how to read netgear.cfg from a WGR614 wireless router

Posted on 2005-09-01
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
basically, i have my netgear.cfg backup file made from within the wireless router... need to read it in plaintext and be able to edit it to shoot it back in as a restore.

netgear wireless router WGR614 version 4, firmware Version 3.37 Oct 17 2003

i have easy access to windows and debian linux if that helps.

i've tried 'byteswap' on linux from here:

but even specifying the correct infile/outfile, the outfile is exactly the same as the infile.  tried word offset 2, 4, and 8... tho 8 errors out.

cfg file size is exactly 31,652

any ideas?

Question by:hack-4-good
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 14811321
Have you tried to copy to drive & read via 'NotePAd'?

1/ Log into the router console, & go to 'Backup Settings' --
2/ Select 'Save has Copy of current settings' option --
3/ The cfg file should be saved to your computer --
4/ Open this with notepad & modify setting & save.

5/ go to 'Backup Settings' screen.
6/ Select 'Restore saved settings from has file' --
7/ Select the cfg file you just modified
8/ This should update your config changes.

Hope this helps.

Author Comment

ID: 14813772
yes of course... as above, the cfg file is saved to disk, but is not readable in plaintext.  in notepad, it appears to be encrypted.  in textpad, it appears the same way.

some posts on the internet suggest byteswapping it by 2 bytes to make it readable on x86 machines, but i had no luck with that (see above).

so, i have a cfg file saved from the router - i cannot read it in plaintext...

how can i view this cfg file in plain text, other than encrypted via notepad/textpad ?
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 14814420
Perhaps a hex reader would work -- take a look.

If you try this use a copy of the cfg file, of course.

Download something like ZTree or the older verison Xtree or any other Hex reader you have & give it a try.

Free download - full functions for a month.

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Author Comment

ID: 14814974
kbbcnet:  great links, useful progs there...

unfortunately, with this cfg file, its still garbage text (encrypted??)... and in hex view it shows the hex values of the garbage text...

for example, i'll attempt to past the first few lines as seen from windows notepad:

pŽF$Ȩ@Ùõ±] øR0UZ_‘hEZ Ð
 RåC^D_]A&E=Ed4y&NdOZSvF8FAt}@G\UEA s7N/  tnjXZEPB+N[^Y]GA S2ZZWZm)
x [EGHb_\MMTh:3z-41@~A$MNBWDYn[B%iR< 
R,CM'[C[F$^Yls      PDr2Nuzen
        ]KRTAA`U(  h'      Z^Y
 Yf\^WB  Th-BTAN8BU# C[^WRMX 4ZQ[Ex= M~Hj5RK}QAC      [cEHH }^^E|^XBfA&
AwQAD DOB~]/ \@X]>M8L6!6t- #R?EdO.eZ.E{Q<AUd@ATkZ7      Hg]]UV[jT_FA @_{I
 O=U=      E&pO|WN4       @@DqOUL)9 CUb= @VVB/Mbsb}+ aAI=Z<Oh]UJcPEL"N\EQ@YNFMg)C=<VH'L< EiPEK/N<UaP<H-U$
\UN_Uc TgEKX=I&eDN%A\MN?]QXQF 2      x   F&A5]VU^i sBL^O4I:Zu@?
  rEALG DN6ahZMZ5!Q{'(R-\S_N9A!S{zO j3 ^Yg[\D\NA3A!O<N&CMRn#Ym]E\VV D>|II& Kl AWAQ.cdoZNTt H]M^R.8/zSNRLb\O X   K_f$B",*}sYBCO  
A: AElDEC#       Uqq
QEGh;Ae,V ATbFZ: MdO% BEXAj&{^K&Bs4R<O/
YA0 ]^Y^TA  s6;HVAy_?G_^A-A: Y}RSmQEUJThZ\VcXA'MN=
@\wSRNs<CUYM$GCG@8N7JDQBW A6U!B-CM&ozP^' F\WgS  aMU%C @_UN>A[DRR+@]]hT<Z/D-M,@_}WXU  _]BDbL6 Y
      G_PN'BU"3Y r N:H;A'O_]|V])      AGQBKSDRTr<DO=I$ vV]. U(  R#O7O=OCSj#
HS]U "5 jAJY_'A! Ic\+NGY]4N@SXQDsHZDh=
\Em% KrFR
CUc      OTQ }+ Y{AQ_Y[m2 @Gx]MZyA<UzY\GOTg2
CT       NLUBH`QY]I OGg" MYzQ\U YaO s=Nh( JTY YAEOqYAPTs7V)      IsB]& 


the next block of text is as seen in ztree in ascii char mode:
note that it is quite messed up, but its a straight copy/paste... who knows...

pÄF$&#9562;¿@&#9496;&#8993;&#9618;] °R0UZ_æhEZ
 R&#963;C^D_]A&E=Ed4y&NdOZSvF8FAt}@G\UEA s7N/


R,CM'[C[F$^Yls      PDr2Nuzen

 h'      Z^Y


4ZQ[Ex= M~Hj5RK}QAC      [cEHH
DOB~]/ \@X]>M8L6!6t-
#R?EdO.eZ.E{Q<AUd@ATkZ7      Hg]]UV[jT_FA @_{I

O=U=      E&pO|WN4
      @@DqOUL)9 CUb= @VVB/Mbsb}+
2      x


note that both blocks above are of the same file, netgear.cfg, and is only the first 20 lines or so.. document is about 4 pages...
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 14815215
This is weird - On the Netgear 814/834 shows step cfg file can be edited in notepad.
On the Netgear WGR614 - they recommends that you do not edit the cfg file - go figure?

Interesting - i wonder if it is one of thsoe files coded requiring a byte move at the end of the file?

*On a lark - You may want take a look here.

Windows has the following information about this file type. This page will help you find software needed to open your file.

File Type: Configuration file or a DynSite script file
File Extension: .cfg

Description: An application uses this file for configuration settings or this file could be a DynSite script file.

Software or information available at:  DynSite
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

kbbcnet earned 500 total points
ID: 14815259
3.1 Modify netgear-sar.cfg - may be worth a look :)

Hacking the Netgear wgt634u.

Table of contents [showhide]  
1 Abstract
2 Introduction
3 Installing SSH Daemon while keeping original Firmware
3.1 Modify netgear-sar.cfg
5 OpenWRT Toolchain
5.1 Getting Started
5.2 What is a toolchain?
5.3 Downloading the OpenWRT toolchain sources
5.4 Compiling the OpenWRT toolchain
6 Compiling Click
7 Compiling Brn
7.1 Install Click
7.2 Build BRN
8 Compiling Services for Brn
8.1 Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) for Brn
8.2 Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) for Brn
9 Compiling Madwifi.stripped
10 Compiling New Kernel
11 Install to Flash
11.1 Via Linux
11.2 Via CFE
11.2.1 Troubleshooting
12 Compiling GPSD
13 References
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 14815278
Of course, you probably do not want to modify your source code ':-/
However, i thought it was worth a look for a compiler or the like that could read the Netgear.cfg file.

Author Comment

ID: 14816700
thats a really good link to look into later for other purposes...  but in the process, there isn't a way to read your cfg file in plaintext... as far as i can tell anyway...  the process discusses a different model number, which might come in plaintext by default anyway, but this model's cfg file doesnt.  

the process discusses the netgear.sar.cfg, and modifying the actual firmware of the device to run your own linux based firmware, doesnt get into the 'netgear.cfg' file itself at all tho.

LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 14817046
Yes, i agree the file does not look to be readable -- it seems to be a compiled file, etc.

Interesting Netgear tech support stated they do not recomend editing this file - perhaps if there was ever the capability, it has since been removed.

Sorry for the bad new! ':-/

What were trying to accomplish via edit that you could not do via CLI or GUI?

Author Comment

ID: 14817563
well more importantly to read the contents [read: pppoe password]...edit and re-up it more optional...

LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 14817750
<<read the contents [read: pppoe password]...edit and re-up it
If you call your ISP provider they should have a record of the PPPoE login & password & could give you the info - correct?

Author Comment

ID: 14817931
under normal circumstances yes...

question not really answered and its been too long...  but since you were the only one to show interest, and came up with that one cool link, altho unrelated, i'll pass the points your way anyway... maybe ask the question a different way in a different category some other time...

thanks for the link.

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