A while back, I was having some issues with my Linksys Router. A perfectly good router back then, but whenever I connected to it with my shiny new Windows 7 laptop via Wi-Fi, my network connection slowed to a crawl.I tried everything and changed all of the router settings, to no avail.
The “bricking” event came after I’d contacted our team of authors, and one of the authors (who no longer writes for us anymore), suggested that I flash the “crappy” Linksys firmware with the free Tomato firmware.I remembered the bricked router and wondered if – years later – I could finally fix that thing. After doing a bit of research, I discovered a variety of factory “reset” sequences that allegedly work with Linksys routers.Basically, hold down the reset button for 15 to 30 seconds (depending who you talk to), power off the router (while holding reset), then power back on and keep holding reset for 15 to 30 seconds. While the power light kept incessantly blinking (the sign of a bricked router), and while I couldn’t access it on 192.168.1.1 with my browser, I was surprised to see that my computer “saw” the router when I connected a network cable. It seemed so odd to me that I could ping the router, but couldn’t get to the web-based emergency recovery screen that all of the blogs and forums mentioned should come up after a reset. So, I went out in search of a way to flash my Linksys with firmware without the need to use any web-based front end. However, I discovered an awesome set of tools and instructions at DD-WRT.The first step is to go to that page and download the vxworks_prep_GS_v03file.After unzipping the files, run the Vx Img Tool utility.What he failed to tell me – apparently assuming I was of a Router-flashing amateur than I was – was that I should verify the compatibility of the router with the Tomato firmware.
Long story short – by the end of the night I had wiped my Router of all firmware and firmly bricked it. According to all of the blogs and forums I read – it was as good as dead.
After laying the router to rest in a box in the basement and buying a brand new, faster router, I forgot all about the old, “dead” Linksys router.
Recently, I wanted to build a sub-network on my home LAN.
Make sure to click the right WRT54G version that you’re trying to unbrick. A very, very cool tool called Firmware Upgrade Utility.
Type in the MAC address from the label under your router, and then save the file as My54gs in the folder where you unzipped those files. The DD-WRT instructions tell you to go to your router “webgui” screen and click on firmware upgrade and use the vxworks_prep_GS_v03file. Pick the latest version, download and install, then run the Utility.
This awesome little application upgrades the firmware via TFTP.