SmartThings Community

OMG - Accidentally blew it ALL away!

(Bobby) #27

I am glad I took a picture of the code and the hub when I first got it, the problem is, I cannot find it…lol

(Chris ) #28

I took a picture and kept the box hopefully won’t need it.


I’m really sorry for all your trouble. I haven’t done much with my hub as yet but I would still hate to start over. It can certainly be very time consuming. I think you are owed a bit of any apology for some of the less that helpful responses to your post.

I certainly don’t know all the right moves to make with my hub and everyone has been very nice to me so far. I appreciate that everyone. Let’s all try to understand his frustration. Walk a mile in his shoes so to speak.

As I read through the posts I saw the suggestion that you have a virtual presence device. That’s an intriguing idea and I don’t know about this gentleman but I would have no idea how to implement that suggestion. Could you explain how please.

(Chris ) #30

Ya I admit my posts weren’t necessarily helpful. I’ll be honest if I had a lot of devices and had to go thru all that I’d probably bail on HA until its a bit more settled. It should be much more painless to get a new hub, phone set as presence sensor etc . Especially since a lot is cloud based, I might be simplifying it but when I get a new phone all my contacts and apps are there and ready to go.


Any tips on how to reset Z-Wave/Zigbee devices that are already included in a network? Most of mine are refusing to go into inclusion mode because they belong to a network… and must be excluded from it first. Wondering if this error has cost me several hundred dollars in devices by zapping the network.

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #32

Yes, we most definitely understand the frustration and we’ve more than walked in his shoes.

We have all been there. And that is the reason that we are all more than willing to help.

But a very simple thing exist… The search function. Use it, try it, and just like I tell my kids, try to figure things out and ask for help when you need it. There is no shame in that.

But to come in and bitch because common sense never occurred to you… And then direct help…

I may come across as an ass, and I don’t manner excuses. I’m still more than happy to help.

Which is why I mentioned the virtual presence sensor. A simple search could have explained that.

To create a Virtual presence sensor

Login to the IDE @
Click “My Devices"
Click the “New Device” Button
Enter a “Name” for the device, this can be whatever you want.
Enter a “Label” for the device, this is optional and can be whatever you want.
Enter a “Device Network Id” This can be anything you want. I recommend short and sweet but it cannot duplicate other device ID’s. Lets say it was a virtual switch for your living room lights, maybe call it LRVD01
"Zigbee” Id should be left blank
Select a “Type” from the dropdown, this should be Simulated presence sensor
"Version" should be published
"Location" should be your hub location, probably “Home”
“Hub” should be your hub name.
“Group” you won’t be able to select when creating, but these are Groups you’ve created in the Things page in the SmartThings app.
Click Create

(Greg) #33

Zwave exclusion is in your location settings/home hub/zwave utilities - hit that then hit a button on your device.

Zigbee is typically insert the battery while holding a button.

What devices specifically do you have?

(April Wong) #34

@cldlhd - the serial is on the back of your hub, and inside. the welcome code can always be found by reaching out to support@. You don’t need your box.

@nwtony, a Z-wave exclusion is needed.

For zigbee devices, it’s usually holding a button : would show you how… also, if you watched this video, then YES: you’ll need to have your pinky up like he did too. Cuz you fancy’ huh. :wink:


First, if you don’t know how to install custom code in SmartThings, take a look at this overview:

Then as far as creating an individual virtual presence device, there are several of them. The following is a nice one because it has the switch option, which means you can use anything in SmartThings that can flip a switch to change it from “home” to “away.”

There are many others that different community members have created that take somewhat different approaches. Some use Tasker and SharpTools with an android phone. Some connect to Wi-Fi. Some use a third-party service. So it depends in part whether you want a permanent device that will change Automatically, or whether you just want a quick switch that you can use as suggested in this thread, to substitute for a physical device which is acting up, or that you want to use for testing.


Wow, seriously. I’m deeply sorry if I offended you. I’m glad you see yourself as being happy to help. I would humbly request however, given that you know how you come across, that you allow some of the other community members be helpful with any issues I may have. Thanks in advance for your consideration.


Thanks JD…I promise I really do want to learn more so maybe one day I can be helpful too. It’s tough right now for me to concentrate on learning new things.

I’m currently spending 60 hours a week taking care of my 93 year old mom who has Parkinson’s disease. So quiet time when I can concentrate on the information you suggested is really hard to come by.


You’ve gotten several tips for how to remove the controller information from a device, but I just wanted to mention a quick overview perspective, because it might help a lot. The good news is that all of your devices should be recoverable, but the method will vary somewhat.

Zigbee–just individually reset each device

With Zigbee devices, if you reset the individual device, usually with a specific button press pattern on that device, then that clears the individual device’s stored network information and it will be immediately ready to pair to a new Coordinator. Or pair again to the old Coordinator. :sunglasses: If you look up the user guide for each device, it should tell you how to reset it.

Zwave is a two step process: First a controller command, then a physical reset on the individual device. (But the good news is it doesn’t have to be the same controller that the device was previously paired to)

For Z wave devices, it’s a little more complicated, because resetting the individual device will not remove the Controller information which has been stored in it. It just resets some of the parameters on the device. So in order to get the device to clear its controller information and be ready to pair again, you have to go through a two-step process.

First a controller has to issue an “exclude” Command and then, while that is being broadcast, you have to do the reset on the individual device, again usually with a particular button press pattern. The reason why this is different for Z wave than for Zigbee is because in zwave it is the controller that issues the network ID to the device, and you have to clear that as well before you can do another pairing. In zigbee, each device comes with its own permanent unique ID.

OK, so now the question is what if you have a Z wave device, but you no longer have its previous controller? Maybe the controller itself got damaged. Maybe you bought the device used. Maybe the device came new from the manufacturer but it still had some old test network information in it.

The good news is that the zwave designers thought of this, and it is set up so that any zwave controller, not just the one that the device was previously paired to, can issue a “general exclusion” command. Even a minimote can do this. Then any zwave device that is in range Will be prepared to clear its controller information, but it will not do so until you physically manipulate that particular device.

So if you look for references about “general exclusion” you can do that even if the old hub died completely.


so for zigbee, just follow the instructions in the Device manual to reset it, and it should then be ready to pair again.

For Z wave, use any Z wave controller to issue a “general exclusion” and then immediately follow the instructions in the device manual to accept the exclude. It should then be ready to pair again.

The difference between the general exclude and the specific exclude is that with a general exclude the controller issuing the exclude won’t change anything in its own address tables. In a specific exclude, the controller will also remove that device from its own address table.

Anyway, just wanted to mention that because it might make the process a little more understandable. :sunglasses:


I’m sorry to hear about your mom; that’s a tough disease. It’s nice that you’re available to help her.

As far as the information, don’t worry about it – – it will be there when you want it. :sunglasses:


Thanks for the Z-Wave Exclusion pointer. Not the most obvious thing to find. (And very dangerously close to the “Destroy Location” button, I might add.)

With a fair amount of work, since there’s no concept of backing up the configuration, I have my devices up again. It will take a long time to get all the apps in place and debugged, but at least the basics are back.

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #42

Yeah, it is a lot of work getting the smartapps back up and running… but you know what I discovered… When I was reinstalling everything I found all of my flaws and streamlined a lot of things. The system actually worked better after I redid it.


I’d already been through streamlining quite often, as I rewrote some of my own handlers/apps regularly and as the SmartThings meltdown from Nov-March forced me to move away from Rule Machine and other complex systems. (I’m glad my LANnouncer (announcement, V2, IFTTT) is mostly Android rather than hosted Groovy!) The challenge I foresee is not remembering all the conveniences I had it doing. First world problems…

(Stuart Buchanan) #44

My UK hub’s welcome code clearly stated it was a single use code. i also looked at the FAQ as pointed out before i binned it. but i have been told since then that using the hubs serial number should work also if its previously been activated.

(Joe C) #45

Someone has probably suggested this somewhere else, but I have always been astounded that there is not a way to backup your configuration. Really, it should be as easy as that. You backup to a data file, then import it back in if something goes wrong. Why is this not a thing?

I know that does not help with the issue that you can not re-install devices without removing them which means removing all references to the device, but at least you could start back from your former state if something goes awry.


I prefer that they require a photo


You might try support chat if you find emails are not expedient enough - my issues usually get resolved in a single session.