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Recovering broken WRT54GL

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by dolly_oops, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. dolly_oops

    dolly_oops Network Guru Member


    OK, here's the deal. I got a second hand WRT54GL (hooray!) - but it appears quite broken. :(

    Basically, the router came from an internet cafe. There is already a wireless network running on it.

    However - I can't administer the device. The device is set to When I go to the address (wired or wirelessly), I get "Page Not Found" errors.

    So I can't put any firmware on via the web GUI (I'm trying to reset the device with the main firmware).

    I've tried TFTP'ing the firmware to the device (both using and addresses), but it doesn't seem to work either.

    However, I can connect via SSH to the device (though I'm still waiting to get the password for it!). So what I'm wondering is whether I can try to upgrade the device just through SSH access.

    I'm thinking that maybe I can kick off the same process to upgrade the device that the web UI uses (though I'm not sure whether I'll be able to copy the firmware file onto the device in the first place).

    So does anyone have any ideas on how I can try to make the device functional again?
  2. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    Doesn't the reset button work?
  3. dolly_oops

    dolly_oops Network Guru Member

    Ah, I knew I forgot something. It doesn't seem to, annoyingly enough. I'm not sure what is a clear indicator that the reset works - but when I press the button down, the device still responds to pings and the lights don't flicker like it does on my other WRT54G....

    The button sticks out a little further out than the WRT54G v2.2 I have - I'm not sure whether the reset button is acknowledged or not. :(
  4. luke-san

    luke-san LI Guru Member

    How long did you push the reset button?
    I know that it takes like 20 to 30 secs on mine to reset.

    Worst case scenario is that you open it, really easy, and then check the reset switch, or even worse force a kernel panic using the memory to gnd thing to tftp it
  5. danix71

    danix71 LI Guru Member

  6. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    Just out of interest, anyone seen a technical summary of what the pin shorting does? Is it on address or data lines of the flash chip? If it causes flash read error where does the prcocessor get the code from to run the tftp server to receive the new firmware?

    I've seen lots of positive reports that this works, and only recall one where clumsy screwdriver use damaged the contacts...
  7. luke-san

    luke-san LI Guru Member

    Yes, if you short 1 of the address lines the broadcom chipset goes into panic mode and defaults to its build in settings and nvram waits 5 sec.
    This will allow you to tftp
  8. dolly_oops

    dolly_oops Network Guru Member


    Just an update - I had to use the pin15+pin16 method to reset the flash chip.

    Unfortunately, the front of the device didn't come off as smoothly as it should have done, and I ended up breaking part of the blue plastic tab at the side. End result is that it doesn't grip on to the front on one side, but some tape sorted that problem out.

    But I did get it working again, which I'm very happy about! :) Though it did take a few attempts for some reason (it just proceeded to boot up normally the first few times).

    The reset button does also work without any interference from me - so there must have been something really screwed up with the firmware on the chip which prevented it from even acknowledging the reset button.

    But it's fixed, so thanks for the help. :)

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