Upgrading DD-WRT version on Netgear WNR3500L v1

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inxsible
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:08    Post subject: Upgrading DD-WRT version on Netgear WNR3500L v1 Reply with quote
I have a Netgear WNR3500L router which I am using as as AP only -- But it needs to have VLAN support as I intend to use it for devices across different VLANs.

DD-WRT recognizes it as

However, the actual unit does NOT mention v2 on the back. So my assumption is that it is v1

I have read the wiki for the router model and there is at least 1 K3X build 33555 mega that is reported to work. However, my confusion is related to K26 builds, how would I choose the version?


  1. Should I search for every "New Build" thread since 2013 (when I last installed DD-WRT on this router) and see which was the last build that someone reported they tried on the same v1 version of my router/AP?

  2. OR can I just select the latest 2020 build and install it? So it would be from 9/24/2020 from this link ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2020/09-24-2020-r44467/broadcom_K26/

  3. Which version would I choose from within the r44467 build? Since I am using it only as an AP, I don't need any fancy features except VLAN support.

  4. Finally, since I already have DD-WRT installed on it, I can use the .bin file directly without going through the .chk file. However, is that still the case when I am trying to upgrade from v24 build 21061 which is quite old?

Thanks for helping !
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kernel-panic69
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:36    Post subject: Reply with quote
1. Which file did you use for initial flash? If it's not a v2, then not sure why it's reporting as one unless detection was not correct for 21061.

2. Wiki doesn't mention if it should use nv60k or nv64k .bin files for upgrades, so not sure if using the generic mega.bin (or big.bin) files in k2.6 is the right choice. I would have to find the old device thread and see if there is any clarification, unless someone can chime in here. That wiki does need some work...

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inxsible
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Sep 2020
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 14:46    Post subject: Reply with quote
kernel-panic69 wrote:
1. Which file did you use for initial flash? If it's not a v2, then not sure why it's reporting as one unless detection was not correct for 21061.

2. Wiki doesn't mention if it should use nv60k or nv64k .bin files for upgrades, so not sure if using the generic mega.bin (or big.bin) files in k2.6 is the right choice. I would have to find the old device thread and see if there is any clarification, unless someone can chime in here. That wiki does need some work...


I think it was more of a Netgear issue than a detection issue -- I found another thread (yesterday while researching on how to upgrade) where a user was asking the same question.
Apparently, Netgear used to sell WNR3500v2, WNR3500L and WNR3500U ---
All of the above could work with the same firmware..
But then Netgear also sold WNR3500Lv2 which is different than the above 3. I think that's what the confusion is -- The v2 detected on my build is for WNR3500v2 and not for WNR3500Lv2 -- if that makes sense.

My device has an 8MB Flash, so I doubt a mega or big build would fit. I thought, from everything I read, that I would have to use a mini build - unless somehow the mega/big builds are less than 7.3MB in size.

In any case, I am still trying to figure out the best path to upgrade the firmware while so I can use the device as an AP that supports VLANs
inxsible
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Sep 2020
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 16:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
inxsible wrote:
In any case, I am still trying to figure out the best path to upgrade the firmware while so I can use the device as an AP that supports VLANs


Does DD-wrt accept chk files to upgrade a firmware?

I was thinking of installing the latest Netgear firmware available at https://www.netgear.com/support/product/WNR3500Lv1.aspx#Firmware%20Version%201.2.2.48%20(North%20America%20only)

This link seems to indicate that it would work, but the article in the wiki mentions that chk files are not accepted by the DD-wrt firmware.
blkt
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 20 Jan 2019
Posts: 2883

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 16:28    Post subject: Reply with quote
Which wiki article? This one? https://wiki.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Netgear_WNR3500L

It has a link to an old guide saying to erase linux then reboot and then the router should be in a TFTP recovery mode.

If that is the case, this is when you can tftp the stock chk file, when finished reset. Otherwise, use a TTL serial 3.3V adapter.

The second link you posted makes no mention of your model router, or any model at all.

https://www.myopenrouter.com/forum/back-stock-firmware
inxsible
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Sep 2020
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 16:42    Post subject: Reply with quote
blkt wrote:
Which wiki article? This one? https://wiki.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Netgear_WNR3500L

It has a link to an old guide saying to erase linux then reboot and then the router should be in a TFTP recovery mode.

If that is the case, this is when you can use the stock chk file. Otherwise, a TTL serial 3.3V adapter is required.

The second link you posted makes no mention of your model router, or any model at all.

https://www.myopenrouter.com/forum/back-stock-firmware
Yes that's the one. I should have linked it in my post. sorry.

However even the wiki article actually talks about Netgear WGR614L and not about WNR3500Lv1 - which is why I was not sure what the appropriate method would be to flash the stock firmware.

I found a Netgear article explaining how to install stock firmware, but again it doesn't mention any specific model number.

Thanks for the myopenrouter link... I am going through it now and will see if it helps me out.
blkt
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Joined: 20 Jan 2019
Posts: 2883

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 16:51    Post subject: Reply with quote
https://www.myopenrouter.com/article/how-reflash-factory-firmware-netgear-wrn3500l-without-serial-cable

After searching around netgear manuals and netgear community, your model's reset is only hold 5 seconds.

Edited the third line of my previous post for clarity.
inxsible
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Sep 2020
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 23:25    Post subject: Reply with quote
I followed the instructions, but I guess I am stuck at this point.

I don't use the 192.168.1.1 in my network. My entire network is on 10.10.10.X

The AP was on 10.10.10.6 and my desktop on 10.10.10.8 Both are connected to the same switch.

I telnet in to the AP and erased linux, and then rebooted. But I can no longer ping the AP anymore. I checked the DHCP server (in pfSense), but the lease for the AP at 10.10.10.6 is offline. So I am not sure how to actually use tftp to put the chk file in to the AP. Nonetheless, I tried tftp to 10.10.10.6 but it keeps timing out each time.

Does erasing the linux change the IP address of the unit -- probably back to default?

Would I have to set up a whole new network interface in the 192.168.1.X subnet and accordingly set up the managed switch to allow that network to pass through?
blkt
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 20 Jan 2019
Posts: 2883

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:01    Post subject: Reply with quote
Connect a computer directly to a LAN port on the router and set that computer's Ethernet adapter IP address to 192.168.1.2, Subnet 255.255.255.0, Gateway 192.168.1.1 and if this is Windows select "Use the following DNS server addresses" then leave both blank. Then run tftp put command or tftpd32 etc.

Windows command for TFTP would look something like this. "tftp -i 192.168.1.1 put WNR3500L-V1.2.2.48_35.0.55.chk"

You can reconfigure a switch if you want, but it may not be necessary unless for some reason direct access isn't working.

If no green blinking power LED indicating TFTP recovery mode, power on the router with no Ethernet ports connected at all.

I noticed for the netgear firmware link you provided earlier, the release notes page provides a different file.

http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/WNR3500LV1/WNR3500L_V1.2.2.48_35.0.55.zip (All Regions Except Russia)

The regular blue download button is below.

http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/WNR3500LV1/WNR3500L_V1.2.2.48_35.0.55NA.zip (North America only)
inxsible
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Sep 2020
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
blkt wrote:
Connect a computer directly to a LAN port on the router and set that computer's Ethernet adapter IP address to 192.168.1.2, Subnet 255.255.255.0, Gateway 192.168.1.1 and if this is Windows select "Use the following DNS server addresses" then leave both blank. Then run tftp put command or tftpd32 etc.

Windows command for TFTP would look something like this. "tftp -i 192.168.1.1 put WNR3500L-V1.2.2.48_35.0.55.chk"

You can reconfigure a switch if you want, but it may not be necessary unless for some reason direct access isn't working.

If no green blinking power LED indicating TFTP recovery mode, power on the router with no Ethernet ports connected at all.

I noticed for the netgear firmware link you provided earlier, the release notes page provides a different file.

http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/WNR3500LV1/WNR3500L_V1.2.2.48_35.0.55.zip (All Regions Except Russia)

The regular blue download button is below.

http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/WNR3500LV1/WNR3500L_V1.2.2.48_35.0.55NA.zip (North America only)
Yup that's the exact process I followed when I could no longer ping 10.10.10.6.

I have my computer connected directly to the device. No other connections on the device or the computer. Still couldn't ping 192.168.1.1 from the computer set up at 192.168.1.2. I do see blinking green light on the power led, so it seems the device is in tftp recovery mode.

I do have the NA version of that Netgear firmware.

I'll try a few more times and see if it takes...Thanks for sticking with me here.
inxsible
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Sep 2020
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
Not sure what it was, but the 4th try was successful and it finally took the chk file and I am now logged into the Netgear WebUI. I also gave an excited punch in the air, when I saw "Transfer Successful..." Razz Laughing

However, the Netgear WebUI does not support VLANs. So I guess my search continues for getting a DD-wrt build that is relatively updated but supports VLANs, so I can use the device as a switch for my Work computer and my desktop and also use the WiFi with different SSIDs supporting different VLAN ids.

I guess I might just have to do a double firmware upgrade to go from stock to DD-wrt since I went back to stock.

  1. .CHK firmware upload
  2. .BIN firmware upload
inxsible
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Sep 2020
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 16:57    Post subject: Reply with quote
Since the Netgear firmware didn't support VLANs, I thought I'd re-flash using the latest build of DD-wrt.


But it seems like I might have bricked my device by using the latest 44467 CHK file.

Here are the steps that I followed from the WNR3500L wiki page

After doing a 30/30/30 reset,
I uploaded the firmware from the K26 builds. Specifically ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2020/09-24-2020-r44467/broadcom_K26/dd-wrt.v24-44467_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-WNR3500L.chk

and then waited 5 mins before doing another 30/30/30 reset.

But then I couldn't get back to the WebUI using the 192.168.1.1 address. So I thought I'd check using ping. But I only got "Request timed out"

Checked the Peacock thread and then while checking with ping -t, I noticed that I get somewhere between 9 to 13 replies only while booting up the device. The TTL is 100 for each of those replies. Then to check I just enabled the WiFi on the laptop and saw the ddwrt SSID -- Connected to it hoping that would allow me to get into the WebUI ... but I still cannot connect to 192.168.1.1

As per Peacock, that TTL=100 means CFE is responding but only for about 13 responses? Rolling Eyes
I left it sitting as is overnight and in the morning on logging into my laptop I saw 2 responses with TTL 64 -- so that means ddwrt is responding. Shocked

So as per Peacock, I satisfy all 3 conditions:
  • CFE is responding -- only for max 13 responses.
  • ddwrt/linux is responding -- for 2 responses
  • I am getting request timed out most of the time = brick


Trying to get the tftp to run within that 13 response times has been unsuccessful so far....
inxsible
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Sep 2020
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 17:37    Post subject: Netgear WNR3500L v1 upgraded to v3.0-r44467 Reply with quote
After letting the AP just sit on a shelf for a few months, I thought I'd try to fix it.


Started it up and was able to get into the WebUI and then set it up as AP only mode. Using it to enable wireless-N in one corner of the house where the main AP is a bit weak.



This is just to confirm that build v3.0-r44467 does seem to work on the WNR3500L v1 in case someone still has this old device running. Next steps is to set up VLANs so I can have the multiple SSIDs across my various VLANs.[/img]
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