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How to recover a Bricked Ubiquiti NanoStation2 or PicoStation2

From FusionNetwork

 

Purpose: So you tried to upgrade your nanostation2 (or other ubiquiti hardware) and managed to “brick” it? This should get you back on your feet in no time.


 

What you need:

 Sections:

  1. Preparing the Serial Connection & getting connected.

  2. Connecting to the Serial Console from your computer.

  3. Putting the redboot into recovery mode.

  4. Uploading the firmware.

  5. Conclusion.

 

Preparing the serial connection.

Please not that most of this information was taken from here: http://www.ubnt.com/wiki/index.php/NanoStation2_RS232_Connection

I have compiled all of this information in one place to try to make this process as easy as possible.

 

Your level converter needs to be pinned to match the pin-out of the unit.

Lets first remove the cables pins from the connector. using your x-acto knife, lift the little plastic flap, and pull out the wire, for each wire. Set the connector aside.

Now, you'll see the board has a 10 pin header on it, with labels for each pin. The ones you care about are HSIN,HSOUT,and GND.

  • HSIN connects to your cable's TX

  • HSOUT connects to your cable's RX

  • GND connects to your cable's GND

Make sure you get the correct pins on your RS-232 cable. You can find them by looking for the “Data Sheet” of the adapter you order. It should have the pins listed with what they do and what colors they are. This is VERY IMPORTANT!

On my cable the following are the pinouts. Again, make sure to look at YOUR datasheet! You could possibly damage your hardware if you do not do this correctly!

  • HSIN → TX (Orange Pin 4)

  • HSOUT → RX (Yellow Pin 5)

  • GND → GND (Black Pin 1)

 

Once you have built a small “adapter” to connect to your on-board serial proceed on to using your computer to connect to the serial console.

 

Connecting from the Terminal on your computer.

First plug your RS-232 cable into your computer (Linux or Windows) so that it will have a chance to identify drivers for the device.

Next, Open up your favorite hyper terminal/console program. Because im on linux I prefer “minicom” on windows you may be likely to use “HyperTerminal”. If you are on a version of windows without hyper terminal you can use “putty” as well.

Again, Most of the following information was taken from here:

http://www.ubnt.com/wiki/index.php/Connecting_to_the_AirOS_serial_console#Terminal_Emulator_Software

For any terminal program, the important (default) settings are:

  • Baud Rate: 9600

  • Data Bits: 8

  • Stop Bits: 1

  • Parity: None

  • Flow Control: None

Identifying the com port on both windows and linix is rather easy, you will need to know this when setting up your Terminal clinet.

Linux:

  1. At command type the following:

    >dmesg |grep TTYUSB

  2. You should get an output of something like:

    >ttyUSB0 or ttyUSB1 ...etc

Windows:

  1. Right click “Computer” or “My Computer”.

  2. Goto “Manage”.

  3. From the list on the left select “Device Manger” .

  4. Locate the “Ports (COM & LPT)” Section and click the arrow to expand its options.

  5. Locate the item with “USB” in its title. That should have its COM port in () after wards. (EX. Mine is COM3).

 

Putting the redboot into recovery mode:

Now that your terminal client is setup properly its time to power your NanoStation2 on again. You will start to see some scrolling text.

When you see the scrolling text press “CTRL+C” As quickly as you can. Don't worry about pressing it to much, you wont hurt anything here.

Note**(You may have to leave the nanostation AND usb 232 adapter disconnected from power and your computer for a few minutes before this will work.. Or at least that was my experience). Don t give up easily. Unless the hardware is completely toast you will get something with this.

 

 

If all is well you will be greeted with a screen that says something like the following:

RedBoot>

At this prompt we can put the NanoStation into Recovery mode.

Type the following:

RedBoot> urecovery

You should start seeing some text scrolling by asking about a TFTPD. This is how we are going to upload our .bin (firmware) to the device. I highly HIGLY suggest using the stock Ubiquity firmware at this point.

 

Origional Source: http://www.ubnt.com/wiki/index.php/Firmware_Recovery#Linux_Users

On Linux:

Make sure you have the “tftp” package installed. Then do the following.

root@ubuntu:tftp 192.168.1.20
tftp> bin
tftp> trace
tftp> put XS2.ar2316.v3.4-rc.4351.090504.2146.bin
Now Wait! The hardware will start to re-flash its firmware. Don t do ANYTHING until you are greeted with an log-in prompt.

 

Original Source: http://www.ubnt.com/wiki/index.php/Firmware_Recovery#Windows_Users

On Windows

1: From Windows PC, you can use TFTP command line from a DOS window (START>>>CMD):

Go into the same directory structure as the firmware (e.g., assuming that you have stored the image files in c:\firmware directory, type the command :cd c:\firmware) and enter the following (for help type TFTP -h) , e.g.:

 

tftp -i 192.168.1.20 put XS2.ar2316.v3.4-rc.4351.090504.2146.bin

 

Windows Alternative 2: Download and execute tftp2 and configure it as in the image and upgrade.

Signal LEDs will keep blinking one by one in 4 different colors during firmware upgrade. Wait for about 7-10 minutes (devices and firmware depending) - do not power off the device during procedure!



Conclusion:

You should now have a “fully recovered” piece of hardware. Try to not break it again ;)

The NanoStation2 will be running with full factory default settings at this point and will allow you to login with the username of “ubnt” and password of “ubnt” on the default IP of “192.168.1.20”. Make sure to setup your systems network interface with an IP address of “192.168.1.254” or something similar so you will be able to access the hardware.



Happy Hacking!