Nov 8, 2007

When Life Gives You Lemons, Install DD-WRT On a New Router

I got a call at work from my wife yesterday saying that the internet wasn't working. Naturally, I told her to reboot the cable modem and the router.

When I got home, she said that the reboot didn't work. So I started fiddling, and checking the usual stuff. Anyway, long story short my router, as we used to say in the Navy, "took a shit."

That's right, my el-cheapo D-Link DI-624 was no longer responding to anything, even after a factory reset. All the kings horses and all the king's men couldn't put my D-Link back together again. I figured it was about time. I had that thing for almost three years, and it was the cheapest one in the store at the time.

So tonight I decided I would go get a Linksys WRT54G router, and flash it with DD-WRT, and that is exactly what I did. The only problem is that the new WRT54G's in the store are version 8, and there isn't too much documentation out there on how to flash it with this Linux based deliciousness.

Never fear though, Bauer-Power is here. I will give you the step by step info you need to beef up your Linksys WRT54G V8 with DD-WRT lickity split!

If you are wondering why you would want to flash it using an open source operating system that will void the warranty; according to Wikipedia, DD-WRT offers, "...Special features not included in the original firmware include support for the Kai network, daemon-based services, IPv6, Wireless Distribution System, RADIUS, advanced quality of service, radio output power control, overclocking capability, and software support for a Secure Digital Card hardware modification."

[EDIT By El Di Pablo]: If you are only planning on flashing your Version 8 WRT54G for use with the Kai network, please note that there currently isn't support for it in the current DD-WRT version. Keep checking back on the DD-WRT website for future releases.

Before going any further, I have to say that performing a firmware upgrade on your router with this Open Source firmware WILL void your warranty. If not performed properly, this could damage your router irreversibly. By continuing you agree to hold me harmless for any damage you cause your router.

Man I hate having to do that, but people are sue happy these days...

Anyway, before we begin, you will need to download some things:

  • dd-wrt.v24_micro_wrt54gv8.bin

  • VXWORKSKILLER.BIN

  • Linksys Tftp Utility


  • Once you have those, you are ready to begin.

    1) Unplug your router.

    2) Press and hold the reset button on the back while plugging in your router. Keep the reset button pressed for another 20-30 seconds or so.

    3) Browse to 192.168.1.1, and if you did everything right you should be seeing a white page prompting you to upload a file.

    4) Browse to where you saved VXWORKSKILLER.BIN, select it and click upload.

    5) When it says upload complete (or successful, I can't remember) unplug the router, then plug it back in and wait for 2 to 3 minutes. After 2 to 3 minutes, unplug it and plug it back in again.

    6) Now take your Linksys Tftp Utility, and point it to 192.168.1.1, leave the password blank, browse to where you saved dd-wrt.v24_micro_wrt54gv8.bin, select it and click upload. When you see the green dot, you should be good to go!

    7) Now browse to 192.168.1.1 and you should have your nice new DD-WRT status page staring right back at you. Remember, the default username and password is root/admin. Be sure to change it right away!

    Once again, this is for the WRT54G V8 ONLY, if you have a different version of the WRT54G, do some Googling and you should find out how to flash yours. If you use the wrong firmware, you could risk damaging your router.

    Enjoy!



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