At home, the heart in my network is the EdgeRouter POE 5-port router. It supports various devices and switches with POE, and is where my WAN enters the house. Without it my whole network is dead. Yes, a single point of failure, I know.

Ping loss and strange issues

The other day I noticed great ping loss, high RTA numbers and other weird stuff going on. I troubleshooted for hours, starting from the first device and going back. The last thing in my troubleshooting was to restart the EdgeRouter POE, expecting it to come back online as it always did before, but it didn’t. It was dead – completely dead.

Seemed impossible

So, I pulled the device from the “rack”, and tested it standalone. Still nothing. I later decided to do a hard-reset (because yeah, I’ve got backups of the config) and used a laptop with preset static IP (192.168.1.1, default for EdgeRouter) and tried to reach the login page. Still nothing. OK, back to the drawing board.

I searched some forums online, and the first hit said that they’re known for having bad USB sticks which holds the OS. So I opened it up, and yeah, the USB looked pretty cheap. Problem was now, how should I flash a new USB that could use? A lot of people were talking about TFTP recovery, but I had no serial cable at home so that wasn’t possible.

The solution!

So after a few hours of searching online, I finally found the best thing I’ve found in years! This is what I’m talking about – a guy who made exactly what I needed – a script to make a USB with the old config in place. Question is, would it work? I can tell you, it did – and it was super easy! The command I personally used was this:

./mkeosdrive /dev/sdb ER-e100.v2.0.8-hotfix.1.5278088.tar edgeos_EdgeRouter-PoE-5-Port_20200703.tar.gz 3

./mkeosdrive = the executable
/dev/sdb = the new USB stick
ER-e100.v2.0.8-hotfix.1.5278088.tar = the EdgeRouter firmware
edgeos_EdgeRouter-PoE-5-Port_20200703.tar.gz = the config file
3 = the size in GB for the new partition (default is 2)

I just wanted more people to know about this super great tool as I presume there are more people with bad USB sticks in their EdgeRouters, and sooner or later they will give up. Mine was only 1 year old. So, save yourself a few bucks, make a new USB stick instead of buying a completely new router.