DIR-880L strange issues installing any build after crash

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szyd
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 10 Sep 2020
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the edit, but I had understood which build you meant. I tried dir880-factory-to-ddwrt-r30432.bin and it looped as well. Just to clarify, did you mean to write 30342 or typo'd from 30432?

It does not seem to matter which stock build I start from, it just loops.

While quarkysg is suggesting to not use newer builds, I think you'll find many have no issues with them. As I mentioned, I had been running a newer build for years. If quarkysg is reading this, any input please?

Perhaps something got written to the nvram or elsewhere? Any other ideas to get back to dd-wrt for this?

I'm strongly considering moving away from this router to a stand alone router (or this with wifi disbaled) with AP's from Ubiqitui or Grandstream which work nicely with a cloud controller and handle roaming/handoffs properly.
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quarkysg
DD-WRT User


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:51    Post subject: Reply with quote
Officials builds up until r30342 worked OK for dir880 rev a1 and dir868 rev a. Later builds contained a bug that boot looped certain broadcom SoC routers. BS fixed that bug later on, tho I can't remember which revision it was.

Current builds should work fine for the dir880 rev a1. My dir880 rev a1 is currently running r43381 with my own custom patches and modules enabled for my use case.

I believe there is a rev a2 for the dir880, so I'm not sure if this is your router. Tho I don't see any distinction between the a1 and a2 in the dd-wrt source code.

Reverting the router back to factory firmware, with default settings and then flashing to dd-wrt using the factory-to-ddwrt image should work, at least for me. r30342 or earlier (tho I wouldn't go too far back), or even the latest revision should be fine for the factory-to-ddwrt image.

I did the reset a few times for my dir880 back to factory firmware and back to dd-wrt using r30342, but that was sometime back. Once running dd-wrt, you can go straight to the latest version. If you skip too many generations of builds, it's good to reset settings while doing the firmware upload, as BS may tweak the way config are stored in nvram.

For your problem, I'm not sure if you're facing hardware issue tho. But since it's working fine with stock firmware, it doesn't look like it. Without a crash log, it's hard to tell whats wrong with your router.
blkt
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 20 Jan 2019
Posts: 1730

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:53    Post subject: Reply with quote
Search recent build threads for DIR-880L. Try to factory flash builds users have reported or used previously.

r42617 r42954 r43334 r44048 r44085 r44112
quarkysg
DD-WRT User


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 0:56    Post subject: Reply with quote
@szyd after re-reading your posts in this thread, I think what could have happened is that when your router locked up (as described in your first post), it somehow corrupted the nvram storage, and this causes dd-wrt to kernel panic while booting up.

Have you tried resetting to default (maybe a few times) in stock firmware before flashing to dd-wrt? If not, maybe you should try.

If the above doesn't help, the only way that I know that will completely wipe out the nvram is to crack open the dir880 and use the serial console and wipe the nvram using the CFE bootloader.

Hopefully it is not caused by bad NAND flash block(s). Since you reported that stock firmware is running fine but any version of the factory-to-ddwrt images results in a boot-loop, it doesn't look like bad NAND. Stock firmware is larger than the factory-to-ddwrt images.

So at the moment, I suspect your problem is most likely caused by corrupted nvram, that somehow only affects dd-wrt.
szyd
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 10 Sep 2020
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:08    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for taking the time to help with this (both of you).

@quarkysg - I thought it might be the nvram ram as mentioned in an earlier post, unlikely to be bad NAND, but always possible even with being on an UPS.

Hopefully a few factory resets will clear that out.

Can I flash the cfe.bin from the stock recovery page or only serial?

Do you know if any of the newer stock firmwares like 1.10/1.20 and 1.21 will block me from going to the stock recovery page and reverting to 1.05 or 1.07 for example? Or, more importantly, will they prevent me form uploading the factory-dd-wrt firmware image in the stock firmware updater?



Any comments around going the router without wifi and standalone access points? Are there any routers without wifi that dd-wrt works with?
blkt
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 20 Jan 2019
Posts: 1730

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:42    Post subject: Reply with quote
If holding the reset button changes nothing, nor newer factory-to-ddwrt images, the next step is with a USB to TTL serial 3.3V.

Serial access will give you various options including nvram erase and serial flash any stock firmware image or factory-to-ddwrt.

Flashing CFE would be a last ditch effort if all else fails, and I wouldn't go that route as it's jumping the gun.

If anything, back up your current CFE but that's it. Unless you know for certain it's corrupt, even then you would still need to first back up your original CFE in advance for reference.

I recommended R7800, R7500v2 or EA8500 for good reasons and Qualcomm Atheros radios is one.

If you were to go the access point route, I'd still recommend searching for QCA hardware inside.

There's always DD-WRT x86.


Last edited by blkt on Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:22; edited 8 times in total
quarkysg
DD-WRT User


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:42    Post subject: Reply with quote
szyd wrote:
Can I flash the cfe.bin from the stock recovery page or only serial?

Do you know if any of the newer stock firmwares like 1.10/1.20 and 1.21 will block me from going to the stock recovery page and reverting to 1.05 or 1.07 for example? Or, more importantly, will they prevent me form uploading the factory-dd-wrt firmware image in the stock firmware updater?



Any comments around going the router without wifi and standalone access points? Are there any routers without wifi that dd-wrt works with?


I would suggest leaving the CFE alone. If that's corrupted you will need to recover it using JTAG, which will be difficult. Using a different CFE does not really bring any benefit from what I know.

I don't think the dir880 firmware checks for signed firmware images. In any case, even if it does, the CFE bootloader doesn't. So you can always flash to dd-wrt from the CFE recovery page. So I would suggest leaving your CFE bootloader alone.

It's really up to you how you want to use your dir880. It can function perfectly as a router only, as AP only, or WiFi router. If your Internet bandwidth is high tho, e.g. > 500Mbps, the dir880l will struggle even with SFE enabled.

As to other non-WiFi routers running dd-wrt, I'm afraid I don't have such experience.
szyd
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 10 Sep 2020
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
blkt wrote:
If holding the reset button changes nothing, nor newer factory-to-ddwrt images, the next step is with a USB to TTL serial 3.3V.

Serial access will give you various options including nvram erase and serial flash any stock firmware image or factory-to-ddwrt.

Flashing CFE would be a last ditch effort if all else fails, and I wouldn't go that route as it's jumping the gun.

If anything, back up your current CFE but that's it. Unless you know for certain it's corrupt, even then you would still need to first back up your original CFE in advance for reference.

I recommended R7800, R7500v2 or EA8500 for good reasons and Qualcomm Atheros radios is one.

If you were to go the access point route, I'd still recommend searching for QCA hardware inside.

There's always DD-WRT x86.


Thanks for the product link. I'm quite rusty with serial. Also, is it possible on a Mac or just Windows?

I vaguely recall how to back up CFE and have one from early 2016. Is it possible to do from stock? I'm fairly certain I backed it up with dd-wrt.

As for radios, what's your take on MediaTek MT7615? I've had some good experiences with them in some devices so far.

I remember years ago that everyone had issues with Atheros and Broadcom was more stable...how times have changed. Is there somewhere you can point me to (aside from Google or FCC) with a list of manufacturers and their radios?
szyd
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 10 Sep 2020
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:38    Post subject: Reply with quote
quarkysg wrote:
szyd wrote:
Can I flash the cfe.bin from the stock recovery page or only serial?

Do you know if any of the newer stock firmwares like 1.10/1.20 and 1.21 will block me from going to the stock recovery page and reverting to 1.05 or 1.07 for example? Or, more importantly, will they prevent me form uploading the factory-dd-wrt firmware image in the stock firmware updater?



Any comments around going the router without wifi and standalone access points? Are there any routers without wifi that dd-wrt works with?


I would suggest leaving the CFE alone. If that's corrupted you will need to recover it using JTAG, which will be difficult. Using a different CFE does not really bring any benefit from what I know.

I don't think the dir880 firmware checks for signed firmware images. In any case, even if it does, the CFE bootloader doesn't. So you can always flash to dd-wrt from the CFE recovery page. So I would suggest leaving your CFE bootloader alone.

It's really up to you how you want to use your dir880. It can function perfectly as a router only, as AP only, or WiFi router. If your Internet bandwidth is high tho, e.g. > 500Mbps, the dir880l will struggle even with SFE enabled.

As to other non-WiFi routers running dd-wrt, I'm afraid I don't have such experience.


I'm skipping the CFE route for now, probably altogether as the time it will take is not likely worth the hardware replacement cost.

On a wired connection I was getting pretty close to 800/900mbps download speeds, but on wifi closer to 400. My upstream wasn't higher than 40 or 50 then I think which was in line with the speed I had then. I don't recall if SFE was enabled, but likely was.

I do have some friends getting gigabit up/down wired speeds with this router on a fibre connection with stock firmware, but haven't tried dd-wrt there.
blkt
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 20 Jan 2019
Posts: 1730

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 23:33    Post subject: Reply with quote
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RBKCW3S | https://www.ebay.com/itm/124251758238

https://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm | Installation Guides | Windows x64: driver zip, Release Notes, setup exe alternative
Mac OS X: FTDIUSBSerialDriver_v2_4_4.dmg
https://the.earth.li/~sgtatham/putty/latest/w32/putty.zip | https://bitbucket.org/phjounin/tftpd64/downloads/tftpd32.464.zip
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=putty+mac+alternative | https://duckduckgo.com/?tq=tftp+mac

I remember seeing commits for mt72 in recent months, but have no idea about status for any particular chip from that series.
Forgot to mention R9000, but totally happy with EA8500 and newer R7800 as backup. R7500v2 is similar to EA8500.
I use https://wikidevi.wi-cat.ru/ but also documentation from the product manufacturer, openwrt techdata and device pages.
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