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uberdome
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When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:32 pm

What is the best way to know when the bootloader / RouterBOARD firmware needs to be updated?

It used to only show version numbers when it had actually changed, and there used to be an associated change log. Now that the version matches the firmware version, I'm unsure when it is important or necessary, and I would prefer not to have to reboot every network device twice when I don't have to.

A specific scenario: I am currently using NetInstall for setting up LHG radios. This process does not have an easy method for updating the bootloader. Do I need to be checking the bootloader firmware on every radio, or is it not very important?

Thank you, Chris
 
pe1chl
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:13 pm

I would recommend to update the bootloader once after initial upgrade (at installation time) and then forget about it until there are notices here that there is some critical issue to be fixed.
Or you can set it to auto-update and just ignore the message that the device has to be rebooted for it to become active.
 
deanMKD1
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:20 pm

I personally update after main RoS update.
 
R1CH
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:32 pm

You have no idea! I really wish Mikrotik would revert to the old versioning for firmware so you can actually tell when there is an update. I recommend pe1chl's advice.
 
r00t
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:21 am

I only upgrade RB firmware if there is known vulnerability fix in it or it's explicitly required to get some new features or if it fixes some issue I have.
I have never had any issues doing this for years across many different Mikrotik devices, there is no need to automatically upgrade firmware for every ROS version, that just wastes flash write cycles of the critical boot block...
And yes, the current firmware versioning SUCKS, who ever though it would be a good idea???
 
pe1chl
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:02 am

Well, before this we often saw that the question "what RouterOS version do you have?" was answered with e.g. "3.41" which was the installed firmware version.
But then at least you could see that it was the wrong answer and ask again.
Then the version number was aligned and later the automatic upgrade setting was introduced, but it was not enabled by default.
So now when you ask that question and get the response "6.43" you don't really know if it is running RouterOS 6.43 or if it is firmware 6.43 running a newer RouterOS version...
Not really an improvement!
The old method was better but now it is kind of difficult to revert to it, or a separate version number like F6.45 would have to be introduced that again only changes when updated.
 
r00t
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:15 pm

Maybe calling it bootloader, booter or just BIOS would be better, instead of firmware. On most RBs it's doing the boot loading, not much else.
Or if called BIOS, even if not exactly correct, it's well known term that people know from the PC world...
 
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normis
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:24 pm

RouterBOOT (firmware/bootloader) rarely needs updating, and there have been no vulnerabilities in it. Just make sure you upgrade RouterOS, that is most important
No answer to your question? How to write posts
 
pe1chl
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:49 pm

Of course. Then maybe you have an explanation (if different from mine) why the RouterBOOT version changes with every RouterOS version now?
 
uberdome
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:05 pm

RouterBOOT (firmware/bootloader) rarely needs updating, and there have been no vulnerabilities in it. Just make sure you upgrade RouterOS, that is most important
How can we tell when it does need upgrading?

I recall a time when there was a separate PoE firmware several years ago. Then, it was integrated into the RouterBOARD firmware. I would keep track of different versions and update as necessary. It would be very useful to have some means to know what the RouterBOARD firmware changes are, so we can know when to update it.
 
jza
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Re: When to Upgrade RouterBOARD Firmware / Bootloader?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:26 pm

I have upgraded about a dozen of routers with new bootloader and about 10 of them has been jammed after that. Don't do that if you want to upgrade your Mikrotik's from a distance...
But what the h*ll? Those loaders are seemingly not intended to upgrade, since almos all routers will crash after that. Last one was a hAP AC today. 3.41 -> 6.something and "bricked". However, they have all been able to recover, but too much useless work.

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