Netgear WPN824N loses configuration after reboot

Hi All,

I have a Netgear WPN824N that I pulled out of storage that has LEDE 17.01.4 successfully installed on it. I am experiencing a problem however where after rebooting the device it appears that it has been reset to a firstboot state where not even the root password is set up. What might be wrong with it? Although it appears to be OK did I mess up something during the flash? Let me know what more information I need to provide.


With a 4 MB flash device, it's quite likely that you simply don't have enough flash left for the overlay - in which case an emergency overlay is spawned over tmpfs. Look in dmesg and "df -h" for clues.

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So I guess I'm better off reinstalling the OEM netgear firmware if I'm not looking for a specific application in LEDE? If I was OK working with this device only through SSH, how could I set this up so that it did save its configuration files?

You can still trim down the firmware down to your needs, but it's getting tight for 4 MB flash (especially with kernel 4.14 in the future). The easiest approach is indeed to remove luci, but this requires either using the buildroot approach and compiling a stripped down firmware from source (this gives you more freedom to (de-)select features) or the imagebuilder, which uses binary packages to repack the firmware; both approaches are described in the wiki.

The easiest test for now would be to sysupgrade to a master snapshot, as those don't include luci to begin with and therefore are a bit smaller than release builds.

I would like to try a sys upgrade to one of the master snapshots like you recommended but beyond the CPU being an AR71 I don't know where to go or what to download. Could you provide a link to a perticular download that should work for me?


I'm having the same problem. Thank you slh for the clues. Maybe this should get into the wiki page for the device.

I found a "tiny" snapshot in I'm flashing by serial and the factory firmware is already replaced, so I'm using the sysupgrade version.

Here's the output of df after installing lede-17.01.4-ar71xx-generic-wpn824n-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                 2304      2304         0 100% /rom
tmpfs                    14088        44     14044   0% /tmp
tmpfs                    14088        48     14040   0% /tmp/root
overlayfs:/tmp/root      14088        48     14040   0% /
tmpfs                      512         0       512   0% /dev

Notice the overlay is over a temporary copy of the root filesystem. There are also clues in the output of dmesg |grep jffs2:

[    9.087080] mount_root: jffs2 not ready yet, using temporary tmpfs overlay
[   24.652300] jffs2: Too few erase blocks (4)

After installing wpn824n-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin, here's the output of df:

/dev/root                 2048      2048         0 100% /rom
tmpfs                    13736        56     13680   0% /tmp
tmpfs                    13736        32     13704   0% /tmp/root
tmpfs                      512         0       512   0% /dev
/dev/mtdblock5             320       216       104  68% /overlay
overlayfs:/overlay         320       216       104  68% /

Notice the overlay is directly on top of a partition of flash. Also, here is what is reported about jffs2 in dmesg:
[ 9.098058] mount_root: switching to jffs2 overlay

Finally, with the tiny image, changes to the configuration files are saved between reboots. Yay! I'm just stuck doing command-line configuration now. At least this is experience to give me confidence to switch to openwrt with my better router later.

I added the snapshot firmware images with the new tiny subtarget to

I've built an image for the WPN824N that runs 17.01.7 with no issues. You can upgrade directly from a previous version of OpenWrt using the sysupgrade .bin file.

This image includes LuCi (GUI), IPV6, SQM, and PPP. A build manifest is available in the download folder.

If you end up installing, please let me know how it works for you. I don't have a WPN824N to test it on directly - but it runs great on my identical hardware, the WNR1000V2.