Reflashing your Routers Firmware

Read This Carefully!!

Your routers firmware is very much like the copy of Windows that you have on your computer. If your installation of Windows is damaged or corrupted your computer will not start. Your routers firmware is the software built into the router that allows it to start up, run and act like a router. The firmware is stored on flash memory usually soldered onto the routers mainboard and it can be upgraded, rewritten or even replaced depending on the router and we refer to this as reflashing the firmware or upgrading the firmware. If the process of replacing the firmware is interrupted or unsuccessful for any reason the router will no longer work and in many cases will be rendered useless. This is referred to as bricking your router, as your router will be about as usefull as a brick if it is not reflashed successfully. To proceed after this point is to understand that upgrading firmware can be dangerous to the health of the router, that there is a chance it will be damaged and unrecoverable and most importantly diywireless.net and its writers will not be held responsible for any unrecoverable routers. You proceed at your own risk.

Now that you've been suitably warned of the dangers of reflashing your router start by downloading the latest stable release of DD-WRT from their website. It is a free download however you must be carefull to select the firmware version suitable to the router you are using. In our example we are using V23 SP2 generic for a WRT54GL V1.1.

plug the routers power supply into a suitable outlet and connect the router to your computers ethernet card with a cat 5 cable. The cable should go into one of the LAN ports on the router. For safetys sake it is best not to rely on DHCP during the reflashing process so assign a static IP address of and subnet mask of to your ethernet adaptor. If you dont know how to do this see Ethernet Card Configuration on diywireless.com.

Log into your routerNext we must open the routers configuration interface so that we can upgrade the firmware. Open up internet explorer and type into the address bar and press enter. Further information about web configuration interfaces can be found at www.diywireless.com's device configuration page. If communication is successfull between your PC and the router a box should pop up asking for login details. Into the user name field type admin and into the password field once again type admin. This of course assumes that the router is in a factory default state. Click ok or press enter.

Standard WRT54GL admin interfaceYou should now be presented with the standard linksys firmware web interface. Click on the administration link at the top and then select firmware upgrade.

Firmware Upgrade PageOn the Firmware Upgrade page use the browse button to select the DD-WRT firmware that you downloaded from their website previously and click on the upgrade button. DO NOT INTERRUPT the upgrade!! Leave the router alone for a few minutes and let it do its thing. It should write the new firmware to the flash memory and then reboot, unpacking the new firmware and installing before starting up again.

The DD-WRT Firmware Web Admin InterfaceAfter the router has completed the upgrade your web browser will display a page that says upgrade complete. When you click the proceed button on this page it will then prompt for a username and password once again. The default user name for the DD-WRT firmware is root and the password is admin however these most probably will not work immediately. In all cases I have had to perform a factory reset to log into the freshly flashed router for the first time. To perform a factory reset unplug the power from the back of the router, hold down the factory reset button on the back of the router and plug the power back in again. Continue to hold down the factory reset button for about 30 seconds before releasing it. Give the router at least another 15 seconds or so with power and then unplug the power again. When you plug the power back in after a few seconds you should be able to navigate back to and be greeted with the DD-WRT firmwares front page.