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DG834 Modem Cross-Border

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Hello you all!

I bought three DG834 Adsl modems +Ethernet hubs. The first over eBay.fr worked fine but was destroyed by lightning. The second from eBay.de apparently fails, the third from eBay.de hasn't been tried yet.

They are to work in France, at the computer of my old mother. She understands very little about computers, and I don't access her phone line. She brings the computer for few hours. Not easy...

In the second modem, I introduced the contract's identity and password given by the access provider, as it had worked on the first modem. She has tried the line's autodetection by the modem. She gets the error message "the assistant could not detect the Internet connection" and "please check the DSL cable". Though, all Leds shine.

The setup of the modem wants me to choose a country but proposes only "Germany / others". Could the firmware be specific to each country, needing me to flash it?

Thank you!

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I think I've got one at my father's too, that's in Belgium. I got it from eBay and did a firmware update. If I remember, there was a "UK only" firmware for that model, so maybe you do have a wrong firmware. Is the line not "destroyed by the lightning" ?

The "i" led should only shine when the adsl connection is OK.

Edit; there are numerous versions of that "DG834". Check here. For the one I got, the firmware is from 2006 and it's either "UK only" or the rest. Is it possible that your mother didn't plug the cable the right way ? Or After the adsl filter ?

Edited by Ponch

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Merci bien - Dank U wel !

Looks like your explanation is very close...

First, I believe the line is sound, as well as the filter and the cable, because an other modem, which was not plugged when the stroke hit, works properly from the same connector.

I don't even known if the phone line or the power line propagated the overvoltage, or both. The bolt hit the house next to my mother's, made some mechanical damage there, and many appliances are destroyed in the neighbourhood. The modem's separate power supply looks damaged as well - not too sure as I don't have my lab here, but I've replaced the supply as well.

Meanwhile the attempted microcode update failed. From the same download address you suggest, I got microcodes 5.01.16 and 5.01.09 for the corresponding DG834B V4 ADSL2+, which I chose "for use outside North America and Germany only". The modem rejected the update because "the chosen software does not fit this version". Pity, I had hoped exactly to adapt the modem's operation through the software update.

Maybe an explanation (the English version is less clear):

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annex_B, also http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADSL-over-ISDN#Annex_B

Germany uses only ADSL over ISDN according to "annex B", which is physically incompatible with ADSL over analogue telephony according to "annex A". The transmission frequencies differ. A few modems can adapt to both through microcode update and performance loss...

I suppose the DG834 can't adapt through microcode between Annex A and B, which would explain why there is microcode "for Germany" and "except Germany", and the update manager is smart enough to reject a microcode update file not matching the hardware. Though, I'd have wished a note in the manual, and even better, a marking on the box like "works only in annex B countries".

Billions of blistering barnacles! It looks like my nice DG834B from Germany won't run in France.

Other explanations and comments welcome!

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Tried more microcode updates...

v5.01.14 "outside North America and Germany only" fails as the previous ones did.

v5.01.14 "for users in Germany and Annex B countries only" is accepted and applied.

Annex B countries are the ones, especially Germany, which have ISDN phone lines (~digital phone) instead of POTS (~analogue phone). ADSL and ADSL2 are similar but use different frequencies and incompatible hardware over ISDN and POTS lines.

Also, my modem is of model DG834B (note the B: to suggest annex B?) while other Ethernet ones are DG834.


doesn't tell directly about the DG834B, but the (wi-fi) DG834GB "has modifications to support Annex-B ADSL".

Googling DG834B hits websites in German only. Especially...


"Dieser DG834 ADSL Firewall Router ist die Annex B Version." (this DG834 is the annex B version)

Looks like I sit in the ink (as they say in German)... :(

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So that one was a no no from the start. Try the 3rd ? There are still plenty of them on Ebay. Later versions have a physical switch to turn the WiFi on/off, I wish I had chosen one like that.

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The third one is also a DG834B bought in Germany... and the "B" must be the cause, alas. Googling

"Annexe B" site:netgear-forum.com

returns 300 discussions that tell essentially the same. B is an incompatible hardware meant for the ADSL over ISDN, and these modems work only in countries that follow Annex B: Germany, maybe Austria and parts of Switzerland.

Thundering typhoon! I must get one from a country with ADSL over POTS according to annex A, but as used eBay parts these are quite more expensive.

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It should be possible to "convert" an "annex B" model to an "annex A" model.

There is no actual difference in the hardware, only the firmware is different (and as a safety measure you cannot flash the "other" one by default).

It may be easy or a litlle more complex if the router is V3 or later.



Check also this:


(There is obviously a risk of bricking the router, but I don't think you have actually anything to lose in trying :angel )

This may be of use (or may be not):


It seems like (but I guess it depends on the version v1, v2, v3, etc.) that loading an earlier firmware (Italian, use google translate):


allows to make the "switch" (and the re-fash the new firmware for the "other" Annex).

You could also try using a Routertech firmware:




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Grazie Jaclaz!

I haven't tried to convert the annex B modem to an annex A, finally.

- It seems that this particular modem has different hardware for A and B (while other manufacturers could have more general hardware).

- The suggested operation looks risky, has not been confirmed by other people, and the author only reports that the firmware has changed.

- Even if I don't use my annex B modems, I can offer them to friends.

So I have bought a pair of annex A from UK sellers. These variants had UK firmware but accepted the non-UK firmware version and propose France in the settings.

Everything runs as expected with the firmware for annex A... I just wait for a feedback from my old mum, as I don't access this machine, and she balks at tinkering computers.

No worry to read Italian, as I already speak three Romance languages.

I tell you when I get trial feedback.

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