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Re: GS748Tv5 - Update FW using Web interface, NOT Smart Control Center!

PapaPeteH
Guide

GS748Tv5 - Update FW using Web interface, NOT Smart Control Center!

Ignoring the pain of discovering HOW to do a firmware update, I have just learned that the only reliable update method is using the Web UI File Manager... at least for my #GS748Tv5 that used to be running FW 6.3.1.16 -

  • (I downloaded all needed software and files. Instructions don't mention you need to unzip the FW file so you have a *.stk to "download" into the switch.)
  • (Instructions also don't mention that firmware is an "Archive" file from the switch's perspective(.)
  • First, I used Smart Control Center (current version). It claimed to have correctly installed. But the FW I used is the current 6.3.1.43 -- while somehow what was actually put in place was 6.3.1.11 ?!!
  • I then discovered the Web interface file manager. "Downloaded" the same file into image2 again. This time it is seen as 6.3.1.43 as it should 😉
  • (The help also doesn't mention: a manual reboot is required to get the FW change to go live...)
Model: GS748Tv5|ProSafe 48 ports Gigabit Smart switch
Message 1 of 5
schumaku
Guru

Re: GS748Tv5 - Update FW using Web interface, NOT Smart Control Center!

There is a lot of legacy with these switches, in wording and the utility.

 

To start with the Smart Control Center (SCC) - which is EoL for a longer time already. SCC does not know about the two firmware flash partitions. As such, it assumes there is only one, and only the first flash partition, and it's set to be active (to boot from). This is OK, as long as one does use SCC only, and no educated user has changed the active partition, its working as designed and documented. If the device does boot from the other flash partition (holding the outdated version), the utility alone is of no use - unless you are going to change the active boot partition of course.

 

This update logic was enhanced on the Insight Managed Switches (certainly the GC models, and for the cloud managed GS models), where the new firmware does always go to the inactive partition, which will be enabled automatically for the (scheduled) reboot.

 

A good reference worth reading is GS716Tv3, GS724v4, and GS748Tv5 Software Administration Manual (of course), keep in mind it's dated September 2013 at time of product release without any major changes on the operations and administration. The File Management section does explain about the File Management, HTTP File Download ....

 

Select Maintenance > Download > HTTP File Download.
From the File Type list, specify the type of file to download to the switch:

 

  • Archive. The system software image, which is saved in one of two flash sectors
    called images (image1 and image2). The active image stores the active copy; the
    other image stores a second copy. The device boots and runs from the active image.
    If the active image is corrupted, the system automatically boots from the non-active
    image. This is a safety feature for faults occurring during the boot upgrade process.

 

... Dual Image Configuration, and checking Dual Image Status...

 

Dual Image Configuration
Use the Dual Image Configuration screen to select which image to load during the next boot
cycle, configure an image description, or delete an image.
To change the image that loads during boot-up:

 

  1. Select Maintenance > File Management > Dual Image > Dual Image Configuration.
  2. From the Image Name list, select the image that is not the image shown in the Current-active field.
    The Current-active field displays the name of the active image.

 

A little bit difficult to understand for the newbie user is this:

 

Note: After activating an image, you must perform a system reset of the switch to run the new code. The switch continues running the image shown in the Current-active field until the switch reboots.

 

Depending on the generation, some switches have - to make a little bit more confusion - both a [Reset] (doing just a soft reboot if there are two buttons) and a [Factory Reset] can be present. 

 

Related and also suggested to review is the Maintenance Menu section.

 

Device Reboot.PNG

 

Just click alone and try might be not enough - some learning is required everywhere. No pain - no gain.

Message 2 of 5
PapaPeteH
Guide

Re: GS748Tv5 - Update FW using Web interface, NOT Smart Control Center!


@schumaku wrote:

There is a lot of legacy with these switches, in wording and the utility.

 

To start with the Smart Control Center (SCC) - which is EoL for a longer time already. SCC does not know about the two firmware flash partitions. As such, it assumes there is only one, and only the first flash partition, and it's set to be active (to boot from).

@schumaku, I suspect you are running on old memories. Here's a bit more detail of my process and findings:

 

A good reference worth reading is GS716Tv3, GS724v4, and GS748Tv5 Software Administration Manual (of course), keep in mind it's dated September 2013 at time of product release without any major changes on the operations and administration. The File Management section does explain about the File Management, HTTP File Download ....

That's WONDERFUL... for those who already know the answer!

Here's a few of the challenges involved for those of us who don't already know:

  • Everywhere online involving version numbers and downloads, refers to Firmware versions and Firmware installation. NOT "image" or "software image."
  • The user is not told how to accomplish updating firmware anywhere in the download or the downloaded files. Instead, we're told to read the fine User Manual. 
  • I searched the Software Administration Manual to find the needed info. A search for "firmware" quickly leads to the following info:
    • p 11: "...the Smart Control Center provides several utilities to help you maintain the NETGEAR switches on your network, such as...firmware upgrade"
    • (pp 68, 120, 287) Irrelevant discussions of LLDP, Multicast Router VLAN config, Regulatory Compliance
    • p 284: A table claiming the system supports one firmware upgrade "set"
    • That's IT. So, of course I headed to the SCC. I knew it was outdated but figured that was my only available path for this "current" yet less-than-latest device.
  • I searched Netgear Support. That gives https://www.netgear.com/support/product/gs748tv5
    • "Top support article" -- "How do I use the Smart Control Center to upgrade the firmware of a smart switch?"
      • This (kb #24699) contains outdated instructions yet they did function...except the final instruction says "The firmware is downloaded to the smart switch and the smart switch restarts."
      • It didn't restart. And the version number was incorrect.

Here's a screen shot of the download UI in SCC for the GS748T:

scc firmware.png

 

SCC gave me the option of which partition to use. I selected the second partition, which was correctly used.

Sure looks like it ought to work 😉 .But it did not.  

SCC claimed to have successfully "downloaded" the file. As I discovered later, once I found the File Manager, I saw that it did download something into the secondary image storage area. However, the result was an incorrect version number. (Doing the same thing later from the switch web interface, with the exact same file, didn't have that error 😉)

 

Definitions for other newbies who find this thread:

  • In the Admin Manual "Firmware" is mostly called: "archive", "software image" or just "image." This is not explained anywhere.
  • "Reboot" is sometimes called "reset." (Ignoring section headers and the "Reset menu" name, the manual uses "reboot" 21 times, and "reset" 3 times. The other 32 uses of "reset" refer to counter resets or reset to factory defaults. )
  • "Download" and "Upload" are from the switch perspective, NOT the user's device/system perspective. (Yes, you are doing this, but someone decided you need to become the switch to understand this 🙂)

PS: Netgear could easily clear this up:

1. In the Admin Manual, at the beginning of the Maintenance chapter, introduce the unique file types referenced. For example:

Switch maintenance beyond resets involves file-related functions for several types of files. Jargon specific to this switch includes:

  • Switch firmware: stored in an "image" storage area, also called an "Archive." Firmware is normally transferred in a *.stk file.
  • Switch configuration details, transferred in a (user editable) text file, with *.cfg extension.
  • SSL certs using *.PEM format
  • Other file formats noted below.

2. Correct the Admin manual and Support pages on Firmware to no longer reference the SCC utility, but instead to reference the Maintenance portion of the manual, and "Archive"-related functions.

 

Message 3 of 5
schumaku
Guru

Re: GS748Tv5 - Update FW using Web interface, NOT Smart Control Center!

Afraid, I have to destroy some simplified models.

 

Firmware images can be delivered as .stk, .img, .image, .bix, and many more different extensions. Even interesting designations like xx123abc_Vn.n.n.n-runtime.image exist. Even more naming conventions some into my mind when it comes to routers and the likes. In many aspects, this depends on the chip set manufacturer, the development kit implementation, or the eruptions on the sun when the things were created.

 

Said this, the interesting upload and download discussion I had for the first time as a young student, working on physics projects some 40+ years ago. Initially, I never became warm with the idea. But while becoming older, based on growing of knowledge in physics, mechanics, dynamics, ... lead to the study of an old book. it's not about right or wrong. It's all about philosophies and imagination. 

 

j.f.newton.PNG

 

Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.
E. Hamilton Lee, 1949

 

 

 

 

Message 4 of 5
PapaPeteH
Guide

Re: GS748Tv5 - Update FW using Web interface, NOT Smart Control Center!

And, perspective 😉

(Rather helpful when learning about relativity, let alone orbitals and quantum physics. OT I know -- have you looked at recent Wigner's (Friend in a box) experiment updates? Fascinating stuff 🙂 ) ... and now back to our normally scheduled Network Programming...

Message 5 of 5
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