Upgrading to Tomato from DD-WRT: Problems

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by haertig, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. haertig

    haertig Serious Server Member

    I thought we could upgrade to Tomato firmware directly from DD-WRT. Is that true? My attempts are failing. Am I doing something incorrectly? What are the proper upgrade steps?

    Thanks in advance!

    Router Model: Linksys WRT54G v6
    Router S/N: CDFD1FC...
    Current Firmware: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (07/22/09) micro - build 12548M NEWD Eko
    Want to flash: tomato-ND-1.28.5x-124-VPN.trx
    Initial attempt (failed):
    Connected to router with ethernet cable (not WiFi), logged into router
    Went to DD-WRT "Administration->Firmware Upgrade"
    Selected "After flashing, reset to: Reset to Default settings"
    Selected "Please select a file to upgrade: /path/to/tomato-ND-1.28.5x-124-VPN.trx"
    Clicked "Upgrade"
    This resulted in the error message: "Incorrect image file."
  2. Sean B.

    Sean B. LI Guru Member

    I would venture to guess the file of ddwrt you used to flash was a .bin , where as the tomato file you're attempting to flash is a .trx .
  3. schnappi

    schnappi Networkin' Nut Member

    Can DD-WRT not flash a .trx file?
  4. Sean B.

    Sean B. LI Guru Member

    The CFE is what's expecting a proper format of firmware file, not the firmware itself ( however, the firmware can run checks on the file before passing it down to the CFE, but the CFE gets the final word ). So it becomes a router make/model specific spec as to it taking a .bin or .trx. Some routers will accept either, some will error out on one vs another, and a few models out there will leave you with a corrupted boot looping flash attempt if you give it the wrong one.

    Not saying it's the OP's issue for sure, as I don't know what format of file his router takes. Just a suggestion to look into.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  5. haertig

    haertig Serious Server Member

    Thanks. My question is really "How do I get this firmware onto my router"? I don't really care why DD-WRT doesn't allow the upgrade, I simply want to know how to do the upgrade. Or was installing DD-WRT years ago a fatal mistake? All my other old routers from the same era as this WRT54G have Tomato on them (a Linksys WRT54GL and a Buffalo WHR-G54S). Why I installed DD-WRT on this particular "G" model is a mystery to me. I don't remember, it was years ago. But I need VPN for this router now, and the DD-WRT firmware currently on it does not support that. My firmware choices are limited, due to the small flash size of this old router. It appears that the Tomato firmware I need only comes as a trx file (the old K24 stuff). Some of the K26 firmware might work on this old router, but which version includes VPN and would fit? That's not clear to me by looking at the available downloads.

    My Buffalo WHR-G54S has "Tomato Firmware 1.28.0005 121 ND VPN" installed on it, and that supports VPN. I do not remember if this firmware was a trx file or a bin file. It was installed too long ago. But if it fits on the Buffalo, it should also fit on the WRT54G.

    So bottom line: "Where do I get, and how do I install, some version of Tomato that supports VPN, fits on a WRT54G, and is installable given that I currently have DD-WRT on the router?" IIRC correctly, from back in the day, this old router needs "R1" firmware, not "R2".
  6. Sean B.

    Sean B. LI Guru Member

    1: The "why" was not a reply to you.

    2: This right here:
    took more typing than if you had bothered to follow up on my suggestion and googled what format firmware file should be used with your router.

    3: Proof of point #2, google search for "wrt54gl firmware file extension":

    Imagine that.. .bin .

    4: This file exists somewhere on the internet: tomato-WRT54G_WRT54GL-1.28.7636Toastman-IPT-ND-VPN.bin . Guess how I found it? Not by dropping attitude on a help forum, that's for sure.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
    ruggerof likes this.
  7. haertig

    haertig Serious Server Member

    I certainly didn't expect abuse on a router forum.

    My question was (I thought) simple and respectful. "How do I upgrade my router?" I tried to be complete as to exactly what I had tried, so as to make it as easy as possible for someone to respond. Please point out where I was copping an attitude. Prior to posting my question here, I had done a lot of Google searching and I was not able to solve my problem on my own.

    Then I got a response from Sean B. I really appreciate that. That response told me why I couldn't do the upgrade:

    This is good info to know, and I'll tuck it away in my brain to hopefully recall later if I need it again. But it is not a lot of help in helping me figure out the problem at hand - how to upgrade my router. Later I was admonished that:

    ... which is a total mystery to me, since that reply was the first one to my question. How else would it be directed at other than to me?

    Next up:

    I did not go and Google what format I needed after your initial post. You had already told me that I need bin. I trusted you. You sounded like you knew what you were doing. So instead of trying to verify your knowledge, I took it as truth and began trying to find a bin file that included VPN and would fit on my router. I failed. However, I was only looking in Shibby releases, which are what I used before, and are what I am familiar with. What I found were trx files. There were some bin files that I thought might fit, as I mentioned they were for K26, however there are very few of those small enough to fit on my router. There was one or two that had "mini" in the name that would fit, but the ones that had "mini" and "VPN" were just a shade too large to fit. So I was stuck again.

    Next, it was pointed out:

    I was again confused, since these are instructions for DD-WRT. I already have DD-WRT on the router. That is the firmware I am trying to get rid of and replace with Tomato. Step 3) would be difficult, since it says to go to the webui of the original Linksys firmware, which is not installed on my router (DD-WRT is).

    Followed up with a sarcastic insult,

    I understand that. I need a bin file. I haven't been able to find the specific one I need yet, but I know what I need because of previous comments.

    We now get to a very helpful suggestion. Snarky, but helpful.

    No, I don't know how you found it. I can't guess how. I appreciate that you did though. Since you didn't suggest a link, only a name, I googled for that exact filename myself. I found some links to download it from a place I've never heard of "Auto-download". To be honest, I am hesitant to download anything from a non-descript site like this due to the high potential for malware and bogus code. I will continue searching, hoping to find a download from some place that appears more reputable.

    I never thought I was. I was just looking for help. But since I see another user here has liked the post insulting me, I now understand that in asking for help I have offended people here. So I will go off on my own and try to solve my problem by myself. I do appreciate the responses to my question here. I feel beaten down now, and will think twice before returning, but at least someone took the time to respond. Thank you.
  8. schnappi

    schnappi Networkin' Nut Member

    @haertig why do we start over from scratch, am certain can help you to accomplish your goal.

    Try going here to start: https://www.4shared.com/folder/KGq9YPf8/004/128.html?detailView=true&sortAsc=true&sortsMode=NAME
    and downloading (you will need to signup for an account to use 4Shared but you can use https://www.guerrillamail.com/):

    This link is for Toasman's Tomato version and it comes as .bin file. Like Toastman's versions better but the really only big difference is that Toastman comes with DHCP turned off by default which actually is awesome but don't think everyone wants this.

    Assuming the above works going from DD-WRT to Toastman Tomato then you can go to:
    and download:

    Which you can then flash over Toastman's Tomato version if you want. You already basically found a Shibby Tomato version that will eventually work (tomato-ND-1.28.5x-124-VPN.trx) but in the interest of starting from scrtach all the posting all steps needed to get Shibby's Tomato version on a WRT54G with DD-WRT put it above too.

    Once you get Tomato on recommend clearing the NVRAM completely to get rid of any residual junk and start clean from scratch. Let me know if the above works.
  9. haertig

    haertig Serious Server Member

    Thanks schnappi.

    I downloaded that Toastman BIN file from 4shared. Did a 30-30-30 reset on the WRT54G. Then tried the upgrade from inside the DD-WRT GUI. Got a message "Upgrade failed" within 5 seconds. Did more Googling. One place ( https://www.myopenrouter.com/articl...omato-firmware-netgear-routers-and-back-again ) said it was OK to simply rename the TRX file to a BIN file. Suspicious, but I figured "why not try?" This is not a router I really care much about, and if it bricks, it bricks. Although I would prefer for that not to happen, as it is still useful for the slow download speed connection I want to use it for. But I had no better luck with the renamed TRX file. Same error, "Upgrade failed".

    The failed attempts to upgrade the router did not have any negative affects. The router did not brick, so it's still available for additional attempts at upgrading my firmware. At least we moved on from "Incorrect image file" to "Upgrade failed", so that's an improvement from where I was a little while ago. Thanks.
  10. schnappi

    schnappi Networkin' Nut Member

  11. haertig

    haertig Serious Server Member

    No luck on the original Linksys firmware either.

    Well, one thing I have learned from this attempted upgrade ... never load DD-WRT firmware onto a router. It appears to be the kiss of death when it comes to future upgrades. Apparently I may be stuck with it forever. :(

    Hopefully I'll still find a way ...

    Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.

  12. ruggerof

    ruggerof Network Guru Member

    Silly question. Are you sure your WRT54G is compatible with Tomato? I remember that some WRT54G were compatible with mini versions of DDWRT but they were not with Tomato.
  13. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    Good idea ruggerof - from what I remember his firmware "DD-WRT v24-sp2 (07/22/09) micro" is intended for the WRT54G v5 through v8 which only has 2MB of flash and 8MB of RAM.

    v1 through v4 and the GL have 4MB of flash and 16MB of RAM, which is the minimum to use Tomato. The problem is that haertig's router can only run either OEM firmware or DD-WRT, and obviously finding the OEM at this point is a problem. I used a v8 as a while as an access point and it worked fine, ended up selling it to someone and it turned into a drama bomb.

    Linksys was sold to Cisco who scooped up all their hardware and sold the name to Belkin who rebranded their hardware as Linksys... its a complete mess...
  14. PetervdM

    PetervdM Network Guru Member

  15. haertig

    haertig Serious Server Member

    Oh wow. If this WRT54G only has 2Mb of flash memory, then that explains everything. I did not realize it was so hobbled. I've been trying to cram 4Mb of firmware into this poor thing. I assumed it had 4Mb, but did not verify my assumption. Oops! I did check Tomato compatiblity chart, and thought my WRT54G was there, but maybe I misread things. This is an old router that I did not buy myself, but "inherited" from someone who no longer wanted it. I didn't really want it either, having better routers already, but figured it might come in handy some day. I put DD-WRT on it years ago, then shoved it into my basement. Now I have someone with a slow connection speed (5Mbps down) and figured, "Hey, even this old thing should be able to keep up with that". But I do need VPN on it, and thus my recent quest to get Tomato installed began, since the DD-WRT version currently installed doesn't support VPN.

    Maybe the antennas and power supply can be salvaged for spares. I have an old WRT54GL in the basement junkpile too, and the antennas and power brick might be compatible. The GL is another antique, but evidently a more powerful antique than the G. The GL already has Tomato on it. If I was going to give away a router, I was going to give away the least powerful that could get the job done. Looks like I won't be able to give away the G, and will have to give away the GL instead (or the Buffalo WHR-G54S also in the basement junkpile - similar in capabilities to the GL).

    Now that you guys have mentioned it, I do seem to remember the history of these WRT54XXX routers. Weren't the original WRT54G's decent for their era, then they hobbled them (which is probably the version I have), then they came out with the GL which was the same as the original G because so many people complained about the hobbled G's? Some shady history like this is starting to be awakened from the bowels of my memory.
  16. schnappi

    schnappi Networkin' Nut Member

    Cool by the way, Was wondering what is going on but this makes perfect sense.
  17. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

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