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Unlocking BT 2Wire 2700HGV Business Hub (wireless router)

 

Contents > BT v6.3 firmware:

 

 

 


New BT firmware v6.3.9.41.x information

Firmware included with BT Business Hub model BT 2701HGV-C

+ Some v6.1 bugs fixed. Default Wireless Power increased. Quicker GUI.

- Problem with very large file transfers affecting early models. Plus other new bugs. Upstream speed seems to be capped at 10Mbps when tested on Fibre.

(New 17 Jun 2011)







Les S. kindly sent me some screen dumps from his newly acquired BT 2701HGV-C hub, which had serial number commencing 4910 (manufactured in Dec 2010)

He followed the instructions for setting up the BT v6.1.1.48 firmware where you initially enter a fake BT username prior to inputting a valid ppp username.  He also added after completing the procedure, he continued to witness the invalid ppp username error message.  However, power cycling the hub (by momentarily removing electrical power) resolved the problem and the hub successfully connected to his ISP, Eclipse. (ADSL1, BT IPstream connection)

MCL also confirmed he was able to use a BT 2701HGV-C with his ISP connection. He added he used the http://192.168.1.254/xslt?PAGE=HURL13 trick described in the BT v6.1 setup procedure to establish the connection to his ISP.




(Update: 27 Sep 11): Surplus BT 2701HGV-C hubs have started to appear on eBay UK in greater numbers, so I was finally able to acquire a new hub (manufactured in late 2010). I simply connected it up to my existing Plusnet ADSL connection. Started up my web browser. I clicked on the 'Set Up Now' button on the BT error page which appeared, typed in my PlusNet PPP username & password. (Otherwise, I would have used the BT v6.1 setup procedure) A few seconds later, an internet connection was established and I was able to load the Google home page. Access Controls and Content Screening menus were present too.

Early observations are wifi strength seems OK. BT appear to have fixed the Network Devices List (when Openzone is disabled) which was broken in BT v6.1. The top half of the all-plastic case also does get very warm – the older 2700HGV also has perforated metal side grills for far better ventilation.

Line speeds look similar to what I usually achieve with a 2700HGV.



From pictures posted on 'HackingBTBusinessHub', I believe the 2701HGV-C uses the same TriMedia processor, and probably the same STMicro AFE and Atheros 802.11g wifi support as its predecessor. Burakkucat has kindly provided a photo of the 2701HGV-C main circuit board.



(Update: 6 Oct 11): Some observations after a week of use:

Web browsing, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and downloading a number of 700MB ISO images (direct download, not using p2p) have been fine. I will test downloading something considerably larger than 1GB in size later.

I noticed the DSL Diagnostics – Training History page didn't appear to be showing all disconnections. Only 1 or 2 entries were recorded since I last power cycled the hub.

To cut a long story short, it transpires the hub may have rebooted itself on at least one occasion without my knowledge - this would explain the loss of records in the Training history where I have manually resynced my connection with the exchange on a couple of occasions.

Response times when navigating the menus appears to be a bit faster than BT v6.1 firmware. But the response time does deteriorate when the hub is 'busy' such as when downloading a large file.



(Update: 7 Oct 11):

Finally managed to conduct a series of very large file downloads (Direct downloads. Not p2p). Unfortunately, I can confirm there is a problem as witnessed by some other users. It also affects 2700HGV with Qwest firmware. Click here to scroll to bottom of this page for more details of 2GB file download tests.



(Update: 11 Oct 11):

2701HGV-C rebooted without any warning this afternoon. I wasn't doing anything demanding other than web page browsing. This has occurred previously when using the same computer which was upgraded to Windows 7 recently – too much of a coincidence? The hub had been up and running fine for the last 4 days with no loss of line sync.

Yesterday, I had installed a new AR9285 wireless N pci-e card into the computer to rule out any possibility that the previously installed RT2500 wireless G pci card was contributing to the problem. The computer is configured with a static IP and pointing directly at my ISP's DNS servers. TCPIP v6 stack has also been disabled. Hub using WPA-PSK on 802.11g mode. Changing wireless card has made no difference.

I can't rule out the possibility it may be a hardware fault. Perhaps hub is overheating or the power adapter is faulty.

I've now reverted to using a 2700HGV with BT v6.1.1.48.1, to see if I can reproduce this reboot issue with the above mentioned computer.



(Update: 25 Oct 11):

Old 2700HGV with BT v6.1.1.48.1 running fine for past fortnight with above mentioned computer.



(Update: 29 Oct 11):

I've learned there are two versions of the 2701HGV-C hub. The newer version apparently may have Enhanced Services removed/disabled by default to try and resolve problems downloading large files. See BT thread.

Today, I've returned to using the 2701HGV-C (v6.3.9.41-plus.tm) with Enhanced Services blocked from being enabled using Adrian C's static route hack.



(Update: 11 Nov 11):

My 2701HGV-C (with Adrian C's static route hack) behaved just fine during the 2 weeks of use without power cycling it. No unexplained spontaneous restarts during the day. It perhaps suggests the presence of the Enhanced Services may have contributed to the instability of the hub, or Motive.com have been trying to apply updates to my hub across the net during the day which perhaps force a reboot.



(Update: 16 Nov 11):

Gnix and Edd have both reported unexplained restarting and issues with their SingTel and BT hubs loaded with BT v6.1.1.22 and Qwest firmware respectively in recent days. I have a suspicion the servers at motive.com are to blame.



(Update: 7 Jan 12):

After using an unmodified 2700HGV with v6.3.9.63-plus.tm for the past few weeks, today, the hub spontaneously restarted after clicking on a link to download a file from a web site, I have returned to using the 2701HGV-C (with Adrian C's static route hack to block installation of Enhanced Services) for some endurance testing.

(Update: 10 Feb 12):

2701HGV-C (v6.3.9.41-plus.tm) with static route hack (Enhanced services not installed) still running fine after almost 5 weeks (ADSL2+). No unexplained reboots. No issues with web page rendering as far as I can see. The hub has lost line sync on two occasions – I'm convinced it is due to work at the exchange because the connections drop exactly 'on the hour'. ie. Around 20 seconds past 14:00 and again this morning at 11:00 hrs. The noise margin was fine prior to disconnection. Upon reconnecting, the line sync was always higher.

My conclusion is v6.3.9.41-plus.tm is very stable provided Enhanced Services is not permitted to be installed by applying Adrian C's static route hack. It also resolves the 2GB file download bug.

I have now reverted to testing my 2700HGV (v6.3.9.63-plus.tm) with static route hack.

(Update end)






BT supply the same model hub for both ADSL and Fibre optic broadband customers. The ethernet/WAN port is labelled as 'Fibre' and is covered by a 'Do Not Remove' label.

Immediate differences compared to 2700HGV include:





The new BT v6.3 firmware looks very similar to the BT v6.1.1.48 firmware found on the 2700HGV model.

   







Access Controls & Content Screening present on this particular hub.



If the hub is factory reset, BT Openzone appears to be disabled by default, unlike the earlier v6.1.1.48.x firmware.

   

 



Wireless Power level appears to have been raised to setting '3' by default (All previous BT firmwares defaulted to setting '1' - 25mW).  Unfortunately, there is no way to change this value but at least the higher setting is a welcome improvement. Signal does seem a bit stronger than that emitted from a 2700HGV with v6.1.x firmware.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

On the 'PPP Authentication and Settings' page there is now an additional entry for selecting the WAN interface.  Ethernet option would be for connecting the hub to a BT VDSL modem in FTTC/FTTP installations.

 

 It is not known at this time whether or not the 2701HGV-C can be used with a Virgin Media UK cable modem. Quite frankly, you would probably want to use a different cable wifi router. New Virgin/Dlink DIR-615 can be found on eBay UK for a few quid – these can be loaded with DD-WRT firmware.






Frequently Asked Questions



Q. Does the firmware support the higher upload speeds of G992.5 Annex M ?

A. The STMicro hardware certainly supports Annex M, but there is some confusion as to whether the BT models support it. The Telecom 2701HGV-W is known to support Annex M.



Q. Can I downgrade my 2701HGV-C to BT v6.1.1.22 or Qwest QT04-6.1.5.48.2 firmware ?

A. Installing the Qwest firmware will semi-brick the hub. See the end of this web page for more details.

I have one report from a arobertson545 who has downgraded his 2701HGV-C (v6.3.9.41plus.tm) to the BT v6.1.1.22 full recovery firmware file (17MB full recovery file). We also know a BT 2700HGV running v6.3.9.63-plus.tm firmware has been successfully downgraded to BT v6.1.1.22. It should now be possible to successfully install the Qwest firmware – TBC. (Added 24 Dec 11)








Bugs and Issues



 Problem reported when downloading very large files. Some symptoms described here on BT biz forum for users with fibre connections. A more recent thread on same subject can be found here. Editor's note: See next section. (Update 2 Nov 11): This has now been resolved with the release of firmware v6.3.9.63-plus.tm.

Hubs configured specifically for Bridge mode will lose bridge mode settings if power cycled.

BT have disabled/removed Content Filtering from some 2701HGV-C models. (Last updated: 3 Sep 11)

MHC also reports this version of firmware also suffers from wifi channel number changing issue.



To be confirmed, but there may be a problem with changing the MTU. The setting may revert back to 1500 when the hub is power cycled. (9 Nov 11)



See also v6.3.9.63-plus.tm firmware for details of other possible bugs which haven not been documented here.



(Summer 2012): BT Openreach started offering their new 'upto' 80/20mbps FTTC services in spring 2012. Existing customers on the 40/10mbps could be upgraded at no extra charge. When testing 2701HGV-C (v6.3.9.41), it became evident my hub is capping upstream speeds to 10mbps when compared to the free fibre router supplied by my ISP where I could achieve the maximum 17mbps. I don't know if this upstream restriction was removed in v6.3.9.63-plus.tm firmware at the time of writing.

The 802.11g wireless offered by the ageing 2wire hub was clearly too slow even for the 40/10 fibre service and this is probably a contributing reason for retiring the 2wire models in favour of the new 802.11n BT business hub 3.






Problem with very large file downloads



27 Nov 11 – One report of 2701HGV-C (2701-100630-009) is no longer able to download 2+GB files. See test results.



There appears to be a bug in the firmware for the BT 2701HGV-C which prevents files greater than 2Gbytes in size from being downloaded. It affects the following model which first appeared in 2010. Details of tests can be found here.

Model: 2701HGV-C, HW version: 2701-100630-008, Part no. 4201-003004-001, firmware: BT v6.3.9.41-plus.tm



As far as I am aware, It can also affect the revised model which started shipping some time after June 2011:

Model: 2701HGV-C, HW version: 2701-100630-009, Part no. 4201-003004-002, firmware: BT v6.3.9.41-plus.tm



Both models use the same firmware version, but the key difference is BT have chosen to remove Enhanced Services (Content Screening & Access Controls) from the later model. At the time of writing, my own brief tests show that removing Enhanced Services from the earlier model appears to resolve the 2+Gbyte file downloading issue – this is subject to further detailed testing over the next few days.






Workaround for downloading 2+GB files (Adrian C's static route trick)

(New: 29 Oct 11)

Warning: This workaround will disable enhanced services such as 'Content Screening' and 'Access Controls'. It may also block use of other BT services such as BT OpenZone wifi. Future firmware upgrades will also be blocked. BT business broadband users will also need to configure their hub with their Btclick broadband username and password to be able to connect to the internet.

BT may choose to block this workaround in future or change the addresses of their servers.

This workaround will only work with BT branded v6.3.x firmware. It will Not work with any other branded 2wire hub because they use different servers.



24 Oct 13 – Users have discovered they cannot download OSX Mountain Lion or OSX Mavericks using BT v6.3.9.63. The OSX Mavericks download stops at 995MB. These file downloads are greater than 4GB in size from the Apple Store. This static route fix may resolve the issue – TBC.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5468917?start=30&tstart=0



19 Dec 11 – BT v6.3.9.63 firmware now allows files greater than 2+GB file to be downloaded. (Edit Oct'12: 2wire 'may' have just increased the file size limit to just beyond 4GB, as there are reports from users unable to download OSX Mountain Lion from the Apple Store)



This workaround has been tested on a hub with these properties where Content Screening & Access Controls (Enhanced Services) menus are normally visible. It enables files greater than 2GBytes to be downloaded by disabling Content Screening and Access Controls.

Model: 2701HGV-C, HW version: 2701-100630-008, Part no. 4201-003004-001, firmware: v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

27 Nov 11 – One report of 2701HGV-C v6.3.9.41 (2701-100630-009) is no longer able to download 2+GB files. See test results.



The basic procedure involves performing a factory reset of the hub, and using Adrian C's trick to add a static route to block the hub from accessing the BT provisioning servers. This will prevent the Enhanced Services (Content Screening & Access Controls) from being installed.

Warning: Please note that performing a factory reset will wipe all of the hubs settings. Passwords, wifi settings, firewall settings etc.



Please also refer to this related page for more information



The following steps assume your Local Area Network will use the default subnet 192.168.1.0 created by the hub:

home/

192.168.1.254/



Subnet IP: 66.193.112.0, Subnet Mask: 255.255.254.0, Gateway IP: 192.168.1.250

Subnet IP: 64.186.176.0, Subnet Mask: 255.255.240.0, Gateway IP: 192.168.1.250





This is what the page should look like after you have added both static routes:







http://home/xslt?PAGE=HURL13

192.168.1.254/xslt?PAGE=HURL13

Please note: BT Business broadband users must manually enter their valid BTclick username and corresponding password. If you have forgotten your Btclick username and password, contact the BT Help Desk.

Test files: hostdime or sourceforge or Linux ISO

If you can retrieve even the first 20 Mbytes, then there is a very good chance the entire 2+ Gbyte file will be successfully retrieved.





Test Results



Hub model, firmware, HW version

Type of 2+GB file download (http, ftp, streaming etc)

Comments

BT 2701HGV-C, v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-008

Http download of various ISO files

Myself. 2.23GB file successfully downloaded. Up to 50MB of various other 2+GB also successfully retrieved. Still testing...

I also deleted the static routes and allowed Enhanced services to be reinstalled after restarting the hub. The 2+GB file download issue returned.

I have also encountered a separate spontaneous crash/restart issue with my hub in the past after a few days use, so it will be interesting to see whether this workaround resolves this problem too.

Tried to use the 'Reset IP/PPP' button in the Resets menu, hub failed to create new PPP session. Using 'Reset Broadband' button resolved the problem.

These error message appears frequently in the System log. “ulib: Corrupt entry in logfile /var/log/elog_acs.1. read -1 exp 271”. Batches of lines for “Error KRTLOCK ****” often appear.

'Attack Alerts' and 'Top Attackers' sections missing from Firewall Status page. Part of Enhanced Services ?

(29 Oct 11)

BT 2701HGV-C, v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-008

Http download of 2GB file.

Edd G. can see 2GB files being downloaded. Still testing...

BT Retail Speed tester is inaccessible.

(29 Oct 11)

BT 2701HGV-C, v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-009


Dave A. Hub was previously able to download 2+GB files, but ability is now broken in last few days. (No Content Screening menu)

Applied static route hack. Now able to download 2+GB files.

(27 Nov 11)











Credits

I've lost Adrian C's email address but I'd just like to thank him for his static route tip.

Thanks also to Dave A. for information about the revised hub.






History of 2+GB file download testing

(Added: 7 Oct11):

I've finally conducted some very large file downloads tests (direct downloads, not p2p) after reading reports of problems on the BT Business Broadband forum. Unfortunately, I can confirm there appears to be a problem with downloading very large files using a BT 2701HGV-C with BT v6.3.9.41-plus.tm firmware (HW version: 2701-100630-008).

The symptoms are the file appear to start to download but stops almost immediately after a few kbytes or doesn't even begin to save to the hard drive at all using my test PC. If I fail to cancel the operation, the hub may eventually crash and reboot to add insult to injury!



Testing

I don't recall witnessing any issues in the past when downloading very large files using http on 2700HGV with BT v5/v6.1 firmwares, so this issue was a surprise to me when I learned of it affecting the newer 2701HGV-C hub.

Using a laptop running IE9 web browser on Windows 7 with Microsoft Security Essentials, I can confirm large files up to 1.3 Gbytes can be downloaded using http. However, when downloading files larger than 2Gbytes, the file transfer either refused to start or only a few kbytes was saved before the 2701HGV-C, before eventually the hub crashed and rebooted after a pause of less than a minute.

To my surprise, the same symptoms were reproduced on a 2700HGV flashed with Qwest (v6.1.5.x) firmware, so the problem is clearly not just confined to the 2701HGV-C with newer v6.3.9.41 firmware.

I did observe if I stopped the operation as soon as possible after observing there was no evidence of data transfer activity, I could prevent the hub from crashing/rebooting.

Different Firewall Attack Detection settings on the 2701HGV-C made no improvement.



In 2009, the Qwest QT04-6.1.5.48.2 firmware was released in the US after the BT v6.1.1.48 firmware first appeared. It looks like this bug crept into this Qwest firmware and has perhaps been inherited by the current BT v6.3.9.41-plus.tm firmware used in the BT 2701HGV-C. A quick google reveals the Qwest 2700HG-D has issues downloading very large files (more than 2Gbytes) from Netflix, Playstation store etc. Postings suggest that Qwest appear to have taken the simple decision to replace the 2wire modems of affected customers with a modem from an alternative manufacturer rather than deploy a new firmware update.



Conclusion

There clearly is a problem with the BT v6.3.9.41-plus.tm and older Qwest v6.1.x firmwares. More disturbing is that they can cause the hub to crash & reboot under certain circumstances as I have discovered.

Hopefully, BT will deploy a software update for the 2701HGV-C in due course which will resolve this and perhaps other problems.

As far as I am aware, the 2700HGV with BT v5 or v6.1 firmware is not affected by this 2+GB file transfer issue from brief tests I have conducted.



(Update 28 Oct 11): It appears HW version 2701-100630-009 of the 2701HGV-C may not have Enhanced Services (Content screening & Access controls) installed. Dave A. who is using such a hub on TalkTalk LLU also reports he can successfully download 2+GB files with no difficulties. This BT thread does mention removal of Enhanced services to try and resolve the large file download problems.

Enhanced services is usually activated when a hub successfully connects to the BT provisioning servers for the very first time. The hardware version number of the newer hubs may have been incremented to allow BT to distinguish it from the earlier 2701-100630-008 model where Enhanced services is permitted to be enabled. To suddenly remove these services from the earlier 2701HGV-C hubs probably wouldn't go down too well with some BT customers who are using it.



(Update 29 Oct 11): I can also add the 2700HGV with the newly released BT v6.3.9.63-plus.tm firmware can also download 2+GB files with no problems after I successfully downloaded a 3.99Gbyte file. I can only speculate that BT/2wire must have resolved the issue between the v6.3.9.41 and .63 firmware releases.





Hub model, firmware, HW version

ISP, Country.

2GB file test

Comments

BT 2701HGV-C, v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-008





BT 2700HGV, Qwest QT04-6.1.5.48.2

PlusNet, UK

Fail

Myself. 2.3GB ISO from a server stalls after 2kb (kilobytes) is saved, and eventually causes both hubs to reboot. 2.3GB linux ISO from here, fails to download.

The same 2.3GB files do not stall during download on 2700HGV with v5.29.117.6/v6.1.1.48.1 fw.

Qwest firmware Large files problem. (6 Oct 11)

BT 2701HGV-C, v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-008




BT 2700HGV, Qwest QT04-6.1.5.48.2

BT Retail, UK

Fail

Edd G. 1.5GB file download successfully completed.

He tried to download the same two 2.3GB ISO downloads which I had used and observed the downloads stalled after 1.2 Mbytes was transferred.

He also provided some useful links to some speed test files:

http://speedtest.clt.carohosting.com/ He reported all test files up to 500MB downloaded successfully.

http://www.hostdime.com/facilities/speed-test/ All test files, except for the largest 2GB file, downloaded successfully.

Edd has also tested reducing the MTU to 1458 with no success.

(updated: 26 Oct 11)

BT 2701HGV-C, v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-009

TalkTalk LLU, UK

Success

Dave A. (21 Oct 11) reports he is successful when downloading the above test files including the 2GB file from hostdime.com.

The hub is a later 2701-100630-009 hardware revision but the firmware is the same. The ISP is TalkTalk on LLU.



(Update 28 Oct 11)

'Content Screening' & 'Access Controls' not available.

Editor's note: Incorrect MTU setting springs to mind, but changing the MTU has apparently been tried with no success according to 6th post in original BT thread and briefly tested by Edd G.

I recalled reading a thread about Enhanced services being missing from this -009 hardware version of the 2701HGV-C. Dave A. confirms it is indeed not installed on his hub. Is this a clue?

(Updated 27 Nov 11)

See later entry below

BT 2701HGV-C, v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-008

BT Business, UK


A discussion thread on BT business forum

(28 Oct 11)

BT 2701HGV-C, prev ver: v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-008

Planned? BT have started to roll out new v6.3.9.63-plus.tm firmware for the 2701 too.



MHC reports his hub was upgraded today to v6.3.9.63-plus.tm

He also adds Content Screening & Access Controls were not present on his hub prior to the upgrade, and it is still missing after the upgrade. (A factory reset has not been executed)

(2 Nov 11)

BT 2701HGV-C, v6.3.9.41-plus.tm

2701-100630-009



Dave A. (27 Nov 11) previously reported (see above) he could download 2GB files without difficulties. Now he reports his hub has been randomly restarting lately, apparently when downloading large files or streaming video. On further investigation, it now transpires he cannot download 2GB files any more.

He has not made any changes to his hub and there is no evidence of any firmware upgrades. Content Screening menu is not present.

He has now factory reset the hub and applied Adrian C's static route hack which has resolved the 2GB file download issue.

It looks like some sort of 'soft' configuration change has perhaps been pushed from motive.com to his hub and broken the hub's ability to download 2+GB files, or an obscure bug has mysteriously developed....







Semi-bricked using Qwest firmware

 

At the time of writing, I do not recommend attempting to reflash the BT 2701HGV-C with alternative v6 firmware.  One report here from Scoobs of a hub being semi-bricked.  It doesn't state which v6 firmware was used but the only non-BT firmware currently available is the QWest firmware.



(Added 21 Sep 11):

MCL was able to provide more detailed information when he experimented with a decommissioned BT 2701HGV-C by installing the Qwest QT4-6.1.5.48.2 firmware. Here are his more detailed findings:



(Added 24 Dec 11): I have one report from a reader they are running BT v6.1.1.22 (17MB full recovery file) firmware on their 2701HGV-C. In theory it should now be possible to flash the hub to Qwest firmware without fear of semi-bricking the hub – TBC.




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