Unbricking Linksys WRT54GL routers

Follow these steps in order to unbrick a Linksys WRT54GL:

Step 1. Download the firmware

Download Linksys stock firmware: Version 1.0: WRT54GL_FW_4.30.14.005_20091026.bin (Right-Click and choose ‘Save As…’) (This is version 1.0 from http://www.linksysbycisco.com/UK/en/support/WRT54GL/download)

Step 2. TFTP

TFTP the firmware (Note: if your computer set DHCP, you may not get “Hardware Error” but “Destination host unreachable” or “Request timeout”. Set your computer static IP before. )

Windows 2000 / XP

Windows 2000 and Windows XP have a built-in TFTP client and it can be used to flash firmware. Important: If you have a personal firewall, make sure it is disabled for this part. Some personal firewalls will not give any indication that they have blocked the tftp client. Please bear in mind that you should only be connected to the router when your personal firewall is disabled to avoid any nastiness, and remember to re-enable it when you are done. Windows 2000/XP TFTP Client short Instructions

  1. Open two command windows (Start-Run-Enter “cmd”)
  2. In one window, type “ping -t -w 10 192.168.1.1″ and press enter. 192.168.1.1 is the router IP.
  3. Ping will continuously try to contact the wrt with 10 ms timeout instead of default 4000 ms. Keep this running
  4. In the other window, prepare the tftp command “tftp -i 192.168.1.1 PUT [STOCK-FIRMWARE].bin”. Do not press enter yet!
  5. Now you may plug in the router (unplug it first if it was plugged).
  6. In the ping window it will start saying “Hardware Error”
  7. Return to the tftp window. As soon as the ping window starts to answer again, press enter in the tftp window.
  8. The image should now be flashed without multiple tries.
  9. If ping starts with “Hardware Error”, then starts to answer, and then returns to “Hardware Error” again for a short moment, you waited too long.

Linux/BSD (Make sure you have the tftp command line app installed)

  1. tftp 192.168.1.1
  2. tftp>binary
  3. tftp>rexmt 1
  4. tftp>timeout 60
  5. tftp>trace
  6. Packet tracing on.
  7. tftp> put [STOCK-FIRMWARE].bin

A little trick is to first issue the command and then shortly afterwards, power the device. You should have working routers in no time! This article has been extracted and summarised from the OpenWrt community wiki