OpenWrt Forum Archive

Topic: The "I bricked my router" thread

The content of this topic has been archived between 21 Apr 2018 and 4 May 2018. Unfortunately there are posts – most likely complete pages – missing.

Hmm.. was going to invest in JTAG one day...   Sigh.  Looks more expensive than a new router at the moment though (so bad that most of the sites say 'enquire for more information' which means megabucks).  Also can't find one that supports the BCM6348 sad  The closest I could find was one for the BM6352 that retails for $6,500...

I'll keep the brick (it works fine as a switch...) until I can find something in my budget (in the same ballpark would be nice!)

invest? you can easily make a "passive jtag cable" all you need is a db25 connector (to plug in to the printer port) (tho i didn't use one, had some spare pins laying around) a few resistors (which i didn't use either, but it might not work for you) a soldering iron and some solder. the jtag thread

Hmm.. was going to invest in JTAG one day...   Sigh.  Looks more expensive than a new router at the moment though (so bad that most of the sites say 'enquire for more information' which means megabucks).  Also can't find one that supports the BCM6348 sad  The closest I could find was one for the BM6352 that retails for $6,500...

I'll keep the brick (it works fine as a switch...) until I can find something in my budget (in the same ballpark would be nice!)

Hi,

I've a catatonic WRT54G v2.0 to add to the list - this one, though, was not my fault. I was online last night and it just carked it. First the router/gateway function went, then when I rebooted (unplugged then replugged) it, I saw the following symptoms:

* Blinking power light
* WLAN / Internet / Switch port lights seemed to be functioning properly
* No response to pings.

I was running the Linksys (2.6?) firmware. No history of modification or third party firmware installs, I upgraded the firmware when I bought it so it would handle my cable login, and then left it alone. One network dropout the next day, solved by telling it to disconnect then reconnect to the cable heartbeat server, after which it worked perfectly for over a month.

The Linksys knowledgebase details exactly this scenario, but the reset button doesn't seem to be working. I hold down the reset button for 30+s with power on, with power off, while powering on, but no response from pings.

So, would you people recommend trying the trick shown on Void Main's site, or would I be safer just trying for a refund? At this point I haven't done anything that voids the warranty but the wholesaler I bought the router from has a track record of being slow to replace under warranty. I guess my main question is "Are my chances of success good enough to make it worth blowing the warranty?"

I've got a ticket open with Linksys support about it, so I won't do anything until I get a response from them, at any rate.

Cheers,
Quin

Hi,

I installed a custom freya 2.06 firmware on my wap54g (the model with reset next to rj45) and now the LAN port is silent but the WLAN works. The thing is that the firmware is kinda broken (/tmp is a file so it cannot be mounted) and httpd refuses to start so I cannot upgrade it from the web interface. The telnet is enabled and I can access the AP over wlan. Can I somehow upgrade the firmware from the shell, I can mount ramdisk on mnt and wget the firmware over there but I haven't figured out a way to flash the firmware.

I also tried the tftp method but I couldn't quite get it to work. boot_wait is turned on so the AP should accept firmware via tftp on 192.168.1.1. I used atftp with trace mode on and timeout set to 1 and I got the following error:

tftp> put WAP54G-fw2.08.08.trx
sent WRQ <file: WAP54G-fw2.08.08.trx, mode: octet <>>
source port mismatch, check bypassedtimeout: retrying..
tftp: aborting

I've also tried it with other firmwares, windows tftp and the results were always the same.

I read from another thread that the WAP54G should respond to ping about 3 seconds after power on but mine didn't. I tried multiple times.

The Diag led is on all the time and Lan/Act led blinks a few more times when trying to tftp the firmware than normally.

This is not really an OpenWRT question but this seemed like a good place to get response.

Hello,

I've brick my wrt54g v2 rev HX when uploading new firmware by TFTP, i've forget the bin mode, and now i can't ping it, i've tried 5-6, 15-16, 16-17 and 16-GND pin shorting but i can't ping it anymore, the last time i've a constantly blinking power LED the 16-GND tip works but it doesn't anymore

what can i do ?

thanks

Maybe you should try a serial cable, with this i was able to revive two bricks that had bad NVRAMs.

I had a pretty deadly behaving wrt54g v2 (xh by the way wink).
It didn't respond to pings, the power led was flashing, no wlan but it bridged traffic on the 4 vlan ports.
I tried all the different shorting methods and all the reset-button attemps but none worked for me!
Originally I planed to get a serial console but soldering isn't in my capabilities-list so I tried a JTAG.
The first try wasn't successfull because -at leas I think so- I used a unshielded cable and all the flash-data went in the datahell (so called /dev/null).
http://obelix.gymliestal.ch/~andreas.ritter/gall/albums/wrt54g/pict0026.jpg

My second try requirred the wrt54g so sit in short distance to my computer and it worked well!
I used Hairydairymaids (Sveasoft Forums guy) tools and got my WRT back after a night of flashing....
http://obelix.gymliestal.ch/~andreas.ritter/gall/albums/wrt54g/pict0042.jpg

So if you're stuck: Just solder a JTAG connector. It's really easy (I mean... I soldered it with a 30w soldering iron with 1cm flat head).

Hi All!

I had trouble changing the firmware of my WRT54G. The router was not pingable any more.
I opened it and shorten pins 16 and 15 and I managed to make the router ping again.
I then tried to upload a new firmware with TFTP (satori). It worked but nothing happened. Power led keeps blinking and that is it.

How to make my router works again? Please help! :_o(

Guillaume.

Guillaume wrote:

How to make my router works again? Please help! :_o(
Guillaume.

remember that firmware must be lest than 3Mo with tftp upload. So to upload more than 3Mo, you need to make
it in 2 times.

1 - tftp little fimrware,
2 - reboot and wget http://.../biger-firwmare.bin
3 - mdt write ; reboot

(Last edited by _marc_ on 23 May 2005, 11:42)

I just tried today to install the experimental version of openwrt on my WRT54GS, no version number on the bottom, worked with the old stable of openwrt. I do not know how it actually began (perhaps I have rebooted it once too early by removing power) but I cannot get it to boot up at the moment:

After putting the power in the 5 leds for the ethernet ports blink up once and after that the power led keeps blinking fast and the dmz blinking slowly indicating a corrupt firmware.
I can ping the box and also use tftp to install another firmware (verbose, trace, rexmt 1, binary are set). When the firmware is transferred the DMZ led stops blinking and keeps either constantly off or on, depending on the firmware. After this no ping is replied anymore and the box does not reboot. I have tried several firmwares but the result was always the same.

Has anyone an idea what I could try?

Revived it successfully using JTAG and reflashing the CFE.

(Last edited by matled on 10 Jun 2005, 18:45)

Hi,

I de-brick WRT54G V 3.1  (with a blinking power led, no dmz light, no response from pings) following this steps :

I short pins 5 and 6 using a large paper clip ,with router power on and pc power off.
The DMZ led starts to blink and the SISCO logo turns orange.
Then I turn the pc on.
When I try to flash white russian rc3 via tftp I receive a message "Invalid Password"(?)
The only one firmware that upload with success was the official linksys last version form the website.

After that, I finaly turn off everything and turn on again.

Now the router works fine and I can reflash with rc3.

Hope that helps somebody.

<cornholio> hi! , i have a problem... i try to overclock my wrt54g v.3, first at 216 mhz and no problem.. second at 228 mhz and i brick my router. I made a JTAG cable, flash the CFE, but when i flash the firmware over tftp my router never reboot and the dmz led stop blinking, the power led always is blinking..

i don´t know what to do neutral

when i flash with the new cfe, i can flash a new firmware over tftp (i can ping..), but after that, router never reboot and i have to flash the cfe again to have dmz blinking (..to flash over tftp again)

I also bricked by WRT54GS v1.1. There is a lot to find about the WRT54G but few things about the GS (speedbooster). How did I do it? Simple: After installing OpenWRT I did a 'mtd erase nvram' to start off with a clean nvram.
I alreadydid this a dozen of times on the normal WRT54G's but this time the power led just kept flashing: bricked...
I tried with uploading the standard Linksys firmware (ETSI version) several times. I was able to do this shorting pins 5&6 on the flash chip. This invalidated the flash and allowed me to tftp the image... This didn't work.
I build a serial cable to see what was going on. This because the CFE was working but the OpenWRT kernel not booting. Well, what did I see: A lot of panics, corrupted memory etc... Damm...
With the Help of Iceberg who supplied me with an wholeflash.bin image of the WRT54GS v1.1 and the help of a JTAG cable I reflashed the whole lot. The first time it booted there were also a lot of panics etc but i repeated booting a feew times. Suddenly it came up and had a working DD-WRT image (that was on the image). I notices that sometimes it came up and had this stange message while booting: 'The sdram_init is 0x000b, not 0x010b'. When it came up, I checked the nvram and the sdram_init was 0x010b.
I reflashed the OpenWRT software and still kermel panics. I was unable to set any NVRAM variables; the commit never returned from the commit function. Next I used the JTAG to clear the NVRAM and using the CFE monitor to set the sdram_init to 0x010b and it worked. Since, the WRT54GS is working like a charm...

Conclusion: The CFE does not create the sdram_init variable correctly. It should be set to 0x010b from the CFE if missing. What the 0x0100 value means is unclear to me; maybe a new type of ram? This parameter controls the RAM and looks like the kernel is booting with no ram (or somewhere in unallocated space).

I bought the WRT54GS in the Netherlands, so the EU version. I don't know if the sdram_init value of 0x010b is the same on all the WRT54GS v1.1 routers.

Hope this is usedful to someone who's frustrated not being able to get their WRT54GS up and running again!

I love OpenWRT, keep up the good work!

Hi,

seems like my GS 1.1 got bricked somehow today. I guess it happened when the power was cut in the wrong room
when the wrong fuse was removed in the fuse-box when doing some electricity wiring big_smile
But why it got messed up after this powerdown and refuses to boot properly is the question. *Anyone has a clue or anything at all?*

So I tried to boot into failsafe but the DMZ-led never came on, Power-led is blinking and the connected LANport-leds are on :C (well DMZ-led comes on for half a second or so right after I plug it in - seems like its the same issue as Gromit and some others experienced on the page1 in this thread)

Gromit:
"One thing I noticed when plugging in power on the GS device was, that the DMZ and WLAN LEDs flash for a split second, even before the Power LED starts blinking and LAN1-4 and Internet light up for 1sec, then turn off. The G box does NOT do that. My assumption is, that the GS box performs some sort of reset or flush on the Intel flash that prevents the boot_wait procedure to perform normally. Maybe Linksys doesn't want us to hack this powerhouse of router!?"

And I have always had the boot_wait ON but that doesnt seem to help since the router doesnt reply to pings at all and tftps time out...
So the next thing to try is to shorten pins 5-6 and try tftp again?

Thanks

QoS wrote:

So the next thing to try is to shorten pins 5-6 and try tftp again?

Pin shorting is crap. Read mistake #9 in the PLEASE READ - Common mistakes thread.

I would recommend you add a serial console.

(Last edited by olli on 25 Jan 2006, 23:35)

_marc_ wrote:
Guillaume wrote:

How to make my router works again? Please help! :_o(
Guillaume.

remember that firmware must be lest than 3Mo with tftp upload. So to upload more than 3Mo, you need to make
it in 2 times.

1 - tftp little fimrware,
2 - reboot and wget http://.../biger-firwmare.bin
3 - mdt write ; reboot

Where does one track down a 'little firmware'?

-Kyle

Hi,

the situation with my WRT54GS v3.0:
[1] Power LED flashes quickly (~5 Hz), DMZ slowly (~0.5 Hz), so the firmware is bad.
[2] I can TFTP self-built and official OpenWRT RC4 and RC5 as well as Linksys FW to 192.168.1.1 but the box never resets itself. When I power-cycle it, I'm back to square one.

Is there any non-hardware recovery option left? If not, what's the least invasive hardware method that'll help - shorting pins 5+6, building JTAG cable?

How I got there:
I had everything set up (OpenWRT RC4, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, Shorewall, Tor, ...) when I had to power-cycle. After that I couldn't get back in via SSH. No big deal; I entered failsafe mode four or five times (couldn't spot the problem right away) and entered /sbin/mount_root every time. On the last attempt, I was distracted until I saw

Unlocking Linux
Unlocking OpenWRT
Erasing OpenWRT

Maybe I did enter /sbin/mount_root twice; I certainly didn't "mtd erase" or something.

Declaring this box bricked would be easier if the WRT54GL had 8 MB of flash...

grainger wrote:

[1] Power LED flashes quickly (~5 Hz), DMZ slowly (~0.5 Hz), so the firmware is bad.
[2] I can TFTP self-built and official OpenWRT RC4 and RC5 as well as Linksys FW to 192.168.1.1 but the box never resets itself. When I power-cycle it, I'm back to square one.

Check the md5sum and make sure you're sending it a valid image and not some corrupt download. Set your tftp program to binary mode or switch tftp programs; use the verbose or trace modes to make sure it sends the complete file.

Hello,

grainger wrote:

Power LED flashes quickly, DMZ slowly, I can TFTP, but the box never resets itself.

I have exactly the same problem with a WRT54GS v1.0. It was under OpenWRT.

I tried with new OpenWRT v4 and v5. Same problem.

TFTP "works" (trace), and the WRT continue blinking (but DMZ stops). After power cycle, everything comes back to blink mode... sad

Snif.

mbm wrote:

Check the md5sum and make sure you're sending it a valid image and not some corrupt download. Set your tftp program to binary mode or switch tftp programs; use the verbose or trace modes to make sure it sends the complete file.

Six different firmwares from three different sources (Linksys, openwrt.org, self-built) can't all be bad; besides, the self-built RC4 was flashed and working when things went wrong. And I TFTP as documented; the last lines are

sent DATA <block=3994, 512 bytes>
received ACK <block=3994>
sent DATA <block=3995, 0 bytes>
received ACK <block=3995>
Sent 2044928 bytes in 6.3 seconds

I tried tftp and atftp, the latter with command-line args as well as commands at its prompt.

Bricked my wrt54GL 1.1 earlier today with a failed firmware upgrade.

Only the power light was on and it was blinking

tried to hard reset many times. the router would not respond to ping.

Shorted pin 15 and 16 (had to try a few times) and it started to respond to ping

tftp linksys firmware and it's back in the game!

Made jtag unbuffered cable, it seems to work - I can flash, erase, backup (and so on) my router...

I've tried all steps written above, but still have one tiny little problem:

After I commit all the erasing and flashing, I still have:
--> power led blinking
--> LAN leds lid
--> dmz/wlan led off

I did the erase flash of nvram and kernel.. Everything! But still got the same pattern...
How could I possibly tftp firmware to the modem if LAN ports arent working?

I have WRT54GL router v.11 with samsung's memory chip...

I bricked mine (wrt54gs v1) and i have hammered it with jtag for 2 days and the best I can get is erasing, flashing the memory, flashed wholeflash, cfe, cleared nvram, gone from good to bad to good again, now my power light flashes and my dmz light stays on but I still can't ping the 192.168.1.1 address, I am wondering if I reset the mac address, or something like above with the sd_ram change. anyways more research I guess.........

I have a WRT54G V2 and have been having problems debricking this thing.
Before I built the JTAG cable I, possibly stupidly, did the pin shorting manuever and that got the ping back and I was able to TFTP firmware to it.  That didn't do much though as it never would load.

So I built a JTAG cable, erase NVRAM, nothing.  Erase CFE and reinstall with on from OpenWRT and Skynet.  With either one I can ping the router and TFTP firmware too it, but after TFTP'ing the firmware the Power light is still flashing quickly and the DMZ light is solid.  Wait 15 minutes or so and power cycle the router, Power light flashing quickly, DMZ light flashing slowly, still pings, still tftps.  I also tried flash:kernel and get the same thing.

I did a backup:CFE  and compared with the uploaded file and they match exactly.  I did a backup:kernel and they match up until the end of the firmware after that though there is garbage (not the FFFFFFF's from clearning), not sure if that is normal.  The NVRAM never changes from FFFFFFFF.

So I was wondering if someone has a WHOLEFLASH.BIN for a V2 or any other ideas on how to fix this. 
I guess my next step after that is serial cable?

Thanks!

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