Vera - Smarter Home Control Forum

General => Upgrading => Topic started by: RichieB on July 20, 2018, 09:54:48 am

Title: Firmware updates bricks my VeraPlus
Post by: RichieB on July 20, 2018, 09:54:48 am
STOP I am a waste of space SENDING ME FIRMWARE UPDATES. EVERY SINGLE TIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS ... EVERY SINGLE TIME THEN I HAVE TO SPEND 2 DAYS TRYING TO CONTACT YOU GUYS TO GET IT FIXED ...

I AM ABSOLUTELY  LIVID RIGHT NOW  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

IT WORKS ... LEAVE IT ALONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will not swear
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: hellovn on July 20, 2018, 05:16:10 pm
I heard your pain. However, i have not had any failed firmware updates in the last 5 years. Hopefully, Vera Control could identify the failed upgrade root cause for a specific set of users.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: Jim McGhee on July 20, 2018, 05:30:57 pm
You must be the only one!!!
The last several upgrades ALL bricked my VeraPlus.   :-\ :-\ :-\

This upgrade bricked my VeraPlus so bad that the tech support guy couldn't fix it.   :o >:( :o

Now they're forwarding my info to the sales department.  Maybe they'll overnight me a new one?   :-*
Not holding my breath.  :-[

Guess I'll just have to learn to live without my HA system for a while.  :'(
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: hellovn on July 20, 2018, 05:49:07 pm
You must be the only one!!!
The last several upgrades ALL bricked my VeraPlus.   :-\ :-\ :-\

This upgrade bricked my VeraPlus so bad that the tech support guy couldn't fix it.   :o >:( :o

Now they're forwarding my info to the sales department.  Maybe they'll overnight me a new one?   :-*
Not holding my breath.  :-[

Guess I'll just have to learn to live without my HA system for a while.  :'(

Usually you only see complaints in this forum as people only come here if they have problems and seek a solution. I just have my first post (complaint) in the Reddit sub for Ring Doorbell support as my Ring Doorbell was completely bricked after 2 years :(
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: kartcon on July 20, 2018, 07:53:22 pm
hellovn, Im curious to know how many devices and plug-ins you may be running. Just wondering if some of the more basic systems upgrade with less trouble than systems that are loaded up with devices and lots of add ons. Any other users who got bricked on an update care to comment of the extent of their system prior to the bricking? (Bare Bones, Basic, Moderate, Advanced -- in terms of number of devices, plug-ins, scenes or logic, or connected peripherals.)

I also suffered a bricked controller several f/w updates ago and have not updated since. MCV did send me a 'new' controller, but based on the SN I am willing to bet blood it was reconditioned. None the less, I was happy with the replacement and the service provided by the CC team. They did get me up and running again but I am now fearful of doing any further upgrades. Almost a week without a controller made me really appreciate how much we have come to rely on it working.

Yes, my system is fairly large and complex, but it works (mostly) reliably so I don't see the need to fix what isn't broken.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: hellovn on July 20, 2018, 08:14:28 pm
hellovn, Im curious to know how many devices and plug-ins you may be running. Just wondering if some of the more basic systems upgrade with less trouble than systems that are loaded up with devices and lots of add ons. Any other users who got bricked on an update care to comment of the extent of their system prior to the bricking? (Bare Bones, Basic, Moderate, Advanced -- in terms of number of devices, plug-ins, scenes or logic, or connected peripherals.)

I also suffered a bricked controller several f/w updates ago and have not updated since. MCV did send me a 'new' controller, but based on the SN I am willing to bet blood it was reconditioned. None the less, I was happy with the replacement and the service provided by the CC team. They did get me up and running again but I am now fearful of doing any further upgrades. Almost a week without a controller made me really appreciate how much we have come to rely on it working.

Yes, my system is fairly large and complex, but it works (mostly) reliably so I don't see the need to fix what isn't broken.

Just copy my Veraplus device list to Notepad++ and it is showing 203 devices. That also includes virtual devices.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: RichieB on July 22, 2018, 05:11:44 am
i had to telnet into mine and do a factory reset, then do then do the hard reset ... that fixed mine .... after i did the telnet it would even allow me to enable the customer service remote access ... i live vera but i hadt when they do updates ... every single time

i gont mine working again

i have a secone veralite that im gonna hook up to opehab or Openluup and explore those for a while
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: Sorin on July 23, 2018, 04:04:06 am
Richie,

I'm really sorry that you had to go through this, and we'd love to investigate your issue in particular.
We are not doing any automatic updates OTA, you have the option to not do it, but this does not excuse that the upgrade failed.

I didn't find a logged ticket with our Customer Care team. Can you PM me the SN of your Vera unit so we can investigate this matter? I look forward to hearing from you.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: kwieto on July 23, 2018, 08:21:31 am
IT WORKS ... LEAVE IT ALONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You don't have to upgrade your system if you don't want to, do you?
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: kwieto on July 23, 2018, 08:44:12 am
Just wondering if some of the more basic systems upgrade with less trouble than systems that are loaded up with devices and lots of add ons. Any other users who got bricked on an update care to comment of the extent of their system prior to the bricking?

Explaining in short: Vera has limited amount of memory for storing all configuration files for plugins and devices added by user. To make things worse, the more advanced the controller the less memory you have available for that: for Edge it is about 9.6MB, for Plus it is 8,6MB, I don't remember Secure, but it is less than in Plus.
You can check amount of this memory via AltUI (the easiest way) or running os.command df -h and checking how much of the so called "overlay" partition is filled up.

Depending on how many and what devices you have, what plugins and how many of them you have (some plugins, i.e. AltUI, consume more space than the others) your system may be fine with relatively large setup or choking with quite a small one.
If you like experiments and installing various plugins for testing it may also stuff your system becaue even if you uninstall some plugin, its files remain on Vera unless you log into it via SSH and clear them manually. They are also saved in backups, so saving backup - resetting - restoring backup doesn't clear anything.
The only way for real clearing is doing that by SSH and picking the files to remove at your own risk :)

From my experience, if you have less than c.a. 500kb of your storage memory available, Vera start choking (one of the first symptoms is losing online access to it), then it becomes unresponsive and the only way to make it work again is performing hard reset.

One of the effective ways for clearing that memory is replacing Z-wave local files for regions you don't use with empty text files with the same names (if you just delete these files, they will be re-created overnight). The problem is that during any firmware upgrade they are re-created again with their original size, so bear in mind that remote upgrades are not recommended, as you can replace these files only on local connection.
There was instruction how to do it somewhere on the forum, I can post it here if you need.



Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: RichieB on July 23, 2018, 03:01:28 pm
IT WORKS ... LEAVE IT ALONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You don't have to upgrade your system if you don't want to, do you?

i cannot log in without being bugged **firmware update .. firmware update  ... firmware update 
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: kwieto on July 24, 2018, 01:21:57 am
being bugged with information about upgrade is not the same as being forced to do one, or having it done without knowledge/permission.
You may ask customer care to disable that message for you.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: RichieB on July 24, 2018, 01:57:48 am
Just wondering if some of the more basic systems upgrade with less trouble than systems that are loaded up with devices and lots of add ons. Any other users who got bricked on an update care to comment of the extent of their system prior to the bricking?

Explaining in short: Vera has limited amount of memory for storing all configuration files for plugins and devices added by user. To make things worse, the more advanced the controller the less memory you have available for that: for Edge it is about 9.6MB, for Plus it is 8,6MB, I don't remember Secure, but it is less than in Plus.
You can check amount of this memory via AltUI (the easiest way) or running os.command df -h and checking how much of the so called "overlay" partition is filled up.

Depending on how many and what devices you have, what plugins and how many of them you have (some plugins, i.e. AltUI, consume more space than the others) your system may be fine with relatively large setup or choking with quite a small one.

If you like experiments and installing various plugins for testing it may also stuff your system becaue even if you uninstall some plugin, its files remain on Vera unless you log into it via SSH and clear them manually. They are also saved in backups, so saving backup - resetting - restoring backup doesn't clear anything.
The only way for real clearing is doing that by SSH and picking the files to remove at your own risk :)

From my experience, if you have less than c.a. 500kb of your storage memory available, Vera start choking (one of the first symptoms is losing online access to it), then it becomes unresponsive and the only way to make it work again is performing hard reset.

One of the effective ways for clearing that memory is replacing Z-wave local files for regions you don't use with empty text files with the same names (if you just delete these files, they will be re-created overnight). The problem is that during any firmware upgrade they are re-created again with their original size, so bear in mind that remote upgrades are not recommended, as you can replace these files only on local connection.
There was instruction how to do it somewhere on the forum, I can post it here if you need.

Great explaination, i was somewhat able to figure this out. before i even get into that, let me just state, I love u guys at vera i found out about the vera lite and never looked back. The frustrations i have it that u guys have plugin that u allow us to install then come back and says "no space because of plugins" so i have to do a factory restore before i can upgrade?

 
Quote
Richie,

I'm really sorry that you had to go through this, and we'd love to investigate your issue in particular.
We are not doing any automatic updates OTA, you have the option to not do it, but this does not excuse that the upgrade failed.

I didn't find a logged ticket with our Customer Care team. Can you PM me the SN of your Vera unit so we can investigate this matter? I look forward to hearing from you.

No Sorin there ARE AT LEAST 4 OR 5 other posts with the same issue so it is not unique so I don't need you guys to log in and do anything, for now, because it is not unique.

I am usually the person who comes in to try and help and read other people's frustrations and now I am the one considering other options.

this bricking issue with upgrading for me has been around since my veralite and I was very patient with it. I figured  Vera Plus would be different I.E. More memory/space but what it seems like it just a veralite with just new interfaces, bluetooth, Z-wave plus, Zigbee, that is what it seems like here.  Now I understand the frustrations of others. and why they have moved on. The concept of vera is great the staff is great, everything will still work if the unit is not functioning. but wtf. So the deployment/development team has not tested this update on a vera that has multiple plugins and multiple devices installed? Because its the same thing as with my Veralite when I mean the same thing it is literally the same thing.  so when i have time I am going to look into openLuup. Maybe I have outgrown the functionality of vera or maybe you guys are only catering to the basic user.  I  actually learned alot from you guys, how to read and write luup and some java, because at one point what u guys were offering was absolutely exhilarating, being able to do so much, the only issue is the space. I literally have a paper clip fastened to my unit..

so here http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,62422.msg388660.html#msg388660
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,81524.msg386200.html#msg386200

Quote
52 Upgrading / Re: UI7 ▾ Vera Software Update ▾ Version 7.0.26 (1.7.1028/1.7.3797/1.7.3798/1.7.3799
? on: May 15, 2018, 05:17:01 pm ?
Quote
im literally terrified of hitting that update firmware button
I am not just making noise now. I literally have a paper clip taped to my veraplus because I know what is gonna happen eventually. love u guys but we will see. From my point of view it doesnt look like ur interested in upgrading the equipment so ..we will see
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: Sorin on July 24, 2018, 03:57:40 am
Richie, if it's someone that is understanding your frustration, it's gotta be me. I'm scanning this forum on a daily basis, even tho I often choose to stay on the side, I've seen and experienced both the good and the ugly. This does not mean that these things are passing by.

As many of you may have noticed, the fact that you can freely upload basically anything on Vera it's also it's Achilles heel sometimes. Upgrading should never be considered a "risk" and if it happens we will assume it and try to straighten it out as fast as possible.

Simply said a VeraPlus without third-party plugins or not so many of them, will never fail at an upgrade. A simple fix would be to, 1) make a full backup of your system and save it locally 2) reset your Vera to factory defaults 3) upgrade your VeraPlus  4) restore the backup.

Again, I'm really sorry that this is happening at all, but if we seem passive about it, we're not. The situation is being approached starting from the revamping of the API, app store, core drivers and software and so on. Things will change, it will not be overnight but things are continuously changing.

LE: If you have any doubts or a reluctance about a firmware upgrade, I highly suggest having our Customer Care deal with it for you. They ARE FAST and good at what they're doing. I've been with them for the last 5 years and trust me, they've come a long way.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: RichieB on July 24, 2018, 04:22:14 am
Openluup it is
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: packman on July 24, 2018, 03:16:43 pm

Simply said a VeraPlus without third-party plugins or not so many of them, will never fail at an upgrade.

I know it's impossible to give a specific number but can you quantify what you mean by "not so many of them"? Are you talking less than 10, less than 25, less than 50? I only have 6 plugins. Can I be confident that the upgrade wont fail? Although I never had a problem updating I haven't done it in quite awhile due to all the horror stories I've been reading.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: kwieto on July 25, 2018, 04:32:57 am
Great explaination, i was somewhat able to figure this out. before i even get into that, let me just state, I love u guys at vera i found out about the vera lite and never looked back. The frustrations i have it that u guys have plugin that u allow us to install then come back and says "no space because of plugins" so i have to do a factory restore before i can upgrade?

I'm not from Vera so it is not the question to me.
I'm also close to the limit and the point where I'll have to go for solution proposed by Sorin (hard reset - upgrade - restore from backup) and will not be satisfied with such procedure.
Recent upgrade went well but I was left with about 500-450kb of storage memory so my Vera started choking same day when upgrade was done. Clearing z-wave localization files (freeing up about 1500-1800kb) solved the issue, but as my system slowly but continuously grows it is just matter of time when I'll hit the wall.

If you don't need zigbee or bluetooth downgrade to Edge would do the trick for some time (as I wrote, it has about 1MB more storage memory than Plus), but you'll face the problem again sooner or later.

By the way, I have 7 plugins, plus the two which you can't remove (Sercomm IP camera and Alexa Helper). I have 130 devices in the system (about 50 physical devices as some of them are multiswitches or multisensors) and I don't consider that as a "large" setup.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: RichieB on July 26, 2018, 07:42:34 am
Great explaination, i was somewhat able to figure this out. before i even get into that, let me just state, I love u guys at vera i found out about the vera lite and never looked back. The frustrations i have it that u guys have plugin that u allow us to install then come back and says "no space because of plugins" so i have to do a factory restore before i can upgrade?

I'm not from Vera so it is not the question to me.
I'm also close to the limit and the point where I'll have to go for solution proposed by Sorin (hard reset - upgrade - restore from backup) and will not be satisfied with such procedure.
Recent upgrade went well but I was left with about 500-450kb of storage memory so my Vera started choking same day when upgrade was done. Clearing z-wave localization files (freeing up about 1500-1800kb) solved the issue, but as my system slowly but continuously grows it is just matter of time when I'll hit the wall.

If you don't need zigbee or bluetooth downgrade to Edge would do the trick for some time (as I wrote, it has about 1MB more storage memory than Plus), but you'll face the problem again sooner or later.

By the way, I have 7 plugins, plus the two which you can't remove (Sercomm IP camera and Alexa Helper). I have 130 devices in the system (about 50 physical devices as some of them are multiswitches or multisensors) and I don't consider that as a "large" setup.

nah its ok im working on an alternate solution i am running close to 30 plugins atm
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: sk1.publicc on August 21, 2018, 06:33:25 am
I find it pretty amazing that I can buy 4GB of DDR3 RAM on eBay for $8AUD and we're talking about 1MB free space the difference between brick & no brick.
Why can't Vera do a decent spec update in the next model and avoid these issues altogether - whether it be RAM, CPU, or whatever the bottleneck is.
I'm sure we'll be willing to pay for it if it solves this level of anxiety.

For existing units, give us a cleanup tool built into the UI.  Something that can distinguish between needed / not needed and indicate potential space savings.

If there's a minimum amount of space required for an upgrade then get the OS to check if it's available - if not, then don't allow the upgrade to proceed.
Same thing for installing apps and uploading files... protect the minimum running requirements of the OS.
Are these things that hard to add?

I think it's time for Vera to divert more dev resources away from supporting new external devices and assign them to shoring up the OS & Controller hardware.
Title: Re: STOP DOING FIRMWARE UPDATES OTA... EVERYTIME IT BRICKS MY VERAPLUS
Post by: Don Phillips on August 21, 2018, 07:26:28 pm
I find it pretty amazing that I can buy 4GB of DDR3 RAM on eBay for $8AUD and we're talking about 1MB free space the difference between brick & no brick.
Why can't Vera do a decent spec update in the next model and avoid these issues altogether - whether it be RAM, CPU, or whatever the bottleneck is.
I'm sure we'll be willing to pay for it if it solves this level of anxiety.

For existing units, give us a cleanup tool built into the UI.  Something that can distinguish between needed / not needed and indicate potential space savings.

If there's a minimum amount of space required for an upgrade then get the OS to check if it's available - if not, then don't allow the upgrade to proceed.
Same thing for installing apps and uploading files... protect the minimum running requirements of the OS.
Are these things that hard to add?

I think it's time for Vera to divert more dev resources away from supporting new external devices and assign them to shoring up the OS & Controller hardware.

Simpler yet - allow the Vera OS to use the USB for the additional space, especially the FW update. 
Title: Re: Firmware updates bricks my VeraPlus
Post by: patim on September 08, 2018, 04:55:33 pm
Richie, if it's someone that is understanding your frustration, it's gotta be me. I'm scanning this forum on a daily basis, even tho I often choose to stay on the side, I've seen and experienced both the good and the ugly. This does not mean that these things are passing by.

As many of you may have noticed, the fact that you can freely upload basically anything on Vera it's also it's Achilles heel sometimes. Upgrading should never be considered a "risk" and if it happens we will assume it and try to straighten it out as fast as possible.

Simply said a VeraPlus without third-party plugins or not so many of them, will never fail at an upgrade. A simple fix would be to, 1) make a full backup of your system and save it locally 2) reset your Vera to factory defaults 3) upgrade your VeraPlus  4) restore the backup.

Again, I'm really sorry that this is happening at all, but if we seem passive about it, we're not. The situation is being approached starting from the revamping of the API, app store, core drivers and software and so on. Things will change, it will not be overnight but things are continuously changing.

LE: If you have any doubts or a reluctance about a firmware upgrade, I highly suggest having our Customer Care deal with it for you. They ARE FAST and good at what they're doing. I've been with them for the last 5 years and trust me, they've come a long way.

Sounds reasonable and I know that the people there work hard. However I bricked mine with an update. Had to replace it. I had a backup but that didn?t work quite well on the new firmware. Not all the devices are up and I cannot include new devices, nor old, because of it. Customer care tried hard, but no relief. I have to set up all my work again (a weeks work), or leave it like this. And this isn.t the first time. Would really be nice if this could be prevented with updates. I now hesitate to update, not to say I don?t update at all. And still I have a crippled system.