Hope this helps somebody out there ! I almost gave up but there IS a way.
You don't need the cable or anymore than simply telnet (if available), please note via GUI it will work but it's a bit more complicated.
Before moving on, a test that will write OUT the current CFE:
dd if=/dev/mtdblock/0 of=/tmp/BROKEN_cfe8500.bin
(this will export to /tmp/BROKEN_cfe8500.bin the current CFE boot)
Now confirm you have the same sizes of the two bin files (just in case):
ls -lisa /tmp/*.bin
Files must have the same size, if you see zeroes, ABORT!
root@DD-WRT:/tmp# ls -lisa *.bin
26509 516 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 524288 Jan 1 1970 BROKEN_cfe8500.bin
42094 512 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 524288 Jul 3 23:20 cfe8500.bin
and now the MAGIC!
Command in bold will WRITE the GOOD cfe8500.bin boot in the router:
root@DD-WRT:/tmp# dd if=/tmp/cfe8500.bin of=/dev/mtdblock/0
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
Flash is NAND
root@DD-WRT:/tmp# Connection closed by foreign host.
Your router will NOW keep the settings after reboots!!!
Tested myself after nvram reset, then applied this config, wifi working perfect.
It's not perfect for anyone but is a great start, wasted all yesterday figuring out how the hell to configure this. Missing the Smart Rule quick setup and band switching settings from Merlin.
Koolshare firmware for Netgear, including R8500, is based on Merlin + Vortex ASUS FW
After flashing the CFE then DDWRT was able to keep settings stored.
Leaving the note here in case it helps somebody else, as the mtd commands offered in other posts never worked while my commands up there did.
Auto channels for Merlin , Koolshare or stock FW gave me the top speed via Wi-Fi
While for DDWRT was very poor speed without fiddling big time. Definitely something to improve there. _________________ Netgear R8500
The damns ads and the DNS breaking all over. Really?
If this helps, I've managed to get the damn thing working after a few days of battling.
Get a cheap usb stick and plug it in the USB 2 0 port, disable JFFS in memory and only use and mount the USB stick for everything, jffs, swap and optware... you must do this in order to get everything proper!
You can then install optware (when YOU have /opt and /jffs pointing to the usb stick)
For MIPSEL based devices (Broadcom, not dual core), this:
#Here your favourite DNSs or open DNS or whatever is NOT your ISP
#Here your additional /etc/hosts files to remove adds, same format as someonewhocares
#Here your forced dhcps
You'd get your router to server DNS via DNSMASq using as servers quad9 and 126.96.36.199 but blocking whatever is on /etc/hosts
To get /etc/hosts autoupdated to remove a lot of ads sites and crap, put this portion to /jffs/etc/config/start.startup for incremental updates. If you want other places to get ads lists from, serve yourselves.
#this is to make sure the path points to /opt before /usr, so Opkg packages take preference
while [ $i != 0 ] ; do
if [ ! -d /tmp/root ] ; then
export PATH=/opt/sbin:/opt/bin:/opt/usr/sbin:/opt/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/usr/sbin:/jffs/sbin:/jffs/bin:/jffs/usr/sbin:/jffs/usr/bin:/mmc/sbin:/mmc/bin:/mmc/usr/sbin:/mmc/usr/bin" >>/tmp/root/.profile
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/lib:/opt/usr/lib:/lib:/usr/lib:/jffs/lib:/jffs/usr/lib:/jffs/usr/local/lib:/mmc/lib:/mmc/usr/lib" >>/tmp/root/.profile
while [ $i != 0 ] ; do
if [ ! -f /etc/profile ] ; then
cat /etc/profile /tmp/root/.profile >> /tmp/profile
mount --bind /tmp/profile /etc/profile
#This is to refresh the list of blocked sites for ads and anything else that's on /etc/hosts
curl -k -X GET https://someonewhocares.org/hosts/hosts -o /jffs/dnsmasqtempnew
cat /jffs/dnsmasqtempnew >> /jffs/dnsmasqtemp
cat /jffs/dnsmasqtemp | sed -e 's/^[ t]*//' | grep -v ^# | sort | uniq > /jffs/dnsmasqtempnew
cat /jffs/dnsmasqtempnew > /jffs/dnsmasqtemp
cat /jffs/dnsmasqtemp >> /etc/hosts
Joined: 08 May 2018 Posts: 4453 Location: Texas, USA
Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 21:20 Post subject:
Smaller pictures please.
X2. 800x600 is plenty large.
I got a big display and the forum is not friendly with images
Your display is not my display is not everyone else's display. The forum only resizes linked images, not uploaded ones. It's not that difficult to resize them and update the posts. Not trying to be rude, but when a moderator (Malachi) asks you to re-size, ....
It’s not the most important but if someone sees the tread title, wants to help, opens said thread like me on an iPad or iPhone, the mess of the format causes me to exit the thread quickly.
Then you might not get the help you were looking for. _________________ I am far from a guru, I'm barely a novice.