Bricked my ASUS RT-N16

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fggs
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Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 1741

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 22:33    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, that was me.

I don't know why the post got deleted either.

Anyway, the first version of tjag that supported the RT-N16 CPU was broken for unbuffered cables. Tornado fixed it in a later version (3.0.2-RC5 if I recall).

But I'm not sure if this router (and E3000 which has the same CPU) really needs a buffered cable or it was needed just because tjtag software was broken for unbuffered cables.
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JuiciPackets
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:23    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've sent both a PM and an email to Tornado and I'm eagerly awaiting his answer... hopefully he has a tjtag version that works with Asus RT-N16 via an unbuffered parallel JTAG cable (BTW, is it the /cable:dlc5 I saw in different posts?)

For reference, this is what I found so far related to this topic:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=146568&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=34
Posted by Tornado: Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:29 pm Post subject: DLC5
Quote:

DLC5 was broken in the software version 3.0.2, I think I have fixed it, that why I ask if you wanted to test it.


http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=145627&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=8
Posted by redhawk0: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:30 am Post subject:
Quote:

Someone correct me if I'm wrong...but doesn't the RT-N16 require you to use buffered mode JTAG in order to work?
fggs
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Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 1741

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:28    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, DLC5 is the unbuffered one. I know he fixed because I tested the version, but as the E3000 I was trying to fix was hit by a lightning it didn't detect the CPU, but the bug itself was the unbuffered cable wasn't even detected.

Have some patience, Tornado is a great guy and will answer will promptly! Wink
JuiciPackets
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
I see. This makes sense and it also ties in with what he himself wrote about a month ago in another thread.

I'm sure he's a great guy, after all he supported everybody for years. I'm just a bit worried he may be on holiday now... Oh well, this is the most I can do for now, I'm going to hope for the best and go back to real life for a bit Wink
AlexHighTower
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Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
after upgrading dd-wrt fw from one version to higher one, my router stops to respods...

I can ping it, got reply
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=100
like it is in recovery mode,
I tried to use tftp and asus fw recivery tool - result is the same...
After reboot i can ping it with ttl=100, power led is blinking... that's all...

what to do?

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TP-Link TL-WR1043ND: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (08/07/10) std - build 14896
Asus RT-N16: DD-WRT build 19545 (kingmod)
Murrkf
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Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 12675

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 15:52    Post subject: Reply with quote
AlexHighTower wrote:
after upgrading dd-wrt fw from one version to higher one, my router stops to respods...

I can ping it, got reply
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=100
like it is in recovery mode,
I tried to use tftp and asus fw recivery tool - result is the same...
After reboot i can ping it with ttl=100, power led is blinking... that's all...

what to do?


You read the peacock announcement. Notes 3, 4, 1 and SIX in particular.

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AlexHighTower
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Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 17:01    Post subject: Reply with quote
Murrkf wrote:
You read the peacock announcement. Notes 3, 4, 1 and SIX in particular.

Yes, I do it...
I need to say that I did 30/30/30 reset _two_ times now and after that I became able to upload fw via tftp!!!
miracle...

_________________
TP-Link TL-WR1043ND: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (08/07/10) std - build 14896
Asus RT-N16: DD-WRT build 19545 (kingmod)
JuiciPackets
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 17:50    Post subject: SUCCESS!! :) Reply with quote
Hi all, I just wanted to finish the story here, maybe it will help somebody in the future.

Tornado sent me the v3.0.2 RC2-5 version of TJTAG (BTW, thanks a lot PayPal for messing up a very simple thing in such a royal way).
I used tjtag with the simple resistor parallel cable (/cable:dlc5) and it just worked.
I saved the CFE from the router twice. Both copies were byte-per-byte identical to the one I saved when I received the router. Good! Smile
Then I saved the kernel, too, just as a further check. It took 6h20min and it looks like it has the proper format (at least it does start with 'HDR0') but its length does not match the dd-wrt one that I flashed a long time ago. Whatever.
So I tried -erase:nvram and it seemed to work (no errors, finished with "*** REQUESTED OPERATION IS COMPLETE ***"), but the router would still act exactly the same way after a reboot (no LEDS on, no ping answer, no serial console output... just a brick).
Next I tried -erase:kernel - this one was stuck forever at "Erasing block: 3 (addr = 1C040000)..." so no luck.
I went on and I even tried -erase:wholeflash - this one was stuck forever at "Erasing block: 1 (addr = 1C000000)..."
At this point Tornado suggested I use the /byte_mode switch (not documented in tjtag's help output).
So I started again with just a -erase:nvram and this time it simply worked!! Smile
After that the router just booted and I even got output from the serial console! Smile It's now alive and kicking! Smile

Now I need to restore the nvram variables to the values they had just before the crash. I do have the ASCII backup for nvram variables (performed using Frater's http://wd.mirmana.com/backupessential script just a few days before the crash):
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 29989 Nov 19 23:04 485B39D47521.11202011.preferred.sh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 8697 Nov 19 23:04 485B39D47521.11202011.minimal.sh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 41995 Nov 19 23:04 485B39D47521.11202011.essential.sh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 3824 Nov 19 23:04 485B39D47521.11202011.dangerous.sh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 45719 Nov 19 23:04 485B39D47521.11202011.all.sh

Now I'll get in touch with Frater to see what is the safe(st) way to restore them as I am somewhat intrigued by the ones in the "dangerous" category. If anybody here already knows how to safely restore them please do let me know. I will not change the dd-wrt firmware this time (although I am toying with the idea I simply don't have any more time available to find the new stable dd-wrt version for RT-N16 to flash...), but I don't have a recent binary backup of the nvram so I have to rely on these ASCII backups.

Cheers
barryware
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008
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Location: Behind The Reset Button

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 17:55    Post subject: Reply with quote
now you should be able to use the asus restore utility built into the router to flash firmware.

when it boots for the 1st time, it will build the nvram variables.. get dd-wrt back on and then just use fraters restore script to restore your settings.

You will not be able to use jtag to restore those settings. Well.. you can certainly flash the data, but it will not work.

restore the essential.sh

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JuiciPackets
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 18:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks barryware, but it's even better than you assumed! Smile
After I erased the nvram the router booted all the way into the dd-wrt version that I had flashed *before* the crash!
I was able to just log on with the default root password! Cool

I looked at the backups I have and "essential" has 1288 lines, where "all" has 1383 lines, so that means I may have to manually add just about 100 settings, which I find manageable. Definitely better that restoring everything via the GUI - I wouldn't even consider this!

Happy bunny! Cool I just can't believe it took almost a week... it's the bloody place I'm in Sad

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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 19:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
JuiciPackets wrote:
Thanks barryware, but it's even better than you assumed! Smile
After I erased the nvram the router booted all the way into the dd-wrt version that I had flashed *before* the crash!
I was able to just log on with the default root password! Cool

I looked at the backups I have and "essential" has 1288 lines, where "all" has 1383 lines, so that means I may have to manually add just about 100 settings, which I find manageable. Definitely better that restoring everything via the GUI - I wouldn't even consider this!

Happy bunny! Cool I just can't believe it took almost a week... it's the bloody place I'm in Sad

Cheers!

essential + dangerous = all

you should not have to manually add anything. The dangerous.sh is the stuff that is pretty much hardware specific (board flags, clock speed, macs, ect.). All the correct data will be there in the router anyway. you do not have to change anything in the router except cpu clock speed if you changed it from default when using the essential.sh to restore.

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JuiciPackets
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 19:24    Post subject: Reply with quote
That appears to be the theory, but I checked manually the very first nvram variable after I erased nvram and I rebooted the router:

Code:

root@DD-WRT:~# nvram show 2>/dev/null | head -n 1
sb/1/ofdm2gpo=0x66666666
root@DD-WRT:~#


On my laptop, where I have the ASCII backups for nvram mounted on /mnt/loop0:
Code:

[loop0]# grep -l ofdm2gpo var/backups/*
[loop0]#


So it's slightly deeper than "essential + dangerous = all", some variables don't appear at all, is this how Frater's backupessential script is supposed to work?
barryware
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008
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Location: Behind The Reset Button

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 20:24    Post subject: Reply with quote
I do not know all the mechanics behind fraters backup scripts. All that I know is that it works.

I restore preferred on diff hardware than the backup came from. This restores all my port forwards, mac filtering, etc.

I restore essential on hardware that the backup came from and all I need to do is check my processor speed and set it back to the overclock I use.

you can also change things a bit by editing the vars_to_skip file and the vars_preferred. Those files dictate where the backup vars end up.

why are you so overly complicating this?

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JuiciPackets
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Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 21:04    Post subject: Reply with quote
Very Happy

I bricked the router once trying to restore the settings using Frater's "all.sh" script - now I'd like to understand which one I should use to end up with *exactly* the same config I had before the crash. I will try essential.sh and then manually review the nvram variables.

And yes, I used the "all.sh" because I did not change router hardware or dd-wrt build - I assumed it would be safe to set everything back to what it used to be. Apparently not Confused I can't see why it would be "dangerous" to restore things like sshd_rsa_host_key, MAC addresses, interface names etc. on exactly the same router and dd-wrt build.
gatorback
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Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 426
Location: Fountain of Youth

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:11    Post subject: NEVER use Firefox to flash Reply with quote
SiliconWarrior wrote:
I'd like to at least try to learn from this experience.

Can anyone suggest where I might have screwed this up?

After re-reading the peacock thread, the only mistake I can see for the first upload (via the ASUS web ui) was that I was using Firefox instead of IE. I'm not sure what difference that makes, though.

Using the ASUS recovery utility, I was able to upload the older version of DD-WRT and got the router to boot to the point where the wireless light was on, but still no web interface or telnet access. I reset the router (using the 30/30/30 method) several times, but it didn't help.

Finally, I guess my ultimate mistake was trying to put back the ASUS firmware.


Firefox boogered up your device. I did the same thing to a WRT54GL with Firefox. Never use Firefox.

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Last edited by gatorback on Mon Jan 02, 2012 20:00; edited 1 time in total
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