Bricked WRT350n V2.x Recovery HOWTo
DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE BRICKED YOUR LINKSYS WRT350n v2.x ROUTER??
OK! Well I think I have some good news!
I've seemingly found a very very simple way to recover one's router to the original firmware (and perhaps later, even OpenWRT) without needing to open the case at all and without needing to use a serial interface! It's all done via a very simple point and click graphical program and a simple sequence with the reset button..
The inspiration came from a post by drizzt81 explaining how his router had entered into what is described as 'download mode'. However users who have seemingly 'bricked' their routers and do not have a serial connection would have no way of knowing if their router is in 'download mode' or not.
The solution was explained in a step by step guide by drizzt81 who used information gathered from previous posts from people who I would LIKE to credit as sources, but I do not have their posts handy at this point, I mean no disrespect to the hard working folk who have given their time and knowledge in this forum. The process is VERY VERY SIMPLE and requires no special hardware and in fact doesn't require any advanced computer knowledge either! A total beginner can expect to successfully recover their router using this method.
* Usage of a .ZIP utility to extract some of the installation files.
* Basic software installation knowledge.
Download a .zip file containing the 'Upgrade Utility' program from this link and extract the file Upgrade_207_XP.exe then run that file to install the 'Upgrade Utility' application. (Scanning for nasty stuff 1st is recommended, just in case as this is not hosted in Linksys's website..) Please note that if you are using Windows Vista, you must select to run the application with 'Windows XP, Service pack 2 Compatibility Mode' enabled.
Download the full-image.bin file(provided by relghuar) and put it somewhere you can remember, (Desktop maybe?). (Thanks to relghuar for extracting and hosting this file, please let me know if you object to me direct linking to it.) The original post for the process by which relghuar extracted the image and file location can be found here (WARNING: DEADLY BORING TECHY STUFF!)
* Be able to locate the LAN ports on your router and be able to tell them apart from the WAN port. (LAN ports are (damn it, I am color blind! is it.. yellow? edit(maddes.b informs me that the ports are in fact orange, DOH!)) anyway, the WAN port is definitely blue.. Reasonably speaking here, if you managed to have the technical savvy to brick your router by installing OpenWRT, I think it's reasonable to assume you can tell the difference between a LAN and WAN port..
Directly connect your computer to one of the LAN ports on your router, I chose port 1, but I assume any LAN port will work. (I am also assuming that the WAN port won't work, but this is untested.. If you have some free time to just waste for stupidity's sake, perhaps you can test the theory and let me know.. I personally couldn't be bothered, just plug into LAN port 1 for pity's sake!!)
Entering 'Download mode' (This information was originally found at the NSLU2 Linux users group and through experimentation, adapted to work for the WRT350n V2.x)
*Be able to locate the 'reset' button. It is beside the power jack on the back of the router, beside LAN port 4. You will need a paperclip, or as I used, a thin screw driver.
Disconnect the power from the router, or as I did, turn off the powerboard's power. The reason I did this is because I have fat fingers and inserting the power cable whilst holding in the reset button proved difficult. (MAKE SURE THE POWER BOARD IS NOT THE ONE YOUR COMPUTER IS CONNECTED TO!!) *blush* Enough said on that matter... ehhem..
Method - with the power to the router OFF, hold in the reset button. Turn on/plug in the power and as soon as the LAN light comes up (1 - 2 secs) release the reset button. It's a pretty quick thing... If you have done it successfully, the power light on your router should be flashing between red... err.. ora.. umm yellow? (damn it I knew it was a bad idea for ME to write a HowTo..) Anyway! It'll be flashing!! If not, turn off/unplug the router's power and try again..
Once you are in download mode, you can move to Step 4.
Using the 'Upgrade Utility' software
*Location of the 'full-image.bin' file we downloaded earlier, I suggested locating it on your desktop, unless you decided to put it elsewhere..
Open the 'Upgrade Utility' application.
Once inside the utility, click the 'Browse Targets' button. Shortly, a dialogue box showing the MAC address (a long and confusing looking number) will be listed in the 'Devices List'.
Click the 'Files' button and browse to the 'full-image.bin' file. Once you select 'OK' you should get a 'BIN file Information' box, which will allow you to select 'OK' at the bottom.
Once you click 'OK', you will be returned to the 'Devices List' dialogue. Here you should click 'Upgrade'. You will get an information dialogue box that informs you that the version is older than the one currently installed in the router. Dismiss it, the dialogue is in fact correct, the 'full-image.bin' file was created a long time ago and is extracted from a router which was running version .17 (the current version is .19) No big deal. If you want version .19, download it from the Linksys website after you recover your router.
The next process is time consuming. IT IS ALSO FATAL TO THE ROUTER IF INTERRUPTED. In the spirit of Zen, I suggest removing yourself from the room while the router does it's thing. 'The watched pot, never boils'.
Power cycle the router and you should have a working router again, using Linksys firmware. If you want to try OpenWRT again, you can use the 'Webupgrade' package.
P.S. Here is a quote of the posting I referenced from drizzt81. Many thanks to you!! Please let me know your sources, so that I may reference them also!
mac address in flash is:00:1a:70:9c:52:16
Firmware is damaged,enter download mode
mvEgigaLoad: egiga0 load ok
mvEgigaInit: egiga0 init - mvBoardPhyAddrGet()=0x0 , priv->port =0x0
mvEgigaInit: egiga0 complete ok
In download function
I recovered from this using the SerialComm updater with a WinXP machine.
1. Download and install the SerialComm utility
2. Download the full_image from this post
3. (optional)Connect serial console to router and boot up router
4. Connect a LAN cable directly between router and Laptop (no intermediate HW)
5. Start the SerialComm utility and point it to your wired LAN connection used in step 4
6. Point SerialComm to the full_image.bin you downloaded in step 2
7. Ignore the warning about "older version". If your router was running a new firmware before bricking, flashing the full_image from that posts will "downgrade" it to revision .17
8. Hit the "flash" button in SerialComm and get some coffee
9. AFTER a successfull flash, you may need to power cycle the router
Cheers and thanks for all the help!