Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bricked Linksys WRT54GS v1.1

I recently managed to pseudo brick an old Linksys WRT54GS (the specifications of the various WRT54 series wireless routers are here : Wikipedia article

Anyway, I accidentally broke it with an OpenWRT update that went badly. I did not want to have to create a Jtag for it, if I could avoid it. I tried a  30/30/30 reset. That failed. The router would power on and the DMZ light would turn on for five seconds and then turn off. This continued indefinitely.

After looking it, up it appeared that the boot loader was working, but that the firmware image was missing or corrupt. I followed the advice I found on several locations:

Attempt to push the stock Linksys firmware to the device using TFTP. It looked like the simplest way to do that would be to use the DrayTek Vigor router tools. Specifically, I used their "firmware upgrade utility." It worked on the first try. It's a simple process:

  • I set the ethernet interface on my laptop to be on the stock network. I could ping the host with no problems.

  • I pointed the firmware upgrade utility to the latest official Linksys/Cisco firmware for the WRT54GS hardware version 1.1 router.

  • After the router rebooted, I had the stock firmware running on the default address ( with the default password (no username, admin as the password.)

    I later installed DD-WRT using the built-in Linksys firmware update page. DD-WRT. I could have used Tomato or OpenWRT again, but I wanted to try out DD-WRT. I'll likely write a post or two about my experience with DD-WRT.