Update: Installing Kong build on Netgear R6400v2 (Workaround)

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TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
Update: Installing Kong build on Netgear R6400v2 (Workaround)

Like some other have already noted in posts, the R6400v2 rejects Kong's R6400 build. This is probably due to the R6400 using parts of the 7000P router (at least that's my guess). The 6400v1 has a 800 Mhz dual-core, but the 6400v2 to has a 1Ghz dual-core processor according to Wikidev. The 7000P shares the same processor and memory (but a different wireless chipset). After flashing the R6400v2 with DDWRT it lists it as a 7000P (also confirmed in other posts before).

You can find the firmware by Tathagata Das in this forum as well... and that is the starting point for this workaround.

For those who want to use the Kong build instead... check out these instructions. That's how I did it.

IMPORTANT: The general rules of DDWRT still apply. You do this at your own risk. Tutorials can be found all over the internet. I don't do 30/30/30 resets on my Netgear routers and a lot of people suggest it isn't necessary. But you need to use your own judgement.

Also... NEVER (!!!) attempt to flash DDWRT through a wireless connection. Always use an ethernet cable and disable wireless on your computer altogether. Download all firmware you attempt to use to your computer before starting any of this.

1) Reset your Netgear firmware just to be safe by using the reset button to clear out the memory as much as possible

2) after the router interface comes up connect to the router (I prfer to use the http://192.168.1.1 command)

3) Find the Tathagata build for 6400v2 (chk file) that you downloaded to your computer and flash it through the Netgear firmware update section

4) Once flashing is complete, do not touch your router until the update has fully completed (walk away for 5 mins and do something else)

5) If the browser doesn't automatically load the DDWRT router page, enter 192.168.1.1 manually again. You should be able to pull up the DDWRT router info once the router has completely restarted. 

6) upon successful flashing, restart the router

7) without much poking around in this build, head over to the DDWRT firmware section

8) locate Kong's DDWRT file on your computer (I used the R6400 chk file) and proceed to flash it on top of the build you just installed

9) After flashing (and walking away for 5 mins... wink) you should have your Kong build ready. 

10) Like many other posts suggest, you should head to the Setup --> Basic setup tab and enable "shortcut Forwarding Engine". This is supposed to prevent the capping of transfer rates that others have reported.

 

Known issues: I see the 2.4 Ghz side pretty stable... on the 5 Ghz side I had to tinker with the wireless channels a bit to get better performance. 

It appeared that after flashing, the 5Ghz light on the router didn't work at first. After restarting it started working though.

I am up and running on Kong's v3.0-r35030M (2/19/18)

 

I hope this will help somebody out there

spoogie
spoogie's picture
Hi thanks for the hint.

Hi thanks for the hint.

Tell me is is possible to download The Kong firmware  from that link

http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/dd-wrt.K3_R6400.chk ?

How about the stability?

TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
@spoogie Yes, that is the

@spoogie Yes, that is the link for this file... It seems to be running stable. I must add that I am not running any fancy setups like VPN or some other "advanced" service but so far I am pleased. I especially like that I can get the occasional updates this way. I only flashed it a few days ago but so far I am pleased.

spoogie
spoogie's picture
@TXUSA

@TXUSA

Thanks for reply, i'm using Tathagata Das firmware right now. I'm not running any advanced servieces on the router cause i've got synology nas with all that "cool" possibilities. I asked for stability because I have to restart router every 2-3 days because of lack of transfer on wifi and Ethernet bandwidth and  vpn pass is not working (i'm working at home 2-3 day per week).

I'll try  and i'll let you all know how Kong firmware is working.

 

TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
Alright. Yes I rarely ever

Alright. Yes I rarely ever need to restart, but your "research" might help others

spoogie
spoogie's picture
Ok volks, Netgear R6400v2 is

Ok volks, Netgear R6400v2 is working with Kong firmware since 4 days without any issue. I'm using ssh tunneling from my work to my home, regular wifi (2.4 & 5gh)  with tablets, smartphones and sometimes laptops, printers. Amplituner,  nas, mac mini are connected by wire (eth).

TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
That's great info... I don't

That's great info... I don't have any notable issues either. Great to see you putting it to the test.

Ludacrisvp
Ludacrisvp's picture
Flashed R6700v3 to latest

Flashed R6700v3 to latest Netgear firmware which is MD5 identical with R6400v2.

Then flashed it with https://www.myopenrouter.com/download/dd-wrt-netgear-r6400v2-2017-05-25 (as everything else I tried failed as invalid for one reason or another)

Shows up as R6400v2 (as expected, based on info above)

Then flashed KONG's latest http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/dd-wrt.K3_R6400.chk, which as of now is v3.0-r36070M (05/31/18).

Now shows up as R7000P, and has a 48MB jffs2 partition for local storage, and 128K of NVRAM.

Appears to still be able to do the theoretical speeds of 450 and 1300mbps when looking at wireless rate information. 

 

LEDs seem a bit wonky but I'm not really too concerned about that. 

(5GHz light not lit, power light stays red/amber)

Ludacrisvp
Ludacrisvp's picture
used a few gpio commands to

used a few gpio commands to correct the LEDs somewhat (make it cosmetically pretty)

Decided to turn on 5GHz, Guest, USB3 and the 2 on the end that I don't recall what they mean and correct the power LED to white. 

I entered the following in as a startup script for ddwrt:

gpio disable 1
gpio disable 8
gpio disable 12
gpio disable 13
gpio enable 2
gpio enable 11
gpio enable 10
TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
I already suspected that the

I already suspected that the R6700v3 and R6400v2 might be identical... I believe they have the same FCC ID even. My guess is that they are only different through firmware lockdowns, if at all. Cheap move on Netgear's part. Strange, my lights were wonky at first but turned out fine once I restarted. I also don't mind much if they were messed up because the router is hidden/concealed and nobody ever looks at it. Most firmwares (except Tathagata Das) don't work because they took a shortcut and looked at the firmware on Netgear's website... instead of pulling the board ID from the router itself. The firmware that Netgear posted on their website doesn't have the correct board ID and everyone who copied from there also has the wrong ID in their firmware (including the famous Kong himself). That is also the reason why Netgear's own firmware can't be flashed back onto the router (mismatching board ID).

Ludacrisvp
Ludacrisvp's picture
Yeah, they share FCC ID which

Yeah, they share FCC ID which has to mean they are internally identical, and run identical firmware (as confirmed with the same firmware update for both of them). Your information basically made it possible for me to proceed with this flashing. 

I honestly don't know what is different feature wise from them that the model number lockdown provides them in making a clone version. 

We should be able to change the right board ID to what ever we want now that we have ddwrt on it right so that we can flash whatever we need?

Ludacrisvp
Ludacrisvp's picture
Looking at source and the

Looking at source and the nvram it would seem that the detection routine needs some fine tuning. 

https://svn.dd-wrt.com/browser/src/router/libutils/libutils/detect.c?rev...

Here is where they start determining which variant you have:

589         if (boardnum == 32 && nvram_match("boardtype", "0x0646")
590             && nvram_match("boardrev", "0x1601")) {
591                 if (nvram_match("et2phyaddr", "30")) {
592                         setRouter("Netgear R7000P");
593                         return ROUTER_NETGEAR_R7000P;
594                 } else {
595                         if (nvram_match("board_id", "U12H332T20_NETGEAR")) {
596                                 setRouter("Netgear R6400 v2");
597                                 return ROUTER_NETGEAR_R6400V2;
598                         } else {
599                                 setRouter("Netgear R6400 v1");
600                                 return ROUTER_NETGEAR_R6400;
601                         }

The Router shows as R7000P due to matching these 4 values "boardnum, boardtype, boardrev, et2phyaddr" it doesn't continue into the 'else' code becuase we already matched out. 

Here is what the R6700v3 shows as the current board ID:

# nvram get board_id
U12H332T77_NETGEAR

I'd assume this is what it was set to from the factory but I don't know, I guess it could have been modified by one of these flashes -- maybe that is how Tathagata Das got it working?

I'd suspect that the R6400v2 would be different from this but not sure. Maybe one of the powers that be will read this and see how to fix it.

Then again the board ID thing really would only benefit if one wanted to return to stock firmware and cosmetically accurately name the router in the GUI right?

bigjohn
bigjohn's picture
There's an official DD-WRT

There's an official DD-WRT now, FYI all.

Now... whither TOMATO?  Would love to have a tomato variant on this too!

TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
Honestly, I don't think this

Honestly, I don't think this is as much the fault of DD-WRT as it is the "fault" of Netgear when they release identical, or near identical devices and sell them under different model numbers. It's a trick to save money, I am sure, but also annoying.

 

some other guy
some other guy's picture
Well I can't run through

Well I can't run through/recall all of the different things I've tried. I had it up and running with these instructions, life was good, but the 5 ghz needed some tweaking. Trying to get that to work right I somehow lost the wl1 interface from the dd-wrt GUI entirely. Many flashes, a couple of 30-30-30s and an "erase nvram"or two later, the thing is a barely-functional brick. The 5ghz is still missing entirely, the 2.4 ghz is broadcasting such a week signal that the only way I can find it is to set my phone directly on the router.

I think my only hope for redemption here lies in somehow getting the factory image to load. I think there is a lot of wireless channel/interface configuration from the factory that Kong doesn't touch (at least by default) which needs to be retained in order to have connectivity. Whatever you do, don't clear your nvram (or even your jffs), somewhere it's storing some precious bits from Netgear that you'll play hell getting back.

TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
Oh wow. Damn. That is a new

Oh wow. Damn. That is a new one to me. I have complained to Netgear before that their firmware they posted on their own website can't be installed on the router but I don't think they care. Technically I know how I could fix their firmware but I am wondering if I am violating some kind of law by doing so.

maxfield.allison
maxfield.allison's picture
Is there any chance this

Is there any chance this method would also work for the 6400v1? I have one I'd be willing to sacrifice. I already modded a GPU fan and 120mm fan to it and overclocked it so as long as things aren't too terribly different, I feel like it would be worth a shot. Hoping someone will prove me wrong.

TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
I am not sure a router really

I am not sure a router really needs overclocking running on a 1ghz dual core. Are you using it for business purposes ? If you are referring to installing DD-WRT on a 6400v1 you can just take it straight from the website... it doesn't need more tweaking...  http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/dd-wrt.K3_R6400.chk

 

If you are referring to flashing the original firmware back... I would think that should work as well... the 6400v1 is not much of a problem child...

wonderrx
wonderrx's picture
My reply is in relation to

My reply is in relation to trying to get the r6700v3 working correctly

First off thanks so much Ludacris for your great comments in this thread!
 
I followed Ludacris steps exactly to load Kong's ddwrt and had no issues upgrading the unit with the files he linked to, but I have no 5ghz radio working now that I am done.
 
I've tried a few vram resets through the console, I've tried to flash the current builds for the 6400v2 and also the 7000 from Kong, no luck
 
Tried to flash back to the current Netgear firmware,
 
No dice on all fronts. Router through all of those continues to say
 
Router ModelNetgear R7000P
Firmware Version DD-WRT v3.0-r36070M kongac (05/31/18)
 
I've been running with DD WRT since the very earliest days 10+ years ago. But this no 5ghz (and it's also feeling like the 2.4ghz is very weak in power) has me stumped.
 
It's a recent Amazon purchase, so I guess in theory I can return it, but it'll be pretty obvious to anyone who ever powered it on that it's had ddwrt put on it if I can put it back to how it was.
 
I did not try the stock firmware to see if the 5ghz was working before I took it to ddwrt.
 
Thanks in advance for any help!
wonderrx
wonderrx's picture
My reply is in relation to

My reply is in relation to trying to get the r6700v3 working correctly

First off thanks so much Ludacris for your great comments in this thread!
 
I followed Ludacris steps exactly to load Kong's ddwrt and had no issues upgrading the unit with the files he linked to, but I have no 5ghz radio working now that I am done.
 
I've tried a few vram resets through the console, I've tried to flash the current builds for the 6400v2 and also the 7000 from Kong, no luck
 
Tried to flash back to the current Netgear firmware,
 
No dice on all fronts. Router through all of those continues to say
 
Router ModelNetgear R7000P
Firmware Version DD-WRT v3.0-r36070M kongac (05/31/18)
 
I've been running with DD WRT since the very earliest days 10+ years ago. But this no 5ghz (and it's also feeling like the 2.4ghz is very weak in power) has me stumped.
 
It's a recent Amazon purchase, so I guess in theory I can return it, but it'll be pretty obvious to anyone who ever powered it on that it's had ddwrt put on it if I can put it back to how it was.
 
I did not try the stock firmware to see if the 5ghz was working before I took it to ddwrt.
 
Thanks in advance for any help!
egc
egc's picture
See:

See:

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=316399

You can flash back to stock following the procedure described in the guide and using the attached file in the third post, or upgrade to Kongs  latest build with support for the R6700v3

Shaharza
Shaharza's picture
Hi All.
Hi All. I am newbie in this so sorry for what might be stupid question. I have the 6400V2 for few months now. 3 months ago did the what was suggested here and installed the Kong's FW using the Tathagats's FW first (as described in the first post here). Currently in status tab I can see this info:  Netgear R7000P 
Firmware Version

DD-WRT v3.0-r35030M kongac (02/19/18)

Since I like to keep my FW uptodate and since th 5GHZ is not working so good (not that I care) I decided to upgrade. So now several questions: 1. Can I just install the latest CHK file (using this link https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=316399 )? 2. If I cant do that, Do I need to restore the stock FW and continue from there? 3. I did all kind of configurations (Open VPN, Kill Switch, VLAN etc..) If I will do backup and restore will it save it or will need to do everything from the beginning?  Thanks for the help!!!

 

TXUSA
TXUSA's picture
Either install the version

Either install the version for 6400v2 (or 6400v2OTP if that file won't install). What you have installed though is probably the firmware for the 6400v1 which might explain some of the issues you're having with 5GHZ speeds. If you want to be safe, reset the router to Netgear firmware first and then flash the latest DD-WRT

http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/

 

Danser
Danser's picture
Hi All,

Hi All,

Just like a lot of the users here I'm new.  TXUSA you say to Always use an ethernet cable. I have the R6400v1. Can I use the USB on the back of the router instead of an ethernet cable? 

Thanks