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Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

it_geek
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Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

Hi all,

 

I am having trouble with my Netgear Nighthawk X6 R8000 currently.

 

I have had this router for 5.5 years (since August 8, 2014) and it is currently running on the latest firmware (1.04.46_19 since November 2019). The router operates on a 18/7 schedule (i.e. 18 hours a day, 7 days a week on a timer connected to a wall).

 

The only qualm I have had with this router so far is that the attached HDD is not recognised on first boot, usually needs to be disconnected and then reconnected to get it online. (The disk itself is wonky with intermittent connection).

 

Starting yesterday, my router exhibits the following systems:

-Upon boot, the router will enter a bootloop, i.e. the router keeps resetting. I cannot enter the web console at all.

-The only way to get the router to boot is to hold the reset button at the back of the router at 7 seconds (and this only works if you do it IMMEDIATELY upon powering on the router. If I attempt to reset it once it enters the bootloop it will never leave the bootloop.) The router will bootloop 3 more times before returning to normal.

 

The strange thing is, even after resetting, all my settings all come back to normal! I have reset this router before and I understand that I usually must restore the configuration manually.

 

I have to keep performing the reset step everytime the router reboots, which is just not viable.

 

Does anyone here have an explanation as to why my router is behaving this way? Or is it time to get a new router? (I hope not!)

 

I look forward to some solution here. Thank you!

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 1 of 23

Accepted Solutions
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

Issue has been resolved, please see post #5 of this thread:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Nighthawk-WiFi-Routers/Need-Help-Understanding-what-the-Blinking-LE...

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!

View solution in original post

Message 23 of 23

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Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

What do the LEDs on the R8000 look like? Especially the power LED?

 

5.5 years of daily on/off cycling might have done thkigs to the power adapter. Do you have a spare you could try?

 

Anything with the right volts, amps, polarity and tip size should work.

 

The cycling may also explain why the HDD plays up. Switching things on/off can confuse things.

 

 

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 2 of 23
labatt
Mentor

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

Guessing the router may have had an update pushed to it that did not go well. 

May need to do the famous, on this site, tftp to get it going again.  

https://kb.netgear.com/000059634/How-to-upload-firmware-to-a-NETGEAR-router-using-Windows-TFTP

 

Just a curiosity question. Why don't you leave the router turned on? Doesn't use that much electricity and opens you up to early life failures, just like it is recommended to not turn a PC off. Inrush can damage components. 

Modem CM2050V
Message 3 of 23

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@labatt wrote:

Guessing the router may have had an update pushed to it that did not go well. 

May need to do the famous, on this site, tftp to get it going again.  

https://kb.netgear.com/000059634/How-to-upload-firmware-to-a-NETGEAR-router-using-Windows-TFTP

 


You don't need tftp unless it really is impossible to get into the browser graphical user interface to run the update.

 

Along the same lines, another thought I had was that the last firmware update didn't stuck.

 

But given the quality of recent updates, rolling back to an earlier version might be worth trying if the latest continues to play up.

 


@labatt wrote:

 

Just a curiosity question. Why don't you leave the router turned on? Doesn't use that much electricity and opens you up to early life failures, just like it is recommended to not turn a PC off. Inrush can damage components. 


Spot on there. It isn't just the "surge effects" but the possibility of connection issues when the thing boots up.

 

For a while I ran a modem/router (D6400) in model only mode. The boot process after a power cut was so slow that the rest of the network got left behind. Nothing connected. I installed a modem only box instead.

 

That an HDD causes problems hints at possible problems on that front.

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 4 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

 Please see the attached Answers... (My previous response got deleted for unknown reasons)

    @michaelkenward wrote:

    "What do the LEDs on the R8000 look like, especially the Power LED"?

    Answer: It remains lit orange. And it will always stay orange as long as it's stuck in a bootloop. Closer to the end of the boot process before it loops, all the lights will be a transparent, NOT solid white.

    "5.5 years of daily on/off cycling might have done thkigs to the power adapter. Do you have a spare you could try? Anything with the right volts, amps, polarity and tip size should work."

 

    Answer: I don't have a spare unfortunately. But I highly doubt it's the power adapter at all; when it can run normally it runs perfectly fine (up until the problems started).

 

    "The cycling may also explain why the HDD plays up. Switching things on/off can confuse things."

 

    Answer: I have disconnected the HDD already ever since the problems begun. It will keep bootlooping.

 

        @labatt wrote:

        Guessing the router may have had an update pushed to it that did not go well.

        May need to do the famous, on this site, tftp to get it going again. 

        https://kb.netgear.com/000059634/How-to-upload-firmware-to-a-NETGEAR-router-using-Windows-TFTP

 

    Answer: tftp is utterly useless while the router keeps bootlooping, the device isn't even detected at all. This was also not a problem caused by a bricked firmware update. I am strongly starting to suspect it's a hardware failure more than anything else...

 

    @michaelkenward wrote:

    Along the same lines, another thought I had was that the last firmware update didn't stuck.

 

    But given the quality of recent updates, rolling back to an earlier version might be worth trying if the latest continues to play up.

 

    Answer: I will try going back one version down and see if it helps. I honestly preferred the older version as the built-in, lightweight downloader was powerful as hell. It was probably my most favoured feature of the X6.

 

        @labatt wrote:

 

        Just a curiosity question. Why don't you leave the router turned on? Doesn't use that much electricity and opens you up to early life failures, just like it is recommended to not turn a PC off. Inrush can damage components.

 

    @michaelkenward wrote:

    Spot on there. It isn't just the "surge effects" but the possibility of connection issues when the thing boots up.

 

    For a while I ran a modem/router (D6400) in model only mode. The boot process after a power cut was so slow that the rest of the network got left behind. Nothing connected. I installed a modem only box instead.

 

    That an HDD causes problems hints at possible problems on that front.

 

Answer: I personally think the issue of "surge effects" and "early life failures" being attributed to on-off cycles is rather over-exaggerated. At least here in Singapore, ask an average Joe what a UPS or surge protector is and they will probably retort "What the heck are you talking about?". The reason is quite simple... I can only thank (and most Singaporeans take for granted) the reliable and stable power supply of our national grid. Devices catastrophically failing from power surges or power failures are unheard of, at least in Singapore. I can understand if it's in the U.S. or some other country where there have been enough people complaining about their devices failing from unexpected power surges and what not... but it's not applicable to where I live. 97% of our electrical cables are already in deep service tunnels 20 levels deep, not like the overhead electrical wires still present in other countries, and besides, we don't experience lightning interference or natural disasters.

 

    Also, I should point out that the reason for power cycling the X6 is not unfounded. It has been observed that the router stalls entirely if it is left on between 48 - 50 hours straight; any devices that are not already connected to the router via Wi-Fi will fail to connect (Authentication Failure), and the web console is entirely inaccessible. LAN devices and the built-in routing capability, as well as Network Shared Drive access remain unaffected. Most of my family complains anyway if they can't connect to Wi-Fi so I still ended up power cycling anyway.

 

    Also, a further update:

    The router no longer responds to resets, even if the reset button is pushed and held on for at least 30 seconds. I have to wait almost 2 hours for the router to reboot, and unfortunately, not every component comes on. It seems as if the Wireless component of the router is dead. LOL. See attached screenshot for more details. I have disabled WPS (the very first thing I did when I got the router) and now it claims it is configured. Using the Wi-Fi on/off button has no effect on turning on or off of the Wireless function of the router.

The next step:

I will downgrade one version to R8000-V1.0.4.28_10.1.54 and see if it will bring the Wireless feature back on.

 

If it fails, I am likely to get a replacement router of the same model. I have already found a seller and I am just waiting for the result of the downgrade to see if I need to proceed or not.

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 5 of 23

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

If the power LED never gets beyond being orange, that is a sign that you have corrupt firmware on your router. As you say, if it is stuck in a bootloop, it is hard to do the TFTP thing. But unless you can get into the device somehow, you are stuffed. I don't see any sign that you have tried the "recovery reset". Press reset for 30 seconds Keep pressing reset while removing power Keep pressing reset for another 30 seconds while apply power If that does not work, then I fear that your 5 1/2 year old R8000 has bitten the dust.

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 6 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@michaelkenward wrote:
If the power LED never gets beyond being orange, that is a sign that you have corrupt firmware on your router. As you say, if it is stuck in a bootloop, it is hard to do the TFTP thing. But unless you can get into the device somehow, you are stuffed. I don't see any sign that you have tried the "recovery reset". Press reset for 30 seconds Keep pressing reset while removing power Keep pressing reset for another 30 seconds while apply power If that does not work, then I fear that your 5 1/2 year old R8000 has bitten the dust.

I currently managed to reboot the router. Only issue is that the Wireless component of the router cannot startup. I have not reset it because mission critical applications are running now. I will do it once the mission critical application has completed its task. But prior to that, I will downgrade to a previous version and hope for the best.

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Message 7 of 23

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@it_geek wrote:

I currently managed to reboot the router. Only issue is that the Wireless component of the router cannot startup. I have not reset it because mission critical applications are running now. I will do it once the mission critical application has completed its task. But prior to that, I will downgrade to a previous version and hope for the best.


I doubt if a factory reset is the right move.

 

Your firmware is clearly acting up.

 

When you are ready, what you could try is to reflash the firmware. Even the latest version might work. It will overwrite the corrupt version on the device.

 

One thing I would not do is turn the router off. If it is in a fragile state, rebooting it again is asking for trouble.

 

When you do update the firmware, do it with a browser and a wired connection to the router. It sounds like this is the only option if the wifi won't work. Updates over wifi are asking for trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 8 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

I am in complete agreement with you that a factory reset is unlikely to solve anything. I have only resetted the device for real once in its 5.5 year lifespan anyway.

 

But I am doubtful that the firmware itself is actually corrupt, and the problem smells of hardware failure... I have always assumed that the firmware is a static asset on the router which isn't changed, and that the settings are independent of the firmware, although the change of certain settings may activate certain parts of the firmware. That is, unless you are suggesting that the settings are part of the firmware itself.

 

In any event, I will perform the downgrade to an older firmware version first via LAN and hope for the best!

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Message 9 of 23

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@it_geek wrote:

But I am doubtful that the firmware itself is actually corrupt, and the problem smells of hardware failure...


Unfortunately, too many messages here suggest that corrupt firmware is at least as likely as hardware failure. That is the whole point of the LED indicator. It is a response to the internal checking that goes on when the router starts up.

 

As you know, firmware is just software code written into the memory in a router. And we all know how fragile memory can be. You never know, all that power cycling could have sent along one too many signal spikes.

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 10 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

I have attempted to update the firmware.

 

Regretfully, the router failed to reboot and exhibited the same symptoms, except that the router light shows either orange, no light at all, or a transparent white, but never a solid white.

 

The rest of the lights flash eratically. Also, it should be noted that the last time the router was still available, I was unable to Power On the Wireless feature at all, no matter how many times I used the Wi-Fi On/Off button.

 

I have attempted the following resets:

  • Normal 7 second reset;
  • NVRAM clearance reset (30 second reset hold while powered off);
  • 30-30-30 Full Hardware reset.

And the router still fails to respond, despite attempts to perform the above resets.

 

I have officially declared the router as BER, a like replacement (used) is already on its way and will arrive approximately Friday. In the meantime, I have defaulted to a backup router that I have kept in my cupboard for 5 years plus (which the NETGEAR was meant to replace). It's only 100Mbps but it's better than having no internet!

 

Thanks for all the help anyway... tried my level best.

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 11 of 23

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@it_geek wrote:

I have attempted to update the firmware.

 


How?

 


@it_geek wrote:

 

Regretfully, the router failed to reboot and exhibited the same symptoms, except that the router light shows either orange, no light at all, or a transparent white, but never a solid white.

 

 


Was that after the update?

 

I do hope you did not try to reboot before you did the update. As previously suggested, that would be asking for trouble on a device with boot problems.

 

Did it show all those lights at the same time?

 

I have never seen "transparent white" and would not be able to tell it apart from solid white.

 

I'd say that it was on its way out.

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 12 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@michaelkenward wrote:

@it_geek wrote:

I have attempted to update the firmware.

 


How?


Answer: While the router was still alive after I completed the mission critical task, I uploaded an older version of the firmware (one version earlier) using the router's web console at routerlogin.net. The chk file of that firmware version was uploaded and the router rebooted automatically as part of the procedure.

Was that after the update?

 

I do hope you did not try to reboot before you did the update. As previously suggested, that would be asking for trouble on a device with boot problems.

Answer: See above. I did the update prior to the reboot; the reboot was nothing but a natural consequence of the update (or so I thought).

 

Did it show all those lights at the same time?

 

Answer: Yes. At one point all the lights will flash a hollow white/orange (dimmer than usual), then it will turn to a solid colour (all the LEDs lighted up).

 

I have never seen "transparent white" and would not be able to tell it apart from solid white.

 

Answer: Let me see if I can upload a photo of it. I have already stashed the router back in its box and in the pile of things i wanna discard. Try to picture a solid white light but 75% dimmer. That was how it more or less looked like.

 

I'd say that it was on its way out.

Answer: I am afraid so. I have never seen a router give a Channel 0 while the wireless function is disabled. It might have been a hardware failure doomed from the start. Only god knows.


 

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Message 13 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

Just when I thought that this story would end with a new router... turns out it's not!!!

 

Just after 3 days of using the new router with the 18/7 schedule, the 2nd router is exhibiting EXACTLY the same symptoms and the power light is forever stuck in orange. The new router's firmware version is also the same as the previous one at 1.04.46_63 when it was shipped; I did not need to upgrade or anything, except that I restored the settings from the 1st router onto the new one.

 

I am just completely trumped at how two routers can fail just like that, especially from a brand like NETGEAR.

 

Can anyone please explain what is going on now?

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 14 of 23

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@it_geek wrote:

except that I restored the settings from the 1st router onto the new one.

 


Bad move.

 

Restoring saved settings from a treroublesome system is a good way of reviving problems.

 

The standard advice after a factory reset is do not restore the settings.

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 15 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

Unfortunately that has already happened... so what do I do now moving forward?

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 16 of 23

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@it_geek wrote:

Unfortunately that has already happened...


What has already happened?

 

To get back to factory settings, and to remove your old settings, simply put the thing through the usual reset process. There is even a more thorough reset:

 

  • Press reset for 30 seconds
  • Keep pressing reset while removing power
  • Keep pressing reset for another 30 seconds while apply power

 

 

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 17 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@michaelkenward wrote:

@it_geek wrote:

Unfortunately that has already happened...


What has already happened?

 

Answer: I had already restored the previous user settings to the new router.

 

To get back to factory settings, and to remove your old settings, simply put the thing through the usual reset process. There is even a more thorough reset:

 

  • Press reset for 30 seconds
  • Keep pressing reset while removing power
  • Keep pressing reset for another 30 seconds while apply power

 

 

 

 


Will give that a try sometime later.... I have a school test tomorrow

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 18 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

I have tried the 30-30-30 procedure on the router once but it did not change the situation.

 

Should I just keep doing it until it boots up or...?

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 19 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

So far, I have tried the 30-30-30 reset procedure but it has not been able to bring my router back to a working state.

 

I tried the said procedure on both routers in my possession (the old one and the 2nd one which I bought in a used condition to replace the other router).

 

Unfortunately, it has not been successful on either routers.

 

Since there has been very little information available on the lighting state of the routers, I will proceed to upload a video in a new thread which will show the lighted state of the routers, when I try to power it on, when i attempt a single cycle long reset of 30 seconds, and when i try 30-30-30.

 

I will put it in a new thread instead of this as it may shed light on what the router's blinking pattern represents, and (hopefully) bring forward anyone who has encountered a situation like this as well.

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 20 of 23

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop


@it_geek wrote:

 

Since there has been very little information available on the lighting state of the routers..


Not sure what you mean by that.

 

Most manuals, including the R8000,have a section called something like "Troubleshoot with the LEDs".

 

Perhaps you mean the stages they go through to get there.

 

The power LED, the important one, is either white (working fine), blinking orange (firmware is bust), or blinking white (in recovery mode).

 

There may be variations on this theme. (At one stage the power LED was green.) But I am sure that the real experts will step in an add their takes on what the disco effects mean.

 

 

Just another user.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 21 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

I have checked the manual and accordingly, a corrupt firmware is represented by a blinking white LED - something which I had not seen on the router.

 

In any event, I have opened up a seperate thread detailing the lighting cycle of both NETGEAR routers. Hopefully we can gain new insight as to why the router is stuck in this bootloop, from observing the LED colours.

 

Please view the thread here.

 

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 22 of 23
it_geek
Guide

Re: Router Unable to Boot, Stuck in Bootloop

Issue has been resolved, please see post #5 of this thread:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Nighthawk-WiFi-Routers/Need-Help-Understanding-what-the-Blinking-LE...

Proud Owner of an R8000 since August 2014!
Message 23 of 23
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