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Beginner
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Message 1 of 16

BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

Hi Everyone,

I have been extensively researching the BT Whole Home Premium (3 Disc Pack) now for around two weeks, I have discovered a few things, but would like to share a particular issue I have been able to resolve.

An issue in firmware release SGAB202226 and below causes the Master Disc (connected to your broadband modem/router) to fragment DHCP requests when sending them to the modem, this in-turn triggers a null response from most SPI Firewalls that most routers are equipped with.

I have been studying the conditions for this error very closely and have discovered a few things;

  1. Find the assigned IP of the Master Disc - In your modem/hub's settings interface, navigate to a page that shows you LAN-Connected devices. You'll need to also login to your BT Whole Home app and find the IP address that the Master Disc has been assigned to match it.
  2. Reserve that IP in the DHCP table - Most hubs/routers have the ability to reserve addresses for specific devices so that their lease never expires, make sure you reserve the IP address of the Master Disc so that it never loses it. (For Example: The Virgin Hub 3 allows you to select the connected device/IP and bind it to the MAC address so it never loses its lease).
  3. Find your Hub's DMZ Option - If you can, add that reserved IP address to your hub/router's DMZ (De-Militarised Zone), this will allow your BT Whole Home Premium kit to operate without interference from the hub/router's firewall, thus preventing it from kicking-out when fragmented requests are detected.
  4. Restart Both Router/Whole Home - Turn your hub/router off/on, restart your Whole Home network from the Whole Home app. This will ensure the settings you've changed have been correctly propagated on your network.

Operating your Whole Home network outside of the router's firewall should be a temporary fix, BT still have work to do with the firmware to iron this issue out. If you have any questions, please reply to this thread and I'll do my best to elaborate and answer any.

Also, please share any success/failures so I can improve my guide for others.

15 REPLIES 15
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Aspiring Expert
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Message 2 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

Very interesting findings.

I would like to try the solution you suggest but I feel very uncomfortable exposing the Whole Home Wifi and any devices connected to it directly to the internet.

It would essentially allow any traffic on ports not already forwarded to a device through to your Wifi network devices - I suppose depending on which devices these are and how 'well made' they are then it might be less of a risk. For example I have a £20 Yi webcam which I'm sure is much more easily hacked with poorly written firmware, compared to a Windows PC which is likely to have better defences / firewalls etc.

I hope your findings help BT diagnose and rectify the problems which in my opinion render the BT Whole Home Premium unusable in my environment. 

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Beginner
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Message 3 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

Thanks for your reply oakserver,

I appreciate that you may have concerns about adding your Whole Home network to the DMZ in your router/hub's firmware. As a general rule, the SPI firewalls that come pre-loaded with firmware on OEM routers don't generally offer very good protection against attacks on things such as IP cameras anyway, if a hacker was particularly interested in your IP cam, they would employ means to contravene your SPI firewall either way.

I really do hope BT take note of this however, because the technology inside the Premium kit is excellent, when it works it provides insanely fast network transfer speeds around the whole home.

Thank you for your reply however and I wish you all the success with your kit!

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Aspiring Expert
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Message 4 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

Thanks DrBell,

I tend not to use the ISP provided hub / router as it doesn't usually meet all of my requirements, such as VPN server, parental control, DDNS and alike.

I am currently running a Synology RT2600AC which has quite a number of nice features without being too complex. I do experience the red light of death with the BT Premium wifi after a short period of time  - so I have them turned off at the moment waiting for BT's next firmware release.

I will probably try your solution and connect one or two devices to the premium discs and see if it maintains a stable connection without the red light issue. I'll let you know how I get on. 

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Aspiring Expert
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Message 5 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

OK - so far so good. I have set my Master disc with a  IP reservation and set the disc to be in the DMZ.

As I was setting the static IP I then started to think further about this. If the problem is with DHCP request by from the disc, then why not just set the disc with a static IP from the web interface of the disc rather than needing to put it into the DMZ? 

I may be missing the point, not knowing a great deal about this issue, but not sure how the DMZ helps with the disc DHCP.

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Beginner
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Message 6 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

The point is that the BT Whole Home discs don't have their own DHCP server, so it relies on the DHCP pool created by the router/hub. DMZ merely prevents the fragmented requests from triggering a lockout by the router/hub's firewall.

As for the Static IP selection in the UI of the Whole Home, I tend to find this particular option unreliable because if the address isn't reserved in the router, it can still renew the lease for the address thus potentially causing the Red light issue again, although I haven't personally observed this so your mileage may vary.

Let me know how time treats you with the solution you're trying, I'm keen to know.

BT Whole Home Premium - Current Connection StatusBT Whole Home Premium - Current Connection Status

Thus far, for good measure, I am at 1d 21h 36m without a dropout or incident. I believe it's been longer however we've experienced a power-outage inbetween.

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Message 7 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

Was really hoping this was the answer to my issue. 

Installed new Whole Home Premium setup connecting to BT Smart Hub (B)today; replacing Linksys Velop system. 

At first everything appeared ok. But then beset with constant ongoing Master disc red light crashes whilst main router remained up. 

Numerous factory resets, master disc swaps, router resets. Still crashing every 5-10m. 

Did this DMZ suggestion and appeared solid for 20 minutes or so but has now crashed and can't even get any connectivity.

There's clearly a config issue being caused somewhere with this latest firmware. 

Shame as when it's up it's clearly got potential to be far better than my Velops (which I'm now having to use to type this message. 

Thanks for the efforts though - was really optimistic it was going to be a winner.

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Aspiring Expert
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Message 8 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

Unfortunately this didn't work for me either although I do have a slightly more complex setup with a couple of smart switches with Vlans. Didn't get the red light of death though - both discs stayed blue as if they were connected, although the devices were no longer able to obtain an IP address.

I've removed the DMZ entry and switched off the discs again and awaiting a firmware update. I suppose the wait for the next firmware update might be a bit longer  due to office closures unless the devs all work remotely 😀

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BT Devices Expert
BT Devices Expert
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Message 9 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

Hi @DrBell17 

Thanks for your post. I can explain a little more. Premium Whole Home Wi-Fi operates a DHCP relay so that it can become the default local DNS server and gateway address (it works like a router) so all traffic goes through the primary disc. This is to enable several features such as access controls, data usage and app operation.

We have identified a very small number of routers that do not appear to interwork with this mode of operation, including the Virgin Hub 3.0. We will be releasing a new update very soon to make some changes that will also resolve this issue. Please keep an eye on the forums for updates.

Please consider the security risks of placing any device into the DMZ as it will no longer be protected by the router firewall. 

Thanks,

Dan-O

 

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Aspiring Member
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Message 10 of 16

Re: BT Whole Home Premium - Master Disk Red Issue

Hi there, 

Im connected to the virgin hub 3 and the master disc keeps losing connection. 

 

do you have a release date for the firmware update to address these issues?

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