Bricked Linksys WRT54G repair instructions

What you need:

1 bricked Linksys WRT54G router with boot_wait=off
1 corkscrew

1 bottle of wine

If you have to take courage first, the bottle of wine could help!

What to do:

Unscrew the antennas and open the router and look for the Intel flash chip. The chip has 48 pins. You can find the numbers on the edges of the chip 1 .. 24 .. 25 .. 48. Time for a big slug of wine! Now use the corkscrew to shorten pin 16 and 17.

I have the Linksys WRT54G v2.2, on some older routers you have to shorten pin 15 & 16.

Now plug in the power cable and your Linksys should be ping-able now. You can send the firmware using tftp:

rexmt 1
timeout 60
tftp> put firmwarefile.bin

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6 Responses

  1. Knute says:

    My WRT54g is almost 4 years old and, appears to have fritzed. Happened during the nite. Only the “diag” lite appears-and that is dim..I tested the power adapter and it is in “OK” shape.. Not having much luck with my search for a repair shop..Can you help with any suggestions?



  2. Paul says:

    I was able to use this same method to recover a dead BEFW11S4v4.

    The data sheet for the flash (29LV800, TSOP package) indicates that pins 16 and 17 are A18 and A17, the topmost address lines – so there’s no point in shorting them.

    However, pin 15 is the ready/!busy signal, while pin 16 is A18, the top address line. Shorting these together pulls the ready signal down, indicating the device is busy with a program or erase operation, and cannot be read – so the broken firmware cannot be loaded. The device can then be recovered as described.

    However, while the firmware was broken, the NVRAM was not – and it wouldn’t let me tftp the new firmware without a password – until I did “put firmwarefile.bin /” – ie, with a / (meaning, in the root directory).

    Then, without powering off, I was able to load and recover all the settings.

    Thanks for the tip!

  3. hsan says:

    I was successful (thanks for the advice!) with a WRT54g V1.1 resetting via pins 15&16, then loading DD-WRT V24 mini. Advice seems to be use a jeweller’s screwdriver to short the pins…. no wonder success rate is only 20%!!
    The board has lacquer on it and most screwdrivers are too large to ensure you short the right pins.
    Use a magnifying glass and sharp sewing needle, and make sure you short the pins close to the flash chip to miss the lacquer.

  4. Hack says:

    sewing needle worked shorting WRT54GS V2 pins 15 16

  5. Josh Lemark says:

    Do you short the pins to each other or both to ground and do you short then power up or while power is on ?

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