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Unbelievable! The replacement Livebox is even WORSE! [updated, twice]

Yup. You read that right.

A replacement was organised for Wednesday, but due to my work hours I did not collect it until Friday. I note that the power-brick was not in a box. I suspect this unit is somebody else's return.
By Saturday (today), with having to unplug it because of thunderstorms, I learn the horrible truth.

When the box is plugged in, WiFi does not work. This isn't a matter of configuration, WiFi just plain doesn't work. To the point that ticking the little "Enable WiFi" box will refresh the page when you save the setting, only to show the setting unset.
It gets worse. Going to System Information and asking for information on the WiFi status will crash the Livebox. It reboots.

Usually, usually, this is enough to kick the WiFi into working. But not always. Today after coming home from shopping, I hooked in the eeePC to do this. Crash, reboot, no WiFi.
As the big dude on Kick-Ass might say: f*** this ***t! Actually, truth be told I'm torn between being quite bemused and quite annoyed.

I know, I know, you'll be telling me that this problem makes no sense, and am I making up stuff? Well, it's quite an accurate depiction of events. Here's a video...

[subtitled in English; sous-titrée en française]

Note that the video runs for 8m16s and much of that is watching lights blink as the Livebox boots, twice. It isn't terribly interesting, except to watch it once and scratch your head as I'm scratching mine.


State of play now? The new Livebox is sitting in disgrace alongside its ancient pregenitor. I have posted to the Orange forum (and a copy by email back to customer service) to report the problem, link to the above video, and suggest that maybe another (!) replacement might be in order.



UPDATE 2013/07/29

Yesterday I took the steps to perform a total reset of the Livebox 2. I will document this process here in case others may need to do this.

BEFORE WE START - never disconnect the power to the Livebox, or switch it off, when the BLUE LED is glowing.

Before we start - you'll need to know your ADSL signin name (begins fti/ and password).

  1. Let the box boot up.
  2. There is a recessed button marked "RESET" around the back. Prod this button with something, and keep it held down. I used a chopstick.
  3. The LEDs on the front will blink like xoxoxo then oxoxox. Then the blue LED will stay on for a few seconds. You can let go of the RESET button.
    You have just thrown away the internal configuration.
  4. Let the box start to boot, and about when the first LED is solid green and the second is flashing red, switch the Livebox off.
  5. Again, with your chopstick or whathaveyou, prod the RESET button and keep it pressed. Switch the Livebox on.
  6. The LEDs will blink like oooxxx then xxxooo, then the blue LED will light up for a lot longer this time.
  7. You can let go of the RESET button. And you have just thrown away the Livebox's firmware.
  8. Let the box boot, then connect to it via LAN cable. Note that WiFi and telephone will not work.
  9. Go to and you will see a simple configuration screen. Click on the Union flag if you would like things to be in English. Otherwise, enter your ADSL signin name and the password in the relevant places and then click on the "ADSL" button.
  10. There's nothing else you can do right now. Go make yourself a cup of tea.

    The Livebox will download and reflash the latest firmware. It takes about eight minutes at one megabit, five at two, and so on.
  11. When the box reboots, you can begin to configure it. It should be in an "as new" state.
    You have two choices. If you came here by Google, followed this process, but don't really understand the geeky bits, you may be best using the software supplied by Orange to configure your box.
    Those of us with more sense will ignore Orange's software altogether (it is better that way!) and go to to configure the box directly.
    Note the following:
    • The Livebox is reset to user "admin" with password "admin".
    • You'll need to go to Livebox -> Internet and enter your signin details again.
    • WiFi will have reverted to WPA/WPA2 (TKIP/AES). You may prefer WPA2 (AES).
    • Also in WiFi, WPS pairing will be enabled. Due to the crappy implementation of WPS, it is advised that you disable this.
    • All WiFi devices will need to be paired with the Livebox again. As you have already entered the password into those devices, it should suffice to initiate pairing on the Livebox (pressing the WiFi button) and then just trying to connect to the Livebox.
    • If you used "static DHCP" addresses, you'll need to set them up again. Same for DynDNS and such.

I have not had to unplug the Livebox due to a thunderstorm, however in a quick test the Livebox started up with WiFi so I am hoping that this process has cured the problem.

Fingers crossed!


Update 2013/07/30

Unplugged while I went shopping.

Came home, plugged in. No WiFi. In addition, I cannot get WiFi back with the make-it-crash method shown in the video. It might work if I zero the configuration again, but frankly - I'm sick of this shit.

I posted a message on the forum and to the customer service email address saying that the stupid thing is back in its box, please arrange a replacement. I also added do you even test these things before sending them out to the customer?

I'm no longer bemused. I'm now somewhat annoyed. Are we going to try for a third time lucky? All I can say is thank god I'm renting this thing for €3/month. I'd be really seriously annoyed if I bought one and it was like this.


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carlos Fernandez, 26th August 2013, 21:29
Thanks for your excellent article. 
I have the very same symtomps. device. 
Tomorrow I will change it for another one or maybe I will install a cisco or whatever. (dont use the telephone option) 

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