ALL Zwave devices dropped, module dead, hub replacement on the way, I'm gonna be sick


The title of this post just doesn’t describe how much I’ve been dreading this moment…

I knew something was up when my hub couldn’t be updated to the latest firmware remotely and it had to be overnight-ed to ST, but I wrote that off because things were working just fine before and after the update; but over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed performance issues with my zwave devices, weird activity, and just small things that started to get me a little worried…

The day I wished would never ever come has arrived about 2 hours ago. ALL my Zwave devices went OFFLINE (except metering devices for some reason). A hub reboot did not help, and it keeps puking out error messages like someone on their death bed writing out their last will and testament…

This could be a good thing and I could take an optimistic position in that I could redo a few things, and improve on my mesh design, but I’m not because I’m PO’d. Really PO’d to be honest. Why? Not because a $99 hub is failing, but because THERE IS NO F’ing BACKUP PROCESS or migration tool that would save me hours (hours!) and days to move almost 300 devices to a replacement hub. @slagle or @Tyler, I’ve got a spare bedroom if either of you would like to come over to help…

At the moment the hub has been rebooted a few times, and some life has come back, but performance is slow. After each reboot I get a ton of errors like:

Err 101: ZW module not responding
Err 112: ZM eeprom write fail
Z-Wave power cycle started

Anyway, the AED keeping the hub alive now is a Lowe’s Iris wi-fi switch where I can remotely reboot the ST hub as I start to see the errors come back and things die.

Let the fun begin…

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

:cry: :angry: :cry: :speak_no_evil:

(John C) #3

This really sucks rocks, John. Sorry for your troubles :worried:

How many sad tales will it take before SmartThings realizes the error in priorities? I’d bet a 12-pack of cold ones the ST engineers & support folks want backup/restore…

Perhaps yet another voice expressing product shortcomings & your displeasure with same in a public review site (your App Store of choice, perhaps, or online retailer like Amazon or Best Buy) would wake the marketing people – or at least slow their self-involvement long enough to realize USERS CARE ABOUT RELIABILITY AND FEATURES…

Sigh :pensive:

(Pizzinini) #4

Did you see this thread… you are not alone:

(Eric) #5

Yea, we don’t need a migration tool when we have…

1 - New dimmer slider
2 - Apple Watch app
3 - New logo
4 - …

(David) #6

I think SmartThings is shooting themselves in the foot without an upgrade tool, it is the only reason I am still on a v1 hub, wayyy to many devices to repair and rules to recreate and very little time. I love what the v2 hub brings but without a good backup/restore/migrate process it is a no go until I am in the same situation and are forced to upgrade due to the hub going bad.

(Cristofer Johnson) #7

If it ever happened to me I’d move to another solution. How many days is it going to take you? What’s to say it doesn’t happen again a few months down the road? When does the hours of pain no longer justify the gains?


I used to think “sure, it would be easy for zwave, but smartthings is a multiprotocol platform, and it’s not easy to do with zigbee.”

And then Wink showed that it definitely could be done with zigbee, at least with a select group of zigbee devices.

So at this point I would settle for a migration tool that could handle all the stock device types. At least it would be a place to start.

(Brent Cameron) #9

Wow, sorry to hear that. I just started with ST and didn’t realize there was no backup or migration tools. My fault for not researching if it had but honestly I thought, in this day in age, that it would be a no brainer feature. Especially when everything is also stored in the cloud.

Since I just started and before I add more devices, maybe I should cut my losses and move to Vera now. I use Google Home so would prefer staying with ST because of the direct integration but no backup/restore and migration is a huge minus. In fact if I knew of this before ST would never be a consideration. And I won’t have near as many devices as some of you guys do, 1200sq home, but I can tell I wouldn’t want to have to re-link them all and recreate all the routines, smart apps and device handlers.

I can deal with having to use manual switches if the internet goes down but not this. And I was finally starting to get familiar with ST and if I move to Vera I have to relearn again.

(John C) #10

Please reach out to support and add your voice to the urgent need for this feature. They log requests and it may help…

(llcanada) #11

I have the same problem where all of my Z-wave devices are not responding? I have no idea why it was working good up till the last update then it when down hill. I hope that it not my Smart Things Hub. I contacted support.


Thanks, it does. I just got more mad all day today thinking about this. These event log entries have become the norm:

As I look back, there were more clues that something was up. I had a few zwave devices drop/disappear for no reason a few months back, and all support could tell me was that someone removed them with another controller like a Minimote - but my argument back was how is that possible when these happened at 2am when we were all asleep? Or better yet, when nobody was home? Or better yet, when I witnessed it happen right in front of my eyes?

I also explained to support that to exclude a device someone had to start the exclude process and then physically be at the switch to complete the process. How could a device be deleted (the only entry in the event log, no exclude events) when nobody was there to press a button? If ST’s implementation of zwave allowed that it would be considered a huge flaw.

I also found a bug in their rejoin/join process for a device that disappeared. If the device was excluded as they say, then why did it get the same DNI when it was added back to the hub as a new device? I know, because their routing tables are corrupt and/or have database problems. Soon after adding the device back to ST it would disappear again, and the only way to work around the bug was to let ST make it disappear again, do a general exclude on the device, and then add it back. That gave it a new DNI and they start working again just fine (until now…)

Don’t get me started on the huge number of ghost devices floating around out there either. No matter what I’ve tried or even their next level support staff would do, ghost devices always, always, came back.

We should add to our ST wish list some kind of mesh debug tool, routing table view tool, or ANY BASIC tool to help us work out weird crap that happens…


Sure did, which makes me wonder if I should just hold on to the replacement hub until the next firmware update to see if anything changes.

I thought about another solution,and I was a Vera user at one time long ago. I’ll never go back. Other solutions don’t appeal to me.

I had to do this twice before believe it or not, but not with this many devices. First was my v1 hub with maybe a hundred devices, and that took a weekend. Then again later with a v2 hub with around two hundred devices if I remember right, and that took two weeks. I actually posted something about that experience. I’ll be referring to that at some point.

I don’t know if I could ever justify anything with ST, but I have been with them from the beginning so I must be willing to tolerate a ton, right? It went from a hobby to an obsession, and then to something we really do use a lot in our house. I’m very pleased with how my family is using it, and overall I am pleased with SmartThings.

Yeah, you would think so…

I mentioned this above, but I won’t go back. I’m not ready to give up on ST, yet… I don’t use ST to run/manage anything critical to safety or security, but it is a backup. ST is purely for automation.

Rejoining is going to suck so bad, especially devices like Aeon micro switches tucked away inside walls, and a Leviton dual switch that kicks my butt all the time. I will have to uninstall apps and Routines, but I will be able to retain them in the IDE to help speed up the rebuild process. I’m also taking snapshots of my automations and settings that will help me rebuild. No matter what I do to help ease this process - it sucks.

Thanks for all the replies guys.

(Eric) #13

I did an actual lol when I read their justification for the new dimmer. Every time they add or change something we don’t care about they say, “we made this change because of the overwhelming feedback we get from our customers”.

We could all ask for a migration tool and they would ignore it.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #14

This would be a fabulous discussion Topic, especially if SmartThings’s product management joined in.

We love this Community and some of us have been here “forever” and extremely participatory in many ways.


  1. Are we a statistically invalid sample? i.e., Do we just happen to completely unrepresentative of the “real average SmartThings customer”? It’s is possible. The “loudest” voices, are not necessarily the greatest quantity or most valued.

  2. Are we statistically significant, but weighted lower because we are “power users” and not the precise target market that management has been given as their mission?

  3. Are we not heard because, ironically, we don’t contact as often as non-Community members: Because: (a) Power users tend to persist to find their own solutions, (b) Power users are good at researching (Googling) solutions, and (.c) The Community is an extraordinary resource that frequently responds more quickly, accurately and interactively than Support (with due respect to the excellent Support Team which is great at what they do).

  4. Or is the statement that Product changes are based upon “overwhelming customer feedback” simply, ahem, :cow: :poop:?

  5. Or, quite reasonably, I’m sure there are lots and lots of “overwhelming” wishlist items from Customers, and the challenge and variables involved in encapsulating and prioritizing them is just locked beyond our visibility? (As a product manager myself, I can assure you that feature requests are always infinite, and popularity is only one rather small variable in the choice of what to implement and how.)

Mobile device presence broken with iOS 11
(cjcharles) #15

Totally agree with this! The one thing missing from your list is that ST probably want as broad a product as possible, to entice as many new customers as possible. After they have hammered the growth stage (which will be a requirement as part of their team/department goals) they will look at stabilising things - I dont think anybody in the industry would argue that smart homes are not growing massively at the moment. Hence for us, as early adopters, they are willing to sacrifice some user experience points in order to grow the user base as fast as possible.
EDIT: Perhaps we should all email support just to be sure it isnt option 3…

(Eric) #16

I’m not expecting ST to ever create a migration tool. They don’t take enough pride in their product to do the right thing. “Overwhelming feedback” is just an excuse to not do the things they should.

(Cristofer Johnson) #17

The lack of a migration tool is why I will not recommend SmartThings anymore. I would be the person in the end that had to reinstall everything. it will also be the downfall of the platform. How many people are watching johnconstantelo go through this trouble. And I’m not talking about the people here. I only know a few people that would put up with it. Would his neighbors still think wow I need to get me one of those, or think man I’m sure glad I waited?


While what I’m potentially about to go through emphasizes the need for a migration tool, I don’t know if I’d go that far. To @tgauchat 's point, are we (this Community) really enough voice in the overall customer base for ST to listen? For some things, I think so. Without an understanding of ST’s total customer base, and what feedback they get from many other sources, it’s hard to say how seriously they consider what we say is influencing strategy and/or decisions.

Over the last couple days I’ve also come to realize that we (again, we potentially being a small % of customers) need diagnostic tools to dig deeper into zigbee/zwave mesh troubleshooting. Due to the size of my zwave mesh, and many energy reporting devices, could I have potentially caused a failure in the zwave module? What if I replace the hub and this happens again? If I had a good zwave mesh tool to be able to see traffic, routes, tables, and even be able to tweak routing tables, maybe I can get to the root cause before replacing a hub.

I’m probably going to spend as much time RCCA’ing my existing hub as I will replacing it. So I’m going to try my hardest to figure this out, and if I must replace my hub, so be it. I will admit that most of ST’s customers won’t do this, or put up with it… Something very similar with Zigbee happened to me several months ago, and the root cause turned out to be how ST was managing device tables. Because of the number of Zigbee devices I had, and a change they made, zigbee devices started disappearing and ST’s hub would only allow so many zigbee devices (aka - kind of like a limit).


I’m not trying to pick on anyone, but it’s not just us as power users who see an issue.

Vesternet is one of the largest online retailers of home automation devices in the UK. Very reputable with great tech-support. They also do really detailed deep dive reviews on a number of different products. They recently reviewed the homey system after having it for a few months, and this is one of their comments:

There’s also several glaring omissions in functionality, some of which we’ve already mentioned which maybe aren’t so serious, but others that would almost seem crazy to be missing - for example there’s no way currently to do a backup and restore of your Homey system! So if your Homey suffers a hardware fault or some other failure and you need to get a replacement, or perhaps you’d like to revert to a configuration “checkpoint” before something started going wrong, you have ZERO capability in this area.
Come on guys, even the FREE open-source non-commercial Smart Home software like Domoticz has that functionality, but Homey doesn’t!

Yes, that’s a techie review, but still a similar market niche.

(Larry) #20

any replacement systems that are as complex and do have backup/restore/migration.

i am looking at switching… I am in the same boat. I have one hub that will not upgrade firmware… intermittant eprom write failures… over 132 devices… They say thiey will send me a replacement hub, big ffing deal… They also say they can try to force upgrade but it will most likely brick (due to running out of memory issues). This is a v2 hub… I will not spend months removing and re-joining all the damn devices and integrations… We need a migration tool… I too will NOT recommend this solution to anyway without it…