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Why Linksys WRT54G locks up?

Posted on 2007-03-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-12
Hi,
I have a few Linksys WRT54G v6 boxes. Some are running DD-WRT v23 SP2, some are running the original vx software. They both seem to be malfunctioning after running about 2 days. Some sympotoms are as follows:
1. WAN port stops responding to ping request;
2. LAN port stops responding to ping request;
3. unable to release IP address though wireless is connected; wireless client is able to connect if using static IP;
4. I configure DD-WRT to reboot every day, which does not seem to resolve the issue. It looks like only hard reset (power cycle) can reset the box and resolve the issue.
Q#1: Any idea why this happens?
Q#2: Any one out there has the similar problem?
Q#3: Is it normal to reset the box every 1-2 days to make it work?
Q#4: Any way to improve the availability?
Thanks a lot.
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Question by:richtree
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warrenbuckles earned 500 total points
ID: 18801370
Hello Richtree:

You are not alone - there are plenty of others having problems with that (v6) unit. (I got a lot of hits googling 'WRT54G v6 lockups').  My only problem with a WRT 54G was a v5 unit that was running on a 24 client network connected via a 24 port Asante hub (yes, hub).  When I upgraded the network to a managed switch the WRT54G problems went away, too.  Go figure.  My guess was that it didn't like getting hammered with all that traffic, with little of it actually addressed to its IP, but I have no proof of root cause.

War stories are not troubleshooting -

You may be aware of the most recent release of the VX  firmware, ver 1.02.0 dated  2/09/2007 on the Linksys site.

I also assume you have tried messing with the MTU value as suggested by Linksys.  

Your problem sure walks and talks like a hardware issue.  Is there any way you can justify replacing those units?

wb
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Author Comment

by:richtree
ID: 18807726
I pretty much use the default settings except the WAN bandwidth.
Any options can you suggest 'messing up'?
I may try another hardware version and see if it works better.
Thanks.
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by:warrenbuckles
warrenbuckles earned 500 total points
ID: 18810520
Hello richtree:

Regarding things to mess with - well, the MTU threshold is the olny one that is documented on the Linksys site.  If you drill down through technical support to your unit (WRT54G) and look at the FAQ list, there is one titled
'Encountering Intermittent Wired Connections Using a Linksys Router'
it's a response to the question:
'What can I do if I keep losing my connection on both my wired and wireless computers?' which sort of resembles your problem.

Here's the page address of their answer.  If the link doesn't work you should be able to get to it from the descriptioin above.

http://linksys.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/linksys.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=4031&lid=3994137401B07

Note that this links to another page on determining the correct MTU value:

http://linksys.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/linksys.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=386&p_sid=N-6SJHxi&p_lva=4031&lid=3994137401B07#

MTU is Maximum Transmission Unit and some useful (?) information can be had on this Widipedia (gasp) page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_transmission_unit

Unfortunately, I have had limited success in improving wireless system performance and your sort of lockup is one of the problems that gets mentioned mose in access point reviews, not just for the Linksys unit.  Wireless access is one of those technologies that came to market too quickly - in a lot of ways its still a hack of cordless phone technology (which is where it started) and the more it's burdened with roaming, ecryption, security and bandwidth enhancement the less it seems to work as advertised.  The best wireless rigs I have used have been point to point links set up with directional antennas and a highly restricted user list.  The directional nature of the link limited interference and the restricted user list kept the script kiddies and malware fiends off the link.

All in all I'm not a big fan of wireless (you guessed!).  If there is any possible way to set up a wired link I will do it, even to the extent of budgeting for direct burial CAT5 between buildings and offering wired plug-ins in a conference area.  I'm a born paranoid and wireless gives me the creeps regarding security.  It's great for temporary connections that are isolated from the core network but the reliability and security are just not there for serious work and the support burden can be overwhelming.

wb


Good luck,

wb
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Author Comment

by:richtree
ID: 18811012
Hi wb,
thank you for your rich note. I also tried different MTU and could not see direct impact. And my problem is mainly with this:
client can see the wireless network; sometimes client can connect to it but could not get a IP through dhcp; if I assign a static ip, client can pass traffic; sometimes client can see the wireless network but could not connect to wireless network, certainly could not pass traffic. sometime unit cannot respond to ping request from WAN while the WAN light is on; All these problems disappear if i power cycle it. I do not see any problem pattern.
Hoping to get more information from experts regarding this problem.
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Author Comment

by:richtree
ID: 18836392
Thank you very much.
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