Netgear R7000 not flashable?

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Pain.
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:24    Post subject: Netgear R7000 not flashable? Reply with quote
I just bought this R7000 after reading that dd-wrt supports it. I tried to flash thru the UI like the directions said with the chk file and I get error:

(firmware is not compatiable with your router. error code -2.)

Thanks for any help.
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Pain.
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 20:54    Post subject: Reply with quote
I tried that with no luck. I get error: The firmware is not compatiable with your router. Error code -2.

I tried to flash TFTP flash but can not get the router in flashing amber like the directions said. Am I suppose to do the 30-30 rest?
flyzipper
DD-WRT User


Joined: 21 Feb 2016
Posts: 409

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 22:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
There have been a few threads recently about this. Apparently the newer Netgear images have checks built in to stop people from flashing non-Netgear images.

One workaround is to flash an older Netgear firmware that doesn't have these checks, then flash DD-WRT.

The other option is...

*trying to find those other threads*

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=318347&highlight=

Check egc's comment about the NMRPFlash utility.
swiss6th
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 17 Feb 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:33    Post subject: Solved with a hex edit Reply with quote
Hi!

I had this same problem on a brand-new R7000. After trying everything but opening up the case, I thought about why the Netgear firmware might be rejecting the .chk of DD-WRT. It seemed plausible that there is a version check going on. I opened up the HxD hex editor, dropped in Netgear's latest firmware (at the time, R7000-V1.0.9.64_10.2.64.chk), and looked around.

I discovered that the version number is stored in bytes 09-0F. After changing these to higher numbers (e.g., 01 00 0A 63 63 63 63) in Kong's latest .chk for the R7000, I got the router to take DD-WRT. I used nmrpflash to do this, but I would bet the Netgear Web UI would have accepted the file after this modification.

I hope this helps someone!

Andrew
foz111
DD-WRT User


Joined: 01 Oct 2017
Posts: 330
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:05    Post subject: Re: Solved with a hex edit Reply with quote
Andrew
Do you have any info on how you changed the version number?
cheers

swiss6th wrote:
Hi!

I had this same problem on a brand-new R7000. After trying everything but opening up the case, I thought about why the Netgear firmware might be rejecting the .chk of DD-WRT. It seemed plausible that there is a version check going on. I opened up the HxD hex editor, dropped in Netgear's latest firmware (at the time, R7000-V1.0.9.64_10.2.64.chk), and looked around.

I discovered that the version number is stored in bytes 09-0F. After changing these to higher numbers (e.g., 01 00 0A 63 63 63 63) in Kong's latest .chk for the R7000, I got the router to take DD-WRT. I used nmrpflash to do this, but I would bet the Netgear Web UI would have accepted the file after this modification.

I hope this helps someone!

Andrew
swiss6th
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 17 Feb 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:56    Post subject: Re: Solved with a hex edit Reply with quote
foz111 wrote:
Andrew
Do you have any info on how you changed the version number?
cheers


See instructions and screenshots below (must be logged in to the forum to see). A hex editor is a brute-force tool. Use at your peril!

Warning! Doing this may brick your router. I am not responsible.

If you don't understand the directions below, stop. You should not be attempting this.

I did this on Windows. If you're also on Windows...
  1. Download the HxD editor
  2. Download whatever .chk of DD-WRT you're trying to load (I was using http://www.desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/dd-wrt.K3_R7000.chk)
  3. Open the build in HxD
  4. Change bytes 09-0F in the first row to something like 01 00 0A 63 63 63 63 (forgot exactly what I used)
  5. Save changes to the file
  6. Try flashing the router with the modified file
Your mileage may vary.

Andrew



changing_version_step1.png
 Description:
Notice the highlighted region
 Filesize:  62.3 KB
 Viewed:  7322 Time(s)

changing_version_step1.png



changing_version_step2.png
 Description:
Notice the changed values
 Filesize:  62.34 KB
 Viewed:  7322 Time(s)

changing_version_step2.png




Last edited by swiss6th on Fri Mar 01, 2019 17:29; edited 1 time in total
egc
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 6244
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:18    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just use NMRPflash to flash the .chk file without altering it first and see if this works.
_________________
Routers:Netgear R7800, R6400v1, R6400v2, Linksys EA8500, EA6900 (XvortexCFE), E2000 (converted WRT320N), WRT54GS v1.
OpenVPN Policy Based Routing guide: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=321686
Install guide R6400v2:http://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=316399
OpenVPN Server Setup:https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=318795
Install guide R7800: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=320614
Wireguard Server setup guide:https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1183135
Wireguard Client setup guide:https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=324624
Wireguard Advanced setup guide:https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=324787
Forum Guide Lines (important read):https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=324087
swiss6th
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 17 Feb 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 17:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
egc wrote:
Just use NMRPflash to flash the .chk file without altering it first and see if this works.


This.

Unfortunately for me, I tried NMRPflash first, but the router was still rejecting it. It would receive the file, timeout, receive the file again, timeout, etc. I figure it was still doing a version check. That's why the hex edit was necessary in my case. I used NMRPflash to upload the modified file, and the router accepted it.

But egc is right: Don't modify your .chk unless the usual methods have failed.

Andrew
kuruvalli rakesh
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:17    Post subject: Flashing v 1.0.3.56 firmware into Netgear R7000 Reply with quote
Hi guys, I looked at many places to find a way to downgrade Netgear R7000 firmware, Finally I found a way to downgrade Netgear R7000 firmware. Here are the steps to achieve that:

Board Details: NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router (R7000) with Open Source Support | Circle with Disney Smart Parental Controls | Compatible with Amazon Echo/Alexa (Indian Adpater)

-> Remove the top layer, so that we can able to connect serial cable.
->Connect serial 4pin cable to host system using USB to TTL cable.
->Now turn on router and press 'ctrl+c' continuously.
->It should stop at the CFE> prompt.
CFE>^c
->Now run tftpd server.

CFE> tftpd
Start TFTP Server
Reading ::

->Now on host system use the following command(Router default address is 192.168.1.1).

$tftp 192.168.1.1
> binary
> put R7000-V1.0.3.56.chk

->In this way you can able to flash any firmware you need even dd-wrt image.

Refer the following link:
https://www.myopenrouter.com/article/how-debrick-or-recover-netgear-r7000-r6300v2-or-r6250-wi-fi-routers
Kloze
DD-WRT User


Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
egc wrote an extensive guide on how to flash this router with photos and everything.

I didn't know this guide existed when I had to do a client's R7000 refurbished router with that software lock on it so like another member posted, I did a rough step by step

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=318184&highlight=

If you use the utility then I would read both egc's guide and then my guide on how to time it just right to capture the point where you need to execute the utility using CLI. Update us if you get it to work
mjones1175
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 25 Oct 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:26    Post subject: Reply with quote
egc wrote:
Just use NMRPflash to flash the .chk file without altering it first and see if this works.


Do you know if after installing dd-wrt, is it then possible to revert back to an earlier version of stock netgear firmware than was originally installed? My wonder is if Netgear has implemented a hardware or a software block to go backwards in firmware? If you happen to know I would be SUPER appreciative!
kernel-panic69
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 7213
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:39    Post subject: Reply with quote
mjones1175 wrote:
egc wrote:
Just use NMRPflash to flash the .chk file without altering it first and see if this works.


Do you know if after installing dd-wrt, is it then possible to revert back to an earlier version of stock netgear firmware than was originally installed? My wonder is if Netgear has implemented a hardware or a software block to go backwards in firmware? If you happen to know I would be SUPER appreciative!


Only way I am for sure that works to do that is with nmrpflash.


Last edited by kernel-panic69 on Mon Apr 27, 2020 18:23; edited 1 time in total
mjones1175
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 25 Oct 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:54    Post subject: Reply with quote
kernel-panic69 wrote:
mjones1175 wrote:
egc wrote:
Just use NMRPflash to flash the .chk file without altering it first and see if this works.


Do you know if after installing dd-wrt, is it then possible to revert back to an earlier version of stock netgear firmware than was originally installed? My wonder is if Netgear has implemented a hardware or a software block to go backwards in firmware? If you happen to know I would be SUPER appreciative!


Only way I am for sure that works to do that is with nmrpflash.


Ok Thanks! I just purchased a new R7000 and I still haven't opened it yet. Prior to installing any 3rd party firmware you are recommending nmrpflash? I am still learning and am more than happy to do my due diligence in reading up on this but don't want to brick this as well! My ultimate goal is to install dd-wrt and if it doesn't work out, install stock earlier than pre-installed. Thanks for answering my previous post!
egc
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 6244
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:55    Post subject: Reply with quote
I might be wrong, but if I remember correctly Netgear added this restriction because they started to use a newer flash RAM and the older Netgear versions could not cope with that.
So although you might be able to flash older versions with some trickery it might brick your router.
Not sure if this is true or just FUD from Netgear

DDWRT always could cope with different flash RAM's

You might not need any special tools as BS has modified the header of the factory-to-ddwrt.chk file
(There must be a commit in the repository will see if I can find it later)

So with any luck do the following:
1. Reset router to defaults
2. Upload the factory-to-ddwrt.chk via the GUI, I think version 41328 is worth a try
3. After uploading telnet to your router and do:
Code:
nvram erase && reboot
4. Setup your router

For the R7000 some nice links:
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=264152

I have put together a guide for the R6400v2 and although the R7000 is slightly different the general workout is the same so do not follow this guide literally but it will give you some idea.
The guide and als the unbricking guide can be found with the link in my signature (at the bottom of this post)

Just for sake of completeness some forum rules:

1. Read the forum rules: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=54959.

2. Read this: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=54845.

3. Research your router, start with the supported devices wiki:
https://wiki.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices .

4. In the supported devices wiki you can see what architecture your router has and if you are lucky also an install guide/wiki.

5. Post in the right forum, from the former step you can see if your router is Broadcom, Qualcomm/Atheros, Marvell or other, use that forum to post router specific questions, for Networking questions post in the Advanced Networking forum and for other things in the General Questions forum.

6. When posting always state router model, build number and when applicable the Kernel version.

7. Do NOT use the router database, builds can be found at:
https://dd-wrt.com/support/other-downloads/?path=betas%2F2019%2F

8. Before uploading a new build research the build by looking in the build threads this is an example of a build thread for build 41328 for Broadcom routers:
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=321699&highlight=41328
Search build threads with the search function and search on build number.

9. Use the build threads frorm the former step to report success or problems.

If you have experienced the power of DDWRT you will never want to go back to stock but you will have to put in (some )effort to learn its quirks.

Oh and welcome at the forum Smile

EDIT: found the commit: https://svn.dd-wrt.com/changeset/39293

_________________
Routers:Netgear R7800, R6400v1, R6400v2, Linksys EA8500, EA6900 (XvortexCFE), E2000 (converted WRT320N), WRT54GS v1.
OpenVPN Policy Based Routing guide: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=321686
Install guide R6400v2:http://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=316399
OpenVPN Server Setup:https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=318795
Install guide R7800: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=320614
Wireguard Server setup guide:https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1183135
Wireguard Client setup guide:https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=324624
Wireguard Advanced setup guide:https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=324787
Forum Guide Lines (important read):https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=324087
kernel-panic69
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 7213
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:19    Post subject: Reply with quote
^ What he said. But I never needed to do any nvram reset on my R7000P after flashing <Kong> 40270M kongac. I don't know if BS builds are as easy and forgiving to flash on Netgear. Also, my new-to-me-for-free-except-for-ordering-new-power-supply-adapter-cost R7000 will likely never see DD-WRT since it's a development guinea for FreshTomato. Yes, I said that out loud.
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