Please help with bricked Pluscom router

All about firmwares for routers. Support for RouterTech firmwares is here too.
Andyxzyk
Novice
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

Please help with bricked Pluscom router

Post by Andyxzyk » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:49 am

Hello brave souls of the networking world ! I recently purchased a Pluscom AR7200 router based on the TNETD7200/RTL305SC chipsets and tried to upgrade to the RouterTech firmware (see below for details). Well, obviously since I am here you know what's coming next right ? Yup, its now a brick. Below is the information you requested on 'help for bricked routers':
1. specific name and model of your router: Pluscom AR 7200
2. router's firmware version before upgrading: 8505_SAF_101706.00FA
3. bootloader (and bootloader version) does your router have: From PCTool it shows psp V1.4.0.4
4. specific RouterTech firmware file: routertech-ar7rd-pspboot-4ports-firmware-20070227.zip
5. upgrading done via ethernet or wireless connection: Ethernet
6. upgrading done via the web interface or via the PC Tool: Web Interface
7. Was there any error or problem while you were trying to upgrade the firmware: None
8: N/A
9. Did you reset the router to factory defaults after upgrading: Yes
10. Describe in detail the current state of your router: see below
11. If you switch the router off for about 5 minutes, and switch it on again, what happens: PWR, ADSL,PP lights come up, then LAN1-4 Leds blink twice, then PPP led goes off, then left with PWR and a 'faint' ADSL led , plus if any ethernet cables connected to ports obviously that port also lights up.
12. Please supply the contents of your original /proc/ticfg/env (PSP bootloader): Unable to comply since i cannot telnet into the unit and cannot get it via ftp because all the username/password combinations i tried from adam2 prompt are not accepted.
Current router is dead. I cannot log in via GUI. I can ftp using ftp 192.168.1.1 but then it asks me for adam2 user/password, which i don't know. All versions of PCTool works fine first time and find the router correctly at 192.168.1.1 IP. Env setting before after reset to factory defaults and before trying to upload file at step 4 above can be seen in scren shot noname1.jpp and noname2.jpg. After trying to download Routertech firmware_upgrade.img gives me error as in noname3.jpg. Trying 4Ports-config.img give successful load see noname4.jpg. Then I try firmware_upgrade.img again and get failure again. If I reboot after successful load of 4ports-config.img and try to load firmware_upgrade.img again the erase still fails.
Having read the relevant threads I tried removing mtd0 and mtd1 from the env settings but that did not help either.
I am at my wits end what to do with this. I think it is probably the env settings, which I should have kept a copy of before upgrade. Please can you help with anything so I can get this router working again.
thanks in advance.
Andrew
Attachments
Noname4.jpg
see post
(77.27 KiB) Downloaded 606 times
Noname3.jpg
see post...
(70.65 KiB) Downloaded 599 times
Noname2.jpg
see post..
Noname2.jpg (25.05 KiB) Viewed 7302 times
Noname1.jpg
see post..
Noname1.jpg (26.41 KiB) Viewed 7312 times
Andyxzyk
Novice
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

further info

Post by Andyxzyk » Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:57 am

I have found out that using pctool v2.3 and setting mtd to 0x90090000,0x901f0000 and mtd1 to 0x90010000,0x90090000 allows me to successfully download the routertech firmware, however after i press the 'reboot' button on the pctool app the router is still not reachable via the GUI, only way to get to it is ftp or pctool app. Unless i set mtd0 or mtd1 i cannot download anything to the router.
thanks..
User avatar
thechief
RouterTech Team
RouterTech Team
Posts: 12066
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:22 pm
Location: England, the Centre of Africa
Contact:

Re: Please help with bricked Pluscom router

Post by thechief » Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:25 pm

Andyxzyk wrote:12. Please supply the contents of your original /proc/ticfg/env (PSP bootloader): Unable to comply since i cannot telnet into the unit and cannot get it via ftp because all the username/password combinations i tried from adam2 prompt are not accepted.
You should be able to comply, because what is being requested is the original environment (i.e., before any other firmware was tried). I don't suppose there is any point in stating that the documentation (both readme.html, upgrade.html, and the online instructions here) stated very clearly that this information must be retrieved and kept safe before trying the RT firmware. The problem is that without the details of what was there before you tried changing your firmware, it will be hard to help you find out what has gone wrong or how to fix it, and we will be left with trying to guess - and of course you will not be able to return the router to its original state either.

From what you have reported, everything should work. If it doesn't, then there is probably a hardware incompatibility - perhaps the switch. If your router doesn't have a Marvell switch, then clearly the switch will not be compatible. Is RTL305SC the switch? That is something that I have never heard of, and cannot find on Google either. Can you connect to the web UI by using the router's USB port?

Finally, you might want to try these MTD values and then flash the RT 2.2 firmware again, via the pctool

Code: Select all

mtd0    0x90098000,0x90200000
mtd1    0x90020090,0x90098000
mtd4    0x90020000,0x90200000
And make sure that your attempt at a factory reset really does reset the router to factory defaults (after the firmware flash). As far as ftp bootloader access is concerned, the username of "adam2" and password of "adam2" should work (or "Adam2", "Adam2"). After all, the pctool is connecting through the bootloader's ftp server.
The Chief: :afro: Be sure to read the Firmware FAQ and do a Forum Search before posting!
No support via PM. Ask all questions on the open forum.
Andyxzyk
Novice
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

what i have so far

Post by Andyxzyk » Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:23 pm

Hi chief, thanks for the reply, you are right ofcourse i should have read the forum details before jumping in, that is my faulty entirely. What i have found out is that mtd0/mtd1 are not actually required (I found this info on one of the threads here). All i seem to need to load routertech is to set my mtd4 to the 2MB value and remove the mtd0/mtd1 completely. Routertech now seem to load completely and ask me to 'reboot' on completion, however, after a full factory reset I still cannot logon to the router or telnet to its default 192.168.1.1. Ftping and PCtool still seem fine. I could simply ftp the firmware onto the switch but I don't think that is going to win me anything more than using the PCtool. I think the only way out of this is to try and get the original firmware from the oem, but i don't hold out much hope on that because i have been asking them for ages to put SNMP on and haven't been getting anywhere. Their support can be found at http://www.pluscom.cn/forum. The unit seems to be a safecom clone but using the newer TNETD7200 chip. Like the safecoms they come in wireless/non-wireless variety. The closest i've seen on the safecom site is the SART2-4115. I have tried that software also and it too seems to load fine but still get the same issues i get with the routertech. The SART-4115 used their previous chip, while the SART2 uses the TNETD7200 (same as on my plusom). SART can go up to their firmware V4 while SART2s take the newer V5 firmware. I have also read up on the chipset itself (TNETD7200) and it was apparently designed specifically so that it can load compiles for the previous incarnation (used in the SART, the 7300 and 7300A, the 7200 is actually newer than the 7300). So like I said the only way out of this seems to be to try and get the original firmware for the pluscom, which ofcourse they did not even supply on the enclosed CD. I will keep this as an ongoing project but have now bought a speedtouch ST-585v6, we'll see how that one performs.
thanks again for your suggestions and all the good help available on this forum, keep up the good work.
Andrew
Andyxzyk
Novice
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

forgot to ask...

Post by Andyxzyk » Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:27 pm

the pspbootloader routertech firmware has two images, one called ....._config.img and the other ....._firmware.upgrade.img, do these both need to be loaded or just the ......_firmware.upgrade.img ?
thanks..
Andrew
Andyxzyk
Novice
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

more info on the pluscom router

Post by Andyxzyk » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:28 pm

Ok, i opened up the router. It has four main chips in it:
1. TNEDTD7200, single-chip AR7(TNETD7200) ADSL-Ethernetbridge/router device
2. RTL8305SC, which as far as i can tell from google is a fast ethernet swtich.
3. P2V64S40ETP, 64MB SDRAM
4. 29LV160CBTC-70G, I think its either the JTAG AND/OR flash chip.
Hopes this info give some more insight to those brcking their pluscom AR7200 routers and may help others from having to invalidate their warranty (like what i had to do) to try and get this thing going simply because pluscom will not supply their own customers with firmware.
Andy...
User avatar
thechief
RouterTech Team
RouterTech Team
Posts: 12066
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:22 pm
Location: England, the Centre of Africa
Contact:

Post by thechief » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:32 pm

Only the ...firmware.upgrade.img image needs to be loaded.

Your best bet is to build a serial console cable. That will allow you to see exactly what the problem is (i.e., at what point the boot process fails, and why).

You may wish to try the Acorp LAN422 firmware. I don't know whether it will work, but I don't think it will do any worse than anything else you may have tried.
The Chief: :afro: Be sure to read the Firmware FAQ and do a Forum Search before posting!
No support via PM. Ask all questions on the open forum.
Andyxzyk
Novice
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

Post by Andyxzyk » Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:21 pm

Hello, i just tried the acorp firmware and like all other firmware i try it seems as long as i set mtd4 to the right value i can load absolutely any firwmware i like and it completes properly offering me the reboot.
I think its going to have to be the JTAG way. I will try and find the thread that shown the pin outs and converter chip required so i can build a serial port.
Andrew
mstombs
RouterTech Team
RouterTech Team
Posts: 3753
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:54 pm

Post by mstombs » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:19 pm

Andyxzyk wrote: I think its going to have to be the JTAG way. I will try and find the thread that shown the pin outs and converter chip required so i can build a serial port.
Andrew
NB JTAG is not serial, you only need JTAG to directly write to the flash when the bootloader is corrupted. The serial console cable is just a device to connect from PC serial port (12V?) to the device 3.3V - I use a USB to serial cable made from a cheap Nokia NKU-5 clone.

NB re above, you need the mtd4 variables to load new firmware but you must have the mtd0 and 1 for it to run as this determines the location of the kernel and filesystem.

When you load new firmware through the web interface you can see via the serial console the new mtd0 and 1 get set, I assume the PCTOOL does the same(?). If you find the original firmware I could load in on my 4Mb flash pspboot test modem (which has serial and JTAG, so I know I can recover!) and let you know what variables it tries to set.
Andyxzyk
Novice
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

Post by Andyxzyk » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:16 pm

Hi, thanks mstombs for the useful information. I have played about further using the Pctool, ftp and the interesting article at http://www.beyondlogic.org/nb5/ADAM2_ftp.htm. What looks to be happening is this:
mtd0 loads the fs.
mtd1 load the kernel.
mtd2: loads the boot image.
mtd3 loads the config.
mtd4: gives the mem size.
This makes sense since if i try to use pctool to load seperate files for the fs/kernel then PCtool will not load unless i have something in mtd0/mtd1, however if i try and load a complete image, like RT, then i can delete both mtd0/mtd1 and just give a value to mtd4 and it loads fine.
Now the position i am in is that if i have ANY firmware that comes as a single file it will load (i.e. erase/download) fine as long as i put in mtd4, but then like i said in previous posting after the factory reboot i still cannot get into the GUI, no matter what single file firmware i loaded. When i try to load seperate fs/kernel (which will need mt0/mtd1 set) this also loads (if i put in some 'reasonable' mtd/mtd1 values), but again no GUI. I can only summize that maybe i need the proper env (mtd0/mtd1) values for this rooter to be able to properly load fs/kernel files and then perhaps it will work. Are you saying that if i unset the mtd values and then reboot, what gets re-loaded on boot up are good values ? or could it be that these values get set according to whatever firmware i loaded last ? In other words, say i load a single file, like RT, by setting only the mtd4 to the 2MB value, then i factory reboot (which till now has resulted in no GUI), if i now look into the env setting, are these settings being set by RT or are they actual setting which the router is setting from its bootloader ?
Andrew..
User avatar
thechief
RouterTech Team
RouterTech Team
Posts: 12066
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:22 pm
Location: England, the Centre of Africa
Contact:

Post by thechief » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:28 pm

You haven't answered my question about whether you can load the gui if you use ths USB connection instead of an ethernet connection. Nothing that should have said so far explains why you are having this problem, except an incompatible switch. If (and that is a big "if") that is the problem, then you will never get the ethernet ports working for the gui until you get a firmware that supports your switch - or until you use router's USB port. That should be the first port of call (i.e., using USB instead of ethernet). If that works, then we will know for sure that the problem is the switch.
The Chief: :afro: Be sure to read the Firmware FAQ and do a Forum Search before posting!
No support via PM. Ask all questions on the open forum.
User avatar
Shotokan101
RouterTech Team
RouterTech Team
Posts: 4776
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:17 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Post by Shotokan101 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:36 pm

From google and here :-

http://wiki.openwrt.org/TableOfHardware

it looks like some of the the Acorp models use the Realtek ethernet switch so it does look like the switch is the problem.... as Chief says :?
Jim

.....I'm Sorry But I Can't Do That Dave.....
User avatar
thechief
RouterTech Team
RouterTech Team
Posts: 12066
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:22 pm
Location: England, the Centre of Africa
Contact:

Post by thechief » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:06 pm

Only the W400G uses the Realtek switch (that is a wireless device) - but support for the Realtek switch used by the W400G was enabled in RT v2.2, so if the switch in this router is the same then it should work. At the moment, the best option I can see it to use the USB connection.
The Chief: :afro: Be sure to read the Firmware FAQ and do a Forum Search before posting!
No support via PM. Ask all questions on the open forum.
Andyxzyk
Novice
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:17 pm

Post by Andyxzyk » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:43 pm

Hi all, firstly continued thanks for the excellent suggestions.
My posting above identifies what is in the router, i.e. TNETD7200D and RTL8305SC. Now looking at the openwrt pages i can see that, for example the LAN420 uses TNETD7300A/RTL8305SC combination and is also 2Mb/8Mb, so very close to mine (the 7300A was the prevoius incarnation of the 7200D). I tried this software, it loaded (as nearly all firmware does) but still no GUI. Chief, the USB no longer gets recognized at all. inserting a USB cable doesn't even show up on the OS.
The other router mentioned, W400G is a 4MB/16MB variety, but i tried it anyway. This would not load, even after trying to fool it by setting mtd4 to 4MB values.
I guess i should thank my lucky stars that even though i have a brick at the moment, i can still access it via ftp/pctool, even though i have tried several different firmwares.
I have google the TNED7200D/RTL8305SC combination, to try and find another router manufacturer that uses this combination, but can find none.
Andy...
User avatar
thechief
RouterTech Team
RouterTech Team
Posts: 12066
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:22 pm
Location: England, the Centre of Africa
Contact:

Post by thechief » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:48 pm

To tell you the truth, I am really suspicious about all this. Most, if not all, of the firmwares that you have tried should have worked (RT, Acorp, and Safecom), switch or no switch. It is not possible that all these firmwares are not compatible with your hardware. If the USB is not even being recognised (I assume you have installed the USB drivers) then clearly the problem is not the switch. My suspicion is that you have a hardware fault. It may be that the hardware itself has developed a fault somewhere (perhaps the flash chip?) or that the reset switch for resetting to factory defaults does not work, and so the core logic is dying with a segfault when it tries to load an incompatible config.xml.

You will only ever find out what is really happening if you build a serial console cable. So I would suggest that this should be your next step - else we will keep guessing until the cows come home - and everybody will be wasting their time.
The Chief: :afro: Be sure to read the Firmware FAQ and do a Forum Search before posting!
No support via PM. Ask all questions on the open forum.
Post Reply