[Fixed] Bricked WRT150N v1 -- steady power light

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ERJH
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:05    Post subject: [Fixed] Bricked WRT150N v1 -- steady power light Reply with quote
I think I've bricked a WRT150N v1, but before I declare it so and move on to try and remediate it I'd like someone to give what I've done with it a once over and point out any stupid mistakes I've made. It's not my main router, just a box I picked up for $4 at a thrift store a couple of months back, so I can afford to take some time over it.

The initial flash to DDWRT went smoothly. I followed the instructions at www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/WRT150N precisely. I got the DDWRT password reset screen after the step 11 30/30/30, set the password and had a look around at the configuration interface.

I then decided to up the firmware version. I read the "Firmware Recommendations - Still 14929" thread, and the Peacock thread note 3. I decided that I would try the 15962 build. After looking at the list, I decided I would quite like to try out the VPN functionality, and I downloaded the following file:

ftp://dd-wrt.com/others/eko/BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2/2010/12-24-10-r15962/broadcom/dd-wrt.v24_vpn_generic.bin

I then carefully followed the instructions in Note 1 of the Peacock thread, a through g. On step d I think I waited 5 minutes total. I think I did get the change password web GUI screen up as well during this time, but I did nothing with it.

After step g, I never got the password reset page. The power light and the switch port light where the computer was connected were both solidly lit. I could not get a DHCP address. I set the computer to a static 192.168.1.2 address but could not ping 192.168.1.1 (ping timeouts). I've tried to speculatively send stock firmware via tftp, but that went nowhere.

I tried subsequent 30/30/30 resets. I've also tried to put the router into maintenance mode (peacock note 6). I just get ping timeouts. The only lights that come on are the power light (solid) and the LED corresponding to the LAN port the computer is plugged into.

My guess is that from here my next move is serial recovery (the WRT150N v1 has pads in the WAN port as per http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=62998), so I'll have to find a CA42 or similar I suppose. Although reading some comments at http://www.dd-wrt.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52951&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15 makes me think that it needs JTAG, which is a bit more cost and effort than I'm willing to do for a $4 router.

Anything obvious I did wrong? Bollixed choice of firmware, perhaps?

Thanks for any help.


Last edited by ERJH on Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:50; edited 1 time in total
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Murrkf
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 12676

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:26    Post subject: Reply with quote
Are you sure that the file you downloaded was the one you flashed. It should have worked. A k26 file might brick it though.

Serial will recover. Don't mess with the wan port. Its more of a hassle than it is worth.

_________________
SIG:
I'm trying to teach you to fish, not give you a fish. If you just want a fish, wait for a fisherman who hands them out. I'm more of a fishing instructor.
LOM: "If you show that you have not bothered to read the forum announcements or to follow the advices in them then the level of help available for you will drop substantially, also known as Murrkf's law.."
ERJH
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:40    Post subject: Reply with quote
Pretty confident -- there were only two files in the folder I picked it from, and the other was the DDWRT firmware file that was initially flashed to the unit.

One possibility is that I fumbled the reset switch during one or both of the 30/30/30s during the upgrade process. I had practised the technique with no power applied before swapping from stock firmware, but it's quite possible my implement had slipped from the button at some point.

Are the WAN port pads that much of a ballache to use? Seemed like a good way to access the serial console without opening the box up!
Murrkf
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 12676

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 15:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
ERJH wrote:
Are the WAN port pads that much of a ballache to use?


Yes.

Open it up.

_________________
SIG:
I'm trying to teach you to fish, not give you a fish. If you just want a fish, wait for a fisherman who hands them out. I'm more of a fishing instructor.
LOM: "If you show that you have not bothered to read the forum announcements or to follow the advices in them then the level of help available for you will drop substantially, also known as Murrkf's law.."
ERJH
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 22:52    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just as an update, the router is now unbricked. Yes, the serial pads in the WAN port were too much of a pain to work with -- at the time of my last post I'd already created a makeshift interface from an old floppy ribbon cable I had lying around. I never could get it to work properly though, so I took Murrkf's advice and opened the box up. I didn't have a soldering iron to hand, and I'm too cheap to buy one just for this, so I used tape and a steady hand to keep the three wires for the serial connection in place on the pads.

I owe thanks to mlapaglia for this post detailing how to use an Arduino board as the serial interface. It definitely made life a lot easier, and the community as a whole might want to consider it as an alternative to the CA-42.

As for what had gone wrong, it transpires that the flash to 15962 had completed properly, but the nvram hadn't been properly reset (looks like I butterfingered one of the 30/30/30s after all). I did a "nvram erase" in the CFE environment, and then someone interrupted me, so I unplugged the router. When I was able to return to the task, I was surprised to find ddwrt loaded normally. My host computer got a DHCP address, got the password reset screen on the web GUI, and so on. It seems to be behaving completely normally now.

Thank you Murrkf for your help!
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