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Wireless Router Debricking!

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Uploaded on Nov 5, 2010

!!! NOTICE: DO NOT attempt anything shown in this video unless you absolutely know what you're doing. Every case is different, and this is not a "how to" guide. You may make things worse by doing the wrong thing if you just blindly follow this video. Do not be stupid. Get help on a forum where the hardware and software you have are being discussed! !!!


It was bound to happen sooner or later...after more than fifty successful upgrades of cheap little wireless routers to third party firmware, I finally bricked one. In this case, the firmware went into place perfectly. I ended up passing an invalid parameter to the bootloader and this caused the CPU to get stuck so early in the boot process that nothing other than direct communications over JTAG could help.

Before debricking any router, be prepared. Get to a forum where there are knowledgeable folks available to help you, be honest about what happened and follow instructions exactly. Almost anything can be recovered if you approach it intelligently and learn from the experience.

This router recovered to perfect health and to prove it, I uploaded this entire video through it. As of August 2013, it's been moved to my garage where it works perfectly as part of a WDS bridge.

In what has to be a delightfully ironic twist, these cut-down Linksys routers with the stock VxWorks based firmware are pretty unreliable as they run out of memory and crash after a few days. This doesn't get better over time, and lots of these little routers are in the landfill as a result. Although nobody can prove it, it is believed that Linksys cut the memory in these units to stop people running third party firmware on them. That's where the irony comes in--not only did the third party Linux based firmware authors adapt, they did a better job, producing stable and reliable firmware for these things.

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