Reply

How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

kryptonix
Luminary

How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

Hi,

 

After spending a night on unbricking my R7000 and how I struggled to work with all the manuals out there but none of them actually worked. I thought I should share what actually worked for me using a MacBook instead of a W10/8/7 operating system. Below you will find a step by step aproach using OS X and what has worked for me.

 

Prerequisites:

- Default network cable (Cat5/5e/6)

- USB to Network dongle for MacBook pro's (starting 2015/2016 and up) 

  Example: https://www.apple.com/nl/shop/product/HJKF2ZM/A/belkin-usb-c-naar-gigabit-ethernet-adapter?fnode=58 

- Downloaded stable/latest firmware version unpacked your desktop, use a mobile hotspot if you need to download after the brick 

  https://www.netgear.com/support/product/r7000.aspx#download

- Admin rights on the MacBook

- Keep your router close to you to see results using the lights on the router

 

Situation to start from:

Somewhere my router bricked during a firmware upgrade. The crash happend whille installing and the router was showing a blinking white light when the router was reset and rebooted. The router was still operating and showing white and orange light on the LAN ports so I knew I should be able to acces the router. I was not able to acces the router via Safari using 192.168.1.1 of www.routerlogin.net. 

 

If you experience this above situatie this has worked for me to unbrick the router;

 

Step 1:

Remove any other network cables (including the WAN cable) from the router except the cable that is directly connected to your laptop. I used port 1 to conenct to my laptop, it should not matter but I just like to use the first port. 

 

Step 2:

Open up your network preferences and use the admin rights to unlock your configuration settings. 

 

When you connected your USB network adapter and cable you will see that your MacBook will self-assign an ip-address which probably will start 192.169.*.* or 169.*.*.* and an exclamation mark that there is no internet connection. It will look roughly like this.

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-26 om 11.21.23.png

In the red dropdown is where we are going to make some changes: Clicking on it opens up the following choices:

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-26 om 11.24.09.png

 

At this point we will be starting to assign a manual ipadres to our Mac to we need to choose Manual (Handmatig). When you choose manual you have to fill in the following data

 

IP-adres:

192.168.1.10

 

Subnetmask:

255.255.255.0

Router:

Leave empty.

 

The result will be that the USB Network dongle will directly connect with the router and if succesful it should will also state that it's connected. The reason why do manually assign an ip-adres to make sure that your Mac doesn't get the same ip-adres as the host/router. If everything went ok you will get the following screen:

 

Status: Connected (Verbonden)

Apple USB Ether wil get the assigned ip-adres that you have given in, in this case 192.168.1.10

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-26 om 11.32.06.png

 

Step 3:

We will first check if we are able to ping the router in the network to and to see the status of the router. We quickly check if our router is still blinking. If it is open up your terminal os OSX, use cmd + space and type terminal and press enter) this will open the following screen:

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-26 om 11.48.48.png

Default color white background and black text

 

First we define where we are, normally you are in your home directory. type the following command:

ls

 

You will see an overview of you home folder including a directory desktop. We will navigate towards that directory using the following commando:

cd Desktop

 

Now you press cmd + t to open a new terminal tab. This will make it easier to ping and use commando's. Use the second tab to ping the router and see the results use the following:

ping 192.168.1.1

 

If succesful the results will look like this:

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-26 om 11.58.23.png

 

 

 

 

 

 The orange part is where you need to look to see if the router is in the right state to upload the firmware manually. ttl=100 is the state that worked for me.

 

Step 4:

If you haven't done it already you unpack the zip file to your desktop and move the R7000-V1.0.*.**_**.*.*.chk on the desktop where the asterix state the version you want to put on the router. When writing this article the latest version is: R7000-V1.0.9.34_10.2.36.chk

 

Confirm you see the file in the desktop directory using terminal ls command in the desktop directory, in terminal you are already in your desktop directory so only using ls should work.

 

Step 5

Go to terminal and see if the router is still up on the ping tab and check te status of the ping. When the router is still up we will start the manual upload of the firmware

 

In terminal type the following code:

tftp

 

You will see that your computername and user are gone and will be replaced by tftp. First we are going to connect to our router using the following :

connect 192.168.1.1

 

When succesful nothing happens and you will be shown a new tftp line. To make sure we have the right settings to upload the file you use the following command:

status

This will display the current status of the router:

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-26 om 12.11.06.png

 

 

 

 

To use the transfer we need to set the mode to binary otherwise it will not accept the file. This is where I struggled for more then a two hours to find this. Changing the mode to binary every step after that worked. To change the mode type:

 

binary

You can if the change worked by using status, when succesful you will see mode: octet.

 

Now we will upload the file to the router by using the following commando:

 

put R7000-V1.0.9.34_10.2.36.chk

Remember to replace all the version number to the version you are uploading.

 

This will take some time, when I was uploading it took me around the 110 seconds to complete. You will get a notification when it's done. From this point you will see your router rebooting and a lot of lights flashing and starting your router. It may take up to roughly 7 minutes to fully reboot and install etc. 

 

By some reason all my settings where still intact and everything was up and running on the router. Then connect the WAN cable and the other cables and login in to your router using Safari to see if everything is ok, just to be sure everything is working again and clear some caches etc reboot the router.

 

When your router is working again in terminal just use:

quit

 I hope this guide will help you in the future when using a Mac because the steps are actually different then using a Windows operated machine. The put -l 192.168.1.1 R7000-V1.0.9.34_10.2.36.chk by example will not work when you use a Mac.

 

Cheers

Kryptonix

 

Senior Designer
Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 75

Accepted Solutions
brunomartorella
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

HOLY COW IT WORKED!!!

 

nmrpflash worked!!! Switching to a Static IP address and turning my Wifi off did the trick!!

 

Also, recommend using -vvv to double check when it works. Took me two tries to nail the timing because the router has to finish restarting for the packet transfer to begin before the command times out.

View solution in original post

Message 74 of 75

All Replies
moonweasel
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

 

 

This post was helpful in my quest, since like you mentioned, the TFTP commands listed in all the Windows unbricking guides don't work in macOS Terminal.

 

For me the method still does not work, because in Step 3, ping returns mostly

Request timeout for icmp_seq xx

without the

ttl=100
Model: R7000P|Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 2 of 75
myersw
Master

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

@kryptonix

Very nice writeup. Should help the MAC only folks out there. I have both in my case and have used both to recover a router. The one Netgear writeup for recovery using tftp suggests using a tftp client that you download. It was created in 2012 and when you download and try to install you get a message that it will not work with the current OS. 😉 

Your method does not make use of that. MAC's in my exerience are not as user friendly when trying to recover a router, especially if having to go the serial connection route. With windows I do not have to drop to a terminal window, but do with MAC.

--Bill
ISP Comcast, Modem-Netgear CM1150V, Router-Unifi Security Gateway-Pro4, AP-2 Unifi AP-LR
Tesla > Edison
Message 3 of 75
davidmadem
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

For tutorial documents and support, there is the benefit of browsing this site. They solved my problem.

 

 

Message 4 of 75
Mollmonroe
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

Hello, 

I am having similar issues with my router. Could you explain what exactly is to be plugged in at the beginning? I keep getting server/route errors when running commands.

 

Just a ethernet cord should be connected from LAN port to the adapter on the Mac? Should an ethernet cord also be plugged into the ethernet connection in the wall and the power adapter for the router? 

I apologize as I am confused about the instructions and how the connection will show up as connected without internet connection.

Message 5 of 75
moonweasel
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

Actually the ethernet cable goes from the computer into one of the four WAN ports. No other network cables should be connected to the router (just power)

 

Then in the Network Preferences on your Mac, turn off the WiFi, select the Ethernet connection, and change the TCP/IP settings to Manual, and set the following:

IPv4 address: 192.168.0.2

Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0

Router: leave blank

 

Then you should be able to ping the router by opening a Terminal window and entering "ping 192.168.0.1" (without quotes)

Model: R7000P|Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 6 of 75
antinode
Guru

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

> I am having similar issues with my router. [...]

   You should start your own thread, and provide your own details there.
What, for example, is your "my router"?

> [...] I keep getting server/route errors when running commands.

   Not a useful problem description.  It does not say what you did.  It
does not say what happened when you did it.  As usual, showing actual
actions (commands, ...) with their actual results (error messages, LED
indicators, ...) can be more helpful than vague descriptions or
interpretations.  Copy+paste is your friend.

> Just a ethernet cord should be connected from LAN port to the adapter
> on the Mac? [...]

   For data lines, yes.  Assuming that "the adapter" is an Ethernet
adapter of some kind.  (What's your "the Mac"?)

> [...] Should an ethernet cord also be plugged into the ethernet
> connection in the wall and the power adapter for the router?

   Yeah, you need to supply power to your "the router".  Once you've
downloaded the firmware kit to your computer, you don't need any kind of
Internet connection to use the TFTP recovery scheme.  The non-psychics
in your audience don't know what's behind your "the wall", but, whatever
it might be, you shouldn't need it for this.

      https://community.netgear.com/t5/x/x/m-p/1622096


> Actually the ethernet cable goes from the computer into one of the
> four WAN ports. [...]

   Not really.  These routers have one WAN/Internet Ethernet port, and
multiple (typically four) LAN Ethernet ports.

> [...] set the following:
> IPv4 address: 192.168.0.2

   Not really.  As explained in those Netgear KB articles cited above,
you do need to Configure IPv4 Manually, but the default LAN IP address
of an R7000 should be "192.168.1.1", so you should set your computer's
Ethernet interface to a similar but different address, like, say,
"192.168.1.10".

Message 7 of 75
moonweasel
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

Yes, apologies @Mollmonroe — my reply should have read:

 

…the ethernet cable goes from the computer into one of the four LAN ports. No other network cables should be connected to the router (just power)

 

Then in the Network Preferences on your Mac, turn off the WiFi, select the Ethernet connection, change the TCP/IP settings to Manual, and set the following:

 

IPv4 address: 192.168.1.2 (or 192.168.1.10, or anything else 192.168.1.x, as long as it's not 192.168.1.1)

Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0

Router: leave blank

 

Then you should be able to ping the router by opening a Terminal window and entering "ping 192.168.1.1" (without quotes)

Model: R7000P|Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router with MU-MIMO
Message 8 of 75
MisterCoins
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

Thank you @kryptonix for this amazingly detailed and helpful write-up. I was in the same spot after my R7000 bricked during a firmware update.

I tried a few diffrerenrt methods, but your step by step description was head and shoulders above anything else out there. You're a legend in our household.

 

 

Model: R7000P|Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Dual Band Gigabit Router
Message 9 of 75
Colomba
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

This absolutely worked for me. Thank you so much.
Message 10 of 75
Firmwarefailure
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

Everything was going as you clearly stated right up to "put R7000....." . The file could not be found. The file is on my desktop, it is unzipped. What am I doing wrong? Help.

 

Message 11 of 75
myersw
Master

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

If you are following directions and using windows tftp you need to be in the directory where the firmware is stored. Otherwise the tftp client cannot find it. So make sure directory you are in has the file. 

--Bill
ISP Comcast, Modem-Netgear CM1150V, Router-Unifi Security Gateway-Pro4, AP-2 Unifi AP-LR
Tesla > Edison
Message 12 of 75
Firmwarefailure
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

 I am using a Mac - not Windows. Am I missing something? I checked for the file as instructed by checking the desktop files in the terminal app.

Message 13 of 75
myersw
Master

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

Here is a nice writeup using a MAC. Have used it, it works. 

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Nighthawk-WiFi-Routers/How-to-unbrick-the-Nighthawk-R7000-using-OS-...

--Bill
ISP Comcast, Modem-Netgear CM1150V, Router-Unifi Security Gateway-Pro4, AP-2 Unifi AP-LR
Tesla > Edison
Message 14 of 75
Firmwarefailure
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

This is the exact same article I followed. I was wondering if I was not unzipping the file correctly when I moved the file from downloads folder to desktop. Googled it and I read that all files download from a web site are unzipped automatically. I can then zip or compress the file if I like. As I stated earleir, everything is fine until I hit type "put R7000......"  then it says file not found and I hit the proverbial brick wall.

 

Am I not saving the file to the desktop correctly? I copy and paste.Perhaps that's my problem, user error.

Message 15 of 75
myersw
Master

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

What is the extension on the file? If memory serves me right it should be .chk. I know this works as have used it. 

--Bill
ISP Comcast, Modem-Netgear CM1150V, Router-Unifi Security Gateway-Pro4, AP-2 Unifi AP-LR
Tesla > Edison
Message 16 of 75
Firmwarefailure
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

It is chk.  Full file name is R7000-V1.0.9.88_10.2.88.chk     I read on another thread this file isn't worth a darn and you have to backtrack to the file named R7000-V1.0.9.42_10.2.44.chk   Not sure if there is any truth to that.  I may try that shortly. As I said all works according to the original step by step post until I hit the "put R7000-V1...." part in and it says file not found. I am pinging fine, Octet message and binary are all good. 

 

I'm dumbfounded to say the least. I really hate to say this, but I'm sure my router is kaput.

 

One final note. The power light went from amber to solid white & the LAN port light is solid white as well. 

Message 17 of 75
myersw
Master

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

The .42 release is the one folks say is the best. I no longer have a r7000. 

 

Sounds like time to cut your loses and go be something other then Netgear. Just be sure to read reviews and forums before purchase. If Asus make sure it supports RMerlin firmware, which is a fork of the OEM with fixes and additions. Since I do not need the child controls and NAS on router support, I just want a router that routes. I went to the next level of equipment from consumer grade. 

--Bill
ISP Comcast, Modem-Netgear CM1150V, Router-Unifi Security Gateway-Pro4, AP-2 Unifi AP-LR
Tesla > Edison
Message 18 of 75
Firmwarefailure
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

Thanks for all of your input. One last try using the .42 & if that fails the R7000 is in the trash. All started because Netgear app said upgrade firmware. It was working perfectly. $300 down the drain. 

Message 19 of 75
myersw
Master

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

A little late, but do not upgrade firmware on router by any means other then a wired connection between the PC and router, in other words  Ethernet connection. Apps and updates via the update app, PC connected wirelessly or selection in router seem to be shaky to say the least. I suspect this holds true no matter what brand of consumer grade router you have, not just a Netgear only issues. There have been warnings for as long as there has been 3rd party firmware that updates other then via Ethernet connection to router could have ugly results.  

--Bill
ISP Comcast, Modem-Netgear CM1150V, Router-Unifi Security Gateway-Pro4, AP-2 Unifi AP-LR
Tesla > Edison
Message 20 of 75
Firmwarefailure
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

I learned that lesson the hard way. As a non tech guy who has had very good success with this router - I even performed a firmware up date before with 100% success using the app - I was unaware of the non wired issues. It's a Nighthawk app, Netgear router and if one shouldn't update via the app, the option to do so SHOULD NOT BE AN OPTION. This being said for those of us who plug and play and move on as well as those of us who do not follow the router industry.

 

I'm not being a smart ass, so please don't take it that way. I'm just pointing out a reality and fact that will set me back another $250 for a new router, a very maddening time ( 2 hours ) with two off shore customer service reps who couldn't give a tinkers damn about customer service, just my $140 if I wanted their help and about 6 hours trying to factory reset & TFTP/unbrick ( a term I've never heard of before ) a router. Netgear support & customer concern is nonexistent which has cost them this customer.

 

Regards

Message 21 of 75

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

@Firmwarefailure 

 

It not your fault.

 

As @myersw pointed out, flashing via App, Genie, over wireless or automatically is risky at best and should always be avoided.  Those of us who post here regularly can't keep up trying to get the word out.  Recovery is typically possible, however.  Usually timing, coupled with proper execution...  and sometimes a little patience wins the day.

 

Given the unreliabiliy, I wish the option would be be removed as well.

 

 

 

 

~Comcast 1 Gbps/50 Mbps SB8200 > R8000P
~R8000P FW:1.4.1.68 ~R7000 FW:1.0.9.42
~R6400 FW:1.0.1.52 ~Orbi-AC3000 FW:2.5.1.8
~EX3700 FW:1.0.0.84

Message 22 of 75
antinode
Guru

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

> [...] The file could not be found. The file is on my desktop, [...]

 

> I am using a Mac [...]

 

   There's some basic Mac shell navigation guidance here:

 

      https://community.netgear.com/t5/x/x/m-p/1758207

 

Plenty more on the Web.

 

> [...] Am I not saving the file to the desktop correctly? [...]

 

   With my weak psychic powers, I can't see what you're doing.

 

> [...] I copy and paste. [...]

 

   Ok.  Copy+paste of your actual commands and results might help, too.


   Before you run "tftp", do these:

      pwd           # Display your current directory.
      ls -l         # Show the files in your current directory.
      ls -l *.chk   # Show the ".chk" files in your current directory.

      cd            # Go to your HOME directory.
      cd Desktop    # Go to your Desktop subdirectory.
  pwd # Display your current directory. ls -l *.chk # Show the ".chk" files in your current directory.

   When you get to a directory where an "ls" command shows the firmware
image file, then the TFTP program should be able to find it, too.

 

      "It's a UNIX system. I know this."

Message 23 of 75
Firmwarefailure
Luminary

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

I want to thank all for their help, support and advice. I was finally able to upload the new firmware. It was my fault that I had so much trouble doing so. Stupid rookie non tech savvy mistake. I copied the whole file to my desktop versus just the exe green file. Once I found the errors of my ways, the firmware loaded flawlessly and I'm up and running. 

 

Again, thanks to all.

Message 24 of 75
myersw
Master

Re: How to unbrick the Nighthawk R7000 using OS X and TFTP

YAH! Glad you finally figured things out and are up and running. Be sure, if you have not already, to turn auto update off. Since your MAC connects to the router via Ethernet you can do manual updates of the firmware which is way safer.

--Bill
ISP Comcast, Modem-Netgear CM1150V, Router-Unifi Security Gateway-Pro4, AP-2 Unifi AP-LR
Tesla > Edison
Message 25 of 75
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