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

Discussion in 'Other Firmware Projects' started by crashman, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router 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
    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:, and Click OK to save settings.

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

    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:

    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:

    6. Navigate to Services and enable SSHd and Telnet as pictured and press Apply button:

    7. Run PuTTY in Telnet with Host name (IP): and port: 23. Then click Open:

    8. In the next window use root/admin for user/pass to login:

    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
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
  2. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    10. Run winSCP and enter for Host name an root/admin for user/password. Click Login afterwards:

    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:

    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)
    (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:

    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:

    15. Open PuTTY in Telnet again and type command with pressing Enter afterwards:
    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 again. You must see miniWeb Server page:

    18. Press Browse button to find XVortex or AdvancedTomato firmware and then Upload button to finish all that:

    P.S. More information can be found in the first thread - click here
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  3. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Seems no more builds for ea6900 anymore, so not sure you want to keep maintaining this. No FW updates, and a V2 of this unit being released which it not supported, may make for more questions than answers.
    dagwoodmash and BigBossRadio like this.
  4. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router 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.
    BigBossRadio likes this.
  5. kapollo

    kapollo Network Newbie Member

    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.
  6. indslycon

    indslycon New Member Member

    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


    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 (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
    (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

    This was with a v1.1 EA6900 that I bought new a couple of weeks ago so they're still around.
    regina likes this.
  7. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router 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.
  8. KevinHod

    KevinHod Reformed Router 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?
  9. apvmtan

    apvmtan Serious Server 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.
  10. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router 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.
  11. CHuckNasty

    CHuckNasty New Member 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?

    Attached Files:

  12. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

  13. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Did you try "Restore to previous FW version" or something similar?
    Sometimes that happens.
  14. CHuckNasty

    CHuckNasty New Member Member

    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.
  15. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    So try with manual upload of fw version as shown above.
  16. SatanTheDevil

    SatanTheDevil Network Newbie 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?
  17. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    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?!
  18. CHuckNasty

    CHuckNasty New Member Member

    I tried the manual upload of the firmware, but got a invalid or corrupt firmware, and told me the firmware was corrupted.

  19. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

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

    Other possible way is with Putty.
  20. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router 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?
  21. romper

    romper New Member Member

    Hello everyone!

    I need to turn my EA6900 v1.1 into Asus AC68U and flash it with Merlin firmware. Do I get it right that there is all the necessary info in this thread to do that please?

    Thank you
  22. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi and yes, every single file you need is here. So just make it happen.
    Good luck and follow the steps!
    romper likes this.
  23. romper

    romper New Member Member

    Well, have read up to the middle of that manual and gave up:eek:
  24. CHuckNasty

    CHuckNasty New Member Member

    My Curretn Firmware Version is, I was trying to install the ddwrt to try and upgrade my router to tomato or ddwrt but TFTP and manual are not letting me update the firmware to flash it. I used the guide in this to try and downgrade to FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863_prod.img flash the router but it give the that corrupt or invalid firmware file. any suggestions?
  25. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Try update with TFTP2 to check. Can you make any connection with it? Try to downgrade one FW version earlier first (get it from Linksys site) to check.

    If not possible try to reset to default also. I don't know why not possible to put any other version except yours.
  26. CHuckNasty

    CHuckNasty New Member Member

    @crashman i tried the method for like 4 hours last night, and still it would not finish, it would start the upgrade, but then when i noticed the linksys light it would double flash at some point likes after it showed 'flashing upgrade' and the blue line would start and then I would see the double flash on the linksys light on the front of the router, light it was resetting it self because it was blocking it from allowing the firmware to be upgraded. I should have videoed the lights, it was very strange. I mean literally every time the blue line went across, the router would double blink like it reset it self on purpose before the firmware could be finished flashing, I was thinking this was some measure linksys put in to disallow custom firmware flashes. I tried the 99 retries for over four hours with TFTP2. Maybe i'm just SOL with this router. Does this router do management mode?
  27. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

  28. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

  29. anggak

    anggak New Member Member


    If I just want to use DD-WRT, do I need to flash the custom CFE? thanks
  30. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, no you don't need to do that but you can't use more than 32 kB of NVRAM. Custom CFE solve 32k bug problem and all 64 kB can be used.
  31. anggak

    anggak New Member Member

    Does using custom CFE disable 5ghz wifi or other features? I read on another thread that using custom CFE will cause some features can't be used
    Or is there any downside of using custom CFE?
  32. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, I have no idea what and where you were reading all that things, but that's not real. Functions you have are mostly from firmware used. CFE makes things work and correct. I don't know how describe it correctly.
    5GHz signal disappears because of overflow of 32 KB NVRAM (32k bug) which that CFE resolves.

    Any disadvantages of custom CFE - none,
    any advantages of custom CFE - everything.
    That's for me!

    Linksys SmartWiFi GUI sucks a lot for me, so I don't want it at all. Hardware of that routers are still made by CISCO so that is the main reason to pay money for.

    anggak likes this.
  33. anggak

    anggak New Member Member

    one more thing about this part:
    0:macaddr=48:AB:xx:xx:xx:AB (et0macadd+2)
    1:macaddr=48:AB:xx:xx:xx:AC (et0macadd+3)

    on another thread, there are many version about this

    on another thread is:

    which one is correct to use?
  34. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi. mine is correct - tested on 2 routers. I know written different things but this here is correct.
    eth0 - WAN
    LAN = +1 (auto)
    0:2.4 = +2
    1:5 = +3
    anggak likes this.
  35. anggak

    anggak New Member Member


    in the stock cfe_ea6900.bin you provided doesn't contain default_passphrase, default_ssid, and uuid_key

    If I add default_passphrase, default_ssid, and uuid_key to the cfe, I got the attached message
    It's okay when I didn't add default_passphrase, default_ssid, and uuid_key to the cfe
    should I add these manually according my router cfe?


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  36. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, if you have them in the original CFE you should add them also. That's why I wrote "if any".
    Usually you don't need to add them but.. you never know. I personally have them written separately.
  37. anggak

    anggak New Member Member

    If I add them, I can't save edited cfe...
    It's running well now without adding them
  38. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    As I said - you will add them if there is any. As I don't have them and didn't need them - not been added. Just wrote original UID separate to have it. That's all.
  39. Hydr@!

    Hydr@! New Member Member

    Hi folks

    Hope someone can assist. I have EA6900 with DD-WRT v3.0-r33435M kongac (10/08/17). Problem is the USB 3.0 doesn't seem to work. Would there be an issue changing the firmware mentioned to XVortex's 380.70_0 firmware??
  40. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, if it's a hardware problem you won't solve it anyway. It doesn't mean "don't do it" of course but to put XVortex you must change CFE first. I would suggest you read all steps first to know what you must do before you start.

    Hydr@! likes this.
  41. Hydr@!

    Hydr@! New Member Member

    Don't believe it's a hardware problem. I think it was just a bug in the firmware.
  42. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    You have the guide, you won't regret for new CFE. Just put it and enjoy afterwards ;)
  43. floydo

    floydo Reformed Router Member

    I put a small quiet fan behind (about 2.5cm) the middle of the unit which is mounted almost vertically...CPU 63deg C with a room temp of 20deg. Wifi are 45 and 49deg..
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  44. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Wow 67deg with a fan?! I put a fan outside and make it CPU 54deg and 2.4/5GHz 44/42deg constant temp.
    I want a passive cooling so I'm pretty good with things now as I see. I'll make an improvement later. I have a small 25x25x5 mm fan on 5V but don't want to use it because of little noise.
  45. Hydr@!

    Hydr@! New Member Member

    Hi again. I already have DD-WRT on the EA6900 and have done the Putty & Win SCP steps. Do I need to repeat all that in order to upgrade the firmware to XVortex / Tomato? If not, at what stage should should I continue from? Is it not possible to just use the DD-WRT interface to perform the change in firmware?

    Apologies for the numpty questions but don't wanna brick the router.

  46. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, I can't guarantee about your version of dd-wrt but in the main occasion you need it and PuTTY + Win SCP also to save your current CFE, get your MAC's and upload new CFE.
    As I have no idea what you mean with: "have done the Putty & Win SCP step". If you have that from before you don't need those steps.
    Firmware and CFE are different things. Tomato works on stock CFE, XVortex on custom Asus CFE.
    What actually you want to do?
  47. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    screen dumped every step. Downloaded all needed files , compressed into an archive. Will upload everywhere if this ever gets deleted again.
  48. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    No clue why
    cybrnook removed the original guide in the first place.
  49. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    Lol , bypassed the sneaky link filter !@#
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  50. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    Detection Scan : here are the SCAN results for the CFEEdit v1.2.exe


    uppit link contains all the necessary files provided for this guide compressed into 1 folder.


    just replace the (d-o-t) with a . I can not post links. 3 detections.
  51. hk99mobile

    hk99mobile New Member Member

    I have a ea6900 v1.1 on stock firmware version: and would like to flash it to tomatoadvance,i do not intend to returned to stock, can i just flash it at linksys ea6900 manual upgrade field and Press Choose File tomato-EA6900-AT-ARM-3.5-140-AIO-64K.trx ? will i brick the ea6900? i have flash two Tenda W1800R to tomato advance by just simply manual upgrade field and Press Choose File W1800R_AT-RT-AC6x-3.5-140-VPN-64K.trx and all goes well no problem, hope someone can point me

    Thanks in Advance & Regards
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  52. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    So you are saying you bought a Brand new , "unopened" still "sealed" Linksys ea6900 rooter , and the "Stock Firmware" installed on the rooter is not matching the stock firmware of that provided in this Guide? Why is the stock firmware not matching the stock firmware provided on this guide ? is the provided "stock firmware" in this guide based off an earlier build of the EA6900 with which the firmware was not supported anymore on newer releases ? First suspicious file . than confusion , may someone please clarify.
  53. hk99mobile

    hk99mobile New Member Member

    Sir its not a brand new Linksys ea6900,i bought it at garage sale and it comes with a stock firmware version:, what i mean is can i just flash it at linksys ea6900 manual upgrade field and Press Choose File tomato-EA6900-AT-ARM-3.5-140-AIO-64K.trx without going through all the guide step above? will it brick the linksys ea6900? i have no intention in future to returned to stock firmware and i just want to use it as a advancedtomato. i am sorry if i ask at the wrong section :))
  54. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    i say this because i recently came across a brand new router , factory sealed , and the stock firmware does not match the stock firmware on here ? you have to download an older version of the firmware. why ?
  55. hk99mobile

    hk99mobile New Member Member

    Thank you i will download an older version of the firmware
  56. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, yes, you need to download older version posted here because new ones are not able to change with third party firmware.

    About removal of that guide - I made it again so no plans to delete it. Not me!
  57. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    Good , i have a backup of all steps and the files in case this gets deleted in the far future , i will re-upload. People still need this guide , for this router. Files have been added to my mass database of files. Thanks again
  58. Foottsang

    Foottsang Reformed Router Member

    hi, i have changed to custom CFE and installed XVortex 2 years before.
    May I confirm if my EA6900 is using custom CFE, I can flash stock / XVortex / AdvancedTomato / any firmware? or i have to change back to original CFE for stock firmware?

    thinking of rolling back to original firmware if there is no more update for XVortex.
  59. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, with custom CFE you can install any third party firmware (you mention) but not stock Linksys one. Original CFE is only way to have Linksys firmware.

    I don't see why you should go back when no updates of Vortex, but when you want it.
  60. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    ,this guide is ONLY USEFUL for people who have bought the Linksys EA6900 before they (Linksys) updated the firmware to STOCK (Current Version: that comes out the box. WARNING , do not WASTE YOUR TIME , unless your router is already on FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863 than DON'T even bother , lol. Luckily , no lOSS here , because i am using a DUAL SETUP , so... just can not flash this one , no worries though.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  61. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  62. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    PLUS , i went through your instructions multiple times befoer even attempting. LEARN to give instructions , i understand everything clearly , but had to read through a few steps a couple times to make sure i was understanding it. Learn to give CLEAR instructions , because not everyone can decypher that shit.
  63. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  64. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    Also , I am not saying that you do not know your shit , BUT if you are gonna give instructions on DOWGRADING firmware , please explain how to di it correctly , because you explained the downgrade step wrong. you have to click on the " Access status reports and diagnostics functions " tab , beneath configurations tab. and even than , still failed < LOL
  65. michael Yuchnit

    michael Yuchnit New Member Member

    maybe your uploaded file is corrupted ,
  66. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    @michael Yuchnit may you try writing one post at time! I really can't understand why you have to write a couple of words so often.
    I don't know to have corrupted upload. Which file is corrupted?!
  67. jrbilodeau

    jrbilodeau New Member Member

    Just a few tips for anyone else that has a linksys EA6900 v1.1 that is locked to firmware downgrading.

    I was on firmware, so first I tried to roll back to a previous previous firmware through the linksys router gui troubleshooting, but since my last firmware was at and was also locked it couldn't manually load a previous linksys firmware or the dd-wrt firmware mentioned in the opening post.

    Next I tried the following which i got from viewtopic.php?t=291230 on the dd-wrt forum
    but the tftp kept failing. I read that if you get ttl=100 that it should be able to update via tftp, so after a lot searching this is how i was able to downgrade to the meantioned in the opening post. which by the way i download from the post and works.

    power off the router (with switch or unplug)
    open a command prompt and type ping -t
    download the windows gui tftp utility tftp2.exe from a dd-wrt wiki article named TFTP Flash (sorry i can't post links yet)
    open tftp2.exe
    set server =
    leave password blank
    select FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863.img for the file
    set "When upgrade fails, the program will retry" to 10

    power up the router
    watch the cmd window for when the ping responds with ttl=100
    click upgrade in tftp2.exe

    it failed twice for me and worked on the 3rd retry.

    once it loaded up i went to and checked the firmware version, but it still said, so i tried using the firmware rollback feature again, and this time it worked and loaded it back to

    once the router rebooted this time i was able to manually select the dd-wrt linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin firmware and it uploaded without a problem.

    hope this helps someone else
    migtoe and crashman like this.
  68. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    That's interesting, thank you @jrbilodeau sharing it!
    If anybody need TFTP2 and can't find it in internet I can upload it also cause I have it.
  69. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Hi, I have EA6900 running XVortex Merlin V380.70.
    Can one flash from within Merlin V380.70 direct to Advanced Tomato, and vice versa, back to V380.70 within Advanced Tomato?
    Thanks a lot!
  70. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, you can try it. I'm not sure really. It should work on theory.
    I think I flash from Merlin to AT directly when made all tests.
  71. BigBossRadio

    BigBossRadio Serious Server Member

    Combat619 likes this.
  72. BigBossRadio

    BigBossRadio Serious Server Member

    This is great, I love that you are keeping up the old tradition..... and look forward to your insights,,, I still have my old EA6900 running on version 380-62. I did replace it last year with a NetGear NightHawk AC1900 R7000.
  73. BigBossRadio

    BigBossRadio Serious Server Member

    Interesting idea........ I might give it a try if I ever get my EA6900 v1.1 back up and running
    Combat619 likes this.
  74. BigBossRadio

    BigBossRadio Serious Server Member

    Thanks for your effort and desire to put an effort into keeping things going....... I had flashed my old Linksys EA6900 v 1.1 Vortex firmware 380-68-4 as of last october 2017. Then I switched to a NightHawk AC1900 R7000 back last christmas as my primary router. Life interupted me with major issues since then so I had not been followingthings...

    I took my old EA6900 down from the shelf a couple of weeks ago...... Had a hell of a time trying to login to it..... I finally managed to do so today after doing a 30_30_30 reset...... despite Cyberhooks warning not to do so.

    I managed to get it flashed up to the final Vortex release 380_70 with no problems via WebUI and turn it into an "Access Point" connected via Cat 6 cable to do it's work at the other side of the house.. Hopefully that will work out for me.

    Just to add a note I have all the original Vortex files plus lots of others including CFE's etc. So fi you ever need access to them let me know.........

    It was sad to see the Cyerhook guide go........ He did great work........

    It is important that you make sure "new comers" are aware that this is only for EA6900's Versions V1.0 and V1.1 and not the new generation.............

    I will be checking in from time to time to see how you are doing..........
    BigBossRadio Dallas TX
    crashman likes this.
  75. BigBossRadio

    BigBossRadio Serious Server Member

    I managed to log in to my old EA6900 yesterday and did a 380-70 Vortex firmware upgrade via WebUI and everything worked perfectly. The only hard part was getting into the primary screen login via It took lots of effort. Happy I got it done and the new firmware worked perfectly. I converted it to run as an "AP" vvia Cat 6 cable to expand coverage in the house as a secondary router AP.
  76. BigBossRadio

    BigBossRadio Serious Server Member

    I am curious if you had any luck going over to Tomato via the method you described?
  77. foureight84

    foureight84 New Member Member

    I made a pretty big mistake flashing my EA6900. I missed the part where I was supposed to download EA6900 custom CFE and modify it using the CFE Edit tool.

    I have done this with 3 other EA6900 routers over a year ago with the old guide and never missed a step. This time around, though, it took a while to find this new guide and I glanced at the steps and skipped over the most important aspect.

    I ended up modifying my stock cfe and went through the rest of the guide. I thought it was odd that I couldn't get the CFE miniWeb Server to show up. I ended up uploading the advanced tomatousb firmware to /tmp/root and ran

    mtd write tomato-EA6900-AT-ARM-3.5-140-VPN-64K.trx linux
    erase nvram

    Interestingly it worked (or so I thought) and I was able to get to the Tomato USB web config. I kept noticing that the web interface would log me out randomly while saving changes. After a day or so when accessing the web config, it would jump between dd-wrt and tomatousb web config.

    After going back to the guide one more time, I realized my mistake. So I ended up downloading the Custom CFE and added the pertinent info and reran the mtd write command. I finally had access to the CFE miniWeb Server and flashed Advanced TomatoUSB the correct way.

    My question is that should I have reverted to the stock cfe and linksys firmware and started from the beginning or this method is okay? My concern is that I still have remnant of the dd-wrt or other Advanced TomatoUSB firmware due to the bad flash? Did flashing through the CFE miniWeb Server undo the mtd write tomato-EA6900-AT-ARM-3.5-140-VPN-64K.trx linux command?
  78. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Thanks for all written. Original guide was something very helpful for people, including me, so here is the renew.
    Any other files that could be also useful for everyone is welcome of course. if can write me on PM for them to keep thread straight.

    I'll try help as much as I can to anybody who is asking.

  79. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, I have no much time so read over the lines but if you write correctly edited CFE the is no problem to make it directly. It would be the same as upload original Linksys CFE and then switch it back. And yes - clear nvram is absolutely necessarily.
    If you want to be sure - do it. I made that change twice just to be sure also ;)
  80. Hydr@!

    Hydr@! New Member Member


    I have used the guide to successfully change firmware (thanks to all those who contributed / involved). However, the firmware reverts back from Tomato to DD-WRT after several days. Beginning to get annoying. Anyway around this? Thanks.

    PS I have 2 x 4TB WD portable drives attached and wondering if they are filling the RAM in 'Media Server' -> 'Database Location' and causing it to revert to DD-WRT?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  81. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, if it reverts back means something wrong with custom CFE I guess (not written correctly, wrong parameters or something). I had similar problems first time and was wrong CFE for the router (not on EA6900). Made it one more time and is fine after 6-7 months.

    About external HDDs - have no idea what is maximum size and how much RAM you use. I have 1 HDD and 1 SSD so almost 29 MB of RAM used and almost 37 kB of NVRAM. I use them for torrents and media stream (HDD) & store location (SSD).
    Most RAM used ever I saw was 49 MB.

    P.S. Database location is changed to HDD, not default path because there is a problem - it's becoming full very fast, yes.
  82. street9009

    street9009 New Member Member


    I am going through this guide for the first time. I've had no real trouble until after loading the custom CFE. I can't get the miniWeb Server page to come up (no page does). I also tried indslycon's method and SSH and Putty aren't working either.

    I can ping the IP so it is at least still responding and it's giving a TTL of 100, so wondering if I should try to custom flash DD-WRT again? The light on the router is flashing on for a second or so and then back off (not pulsing, solid then off repeating).

    Can someone help?
  83. street9009

    street9009 New Member Member

    Nevermind - after a few tries, the miniWeb Server page finally came up. I flashed the AdvancedTomato TRX file from there and now I can't get it to turn on again. I'm so close but so far!
  84. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi. did you clear NVRAM before AdvancedTomato?
    If can't get it turned on press Reset button for 10-15 seconds (step 17) and miniWeb Server must come up. This is why that CFE is so good. It's recovery mode if make it wrong with firmware so you can start over again.

    Hope to get it work and with your MACs.
  85. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Or clear NVRAM after you flashed by holding the WPS button during a cold boot, until the LED starts to flash.
    crashman likes this.
  86. To-mos

    To-mos New Member Member

    EDIT: I just read post #35 and now understand uuid_key is optional even though it doesn't have (if any) next to it.

    I am stuck at step 13, I was stuck at that step too on the older cybrnook tutorial as well.

    When I open cfe_ea6900.bin in VortexCFE Editor v1.2 I can locate and update et0macaddr, 0:macaddr, 1:macaddr and secret_code using the nvram_dump.txt file. The uuid_key doesn't exist in the cfe_ea6900.bin file so I add it near the bottom copying the value from the nvram_dump.txt file.

    When I save the file as new-cfe.bin I get an error saying "insufficient memory in FLSH segment!" (they actually spell it FLSH, this isn't a typo) and this is where I get stuck.

    I have been stuck on this problem for 2 years now and have tried again and again with no success. I have followed the instructions on both tutorials to the letter and still can't make any progress.

    What is going on and why am I having this issue?

    This is actually incorrect, it should be +0, +1, +2 not +1, +2, +3(programmers tend to start at 0). If you look at the nvram_dump.txt file, it clearly shows that the MAC addresses are incremented starting at +0 not +1 so it's actually.
    LAN = +0 (auto)
    0:2.4 = +1
    1:5 = +2

    Here are fragments of my MAC addresses dumped to nvram_dump.txt (before making any changes) while following the tutorial.
    et0macaddr = xx:xx:xx:xx:02:32 +0
    0:macaddr = xx:xx:xx:xx:02:33 +1
    1:macaddr = xx:xx:xx:xx:02:34 +2

    So to answer @anggak's question, it appears to be the second one not the first, I don't know if this is a huge issue but I would follow what the manufacturers put in the router.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  87. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, you are wrong about "macaddr" and values. Trust me it's exactly as written: basic is WAN (et0), LAN is +1 (but automatic), 2.4 GHz is +2 (0: ) and 5 GHz is +3 (1: ).
  88. street9009

    street9009 New Member Member

    That got it. I'm up and running. Thanks so much for the guide!
  89. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Glad to read all is fine. Enjoy it!
  90. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    I decided to make bigger heatsink and bought it but left it unused because of nut drill difficulty. I've added some extra small heatsinks instead.
    Now CPU temperature is stable 71-72 degrees Celsius in vertical position.

    Why I did it - when become summer CPU temperature increased to 77+ deg.C. So I was thinking for better cooling but passive one (fan = noise + dust).
    Combat619 likes this.
  91. regina

    regina New Member Member

    Had to go the post #6 way. Worked. Ver. v1.1
  92. phagenauw

    phagenauw Network Newbie Member

    It has been a will since i changed the firmware on my EA6900 to "Asuswrt-Merlin & Xwrt-Vortex". Currently i run 380.69 on my EA6900 and i want to upgrade to the latest available Xwrt-Vortex; 380.70, OR flash the latest Tomato by Shibby or Fresh Tomato.
    Just to be shure; as i run the Xwrt-Vortex version, so i have the new 64K cfe in place; can i now directly upgrade from this "firmware upgrade" page in the Xwrt-Vortex WebUI to either latest Xwrt-Vortex, Tomato by Shibby or even Fresh Tomato (as Shibby releases are not updated for a long time) release or do i need to; reset, go back (if possible) to the mini web setup page, etc, etc.
    Thanks if anyone can make this more clear.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  93. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, yes you can just put update from XWRT-Vortex menu. If something goes wrong than you can use miniWeb interface. I've did it with Tomato and there was no problem at all. Just cleared NVRAM.

  94. NandoMedallo

    NandoMedallo New Member Member

    Hi guys.
    I'm lost, the router gets stuck in the user window and does not advance with the Linksys firmware.
    Something I did wrong but I do not remember, only that I got to step No.13 and my pc turned it off by mistake a little brother.
    When I turned on the PC in router the DD-WRT firmware was already loaded but the mac addresses were totally different, then I went back to install the original linksys firmware by TFTP to start all over again and normal charge, but when I start again only It came up to the user name and does not advance., it gets stuck.
    I reinstall the linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin via TFTP and it indicates that it was installed well:

    tftp> put linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin

    Sent 24248320 bytes in 30.2 seconds

    but it only starts with the original linksys stuck as I mentioned earlier.


    I appreciate any help.:(
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  95. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi @NandoMedallo, as I see it something went with firmware or CFE. You have original Linksys firmware, but what CFE you have - original one or custom one?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  96. NandoMedallo

    NandoMedallo New Member Member

    hi. crashmasn. with the help of "flash-ea6700.html" (search in Google)
    I managed to go back to step No15. and load the linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin, then continue with the procedure.
    Which firmware is the AdvancedTomato, Xvortex better or DD-WRT?
    Thank you.
  97. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Good to make it work!
    I would choose AdvancedTomato or XVortex, but not dd-wrt which laggy and more things I don't like.
    AT is enough good and stable with future updates.
    XV is enough good and stable but not future updates.
  98. migtoe

    migtoe New Member Member

    I had similar experience as jrbilodeau post #67

    I bought a used ea6900 off ebay after seeing this and other thread but didn't research enough and found myself with latest firmware Ver. 1.1.43 (Build 182871) which didn't allow me to downgrade the firmware (invalid firmware file error) to flash FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863 from the connectivity page (Getting into Linksys Smart wifi settings was also very annoying and required a connection to modem and internet).

    Saw the information about tftp2 ttl 100 and flashing firmware on start of router, this allowed me to tftp2 the router with FW_EA6900_1.1.42.158863.img but after it said successful was still getting no page displayed for and thought I bricked router. Connected router back to modem and internet and Linksys stupid smart wifi page finally came up but again with latest firmware Ver. 1.1.43 (Build 182871). However I was able to use roll back previous firmware from the troubleshooting tab and upon reboot i had which then allowed me to flash DDWRT and follow remainder of steps!

    I'm confused about this part still, i did edit CFE but didn't change the values +2 or +3 i just copy pasted the values from nvram_dump.txt to the saved new-cfe.bin and on Advanced Tomato currently.

    Say I have (numbers changed slightly) 0:macaddr=50:42:xx:xx:xx:42 I would change to 0:macaddr=52:44:xx:xx:xx:44 ???
  99. crashman

    crashman Reformed Router Member

    Hi, good to move on the step with new CFE. If you had written all MACs with stock firm you would see difference is exactly that. So "et0" is MAC address on the sticker of router (as written). Other two increase with 2 and 3 (I think I made exact example).
    Yes, "0:.." will be "..44" if your WAN MAC is "..42" (post #34).

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    migtoe likes this.
  100. migtoe

    migtoe New Member Member

    Thank you, do I need to go back to DDWRT to write the CFE or can I use Advanced Tomato to do it also?
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