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WRT300N 1.1 Bricked

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by PGalati, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. PGalati

    PGalati Network Guru Member

    I was recently brought another Linksys WRT300N 1.1 router that was crashing often but it was running stock firmware. The first thing I did was a 30-30-30 reset. Now when I power on the router, the power light blinks rapidly and never stops. It seems the router has lost its mind. Even though the light was blinking I was NOT able to ping 192.168.1.1 to attempt to reflash the stock firmware with tftp2. So....

    I opened the case to get to the micro JTAG connector. Using the Wiki on DD-WRT's web site I was to successfully backup the cfe file, erase the nvram and erase the kernel as directed. After power cycling the router, the power light is still blinking rapidly BUT I am now able to ping 192.168.1.1 except that tftp2 does not begin to upload the stock firmware.

    Is there anything else I could try to resurrect this router?
     
  2. lefty

    lefty Networkin' Nut Member

    If your CFE is still intact on the router and working, you could stop the CFE with a serial connection, then from within CFE issue the command for the TFTP daemon to listen for a matching header image, most times i use stock firmware in this process, then when you have the CFE tftpd listening, you should be able to then TFTP a working image to it, do a 'nvram erase' (no quotes) and then a 'reboot' should be good to go then. One pointer though, if you do get into the CFE and stop it, then issue the 'flash -ctheader : flash1.trx' command, already have a TFTP client or command line or whatever you are going to use to do the TFTP transfer waiting, because the CFE will only listen for a few seconds, then it'll timeout.
     
  3. PGalati

    PGalati Network Guru Member

    Lefty, thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I am not experienced enough to follow through with what you are suggesting. I understand what you are saying, just not a clue how to go about doing what you suggested. I am going to look to see if the JTAG command has any help attached to it, but the short of it is I do not know how to stop the CFE. What does CFE mean anyway? Once I do stop the CFE, does the JTAG command issue the flash -ct statement to put tftp on ready? Also the stock firmware is a .bin file, not a .trx as you have listed, please confirm.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. lefty

    lefty Networkin' Nut Member

    CFE = Common Firmware Environment- generally on braodcom units, its the bootloader.

    JTAG is a totally different ball game, JTAG is more for when a FULL recovery is needed, when you need to restore and program the router from the ground up, most times you don't even need JTAG, only time you need it is when the CFE is no longer functioning and you'd need to do a wholeflash (CFE+Firmware image) which is not a common case. 9 times out of 10 i'll recover a bricked router using a serial connection as opposed to a JTAG recovery, JTAG recovery is lot more complex than using a serial recovery. Also to stop the CFE, you'd first need to establish a serial connection to the unit using a CA-42 clone cable, i buy them most times from ebay for around 5-8$. Once you have putty or a hyper-terminal setup and establish that the cable is hooked up correctly and working, you'd then need to power up the unit and no less than half a second later start hitting cntrl-c, if success you'll end up at a prompt called CFE> when you get to that prompt you'd then need to issue the flash -ctheader : flash1.trx command.

    And yes i know its a bin file, it doesn't matter though, the command from within the CFE to activate the TFTP listening daemon from with the CFE is: flash -ctheader : flash1.trx
    You would issue that command and then the CFE would 'listen' for an image to be TFTP'd to it thru the LAN ports, which the image you'd be TFTP'n would then be the .bin

    You may could do all this thru JTAG, i just haven't a clue of how because i have only used JTAG for wholeflash instances where the CFE is no longer functional, this doesn't appear to be the case you're having here though..
     
  5. Jethroww

    Jethroww Networkin' Nut Member

  6. PGalati

    PGalati Network Guru Member

    Jethroww, If I read everything correctly your issue was all lights coming on and staying on. The ultimate fix was to replace a capacitor on board near the JTAG interface, correct?
     
  7. Jethroww

    Jethroww Networkin' Nut Member

    PGalati, Yes after I replaced that cap everything worked.
    Also check your power supply output voltage.
    Jethroww
     
  8. PGalati

    PGalati Network Guru Member

    Are you running Tomato on your WRT300N 1.1? If so, which variant? I would prefer to run Tomato over DD-WRT, but anything would be better than stock.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  9. PGalati

    PGalati Network Guru Member

    Is there a version of Toastman that runs reliably on the WRT300N 1.1?
     
  10. Jethroww

    Jethroww Networkin' Nut Member

    Hi PGalati, It has DD-WRT on it. I running a E3000 with Tomato Shibby 100 now.
    Just playing around with the software/routers.
    Jethroww
     
  11. PGalati

    PGalati Network Guru Member

    Jethroww, thanks for the great tip. I purchased 5 caps on ebay which totaled about $4. The replacement caps closer resemble the cap back by where the power source connects to the board. Anyway, after replacing the capacitor and reapplying power, the WRT300N now powers up to a quick blinking power light. I pinged it with a TTL=100 response which meant it was looking for some firmware to load. I tftp2'ed the DD-WRT 310mini11 file and it took no problem, which is what I was not getting before. I then did a 30-30-30 reset and was able to log in. Success! I then proceeded to upgrade the firmware to the latest mega generic DD-WRT and it's working well also.

    Thanks so much for your time to respond and point in the direction needed to get this router back on its feet.

    Paul
     

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