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Update: Still available for a limited time. Be sure to read through the wiki if you're considering flashing this router.

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Edited November 29, 2016 at 10:24 PM by
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#2161
Quote from Engineer
:
No, it will work as a regular router out of the box and for most, probably will function just fine. Has less features than regular Asus or Merlin and isn't updated as often but will generally work just fine for many/most.
Massive thanks to your guide! I have flashed mine perfectly according to your guide a few days ago. Downgrade>>cfe>>newer ASUS>>direct flash merlin. I found once this router was connected to internet out of box it would automatically upgrade to the newest TM firmware and disable conventional recovery mode entry method. I spent hours searching online till somebody said press all the three bottoms(WPS,RESET and Wifi) instead of RESET only and it worked.
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#2162
My suggestions to simplify the guides...

General Information:
Default T-mobile Router IP is 192.168.29.1
Default Username is admin
Default Password is password

Once you switch to ASUS CFE and firmware
Default ASUS Router IP is 192.168.1.1
Default Username is admin
Default Password is admin


#1 YOU DON'T NEED TELNET (if you let the router update itself to 3.0.0.4.376_3169 it includes SSH, so no need to downgrade firmware or play with html)

Web interface Administration -> System -> Enable SSH (then Apply)

Telnet is just an insecure version of ssh. Use ssh to log into the router.

How to use SSH with your Asus Router:

Log into your router's web interface as usual (web browser to 192.168.29.1 if you are on T-mobile firmware or 192.168.1.1 if you are on Asus firmware, both assuming you haven't changed the default IP).

Once in web interface click Administration on lower left and then the System tab toward the top. One option should be to enable SSH. Set that to yes or on and press Apply at the bottom.

Run putty.exe to open an ssh terminal. Get putty.exe here:
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk...nload.html

Run putty.exe, type the IP of your router, username admin, password is password, admin, or whatever you changed it to. You are now logged into the router and have terminal access without needing telnet. It may ask you about storing a host key, you can say yes or no, it doesn't matter.


#2 YOU DON'T NEED A USB STICK TO GET FILES ON OR OFF YOUR ROUTER
You can copy files back and forth to the router with a simple drag and drop interface with WinSCP, a windows GUI for the secure copy command, scp.

Download and run WinSCP from here:
https://winscp.net/eng/download.php

When you open WinSCP, it will have a setting at the top for File Protocol. Set this away from SFTP and switch it to SCP. Type your router's IP into the Host name box. It will ask username and password. It may ask you about storing a host key, you can say yes or no, it doesn't matter.

You now have drag and drop access to your router. It defaults to the /tmp/home/root, which is perfect for us.

#3 YOU DON'T NEED TO UNPLUG THE ROUTER
There is a power switch button on the back of the router. It's easy to use with one hand and saves you the hassle of unplugging and replugging the power adapter. The reset button, which requires a pen or some poking tool, is a little above this power button. To reboot router, press power button once to turn the router off, wait 10 seconds, then press it again to power it on.

#4 YOU DON'T NEED A HEX EDITOR
As is pointed out in Engineer's guide, there's a cfe.exe which copies the MAC addresses for you, and you can use his provided grep commands the verify the correctness. You don't need to use a hex editor to do this.

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

I had used the router for a few days with T-mobile firmware and had allowed it to upgrade to 3.0.0.4.376_3169. Since I used SSH instead of telnet, allowing this T-mobile firmware update didn't end up being a bad thing or adding any hassle. In other words, don't worry about connecting the router to the internet or upgrading it when you get it if you want to try the T-mobile firmware.

Here are my shortened/simplified instructions from whatever T-mobile firmware you have (if you are on older firmware than 3.0.0.4.376_3169 that has Telnet, you can use that instead of SSH, but if you are on firmware that doesn't have SSH or Telnet, you can use the Web Interface to allow the router to update itself to 3.0.0.4.376_3169, which has SSH, before you continue).

1. Enable SSH in the Web interface
Administration -> System -> Enable SSH

2. Download and run Putty.exe and WinSCP.exe to log into your router from both programs.

3. Slightly modified version from Engineer's excellent guide:
https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=73690012&postcount=3895
- From Putty type:
cat /dev/mtd0 > original_cfe.bin
- From WinSCP click refresh on right side and see that original_cfe.bin has now appeared
- Make New Folder on your PC (left side of WinSCP) and drag original_cfe.bin from right side to left side (from router to the new empty folder on your PC)
- Download ASUS CFE 1.0.2.0:
https://mega.nz/#!IxZTAbDZ!Rardt8...tByYIvWYgY
- Unrar that file into the same New Folder as original_cfe.bin
(If you don't already have WinRAR, get that here: http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm)
-Rename that CFE file from rt-ac68u_1.0.2.0_us.bin to new_cfe.bin (right click, rename)
-Download cfe.exe and unrar into your New Folder on your PC.
https://mega.nz/#!9kZjGS6C!tTOddF...uCshw0qx-Q
-On your PC, use the normal windows explorer folder browser (not WinSCP) to navigate to your New Folder that contains these three files (original_cfe.bin, new_cfe.bin, and cfe.exe).
-Double click cfe.exe. Say yes you trust it to run.
-If it worked, a new_cfe.bin.bak file will appear. You don't need this file, but it shows cfe.exe did something.
-In WinSCP, drag new_cfe.bin in the left window (your New Folder) to the right window (your router).
**************************IMPORTANT CHECK*************************
-In Putty, check that cfe.exe worked and you copied things correctly by typing (copy here, right click in Putty to paste, then press Enter):
grep mac ./original_cfe.bin ./new_cfe.bin
(if the results don't match, STOP and recheck your work).
grep secret ./original_cfe.bin ./new_cfe.bin
(again, if the results don't match, STOP and recheck your work).
***************************************************************************

**********IMPORTANT (while you still have internet access)***********
-Download this ASUS firmware version 376.3626 and save it on your PC for later:
http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/...763626.zip

It's important that you have that exact firmware version downloaded before you disconnect from the internet. It will expand your rootfs partition from 32MB to 64MB to allow for modern firmware. You can unzip it into your New Folder or an easy to find place like your desktop. The file is named FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx after you unzip it.

----- Begin Optional/Educational ------

In Putty, you can check your current partition size using the command:
df -h

If you have a 32MB partition, jffs will also be around 32MB. If you have upgraded to 64MB, jffs will show something closer to 64MB.

Example of 32MB partition with T-mobile firmware:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# df -h
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                13.9M     13.9M         0 100% /
devtmpfs                124.8M         0    124.8M   0% /dev
tmpfs                   124.9M    256.0K    124.6M   0% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock6           30.8M      1.1M     29.7M   3% /jffs
/dev/mtdblock7            1.3M    388.0K    892.0K  30% /T-Mobile
Example with 64MB partition after updating to Asus firmware (which we will do later):
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# df -h
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                37.0M     37.0M         0 100% /
devtmpfs                124.8M         0    124.8M   0% /dev
tmpfs                   124.9M      1.3M    123.6M   1% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock4           62.8M      1.7M     61.0M   3% /jffs

You can check your CFE version by typing:
nvram get bl_version

With the T-mobile firmware that I allowed to upgrade, the output looked like:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get bl_version
2.1.2.6
After I completed the switch to the ASUS CFE, the output looks like:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get bl_version
1.0.2.0

You can check your hardware revision by typing:
nvram get HW_ver

Mine is hardware revision 1.7 as shown by this output:
Code:
admin@(none):/# nvram get HW_ver
170
You can check your router's CPU and RAM speed by typing:
nvram get clkfreq

Mine is the default 800MHz CPU and 666MHz RAM as shown in this output:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get clkfreq
800,666
------- End Optional/Educational ------

-Download the CFE flashing utility:
https://mega.nz/#!RxhHxY6C!VYkscS...ZLpdb_SVSk
-Unrar mtd-write and use WinSCP to copy it onto your router (the right WinSCP window).
-In Putty, test if you have everything you need by typing:
ls -l (that's LS -L but in lower case)

Output should look like this showing the three files:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ls -l
-rwxr--r--    1 admin    root        523364 Nov  4  2014 mtd-write
-rw-r--r--    1 admin    root        231923 Nov 27 14:32 new_cfe.bin
-rw-rw-rw-    1 admin    root        524288 Nov 27 11:20 original_cfe.bin
-See if mtd-write will work by typing:
./mtd-write

Output should be:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
Usage: ./mtd-write -i file -d part
You will probably get permission denied like this:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
-sh: ./mtd-write: Permission denied
You just need to type this:
chmod u+x mtd-write (this will make the file executable)

If you get an error about not found like this:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# mtd-write
-sh: mtd-write: not found
You need to make sure the ./ is in front when you type ./mtd-write

So, if your output is like this, you are ready to use the command to update your CFE:
Code:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
Usage: ./mtd-write -i file -d part

-Actually write the ASUS CFE version and overwrite the T-mobile one by typing:
./mtd-write new_cfe.bin boot

-Reboot the router by typing:
reboot

WinSCP and Putty will lose connection. You can close WinSCP since you are done with that. You should also close putty because it will be unresponsive.

-After router is done booting (a minute or two) SSH into router and check CFE version by typing:
nvram get bl_version

If I remember correctly, it already displayed 1.0.2.0 at this point in the process.

-Reset NVRAM by the hardware method:
Power router off using power button on the back
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the WPS button
Power the router back on while continuing to hold the WPS button for 15-20 seconds

For me, at this point having uploaded and installed the ASUS CFE version 1.0.2.0 and reset the NVRAM, the router's IP switched by itself from 192.168.29.1 to 192.168.1.1. This was a bit of guess and check over several tries because the guides didn't work until I realized this. So, for me, the next set was to enter recovery mode as follows:

*** Enter Recovery Mode to install stock Asus firmware 376.3626 that you downloaded before ***
-Set PC's IP address to static 192.168.1.2 (not sure if this is needed, but oh well)
-Unplug all other ethernet cables except the one to your PC which is in yellow port 1 (again, not sure if this ended up mattering but I did it)
-Turn off router with power button
-In a browser (I can't remember it only worked with IE or also other browsers) type 192.168.1.1 and watch it spin to look for it
-Press and hold reset button with pen
-Power on router with power button
-Continue to hold reset button for 20-30 seconds
-If you win, a Mini-CFE web page will appear in your web browser (if you can't get into the Mini-CFE, try to ping 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.29.1 to see which one your router is using then keep trying Smilie
-Once it works, use the Mini-CFE web page to install FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx

-After it installs and reboots itself, you are free to log into 192.168.1.1 with admin/admin and do whatever you want for other firmware. Your jffs should now be around 64MB (see above to check), so any firmware will work. I let the web interface update me to stock Asus 3.0.0.4.380_4118. I'll probably go Merlin soon.

Thanks to Engineer and others for the guides. I just thought I'd share/update with my experience to give others hope and motivation to try as well. The newer Asus firmware has several other new features over the newest T-mobile firmware and also works with the Asus Router app: https://www.asus.com/asus-router-app/

Good luck!
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Last edited by bootymonger November 29, 2016 at 06:47 PM.
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#2163
Quote from carlfxy
:
My order was just shipped, ordered on the 21st! Yay !
carlfxy, what is ur order date and time in PST?
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#2164
Quote from carlfxy
:
My order was just shipped, ordered on the 21st! Yay !
are u able to see the delivery date with their UPS tracking number as for me it shows delivery date unknown in UPS though T-Mobile order status shows shipped.
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Joined May 2006
Groggoccino
135 Posts
197 Reputation
#2165
Quote from man123bot
:
carlfxy, what is ur order date and time in PST?
I got the order shipped today, too. Order date was 11/21, time was 8:47PM PST.

Got UPS tracking # but it doesn't say when the package will arrive.
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#2166
Amazing they still have these for sale......
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485 Posts
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#2167
Does this router really improve quality of your wifi calls?
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Joined Mar 2008
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#2168
I can not complete the purchase. It says " your information can not be verified".
I checked with 3 different cards and when i go to my credit card account I can see the amount charged but the after a minute later it is reimbursed.

What can it be? Do you need to be a T- Mobile customer to buy this router?
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Joined Nov 2014
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#2169
Flashing this to Merlin following the directions in the first post was a pain. I've done DDWRT on some other routers in the past, but this was definitely more challenging. I really hope bootymonger's post can save someone time because the instructions in the first post, while adequate, are not written well.

A couple of issues I encountered while flashing: the Telnet option kept being switched off and didn't know when I had flashed successfully in Telnet either.

I was happy to finally get this done, though. I won't give total hours spent because I don't want to discourage anyone.
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Groggoccino
135 Posts
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#2170
Quote from hgv
:
I can not complete the purchase. It says " your information can not be verified".
I checked with 3 different cards and when i go to my credit card account I can see the amount charged but the after a minute later it is reimbursed.

What can it be? Do you need to be a T- Mobile customer to buy this router?
No, you don't have to be T-mobile customer. The product page clearly says "This product is available for purchase by both T-Mobile and non-T-Mobile customers."

Call them and see what's the issue, please an order through the phone.
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Joined Sep 2008
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#2171
Quote from bootymonger
:
My suggestions to simplify the guides...

General Information:
Default T-mobile Router IP is 192.168.29.1
Default Username is admin
Default Password is password

Once you switch to ASUS CFE and firmware
Default ASUS Router IP is 192.168.1.1
Default Username is admin
Default Password is admin


#1 YOU DON'T NEED TELNET (so no need to downgrade firmware or play with html)

Web interface Administration -> System -> Enable SSH (then Apply)

Telnet is just an insecure version of ssh. Use ssh to log into the router.

How to use SSH with your Asus Router:

Log into your router's web interface as usual (web browser to 192.168.29.1 if you are on T-mobile firmware or 192.168.1.1 if you are on Asus firmware, both assuming you haven't changed the default IP).

Once in web interface click Administration on lower left and then the System tab toward the top. One option should be to enable SSH. Set that to yes or on and press Apply at the bottom.

Run putty.exe to open an ssh terminal. Get putty.exe here:
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk...nload.html [greenend.org.uk]

Run putty.exe, type the IP of your router, username admin, password is password, admin, or whatever you changed it to. You are now logged into the router and have terminal access without needing telnet. It may ask you about storing a host key, you can say yes or no, it doesn't matter.


#2 YOU DON'T NEED A USB STICK TO GET FILES ON OR OFF YOUR ROUTER
You can copy files back and forth to the router with a simple drag and drop interface with WinSCP, a windows GUI for the secure copy command, scp.

Download and run WinSCP from here:
https://winscp.net/eng/download.php

When you open WinSCP, it will have a setting at the top for File Protocol. Set this away from SFTP and switch it to SCP. Type your router's IP into the Host name box. It will ask username and password. It may ask you about storing a host key, you can say yes or no, it doesn't matter.

You now have drag and drop access to your router. It defaults to the /tmp/home/root, which is perfect for us.

#3 YOU DON'T NEED TO UNPLUG THE ROUTER
There is a power switch button on the back of the router. It's easy to use with one hand and saves you the hassle of unplugging and replugging the power adapter. The reset button, which requires a pen or some poking tool, is a little above this power button. To reboot router, press power button once to turn the router off, wait 10 seconds, then press it again to power it on.

#4 YOU DON'T NEED A HEX EDITOR
As is pointed out in Engineer's guide, there's a cfe.exe which copies the MAC addresses for you, and you can use his provided grep commands the verify the correctness. You don't need to use a hex editor to do this.

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

I had used the router for a few days with T-mobile firmware and had allowed it to upgrade to 3.0.0.4.376_3169. Since I used SSH instead of telnet, allowing this T-mobile firmware update didn't end up being a bad thing or adding any hassle. In other words, don't worry about connecting the router to the internet or upgrading it when you get it if you want to try the T-mobile firmware.

Here are my shortened/simplified instructions from whatever T-mobile firmware you have (you can still use telnet if it's available and you're on the old firmware, but ssh is an easy alternative).

1. Enable SSH in the Web interface
Administration -> System -> Enable SSH

2. Download and run Putty.exe and WinSCP.exe to log into your router from both programs.

3. Slightly modified version from Engineer's excellent guide:
https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=73690012&postcount=3895
- From Putty type:
cat /dev/mtd0 > original_cfe.bin
- From WinSCP click refresh on right side and see that original_cfe.bin has now appeared
- Make New Folder on your PC (left side of WinSCP) and drag original_cfe.bin from right side to left side (from router to the new empty folder on your PC)
- Download ASUS CFE 1.0.2.0:
https://mega.nz/#!IxZTAbDZ!Rardt8...tByYIvWYgY [mega.nz]
- Unrar that file into the same New Folder as original_cfe.bin
(If you don't already have WinRAR, get that here: http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm)
-Rename that CFE file from rt-ac68u_1.0.2.0_us.bin to new_cfe.bin (right click, rename)
-Download cfe.exe and unrar into your New Folder on your PC.
https://mega.nz/#!9kZjGS6C!tTOddF...uCshw0qx-Q [mega.nz]
-On your PC, use the normal windows explorer folder browser (not WinSCP) to navigate to your New Folder that contains these three files (original_cfe.bin, new_cfe.bin, and cfe.exe).
-Double click cfe.exe. Say yes you trust it to run.
-If it worked, a new_cfe.bin.bak file will appear. You don't need this file, but it shows cfe.exe did something.
-In WinSCP, drag new_cfe.bin in the left window (your New Folder) to the right window (your router).
**************************IMPORTANT CHECK*************************
-In Putty, check that cfe.exe worked and you copied things correctly by typing (copy here, right click in Putty to paste, then press Enter):
grep mac ./original_cfe.bin ./new_cfe.bin
(if the results don't match, STOP and recheck your work).
grep secret ./original_cfe.bin ./new_cfe.bin
(again, if the results don't match, STOP and recheck your work).
***************************************************************************

**********IMPORTANT (while you still have internet access)***********
-Download this ASUS firmware version 376.3626 and save it on your PC for later:
http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/...763626.zip [asus.com]

It's important that you have that exact firmware version downloaded before you disconnect from the internet. It will expand your rootfs partition from 32MB to 64MB to allow for modern firmware. You can unzip it into your New Folder or an easy to find place like your desktop. The file is named FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx after you unzip it.

----- Begin Optional/Educational ------

In Putty, you can check your current partition size using the command:
df -h

If you have a 32MB partition, jffs will also be around 32MB. If you have upgraded to 64MB, jffs will show something closer to 64MB.

Example of 32MB partition with T-mobile firmware:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 13.9M 13.9M 0 100% /
devtmpfs 124.8M 0 124.8M 0% /dev
tmpfs 124.9M 256.0K 124.6M 0% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock6 30.8M 1.1M 29.7M 3% /jffs
/dev/mtdblock7 1.3M 388.0K 892.0K 30% /T-Mobile Example with 64MB partition after updating to Asus firmware (which we will do later):Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 37.0M 37.0M 0 100% /
devtmpfs 124.8M 0 124.8M 0% /dev
tmpfs 124.9M 1.3M 123.6M 1% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock4 62.8M 1.7M 61.0M 3% /jffs
You can check your CFE version by typing:
nvram get bl_version

With the T-mobile firmware that I allowed to upgrade, the output looked like:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get bl_version
2.1.2.6 After I completed the switch to the ASUS CFE, the output looks like:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get bl_version
1.0.2.0
You can check your hardware revision by typing:
nvram get HW_ver

Mine is hardware revision 1.7 as shown by this output:Code:admin@(none):/# nvram get HW_ver
170 You can check your router's CPU and RAM speed by typing:
nvram get clkfreq

Mine is the default 800MHz CPU and 666MHz RAM as shown in this output:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get clkfreq
800,666 ------- End Optional/Educational ------

-Download the CFE flashing utility:
https://mega.nz/#!RxhHxY6C!VYkscS...ZLpdb_SVSk [mega.nz]
-Unrar mtd-write and use WinSCP to copy it onto your router (the right WinSCP window).
-In Putty, test if you have everything you need by typing:
ls -l (that's LS -L but in lower case)

Output should look like this showing the three files:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ls -l
-rwxr--r-- 1 admin root 523364 Nov 4 2014 mtd-write
-rw-r--r-- 1 admin root 231923 Nov 27 14:32 new_cfe.bin
-rw-rw-rw- 1 admin root 524288 Nov 27 11:20 original_cfe.bin -See if mtd-write will work by typing:
./mtd-write

Output should be:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
Usage: ./mtd-write -i file -d part You will probably get permission denied like this:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
-sh: ./mtd-write: Permission denied You just need to type this:
chmod u+x mtd-write (this will make the file executable)

If you get an error about not found like this:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# mtd-write
-sh: mtd-write: not found You need to make sure the ./ is in front when you type ./mtd-write

So, if your output is like this, you are ready to use the command to update your CFE:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
Usage: ./mtd-write -i file -d part
-Actually write the ASUS CFE version and overwrite the T-mobile one by typing:
./mtd-write new_cfe.bin boot

-Reboot the router by typing:
reboot

WinSCP and Putty will lose connection. You can close WinSCP since you are done with that. You should also close putty because it will be unresponsive.

-After router is done booting (a minute or two) SSH into router and check CFE version by typing:
nvram get bl_version

If I remember correctly, it already displayed 1.0.2.0 at this point in the process.

-Reset NVRAM by either typing:
mtd-erase2 nvram
and then typing:
reboot

Or by the hardware method:
Power router off using power button on the back
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the WPS button
Power the router back on while continuing to hold the WPS button for 15-20 seconds

For me, at this point having uploaded and installed the ASUS CFE version 1.0.2.0 and reset the NVRAM, the router's IP switched by itself from 192.168.29.1 to 192.168.1.1. This was a bit of guess and check over several tries because the guides didn't work until I realized this. So, for me, the next set was to enter recovery mode as follows:

*** Enter Recovery Mode to install stock Asus firmware 376.3626 that you downloaded before ***
-Set PC's IP address to static 192.168.1.2 (not sure if this is needed, but oh well)
-Unplug all other ethernet cables except the one to your PC which is in yellow port 1 (again, not sure if this ended up mattering but I did it)
-Turn off router with power button
-In a browser (I can't remember it only worked with IE or also other browsers) type 192.168.1.1 and watch it spin to look for it
-Press and hold reset button with pen
-Power on router with power button
-Continue to hold reset button for 20-30 seconds
-If you win, a Mini-CFE web page will appear in your web browser (if you can't get into the Mini-CFE, try to ping 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.29.1 to see which one your router is using then keep trying http://i.slickdeals.net/images/smilies/smile.gif
-Once it works, use the Mini-CFE web page to install FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx

-After it installs and reboots itself, you are free to log into 192.168.1.1 with admin/admin and do whatever you want for other firmware. Your jffs should now be around 64MB (see above to check), so any firmware will work. I let the web interface update me to stock Asus 3.0.0.4.380_4118. I'll probably go Merlin soon.

Thanks to Engineer and others for the guides. I just thought I'd share/update with my experience to give others hope and motivation to try as well. The newer Asus firmware has several other new features over the newest T-mobile firmware and also works with the Asus Router app: https://www.asus.com/asus-router-app/

Good luck!
Quote from bootymonger
:
My suggestions to simplify the guides...

General Information:
Default T-mobile Router IP is 192.168.29.1
Default Username is admin
Default Password is password

Once you switch to ASUS CFE and firmware
Default ASUS Router IP is 192.168.1.1
Default Username is admin
Default Password is admin


#1 YOU DON'T NEED TELNET (so no need to downgrade firmware or play with html)

Web interface Administration -> System -> Enable SSH (then Apply)

Telnet is just an insecure version of ssh. Use ssh to log into the router.

How to use SSH with your Asus Router:

Log into your router's web interface as usual (web browser to 192.168.29.1 if you are on T-mobile firmware or 192.168.1.1 if you are on Asus firmware, both assuming you haven't changed the default IP).

Once in web interface click Administration on lower left and then the System tab toward the top. One option should be to enable SSH. Set that to yes or on and press Apply at the bottom.

Run putty.exe to open an ssh terminal. Get putty.exe here:
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk...nload.html [greenend.org.uk]

Run putty.exe, type the IP of your router, username admin, password is password, admin, or whatever you changed it to. You are now logged into the router and have terminal access without needing telnet. It may ask you about storing a host key, you can say yes or no, it doesn't matter.


#2 YOU DON'T NEED A USB STICK TO GET FILES ON OR OFF YOUR ROUTER
You can copy files back and forth to the router with a simple drag and drop interface with WinSCP, a windows GUI for the secure copy command, scp.

Download and run WinSCP from here:
https://winscp.net/eng/download.php

When you open WinSCP, it will have a setting at the top for File Protocol. Set this away from SFTP and switch it to SCP. Type your router's IP into the Host name box. It will ask username and password. It may ask you about storing a host key, you can say yes or no, it doesn't matter.

You now have drag and drop access to your router. It defaults to the /tmp/home/root, which is perfect for us.

#3 YOU DON'T NEED TO UNPLUG THE ROUTER
There is a power switch button on the back of the router. It's easy to use with one hand and saves you the hassle of unplugging and replugging the power adapter. The reset button, which requires a pen or some poking tool, is a little above this power button. To reboot router, press power button once to turn the router off, wait 10 seconds, then press it again to power it on.

#4 YOU DON'T NEED A HEX EDITOR
As is pointed out in Engineer's guide, there's a cfe.exe which copies the MAC addresses for you, and you can use his provided grep commands the verify the correctness. You don't need to use a hex editor to do this.

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

I had used the router for a few days with T-mobile firmware and had allowed it to upgrade to 3.0.0.4.376_3169. Since I used SSH instead of telnet, allowing this T-mobile firmware update didn't end up being a bad thing or adding any hassle. In other words, don't worry about connecting the router to the internet or upgrading it when you get it if you want to try the T-mobile firmware.

Here are my shortened/simplified instructions from whatever T-mobile firmware you have (you can still use telnet if it's available and you're on the old firmware, but ssh is an easy alternative).

1. Enable SSH in the Web interface
Administration -> System -> Enable SSH

2. Download and run Putty.exe and WinSCP.exe to log into your router from both programs.

3. Slightly modified version from Engineer's excellent guide:
https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=73690012&postcount=3895
- From Putty type:
cat /dev/mtd0 > original_cfe.bin
- From WinSCP click refresh on right side and see that original_cfe.bin has now appeared
- Make New Folder on your PC (left side of WinSCP) and drag original_cfe.bin from right side to left side (from router to the new empty folder on your PC)
- Download ASUS CFE 1.0.2.0:
https://mega.nz/#!IxZTAbDZ!Rardt8...tByYIvWYgY [mega.nz]
- Unrar that file into the same New Folder as original_cfe.bin
(If you don't already have WinRAR, get that here: http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm)
-Rename that CFE file from rt-ac68u_1.0.2.0_us.bin to new_cfe.bin (right click, rename)
-Download cfe.exe and unrar into your New Folder on your PC.
https://mega.nz/#!9kZjGS6C!tTOddF...uCshw0qx-Q [mega.nz]
-On your PC, use the normal windows explorer folder browser (not WinSCP) to navigate to your New Folder that contains these three files (original_cfe.bin, new_cfe.bin, and cfe.exe).
-Double click cfe.exe. Say yes you trust it to run.
-If it worked, a new_cfe.bin.bak file will appear. You don't need this file, but it shows cfe.exe did something.
-In WinSCP, drag new_cfe.bin in the left window (your New Folder) to the right window (your router).
**************************IMPORTANT CHECK*************************
-In Putty, check that cfe.exe worked and you copied things correctly by typing (copy here, right click in Putty to paste, then press Enter):
grep mac ./original_cfe.bin ./new_cfe.bin
(if the results don't match, STOP and recheck your work).
grep secret ./original_cfe.bin ./new_cfe.bin
(again, if the results don't match, STOP and recheck your work).
***************************************************************************

**********IMPORTANT (while you still have internet access)***********
-Download this ASUS firmware version 376.3626 and save it on your PC for later:
http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/...763626.zip [asus.com]

It's important that you have that exact firmware version downloaded before you disconnect from the internet. It will expand your rootfs partition from 32MB to 64MB to allow for modern firmware. You can unzip it into your New Folder or an easy to find place like your desktop. The file is named FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx after you unzip it.

----- Begin Optional/Educational ------

In Putty, you can check your current partition size using the command:
df -h

If you have a 32MB partition, jffs will also be around 32MB. If you have upgraded to 64MB, jffs will show something closer to 64MB.

Example of 32MB partition with T-mobile firmware:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 13.9M 13.9M 0 100% /
devtmpfs 124.8M 0 124.8M 0% /dev
tmpfs 124.9M 256.0K 124.6M 0% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock6 30.8M 1.1M 29.7M 3% /jffs
/dev/mtdblock7 1.3M 388.0K 892.0K 30% /T-Mobile Example with 64MB partition after updating to Asus firmware (which we will do later):Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 37.0M 37.0M 0 100% /
devtmpfs 124.8M 0 124.8M 0% /dev
tmpfs 124.9M 1.3M 123.6M 1% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock4 62.8M 1.7M 61.0M 3% /jffs
You can check your CFE version by typing:
nvram get bl_version

With the T-mobile firmware that I allowed to upgrade, the output looked like:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get bl_version
2.1.2.6 After I completed the switch to the ASUS CFE, the output looks like:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get bl_version
1.0.2.0
You can check your hardware revision by typing:
nvram get HW_ver

Mine is hardware revision 1.7 as shown by this output:Code:admin@(none):/# nvram get HW_ver
170 You can check your router's CPU and RAM speed by typing:
nvram get clkfreq

Mine is the default 800MHz CPU and 666MHz RAM as shown in this output:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get clkfreq
800,666 ------- End Optional/Educational ------

-Download the CFE flashing utility:
https://mega.nz/#!RxhHxY6C!VYkscS...ZLpdb_SVSk [mega.nz]
-Unrar mtd-write and use WinSCP to copy it onto your router (the right WinSCP window).
-In Putty, test if you have everything you need by typing:
ls -l (that's LS -L but in lower case)

Output should look like this showing the three files:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ls -l
-rwxr--r-- 1 admin root 523364 Nov 4 2014 mtd-write
-rw-r--r-- 1 admin root 231923 Nov 27 14:32 new_cfe.bin
-rw-rw-rw- 1 admin root 524288 Nov 27 11:20 original_cfe.bin -See if mtd-write will work by typing:
./mtd-write

Output should be:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
Usage: ./mtd-write -i file -d part You will probably get permission denied like this:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
-sh: ./mtd-write: Permission denied You just need to type this:
chmod u+x mtd-write (this will make the file executable)

If you get an error about not found like this:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# mtd-write
-sh: mtd-write: not found You need to make sure the ./ is in front when you type ./mtd-write

So, if your output is like this, you are ready to use the command to update your CFE:Code:admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
Usage: ./mtd-write -i file -d part
-Actually write the ASUS CFE version and overwrite the T-mobile one by typing:
./mtd-write new_cfe.bin boot

-Reboot the router by typing:
reboot

WinSCP and Putty will lose connection. You can close WinSCP since you are done with that. You should also close putty because it will be unresponsive.

-After router is done booting (a minute or two) SSH into router and check CFE version by typing:
nvram get bl_version

If I remember correctly, it already displayed 1.0.2.0 at this point in the process.

-Reset NVRAM by either typing:
mtd-erase2 nvram
and then typing:
reboot

Or by the hardware method:
Power router off using power button on the back
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the WPS button
Power the router back on while continuing to hold the WPS button for 15-20 seconds

For me, at this point having uploaded and installed the ASUS CFE version 1.0.2.0 and reset the NVRAM, the router's IP switched by itself from 192.168.29.1 to 192.168.1.1. This was a bit of guess and check over several tries because the guides didn't work until I realized this. So, for me, the next set was to enter recovery mode as follows:

*** Enter Recovery Mode to install stock Asus firmware 376.3626 that you downloaded before ***
-Set PC's IP address to static 192.168.1.2 (not sure if this is needed, but oh well)
-Unplug all other ethernet cables except the one to your PC which is in yellow port 1 (again, not sure if this ended up mattering but I did it)
-Turn off router with power button
-In a browser (I can't remember it only worked with IE or also other browsers) type 192.168.1.1 and watch it spin to look for it
-Press and hold reset button with pen
-Power on router with power button
-Continue to hold reset button for 20-30 seconds
-If you win, a Mini-CFE web page will appear in your web browser (if you can't get into the Mini-CFE, try to ping 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.29.1 to see which one your router is using then keep trying http://i.slickdeals.net/images/smilies/smile.gif
-Once it works, use the Mini-CFE web page to install FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx

-After it installs and reboots itself, you are free to log into 192.168.1.1 with admin/admin and do whatever you want for other firmware. Your jffs should now be around 64MB (see above to check), so any firmware will work. I let the web interface update me to stock Asus 3.0.0.4.380_4118. I'll probably go Merlin soon.

Thanks to Engineer and others for the guides. I just thought I'd share/update with my experience to give others hope and motivation to try as well. The newer Asus firmware has several other new features over the newest T-mobile firmware and also works with the Asus Router app: https://www.asus.com/asus-router-app/

Good luck!
WOW. I didn't go thru details but man you do have patience to type all these and yes I do agree with SSH and WinSCP. Good Job buddy.
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#2172
Quote from sandeal
:
WOW. I didn't go thru details but man you do have patience to type all these and yes I do agree with SSH and WinSCP. Good Job buddy.
Lol, you liked it so much you quoted it twice (and made it look even longer Smilie
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#2173
Quote from leavehands
:
Flashing this to Merlin following the directions in the first post was a pain. I've done DDWRT on some other routers in the past, but this was definitely more challenging. I really hope bootymonger's post can save someone time because the instructions in the first post, while adequate, are not written well.

A couple of issues I encountered while flashing: the Telnet option kept being switched off and didn't know when I had flashed successfully in Telnet either.

I was happy to finally get this done, though. I won't give total hours spent because I don't want to discourage anyone.
I had problems getting Merlin installed myself after I go everything else finished. I ended being about to install it from the router's upgrade dashboard without issue.
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#2174
Quote from bootymonger
:
Lol, you liked it so much you quoted it twice (and made it look even longer Smilie
Good job bootymonger!
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#2175
Quote from bootymonger
:
Lol, you liked it so much you quoted it twice (and made it look even longer Smilie
This looks awesome. I'm, however, unable to find the "enable SSH" option on TMO 3.0.0.4.376_2827.

I can go to Administration/System Tab/ ... and nothing. I have the ability to:
  • Change the password
  • Misc (which gives me Remote Log Server, Time Zone, NTP server, Authentication Method, Enable Web Access from LAN, Auto Logout, Only Allow specified IP address)
    But no SSH

Any thoughts?
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