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torobull123

join:2009-06-20

1 edit

(FIXED) Bricked WRT54GL v1.1. Toronto repair shop?

Hello I bricked my WRT54gl v1.1 with the wrong version of shibby's tomatousb firmware.

tomato-K26-1.28.RT-MIPSR2-104-Mini

The router has no ping response, so I can't reflash it.....

I have no clue how to do a jtag despite reading up on it, with some guides.

Any repairs shops which have experience with this in Toronto? I need a cheap fix.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13

1 edit

Re: Bricked WRT54GL v1.1. Toronto repair shop?

See if you can find an electronics recycling shop -- they might have a used one for sale for $10-$15. I know the TTER shop around the corner from me here in Ottawa has one right now.

Cheers


bbbc

join:2001-10-02
NorthAmerica
kudos:2
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
reply to torobull123
The cheapest situation would be a new router. You can sometimes acquire routers that work with DD-WRT for $10 to $20. I know you requested a repair outfit, but I doubt (if you found a joint) that it would be less than $25.

--
Consumerist.com | Consumers Union


torobull123

join:2009-06-20
reply to torobull123
would anyone recommend this for a n00b?

»www.ebay.ca/itm/JTAG-Cable-Links···0wt_1397

singerie3

join:2008-10-12
Saint-Constant, QC
it shouldn't be too hard to put it on the router board, even if you have to solder it. but the whole jtag process... i'm not sure.

check the tftp method before. i managed to unbrick a router by doing that.

»www.dd-wrt.ca/wiki/index.php/Rec···ad_Flash

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to torobull123
said by torobull123:

Any repairs shops which have experience with this in Toronto? I need a cheap fix.

You could try contacting user Teddy Boom on this BBS -- just send him an Instant Message. He is in Toronto, and has JTAG stuff. I think it quite likely he might help out for a modest fee.


torobull123

join:2009-06-20
reply to torobull123
said by torobull123:

would anyone recommend this for a n00b?

»www.ebay.ca/itm/JTAG-Cable-Links···0wt_1397

The seller says that his provides a super easy De-bricking Repair guide.

What do you think?

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
I have his kit. It is easy for me, but I'm quite used to fiddling with embedded systems and firmware, and soldering. As in, that's a big part of what I do for a living.


torobull123

join:2009-06-20

1 edit
said by mlord:

I have his kit. It is easy for me, but I'm quite used to fiddling with embedded systems and firmware, and soldering. As in, that's a big part of what I do for a living.

Can you tell me the software that is used with this package?

Did it work for you?

Will this work in the case that i flashed the router with the WRONG firmware. As the tjtag method only seems to do a nvram reset and not a firmware .bin reflash.


Taylortbb
Premium
join:2007-02-18
Kitchener, ON
reply to torobull123
Have you ever done soldering before? That's that part I'd be most concerned about. Software is pretty easy to use when you've got a step-by-step guide. Also, do you have a computer with a parallel port? That's what the cable connects to.
--
Taylor Byrnes


torobull123

join:2009-06-20
said by Taylortbb:

Have you ever done soldering before? That's that part I'd be most concerned about. Software is pretty easy to use when you've got a step-by-step guide. Also, do you have a computer with a parallel port? That's what the cable connects to.

I heard you can just tape it down for a temp connection... or put a heavy book on it.

jibby

join:2008-03-31
reply to torobull123
i'd love to get mine fixed too, will keep an eye on the thread to see how you make out

if you need someone with a similarly bricked router (same model) for testing, lemme know

arthurwinslo

join:2012-11-30
Toronto, ON
reply to torobull123
torobull, I've bricked a GL before and it was quite easy to debrick with a JTAG. I built my own but the ones on ebay work great as well.

If you're concerned of your soldering ability, you can use some solderless pin headers to install in to the JTAG port on the GL. Do a search on eBay for solderless pin headers. They're a few dollars each, get a couple just to be sure although I think the GL only requires 6 actual points to make your flash correctly.

Have a look at this link. It's not as intimidating as it seems: »www.tiaowiki.com/w/Debrick_Route···AG_Cable

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to torobull123
said by torobull123:

Can you tell me the software that is used with this package? Did it work for you?

Will this work in the case that i flashed the router with the WRONG firmware. As the tjtag method only seems to do a nvram reset and not a firmware .bin reflash?

The JTAG can be used to debrick anything that got messed up, EXCEPT if the processor has been overclocked incorrectly --> recovering from that is trickier, because the clock speed is set very very early during initialization. It is possible though, by shorting pins on the flash chip temporarily.

I think I used tjtag3-0-1 under Linux. The MS-Windows version didn't work as well when I tried it. This was all 2 years ago.


torobull123

join:2009-06-20
reply to torobull123
Instead of soldering, can't I just tape the 12 pin header to the router board, making sure it touches the side of the jtag holes?

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Lots of people try it that way. But results can be flaky -- if a pin has marginal contact, then the image you flash will get corrupted. So it may take several attempts to get it right.


sbrook
Premium,Mod
join:2001-12-14
Ottawa
kudos:13
Reviews:
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·WIND Mobile
reply to torobull123
No, it is not going to be a reliable connection. And you could as a result end up with a continuing stream of bricks

You need a specific kind of header to go in without soldering... essentially each pin must be like a porcupine quill ... goes in, but won't come out.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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1 edit
reply to torobull123
Here's an idea.

Take the router downtown to Creatron (»www.creatroninc.com/), at College and Spadina. Get Lawrence (the proprietor) to solder on the header for you. He may even do it for free, but more likely for $5 or so.


torobull123

join:2009-06-20
reply to torobull123
I've decided not to pursue debricking the wrt54gl. I don't have enough confidence in the jtag process (and my abilities) to go forward with it.

Im just going to buy a Linksys E1200 and flash it with Shibby's

tomato-E1200v1-NVRAM64K-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-104-Mini.bin
or
tomato-E1200v2-NVRAM64K-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-104-Max.bin

arthurwinslo

join:2012-11-30
Toronto, ON
torobull, I know you said you couldn't ping the router but did you try hard setting your ip to the 192.168.1.10 ip address and see if you could ping your gateway?

Most of the bricks that I've experienced on broadcom based routers didn't harm the bootloader (which is all that needs to be working in order to tftp upload any of those DD-WRT/Tomato bins back to the modem)


torobull123

join:2009-06-20
said by arthurwinslo:

torobull, I know you said you couldn't ping the router but did you try hard setting your ip to the 192.168.1.10 ip address and see if you could ping your gateway?

Most of the bricks that I've experienced on broadcom based routers didn't harm the bootloader (which is all that needs to be working in order to tftp upload any of those DD-WRT/Tomato bins back to the modem)

Ya i tried static ip on my pc. Still couldn't ping.

I pretty certain that the bootloader is messed up and the ethernet flash won't work. Ive tried many times

arthurwinslo

join:2012-11-30
Toronto, ON
I see. At this point, you have nothing to lose by trying to JTAG it yourself then. It really isn't as scary of a task as it may seem, just take your time.

My GL had no solder in the JTAG header points so I was simply able to tilt a pin header enough to maintain contact to flash the router back in a minute. If you're going to go the serial method, then get some headers soldered to it and call it a day. It would just be a shame to lose a GL over what is really a small task to resolve.

moffa

join:2007-10-14
Ajax, ON
reply to torobull123
There is a way to unbrick it by shorting some pins. I've tried it on my old router. Let me see if I can find the guide. Of course it's not recommended and stresses your chip but if you were going to junk it, I don't see why not

arthurwinslo

join:2012-11-30
Toronto, ON
Yeah shorting the flash mainly pertains if you cannot write back to the flash via JTAG. It won't really help if the data on the flash is messed up in my experience. You'll still end up having to reflash anyway.

moffa

join:2007-10-14
Ajax, ON
reply to torobull123
This is the guide I used »blog.linoweb.com/?p=116

I also had to use pin 16/17 instead of 15/16

arthurwinslo

join:2012-11-30
Toronto, ON
+1

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to arthurwinslo
The "pin-shorting" is a way to prevent the bootloader from reading/applying screwed-up data from the parameter block (aka "nvram"), as well as preventing it from loading a messed-up firmware image. The idea is that by shorting a couple of pins at the right instant, the wrong flash address gets accessed instead of the parameters, and the whole thing gets rejected by the bootloader due to bad checksum. So the bootloader can then boot successfully.

I've only ever needed to do that (and figured it out myself from scratch) when setting the wrong CPU clock frequency, preventing even JTAG access. But it could also be useful if other stuff is messed up.

But regardless, do NOT throw that WRT54GL away! It can be revived. So even if you get a new router, keep the old one. Go ahead, learn and try the JTAG method and/or any of the other ways discussed. What do you have to lose? Nothing! And the experience can be very handy in the future.


torobull123

join:2009-06-20

2 edits
said by mlord:

The "pin-shorting" is a way to prevent the bootloader from reading/applying screwed-up data from the parameter block (aka "nvram"), as well as preventing it from loading a messed-up firmware image. The idea is that by shorting a couple of pins at the right instant, the wrong flash address gets accessed instead of the parameters, and the whole thing gets rejected by the bootloader due to bad checksum. So the bootloader can then boot successfully.

I've only ever needed to do that (and figured it out myself from scratch) when setting the wrong CPU clock frequency, preventing even JTAG access. But it could also be useful if other stuff is messed up.

But regardless, do NOT throw that WRT54GL away! It can be revived. So even if you get a new router, keep the old one. Go ahead, learn and try the JTAG method and/or any of the other ways discussed. What do you have to lose? Nothing! And the experience can be very handy in the future.

Do you need a special pin to fix a router with a messed up bootloader (no ping response)? R2 firmware running on a R1 device. Or is the pin header in the ebay jtag package enough for any kind of brick fix for the wrt54gl?

»www.ebay.ca/itm/JTAG-Cable-Links···0wt_1397

What about solderless pogo pins?

»www.ebay.ca/itm/Pogo-Pin-Adapter···2wt_1163

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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That's the type of "JTAG" thing I used here -- it does REQUIRE that you have a PC with a real (non-USB) parallel port. Modern machines may not have one!

There's also a similar, more versatile device available cheaper from within Canada:
»www.ebay.ca/itm/Buffered-JTAG-de···89738333

A better device for less money, that, but more complex to use.

Both types of "JTAG" include all you need, including the header pins: but they do require soldering.

I don't know anything about POGO pins.


Teddy Boom
k kudos Received
Premium
join:2007-01-29
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
reply to torobull123
If you are just soldering pins into empty holes, it really isn't that hard.

pogo pins work great as long as you can hold them mechanically secure. We drilled pogo pins one at a time into a plywood board to create production test jigs at an ex-employer. Very reliable connections, and long lasting.

The solderless headers also work fine, if the holes for the JTAG location are empty (sometimes those holes are already filled with solder, which you would have to get out--not so easy for a complete novice). They aren't super fantastic though. Hole diameters are highly variable from one product to another. The WRT-54G v2 might have exactly the right hole diameter, but the WRT-54GL v1.1 might have holes that are too small.... With soldered joints, the solder makes up the difference for a "wide" range of hole sizes. For a solderless header to work it has to be pretty precise.

Anyway, I'm happy to flash WRT-54GL for the same $10 as cable modems. I don't have a ton of experience doing it, and there are some differences, so we'll have to have some time to work on it, just in case.
--
electronicsguru.ca