Solved

How to upload DD-WRT firmware to a Linksys WRT54G v1.1?

Posted on 2009-07-09
10
3,858 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
hi folks

as the question title said, i would like to convert my old WRT54G v1.1 (serial number beginning with "CDF3") from its Linksys firmware to DD-WRT based for better security control, such as HTTPS management, syslog, and even snort if possible.

i already did a research looking for the correct DD-WRT firmware for this model. according to the Router-Database (BETA) at http://dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv3/dd-wrt/hardware.html, it seems to be "dd-wrt.v24-9517_VINT_std.bin" which can be downloaded form http://www.dd-wrt.com/routerdb/de/download.php?file=379.

am i right?

could someone here let me know how to install this 3rd party firmware step by step?

after a 30-30-30 hard reset, can i just simply upgrade the router from the existing Linksys firmware (v1.41.8) by uploading "dd-wrt.v24-9517_VINT_std.bin" using Linksys "Firmware Upgrade" functionality?

additionally, after the modification, is it possible to revert to Linksys official firmware? say v1.41.8 again? did anyone actually do that before?

thanks to expert Darr247 for the following EEKB:
 
Be sure to do a 30-30-30 reset before and after applying firmware changes.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/Hardware/Networking_Hardware/Wireless/Perform-a-30-30-30-reset-on-your-Wireless-Router.html

kind regards,
bbao
0
Comment
Question by:Bing CISM / CISSP
  • 6
  • 4
10 Comments
 
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
Darr247 earned 500 total points
ID: 24821306
> am i right?

According to the wiki, your 4712 CPU running at 200MHz should be able to use either the VINT *or* NEWD builds.
I would try the NEWD v24 preSP2 (build 12188) Std generic that comes up as recommended when you select the WRT54G v1.1 from the beta database. Try it for a few days, and if the wireless is not rock solid stable then overwrite it with the VINT Std 9517 build that can be found by scrolling down after selecting the v24 SP1 build 10020 stable from that picklist.

Remember to always do the 30-30-30 reset before and after firmware flashing, even if overwriting with another version of DD-WRT.


> could someone here let me know how to install this 3rd party firmware step by step?

1) Download the firmware

2) do the 30-30-30 reset

3) Set your NIC to a static address of 192.168.1.2

4) unplug all cables except one connecting your computer's NIC to the #1 LAN port (you can probably use any of the 4, but I always use #1). Surf to 192.168.1.1 - that's the default address after a reset.

User name - blank
password - admin

5) As you alluded, on the Administration 'tab', in the Firmware Upgrade submenu, browse to the DD-WRT firmware .bin file, select/open it, then click Upgrade. If possible, you want the router and your computer plugged into a UPS, or at lease a very reliable power source (typically I plug the router into a UPS and use my laptop with a fresh charge). If you get a power blip during this process and afterwards can no longer access any menus even after waiting and doing 30-30-30 resets, search the DD-WRT forums for unbrick and TFTP.

It should take a minute or so, and it will tell you when it's done... I always just let it sit for about 3 minutes before clicking the continue button. It doesn't hurt to wait longer (I believe the DD-WRT wiki says to wait 5 minutes).

6) login the DD-WRT interface.

User name - root
password - admin

Close the browser window and do a power cycle on the router. Just unplug it for a few seconds and plug it back in and let it boot up (takes 15-30 seconds for all the lights to come on and settle down).

Now do another 30-30-30 reset on it, and when it boots up again you can login and make your setting changes. With the DD-WRT interface you can Save changes after every page without actually applying them. When you click Apply it commits the settings to NVRAM and reboots. That always bugs me on stock interfaces (rebooting after every page of settings just to save them). I strongly recommend changing the 'admin' password to a strong password... or at least a pseudo strong password, like #eR5^yU8(o)p (if you follow that on your keyboard you'll see why it's not 'really' strong).


> ... after the modification, is it possible to revert to Linksys official
> firmware? say v1.41.8 again?

Yes. Yes, exactly. Same place as stock - Administration, Firmware Upgrade.
Do search the forums for "unbrick WRT54G" before you start, and read some of the threads. It's rarely necessary to open them up to unbrick them. Worst case I've seen is using the continuous ping after a hard reset, then start sending the BIN file with TFTP as soon as the ping gets a response.


> did anyone actually do that before?

Yes.
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 24822687
just did the 30-30-30 reset.... the poor WRT54G is DEAD now... :-(((

when plug the power back, only the Power light flashes.... all other indicator lights are OFF...

is it bricked??

any clues mate??

THANKS,
bbao
0
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 24825813
Was this the 'before' or 'after' 30-30-30 reset?
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 24832062
now, the WRT54G is back alive! i am sending this post through the lovely blue box which is now beating a DD-WRT heart...

the full procedure can be narrated with a lengthy story. basically here it is.

1. did a 30-30-30 hard reset WITHOUT unplugging the cables (the other ends were all alive hosts).

2. the router bricked. only the power LED rapidly flashed after plugging in the power cord. two more 30-30-30 resets did not help.

3. unplugged the router and disassembled it.

4. followed the Andrew Pollack's instruction to un-brick the router, and get the official firmware back by using TFTP on MAC OS X.

How to 'un-brick' a WRT-54G wireless router (and why) -- and other WRT-54G upgrade information
http://www.thenorth.com/apblog4.nsf/0/668D65A56B02BB4B852570A400535F16

5. did a 30-30-30 hard reset WITH all cables UNPLUGGED.

6. followed Darr247's instruction above to upgrade the firmware with image "dd-wrt.v24-9517_VINT_openvpn.bin", using FIREFOX over a UTP cable directly connected to the computer. SAFARI seemed not compatible with LINKSYS firmware.

7. rebooted the router, logged on, disabled wireless and configured all security related settings over the wired connection. enabled wireless.

8. rebooted the router, tested and finished other configurations wirelessly on the MAC.

three issues should be highlighted:

1. **UNPLUGGING** all cables is essentially the FIRST step, as given in Darr247's EEKB. i believe it was the reason why i got bricked. i did another 30-30-30 hard reset after the router recovered, there was no problem.

2. the step FOUR is only for **WRT54G v1.1**, probably not suitable for other WRT54G models including v1.0. users may refer the following google searches to find the corresponding un-bricking explanation and photos.

http://www.google.com/search?q=wrt54g+v1.1+disassembly
http://images.google.com/images?q=%22WRT54G+v1.1%22+unbrick

3. there is NO need to short pin 16 with other pins (e.g. 15 or 17) to cheat the chip. Andrew Pollack gives the easy and proper way to ground the pin: use the external shielding connector on the antenna mounts.

the way Andrew Pollack recommended in his post is to "do that by grounding PIN 16 with the unit unplugged. Keep pin 16 grounded while you plug in the unit, and you'll see the power LED go into a flashing pattern. Once in that state, it will accept a firmware upload."

i didn't do that in this way, just because i couldn't keep that *extremely thin* pin grounded before AND after plugging in the unit. i didn't have any special tool to keep touching the pin and the antenna connector. i simply plugged in the power cord and network cable, run PING on the MAC to monitor the status, then carefully and smoothly grounded the pin for a few seconds by using a mini screw driver attached with a cheap video cable connecting to the antenna. it worked!

hope this could help someone who trapped in a similar accident as mine.

regards,
bbao
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 24832074
Darr247

as mentioned above, the router is not un-bricked. thanks heaps for your detailed instruction. it is really informative and helpful.

in regard to the 30-30-30 hard test, i would like to know more about it in depth as my curiosity got peaked after this accident. why such a procedure "30-30-30"? and why "30" secs? any reason in electronics or physics?

and probably, why "unplugging" could brick the device?

thanks again,
bbao
0
Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 24833019
Reply from non-related thread

Interesting...  that should be a v1.0 then.  It doesn't have the pre-Cisco 20 LED face, does it?

Assuming your WRT's IP is 192.168.1.1 (else sub the proper IP), go to
http://192.168.1.1/Diagnostics.asp

Copy and paste this string to the Commands window there:

nvram get wl0_corerev

Click the Run Commands button... it should respond with a single digit (e.g. see attached)... what is that number on yours?

WRT54G-CoreRev.png
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 24833131
"5"

what does it mean?
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 24833135
> as mentioned above, the router is not un-bricked.

sorry, typo. it should be "the router is NOW un-bricked."

one more issue: after upgrading to DD-WRT, my tablet can't stably connect to the AP, it prompts "'obtaining IP address" at the system tray then disconnect, and then repeat the same thing again and again...

however, my MAC has no any problem connecting to the AP, before and after the upgrade. my tablet notebook with an INTEL Wireless 2200BG adapter installed had no problem with previous official firmware...

any clues? something need to be adjusted in wireless parameters on the AP?

thanks a lot,
bbao
0
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 24834747
That core rev result also points to it being a 4712 processor... see
http://dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F#Which_V24_build_do_I_flash_onto_my_Broadcom_router
The '7' on the one I posted is from a v2 (CDF5).


> any clues? something need to be adjusted in wireless parameters on the AP?

What channel are you using? I recommend sticking to 1, 6 and/or 11. If you turn off the Mac, does the tablet connect ok? Apple and Intel wireless cards are usually quite compatible, though. Have you checked for nearby networks on the same channel?  e.g. http://trac.kismac-ng.org/
You could try tweaking the transmit power up to 85mW, but I wouldn't go much higher than that without adding extra cooling.

If the wireless is not stable, switch to the standard VINT build and see if that helps. e.g. either
http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads/others/eko/V24_FINAL-VINT/dd-wrt.v24-9517_VINT_std.bin or
http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads/v24/Broadcom/Linksys/WRT54G_v1.1/vintage/dd-wrt.v24-9517_VINT_std.bin

I've downloaded both of those files, done a bit-by-bit binary compare, and they are identical.

If it already has the VINT loaded and switching to the NEWD SP1 or preSP2 versions doesn't help stabilize the wireless, it's possible that whatever odd combination is producing those version/revision results just isn't compatible with DD-WRT. If that's the case, I would reload the Linksys firmware again, sell it, and try a different one.

I have a WRTSL54GS I've been testing with the preSP2 and an external USB hard drive which seems to share the hard drive better than a D-Link (DI624S) that I've had a few years now does... on the con side it has only 1 non-removable antenna, so it's not really suitable for MIMO/diversity or long range applications.


> sorry, typo. it should be "the router is NOW un-bricked."

I figured that was what you meant. :-)
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 25053777
just an update.

after upgrading to v24-sp2 firmware, the WRT54G has been running stably and peacefully for weeks. my tablet now works with it very well.

the firmware i am currently using is build 12533, as follows.

Firmware: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (07/21/09) vpn
Time: 21:19:53 up 13 days, 21:20, load average: 0.33, 0.18, 0.07

after uploading the firmware and configuring it, no reboot, no touch, it just works! it is really pretty good. :-))

thanks again Darr247
0

Featured Post

IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

Join & Write a Comment

Optimal Xbox 360 connectivity requires "OPEN NAT". If you use Juniper Netscreen or SSG firewall products in a home setting, the following steps will allow you get rid of the dreaded warning screen below and achieve the best online gaming environment…
This article is a how to to configure a UCS Ethernet-uplink portchannel via the console. It is easy to do and can be done quite quickly. In certain versions of the UCS manager the portchannel has issues coming up and this is a workaround. I am…
Illustrator's Shape Builder tool will let you combine shapes visually and interactively. This video shows the Mac version, but the tool works the same way in Windows. To follow along with this video, you can draw your own shapes or download the file…
Access reports are powerful and flexible. Learn how to create a query and then a grouped report using the wizard. Modify the report design after the wizard is done to make it look better. There will be another video to explain how to put the final p…

747 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

12 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now