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Aspirant

Factory reset after firmware upgrade

I have had my R6300 for over three years and have always installed firmware upgrades when they become available.  I have always used the router itself to do the download and have NEVER done a reset to factory defaults.  When I looked at the most recent notice of an available update, I saw the requirement to do the factory reset.  This is the first time that red flag has showed up, at least that I noticed.

 

Before retiring I was an IT Director in Silicon Valley and worked at one point for a high end networking company (which I won't name).  I can only say that if my network manager had come to me with this poppycock, I would have called in the sales rep and probably started a new vendor selection project.  At the enterprise level you can't afford the risk of human error inherent in mandating this procedure.  Does Cisco or D-Link or Linksys require such nonsense?  My wife relies on our network for her job and I can't afford to fat finger hand inputting configuration settings.

 

I can abide an entry in the release notes cautioning about some specific settings not working correct in the new release but give me a break.  At least Microsoft only requires endless restarts and not to have a user remove all software and reinstall it.  It would appear to me to be mental laziness or lack of something else that causes Netgear to fall back on this frankly idiotic brute force procedure.  I searched in this forum and saw lots of posts dealing with this.  I would have expected more howls of outrage.

 

I guess I can backup my settings and then if I have problems reset and restore from the backup but I must confess this new (to me) revelation has shaken my confidence in Netgear as my preferred supplied of my home network gear.  I have been looking to upgrade my hardware and must now consider a wider field of options.

Model: R6300v2|AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit router
Message 1 of 18

Accepted Solutions
Guru

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Yeah, it's unfortunate that Netgear hasn't updated their configuration system to deal with this.  Since a lot of consumer grade router firmware are derived from a common codebase, I would not be surprised if other vendors have the same problem.  Not all do.   I believe there is at least one that has bitten the bullet and fixed this problem.

 

Unfortunately, with Netgear you are stuck for now with doing the factory reset.   Worse, you can't rely on the backup file to restore from because it will be based on the previous version, so it may be incompatible.  There is a chance that you can get away without doing a reset if you don't use a feature that was subjected to the change.  A lot of people take this chance.  YMMV.

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Message 2 of 18

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Guru

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Yeah, it's unfortunate that Netgear hasn't updated their configuration system to deal with this.  Since a lot of consumer grade router firmware are derived from a common codebase, I would not be surprised if other vendors have the same problem.  Not all do.   I believe there is at least one that has bitten the bullet and fixed this problem.

 

Unfortunately, with Netgear you are stuck for now with doing the factory reset.   Worse, you can't rely on the backup file to restore from because it will be based on the previous version, so it may be incompatible.  There is a chance that you can get away without doing a reset if you don't use a feature that was subjected to the change.  A lot of people take this chance.  YMMV.

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Message 2 of 18
Aspirant

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Thanks for the understanding words.  So far I have been able to take a release without incident so I guess driving without a seatbelt works if you don't have an accident!  I don't have anything fancy in my config...just some DHCP reservations as perhaps the most "exotic" portion.  If all else fails I can parse the backup file tea leaves to figure out how I had configured the device.  Over three years I can't recall all the tweaks I used which perhaps is my bad on change control.  As I said above, so far it has not been a problem.  I guess I'm a bit jumpy as I just bricked a WD My Cloud with a firmare upgrade.  I got this device as I was beginning to doubt Readyshare robustness.

Message 3 of 18
Guru

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Just take a few minutes and write down the key settings.  Or better yet, take screenshots!

Message 4 of 18

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade


@TheEther wrote:
Worse, you can't rely on the backup file to restore from because it will be based on the previous version, so it may be incompatible. 


 

This is an important caveat.

 

Netgear does advise a factory reset, but it often is not needed.

 

Don't do it unless you experience problems after the update.

 

Why can't Netgear move over to settings that you can export as an XML file? The it should be possible to restore that and it will leave untouched any new settings introduced by the firmware.

 

Or is that technical illiteracy on my part?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 5 of 18
Guru

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade


@michaelkenward wrote:

Why can't Netgear move over to settings that you can export as an XML file? The it should be possible to restore that and it will leave untouched any new settings introduced by the firmware.


There's no reason other than time and money. 

Message 6 of 18
Aspirant

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

So instead of spending their time and money they are saving their money and wasting our time?

 

Certainly they know what portions of the code they are messing with and which settings might be impacted.  And how do they handle regession testing?  

 

Someone at Netgear needs to put their "Big Boy" pants on and address this situation which IMHO shows a blatant disregard for their installed base of customers.

Message 7 of 18

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

How do other modem/router makers handle this issue?

 

If they all take the Netgear approach then maybe there are technical problems.

 

 

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 8 of 18
Aspirant

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Not to hijack this post but since I am the starter here goes:

 

We need a "best practices" cookbook to doing firmware upgrades that deals with the factory reset in a more nuanced way.  I imagine it was developed by support being flooded with cases at some point in time.  The software guys just told them to have the customer to a factory reset and all will work itself out.  Support liked that broad brush "solution" and the approach became enshrined to the point where it is now in the release notes.  The result, an easy out for all concerned (except the customer).

 

As I stated in my starter post, I have never had to do a factory reset. Maybe luck or I have not pushed my config into the dark zone.  Still, I think there are some good items in the other posts dealing with this issue.

 

1. Don't use a WIFI connection to the router to do the firmware upgrade.  Always establish a hardwire connection first.

2. Make a backup of your current configuration settings before starting the upgrade.  The backup file is not in plain text so if necessary take some screen shots of your key settings.  (Hint to Netgear!  Make your backup file plain text ASCII and your restore process handle that format.  It's basically a script driving a configuration setting applet.  It is not really that hard to do!  Years ago I had a Netscreen firewall and that's what they did so it's not rocket science.)

3. Perform the upgrade using the router itself, not the download to workstation method.

4. If after the upgrade everything seems to function normally, you are probably good to go.  If not, don't ask Support until you have done the reset and punched in your original settings.

 

The above should be considered a starting point, not gospel.  Could someone with a brain much larger than mine (not too hard) pick this up and create a sticky until Netgear recovers from their crainal-rectal inversion posture on this issue?  There are lots of folks here with the knowledge and experience to give us a solid approach to this topic.

 

TIA

Message 9 of 18
Master

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Things will not change as long as Netgear can get away with the present way of handling firmware updates if turned around and hurt their bank book changes would happen.

Message 10 of 18
Aspirant

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

It is sad that a firm will never know when they have lost a customer due to this type of situation.  The customer just gets fed up and moves on.  It's customer satisfaction 101 and Netgear seems to have been cutting classes.

 

Message 11 of 18
Master

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

I know the days that the consumer is number one seem to be going away with some company's sorry to say.

Message 12 of 18
Aspirant

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

So silly me, I just followed my old upgrade process except I used a hardwired connection and....the sky did not fall, the earth did not open up, the sun is still shinning and I an running V1.0.4.8_10.0.77.  Go figure.

Message 13 of 18
Master

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Updates work better via awired lan connection and I like the 129.168.1.1 address also seems to work in most cases.

Message 14 of 18
Aspirant

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Private Class "C" has always worked for me.

Message 15 of 18

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

Here's what I do.

  • save (backup) settings
  • flash firmware

If that works and you see no problems, great. If not, and something doesn't work, you may have to reset the device to the default settings:

  • set to factory settings
  • retrieve settings from backup

If that works and you see no problems, problem fixed! If not:

  • set to factory settings.
  • reconfigure everything

If that fails, then I fear that you may have to flash back to earlier firmware.

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 16 of 18
Aspirant

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

I cannot believe this! I have  been a repeat customer for years. Never again. I am just an old lady,this tech stuff is hard anyway. can you guys recommend what brand I ought to get to replace this-

Message 17 of 18

Re: Factory reset after firmware upgrade

What's your problem?

 

You have jumped in on the end of an ageing discussion.

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 18 of 18
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