Micro Plus is now possible on V8.0 and V8.2 units

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redhawk0
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 15:41    Post subject: Micro Plus is now possible on V8.0 and V8.2 units Reply with quote
As many have asked about "What is Micro Plus build in the TNG firmware section?"...I thought an explanation was needed.

Micro Plus grew out of my need to do some testing for the Developers on the Micro build. I was having trouble with the Web GUI giving high CPU load average and High Percentage of use. With the limited Command line set provided with the Micro_generic builds it was impossible for me to determine the source of the problem.

I asked Eko to build me a special Micro build that had many functions (that I didn't use) stripped out in order to get the command set from the mini build of firmware built in. This was still a micro_generic size build to fit on my unit. Testing began....problems were found and reported back.

OK...that was the birth of an idea....what if, we compressed the CFE of the neutered Linksys models from 256K down to 128K....this would provide enough space to have the normal micro_generic (with all it's current features) and include the busybox set of commands from our current mini build.

After working with Eko and Tornado, we found a way to build an updater/compressor for the CFE on a V8.2 unit (the only model/version currently available). Eko built the firmware....hence the new "micro_plus" build and Tornado created the CFE compression routine posted in this thread.

Also a special thanx goes to BrainSlayer....without his foresight and programming skill we would still be running Linksys OEM.

Much thanx to all our Developers for getting this accomplished....(and rather quickly I might add).



Today, We are proud to announce the release of the new CFE compressor for the Linksys WRT54G V8.2 unit.

To help us support other neutered Linksys units please provide information requested in this thread.



DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS ON ANY MODEL/VERSION OTHER THAN THE V8.0 and V8.2. This file WILL erase the entire flash chip during its compression process.

As always....use at our own risk....WE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A BRICKED ROUTER. This has been tested/proofed on several units to date.

Currently, this is a ONE WAY operation...meaning it will take your current 256K CFE...compress and reload it as a 128K CFE....it can not be reversed without using TJTAG.

Functionally, your router will not change....the only change is the size of your original CFE from 256K down to 128K.


This compressor file can be loaded either through the WEB GUI or through the TFTP utility.


Prerequisits:
On the V8.0 or V8.2 unit - it must already have dd-wrt loaded....if it has virgin OEM Linksys firmware....it MUST be upgraded first.
"upgrade instructions"

It is advised to make a backup of your current 256K cfe first before running the compression utility.

- Point your browser to
http://<your-IP-address>/backup/cfe.bin
and save the file to your computer. It should be 256K in size.


A Downloaded copy of V24_micro_plus.bin

A copy of TFTP utility.

The CFE-to-128Kcompress-for-Gv8.x.bin file.




WEB GUI instructions:

1 - Press and hold the reset button for 30 seconds, unplug the unit still holding reset button for 30 seconds, plug it back in still holding a final 30 seconds. (30/30/30 or hard reset)

2 - Navigate to the Firmware upgrade tab

3 - Browse to the "CFE-to-128Kcompress-for-Gv8.2.bin" file provided in this post.

4 - Click Update

5 - Wait a full 3 minutes....DO NOT MISS THIS STEP

6 - Power Cycle the router (only after the 3 minutes have passed)

7 - All LEDs will be out...the unit is now waiting for firmware to be loaded.

8 - Use the TFTP utility to load the new Micro_Plus firmware. For instructions on how to use TFTP....visit here

9 - After you get the "Success" message....wait another 3 minutes...the firmware is configuring itself.

10 - Power Cycle the router (only after the 3 minutes have passed)

11 - Do the 30/30/30 reset AGAIN - DO NOT MISS THIS STEP

12 - Now configure your new Micro_Plus loaded unit.



TFTP update Instructions:

1 - Press and hold the reset button for 30 seconds, unplug the unit still holding reset button for 30 seconds, plug it back in still holding a final 30 seconds. (30/30/30 or hard reset)

2 - Use the TFTP utility to load the "CFE-to-128Kcompress-for-Gv8.2.bin" file provided in this post. For instructions on how to use TFTP....visit here

3 - Wait a full 3 minutes....DO NOT MISS THIS STEP

4 - Power Cycle the router (only after the 3 minutes have passed)

5 - All LEDs will be out...the unit is now waiting for firmware to be loaded.

6 - Use the TFTP utility again to load the new Micro_Plus firmware.

7 - After you get the "Success" message....wait another 3 minutes...the firmware is configuring itself.

8 - Power Cycle the router (only after the 3 minutes have passed)

9 - Do the 30/30/30 reset AGAIN - DO NOT MISS THIS STEP

10 - Now configure your new Micro_Plus loaded unit.


Good Luck for those who have V8.2 units....See here for other model/versions as they become available.



redhawk

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Last edited by redhawk0 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:07; edited 8 times in total
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soulstace
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
Nice job guys. Smile

Just a FYI, the "upgrade instructions" linked to in your post state to use VxWorksKiller-GSv7-v3.bin and reboot the unit after 30 seconds. This might lead to a brick.

May be better to use the more thorough wiki instructions instead.

Take a look, and see if they meet your requirements.

How To Flash the WRT54Gv8
redhawk0
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:08    Post subject: Reply with quote
soulstace wrote:
Nice job guys. Smile

Just a FYI, the "upgrade instructions" linked to in your post state to use VxWorksKiller-GSv7-v3.bin and reboot the unit after 30 seconds. This might lead to a brick.

May be better to use the more thorough wiki instructions instead.

Take a look, and see if they meet your requirements.

How To Flash the WRT54Gv8


Corrected with your recommended link....Much appreciated soulstace.

redhawk

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jmh9072
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:11    Post subject: Reply with quote
Have you tried this on the older WRT54Gs? I'm just curious. Not that it would get us anywhere, anyway. What's 128KB when you have 3 more MBs to work with?
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redhawk0
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:13    Post subject: Reply with quote
jmh9072 wrote:
Have you tried this on the older WRT54Gs? I'm just curious. Not that it would get us anywhere, anyway. What's 128KB when you have 3 more MBs to work with?


No! This is custom for the CFE of the GV8.2 unit only. If you run this on any other model...you WILL damage the unit to a point where only reloading that unit's original CFE using TJTAG will be necessary. It is not a universal compressor.

redhawk

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soulstace
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:13    Post subject: Reply with quote
Glad to help redhawk Cool

jmh9072, I noticed my Buffalo router with 4MB flash already has 128K CFE. Maybe, if the developers were able to compress other Linksys models too, it would allow for more JFFS space than routers having 256K CFE?


Last edited by soulstace on Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:15; edited 1 time in total
redhawk0
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:15    Post subject: Reply with quote
soulstace wrote:
Glad to help redhawk Cool

jmh9072, I noticed my Buffalo router with 4MB flash already has 128K CFE. Maybe it allows for more JFFS space than routers with 256K CFE?


Yes the G125 has a compressed CFE already. The G54S and the HP-G54 do not.

But again...with 4M of flash...what's a lousy 128K savings...it is much more critical on the neutered models.

[EDIT] - anyone wanting to run micro_plus on a 4M flash unit...feel free...no modifications to the CFE are needed.

redhawk

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soulstace
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:16    Post subject: Reply with quote
redhawk0 wrote:
it is much more critical on the neutered models


yep I agree.
jmh9072
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:19    Post subject: Reply with quote
redhawk0 wrote:
jmh9072 wrote:
Have you tried this on the older WRT54Gs? I'm just curious. Not that it would get us anywhere, anyway. What's 128KB when you have 3 more MBs to work with?


No! This is custom for the CFE of the GV8.2 unit only. If you run this on any other model...you WILL damage the unit to a point where only reloading that unit's original CFE using TJTAG will be necessary. It is not a universal compressor.

redhawk

Thank you. That's all I wanted to know. It's likely not a compressor then, just a CFE rewriter.

redhawk0 wrote:
soulstace wrote:
Glad to help redhawk Cool

jmh9072, I noticed my Buffalo router with 4MB flash already has 128K CFE. Maybe it allows for more JFFS space than routers with 256K CFE?


Yes the G125 has a compressed CFE already. The G54S and the HP-G54 do not.

But again...with 4M of flash...what's a lousy 128K savings...it is much more critical on the neutered models.

redhawk

Yup. The CFE on my WRT600N v1.1 is also a compressed CFE. Soulstace makes a good point though. If we can compress them on earlier units, that will allow for more JFFS space.

_________________
WRT54G v3 - v24 r14471M NEWD Eko - AP
WRT350N v1.0
WRT600N v1.1 - halfway there!
Se7en is Darker...


Last edited by jmh9072 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:26; edited 1 time in total
redhawk0
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:26    Post subject: Reply with quote
jmh9072 wrote:

Yup. The CFE on my WRT600N v1.1 is also a compressed CFE. Soulstace makes a good point though. If we can compress them on earlier units, that will allow for more JFFS space.


Agreed...but this is getting off the topic at hand. (sort of)

The purpose of this project is to make all those neutered models more useful...since there are only a hand full...it isn't pulling resources away from more important projects.

Yes...it would help to gain the 128K on all units...but custom CFE compressors for every model on the market is really not feasible. The Devs have better things to do then spend days/weeks generating custom compressors so we can provide extra jffs space.

Because every model has different CFE data locations...a generic/universal compressor is just not possible at this time.

redhawk

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jmh9072
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:28    Post subject: Reply with quote
redhawk0 wrote:
jmh9072 wrote:

Yup. The CFE on my WRT600N v1.1 is also a compressed CFE. Soulstace makes a good point though. If we can compress them on earlier units, that will allow for more JFFS space.


Agreed...but this is getting off the topic at hand. (sort of)

The purpose of this project is to make all those neutered models more useful...since there are only a hand full...it isn't pulling resources away from more important projects.

Yes...it would help to gain the 128K on all units...but custom CFE compressors for every model on the market is really not feasible. The Devs have better things to do then spend days/weeks generating custom compressors so we can provide extra jffs space.

Because every model has different CFE data locations...a generic/universal compressor is just not possible at this time.

redhawk

Yes, this is true. I guess I just fell under the (wrong) assumption that if you can compress one, it would be simple to compress them all.

EDIT: I noticed that the "kernel" portion of the flash on my WRT600N doesn't start until after the 256KB mark. Seems kind of pointless to have the compressed CFE. I wonder if all of Broadcom's new CFEs are compressed by default...

_________________
WRT54G v3 - v24 r14471M NEWD Eko - AP
WRT350N v1.0
WRT600N v1.1 - halfway there!
Se7en is Darker...
redhawk0
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Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 11451
Location: Wherever the wind blows- North America

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:30    Post subject: Reply with quote
jmh9072 wrote:
redhawk0 wrote:
jmh9072 wrote:

Yup. The CFE on my WRT600N v1.1 is also a compressed CFE. Soulstace makes a good point though. If we can compress them on earlier units, that will allow for more JFFS space.


Agreed...but this is getting off the topic at hand. (sort of)

The purpose of this project is to make all those neutered models more useful...since there are only a hand full...it isn't pulling resources away from more important projects.

Yes...it would help to gain the 128K on all units...but custom CFE compressors for every model on the market is really not feasible. The Devs have better things to do then spend days/weeks generating custom compressors so we can provide extra jffs space.

Because every model has different CFE data locations...a generic/universal compressor is just not possible at this time.

redhawk

Yes, this is true. I guess I just fell under the (wrong) assumption that if you can compress one, it would be simple to compress them all.

EDIT: I noticed that the "kernel" portion of the flash on my WRT600N doesn't start until after the 256KB mark. Seems kind of pointless to have the compressed CFE. I wonder if all of Broadcom's new CFEs are compressed by default...


No...the CFE dictates the start of kernel block...the compressor also modifies this starting block location....so on the V8.2 unit loaded with the new CFE128....it will start a full 128K lower in memory address.

I do not know about the G125 I mentioned earlier...I never looked....yet.

redhawk

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soulstace
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:36    Post subject: Reply with quote
on my WHR-G125, "linux" starts at 0x00020000h which is 128K. As far as I can tell it seems to be making efficient use of available flash memory.
redhawk0
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 17:37    Post subject: Reply with quote
soulstace wrote:
on my WHR-G125, "linux" starts at 0x00020000h which is 128K. As far as I can tell it seems to be making efficient use of available flash memory.


Nice to know...thanx...

redhawk

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tonymohd
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 19:00    Post subject: Reply with quote
thanks ... works wonderfully on my 8.2 54g .


an it does use less cpu cycles .
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