Belkin RT3200/Linksys E8450 WiFi AX discussion

I just flashed my RT3200 with the recovery installer built from v0.6.1 in Administration-> Firmware Upgrade. Now the router is unreachable (the computer doesn’t recognize anything is plugged into the Ethernet port) and the power light start flashing immediately upon turning on the router.

Is there anything I can do?

@dahser: did you use the binary from github releases or did you build the installer youself?
From your description I figure the device is new and was running stock firmware, right?

I built the installer myself and the device was running stock firmware

Most likely something went wrong in your build of the installer.
Or it can of course also be that flashing went wrong for other unknown reasons, like weirdness of this particular flash chip (ie. bad blocks) or the manufacturer having made changes to the design... Overall this is still a risky procedure, things can go wrong.

But first thing I'd like to take a look at the resulting installer image file you generated.
Does the file size (roughly) match the size of the binary available for download on Github?

1 Like

The size of the built binaries are 15,104 for the installer and 8,832 for the recovery, which roughly match the size of the binaries on Github.

Same symptom here. First flashed recovery.itb, worked fine, then saved mtd blocks per backup instructions. Saved four blocks:

mtd0 - bl2 - 512KB
mtd1 - fip - 784KB
mtd2 - factory - 0KB ?
mtd3 - ubi - 128KB

Afterwards, I flashed recovery-installer.itb with the currently flashed recovery.itb image. Router now appears bricked (blue light, blinks ~twice per second, no ethernet connection, can't ping). Did I flash the wrong image here? Is factory supposed to be 0 bytes? Damn.

EDIT: Cracked it open and got serial access with an old Arduino Nano clone. Boot log here: "Bad Magic Number." Will try flashing over serial/TFTP tomorrow.

1 Like

You cannot flash the installer using the running recovery. You need to power cycle the device which will make it return to stock firmware. Only then flash the installer.

However, in this case, you can still use TFTP recovery (even without opening the case afaik, just holding RESET button will trigger vendor bootloader to initiate TFTP server), so no biggie.


hi daniel I installed version 0.6.0 1 month ago, and I succeeded without any problem flashing 0.6.1 and reloading snapshot thank you for your work

Yes, but you were not running ubi recovery on top of stock bootchain (which is needed to take full flash backup) while flashing anything.

1 Like

ok if i get a new router with the original software the step remains the same first recovery installer 0.6.1 and snapshot?

1 Like

U-boot (the "vendor bootloader"?) doesn't seem to start a TFTP server if the reset button is held down during boot. I can, however, use the tftpboot command or other bootmenu options via serial to access a TFTP server on my computer. I'm not sure what to do from here. Specifically, which commands should I issue via serial and what images should I host to flash to stock or the installer? Sorry for my ignorance.

EDIT: Nevermind, boot menu->"System Load Linux Kernel then write to Flash via TFTP" option was what I needed. Thanks for all you do Daniel!

1 Like

This sounds a bit too involved for me, I think I will need to write the router off or buy another.
However, I do have to ask: is there any chance the non-UBI version could be supported in the latest snapshot? Or can I install the non-UBI version (in dual boot mode), and upgrade to latest snapshot?
How about main release (whenever it will go to main), would that include UBI and non-UBI layouts?
Thanks for the help!

I have submitted a patch to revive the non-UBI variant which will hopefully be integrated into the mt76 driver soon.
Once this got merged, you can just install an OpenWrt snapshot alongside the vendor firmware in dual-boot mode.

The next upcoming release is going to include both, UBI and non-UBI images (given that we get all issues on non-UBI image resolved which currently make it unusable).


hello daniel the next openWrt fork will be soon you think i think you mentioned january february, is that right?

Hi, I'm waiting for my brand new Belkin RT3200, I'm a real newbie so I'll need your help, in the meantime I'm reading everything I can.

One quick question, using Release v0.6.1 will I be able to install additional packages, for example to enable usb tethering following this guide : Smartphone USB tethering ?

Thanks in advance.

Yes, installing additional packages is supported and USB tethering should work fine.
For kernel packages you may have to run auc or select Attended Sysupgrade in LuCI Web-UI to update installation to most recent snapshot, and for that you need access to the Internet, so that might be a chicken-egg situation if your only access to the Internet is via USB tethering... Maybe using WiFi tethering for upgrade to recent snapshot?

Hi Daniel, thanks for your invaluable work !! Luckily I have access to internet without the need to enable usb tethering first.


Just a small sidenote, but expect USB tethering to be somewhat slow - the RT3200 only has a USB2 port, so by default you're limited to 480Mbps (384Mbps after the USB protocol overhead is added). Depending on your use-case, this might not be fast enough.

1 Like

Hi Fonix, duly noted. I'm planing to use USB tethering just in case my main 5g router has problems.

Hi Daniel,

I saw that mtk_snand_mtd_read_data return max_bitflips. That it also caused some other issues in mtk_bmt.c, when the caller only check the zero return without mtd_is_bitflip(ret).