David Millington

BT Home Hub Manual Bios Update Guide


My BT Home Hub died a horrible death last week when an automatic update failed. Since then I have been unable to connect to it via wireless or ethernet. I followed BTs advice and held in the Wireless Association button on the back for 20 seconds to do a hub restart. This didnt help in the slightest. I finally sorted it out by doing a manual update on the bios. I felt like sharing the steps I used to get it fully functional again so it may help any other "lucky" users of the BT Home Hub Yell

  • Download the latest firmware and updater from BT here
  • Unzip it on your system
  • Unplug the hub so its powered down
  • Connect your machine to the hub via an ethernet cable
  • Give your machine a static ip in the default dhcp range i.e. 192.168.1.65
  • Run menu.exe from the UpgradeWizard directory you unzipped before, agree and click next like crazy until you get to the part where it tries to find the hub on the network, this is the step that kept failing for me before I stumbled across the trick below
  • Heres the trick: hold down the Wireless Association button and then turn on the hub i.e. connect it back to the mains.
  • Keep the button pressed in for about 15 seconds while the hub is booting up i.e dont release it while your powering the device on, just keep it pressed down the whole time, all the lights should come on and then die down again
  • Now tap next on the hub updater software, if everything went ok it should now find the hub and start the update process, a very exciting moment after 2 days of head2desk bangingĀ Cry
  • It'll let you know when its done
  • Now try connecting to 192.168.1.254 which is the hubs default address
  • presto! your in, now just configure it to your liking

Notes
I also had to disable my wireless network for this to work, otherwise the updater software kept trying to find the hub via the wireless connections IP address which would never work since its a totaly different IP range.

I also shutdown the firewall to be on the safe side although I'm not sure whether it would of stopped the update from working.

I used an IP in the default range since I could tell the hub had been reset to factory defaults at some point. I saw this since the wireless network reported the default SSID being available, if it hadnt set itself back to defaults then it would of shown the last SSID that I created. This led me to belive the IP range had been reset as well although it was just a guess. If you can see your old SSID then try whatever the IP range you used before was including the address you use to conenct to the hub.

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Annon says


Mate..

You area legend, i was playing Call Of Duty 4 last night when hub rebooted, due to frustration i turned off my setup and went to bed... unknowing the reboot was the srart of the live update... so obviously hub seemed bricked this morning. the lighst flashed on for a split second and turns off when powered up.. holding the reset button while turning it on had all the lighst on for 2-3seconds then off... thankfully I work for BT and went to work to pick up another hub from my desk to use the internet where I found this neat guide... and it worked... legend mate...

i had a feeling BT would send me a new hub, which was not the black 1 i have now..

btwin the upgradefolder there is no MENU.EXE, its called StartBTrecovery.exe but other than that its ok, oh and be4 you click the first next, THATS when you turn on the hub, with reset button pressed

Hi, it's been many moons since I had the Home Hub hooked up although it's quite similar to the Be router which I was using a while ago. Something I noticed when using the Be router is that certain ports are just a no-go even though no rules show up for them.

I found the manifestation of this when trying to setup specific ports for Dawn of War. It would allow me to forward the ports but I wouldn't be able to connect. UPNP didn't help either. Another manifestation would be that the router would totaly freeze up after entering a certain number of ports for forwarding.

My friend also has a Be Router and he was like "well you just messed with it too much, mine's never had a problem". Then I told him the ports to forward for Dawn of War and he ended up with the same problem. It's not bad enough that it froze up. It would require a manual power off after which you'd find the firmware has been reset. This meant making regular backups of the config file so it could quickly be restored after these incidents.

I couldn't think of a work-around so I decided to pack it in with these "free" routers and just shell out some cash and buy a well reviewed one. One that has a lot of good reviews is the Netgear DG834 range, those have GT and PN at the end. You can find loads of them on Ebay since Sky hand them out to their broadband customers. You should be able to reflash them to the standard Netgear firmware using various tools online, it's rather well documented. Personally I went down a different route but my friend did the Ebay option and hasn't had a problem since. The best part is that so far every game has worked via UPNP so we haven't had to set any ports at all for them this time around.

Brooster says


I just wanted to drop a line.... having found this thread whilst trying to sort out firewall issues.
I wanted to set up a streaming webcam, I wish I hadn't started the process. :crazy:

Using appropriate software for the cam I soon realised that the hub was the problem to achieving my goal.
It's such a shame that BT don't post information of use on the net.
I have had several experiences with their overseas (india) call centre in the past to resolve broadband speed issues and home hub probs.
Trying to explain a technical problem to somebody who is not speaking thier native laguage is worse than repeated head meeting desk!!!!
A tip for BT customers who have this problem, demand to speak to a UK based operator, and don't waiver, stick to your guns. They have to put you through to somebody in the UK :D

I managed to set up a firewall rule to allow a specific IP access to my WAN, however this then caused the home hub manager to lock up totaly.
I also have the BT vision box ( very good )and the lock up caused issues with the tv listings on the box.
A power down of the home hub allowed me to get back into the home hub manager and change the firewall back to standard, phew.
Back to the drawing board.

Any firewall info would be gratefully received

Regd's

B

GratefulUser says


Thank you for taking the time to write up and post these instructions.

I'm not much of a 'behind the scenes' computer user, so I originally tried asking BT to help walk me through this (even mentioned that I had seen discussion of this problem online and that there seemed to be a way to update / restore the system) - but they kept telling me that it must be a 'faulty device' and that I would need to buy a new hub. So eventually I decided to try to follow your instructions by myself, and they worked perfectly (even though I'm not sure I followed them completely accurately!).

Thanks again!

Glad to hear it helped a bunch of people. I get more email from people than comments here saying how it worked for them. BT just don't seem interested, I called them more than once to tell them about this. The two main reasons being (1) it would help alot of people straight away instead of waiting for a new hub to arrive in the post and (2) it would save time and money for BT since they wouldn't have to keep sending out new hubs.

Mention it away, the more people that are helped the better in my opinion. I really have to recommend getting another router though. The BT Home Hub has some nice features but they are let down by it's incredible lack of stability.

@Helge - I should of said this before but I believe the home hub will suck for playing games with your XBox. One of the reasons I scrubbed using it was because it kept totally powering down when I pumped anything heavy through it such as when I played Dawn of War or Battlefield 2142. I'd hate to think what two hubs working in tandem would do!

Chief Wiggum says


Hi
Thank you very much for this tip which brought my hub back from death !!

In my case the upgrade kept failing at the writing (flashing) stage around 70%, until I had the access button pressed all the way through the whole of the upgrade until it finished not just until the lights went off .

Thanks again.

I had asked in a thread at the (the-scream) forum, I hope you would not mind me mentioning your solution with due credit of course.

I tried out the WDS feature when I got my first HomeHub. The plan was to have it next to the server and talk to the 3Com wireless router downstairs. I enabled WDS support on the 3Com router and then did the same via the web interface on the HomeHub. When I scanned it would find the 3Com device but it just refused to actually use the connection. I did alot of searching on the subject and the consensus seemed to be that WDS devices seem to hate other brands WDS devices. This means it might work out just fine for you.

I'd say disable the DHCP server on the one you have next to the XBox and give it a static IP address that's inside the address pool of the main HomeHub. Enable WDS for both HomeHubs and then scan for devices via the XBox HomeHub.

My HomeHub has been collecting dust on the shelf for months now so without cleaning it off and hooking it up I can't really make any further suggestions. I just have a hazy image of what I did last time which is roughly what I just described. hth.

Helge says


Hi there,

i hope somebody can help me i have tried to findanything on the internet about my problem, but haven' t had any luck. I have got two BT Home Hubs, One is installed to the phone socket and to the internet. I want to use the second one and connect it wireless to the first one. I will use the second one for my Xbox. So that the xbox is in the wireless network. I have found the WDS function in the wireless configuration of the BT home hub, but havn't got a clue how to configure both. Is it generally possible to connect two bt home hubs via wds?
Please if anybody could explain how to configure it, i would be the happiest man on the planet.

Cheers.
Helge

Tazzy says


I too had the hub reset/lost connection issues (usually during the night).
It actually happened while I was on my PC during a very (often) late night. All the lights went off full on then off and then came back on as connection was re-established.
It wasn't a problem as Utorrent simply started where it left off.

I manually upgraded to 6.2.2.6 (from 6.1.1.r.) but then found the port I forwarded for Utorrent...didn't forward! (as it did in 6.1.1.r version)
Game & Application sharing rules are allowed in the hub firewall.
(Tried disabling the firewall anyway but no change!)

I tried a different port but still the same!.
So I manually downgraded back to 6.1.1.r and the port forwards fine!...strange.

The BT Home Hub has some really nice features that you can tinker with but it's still too flakey for mainstream use. You can read alot of stories from other users who are having problems with it by just googling BT Home Hub Problem. One of the main killers is that the hub will shut down when it's put under minor stress such as when you run a P2P program or play a network intensive game like any of the Battlefield series. I've got two BT Home Hubs sitting on the shelf collecting dust as I'm hoping that one day they will fix all the problems. I wasn't prepared to hold my breath though so I bought another device in the meantime.

The actual BT Broadband service is advertised as being up to 8mb download. In reality if you're maxing it out you're more likely to get around 5-6mb which is still pretty cool. The upload max is 450kb which is pretty lame. Personally I'm trying to switch to BE as they just upgraded my local exchange a few months ago, unfortunately BT wont let me drop my account with them without paying for the remainder of the year.

The thing that makes the BT package different than the rest is the way they're trying to branch it out into many areas such as TV. They just released a new addition to the Home Hub which is a TV digibox. It lets you record programs to an internal harddrive like Sky+ or Tivo. I think it'll let you download movies and TV shows and then watch them straight on the box. I'm not sure on that though so don't quote me :)

I'd say check out the competitors first and read up on some reviews of them. I'm 100% sure I want to switch to BE so as soon as my BT account expires I'm switching over. I checked my distance to the local exchange and then read up on what other people in the same radius as me had to say about the service. Knowing that I could get up to 24mb download and 1.5mb upload with no bandwidth cap was the winner for me. o ya, BT have a bandwidth limit on each of their packages. The top level package lets you use 40gb a month.

David (Visitor) says


I am currently on dial-up access and would love to "go broadband" and like the BT home hub idea. I have read some good and bad things about the Home Hub, but am concerned about buying into a poor service.

Is the BT Home Hub and Broadband service as good as or better than the rest?

Thanks

Teece says


I would just like to also say thanks, I too thought that the hub was bricked, but your method worked like a charm after a couple of tries.

Running fine now and updated to the latest firmware.
Thanx...

Heya, glad it helped. I wrote a pretty huge article for DevShed about the hub although I don't think it's gone live yet. The original version is hosted on my site under Projects/DevArticles/bthomehub. It covers every page of the hub as well as how to telnet into it to play with the hidden extras.

Matt says


Awsome, I had bricked my hub or so I thought, but got it sorted now, Thanks
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