XVortex or AdvancedTomato on EA6900 v1/v1.1 without 32k bug (renew)


crashman

Serious Server
Member
Hi to all, as I promised to renew guide here from @cybrnook. All credits go for @XVortex and @cybrnook and @RMerlin. I do respect authors, developers and everybody in projects like Asuswrt-Merlin, XVortex, Tomato and Advanced Tomato (GUI interface only). If somebody thinks I made a wrong thing post will be removed. That's now what I made it for.

So here is a guide for replacing Linksys EA6900 v1/v1.1 stock firmware with XVortex or AdvancedTomato instead of missing original one.

1. First of all you’ll need to download some files and tools like:
Old stock Linksys firmware version
XVortex firmware for EA6900 or directly from site
dd-wrt firmware version of Brain Slayer
PuTTY client
WinSCP
EA6900 custom CFE
CFE Edit tool
AdvancedTomato or directly from site

2. Connect router to computer by LAN cable in port 1 of router. Go into Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel. Click on the connection, mark TCP/IPv4 and choose Properties button. Then enter manual IP, mask and gateway in same order: 192.168.1.2, 255.255.255.0 and 192.168.1.1. Click OK to save settings.

3. Open a browser and write 192.168.1.1 in the address field after switching router, reset it by the button and wait for about 2 minutes to load. You should see:
Linksys EA6900 01.jpg

4. Standard user/password are admin/admin. Log into router and find manual upgrade field. Press Choose File, load Linksys old firmware - FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863_prod.img and press Apply button:
Linksys EA6900 02.jpg

5. Wait for router to restart and load dd-wrt firmware - linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin by the same way. Should see that screen when done. Put admin/admin for user/password and login:
Linksys EA6900 03.jpg

6. Navigate to Services and enable SSHd and Telnet as pictured and press Apply button:
Linksys EA6900 04.jpg

7. Run PuTTY in Telnet with Host name (IP): 192.168.1.1 and port: 23. Then click Open:
Linksys EA6900 05.jpg

8. In the next window use root/admin for user/pass to login:
ea6900-06-jpg.6841/&hash=6245ea07048b7256aaaf54a5ffcfd441" aria-label="Zoom">


9. Then write those commands pressing Enter after each one:
cd /tmp/root
nvram show >> nvram_dump.txt
dd if=/dev/mtd0 of=/tmp/root/stock-cfe.bin
 
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crashman

Serious Server
Member
10. Run winSCP and enter 192.168.1.1 for Host name an root/admin for user/password. Click Login afterwards:
Linksys EA6900 07.jpg

11. Navigate to /tmp/root in the right pane and you should see both earlier created files. Copy them in a desired folder in left pane by drag&drop:
Linksys EA6900 08.jpg

12. Open nvram_dump.txt file through winSCP and find: et0macaddr, 0:macaddr, 1:macaddr, uuid_key and secret_code. Those parameters must be transferred into new firmware. They should look like:
et0macaddr=48:AB:xx:xx:xx:A9 (MAC address on the bottom of router)
0:macaddr=48:AB:xx:xx:xx:AB (et0macadd+2)
1:macaddr=48:AB:xx:xx:xx:AC (et0macadd+3)
default_passphrase=xxxxxxxxxx (if any)
default_ssid=Linksysxxxxx (if any)
uuid_key=xxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx
secret_code=xxxxxxxx
(WPS PIN on the bottom of router)

13. Run CFEEdit.exe and load downloaded cfe_ea6900.bin file by File->Open CFE menu. Click on Advanced Mode and find same lines as earlier (from your router nvram_dump.txt file) and replace them with yours parameters. When done go to File->Save CFE As… with name new-cfe.bin:
Linksys EA6900 09.jpg

14. Open winSCP and find new-cfe.bin file in the left pane. Copy it to /tmp/root in the right pane by drag&drop:
Linksys EA6900 10.jpg

15. Open PuTTY in Telnet again and type command with pressing Enter afterwards:
in
You should be able to see same three files in router’s memory (simple check).

16. Write those commands by pressing Enter after each one:
mtd unlock /dev/mtd0
cd /tmp/root
mtd write -f new-cfe.bin mtd0


17. While router powered off, press and hold reset button on the back of router. Continuing to hold reset button, switch it on, powering up router. Hold reset button pressed for approx. 10 – 15 seconds. When done wait a little and navigate to 192.168.1.1 again. You must see miniWeb Server page:
Linksys EA6900 11.jpg

18. Press Browse button to find XVortex or AdvancedTomato firmware and then Upload button to finish all that:
ea6900-12-jpg.6842/&hash=042c4d314dea98c0602470f0c4a3202f" aria-label="Zoom">

or
ea6900-13-jpg.6843/&hash=042c4d314dea98c0602470f0c4a3202f" aria-label="Zoom">


Edit - Mentioned from others having problems:
19. Clear nvram as a final step when you change rom from dd-wrt to Tomato or to Xvortex. Upgrading within the same family of Roms may not be an issue (power off again, power on holding down WPS button to clear the nvram, wait for a few minutes and you should see the webserver come up on 192.168.1.1).

P.S. More information can be found in the first thread - click here
 
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kapollo

Serious Server
Member
Sure, but v1/v1.1 still can be found and if somebody wants to make it, why not. As I wrote if you or any of admins/moderators don't want it - delete it. Your guide was very helpful for me so all I want is to stay somewhere and have it stored for future if needed.
I do agree with that, I don't understand in the first place why was it remove from the original thread.
I know it reached end of the line, but then there is tomato that at least get's CVE fixes, sure late like hell but still better than not having any, especially that there seems to be no way back original SW.
 

indslycon

Network Noob
Registered
I had some real trouble with this but have finally got it to work, I thought I'd post my method for anyone interested:

(a) flash dd-wrt firmware as above (this is to get ssh/sftp access)
(b) extract the info you need (UUID, mac-address, secret-code) to create custom CFE as above
(c) write the custom CFE

- at this point I diverge as the mini-webserver didn't work for me, upload did nothing.

(d) power on holding down the WPS button until the Linksys light flashes rapidly
(e) you should still have dd-wrt working
(f) ssh back in and type: nvram show |more

ses_script=
filter_dport_grp3=
wl_mac_deny=
...

If it starts like this then you have the custom CFE in place so should have fixed the 32k bug, the original linksys firmware it starts with: olsrd_coverage=

(g) exit ssh and power off router
(h) on your PC start a terminal and ping 192.168.1.1 (you should get no response as it's off) on windows I think you need -t to see the ttl response.
(h) power on holding down reset (with a pen/pencil) until the Linksys light flashes on and off slowly
(i) the ping should be giving a ttl response of 100 indicating the router is in rescue mode and can accept firmware
(j) tftp 192.168.1.1
(k) set mode to binary
(l) put the firmware of your choice, I did the advanced tomato trx build
(m) wait 3 minutes or so after it has completed as the flashing process takes some time but gives no feedback
(n) when you're comfortable, power off then power back on and leave it for a few minutes
(o) power off again, power on holding down WPS button to clear the nvram, wait for a few minutes and you should see the webserver come up on 192.168.1.1

This was with a v1.1 EA6900 that I bought new a couple of weeks ago so they're still around.
Cheers
Simon
 

crashman

Serious Server
Member
That's interesting solution and you never know. Thanks for that information, Simon!
A made lots of tries to made my EA6500v2 back to live (same procedure like EA6900) from bad CFE change and made it but a bit different.
 

KevinHod

Networkin' Nut
Member
I see xwrt-vortex has version 380.70 posted recently...I haven't had a chance to load up yet. Anyone else try it out?
 

apvmtan

Networkin' Nut
Member
Flashed to Kille72 Tomato. Thank you vortex and cybrnook for their hard work. Too bad it is end of the road for xwrt-vortex for the ea6900.
 

crashman

Serious Server
Member
I have two Tomato powered EA routers because of interface I used to. XVortex haven't tried since previous two releases so I can't say is there a loading problem. If I have time will try it.
 

CHuckNasty

Network Noob
Member
I take it trying to roll back a new EA6900 from FW_EA6900_1.1.42.174776_prod.img to FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863_prod.img is giving me the attached error, and most likely because the firmware is too new? Am i SOL at this moment or should i just invest in another router. My goal is to just use this one because i bought it about 3 years ago and it was just lying around. I just wanted to use it to run two AP for the other side of my house nothing major. Any suggestions at this point?
 

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cybrnook

Addicted to LI
Member
I take it trying to roll back a new EA6900 from FW_EA6900_1.1.42.174776_prod.img to FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863_prod.img is giving me the attached error, and most likely because the firmware is too new? Am i SOL at this moment or should i just invest in another router. My goal is to just use this one because i bought it about 3 years ago and it was just lying around. I just wanted to use it to run two AP for the other side of my house nothing major. Any suggestions at this point?
http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.php?threads/discontinuing-this-guide.71718/page-7#post-284060
 

crashman

Serious Server
Member
Did you try "Restore to previous FW version" or something similar?
Sometimes that happens.
 

CHuckNasty

Network Noob
Member
Did you try "Restore to previous FW version" or something similar?
Sometimes that happens.


yeah that what i was trying to do was restore to FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863_prod.img version from my current newer version of FW_EA6900_1.1.42.174776_prod.img, when I was getting that error.
 

crashman

Serious Server
Member
Thanks for your great work!
May I ask how I can revert back to stock Linksys firmware while my EA6900 v1.1 is on XVortex's Asuswrt Merlin?
Hi, same steps as above in reverse: reset to default, put dd-wrt, then put back original CFE, and afterwards original Linksys firmware. You may need do last step with Putty directly, not sure how exactly was. I did it when almost bricked my EA6500v2 many months ago and can't remember exact steps.

But.. why you want to do that?!
 

crashman

Serious Server
Member
Which fw version is your router and is it compatible for this version?

Other possible way is with Putty.
 

crashman

Serious Server
Member
I made a bit improvement for passive cooling: more radiators, new thermal paste - K5-Pro on all places (backside also). CPU temperature now is around 70 deg.C almost constant and around 50 deg.C on WiFi chips.


What are your temperatures?
 

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