D-Link DIR-880L

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ReinerS
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 17:59    Post subject: Weird update behavior Reply with quote
After the problem with firmware later than 08-16-2016-r30432 I decided today to see if the newest
build (09-22-2016-r30681) works better. But I got even more confused. What I did:

1. I upgraded to version 09-22-2016-r30681 and did NOT check do reset it to the default settings
2. The router booted OK, but was reset (even though I did not check to reset it)
3. I configured the new build step by step doing reboots in between
4. All went well until the last reboot...the router booted but I got the known problem (recovery
mode, but flashing not working)
5. So I did the serial recovery, issuing the nvram erase command at the cfe-prompt
6. Router booted ok, with all settings gone
7. I reconfigured the router AGAIN with version 09-22-2016-r30681, doing a step by step reboot
8. After I configured samba and cifs, the router showed the problem again (recovery mode, but not
working)
9. I did again a serial recovery, issuing the nvram erase command
10. After the router booted again (with firmware 09-22-2016-r30681) I decided to downgrade it to
the version I know was working (08-16-2016-r30432)

What happened know left me puzzled.... The router booted to version 08-16-2016-r30432, so far OK, BUT it had exactly the configuration it had, before I did the first step (upgrade from 08-16-2016-r30432 to 09-22-2016-r30681)????? I have no clue, how the router kept the configuration even though I did 2 (two) serial recoveries issuing twice the nvram erase command....

Anyone any idea?
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Xentrk
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 13:32    Post subject: Reply with quote
Greetings from Chiang Mai Thailand! My D-Link 880L router is restored! I soldered the 2.54 mm pins to the TX, GND and RX holes. I then connected the USB to TTL cable and used the MobaXterm client for the serial connection. I powered up the router and hit ctrl-c until I got the CFE prompt.

After I typed in the nvram erase command, I went to the web gui and saw that it came up with the last dd-wrt version I had attempted to flash, r30534 from Sep 6, 2016. I then proceeded to enter my configurations manually. After I saved the configurations, I powered off the router and connected to the fiber modem. I then powered the DIR-880L on. I then experienced the flashing power light again. WTF! Ugh!

Since the other readers here also reported issues with their routers being bricked with versions later than 08-16-2016-r30432, I decided to flash back to the last known good version I had working, which was the June 24 r30016M version.

I reconnected the USB to TTL cable, made the serial connection, hit ctrl-C, and issued the nvram erase again. I then got back into the gui and the r30534 release was displayed. I used the web gui to flash back to the June 24 r30016. It worked! I had the tftp client ready just in case it did not. What was surprising to me is all of my configurations from this version were still intact. This surprised me as I had done the 30-30-30 reset many times when trying to recover from the bad flash. I thought this would have wiped out all of my settings. Originally, I thought it was my attempt of loading my configuration backup file from r30016 to r30534 that had been the root cause of the brick. However, I now have to side with the others on this forum that something is buggy with versions later than 08-16-2016-r30432. However, r30534 is the only one I had tried.

Thanks to vills for posting the photos and identifying the serial connections. That will be a big help to others in the future. Thanks to ReinerS for the tip on the pin headers. And to Neozen, I hope you get back up and running soon. Let us know how it goes. May the force be with you!
Neozen
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 27 Aug 2016
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 23:41    Post subject: Reply with quote
Xentrk wrote:
Greetings from Chiang Mai Thailand! My D-Link 880L router is restored! I soldered the 2.54 mm pins to the TX, GND and RX holes. I then connected the USB to TTL cable and used the MobaXterm client for the serial connection. I powered up the router and hit ctrl-c until I got the CFE prompt.

After I typed in the nvram erase command, I went to the web gui and saw that it came up with the last dd-wrt version I had attempted to flash, r30534 from Sep 6, 2016. I then proceeded to enter my configurations manually. After I saved the configurations, I powered off the router and connected to the fiber modem. I then powered the DIR-880L on. I then experienced the flashing power light again. WTF! Ugh!

Since the other readers here also reported issues with their routers being bricked with versions later than 08-16-2016-r30432, I decided to flash back to the last known good version I had working, which was the June 24 r30016M version.

I reconnected the USB to TTL cable, made the serial connection, hit ctrl-C, and issued the nvram erase again. I then got back into the gui and the r30534 release was displayed. I used the web gui to flash back to the June 24 r30016. It worked! I had the tftp client ready just in case it did not. What was surprising to me is all of my configurations from this version were still intact. This surprised me as I had done the 30-30-30 reset many times when trying to recover from the bad flash. I thought this would have wiped out all of my settings. Originally, I thought it was my attempt of loading my configuration backup file from r30016 to r30534 that had been the root cause of the brick. However, I now have to side with the others on this forum that something is buggy with versions later than 08-16-2016-r30432. However, r30534 is the only one I had tried.

Thanks to vills for posting the photos and identifying the serial connections. That will be a big help to others in the future. Thanks to ReinerS for the tip on the pin headers. And to Neozen, I hope you get back up and running soon. Let us know how it goes. May the force be with you!


I think I've pretty much given up already. It's not worth spending more time at this for just $100. And trust me, I already tried about 4 different terminal clients, used macros commands to try to send to the CFE console, checked and tried different COM port settings, ordered 4 different USB Serial cables, pressed every single key or key combinations on the keyboard. The damn thing just won't ENTER the command. I must have burned some of the pins... Luckily, I had a spare Linksys EA6500V2 so losing the DIR-880L wasn't a big deal..

Thank you both for your help! At least I learned something from this experience. I was under the impression that unlike the EA6500-V2, you could always recover from a bad flash since the DIR-800L has that recovery page, but I was wrong. Too bad the DLink recovery page doesn't clear the NVRAM automatically after every flash..
Xentrk
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:04    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Neozen,

Sorry to hear about your d-link 880L. Those routers have good reviews when it comes to throughput. I am surprised at the many clients that it can support along with other configurations at the Children's Home I help support. Based on your feedback, I was careful not to hold the solder iron too long to the pin to avoid burning the connection. I did watch several how to solder videos on youtube before I took the plung just to be safe.

I am using Merlin Build 380.62 on two ASUS RT-AC88U routers right now. One is my OpenVPN client so I can stream media back in the USA. The other is for naked WAN access for other users. They are spendy routers. But I need a high performing chip and RAM for my streaming media needs half way across the globe. I recently purchased a pfSense appliance and learning about that as well.

I got into the DD-WRT builds due to my OpenVPN needs. It has been very interesting and I keep learning new things all the time. But I hope I never see the blinking power light ever again.
tineprogramming
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 19:46    Post subject: I need the picture too man. Reply with quote
I need photos of router board or serial port as I bricked my router also

Thank you

Tine
vills wrote:
After hours of trying different versions of software i found a page: http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Installation#Upgrading_to_a_Newer_Version_of_DD-WRT Smile.
And to revert anything back, i installed firmware, i previously used (it was r27858). Reset to factory defaults and install latest beta (r30605). But after applying my default set of settings it won't boot again. So i tried some more builds and found, that r30432 works well for me.

My default set of settings: 2.4+5Ghz wifi + 'guest' network, UPnP, QoS, SSH and maybe some other features.

So my suggestion: try use r30432 build. It works for me well.

UPD: If anyone need photos of router board or serial port - just ask Wink
Neozen
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 27 Aug 2016
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 19:53    Post subject: Re: I need the picture too man. Reply with quote
Hmm.. the pics were on Page 9, but they are gone now for some reason...

Anyway, the pin with the square (marked by arrow) is the Rx, (then space), then next pin is the 3.3v, then Gnd, then last is Tx.

Use only Rx, Gnd, and Tx ONLY!



tineprogramming wrote:
I need photos of router board or serial port as I bricked my router also

Thank you

Tine

tineprogramming
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 20:48    Post subject: Re: I need the picture too man. Reply with quote
Neozen wrote:
Hmm.. the pics were on Page 9, but they are gone now for some reason...

Anyway, the pin with the square (marked by arrow) is the Rx, (then space), then next pin is the 3.3v, then Gnd, then last is Tx.

Use only Rx, Gnd, and Tx ONLY!



tineprogramming wrote:
I need photos of router board or serial port as I bricked my router also

Thank you

Tine



Thank you so much. Honestly, I was kinda scare to open it up now. So I was thinking to see how is the router board and where is the serial connection on the board. If you can send me by pm or my email none_reply@live.com. How was your router now though ? Did you recovered it ?
Xentrk
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:04    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tineprogramming,

Right above the metal heat plate, you will see a Port marked as 'JP1' on board. Next to that are the four ports in the following order:

RX | [space] | +3.3V | GND | TX.

I did not save the photos to my hard drive. I am busy today but should be able to have time tomorrow to take a photo if you still need it. I soldered pins to my ports as documented in my previous posts so I did not have to cut the connectors off on the TTL cable.
Xentrk
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 0:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
I found a copy of the DIR-880L circuit board and serial connections on my hard drive!

Please see attached.

USB to TTL Cable
White RX -> Serial Board TX
Green TX -> Serial Board RX
Red -> No connection
Black GND -> Serial Board GND



serial connections.pdf
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  serial connections.pdf
 Filesize:  1.09 MB
 Downloaded:  835 Time(s)


dlink board.pdf
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  dlink board.pdf
 Filesize:  1.33 MB
 Downloaded:  878 Time(s)



Last edited by Xentrk on Sat Mar 04, 2017 13:14; edited 2 times in total
tineprogramming
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 17:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
Xentrk wrote:
I found a copy of the DIR-880L circuit board and serial connections on my hard drive!

Please see attached.


You are awesome man. Do you have any suggestion of the safe build that working without any problem ? What about kong version ? Is it have the same issue ?
Xentrk
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:44    Post subject: Reply with quote
Glad I can help…

Thanks go to Vills for posting the original photos.

ReinerS posted his findings at the top of page 10. He flashed to the last version he had working (08-16-2016-r30432).

I decided to flash back to the last known good version I had working, which was the June 24 r30016M.

In summary, both of us ended up flashing to the last known versions we had working. We both saw that the settings were maintained. I was surprised as I had done the 30-30-30 reset many times when trying to recover before I had done the serial recovery and had deleted the nvram in the process. I decided to leave it alone for now as the current version is meeting my needs.
ReinerS
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
As Xentrk mentioned, I'm running version v3.0-r30342.

I haven't tried the newer releases like v3.0-r30731. Maybe I'll find time on the weekend, because it's always a pain if it fails. Then you have to open the router, attach the serial cable, clean the nvram and reflash it with the last version I know was working for me.

Interesting however is, that on my DIR-860L-B1 the upgrades are working perfectly. No errors, no reflash, no recovery boot loop.

Just for information: It didn't matter what build (brainslayer or kong) I used, both showed the same recovery loop error.
ripaille38
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 18 Oct 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:39    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hello all !

I had the exact same experience that ReinerS described in his posts. But it happened on a DIR-868L-B1 which is almost the same HW than the 880L except the wireless. By the way, the 868L identifies itself as a 880L in the dd-wrt status pages.

When I went from r30432 to r30731 asking for NOT resetting the config, the router booted without any trouble but on a cleared configuration. I played around for some minutes setting some parameters in the web interface and rebooted 2 or 3 times. Finally, I ended stuck in the recovery mode with the orange led blinking.

I performed the CFE nvram erase through the serial connection and the router restarted OK. I downgraded to r30432 with the standard dd-wrt upgrade procedure.

As ReinerS stated, at this point the router appeared as it was back to the initial config which was available prior the upgrade. It seems that the nvram settings were preserved somewere and were left untouched by the r30731 which used its very own copy of the nvram and corrupted it after some time.

My guess is that the code that manages the nvram was modified between r30432 and r30471 and that this code is no more able to access the flash partition which contains the nvram copy. Accordingly, the "new" nvram is stored elsewere (may be in the flash or persists some time in the ram) and finally get corrupted.

What do you think ?
neebsk
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 20 Oct 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 19:43    Post subject: Router stuck in recovery mode cant reflash Reply with quote
I upgraded the router to a new dd wrt firmware and tried to restore my old settings but now there just a orange blinking light. Ive tried to flash the stock firmware using recovery flash @ 192.168.0.1 but now the routers power light just flashes orange and i cant acesss the web page again
Neozen
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 27 Aug 2016
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 20:45    Post subject: Re: Router stuck in recovery mode cant reflash Reply with quote
neebsk wrote:
I upgraded the router to a new dd wrt firmware and tried to restore my old settings but now there just a orange blinking light. Ive tried to flash the stock firmware using recovery flash @ 192.168.0.1 but now the routers power light just flashes orange and i cant acesss the web page again


Your router is stuck in a boot loop.
The only way to recover now is to open the router, use a USB to Serial TTL cable and access the CFE console to issue a "nvram erase" command.

Read through the last few pages of these thread, instructions and pin outs info are there.

Good luck.
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