I''ve been using openWrt for a while now but now I ran into a problem not specific to openWrt but with a router that I need help with.
I currently own 3 routers, all Model WNDR3700v4, at least this is what is printed onto the back of them.
I bought all of them second hand and the first one is in use with openWrt for around 2 years already and so far everything works just fine.
Recently I have purchased the latter two devices and while both are labeled as WNDR3700v4 on the back, one of them identifies as a WNDR4300 when accessing the stock admin panel.
As I have read that they are fairly similar but still a bit different, I'd like to know how to find out which device it is before I go on flashing openWrt on it.
Unfortunately, this device does also not have a serialnumber printed on that label, in fact, all of the boxes there are blank, the other two devices had a SN as well as default SSID and password printed there.
And neither the admin panel, nor the geanie app provide any hint regarding the serial number of this device.
If what you purchased 2nd hand is now known to be not what you expected. I for one would be inquiring the device manufactures page on how to flash to stock firmware, because it seems per your description that one of the devices has been manipulated/flashed/updated.
I do know how to flash a stock image, but my problem is that I do not know if it is a 3700v4 that has been flashed with a different firmware or a 4300v1 that got a different sticker on the back.
It is missing the rubber feet and has some light scratches on the back, so it might be that someone has manipulated it in some way.
I'd like to find out what it is before I flash anything, as I am not sure what might happen if I flash the wrong firmware.
Yeah someone could have replace the plastic bottom from spare parts.
IDK > sounds like fun tho.
But neither one of these have openwrt installed, correct?
And your pickle is you cant for sure flash either stock or openwrt.
Your gonna have to decide for yourself which one is a burner for testing.
If you prize one model over the other.......Pop open the back cover and start
snapping picks of the board. Then use your GoogleFu!
Thanks for the tool, and I am aware of the black and gray front. I'm just still unsure as I don't want to brick the device. Bought it as a backup.
I took off the back of the device and the screws felt like they have never been opend after leaving the factory but that is a subjective impression on my end.
Took a few pictures of the chips and stuff, but now that I'm thinking, the 3700v4 that I currently have in use had some kind of a metal shielding on top of most of the components. There was no shield in this unit at all. But that might be a "regional"/"manufactoring" difference and might not say anything.
Well I suspect that it is either a 3700v4 or a 4300v1, not a4300v2 as this one is of course entirely different.
The 3700v4 and the 4300v1 however seem to use the same board or at least cpu as far as I can recall from reading about it, the differences seem to be minor. But I will investigate further, thanks for all the links you guys have provided so far.
You need to open it up to see what's silkscreened on the board. Alternatively, you can try Netgear's recovery with both a WNDR3700 v4 and WNDR4300 image and see what it accepts. But I'd open it up. It's not that difficult and you're out of warranty anyway.
Well you'll have a lot of fun to investigate tomorrow
As far as I remember back at the time, the only difference was that 4300 accepts printer into the USB. So the real difference is purely from software point of view. I remember hesitating buyig one or the other. That was before I use OpenWrt
the 4300v2 seems different (Soc, wifi ...)
I found threads from somy years back discussing the topic of using the "remaining 96 megs" because of some partitioning thing that is quite a bit over my head. From what I remember, the 3700v4 would handle a modification there just fine while the 4300v1 would "softbrick" if you didn't do something to prevent it. So I don't know if they are only different in software.
I examined the two pages I linked and while they seem identical for the most part, they differ in the 802dot11 OUI and Ethernet OUI section in the panel on the right. So maybe that might give the answer, I will check that tomorrow
The main hardware difference between wndr3700v4 and wndr4300 seems to be the 5 GHz radio, 2x2 on the former vs 3x3 on the later. If you look at the opened device from the back (ethernet ports), you should see 3 pigtails left to the rf can (left PCB side) being connected on the wndr4300, while the wndr3700v4 only connects two - leaving the PCB antenna printed to the left side unconnected.
If there is no rf can over the 5 GHz radio, you should also be able to see the printing on the 5 GHz chipset (wndr4300 --> AR9580, wndr3700v4 --> AR9582) and one rx/ tx chain (the top one) being left unpopulated on the wndr3700v4.
I took some pictures of the device when open yesterday. The images of the 3700 in the toh seem to be from v1/2 and are not useful, but the images in the toh of the 4300 seem to match what I have, at least in terms of the 5Ghz antenna cables.
While it would be better if one could read the markings on the 5 GHz wireless chip (the one tilted 45°, which should be AR9580 for the wndr4300), but the fully populated third rf chain pretty much confirms this being a wndr4300 already.