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19-09-2012, 05:11   #1
DECEiFER
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UPC Cisco EPC3925: Enabling True Bridge Mode - A Simple How-to Guide

Hi folks,

As the thread's title suggests, this is for those of you who'd like to stick their Cisco EPC3925 modem/router devices from UPC into true Bridge mode without DMZ'ing and double NAT'ing. I have been unsatisfied with the not being able to enable it since day one. This is the solution for everyone who would prefer not to use the EPC3925's thin and terrible routing functions by using another router of your own choosing to handle all of that for you while not having to DMZ or double NAT to get it to work.

The questions that are probably on your mind is how can it be done and is it safe? The answer to both is simply: yes, 100%. I'm posting this right now from my EPC3925 bridged with my WNDR3700v1! The best and re-assuring part is: doing this won't break your phone service like it did with the EPC2425. Myself and some other users have tested the phone service while in Bridge mode, both making and receiving calls, and it was 100% successful without any issues or delays in connecting the calls. However, if you want to go back to Router mode for whatever reason, you can do so at any time just as easily as you enabled Bridge mode (see the IMPORTANT NOTE at the bottom of this post).

The fact is, I had a feeling that UPC might have been lazy about removing the functionality and it's true, they half-assed it. They simply hid the functionality by removing some client-side code from the Management page, but the ASP server-side code is still intact. I haven't seen the server-side code as I haven't hacked the device to dump the firmware. I had a suspicion and I went about trying to prove it. It could just as easily gone the other way as far as I was concerned at the time. The solution then is simple; replace the client-side HTML code that was removed! Don't worry, I'll explain how to do it properly. Please keep reading...

I spent time fannying around with different HTML code possibilities and looking at the language JavaScript file (lang.js) instantiated in the HTML headers. The process involved a bit of trial and error, is all. If my efforts had failed, I had considered going onto Whirlpool.com.au to ask BigPond cable broadband subscribers in Australia to post their Management page's HTML source before giving up! BigPond uses (or has used) the EPC3925 also and their firmware does not have the Bridge mode option hidden.

So, just for reference only, this is similar to the code that was removed by UPC:
HTML Code:
<!-- working mode -->
<div id="WorkingMode">
<table class="std">
<tr>
    <td nowrap width="95">
        <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
            dw(vbcontype2);
        </script>
    </td>
    <td>
        <select name="working_mode" size="1" id="working_mode" onchange="selectWorkingMode()"> 
            <option name="router" value=0><script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">dw(vbencap4);</script>
            <option name="bridged" value=1><script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">dw(vbencap5);</script>
        </select>
    </td>
</tr>
</table>
</div>
Below I have written up a step-by-step guide on how to make Bridge mode happen. It'll take only a moment or two to get through all of the steps.


!!! REMEMBER !!!
Please be reminded that after setting the EPC3925 into Bridge mode, UPC's phone service will continue to work as it always has. This has been tried and tested and the problems facing the EPC2425 in Bridge mode were not carried over to the EPC3925. I'm reiterating this here for anyone who may have skimmed over the first few paragraphs of this post.


Prerequisite:
- A web browser or browser extension that is capable of live manipulation of a website's HTML source code (Opera is my browser of choice for this task)


Guide:
1. Connect to the EPC3925's web configuration using Ethernet and disable all routing functions (DHCP, Wireless, Firewall, DMZ, UPnP, and any active port forwards) just to be safe. Wireless at the very least, won't get disabled automatically when the device is put into Bridge mode.
2. Navigate to the Administration > Management page and view the page's source code.
3. Copy the new HTML code in full, which I have provided at: http://pastebin.com/W0eQy7mM.
4. Select all the HTML code in the EPC3925's Management page source and paste in the new HTML code to replace it (don't worry, it's not a permanent change - it will revert back once you refresh - this won't void your warranty!).
5. Apply the changes and switch back to the EPC3925's Management page's tab, where you should now see a new menu called "Working Mode" at the top.
6. Select "Bridged Only" and then Apply.
7. Your EPC3925 should then reboot automatically to effect the changes. When it comes back up, it'll be in Bridge mode. You can now navigate to the web configuration using http://192.168.100.1.
8. Set your own cable router to bridge with the EPC3925 and you should then be online. You're on your own on this one as every router is different!


That's it! Again, if you're having trouble, I suggest you use Opera to do this as it's perfect for the job and it's really easy. If you're still having trouble, hit me with a PM with as much details as possible about the problem(s) you're having and with what you have tried (if anything) to remedy them, and I'd be happy to help.

Just to explain a bit further: the concept behind the HTML code is that it adds more POST data to the form on the Management page, POST data that was there before UPC took it away, which the ASP server-side code still checks for; that is why it is possible to enable Bridge mode without resorting to hacking the device to install custom firmware and therefore risk bricking it. We're not adding the functionality back, we're just bringing it out of hiding. This is 100% safe and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to use their own cable router.


IMPORTANT NOTE:
If you want to revert back to Router mode for whatever reason, you can do this using one of two methods.

Method 1: Repeat the steps above from scratch and switch back to "Router Mode" via the "Working Mode" menu (this will put you right back where you started with your previous custom settings intact).
Method 2: Perform a hard reset by sticking a pin into that "Reset" hole at the back of the device (you'll lose all your previous custom settings by using this method).


Here's a few images showing the "Working Mode" menu back with a bang! You'll also see my WNDR3700v1 getting the public IP dynamically from the ISP, whereas using a static LAN IP was necessary when DMZ'ing and double NAT'ing, to ensure a direct path to the Internet through the EPC3925's DMZ. The last image shows the Voice page when in Bridge mode with everything looking normal and operational for phone users.



Last edited by Cabaal; 08-10-2012 at 08:25.
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19-09-2012, 10:20   #2
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Very nice. Love how lazy they were in just clipping out the HTML rather than actually modding the code.


For clarity for average joe maybe put that phone will be disabled in a foreword before they get buried in things. I know you mentioned it, but boardsies have a habit of skimming over large portions of text

Good work man.
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19-09-2012, 13:17   #3
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Excellent work. Was working on a similar workaround for the Thomson 870 modem, which works in theory.
Good to know that Opera has a "live" edit feature, exactly what I need for it to work.
Can't wait to get home so I can test my theory in practice!
Thanks again,
Mick.
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19-09-2012, 16:08   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ED E View Post
Very nice. Love how lazy they were in just clipping out the HTML rather than actually modding the code.


For clarity for average joe maybe put that phone will be disabled in a foreword before they get buried in things. I know you mentioned it, but boardsies have a habit of skimming over large portions of text

Good work man.
No problem, and you're right, I probably overdid the post a bit so I'll stick a caution that even a skimmer will notice.

It's pretty funny that they did leave the code in. Maybe it was due to lack of expertise rather than laziness. Either way, it's good news for us. Thanks for commenting.

If you're not using your UPC phone service, could you please give it a try and post back that it worked (I'm sure it will work!)? To hear that it has worked for people other than me would probably instill more confidence for people that are on the fence. No worries if it's an inconvenience and thanks for posting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by roast View Post
Excellent work. Was working on a similar workaround for the Thomson 870 modem, which works in theory.
Good to know that Opera has a "live" edit feature, exactly what I need for it to work.
Can't wait to get home so I can test my theory in practice!
Thanks again,
Mick.
Yeah, Opera was favored by quite a number of web developers back in the good ol' 00s and it still could be.

If you're going to try this on your Thompson, you'll need to know exactly what POST data needs to go through. In the HTML code removed, the crucial bit is name="bridged", which is what the server code will be looking for. If it doesn't get it, it moves on without a bother, but if it does get the data, it's "Yes, sir, bridge mode it is!"

You might need to resort to Googling certain HTML code elements to see if anyone has posted the HTML code of the Thompson model you have or one similar to it. If so, then it may have the HTML for setting Bridge mode intact. That was going to be my next plan.

So long as it's a case that the Thompson originally supported Bridge mode and UPC simply removed the HTML in the same way they did it for the EPC3925, the chances are you will figure it out, so don't give up. I'm sorry I can't be more specific, I don't have a Thompson device to work with.

Last edited by DECEiFER; 19-09-2012 at 16:56.
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19-09-2012, 16:17   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DECEiFER View Post
Yeah, Opera was favored by quite a number of web developers back in the good ol' 00s and it still could be.

If you're going to try this on your Thompson, you'll need to know exactly what POST data needs to go through. In the HTML code removed, the crucial bit is name="bridged", which is what the server code will be looking for. If it doesn't get it, it moves on without a bother, but if it does get the data, it's "Yes, sir, bridge mode it is!"

You might need to resort to Googling certain HTML code elements to see if anyone has posted the HTML code of the Thompson model you have or one similar to it. If so, then it may have the HTML for setting Bridge mode intact. That was going to be my next plan.

So long as it's a case that the Thompson originally supported Bridge mode and UPC simply removed the HTML in the same way they did it for the EPC3925, the chances are you will figure it out, so don't give up. I'm sorry I can't be more specific, I don't have a Thompson device to work with.
Believe it or not, it's even easier than that. From what I recall (It was a few weeks ago I was looking at it) the HTML referencing the function is there, it just has comment tags around it.
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19-09-2012, 16:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roast View Post
Believe it or not, it's even easier than that. From what I recall (It was a few weeks ago I was looking at it) the HTML referencing the function is there, it just has comment tags around it.
Hahahahaha, oh dear. Looks like they copped on by the time they began issuing the EPC3925. Well, sort of!

Good luck, I really do hope it's just that easy! Post back when you give it a try to let us know.
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19-09-2012, 16:25   #7
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Originally Posted by DECEiFER View Post
Hahahahaha, oh dear. Looks like they copped on by the time they began issuing the EPC3925. Well, sort of!

Good luck, I really do hope it's just that easy! Post back when you give it a try to let us know.
Looks like it!

Will do, gonna try it this evening. Thanks again, if it wasn't for the mention of Opera, I was gonna go the long way around by trying to dump the firmware, modify it, and flash the modem with it. Alas, I could never find the Telnet login to do so.
Will post back later!
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19-09-2012, 16:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roast View Post
Looks like it!

Will do, gonna try it this evening. Thanks again, if it wasn't for the mention of Opera, I was gonna go the long way around by trying to dump the firmware, modify it, and flash the modem with it. Alas, I could never find the Telnet login to do so.
Will post back later!
Yeah, absolutely no problem. I felt it was only right to share this because of all the threads and posts I'd seen asking about it.

I hope dumping the firmware and modifying it is overkill because that could be dangerous and you might end up having to fork over €45 for a new router if it goes the way of the brick. I probably wouldn't have done that because I'd have two very unimpressed housemates if they had to do without Internet for any number of days and I wouldn't be too impressed either! I also tried to telnet in to see if the functionality was removed from there but I couldn't get in either, I don't think telnet is supported with the EPC3925.

Last edited by DECEiFER; 20-09-2012 at 00:41.
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19-09-2012, 16:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DECEiFER View Post
Yeah no problem. I felt it was only right to share this because of all the threads and posts I'd seen asking about it.

I hope dumping the firmware and modifying it is overkill because that could be dangerous and you might end up having to fork over €45 for a new router if it goes the way of the brick. I probably wouldn't have done that because I'd have two very unimpressed housemates if they had to do without Internet for any number of days and I wouldn't be too impressed either! I also tried to tenet in to see if the functionality was removed from there but I couldn't get in either.
Very true! Although at this point, I'd do anything for bridge mode. Despite paying for the business package.
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19-09-2012, 17:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roast View Post
Excellent work. Was working on a similar workaround for the Thomson 870 modem, which works in theory.
Good to know that Opera has a "live" edit feature, exactly what I need for it to work.
Can't wait to get home so I can test my theory in practice!
Thanks again,
Mick.

Did you get any further with it? I have the 870 piece of junk.
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19-09-2012, 17:56   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damo2k View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by roast View Post
Excellent work. Was working on a similar workaround for the Thomson 870 modem, which works in theory.
Good to know that Opera has a "live" edit feature, exactly what I need for it to work.
Can't wait to get home so I can test my theory in practice!
Thanks again,
Mick.

Did you get any further with it? I have the 870 piece of junk.
Will know in about an hour or so.
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19-09-2012, 21:01   #12
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(This will be my last post on it, sorry for thread-jacking!)

Just on the Thomson TWG870 Bridge Mode...

The STBA.01.50 firmware version doesn't include the "RgSwitchMode.asp" page, or any reference to it.
Some countries firmware have the page, others don't. Some that do have the page hidden, but can use HTML code to access the function, despite the actual page being hidden/unlinked.
Unfortunately, for the current firmware that UPC Ireland use, the page isn't even present, not just hidden, and the HTML code doesn't work.

Here's the code in case anyone is curious, or has any further ideas.
Quote:
<form action=http://192.168.0.1/goform/RgSwitchMode method=POST name="RgSwitchMode">
<table style="font-family: Helvetica;font-size:14">
<tr bgcolor=#CCCCCC><td colspan=2> </td></tr>
<tr bgcolor=#CCCCCC><td>Current Mode </td> <td>Cable Modem?</td> </tr>
<tr bgcolor=#CCCCCC><td>Switch Mode </td> <td><select name="ChoiceMode">
<option value=0 selected>Cable Modem<option value=1 >Residential Gateway</select></td> </tr>
<tr bgcolor=#CCCCCC><td colspan=3 align=center><input type="Submit" value="Apply" align="MIDDLE"></td>
</tr></table></form>
Speaking to UPC again today, they're unable to provision it. Unable or unwilling, I don't know. Which is a shame.
My phone service doesn't work anyway!

Cheers again to the OP for the help.
-Mick.
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19-09-2012, 21:29   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roast View Post
(This will be my last post on it, sorry for thread-jacking!)

Just on the Thomson TWG870 Bridge Mode...

The STBA.01.50 firmware version doesn't include the "RgSwitchMode.asp" page, or any reference to it.
Some countries firmware have the page, others don't. Some that do have the page hidden, but can use HTML code to access the function, despite the actual page being hidden/unlinked.
Unfortunately, for the current firmware that UPC Ireland use, the page isn't even present, not just hidden, and the HTML code doesn't work.

Here's the code in case anyone is curious, or has any further ideas.


Speaking to UPC again today, they're unable to provision it. Unable or unwilling, I don't know. Which is a shame.
My phone service doesn't work anyway!

Cheers again to the OP for the help.
-Mick.
That's an aweful shame; it's unfortunate that the functions are laid out into their own ASP pages. It made it easy for them to comment out the HTML and not include the page.

Does the Thompson support firmware upgrades? The EPC3925 has no such feature included with UPC's firmware. The only solution that comes to mind is finding another firmware and somehow dumping the UPC one, merging the missing page, and flashing the modified UPC firmware again.

Or, else, you could just ask UPC to send you a EPC3925, maybe say it stopped working or whatever it takes to get a freebie from them, if €45 seems like a bit much for a crappy replacement device that has only one advantage; it can be bridged by using the methods above.

Let us know how you get on, you're grand posting here about it, no worries there.
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20-09-2012, 00:38   #14
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Shame about the TWG870, was hoping bridge mode was possible.

Btw, the telnet user and pass is webstar
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20-09-2012, 09:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DECEiFER View Post
That's an aweful shame; it's unfortunate that the functions are laid out into their own ASP pages. It made it easy for them to comment out the HTML and not include the page.

Does the Thompson support firmware upgrades? The EPC3925 has no such feature included with UPC's firmware. The only solution that comes to mind is finding another firmware and somehow dumping the UPC one, merging the missing page, and flashing the modified UPC firmware again.
There's no customer-accessible firmware upgrade page, generally the updates for these are provisioned by UPC. I don't see why it's not possible tbh, I guess the hardest thing would be to find the missing page! Off to Chelloo.com for me....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DECEiFER View Post
Or, else, you could just ask UPC to send you a EPC3925, maybe say it stopped working or whatever it takes to get a freebie from them, if €45 seems like a bit much for a crappy replacement device that has only one advantage; it can be bridged by using the methods above.
T'was another thought of mine! Although I would love to try figure this out before it comes to that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul007 View Post
Shame about the TWG870, was hoping bridge mode was possible.

Btw, the telnet user and pass is webstar
Thanks a bunch for this.
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