Linksys EA6500v2 DD-WRT install tutorial

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themitch
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 4:56    Post subject: Linksys EA6500v2 DD-WRT install tutorial Reply with quote
I have noticed there is a lot of information out there regarding this router, but that most of it tends to be under other model numbers, namely the EA6700 (which is identical to the 6500 from everything I have found) and EA6900 which shares the lovable 32k nvram bug. My intent with this thread is to gather all the information I have found across this forum and the rest of the internet into one simple step by step tutorial.

Now, for the warning portion of this thread:

First and foremost, ***DO NOT perform a 30/30/30*** on this or any other EA series router. You may overwrite things that the router requires to function and you WILL lose the ability to return to stock.

Second, the following are steps that I have taken and found to work. Following these steps should lead to a successful install, but I do not in any way guarantee that they will, nor do I accept any responsibility for the consequences if they do not. Besides, if you have come here, you should realize that you are about to void your warranty, and anything you do is your own fault, right?

Please note that a change in development in the last few months *can* cause upgrade issues. If your router gets stuck in a boot loop, please refer to note 6 of the peacock thread (http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51486) and follow the instructions to install linksys stock firmware with the TFTP utility, then proceed to upgrade using my tutorial.

It would behoove you to google and download the TFTP utility now, just in case...


Now, without further delay...


Install of DD-WRT from factory linksys firmware:

1. Go to ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2013/12-24-2013-r23204/linksys-ea6500v2/ and save as "Initial_flash" to the directory of your choice.

2. Navigate to ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2015/04-09-2015-r26653/ and save the firmware in the directory of your choice

3. Navigate to the connectivity tab of your router, select firmware upgrade and select the "initial flash" file you downloaded in step one

4. Confirm the upgrade, walk away for 5 minutes and return

5. If you are not already there, point your browser to 192.168.1.1 then when you are confronted by the DD-WRT change password screen, do so.

6. Navigate to the "Administration>Firmware Upgrade" section, select the firmware with "r26653" in the filename, change "don't reset" to "reset to default settings" then click upgrade. Return in 5 minutes and proeed to step 7.

7. Navigate to http://192.168.1.1/backup/cfe.bin on your browser and save the resulting file in a safe place that you will not forget. This will save you from a lot of hassle if you do anything that erases sections of your CFE later.

8. Immediately navigate to the Management>Commands section, copy the code below and paste it into the commands box.

Code:
#Clear nvram null entries
for line in `nvram show | grep =$ `; do var=${line%*=}; nvram unset $var; done


As the comment states, these commands will clear all empty entries from nvram, thereby staving off the dreaded 32k nvram bug in this model...

9. Scroll down and click "run commands". After it finishes, click "save startup"

10. Navigate back to the upgrade firmware tab, select your firmware file with "r26653" again. Make sure "don't reset" is selected this time then click upgrade. Walk away for 5 minutes and return

11. At this point you are ready to configure your router.


Using the commands you previously saved to your startup script, I have been able to use quite a few of the extended functionalities included in DD-WRT while still maintaining an nvram size of 25.74k which is well below the threshold where things start to go crazy. You can find your nvram usage at any time by navigating to the status tab and scrolling to the "space usage" section. as long as the number stays below 32k you should be okay.

Subsequent updates to DD-WRT can be accomplished by starting at step 6. The latest build can always be found here: ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/

Please note the name of the folder is BETA. Thus far I have not run into any crippling problems, but problems are bound to happen. The 26653 build is a stable one in my experience, however as a bonus I am attaching my current startup script which includes lines to fix a current bug as well as improve your wifi stability.


Upgrades can be performed by starting at step 6 and using your new firmware in place of build 26653.

*Edited 7/29/15 to include CFE backup
*Edited 4/9/16 to include recovery instructions and remove unnecessary lines from startup script
*Edited 4/27/18 I have attached the TFTP utility, and made some minor edits. I also moved the "done" up to the second line as I had never noticed that issue before. My apologies to those that had issues due to that error.


Last edited by themitch on Fri Apr 27, 2018 17:45; edited 6 times in total
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nifa
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 4:00    Post subject: Reply with quote
The Command:
Code:
for line in `nvram show | grep =$ `; do var=${line%*=}; nvram unset $var; done

It doesn't work on my EA6500v2,DDWRT build 27086,
Code:
sh: eval: line 2: syntax error: unexpected word (expecting �a


Thanks a lot for any help.
themitch
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 4:14    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you for pointing that out to me. I updated the script to reflect the change. The line causing the error was not really necessary given that it is in the startup script anyway...

My mistake there.
nifa
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 8:30    Post subject: Reply with quote
themitch wrote:
Thank you for pointing that out to me. I updated the script to reflect the change. The line causing the error was not really necessary given that it is in the startup script anyway...

My mistake there.


Now I see.... Please forgive my ignorance.It works well as a startup script.

Thank you again.
chowder
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 13 Jul 2015
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 15:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hopefully this works for me tonight.

I'm at the stage right now where I can't upgrade my firmware. The firmware I have installed kind of works but it's not good.

I fear these directions are only for installing from stock firmware so I may be hooped, but it's worth a shot.

I'm confused about the gap between steps 6 and 7. If I recall, once I hit upgrade it ghosts out the background and starts counting down from 300.

Am I meant to do step 7 'immediately' when this upgrade is commencing and the background is ghosted?

I'll try tonight, just hoping for some clarity before I go and brick my router (which I may already sort of done)
themitch
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 15:56    Post subject: Reply with quote
"Immediately" was probably a poor choice of words. What was intended was that you do step 7 after the upgrade comes online. The problem would potentially come up if someone were to get their router up and decide to just go on from there. Following all these steps is the only way I have been able to get my entire setup working without router crashes.

As far as coming from other than stock firmware, I do not know that you *need to start at step 1 but it can't hurt. A few extra steps maybe, but those 5 minutes won't be noticed when you have a working setup. I will say that to my knowledge, starting at step one is because of how Linksys firmware behaves. If the file is too large the upgrade fails, but no other harm comes.

Let me know if you need any more clarification!
blaser
DD-WRT User


Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 465

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 16:15    Post subject: Reply with quote
I had success long ago with dd-wrt on v2 router.
The only issue I saw when I was starting to fill my configuration the router would go into bootloop, only 30/30/30 would help.
Since then I decided to try advancedtomato, first time I'm using it, many years with dd-wrt.
advanced tomato reported 64K nvram and after I filled my configuration I had only 28K available but the router worked fine.
I do not understand the problem with dd-wrt while Tomato is working.

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themitch
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 16:39    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
I filled my configuration I had only 28K available but the router worked fine.


Are you suggesting that tomato has fixed the 32k nvram bug? If so I would love to see the status screen showing your nvram usage above 32k. I would probably switch over at that point.
blaser
DD-WRT User


Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 465

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 18:40    Post subject: Reply with quote
Not sure if the 32K bug is fixed or not, what I know it that Tomato shows 64K nvram and I have ~ 35K used, you can do the math.
If I have time tonight I will post a snapshot of the screen or you can take my word and give it a try, see my signature below.

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themitch
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 19:34    Post subject: Reply with quote
blaser wrote:
Not sure if the 32K bug is fixed or not, what I know it that Tomato shows 64K nvram and I have ~ 35K used, you can do the math.
If I have time tonight I will post a snapshot of the screen or you can take my word and give it a try, see my signature below.


I see what you are saying now. I know from experience that you can get things running with over 32k. Problem is things start randomly getting changed or disappearing. I would definitely not suggest you ever attempt to reboot either. Hopefully you got a cfe backup before you started tinkering too. Once you 30/30/30 you lose certain things and it sucks.
blaser
DD-WRT User


Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 465

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 22:36    Post subject: Reply with quote
I rebooted few times and things are stable
See snapshot
I put the old one in, the E3000 until I get the VPN server working, but all configured, just no time to spend on it



nvram.jpg
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nvram.jpg



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themitch
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 22:39    Post subject: Reply with quote
Neat. You are a very lucky person.
chowder
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 13 Jul 2015
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 23:24    Post subject: Reply with quote
I stupidly did a 30/30/30 before reading this thread and think I'm hooped now.

I currently have build 23598M installed. It thinks it's an EA6700 router.

Any attempts at changing firmware to anything in this thread, stock, or tomato fail.

Seems like I'm stuck with this firmware. Any suggestions?
themitch
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 23:38    Post subject: Reply with quote
The truth is you are not hooped unless you planned to return to stock. Best practice is to grab a copy of your CFE as soon as you install dd-wrt (something I need to add to my tutorial). I don't believe the 30/30/30 caused your issue. I would suggest you try a factory reset from the interface and try an upgrade again. You may also have a corrupted download. I would go grab the latest from the ftp mentioned above and try that if the factory reset does not work.
blaser
DD-WRT User


Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 465

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 0:03    Post subject: Reply with quote
themitch wrote:
Neat. You are a very lucky person.


Luck doesn't have anything to do with that.
I was pissed that I couldn't use the new router on DD-WRT and searched for alternatives, I hate stock firmware.

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