Last-ditch debricking method for WL-500W/GP v2

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nickca
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:00    Post subject: Last-ditch debricking method for WL-500W/GP v2 Reply with quote
I just used this method to bring my bricked WL-500W back to life. It should also work on the WL-500GP v2 as well, as it is very similar to the 500W. Note that you should only use this method if every other method has failed, including the pin 9 trick (this also involves shorting pins, yeah, yeah, I know, but this is only if the alternative is throwing out the router). Before trying this, I'd tried everything, including the pin 9 trick, "nvram erase" from the CFE console, etc. etc. This should work for you if your router's symptoms are like mine:

* On power on, it goes directly into restore mode (slow blinking power LED)
* You can ping the router, and TFTP is possible, but when trying to flash via TFTP the transfer goes extremely slowly and fails about half the time with "error 3".
* If you connect the serial console, you get a message on boot that's something like "image checksum failed" (I don't remember exactly what it is)

OK, here's what you do:
1. Short pin 17 on the flash chip to ground.
2. Connect power. All the LEDs should light up briefly, then the power LED should begin blinking slowly, indicating the router is in restore mode. If this doesn't work, disconnect power and try pin 16.
3. TFTP the ASUS firmware to the router. The DD-WRT mini image will not work. Oleg's firmware may work as well, but I didn't try it. If you've shorted the pin correctly, with a little luck the TFTP transfer speed should be normal (it shouldn't take more than about 10 seconds, whereas it would take as long as 10 minutes before if it finished at all).
4. Wait for the firmware to be written to the flash. 5 minutes should be enough. If you want to be certain, connect a serial console and it will tell you when it's finished writing the firmware.
5. Power cycle the router. Hopefully it should boot normally. Now you should be able to flash it to whatever firmware you choose via TFTP, and the transfer will work at normal speed and complete successfully. If you're going to use DD-WRT, be sure to do the full installation method from the wiki (flash wl500g-clear-nvram.trx, wl500g-recover.trx, dd-wrt.v24_mini_asus.trx, then DD-WRT mega via the web interface).

Hopefully this helps someone. My WL-500W had been lying useless for months before I lucked into finding this method on the Oleg firmware forums (my steps are slightly different, as the original method was for a WL-500GPv1). Again, I know some people are against pin shorting, but this should only be tried if you've tried everything else including clearing the nvram from the serial console AND the usual pin 9 shorting trick. Good luck!

_________________
* Linksys WRT600Nv1.1 - WAN/wired LAN router, 802.11n AP - DD-WRT mega v24 BS 11697
* Linksys WRT54Gv8 - 802.11g/b AP - DD-WRT v24sp1 micro
* Linksys WAP54Gv3 - 802.11g/b repeater bridge - DD-WRT v24sp1 micro
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redhawk0
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 11442
Location: Wherever the wind blows- North America

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
nickca....nice...glad this worked for you and yes, you stated it correct...use this as a last resort.

Unfortunately, many will see this as the saviour to all routers and jump right to it first before attempting the safer alternatives...but that is there problem.

I am one that is generally against pin shorting...it is generally only about 20% successful and in my book those odds are not high enough to justify trying it first...although I have used pin shorting methods to debrick routers also. But again...only as a last resort before the unit becomes dumpster food.

Good info...thanx

redhawk

_________________
Donations have dwindled so testing is limited to C/CB and R/RB modes on just a few newer models. No old router testing performed any longer.

Looking for more test units (newer models only) for the project...got a brick?...PM me to make a hardware donation. (USA) A donation is not a debricking service....it is a way to "Give back" to the dd-wrt project.

I do NOT provide personal assistance through chat or phone....so please don't ask.
nickca
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 15:21    Post subject: Reply with quote
Some additional caveats:
* If you don't know what "short to ground" means, or how to find a grounding point on the router's board, don't even think about trying this. This goes for any pin-shorting tricks.
* Pin 1 is marked with a little dot in the corner of the chip. On my router, the flash chip also has a dot in the lower right hand corner for some reason (where pin 25 is). When I first was trying to short pins to debrick this thing, I didn't pay close enough attention and was counting from the wrong pin. In order to not make the same mistake, look closely at the chip and look at the markings on it to ensure which way is up. On the WL-500W, the top of the chip is the closest side to the edge of the RF shielding.

_________________
* Linksys WRT600Nv1.1 - WAN/wired LAN router, 802.11n AP - DD-WRT mega v24 BS 11697
* Linksys WRT54Gv8 - 802.11g/b AP - DD-WRT v24sp1 micro
* Linksys WAP54Gv3 - 802.11g/b repeater bridge - DD-WRT v24sp1 micro
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