The Great Router Adventure Continues.


‘Hey, a new router. For cheap. Why not?’
‘What the hell, where’s my storage?’
‘Where’s my internet?’
‘You’re probably going to have to take it back and get a new one….’

I woke up today with a new plan: find a way to really test that port.

Yeah, that should’ve been obvious, right? Well, only a little.

See, I hadn’t really thought about all the ways I could test it before. I’d tried my powered external HDD enclosure on it, and I’d tried my ‘draws power from the USB cable’ external drive on it, but that was it.

I hadn’t tested it with anything smaller. And by ‘smaller’, I mean ‘drive-size smaller’.

Both tests were with 1TB drives.

And the second test showed that it did, in fact, give power to the device. So there was that.

But I’ve got USB thumb drives, like, all over the place. Quite possibly literally, since I keep losing the fucking things. But, I hadn’t tried any of those.

So I hunted one down and plugged it in.

And…there it was.



Well, fuck.

So, back to the phone. Call up T-Mobile. Get them to transfer me.

The woman at tech support is pleased that I kept troubleshooting, but can’t do a damned thing for me, because, well, they have no way to help with this problem. It’s time to talk to Asus.

They put me through to Asus like fucking magic or something [seriously, I do not understand how I can call one place and they can transfer me to an entirely different place like that].

It was bad. So, so bad.

First, their equipment apparently sucks. I had great signal and everything was clear, but they couldn’t hear me. I thought maybe it was my headset [LG Tone], but switching directly to the handset didn’t help.

The woman switching me to the headset on her end didn’t help.

I think it was whatever magical fuckery caused the line to go completely, totally, 100% dead-fucking-silent when she wasn’t talking. I’m not sure what that was–I’ve never encountered that before at all–but I’m gonna bet that had something to do with it.

Or ghosts. It could have been ghosts.

And, god, could they be more to-the-script about this shit? I explained my problem up front, and they treated me as if I were calling for ‘Help me, I don’t even know how to turn on my router what do I do?’

I’m having some problems with the USB ports. I’ve got a powered USB 3.0 external drive enclosure here, and–weirdest thing–it only shows up when I plug it into the USB 2.0 port. The USB thumb drive I have shows up fine.

“Can you get to the setup page of the router? Tell me when you’re there. Do you know how?”

I’m logged in and looking at it right now.

“Okay, [description of the initial setup phase].”


So I explained the problem again.

She told me that it was probably the drives. That the drives were probably dead.

No, the drives are 100% functional and healthy. I was able to use them, but only on the USB 2.0 port, and not the USB 3.0 port.

She told me that the USB 3.0 port was probably faulty, and I would have to return the router to the store for an exchange.

But why, then, does the USB thumb drive work when I plug it in?

She asked me how big the drives were.

1 terabyte.

She asked, “One gigabyte?” and then said she needed to check if drives of that size were compatible. I corrected her, but never got an answer regarding compatibility.

Instead: “How are they formatted?”

Since I’d had to unmount them for experimentation, I was having a problem remounting them and getting my computer to see them. So I plugged them in directly. This little mess will be important later.


Unnerving dead air.

…and…she does nothing with that information.

Instead, she asked me to open a browser, “like Internet Explorer,” and then gave me meticulous instructions on how to type an address into the address bar.


She then, I shit you not, gave me the IP address to the router. With a minute between each [three digit-period] chunk.

And then…for real-seriously-no-fucking-joke, spelled out ‘admin’ and ‘password’ for me.

Literally ‘password’. The default password.

Me: I’m pretty sure it’s not going to accept that. Because I set everything up days ago, and there’s no way I would just leave it with the default password. Ever.

“No, this is right. Just like I said.”

Okay. But this won’t work. And it doesn’t.


More of that unnerving silence.

“Well, do you see the drives now?”

No. Because they’re not plugged back in yet. I had to plug them into my computer to get the filesystem information, because I was having trouble accessing that when you asked for it.

“Well I gave you that IP address so you could see them!”

…and…nope. They still don’t show up when plugged into the USB 3.0 port. Just fine on the USB 2.0 port, though….

The sound of nothing.

She starts to say something, then, suddenly: a recorded voice, thanking me for choosing to take their post-tech-support-call customer service survey.

Nothing resolved.


But I did think of one more stupid-bullshit-test. I just need to get another USB 3.0 cable. One with the A and B ends, or whatever they’re actually called.

I can’t think of a reason why that would be the problem, but it’s the one thing I haven’t tried.

Well, that, and ‘whole new enclosure’ and ‘move shit around, reformat, and partition’. Which will be a pain in the ass.

I’m starting to wonder if there’s even a point to caring. Except…those transfer speeds. I wants them.

3 thoughts on “The Great Router Adventure Continues.

  1. I’d go with a bad port- I’ve got one on my laptop that is 3.0 but doesn’t actually work with 3.0 devices. Works just fine with 2.0 though. It wouldn’t be a format issue, could be a size issue, but unlikely.

    Also, Asus idiocy.

    • I narrowed it down a lot more after this.

      I managed to figure out exactly which model it was rebranded from, and dig into the bugs and issues with that specific model. And it’s a major, major thing with that model.

      There’s actually a setting in there that cripples the USB 3.0 deliberately because–get this–it interferes with the basic wifi somehow.

      So, yeah: awesome.

      I had it working for three seconds, but apparently I didn’t cross my toes at exactly 27.2523 degrees. I may have also not been facing exactly north-north-west while shaking a sheep uterus full of mexican jumping beans at the precise tempo required.

  2. The sound of nothing is most likely them using VOIP phones. DISH switched over shortly before I got fired and it was dead whenever nobody talked. Unnerving to the phone monkeys too.

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