Upgrading Billion Firmware on OS X

Anybody trying to upgrade the firmware in a Billion router (particularly on a Mac) has probably encountered the following error:

Firmware Upload Failed
Archive contains invalid file.

The firmware is not match to your current hardware type.
Please double check your model name and ADSL Annex type on status page.

The reason I was getting this message is because I was trying to upload the zip file. Why, you ask, would I be trying to upload the zip file? Because when I was unzipping the zip file on the Mac (using StuffIt) I was getting multiple files. So I figured, based on many years of working with embedded devices, that the zip file would be the correct file to upload and that the device would be unzipping it internally. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case.

Turning to the forums I read messages about using Windows to upload the file. Figuring this information was either from or for n00bs, I arrogantly ignored this advice, which was silly, as this was a key nugget to solving the problem.

The problem, as it turns out, is that StuffIt uncompresses the zip file AND the AFW file inside. WTF an AFW file is I don’t know... in 25 years of computing I have never heard of this file format.

So the solution for Mac users is to use the unzip command to extract the AFW file from the zip file. The irony in all this is that the zipping process shaves a mere 66KB off the 3.5MB AFW file. I think Billion could do themselves and their customers a HUGE favour by not worrying about the zipping process.

BTW - If you’re interested, here’s the boot output from a Billion 7404VGO-M with firmware 5.73 loaded:

PP Boot 5.05 (28 April 2006)
Copyright (c) 2004 Conexant Systems Ltd.
SDRAM size = 0x2000000
PLL indicates clock speed set to maximum value of 96MHz
MAC 0:4:ed:7e:64:70
zlib 100%

Quantum v1.01
Allocatable memory starts @ 0x8d4d00, end @ 0x2000000
No, or invalid, configuration information in EEPROM - trying FLASH
Valid configuration (size 256)
DSL gateway version 5.73 (05 May 2009)
CSP: Argon 4x1 CSP v1.0 (ISOS 9.0)
CPU: Argon 432 (0x34325247 "GR24")
Copyright (c) 2004 Conexant Systems Ltd.

NP software version is 0x00000900 (reply took 6us)
SNMP Research SNMP Agent Resident Module Version
Argon ChipID=34325247 with Crypto Engine
Starting IKE Task (ATMOS Version 1.3)
Copyright 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 SNMP Research, Inc.

Restoring from saved configuration ... Success


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