New RT-N16 A1 Wont Load ANY USB Firmware

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by chris kirby, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. chris kirby

    chris kirby Serious Server Member

    I hope someone can help. I just received a brand new ASUS RT-N16 router from Newegg two days ago. I immediately went to download Shibby 105.1 AIO firmware. After flashing, the router always reboots to recovery mode (power LED blinking).

    Next I tried Toastman's latest as of (2/14/2013) same thing. Being frustrated I went to DD-WRT with the SAME results.

    After spending an entire day, I realized that IF the firmware name had USB in it, it would not work but the NON-USB builds do work!??

    I tried the web interface for firmware upload, TFTP, and the ASUS Firmware Recovery, all with the same results. I always cleared NVRAM before and after flash.

    For example:
    tomato-K26-1.28.7501.2MIPSR2Toastman-RT-VLAN-VPN - WORKS
    tomato-K26-1.28.RT-MIPSR2-105-Max - WORKS

    tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-MIPSR2-101-VPN - DOES NOT WORK
    Any build with USB in file name - DOES NOT WORK

    I have also tried the RT-N builds with no luck on the USB builds. Has anyone else had this issue with BRAND NEW RT-N16. The bottom of the router says A1 if that helps.
  2. GhaladReam

    GhaladReam Network Guru Member

    Does stock ASUS firmware work? It sounds like there might be something wrong with the USB controller on the router.. My RT-N16 is also an A1, but I bought it 2 years ago, and I've never had any issues like this.
  3. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    Yes I have A1 version too for 2years now. Everything works great
  4. chris kirby

    chris kirby Serious Server Member

    I bought three of them and the other two are still in the boxes. I will try to flash an AIO onto one of the other ones. I never bothered trying a different router thinking it was a firmware issue and not a hardware issue. I will post back with my results.
  5. chris kirby

    chris kirby Serious Server Member

    Well, I unboxed the 2nd RT-N16, put it into recovery mode, flashed Shibby 105.1 AIO and it booted right up normally!!! I guess the first router is defective. I will not be using the USB functions anyways but do you think I should return it or just leave it with a non-USB firmware. THANKS
  6. GhaladReam

    GhaladReam Network Guru Member

    If it were me, I'd RMA that sucker. How do you know there isn't some more deep-rooted problem with it that may pop up 1 month or a year down the road?
  7. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    I do not believe the problem is with the USB ports -- the router would not go into recovery mode if the USB ports didn't work, instead the kernel would simply spit out all sorts of anomalous hard-to-understand errors in the kernel log, and/or the USB ports wouldn't work correctly. That has nothing to do with a unit going into recovery mode.

    What's probably happening is that the firmware isn't being flashed correctly, or (this has my vote) the flash on your unit is partially bad. When I say partially, I'm referring to a portion of the flash which larger-sized firmwares (such as the ones with USB support) would utilise. This would cause flash decompression to fail when the unit attempts to boot (e.g. checksum or CRC errors), throwing it into recovery mode.

    I would RMA the router, or take it back to the place of purchase and have it replaced with another one. I can assure you 100% that the firmwares in question work just fine on the RT-N16 (both hardware revisions (unmarked and rev. A1)). (Do not let that link scare you by the way -- read the last post on the first page to see what the root cause was. My point is simply that the A1 revision units work just fine with the larger firmwares that have USB stacks)

    TL;DR -- Just because something is brand new doesn't mean it's not broken. Factory QA almost certainly does not test the full flash region -- they just stick a stock firmware on there (which is not as large) and ship it.
  8. chris kirby

    chris kirby Serious Server Member

    thanks guys for the help and information. I will be sending this unit back tomorrow!
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