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Firmware update failed

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Firmware update failed

I tried to install AREDN firmware on a Bullet M2, which previously had BBHN firmware.

As soon as I clicked on the update button, everything stopped. No messages, now window, nothing.

Now I cannot communicate with the Bullet at all.

What can I do now?

Thanks!    Bob W8ERD

AE6XE's picture

If a node does not otherwise respond (no boot-up lights typically seen, etc.), then the 'tftp' method is necessary.  [LINK REMOVED] (scroll down to tftp section).   

load the 'factory' image with this method, not the "sysupgrade".  Common issues that yield this symptom (happens to me all the time :) ):   not waiting long enough for the process to complete and power cycling the node, browsing to another page too quickly, wrong image being uploaded.

Note there is an AREDN3.0.2 patch included in the beta (currently under the experimental download section) for "Over-the-Air" (OTA) upgrades.  If this patch is first loaded (just like an image upload) on your existing 3.0.2 node, it will give you the ability to subsequently upload the image and adds a "keep settings" check box (check-it before the upload).


Stepping back a moment. 

Stepping back a moment.  Rember that just like with BBHN that currently when flashing a new firmware that the node REVERTS back to "just installed" status.

It's ip reverts back to default ( its username and password revert to default.  You need to make sure you get a new DHCP lease (easy method: unplug network cable and plug back in to yoru computer, more complex method see instructions at URL provided by Joe)

Also another item:  Most browsers cache a name to IP mapping, this means that when a node changes IP (such as reinstall, change of mode from direct to nat etc) that you can't use the same name again because its cached the OLD IP address. Best way to solve this is to close the browser and re-open. IE is REALLY bad at 30 minutes of caching time.

I find it doubtful that the flashing failed, its possible the browser just didn't get to see the "This node has been updated" page (I've seen that once or twice in my life)

Odd's are its sitting there in 'Just flashed" status waiting to go through initial node setup again [LINK REMOVED]

It should be safe to reboot the node as well to watch it fully boot up if for some reason the node some how did not actually reboot after firmware install.

Node still dead

Thanks for the suggestions about how to revive my bullet after a failed firmware install.

After setting my PC address to, I tried to connect to the node at and with IE.  Both failed.

I tried resetting it by holding the reset button in for 5 seconds and the node appears to reboot.  But I still cannot connect to it.

I read the tftp instructions but I don't know how to "be in the directory of the binary file" when in command mode.

Please provide further instructions.  Thanks!


"be in the directory" is

"be in the directory" is intended to mean that you should have used the "cd" command to have "Changed directories" to that folder, EG if stored in c:\firmware\  you would do "cd c:\firmware\"

TFTP Fails

OK I got into the correct directory.  Got the bullet into Recovery Mode.  tftp fails with the message "cannot read local file (aredn...)"

Suggestions?  Thanks!

That error as it says means

That error as it says means the computer (not the mesh node) couldn't read the file.

Well if the ()'s were part of the file name that might be the issue.

Double check you have typed the file name correct including the .bin

If it still gives you an error it sounds like your computer itself is having issues with the file (and might explain why upload failed)

tftp timeout


I added .bin to the file name as you suggested, and got past that error message. Thanks!

Now tftp times out.  Here is a screen capture.

no screen capture

I guess I don't know how to include a jpeg file here.

One more try...

one more try

Image Attachments: 
Are you in recovery mode on

Are you in recovery mode on the node? (Are the lights blinking back and fourth in sets of 2  aka:  *.*.  than .*.*  than *.*.  ) and can you ping ?

AE6XE's picture


tftp -i PUT AREDN-3.0.2-ar71xx-generic-ubnt-bullet-m-squashfs-factory.bin








Yes the lights were flashing as you asked.

Yes I could ping it fine.


I cannot thank you enough for your patient help.  I was afraid my bullet was a goner.

I now have everything set up as it was before with the BBHN software. I am very pleased that the IP address stayed the same.


The only significant thing I lost was the DHCP address reservations, so those have to be done over.

The next time I do this, is there any way to save the reservations?


Glad you got it working.

Glad you got it working.

I've never actually bricked a Ubiquiti device, all ones that have not been recoverable have actually had hardware issues that sometimes just happened to show up right at a flashing.

The following quote is taken from the beta announcement on the front page of the website

"Over the air, remote firmware upgrades – this allows node owners to upgrade a node’s firmware release without going out to the site.  It accomplishes this by saving the node’s configuration settings and automatically reloading them after the upgrade has taken place."

Once that new feature clears through beta test and makes it into official mainline (including the back patch for 3.0.2 users) I suspect that should no longer be an issue, you should (in theory) be able to upgrade (even remotely). 

Of course like all new features its got to go and prove itself in beta before it makes it into mainline but its one of the features I'm really looking forward to, I only have 2 remote nodes, I can't imagine what its been like for some of the beta testers who had 10+ nodes remote and we were flashing every couple weeks, my hats off to them.

AE6XE's picture
The new version being beta

The new version being beta testing now has the ability to do "over the air" upgrades.  There is a "keep settings" box when a new image is loaded.   

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