Legacy Open Mesh: How do I re-flash access point firmware from a Windows machine?

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Question

How do I re-flash Open Mesh access point firmware from a Windows machine?

Environment

  • Open Mesh Access Points

Answer

This article discusses re-flashing Open Mesh Access Point firmware using a Windows machine. For other operating systems:

Linux

macOS

Overview

Firmware is the software on the access point that makes it run. In some cases, your access point may need to have its firmware "flashed." Flashing the firmware means re-installing or updating the firmware on the access point.

A firmware flash may be necessary due to technical problems or outdated firmware running on the access point or technical issues with the access point.

Follow the steps below to flash. Ensure that you re-pair the access point with your CloudTrax network after flashing.

Requirements

  • A computer with a physical Ethernet port
  • A network cable to connect the access point to the Ethernet port

Firmware Flashing Steps

Install WinPcap

  • Download and install WinPcap.
  • When installing, leave "Automatically start the WinPcap driver at boot time" checked.
  • Restart your computer after the installation is complete.

Download and save the flash utility

Download the desired firmware version from Access Point Firmware Downloads.

Navigate to the Downloads folder in a command prompt

The flash utility does not have a graphical interface; you must run it from the Command Prompt. Double-clicking the file will just open and close the application.

1. Press the Windows Key + R and type cmd, then press Enter to open a command prompt. Alternatively, you can search for Command Prompt in your programs list.

2. Type cd downloads in the Command Prompt window, then press enter to go to the Downloads folder. If you downloaded the firmware to a different folder, you'll need to go to that folder instead.

Execute the flash utility to see Ethernet interfaces

To run the flash utility, type open-mesh-flash-ng then press Enter.

You should see output similar to the following: C:\Uers\Mike Asus\Downloads>open-mesh-flash-ng

Usage:
open-mesh-flash-ng [ethdevice] flashes embedded kernel + rootfs: open-mesh firmware rxxx
open-mesh-flash-ng [ethdevice] rootfs.bin kernel.lzmaflashes your rootfs and kernel
open-mesh-flash-ng [ethdevice] ubnt.binflashes your ubiquiti image
open-mesh-flash-ng [ethdevice] uboot.binflashes your uboot image
open-mesh-flash-ng -vprints version information

The 'ethdevice' has to be one of the devices that are part of the supported device list which follows.You can either specify its name or the interface number.

1: \Device\NPF_{9BB97EBC-1BA2-4F39-93C3-A9841A4E863F}
(Description: Sun)

2: \Device\NPF_{AAE405B9-0A93-4C4D-A3C7-E87BD8CB36E7}
(Description: Microsoft)

3: \Device\NPF_{E789801D-D437-4BDA-9A7E-34BEC2058A0C}
(Description: Atheros AtcL001 Gigabit Ethernet Controller)

4: \Device\NPF_{55143701-D657-4DEF-835A-14EEF2970416}
(Description: MS Tunnel Interface Drive

The flash utility will show a numerical list of potential Ethernet adapters in your computer. Typically the Ethernet adapter of interest says "Ethernet" in the name. "Microsoft" or "Tunnel" adapters are typically not of interest.

If you do not see any Ethernet adapters listed, either your computer does not have any Ethernet adapters, you should try re-installing WinPcap again, or you should try running the Command Prompt as an Administrator.

Execute flash utility to flash access point

Once you've determined which Ethernet adapter you're using, type open-mesh-flash-ng # and then press Enter. # should be the Ethernet adapter number you found in the previous step. 

Connect your access point

Connect your Open Mesh Access Point to the Ethernet adapter and power it on. If it was already powered on, power-cycle it by removing the power and plugging it back in.

Completing the flash

The output of the flash utility should look similar to below. If, after 10 seconds, you don't see this, try power cycling your access point and check that the Ethernet adapter you selected is correct.

  [ac:86:74:02:23:f8]: type 'OM2P router' detected
  [ac:86:74:02:23:f8]: OM2P router: tftp client asks for 'fwupgrade.cfg', ser
  fwupgrade.cfg portion of: embedded image (1 blocks) ...
  [ac:86:74:02:23:f8]: OM2P router: tftp client asks for 'kernel', serving ke
  portion of: embedded image (1861 blocks) ...
  [ac:86:74:02:23:f8]: OM2P router: tftp client asks for 'rootfs', serving ro
  portion of: embedded image (4097 blocks) ...
  [ac:86:74:02:23:f8]: OM2P router: image successfully transmitted - writing
  to flash ...
  [ac:86:74:02:23:f8]: OM2P router: flash complete. Device ready to unplug.

Flash additional access points.

The message is of type 'redboot' that we have no image for is common and can be ignored. The process typically takes 3 - 5 minutes. You should see a message stating flash complete. Device ready to unplug.

The flash utility will not exit on its own. You can either plug in another access point to start the process again or hit Ctrl + C to exit the console and flash utility.

Re-pair the access point.

After flashing and connecting your access point back to your local network, it may need to be "paired" with your CloudTrax network again. An alert may show up advising you to re-pair the access point once it comes back online.


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