NWA50AX bricked - Recovery sticking block

Hey all,

So I temporarily fingers crossed bricked my first AP. Was on the cards for a linux newb messing around with firmware.

How you ask? I stupidly attempted to re-flash the Openwrt firmware via Luci GUI in an attempt to fix a what I believed to be a recurring bug. I'll put the details of that on ice for now. I ticked the FORCE option in response to the red and yellow boxes and then remembered the issue regarding installation in the correct slot.

I've been following these guides which has been a learning curve:

NWA50AX Pro Recovery

And this thread:
https://forum.openwrt.org/t/zyxel-nwa50ax-pro-bricked/186051

First time using Serial Console and SSH but had success down to this point in the first guide:

Upon booting, set the booted image to the correct slot:

$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtd10 get-status
$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtd10 set-image-status 0 valid
$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtd10 set-active-image 0

The terminal returns:

zyxel-bootconfig does not exist

so I cannot set the active image for the next step.

I've tried accessing LuCi via failsafe mode and re-flashing the factory firmware from there with no success.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I've tagged some faces that seem to have been knees deep in this stuff at one point. Hope you don't mind.

@williamthrilliam
@bmork
@v01t
@davidbaumann

it's a package - https://openwrt.org/packages/pkgdata/zyxel-bootconfig
install it, directly from internet (opkg) or via scp, alt request a new initramfs image where the package is included, using https://firmware-selector.openwrt.org/.

1 Like

Thanks for the quick response! I will.

nope :slight_smile:

try ?
initramfs isn't written anywhere, it runs in RAM.

your gf won't break up with you, if you do, or kill your cat.
can't make any promises about your dog though.

1 Like

Fixed.

For those reading for the first time or solution hunting for a similar problem this may help you. It will bore everyone else. You've been warned! :wink:

Initial problem:

Following this guide was unable to perform this step:

Upon booting, set the booted image to the correct slot:

$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtd10 get-status
$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtd10 set-image-status 0 valid
$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtd10 set-active-image 0

due to zyxel-bootconfig being unavailable to me.

Fix:

I downloaded the original KERNEL (initramfs) from:

firmware Selector

as directed by the guide. This did not contain zyxel-bootconfig or at least I was unable to access it from the terminal.

The custom build did include zyxel-bootconfig (the last one listed) and gave me a FACTORY and SYSUPGRADE bin but no KERNEL bin as outputs.

*May be possible to get a purely KERNEL bin with more knowledge than I have of the required package makeup.

So I was now armed with a SYSUPGRADE custom bin which included the zyxel-bootconfig package and a bootable KERNEL bin without zyxel-bootconfig

  • Loaded the initramfs per guide

  • Entered Failsafe Mode

  • Accessed Luci via 192.168.1.1.

  • Uploaded custom SYSUPGRADE firmware containing zyxel-bootconfig (no warnings present)

  • Rebooted to into original KERNEL bin. I NOW had the option to interrogate zyxel-bootconfig.

  • Performed this step:

$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtdblock9 get-status
$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtdblock9 set-image-status 0 valid
$ zyxel-bootconfig /dev/mtdblock9 set-active-image 0
  • Rebooted
  • Everything now accessible as a clean slate via LuCi at 192.168.1.1

People can pick holes in this as they please to teach me the error of my thinking/explain my luck. It'll be an education.

Or it can be a post that's buried forever. Hope it helps someone and thanks for helping me on here.

2 Likes

Hooray! Glad you figured it out.

1 Like

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