RT-N66 CFE Thread

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barryware
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 13049
Location: Behind The Reset Button

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 20:07    Post subject: Reply with quote
ranalli wrote:
From Merlin's build I used the most up to date method of the CFE update. I was able to install Fractal's newest build afterwards 20363. Everything works great shows 64k. Went back and put router in recovery to see if CFE page would load, not responding. CFE page worked after updating to CFE 1.0.1.3, I used it to clear nvram during install of Fractal's build. Possible problem still with vlan1ports="1 2 3 4 8*" ? Router is in working condition so I'm not worried, it boots into DD-WRT fine. Just wondering if possible to get CFE page to display again when in recovery.

check the cfe you flashed with a hex editor and see what it says for vlan1ports.
if you got it into recovery mode after flashing the cfe and erasing nvram, it should go into recovery mode again.

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Fractal
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1243

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 22:00    Post subject: Reply with quote
BasCom wrote:
@GHO i asked fractal twice to post his changes, but it seems, he ignored / overread it. must be a secret.


I have been super busy for the holidays as of late, however I did hear your request and have submitted a ticket with the change for 64kcfe asus n66u

http://svn.dd-wrt.com:8000/ticket/2747

-Fractal
BasCom
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 1378
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 22:40    Post subject: Reply with quote
great !!
_________________
RT-N66U @ Build 25697M K3.10.63
TL-WR842ND v1 @ BS-build 23919 WDS AP
TL-WR841ND @ BS-build 23919 WDS Client
TL-WR841ND @ BS-build 23919 Client Bridge ( Routed )
ranalli
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:38    Post subject: Reply with quote
barryware wrote:
ranalli wrote:
From Merlin's build I used the most up to date method of the CFE update. I was able to install Fractal's newest build afterwards 20363. Everything works great shows 64k. Went back and put router in recovery to see if CFE page would load, not responding. CFE page worked after updating to CFE 1.0.1.3, I used it to clear nvram during install of Fractal's build. Possible problem still with vlan1ports="1 2 3 4 8*" ? Router is in working condition so I'm not worried, it boots into DD-WRT fine. Just wondering if possible to get CFE page to display again when in recovery.

check the cfe you flashed with a hex editor and see what it says for vlan1ports.
if you got it into recovery mode after flashing the cfe and erasing nvram, it should go into recovery mode again.


Excuse my ignorance. I'm aware of how to hex edit the file just not sure where to obtain the CFE I flashed from the router. I tried sshing back into the router to try and run the strings /dev/mtd0ro | grep bl_version command but I'm not getting anything back. After I completed the CFE update last night it gave me back 1.0.1.3 when it was ran.

The only thing I did after the successful update was flash from Merlin's build to Fractal's newest build.

The install is working well, router functioning as expected other than USB Storage with EXT troubles and the recovery issue.
ranalli
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 19:55    Post subject: Reply with quote
ranalli wrote:
barryware wrote:
ranalli wrote:
From Merlin's build I used the most up to date method of the CFE update. I was able to install Fractal's newest build afterwards 20363. Everything works great shows 64k. Went back and put router in recovery to see if CFE page would load, not responding. CFE page worked after updating to CFE 1.0.1.3, I used it to clear nvram during install of Fractal's build. Possible problem still with vlan1ports="1 2 3 4 8*" ? Router is in working condition so I'm not worried, it boots into DD-WRT fine. Just wondering if possible to get CFE page to display again when in recovery.

check the cfe you flashed with a hex editor and see what it says for vlan1ports.
if you got it into recovery mode after flashing the cfe and erasing nvram, it should go into recovery mode again.


Excuse my ignorance. I'm aware of how to hex edit the file just not sure where to obtain the CFE I flashed from the router. I tried sshing back into the router to try and run the strings /dev/mtd0ro | grep bl_version command but I'm not getting anything back. After I completed the CFE update last night it gave me back 1.0.1.3 when it was ran.

The only thing I did after the successful update was flash from Merlin's build to Fractal's newest build.

The install is working well, router functioning as expected other than USB Storage with EXT troubles and the recovery issue.


Ok so some further testing..
From Fractal's build I attempted to reflash Merlin's build using the Asus Restoration Utility with the router in recovery mode. I don't think its a vlan port problem anymore because The utility was able to upload and flash Merlin's build... the problem was at the end of the flash. It transferred the firmware 100% to the router, but at the end of applying the firmware update it failed.

At this point (10 - 15 seconds after the firmware update failed) I was able to load 192.168.1.1 and get the CFE page. From there I clicked clear NVRAM, at which point it seemed the router rebooted into Merlin's build.

Afterwards.. CFE page is back to not working. If I were to put router into recovery and attempt to access 192.168.1.1 I cannot access CFE.

Although, now with Merlin's build I'm able to ssh in and do "strings /dev/mtd0ro | grep bl_version" and get back "bl_version=1.0.1.3"
Magnetron1.1
DD-WRT User


Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 278
Location: North America

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:41    Post subject: Reply with quote
FWIW ... It's probably not wise to update the CFE using Fractal's DD-WRT version 20363 firmware. After creating the latest 1.0.1.3 CFE, I attempted to update using the "dd" command and while it claimed to be successful, however nothing was actually written to the /dev/mtd/0 partition. I seem to recall BarryWare mentioning something similar to this about a year or two ago.
Next, I tried the "mtd write" command which erased the /dev/mtd/0 partition but it *forgot* to write the new CFE which totally bricked the router and made it unrecoverable by the serial console or JTAG interfaces. (I'm not aware of any publicly available JTAG software that's compatible with this router.)
To solve this problem, I unsoldered the flash chip with an Aoyue 968A hot air rework station and rewrote the 1.0.1.2 CFE to the flash chip with an Advin Xeltek SuperPro-5000 universal programmer.
After resoldering the chip to the circuit board, I successfully updated to the latest 1.0.1.3 CFE by re-running the script on the stock Asus firmware version 260.

=====================================================

Some helpful commands to examine the CFE and NVRAM on an
Asus RT-N66U router running Fractal's DD-WRT firmware version 20363


root@AsusRT-N66URT1:~# cat /dev/mtd/0|grep -E 'bl_version|vlan[012]ports'
vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 8* <<=== LAN and WLAN
vlan2ports=0 8u <<=== WAN
bl_version=1.0.1.3 <<=== Boot Loader

root@AsusRT-N66URT1:~# nvram show|grep -E 'bl_version|vlan[012]ports'
vlan2ports=0 8u <<======\
vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 8* <<== Should match above items
bl_version=1.0.1.3 <<=====/
size: 30582 bytes (34954 left)

- Magnetron1.1
Fractal
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1243

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
Magnetron1.1 wrote:
FWIW ... It's probably not wise to update the CFE using Fractal's DD-WRT version 20363 firmware. After creating the latest 1.0.1.3 CFE, I attempted to update using the "dd" command and while it claimed to be successful, however nothing was actually written to the /dev/mtd/0 partition. I seem to recall BarryWare mentioning something similar to this about a year or two ago.
Next, I tried the "mtd write" command which erased the /dev/mtd/0 partition but it *forgot* to write the new CFE which totally bricked the router and made it unrecoverable by the serial console or JTAG interfaces. (I'm not aware of any publicly available JTAG software that's compatible with this router.)
To solve this problem, I unsoldered the flash chip with an Aoyue 968A hot air rework station and rewrote the 1.0.1.2 CFE to the flash chip with an Advin Xeltek SuperPro-5000 universal programmer.
After resoldering the chip to the circuit board, I successfully updated to the latest 1.0.1.3 CFE by re-running the script on the stock Asus firmware version 260.

=====================================================

Some helpful commands to examine the CFE and NVRAM on an
Asus RT-N66U router running Fractal's DD-WRT firmware version 20363


root@AsusRT-N66URT1:~# cat /dev/mtd/0|grep -E 'bl_version|vlan[012]ports'
vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 8* <<=== LAN and WLAN
vlan2ports=0 8u <<=== WAN
bl_version=1.0.1.3 <<=== Boot Loader

root@AsusRT-N66URT1:~# nvram show|grep -E 'bl_version|vlan[012]ports'
vlan2ports=0 8u <<======\
vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 8* <<== Should match above items
bl_version=1.0.1.3 <<=====/
size: 30582 bytes (34954 left)

- Magnetron1.1


Wow,

Now that is impressive, good job!

I would suggest those that are trying to upgrade their cfe, is to flash merlins build on your router it will have ssh by default you can turn on and run the command. Merlins build supports the 64k cfe in the kernel and that is all that is needed.... You can flash from my build to asus merlins and vice versa without going into the CFE boot loader, you can simply update from the update firmware screens....

so for those that have questions here is how I told a friend to do it.

Load latest asus-N66U merlin build
reset NVRAM by powering on the router and immediately holding the WPS button for 30 sec.... Then let go and let the router boot.

Once in asus merlin, enable SSH on the administration advanced page,... ssh the necessary files and do the necessary update and reboot... his build will see your new CFE as well... once you have a working update CFE router.. you can flash from his build strait to mine... after you get a successful flash and the router has rebooted, wait until all lights have come on incuding 2.4 and 5.8ghz lights,.. I would say wait 5 minutes to be sure.... Then you probably wont be able to PING 192.168.1.1.... this is where you powercycle the router and hold in the WPS button again for 30 sec, then let go. this will clear the CFE and boot the router into dd-wrt..

Hopefully that helps,

-Fractal
Magnetron1.1
DD-WRT User


Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 278
Location: North America

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:51    Post subject: Reply with quote
@Fractal ------- Thanks for the updated DD-WRT firmware builds.
@RMerlin ------ Thanks for the new and improved ASUS firmware builds. I especially like the SSH feature.
@ryzhov_al --- Thanks for the new CFE info and files.


Here's a link to Merlin's ASUS firmware builds which are now hosted on the MediaFire servers.

=====================================================

Some helpful commands to examine the CFE and NVRAM on an
Asus RT-N66U router running Merlin's ASUS firmware version 3.0.0.4_264.22

(PuTTY SSH session with the router)

admin@RT-N66U:/tmp/home/root# cat /dev/mtd0|grep -E 'bl_version|vlan[012]ports'
vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 8* <<=== LAN and WLAN
vlan2ports=0 8u <<=== WAN
bl_version=1.0.1.3 <<=== Boot Loader

admin@RT-N66U:/tmp/home/root# nvram show|grep -E 'bl_version|vlan[012]ports'
size: 35742 bytes (29794 left)
vlan2ports=0 8u <<======\
vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 8* <<== Should match above items
bl_version=1.0.1.3 <<====/

- Magnetron1.1
ranalli
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 16:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
Fractal wrote:
Magnetron1.1 wrote:
FWIW ... It's probably not wise to update the CFE using Fractal's DD-WRT version 20363 firmware. After creating the latest 1.0.1.3 CFE, I attempted to update using the "dd" command and while it claimed to be successful, however nothing was actually written to the /dev/mtd/0 partition. I seem to recall BarryWare mentioning something similar to this about a year or two ago.
Next, I tried the "mtd write" command which erased the /dev/mtd/0 partition but it *forgot* to write the new CFE which totally bricked the router and made it unrecoverable by the serial console or JTAG interfaces. (I'm not aware of any publicly available JTAG software that's compatible with this router.)
To solve this problem, I unsoldered the flash chip with an Aoyue 968A hot air rework station and rewrote the 1.0.1.2 CFE to the flash chip with an Advin Xeltek SuperPro-5000 universal programmer.
After resoldering the chip to the circuit board, I successfully updated to the latest 1.0.1.3 CFE by re-running the script on the stock Asus firmware version 260.

=====================================================

Some helpful commands to examine the CFE and NVRAM on an
Asus RT-N66U router running Fractal's DD-WRT firmware version 20363


root@AsusRT-N66URT1:~# cat /dev/mtd/0|grep -E 'bl_version|vlan[012]ports'
vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 8* <<=== LAN and WLAN
vlan2ports=0 8u <<=== WAN
bl_version=1.0.1.3 <<=== Boot Loader

root@AsusRT-N66URT1:~# nvram show|grep -E 'bl_version|vlan[012]ports'
vlan2ports=0 8u <<======\
vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 8* <<== Should match above items
bl_version=1.0.1.3 <<=====/
size: 30582 bytes (34954 left)

- Magnetron1.1


Wow,

Now that is impressive, good job!

I would suggest those that are trying to upgrade their cfe, is to flash merlins build on your router it will have ssh by default you can turn on and run the command. Merlins build supports the 64k cfe in the kernel and that is all that is needed.... You can flash from my build to asus merlins and vice versa without going into the CFE boot loader, you can simply update from the update firmware screens....

so for those that have questions here is how I told a friend to do it.

Load latest asus-N66U merlin build
reset NVRAM by powering on the router and immediately holding the WPS button for 30 sec.... Then let go and let the router boot.

Once in asus merlin, enable SSH on the administration advanced page,... ssh the necessary files and do the necessary update and reboot... his build will see your new CFE as well... once you have a working update CFE router.. you can flash from his build strait to mine... after you get a successful flash and the router has rebooted, wait until all lights have come on incuding 2.4 and 5.8ghz lights,.. I would say wait 5 minutes to be sure.... Then you probably wont be able to PING 192.168.1.1.... this is where you powercycle the router and hold in the WPS button again for 30 sec, then let go. this will clear the CFE and boot the router into dd-wrt..

Hopefully that helps,

-Fractal



Thanks for that Fractal. I've been having problems with that CFE page since the 1.0.1.3 update (as stated above). This lets me know I can upgrade my firmware without the bootloader being any troubles.
GH0
DD-WRT User


Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
Fractal wrote:
BasCom wrote:
@GHO i asked fractal twice to post his changes, but it seems, he ignored / overread it. must be a secret.


I have been super busy for the holidays as of late, however I did hear your request and have submitted a ticket with the change for 64kcfe asus n66u

http://svn.dd-wrt.com:8000/ticket/2747

-Fractal


Thank you fractal.

Hopefully, they can release a new updated firmware with the changes commited, so that I can get a log dump/kernel panic with the new changes in place.
SweetTides
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
I just wanted to say thank you for your work Fractal! I Finally have DDWRT on my RTN66U with lots of room for settings and its pretty awesome, and thank you barryware for hosting them!


Thank you sirs.

Very Happy


Last edited by SweetTides on Fri Dec 28, 2012 13:34; edited 7 times in total
Hyperian
DD-WRT User


Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:49    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi, I've only ever modded my old wrt54gs and now i just bought RT-N66R with firmware 3.0.0.4.220 and H/W B1.

What's the easiest way I can get it to work with the latest version of DDWRT?

should i just use the dd-wrt.v24-18702_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_RT-N66U.trx for initial flashing, then use dd-wrt.v24-18702_NEWD-2_K2.6_big_RT-N66U.trx as it mentions in the main site?

(are these the 64kb NVRAM files?)
Jonathan
DD-WRT User


Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 13:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hyperian wrote:
Hi, I've only ever modded my old wrt54gs and now i just bought RT-N66R with firmware 3.0.0.4.220 and H/W B1.

What's the easiest way I can get it to work with the latest version of DDWRT?

should i just use the dd-wrt.v24-18702_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_RT-N66U.trx for initial flashing, then use dd-wrt.v24-18702_NEWD-2_K2.6_big_RT-N66U.trx as it mentions in the main site?

(are these the 64kb NVRAM files?)


Hyperian,
There are at least three routes you can take.
1) Flash with the "Official Build" of DD-WRT for the N66R/N66U (same unit, as I understand it -- the N66R is simply sold through Best Buy). This approach may result in limited functionality, as Asus left insufficient room in the default non-volatile RAM (nvram) for settings storage.
2) Flash with RMerlin's modified Asus firmware (http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/forumdisplay.php?f=42)
3) Follow the approach detailed (with links) by al360ex: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=728899&highlight=#728899 ...and flash with Fractal's latest "unofficial" build of DD-WRT for this unit.

I went with choice 3, and have been impressed by 1) how easy it was, and 2) how rock-solid Fractal's build is. I've also been thankful I increased the settings storage capacity (CFE update), as I've significantly exceeded the default Asus nvram capacity with such things as an SSH Key and certificates for OpenVPN. I'm using the router for its wired capabilities only.

Fair warning, of course: Fractal's choice 3 builds are not "official" builds, and modifying the CFE, as easy and straightforward as it has now become, does carry some risk.

Also, if you go the route of "choice 3", BE CAREFUL to ONLY flash Fractal's 64k DD-WRT builds after implementing the 64k CFE update! Otherwise, you WILL brick your router, and recovery will probably require hardware modification.
Nikola Vassilev
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 09 Dec 2012
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 20:51    Post subject: Reply with quote
Jonathan wrote:

Also, if you go the route of "choice 3", BE CAREFUL to ONLY flash Fractal's 64k DD-WRT builds after implementing the 64k CFE update! Otherwise, you WILL brick your router, and recovery will probably require hardware modification.


I don't think you'll need to solder for this, but you would have to pop the box and connect a serial interface.

I had a problem when flashing a Melin Asus build from Fractal's 20202 dd-wrt specific to this router with the previous buggy 64k nvram CFE did not work. I recovered it with a USB To RS232 TTL UART PL2303HX Auto Converter USB to COM Cable Adapter Module.
Hyperian
DD-WRT User


Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:52    Post subject: Reply with quote
Jonathan wrote:
Hyperian wrote:
Hi, I've only ever modded my old wrt54gs and now i just bought RT-N66R with firmware 3.0.0.4.220 and H/W B1.

What's the easiest way I can get it to work with the latest version of DDWRT?

should i just use the dd-wrt.v24-18702_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_RT-N66U.trx for initial flashing, then use dd-wrt.v24-18702_NEWD-2_K2.6_big_RT-N66U.trx as it mentions in the main site?

(are these the 64kb NVRAM files?)


Hyperian,
There are at least three routes you can take.
1) Flash with the "Official Build" of DD-WRT for the N66R/N66U (same unit, as I understand it -- the N66R is simply sold through Best Buy). This approach may result in limited functionality, as Asus left insufficient room in the default non-volatile RAM (nvram) for settings storage.
2) Flash with RMerlin's modified Asus firmware (http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/forumdisplay.php?f=42)
3) Follow the approach detailed (with links) by al360ex: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=728899&highlight=#728899 ...and flash with Fractal's latest "unofficial" build of DD-WRT for this unit.

I went with choice 3, and have been impressed by 1) how easy it was, and 2) how rock-solid Fractal's build is. I've also been thankful I increased the settings storage capacity (CFE update), as I've significantly exceeded the default Asus nvram capacity with such things as an SSH Key and certificates for OpenVPN. I'm using the router for its wired capabilities only.

Fair warning, of course: Fractal's choice 3 builds are not "official" builds, and modifying the CFE, as easy and straightforward as it has now become, does carry some risk.

Also, if you go the route of "choice 3", BE CAREFUL to ONLY flash Fractal's 64k DD-WRT builds after implementing the 64k CFE update! Otherwise, you WILL brick your router, and recovery will probably require hardware modification.


How do i access the command line interface? i read another thread and it came to the linux command line instructions but i dont know how to access it.
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