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Introduction

Netinstall is a tool designed for Windows operating systems to reinstall MikroTik devices running RouterOS. Always try using Netinstall if you suspect that your device is not working properly.

In short, the Netinstall procedure goes like this: Connect your PC directly to the ETH1 port (Usually Ether1, the port labeled BOOT or as otherwise indicated in the product manual) of the device you will be reinstalling. Turn on the device while holding the reset button until it shows up in the Netinstall tool.

Careful. Netinstall re-formats the system's drive, all configuration and saved files will be lost. Netinstall does not erase the RouterOS license key, nor does it reset RouterBOOT related settings, for example, CPU frequency is not changed after reinstalling the device.

Detailed instructions

  • Download Netinstall from the downloads page. If you are not sure which version you need, then you can always select the version that is marked as Current (stable);
  • Download the RouterOS Main package from the downloads page;

    You must choose a RouterOS version. You can always select the version that is marked as Current. You must also select the architecture (ARM, MIPS, SMIPS, TILE, etc...), but if you are not sure, then you can download the RouterOS package for ALL architectures, Netinstall will choose the right architecture for you.

  • Disconnect your computer from WiFi, Ethernet, LTE or any other type of connections! Netinstall will only work on one active interface on your computer, it is highly recommended that you disconnect any other network interfaces in order to be sure that Netinstall will select the right network interface.

  • Configure a static IP address for your Ethernet interface, open Start and select Settings:

Netinstall can run also on a local network, in such case you could skip setting a static IP address, but it is highly recommended that you set a static IP address if you are not familiar with Netinstall.

  • Open Network & Internet and select Change adapter options

  •  Right-click on your Ethernet interface and select Properties

  • Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties

  • Check Use the following IP address and fill out the fields as shown in the image below

If you have a working router, then you can use it and skip the setting up a static IP part of this tutorial, but it requires you to know your LAN address since you will need to specify an unused IP address in your network for the network boot server. For this reason it is recommended to apply a static IP address and follow this guide precisely, if you are not sure how to get these parameters out of your network.

  • Open your Downloads folder (or wherever you saved the downloaded files) and extract the Netinstall .zip file to a convenient place

  • Run Netinstall.exe. If you followed the guide precisely, then you should not have any Internet connection on your computer, Windows 10 wants to verify all apps that it runs, but will not be able to do it since lack of the Internet connection, for this reason, a warning might pop up, you should click Run.

Netinstall requires administrator rights, there should be a window asking for permissions to run Netinstall, you must accept these permissions in order for Netinstall to work properly.

  • Allow access for Netinstall in Public networks and configure Net booting settings and fill out the required fields as shown in the image below

The Client IP address must be unique! Don't use an existing IP address in your network, this also means that you should not use the computer's IP address as well. Use a completely different IP address from the same subnet.
  • Connect your device to your computer using an ethernet cable directly (without any other devices in-between), plug the Ethernet cable into your device's Etherboot port.
  • MikroTik devices are able to use Netinstall from their first port (Ether1), or from the port marked with "BOOT".



Some computers have a network interface (especially USB Ethernet adapters) that tend to create an extra link flap, which is enough for Netinstall to fail to detect a device that is in Etherboot mode. In such a case you can use a switch between your device and your computer or a router in bridge mode to prevent this issue.

  • Power up your device and put it into etherboot mode

There are multiple ways how to put your device into Etherboot mode. Make sure you read the Etherboot manual before trying to put the device into this mode. Methods vary between different MikroTik devices.

  • Wait for the device to show up in Netinstall, select it and press Browse. Navigate to your Downloads folder (or wherever you saved your RouterOS packages) and press OK

  • Select your desired RouterOS version and press Install. Wait for the installation to finish and press "Reboot" (Devices without serial console have to be rebooted manually)

If you downloaded RouterOS packages for multiple architectures, then Netinstall will only show the appropriate architecture packages for your device after you have selected it. All unsupported packages will not show up in this window after you have selected a device.

If the installation does not start (progress bar is not moving or no status is shown), then you can try closing the Netinstall application and opening it up again or try to put the device into Etherboot mode again. If you are still unable to get Netinstall working, then you should try using it on a different computer since there might be an operating system's issue that is preventing Netinstall from working properly.

  • You are done! Remove the device from power, remove the Ethernet cable, place the device back in your network and your device should be running properly now!

After using Netinstall the device will be reset to defaults (unless you specified not to apply default configuration). Some devices are not accessible through ether1 port with the default configuration for security reasons. Read more about Default configuration.

When using the Configure script option, it is suggested to introduce a delay before configuration execution.

Etherboot

Etherboot mode is a special state for a MikroTik device that allows you to reinstall your device using Netinstall. There are several ways to put your device into Etherboot mode depending on the device you are using.

Reset button

The Reset can be found on all MikroTik devices, this button can be used to put the device into Etherboot mode. An easy way to put a device into Etherboot mode using the Reset button is by powering off the device, hold the Reset button, power on the device while holding the Reset button and keep holding it until the device shows up in your Netinstalll window.

If you have set up a Protected bootloader, then the reset button's behavior is changed. Make sure you remember the settings you used to set up the Protected bootloader, otherwise you will not be able to use Eterboot mode and will not be able to reset your device.

RouterOS

If your device is able to boot up and you are able to log in, then you can easily put the device into Etherboot mode. To do so, just connect to your device and execute the following command:

/system routerboard settings set boot-device=try-ethernet-once-then-nand


After that either reboot the device or do a power cycle on the device. Next time the device will boot up, then it will first try going into Etherboot mode. Note that after the first boot up, the device will not try going into Etherboot mode and will boot directly of NAND or of the storage type the device is using.

Serial console

Some devices come with a serial console that can be used to put the device into Etherboot mode. To do so, make sure you configure your computer's serial console. The required parameters for all MikroTik devices (except for RouterBOARD 230 series) are as following:

115200bit/s, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity, flow control=none by default.

For RouterBOARD 230 series devices the parameters are as following:

9600bit/s, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity, hardware (RTS/CTS) flow control by default.

Make sure you are using a proper null modem cable, you can find the proper pinout here. When the device is booting up, keep pressing CTRL+E on your keyboard until the device shows that it is trying bootp protocol:

RouterBOOT booter 6.42.3

CRS125-24G-1S

CPU frequency: 600 MHz
 Memory speed: 175 MHz
  Memory size: 128 MiB
    NAND size: 128 MiB

Press any key within 2 seconds to enter setup
Ethernet link absent...
trying bootp protocol.....................

At this point your device is in Etherboot mode, now the device should show up in your Netinstall window.

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