WRT54GS bricked with Victek Tomato

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by lupinnktp, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. lupinnktp

    lupinnktp Addicted to LI Member

    Ok let me begin with clarifying that the title has nothing to do with flaming or such. It's (most likely) due to my own ignorance/mistake.

    All the while i've been using my WRT54GS v1.1 with various firmware w/o problem. Recently I wanted to improve on my Tomato experience by trying Victek Tomato. I downloaded and flashed tomato-K26-1.28.8627MIPSR1_RAF-VPN.trx. and from there my router became erratic.

    I dont know whether it's because i didnt erase NVRAM, or the firmware is not meant for my router (8MB flash). But after some hiccup and a 30-30-30 hardreset, now the thing appears to be bricked: fast flashing power LED, flashing LEDs corresponding to whatever cable plugged in, but that's all. I cant ping it. I tried everything I could google. Most of them dont even apply for my model. Out of desperation, I tried the pin 5&6 move (now i think it was a bad move), no effect.

    So is it dead? or I should proceed with the dreaded JTAG recovery?
  2. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    It is not too clear that K26 ND versions will run well on that old router - they always had to be overclocked (even in Linksys firmware) to 216MHz for wireless stability.

    Some routers of this age used to brick with a 30-30-30 reset due to incorrect default nvram pars.

    Before you tried shorting out the connection between the flash and cpu it would definitely have been recoverable with JTAG, possibly even serial console, now the odds are maybe 50:50!
  3. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    First let me say that I have never had a GS of any vintage so have no first hand knowledge there.

    But looking at Victeks Tomato RAF page, there is some advice:
    For MIPSR1 it states:
    What versión should I use?
    *- 1.25.8025 For Router with wireless (wl0_corerev) < 7
    *- ND-K24-1.28.8515 ND For Router with wireless (wl0_corerev) => 7
    With regard to the newer releases, the only GS model I see called out is the WRT54-GSv4.

    Bottom line looks like there is a solid recommendation for *-1.25.8025 / *- ND-K24-1.28.8515 ND, depending your corerev. I'm not sure on the other builds, don't see anything definitive either way. You might want to contact Victek directly, either in one of the RAF firmware threads or private message, for some guidance.

    Also FYI I've read that the K24 builds perform better on MIPSR1.

    I suspect you'll find around here that pin shorting is considered the dreaded recovery method as it is more likely to kill. JTAG may be a bit hands-on and requires some homework but after you get it set up it's a wonderful safety net. I see no reason not to try JTAG. Worst case it doesn't work. But you know you tried everything and gain some valuable experience with JTAG. Best case you recover it and have the JTAG experience to recover from future issues.

    I'm actually in the same boat as you in one respect. I have an old WR850G which I bricked and tried pin shorting on before I knew better. I was angry with myself so threw it in a box and replaced it. But I'm finally getting around to attempting recovery with JTAG, once I get the time that is. Good luck to us both, :wink:.
  4. QSxx

    QSxx Network Guru Member

    Besides shorting pins 5-6, also try pins 11-12 (that's how i used to recover my old WRT54G V2
  5. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    Do NOT short pins unless you know what you are doing - are you invalidating the address or data lines? I guess the intent is just the address line that enables read access to the highest flash block where the nvram is located - the CFE/bootloader is at the other end of the flash using only low address lines. The required pins vary with flash type and size - the WRT54GS v1.1 had 8MB flash.

    Why not use a 1k resistor if you have to try?, and then a 100 ohm - to limit the current? - shorting can easily blow the output gates on CPU or FLASH which creates a true brick!

    I'm pretty sure the wrt54gs v1.1 is

    wl0_corerev = 7

    so should work with ND, but you don't get most of the benefits
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