Sunday, December 16, 2018

How to recover (un-brick) your MikroTik RB951G-2HnD Router

by / Monday, 09 March 2015 / Published in Blog

MikroTik RB951G-2HnD is a wireless SOHO Gigabit AP/Router featuring five Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB 2.0 port and a high power 2.4GHz 1000mW 802.11b/g/n wireless module with built-in antennas.

It's a robust and reliable device, however, it may be bricked if it was uploaded with incorrect firmware.

In this article I'm going to show how to recover it. The information here is applicable to RB951G-2HnD, but may be useful for other models as well.

First of all, you should know that software part of MikroTik RouterBOARD consists of two pieces:

  • Bootloader, also referred as firmware
  • RouterOS

Updating RouterOS (or just only firmware) may damage the bootloader and render the router "bricked". The good news is that MikroTik RB951G-2HnD has a backup bootloader - a feature that makes it a very reliable solution.

The general scheme for recovering from bricked state looks like:

  • Run Netinstall, recover the RouterOS
  • Start the router with the reset pin pressed, so it will be able to boot using a backup bootloader
  • Get the latest firmware from http://routerboard.com/RB951G-2HnD, drag it into WinBox
  • Go to System > Routerboard > Upgrade and upgrade the firmware
  • Reboot

The difficult part is configuring Netinstall tool. There is a lot of instructions describing this process completely like this and this one. However, it is very important that you will use RouterOS Upgrade package for the exact RouterOS version you had before.

Also you should know that RouterBOOT reset button has three functions, as described in MikroTik Wiki:

  • Hold this button during boot time until LED light starts flashing, release the button to reset RouterOS configuration (total 5 seconds)
  • Keep holding for 5 more seconds, LED turns solid, release now to turn on CAPs mode (total 10 seconds)
  • Or Keep holding the button for 5 more seconds until until LED turns off, then release it to make the RouterBOARD look for Netinstall servers (total 15 seconds)

If you hold the button before applying power, backup RouterBOOT bootloader will be used in addition to all the above actions. To do the above actions without loading the backup loader, push the button right after applying power to the device.

 netinstall

In short, you should do the following:

  • Get Netlnstall tool
  • Get RouterOS Upgrade package for the exact RouterOS version you had before.
  • Disable PC Firewall
  • Connect PC to Port 1 on Mikrotik
  • Disable all other network interfaces on the PC - LAN, Wireless, Virtualbox
  • Set static IP of 192.168.88.3, subnet mask 255.255.255.0, gateway 192.168.88.1 on PC
  • Run NetInstall
  • Select "Net Booting"
  • Mark "Boot Serve Enabled"
  • Set Client IP address to 192.168.88.1
  • Keep reset pressed while powering on
  • Keep holding the reset pin till a beep sounds. Release immediately
  • Router should show up in Netinstall's list
  • Browse for the folder with unzipped RouterOS images
  • Select appropriate RouterOS package
  • Click on "Install"

Once the progress bar moves to 100%, the router will reboot, beep once and some time later (1 min or less) it will give a second beep. It may be working now, or still refusing to boot properly. In this case you should boot using backup bootloader (apply power the bricked RouterBOARD hold while holding the Reset button, release it after applying power). Then you should:

  • Get the latest firmware from http://routerboard.com/RB951G-2HnD
  • Drag it into WinBox
  • Go to System > Routerboard > Upgrade and upgrade the firmware
  • Reboot
  • Configure the router as needed
Read 20918 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 10:33

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Simon Tushev

Simon is IT professional with interests in web design, electronics, photography and astronomy. He writes about PHP, Yii, Joomla!, Arduino and several other topics.

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