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T-Mobile TM-AC1900 WiFi CellSpot Router (Certified Pre-Owned) EXPIRED

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T-Mobile.com has T-Mobile TM-AC1900 WiFi CellSpot Router (Certified Pre-Owned) on sale for $49.99 - Extra $10 off w/ promo code CPOROUT (apply in cart) = $39.99. Shipping is free. Thanks dailydealsforme

Note, be sure to select the "No credit check" option before adding item to cart.

Includes
  • T-Mobile TM-AC1900 WiFi CellSpot Router
  • 3x External Dual-Band Detachable Antennas
  • Power Adapter
  • RJ-45 Cable
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Original Post

Written by
Edited January 24, 2019 at 05:07 AM by
The T-Mobile TM-AC1900 Certified preowned router is back in stock https://www.t-mobile.com/accessor...-pre-owned


The deal is same as from Dec 2018.

T-Mobile.com has T-Mobile Wi-Fi CellSpot Dual-Band AC1900 Gigabit Router (Certified Pre-Owned) on sale for $49.99 - $10 w/ promo code CPOROUT (applied in cart) = $39.99. Shipping is free.

Note, must select 'No Credit Check' option. T-Mobile account not required to purchase.


Community Wiki information from the last deal for converting to AC68U is available at
https://slickdeals.net/f/12059855-t-mobile-wi-fi-cellspot-router-certified-pre-owned-aka-tm-ac1900-39-99-free-shipping
If you purchase something through a post on our site, Slickdeals may get a small share of the sale.
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$40
$109.00

Community Wiki

Last Edited by johnny2x4 May 8, 2019 at 09:05 AM
I made a pile of powershell scripts that anyone with a pretty recently-updated Windows computer should be able to use without need to deal with other software. Since you could re-badge your tmo fw to stock asus firmware, I called the project The Badger... it's basically just a "user friendly" menu script wrapped around a bunch of separate operations......Check out the video and see if it's your kinda thing
Video demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7SYNOZQ504
Project page: https://github.com/jasonbuechler/asus-rebadger
Testing thread: https://slickdeals.net/f/13056622
--jasonbuechler

-------
https://slickdeals.net/f/12685621-t-mobile-wi-fi-cellspot-router-tm-ac1900-certified-pre-owned-39-99-plus-free-shipping?p=124882258#post124882258

^ johnny2x4 Wrote a new guide that also simply updates/minor fixes for those that like the style of the guide at bayareatechpros

----------------------------

Ordering experience:
(Check Spam/Junk/Inbox) for any communications from T-Mobile.
If you didn't hear anything from your order within a few hours, chances are your order didn't take.
You can call call 800-672-5390, say you don't have an order number.. and you get a CSR to talk to. Find out what happened.
----
Download PDF manual for original T-mobile TM-AC1900:
https://us.v-cdn.net/6025034/uplo...glgrwe.pdf
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


You can flash this router to an RT-AC68U: There are few change/additions needed in the guide before the latest ASUS firmware can be flashed. You MUST read this Community Wiki below, on steps of Lazymocha's Guide [lazymocha.com].

Advice:
  • Avoid CFE 1.0.2.5 from the RT-AC68P, as the newest Asus firmwares (3.0.0.4.384.20624 and later) have performance issues using it when running on a converted TM-AC1900. Instead, use the most current CFE 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh as it is not only for AiMesh.; it was dumped from an actual RT-AC68U by user goggles99 at SNB. The CFE generator [pipeline.sh] by danielfeng has this version available.
    IF need, link to ASUS RT-AC68U Router Firmware 3.0.0.4.384.20308 [softpedia.com] (which is MD5 0eebcaebee656d3d882f6fcb40bf2697, if you are curious for its authenticity) ASUS removed this firmware as it is the last safest firmware for the converted cellspots without doing the MTD5 commands discussed below.
  • Some TM-AC1900 ship with a firmware version that allows SSH access. If you get one of these, you can skip steps 5-10 of the guide. To check if you have SSH available, go to Administration > System in the router configuration interface. If your firmware permits SSH, there will be a setting to Enable SSH. If so, choose Yes, then Apply. Move on to step 11.
  • The T-Mobile certificates have to be wiped from the mtd5 partition. This can be done after all of the steps in the guide have been completed, but must be done before any newer version of ASUS firmware is flashed. As of this writing, the firmware included in the Lazymocha's Guide [lazymocha.com] is 3.0.0.4.376.3626, so the steps below should be performed when this version is running on your router.
PC Instructions: Lazymoca's Guide [lazymocha.com]
(I removed the Bayarea guide link, you will get it from Lazymocha's Guide. But the site is wrong about the MTD5 commands. The comments repeat. I found it best to keep Lazymocha's up)
Mac Instructions - Here [youtu.be] (remember, 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh, he chooses the wrong one in the video).

A brief explanation of what you are achieving in the Guide to change your T-Mobile RT-AC1900 to RT-AC68U.

The Cellspots usually come with firmware 3199 that hides features (SSH and Telnet) in the settings of the router.
SSH feature needs to be turned on to do steps of the guide.
If it is not available to turn on, in order to turn them on, a different older T-Mobile firmware needs to be installed.

The achievements for the entire Guide are as follows:
1. Install firmware 376.1703 to enable SSH
2. Replace CFE (taking out old, updating, installing new)
3. Install firmware 376.3626 to expand jffs (mtd4) to 64MB
4. Clean-up mtd5
*As a bonus there is an extra 2 mtd5 commands to run when on firmware 384.20308.
That is it! 4 achievements to accomplish, then you can install updated Firmware.

Between these achievements are preparations to be done. That is why the guide has 24+ steps in it.
Above is Advice with some links for downloads, below are Guide Tips and notes for tough Steps of the guide.
In this "Community Wiki" is talk about the 'Steps' of the Guide(s) to help you do these achievements.

It is important you follow the guide and the steps correctly. The first achievement is the toughest part of the entire guide. Pay attention closely. If you are stuck on a Step, read the Community Wiki.
If things get bad for you, just walk away don't skip any 'Steps', don't decide to go out of the steps. Just ask your questions and people will help you.

----

The Lazymocha Guide steps discussed below.

Guide Tips:

Step 1, 2, 3
Download files from Step 1, and Step 3, but also download firmware 3.0.0.4.384.20308 [softpedia.com].


NOTE: If you already converted to an RT-AC68U in the past, and you want the new version of RT-AC68U with AiMesh (you want to update it), you don't have to use your origional_cfe.bin.
Just skip Steps 4+ and go to Step 11, continue from there. (You will need Step 1,2,3 and 384.20308 firmware from above)

*Disconnect from the internet now*

Step 4
Set static IP for PC. See photo on the left, bottom of this page HERE
Make sure your PC/Laptop WiFi is off. You should be disconnected from the internet.
Connect this NEW router to the PC. (1 of the 4 yellow ports) Do not connect into the blue port.
Work offline until Step 15. Remember there are preparations steps for each achievement, so pay attention.

Lets now try to manually install firmware 376.1703 from logging into the router.. in your browser, type in 192.168.29.1
Username: Admin
Password: Password
Find the firmware version top of the page and click on it.. Find the downloaded firmware from Step 3 above, (make sure it is unzipped).. and manually install it to the router.
You might get lucky and it installs.. it depends on what version firmware your router came with. IF it does, move to Step 8.. if not, continue below

Step 6 & 7
Mini-CFE webpage
If you are having problems accessing the mini-CFE webserver see if this works:
  1. Power off the router using the power button
  2. Set your PC's IP as explained in Step 4
  3. Navigate to 192.168.29.1 using your browser -- the browser continue to try and access the page until it is available
  4. Press and hold the reset button while powering-on the router
  5. When the mini-CFE webpage appears on the browser, release the reset button
  6. As long as the browser status is still spinning -- looking for a webpage. If it stops refresh the page -- the mini CFE web page will load.
Some have said to keep holding the reset button down for 10 seconds after you start to load the firmware.
So, browser searching status spinning for 192.168.29.1- holding reset, power on router - if browser spins, the mini-CFE opens and you click firmware - keep holding reset for 10 seconds while firmware uploads.. let go reset.
Don't waste any time finding that firmware to load to mini-CFE as that web browser must be searching trying to connect to 192.168.29.1. If browser gives up searching (stops spinning) you have to click refresh.. it can stop the process. That is why ping is mentioned on some guides.
It helps to tape on a 'zip tie end' on top of the reset button so it's easy to press, you have a few things to do at once during this one step.

If this doesn't work,
Try Google Chrome incognito mode.
Some mention to turn on AP mode in the router then try.



If accessing the mini-CFE webserver doesn't work at all for you...
You are experiencing the effects of a locked firmware...
You have to change Guides.

[/I] " Directions for rolling back to AC68 after AC1900 rollback: " Direct Google Docs Link [google.com]. We call this the Google Doc. Guide. You can download it here [mega.nz]

What is wrong with the T-Mobile 3199 firmware
The Cellspots are USUALLY now shipped out with firmware 3199, that makes it harder for you to downgrade that firmware. Sometimes you get lucky with the above steps, sometimes you don't.
This is also caused if you have a converted a Cellspot -TM-AC1900 to RT-AC68U, that did not do the MTD5 commands, and attempted to do a firmware update past 3.0.0.4.384.20308.

Why is my converted Cellspot rolled back to 3199
Those that changed a Cellspot to RT-AC68U in the past might experience this because the ASUS Firmware 3.0.0.4.384.20624 and newer is a 'smart firmware' that identifies converted Cellspots and revert them back to a T-Mobile Cellspots with T-Mobile firmware- 3199. (You could say ASUS put in a virus/trojan to sniff out Cellspots)

To stop this from happening, you must complete the guide and do the MTD5 commands to make your router immune to this 'ASUS type smart firmware'.
IF you don't do these MTD5 commands, the safest highest version of firmware you can use of ASUS's is 384.20308 [softpedia.com].
The first MTD5 commands erases T-Mobile certificates and solves this issue.
The last 2 MTD5 commands fills in that missing area to the regular size of the normal RT-AC68U.

IF you need to use this Google Doc. Guide,I recommend using the (No CFE USB Instructions). IF you still have your old 'original_cfe.bin' from converting THIS router in the past (not one from another router), then you can use the (USB Instructions).

IF you had success on Step 7 above, continue with the Lazymocha's Guide under the Google Doc Guide chat - Steps 1 - 5 below.

-----
- For those that could not get past Step 7 above, we now talk about The Google Doc. Guide. [google.com] Download here [mega.nz]

Changing Guides to The Google Doc. Guide, (NO CFE USB Instructions)

Google Doc. Guide discussion now:
The router must be connected to the internet for this to work
  • Step 1 You need a formatted (completely empty) USB thumbdrive. You need to right click - rename it to: USB
  • Step 2 When doing step 2, you need to get the firmware file: TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx and rename it to: firmware1703.trx
    Copy the firmware file to your thumbdrive called: USB
    The file you need can be found in Step 3 on the Lazymocha Guide [lazymocha.com] (Which you should already have)
  • Step 3 This explains how to use the Google Doc. Guide.. the commands.To help you, there are some photos I found to show you how and where you put the commands when using this Direct Google Docs Link. (Thank you Sploit).
    The photos can be seen at the bottom of this post.
  • Step 4 Plug in the thumbdrive to the routers USB 2.0 port and look in the Router page for USB thumbdrive.. check it is showing 'USB' for a name.
  • Step 5 Run the commands as shown in the pictures. When it says 'wait before doing the next command'. Wait.
- Google Doc. Guide is complete. Make sure you did your 'reset NVRAM' which is Step 20 of Lazymocha Guide.
Start at Step 9 over on there guide.

END of Google Doc. Guide discussion
----

........Lazymocha's Guide [lazymocha.com] discussion and Steps continued below.

Step 8
After flashing "TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx" and rebooting, the NVRAM *must* be reset (Step 20).
NOTE: IF holding WPS seems to not work, try holding WPS for 20 seconds instead of waiting for the power led to flash.

Another way is the command: nvram erase

Step 11
Open Putty and WinSCP. In WinSCP select SCP as file protocol, in Putty select SSH - See Putty SSH photo, bottom of this page HERE
After you connect to the router in Putty, another window opens (if asked, click yes yes yes). It will ask for the user name and password of the router. Username will be visible, password wont. Hit enter after each.

Step 12

In putty type:
cat /dev/mtd0 > original_cfe.bin

Step 13
In WinSCP refresh the window on the right side and note that original_cfe.bin is present

Step 14
Copy original_cfe.bin to a local drive (to keep for future use-always keep this)

Step 15
You must go on the internet now to upload your original_cfe.bin HERE [pipeline.sh]
Chose 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh
When getting the CFE downloaded from the website, don't forget to rename the downloaded CFE to:
new_cfe.bin
Get back off the internet when you are finished doing Step 15.

Steps 16
"Upload" Copy and paste the new_cfe.bin and mtd-write and FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx into WinSCP, next to your original_cfe.bin. All 4 files should be in there.

Steps 17-19:
Install new_cfe.bin and mtd-write and FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx from WinSCP using commands:

The green text should appear in Putty after issuing the three commands.
Code:
/tmp/home/root# chmod u+x mtd-write
/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write new_cfe.bin boot
/tmp/home/root# mtd-write2 FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx linux
linux: CRC OK
/tmp/home/root#
Step 20 clear NVRAM: After the CRC OK green text, clear NVRAM
  • Perform NVRAM Reset.
    a. Power off router
    b. Wait 10 seconds
    c. Press and hold WPS button
    d. Power up the router and continue to hold WPS button for 20 seconds - power LED starts blinking very quickly - keep holding for that 20 seconds.
    e. Release WPS button and wait for router to fully boot ~ 5 mins
If the Model number remains TM-AC1900: After doing Step 20, and you still don't see "RT-AC68U", this was due to a mistake in Steps 16 -19.
Check the spelling of the code and re-naming of the CFE:
origional_cfe.bin to the CFE generator [pipeline.sh] (choosing 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh), correctly re-naming the received CFE "new_1.0.2.0_am.bin"
to
new_cfe.bin
Make sure all those 3 files new_cfe.bin and mtd-write and FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx are in WinSCP next to original_cfe.bin.
(If doing Steps 17-19 again, make sure you then do Step 20) You should now see "RT-AC68U"
IF it still isn't clearing NVRAM, in Putty type this command:
Code:
nvram erase

Step 23 Wiping T-Mobile certificates from the MTD5 partition
(this is entered in Putty after enabling SSH on the router)

These instructions originally existed on SNB before that forum thread was shut down [snbforums.com]. Credit to XVortex and rdallen. After you've performed these steps, you can flash above Firmware version 3.0.0.4.384.20308 and newer using the GUI.

Code:
# Backup MTD5 (dd produces identical bin)
cat /dev/mtd5 > /jffs/mtd5_backup.bin

# Copy mtd5_backup.bin from router using scp
# From host: scp admin@192.168.1.1:/jffs/mtd5_backup.bin ./

# Mount MTD5
mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs

# Copy mtd5 files from router using scp
# From host: scp admin@192.168.1.1:/tmp/asus_jffs/* ./

# Wipe mtd5 files and reboot
rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot
Those 7 MTD5 commands look like this:
If following the Lazymocha's Guide, you will be on Firmware version 3004.376.3626 during this step Step 23.

Code:
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# cat /dev/mtd5 > /jffs/mtd5_backup.bin
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot
The last 2 MTD5 commands:
In order to do the last 2 MTD5 commands you must be on Firmware 384.xxxxx or higher. 3.0.0.4.384.20308 [softpedia.com] (preferred because it is just before the virus) or the command will not be effective.
Remember, every time you update firmware, reset NVRAM Step 20. Enable SSH, then do the last 2 commands below.

Writing all FFs to the mtd5, the green text should appear in Putty after issuing the two commands.
Code:
/tmp/home/root# ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-erase -d asus
Erasing 0x0 - 0x1ffff
Erasing 0x20000 - 0x3ffff
Erasing 0x40000 - 0x5ffff
Erasing 0x60000 - 0x7ffff
Erasing 0x80000 - 0x9ffff
Erasing 0xa0000 - 0xbffff
Erasing 0xc0000 - 0xdffff
Erasing 0xeffff - 0xfffff
Erasing 0x100000 - 0x11ffff
Erasing 0x120000 - 0x13ffff
"asus" successfully erased.
/tmp/home/root#
You may now upgrade to the latest ASUS firmware (I suggest every firmware install be manually uploaded, and off the internet.)
ASUS RT-AC68U firmware downloads [asus.com]
Merlin found HERE [lostrealm.ca]
Don't forget to reset NVRAM after firmware installs.
Put the new_cfe.bin and original_cfe.bin and firmwares in the folder 'router' and save for future work in case you need them.


-------------------------------------Well, a big congratulations are in order!! You now have an RT-AC68U [asus.com]------------------------------------------------
(guide updated 1/31/19)

-----
A guide on the Internet connectivity during the process of the Lazymocha's Guide.
This tells you when to connect/disconnect the PC from the Internet and old router to new router.

Assuming you are using a single PC to do the flashing:
  • You are connected to the Internet via your old router in Steps 1-3.
  • Then you disconnect from old router, "Set static IP for PC" (as in Step 4) connect to the new router in Steps 4-14 (no Internet).
  • Now you disconnect from new router, "Reset PC IP back to default" (as in Step 21), reconnect to your old router to get on the Internet, and do Step 15.
  • Then you disconnect from old router, "Set static IP for PC" (as in Step 4) connect to the new router for Steps 16-20 (no Internet). From now on, your PC can stay connected to the new router.
  • Step 21 "Reset PC IP back to default" Continue with Step 22-23 (no Internet).
  • In Step 24, you can connect the new router to your Internet modem. After a normal configuration, your PC should connect to the Internet now via the new router.
  • Flash your desired/updated/newest firmware to the router via a manual upload on the router's Firmware Update screen. Then do Step 20 again.
Assuming you are using 2 PC's to do the flashing, and the above is complicated:
  • If you are using 2 PC's follow Lazymocha's Guide [lazymocha.com]. Use the separate PC to get step 1 and 3 downloads onto a thumbdrive, and transfer it to the (off Internet PC working on the new router).
    On step 14, thumbdrive the origional_cfe.bin from the offline PC - to the online PC, do Step 15, rename the CFE and transfer the new_cfe.bin to the (offline PC) again via thumbdrive.
    Finish the work. Once you are past Step 23, you can go on the internet with the new router.
-----
Having Trouble Getting a AiMesh Node to connect to your main AiMesh router? (confirmed working on firmware 3.0.0.4.384.32799) then follow this tutorial from vboyz103 (Click me to go to his original post or read below)

Having issue with intermittent wireless connection running latest firmware (3.0.0.4.384_45149)?

Try this.
In Wifi Professional for 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz:
Disable Roaming Assistance; Airtime fairness; and both types of Beamforming (click Apply for each band).
If you see improvement, enable Roaming Assistance but lower the threshold to about -75. This needs to be fine tuned for each environment and band.
You might also play with Bluetooth coexistence. BTW, do you have USB3 devices connected? If so, set USB3 to USB2 mode. It can interfere with 2.4GHz.
If anything makes an improvement, you might try enabling other settings to narrow-down exactly which is the problem.
~ST1NGY

Please note:
Before commenting below in the comment section... make sure your line signal is good with the Modem.
Make sure you don't have drop outs, signal loss, T3 or T4 timeouts. Look in your Modem logs and check signal strength. Call your ISP for any issues.
Please, trouble shoot this first, and make sure you did all the steps on this Guide...before commenting below.
-----
If you feel the need to change clock speeds
(Not necessary for conversion from cellspot to RT-AC68U)

After completing the above steps to convert your router to RT-AC68U using CFE 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh, you may notice the CFE defaults to clkfreq=800,666 and will revert to default after reboot if overclocked.
To make the overclock stick, follow these steps from the whirlpool forum:

To manually set the clkfreq the following SSH commands can be used which allow the clkfreq to survive a device reboot:

nvram set asuscfeclkfreq=1000,800 && nvram set asuscfecommit=1
nvram set clkfreq=1000,800
nvram commit && reboot

People have reported using the following clock speeds: 800,666, 1000/666, 1000/800, 1200/800, or 1400/800

-----
If you want to check temps

Enable Telnet in router.
Putty telnet. Click the picture bottom of. this post
CPU temperature, (Code from 'RMerlin'):
Code:
cat /proc/dmu/temperature
For the radio temperature, it's more complicated.
Code:
wl -i eth1 phy_tempsense
wl -i eth2 phy_tempsense
The result of the radio temperature must be divided by two, then add 20 to the result.

-----
To check if your on CFE 1.0.2.0 or CFE 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh
As you notice, doing this Code (found from years ago):
Code:
nvram get bl_version
It just says 1.0.2.0 not anything about AiMesh.

To check Version verification, Putty Telnet into Router. Click the picture bottom of. this post
(Code and quote from 'st1ngy')
Code:
strings /dev/mtd0 | grep odmpid
"If it returns "odmpid=RT-AC68U" odds are high you have installed the correct one(1.0.2.0 US AiMesh).
If is says "odmpid=ASUS", that's the non-AiMesh one."

-----
How do I double check the MTD5 signature
Do you think you didn't do the MTD5 commands correctly
Lazymocha's Guide doesn't explain to do the last two MTD5 commands on firmware 384.xxxxx (preferably 384.20308).
If you didn't read correctly about the MTD5 command step above, you might not have had the last 2 MTD5 commands effectively done.

To check this, once again, putty in and do the following command:
Code:
strings /dev/mtd5
A "real" RT-AC68U has absolutely nothing in /dev/mtd5 except it is filled with 0xff. You should see no result for the command output.(seen in green)
Code:
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# strings /dev/mtd5
admin@RT-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# 
If you do see some misc strings, there's something in mtd5 and you should execute the commands to wipe it when on firmware Version 384.xxxxx
Code:
/tmp/home/root# ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-erase -d asus
-----

SNB now disallows discussion [snbforums.com] about converting TM-AC1900 to RT-AC68U with AiMesh. So, modding information may be a bit harder to come by going forward. Some discussion has moved to this thread [whirlpool.net.au] on whirlpool.

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#301
Okay i'm stumped and cannot get the router to flash following the steps in the guide. I've attempted to reset the nvram with no additional luck. I've also tried the asus recovery software which tells me that my router is not in recovery mode.

I can reset the router and get it to ASUSTek - CFE minWeb Server

I selected the trx file and it never gets to uploading beyond 0% and eventually I get "This site can't be reached"

Any suggestions I could try?
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#302
Quote from stnick
:
Okay i'm stumped and cannot get the router to flash following the steps in the guide. I've attempted to reset the nvram with no additional luck. I've also tried the asus recovery software which tells me that my router is not in recovery mode.

I can reset the router and get it to ASUSTek - CFE minWeb Server

I selected the trx file and it never gets to uploading beyond 0% and eventually I get "This site can't be reached"

Any suggestions I could try?
At the top of this page is the ' Wiki '
In that Wiki is
" Other Tips: "


I assume you have done EXACTLY what the guide stats to do.
Use google chrome, clean your cache.. maybe even use incognito mode as another said.
One mentioned putting the router in AP mode then trying. Even a Video on this HERE [youtu.be] Alex is very fast, you will need to pause, play slow motion, even replay parts. (Pay attention to his presets as 'putty' is auto filled when he clicks them, you have to manually put the information in.)

This is the hardest part of the whole guide, because you are experiencing the effects of a locked firmware.

don't give up.

NOTE
All you are trying to do is
Step 6 & 7 :Flash TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx
IF Bayareatechpro's Guide and the Video doesn't help, then you have to do the 'Google Doc Guide'.
Once done installing TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx, then you move back over to Bayareatechpro's Guide and continue to Step 8.

TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx is a downgrade T-Mobile firmware that allows SSH to appear in the Router UI... so you can turn it on. You need SSH to continue with the Guide.

T-Mobile did two things, stopped showing SSH... and locked there firmware to downgrade.

this is what all the steps are for up to step 8.

If it doesn't normally work using the Bayarea Guide, then the 'fix' for that is the Google Document Guide.

One method to help 'normally work' was to ping the router (as explained in the Video) so you time it exactly right.
That is why users have some tips and tricks to avoid doing the Google Doc Guide.
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#303
Quote from Hawbgobblin
:
At the top of this page is the ' Wiki '
In that Wiki is
" Other Tips: "


I assume you have done EXACTLY what the guide stats to do.
Use google chrome, clean your cache.. maybe even use incognito mode as another said.
One mentioned putting the router in AP mode then trying. Even a Video on this HERE [youtu.be] Alex is very fast, you will need to pause, play slow motion, even replay parts. (Pay attention to his presets as 'putty' is auto filled when he clicks them, you have to manually put the information in.)

This is the hardest part of the whole guide, because you are experiencing the effects of a locked firmware.

don't give up.

NOTE
All you are trying to do is
Step 6 & 7 :Flash TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx
IF Bayareatechpro's Guide and the Video doesn't help, then you have to do the 'Google Doc Guide'.
Once done installing TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx, then you move back over to Bayareatechpro's Guide and continue to Step 8.

TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx is a downgrade T-Mobile firmware that allows SSH to appear in the Router UI... so you can turn it on. You need SSH to continue with the Guide.

T-Mobile did two things, stopped showing SSH... and locked there firmware to downgrade.

this is what all the steps are for up to step 8.

If it doesn't normally work using the Bayarea Guide, then the 'fix' for that is the Google Document Guide.

One method to help 'normally work' was to ping the router (as explained in the Video) so you time it exactly right.
That is why users have some tips and tricks to avoid doing the Google Doc Guide.
So I literally tried everything you mentioned except trying incognito mode as I didn't see that posted anywhere. Perfect worked and was able to flash. You sir are amazing.
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#304
Quote from stnick
:
So I literally tried everything you mentioned except trying incognito mode as I didn't see that posted anywhere. Perfect worked and was able to flash. You sir are amazing.
HAHA!
That is great newsBig Grin

Interesting though.

Incognito Mode:
Chrome won't save the following information:
  • Your browsing history
  • Cookies and site data
  • Information entered in forms
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#305
Quote from Hawbgobblin
:
Perhaps, it is time for me to upgrade from Version 3.0.0.4.384.32799Ha ha
Full disclosure. The first time I installed 384.45149 I had some trouble getting to devices connected to one of my wifi range extenders. I use several to extend the reach of my Guest SSID for (untrusted) smart devices too far from my main ASUS router. Anyway, after installing 384_45149 I noticed that my client list was about 12 short of the normal number of clients. Rather than screw around and disrupt my network in the middle of the day, I quickly fell back to 384.32799.

A couple days later on a quiet weekend I gave 384.45149 another try. I still got fewer than expected clients in the client list, but I found that those missing clients were still accessible through their apps. These were some smart switches/bulbs/cameras. I realized that the clients that connected through one of my range extenders were missing but I could log-in to the extender's gui and see them. They even got assigned IP addresses from my main router's DHCP server.

So the problem is caused by some change in how the ASUS web gui displays clients, or some incompatibility with my range extender. Otherwise everything was working. I decided to stay with 45149 since it had some security fixes and (supposedly) other performance fixes. Everything else seems good.
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#306
Quote from ST1NGY
:
Full disclosure. The first time I installed 384.45149 I had some trouble getting to devices connected to one of my wifi range extenders. I use several to extend the reach of my Guest SSID for (untrusted) smart devices too far from my main ASUS router. Anyway, after installing 384_45149 I noticed that my client list was about 12 short of the normal number of clients. Rather than screw around and disrupt my network in the middle of the day, I quickly fell back to 384.32799.

A couple days later on a quiet weekend I gave 384.45149 another try. I still got fewer than expected clients in the client list, but I found that those missing clients were still accessible through their apps. These were some smart switches/bulbs/cameras. I realized that the clients that connected through one of my range extenders were missing but I could log-in to the extender's gui and see them. They even got assigned IP addresses from my main router's DHCP server.

So the problem is caused by some change in how the ASUS web gui displays clients, or some incompatibility with my range extender. Otherwise everything was working. I decided to stay with 45149 since it had some security fixes and (supposedly) other performance fixes. Everything else seems good.
I have noticed this behavior as well, it seems the issue is with GUI how it displays the client list. The client list shows 16+ devices initially on the page and suddenly shoots up to 31 ( my actual no). So I assume it's GUI and and may be refresh rate/time.
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#307
Quote from new_yorker
:
I have noticed this behavior as well, it seems the issue is with GUI how it displays the client list. The client list shows 16+ devices initially on the page and suddenly shoots up to 31 ( my actual no). So I assume it's GUI and and may be refresh rate/time.
That's a different issue. My client list and the count is fairly stable, just incomplete. It never shows the full list - clients connecting through my TP-Link RE450 extender are missing. It does show clients connected through my other TP-Link TL-WA855RE extenders.

Keep in mind that some clients do not do not stay connected full-time. My android phones used to disconnect from wifi in standby mode (to conserve power - I fixed by changing settings). Some smart devices just connect periodically. The router doesn't have an accurate way to determine if a client goes away. So the list gets rebuilt every couple seconds (guestimate) based on recent activity. I think that accounts for some of the observed client list instability. I just don't spend much time watching it (better things to do) unless I am having some connectivity issue on my LAN. So this issue doesn't bother me.
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#308
// EDIT: corrected a few references

sharing my two cents after getting help on SD from another user - I used the steps below to reflash the router (mine had been in use and connected online previously)
https://www.bayareatechpros.com/ac1900-to-ac68u/

those steps are almost perfect, except that when running the code for fixing the mtd5 partition (after steps 1-22 are complete and confirming you're on Asus firmware), putty will hang on "./mtd-erase -d asus" so you need to go to the router UI and update the firmware to version 384 which can be found here [softpedia.com], Reset NVRAM after firmware install, and then re-run the remaining (or all, it's just redundant) code for fixing MTD5 partition

Couple other tips:
  • on step 15 remember to rename it to new_cfe.bin after downloading it since no error feedback will be provided if you don't and the following steps won't work otherwise (you'll remain on the t-mobile firmware)
  • to echo some users above, using chrome incognito mode helps a ton both for finding and seeing updates to the router webUI and recovery pages, since sometimes chrome caches stuff and it won't update on chrome.
  • if you complete all the steps successfully, but you plug in the router to your network and there is no internet, your cable/fiber modem may coincidentally be on the same default IP as the router is. To fix this, go to the router webUI and on the status page you'll see an error stating an IP conflict which you can click so the router will change itself to a different IP
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Last edited by johnny2x4 January 29, 2019 at 01:59 PM.
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#309
Quote from johnny2x4
:
sharing my two cents after getting help on SD from another user - I used the steps below to reflash the router (mine had been in use and connected online previously)
https://www.bayareatechpros.com/ac1900-to-ac68u/

those steps are almost perfect, except that when running the code for fixing the mtd5 partition (after steps 1-24), putty will hang on "./mtd-erase -d asus" so you need to go to the router UI and update to a newer version [softpedia.com] (linked below, from another SD thread), and then re-run the remaining (or all, it's just redundant) code for fixing MTD5 partition

Couple other tips:
  • on step 15 remember to rename it to new_cfe.bin after downloading it since no error feedback will be provided if you don't and the following steps won't work otherwise (you'll remain on the t-mobile firmware)
  • to echo some users above, using chrome incognito mode helps a ton both for finding and seeing updates to the router webUI and recovery pages, since sometimes chrome caches stuff and it won't update on chrome.
  • if you complete all the steps successfully, but you plug in the router to your network and there is no internet, your cable/fiber modem may coincidentally be on the same default IP as the router is. To fix this, go to the router webUI and on the status page you'll see an error stating an IP conflict which you can click so the router will change itself to a different IP
Yes, in order to run the mtd erase commands, you must be on 384.xxxx or higher - I believe this was noted in the wiki.
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#310
If I had to write a full up-to-date guide, it would be this:
(Up to date as of 5/2/19 with suggestions in this and later threads)
How to flash TM-AC1900 to RT-AC68U:
  1. Install WinSCP, Putty, and a file archiver (click this link to download all 3 [ninite.com]). Install the Asus Restore Utility [asus.com], mirror [filedropper.com].
  2. Connect your computer to the *yellow* port on the router by way of an Ethernet (LAN) cable
  3. Check if SSH can be enabled - if so, enable it and jump to step #15
    Go to Administration > System > Enable SSH > Yes > Apply
    Ezlink: http://192.168.29.1/Advanced_System_Content.asp
  4. Create a folder on your desktop, name it "router".
  5. Download this file [mega.nz] and extract it to the newly made router folder. It contains a firmware to downgrade to, a firmware to upgrade to, and mtd-write.
  6. Download firmware version 3.0.0.4.384.20308 from here [softpedia.com] and unzip the file
  7. Disconnect the cellspot router from the internet if you haven't already
  8. Set static IP for PC.
    start > run > ncpa.cpl > double click Ethernet > properties > IPV4 >
    IP: 192.168.29.5
    Subnet: Default (255.255.255.0)
    Gateway: 192.168.29.1
  9. Place router into Recovery/Restore mode
    a. Hold reset button 10 seconds
    b. Power off router (keep holding reset)
    c. Wait 10 seconds, keep holding reset
    d. Power on router holding reset for 10 more seconds
  10. Go to 192.168.29.1 in a web browser - you should see ASUSTek CFE miniWeb Server
    If Mini-CFE webpage won't load, try Chrome Incognito mode, else use Asus Restore Utility (linked in #1)
    If having trouble with this step perform NVRAM Reset (see #24) and try #9 again
  11. Flash TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx from the "router" folder you created (hit the choose button, select the file, hit upload)
  12. Wait for reboot at least 5 mins – WiFi lights on router will turn on when boot is complete
  13. Log in to router (admin:password)
  14. Go to Administration > System > Enable SSH > Yes > Apply
    Ezlink: http://192.168.29.1/Advanced_System_Content.asp
  15. Open Putty and WinSCP and connect them to 192.168.29.1 using a admin:admin or admin:password
    Tip: In WinSCP select SCP as file protocol, in Putty SSH
  16. In Putty type:
    Code:
    cat /dev/mtd0 > original_cfe.bin
  17. In WinSCP refresh the window on the right side and note that original_cfe.bin is present
  18. Copy original_cfe.bin to a local drive
  19. Download the new .bin
    a. Upload original_cfe.bin to http://cfeditor.pipeline.sh/
    b. Select 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh as Source CFE for Asus/Merlin builds, (1.0.2.5 recommended for DD-WRT or Tomato)
    c. Click Download
  20. Rename the new .bin file to "new_cfe.bin"
  21. Through WinSCP, Upload new_cfe.bin & mtd-write & FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx to router
  22. In Putty type:
    Code:
    chmod u+x mtd-write
    ./mtd-write new_cfe.bin boot
    mtd-write2 FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx linux
  23. Wait until the CRC OK message comes up
  24. Perform NVRAM Reset
    a. Power off router
    b. Wait 10 seconds
    c. Press and hold WPS button
    d. Power up the router and continue to hold WPS button for 15-20 seconds until power LED starts blinking very quickly.
    e. wait 5 minutes
  25. Reset PC IP back to default
  26. Log in to router using 192.168.1.1 and the router is now an RT-AC68U with 64MB jffs
    username:/password is now: admin:admin
    If router isn't showing RT-AC68U, try Chrome Incognito Mode
  27. Enable SSH (see #14) Ezlink: http://192.168.1.1/Advanced_System_Content.asp
  28. Reconnect Putty (see #15)
  29. In Putty, execute the code for fixing MTD5 partition.
    Code:
    cat /dev/mtd5 > /jffs/mtd5_backup.bin
    mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
    mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
    rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
    sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
    ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
  30. In the router page, go to Administration > Firmware and upload RT-AC68U_3.0.0.4_384_20308-gead790e.trx
    This is the file you downloaded in step #6
  31. Perform NVRAM Reset (see #24)
  32. Enable SSH (see #14) Ezlink: http://192.168.1.1/Advanced_System_Content.asp
    When going back into the router at this point, it may prompt you to update the username/password, not allowing you to go directly to enable ssh
    Make sure you don't forget what you change the username/password to
  33. Reconnect Putty (see #15)
  34. In Putty, execute the code for fixing MTD5 partition.
    Code:
    mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
    mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
    rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
    sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
    ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
    ./mtd-erase -d asus
    rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
    nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot
  35. You now can (and should) flash an updated firmware, such as Asus, Merlin, Advanced Tomato, Tomato, and DD-WRT firmwares.
    To flash newer Asus firmwares at this point, go to the router page, go to Administration > Firmware and upload the latest firmware from this page [asus.com].
  36. At this point, for security purposes I'd recommend to either disable SSH or change it to 'LAN only". Also, definitely change both the default login id and password.
Additional Notes:
  • Yes, step 34 is partially redundant, but this is the way I did it twice and it caused no issues.
  • If you complete all the steps successfully, but you plug in the router to your network and there is no internet, your cable/fiber modem may coincidentally be on the same default IP as the router is. To fix this, go to the router webUI and on the status page you'll see an error stating an IP conflict which you can click so the router will change itself to a different IP
  • if you want to set up AiMesh, follow these steps

Feel free to message me if you get stuck, I may not respond immediately but I will try to help
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Last edited by johnny2x4 May 16, 2019 at 08:58 AM. Reason: small correction, added link, formatting, added a few clarifying steps
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#311
Very good write-up and you filled-in some areas where people go astray. I'l point out one mistake. Delete step #23 entirely. Since you are already on 384.20308 you can modify step 29 to:
Code:
cat /dev/mtd5 > /jffs/mtd5_backup.bin
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
./mtd-erase -d asus
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot
This eliminates some redundant and useless commands. And a minor point. There no is value in backing-up /dev/mtd5 if you don't copy it off the router. Leaving it in /jffs isn't a safe place.
Quote from johnny2x4
:
If I had to write a full up-to-date guide, it would be this:

How to flash AC1900 to AC68U:
  1. Install WinSCP, Putty, and a file archiver (click this link to download all 3 [ninite.com]). Install the Asus Restore Utility [asus.com], mirror [filedropper.com].
  2. Create a folder on your desktop, name it "router".
  3. Download this file [mega.nz] and extract it to the newly made router folder. It contains a firmware to downgrade to, a firmware to upgrade to, and mtd-write.
  4. Disconnect the cellspot router from the internet if you haven't already
  5. Set static IP for PC.
    start > run > ncpa.cpl > double click Ethernet > properties > IPV4 >
    IP: 192.168.29.5
    Subnet: Default (255.255.255.0)
    Gateway: 192.168.29.1
  6. Place router into Recovery/Restore mode
    Hold reset button 10 seconds
    Power off router (keep holding reset)
    Wait 10 seconds, keep holding reset
    Power on router holding reset for 10 more seconds
  7. Go to 192.168.29.1 in a web browser
    If Mini-CFE webpage won't load, try Chrome Incognito mode, else use Asus Restore Utility
    If having trouble with this step perform NVRam Reset (see # 20) and try #6 again
  8. Flash TM-AC1900_3.0.0.4_376_1703-g0ffdbba.trx from the "router" folder you created
  9. Wait for reboot at least 5 mins – WiFi lights on router will turn on when boot is complete
  10. Log in to router (admin:password)
  11. Go to Administration > System > Enable SSH > Yes > Apply
    Ezlink: http://192.168.29.1/Advanced_System_Content.asp
  12. Open Putty and WinSCP and connect them to 192.168.29.1 using a admin:admin or admin:password
    Tip: In WinSCP select SCP as file protocol, in Putty SSH
  13. In Putty type:
    Code:
    cat /dev/mtd0 > original_cfe.bin
  14. In WinSCP refresh the window on the right side and note that original_cfe.bin is present
  15. Copy original_cfe.bin to a local drive
  16. Download the new .bin
    a. Upload original_cfe.bin to https://cfeditor.pipeline.sh/
    b. Select 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh as Source CFE for Asus/Merlin builds, (1.0.2.5 recommended for DD-WRT or Tomato)
    c. Click Download
  17. Rename the new .bin file to "new_cfe.bin"
  18. Through WinSCP, Upload new_cfe.bin & mtd-write & FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx to router
  19. In Putty type:
    Code:
    chmod u+x mtd-write
    ./mtd-write new_cfe.bin boot
    mtd-write2 FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx linux
  20. Perform NVRAM Reset
    a. Power off router
    b. Wait 10 seconds
    c. Press and hold WPS button
    d. Power up the router and continue to hold WPS button for 15-20 seconds until power LED starts blinking very quickly.
    e. wait 5 minutes
  21. Reset PC IP back to default
  22. Log in to router using 192.168.1.1 and the router is now an AC68U with 64MB jffs
    username:/password is now: admin:admin
    If router isn't showing AC68U, try Chrome Incognito Mode
  23. In Putty, execute the code for fixing MTD5 partition.
    Code:
    cat /dev/mtd5 > /jffs/mtd5_backup.bin
    mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
    mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
    rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
    sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
    ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
  24. Download firmware version 3.0.0.4.384.20308 from here and unzip the file
  25. In the router page, go to Administration > Firmware and upload RT-AC68U_3.0.0.4_384_20308-gead790e.trx
  26. Perform NVRAM Reset (see #20)
  27. Enable SSH (see #10) Ezlink: http://192.168.1.1/Advanced_System_Content.asp
  28. Reconnect Putty (see #11)
  29. In Putty, execute the code for fixing MTD5 partition.
    Code:
    cat /dev/mtd5 > /jffs/mtd5_backup.bin
    mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
    mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs
    rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
    sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
    ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
    ./mtd-erase -d asus
    rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
    nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot
  30. You can now flash Asus [asus.com], Merlin, Advanced Tomato, Tomato, and DD-WRT firmwares
Additional Notes:
  • Yes, step 28 is partially redundant, but this is the way I did it and it caused no issues.
  • If you complete all the steps successfully, but you plug in the router to your network and there is no internet, your cable/fiber modem may coincidentally be on the same default IP as the router is. To fix this, go to the router webUI and on the status page you'll see an error stating an IP conflict which you can click so the router will change itself to a different IP
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Last edited by ST1NGY January 29, 2019 at 03:46 PM.
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#312
Quote from ST1NGY
:
Very good write-up and you filled-in some areas where people go astray. I'l point out one mistake. Delete step #23 entirely.
thanks for the feedback-
I was under the impression that some of those commands were needed prior to updating to 384? or is it okay to run them all after updating?

I put that in there pretty much as a just in case since it doesn't cause any issues.
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Last edited by johnny2x4 January 29, 2019 at 03:35 PM.
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#313
Haha!
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#314
edit: nvm previous question. i was stupid.

What if i already have the router i want to flash in ap mode and it has an ip address of 192.168.29.150?
do all the same steps still apply but where it says 192.168.29.1 i substitute 150 for 1?
I have another tmac1900 already as the main router and its address is 29.1 and I want to leave that alone for now.

Would I be better off with a factory reset on it before I start?
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Last edited by BobbyFinstock January 29, 2019 at 05:28 PM.
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#315
Quote from ST1NGY
:
Very good write-up and you filled-in some areas where people go astray. I'l point out one mistake. Delete step #23 entirely. Since you are already on 384.20308 you can modify step 29 to:Code:cat /dev/mtd5 > /jffs/mtd5_backup.bin
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
ln -s /sbin/rc mtd-erase
./mtd-erase -d asus
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot This eliminates some redundant and useless commands. And a minor point. There no is value in backing-up /dev/mtd5 if you don't copy it off the router. Leaving it in /jffs isn't a safe place.
The only issue with this, (minus the elimination of the commands you mentioned) is if people mess up and go past 384.20308.. before doing the MTD (7 old commands) , is there router reverts back to a TM-AC1900.

Not only that, the firmware 384.20308 is rare to find. If that link gets taken down.. your 'new' way of doing it will no longer be valid.
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Last edited by User17347427 January 29, 2019 at 04:18 PM.
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