SSH ( if you use macOS , then use app telnet lite -> download MacOS App Store)
set new connection: 192.168.x.x (router ip), username and password. Set Use SSH2 (port 22).

Commands:
==========
mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs [enter]
mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs [enter]
rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/* [enter]
sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs [enter]
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U [enter]
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot [enter]

Wait for reboot.

3) Upgrade via GUI with new firmware. (download from https://asuswrt.lostrealm.ca/download )
 
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ranran

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So, I've just gotten and reflashed this router. Everything seemed to go ok... BUT, I had issues getting the USB to be detected (no 'green icon' in top right of Asus or Asuswrt-merlin firmware).

running MOUNT or FDISK from Putty reveals no /dev/sda devices....

Here's the weird thing: While digging around, I find if I execute 'blkid', this suddenly mounts the USB drive as /dev/sda1, and the green USB light on the router's homepage lights up after page refresh.

Steps:
<insert USB drive>
Code:
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# mount
rootfs on / type rootfs (rw)
/dev/root on / type squashfs (ro,relatime)
devtmpfs on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,relatime,size=127752k,nr_inodes=31938,mode=755)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,relatime)
tmpfs on /tmp type tmpfs (rw,relatime)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,relatime)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,relatime,mode=600)
/dev/mtdblock4 on /jffs type jffs2 (rw,noatime)
usbfs on /proc/bus/usb type usbfs (rw,relatime)
Execute 'blkid':
Code:
admin@RT-AC68U-F310:/tmp# blkid
/dev/sda1: LABEL="opt" UUID="af46f47d-e67d-d401-8000-f47de67dd401"
admin@RT-AC68U-F310:/tmp# mount
rootfs on / type rootfs (rw)
/dev/root on / type squashfs (ro,relatime)
devtmpfs on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,relatime,size=127744k,nr_inodes=31936,mode=755)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,relatime)
tmpfs on /tmp type tmpfs (rw,relatime)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,relatime)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,relatime,mode=600)
/dev/mtdblock4 on /jffs type jffs2 (rw,noatime)
usbfs on /proc/bus/usb type usbfs (rw,relatime)
/dev/sda1 on /tmp/mnt/opt type ext4 (rw,nodev,relatime,user_xattr,barrier=1,data=ordered)
The usb mount point is /tmp/mnt/opt (flash drive volume name is 'opt' - setting up YAMon3 on the router),

I would really appreciate a Linux person walking me through why I need to execute this command to mount the USB flash drive and whether I can make this happen automatically.....
 
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@jsfitz54 This is super cool! You should edit the OP to include the SSH options and format it a bit better! I dont deal with merlin or asus routers in general but I agree! no reason to take down previous guides if that is the case. You should help wanderers and make it easier to read and add the additional update options.

Take that crown buddy!
 

ranran

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So, I've just gotten and reflashed this router. Everything seemed to go ok... BUT, I had issues getting the USB to be detected (no 'green icon' in top right of Asus or Asuswrt-merlin firmware).

running MOUNT or FDISK from Putty reveals no /dev/sda devices....

Here's the weird thing: While digging around, I find if I execute 'blkid', this suddenly mounts the USB drive as /dev/sda1, and the green USB light on the router's homepage lights up after page refresh.

<snip>

I would really appreciate a Linux person walking me through why I need to execute this command to mount the USB flash drive and whether I can make this happen automatically.....
jsfitz54 messaged me asking not to sidetrack this discussion, so I guess I'll keep this brief. After creating several startup scripts (init-start, services-start, nat-start, wan-start), I found that only the nat-start script seemed to run upon reboot (put in /jffs/scripts/ and monitored via logger in the webGUI System Log) . So, I created that script and added blkid, along with my YAMon script startup. This way upon reboot, the router now properly mounts any plugged in USB drives and will run processes in the background (as opposed to a PuTTy window, which I found would result in the process being killed as soon as the PuTTy window was shutdown...)
 

sami8519

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Can anyone please confirm if after applying this method to upgrade to the latest merlin firmwares, is web history working properly? There were reports of broken web history on 384.5 and onward, just dont know if ASUS is performing a hardware check and if it fails web history and other components are not going to work? Thanks!
 
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rbot

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Has anyone had a problem with their WAN stuck at 100 Mbps?

I have followed steps above and my TM-1900 is successfully running Merlin 384.8_2 (Indicating model RT-AC68P). I'm using an SB6183 connected via a CAT6 to Ethernet WAN port. I was seeing slow internet speeds and discovered that the router is stuck at 100 Mbps. The SysInfo page shows the WAN Link State at 10 Full Duplex.
Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 22.39.49.jpg
I have experimented with several cables (all gigabit capable) and swapped to a genuine AC-1900P to verify that the modem and cabling is not the problem.

Does anyone have an idea on how to get up to gigabit over WAN? I'm not sure if this is a bug, configuration problem, or hardware issue. Thanks!
 

sami8519

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Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
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Has anyone had a problem with their WAN stuck at 100 Mbps?

I have followed steps above and my TM-1900 is successfully running Merlin 384.8_2 (Indicating model RT-AC68P). I'm using an SB6183 connected via a CAT6 to Ethernet WAN port. I was seeing slow internet speeds and discovered that the router is stuck at 100 Mbps. The SysInfo page shows the WAN Link State at 10 Full Duplex.
View attachment 113898
I have experimented with several cables (all gigabit capable) and swapped to a genuine AC-1900P to verify that the modem and cabling is not the problem.

Does anyone have an idea on how to get up to gigabit over WAN? I'm not sure if this is a bug, configuration problem, or hardware issue. Thanks!
Is nat acceleration enabled in settings? Check LAN>>>>Switch Control and make sure CTF (Cut Through Forwarding) is enabled.
 
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