How to Flash Your Wireless Router With DD-WRT
First, the mandatory disclaimer: I only succeeded doing this on my Linksys WRH54G using its own specialized DD-WRT flash image. And, by the way, flashing the firmware will void your warranty. That said, here’s how to do it as I did it.
- Find yourself a good straight UTP cable for this and use Internet Explorer as your browser. For safety reasons, don’t use the wifi connection to do any firmware flashing. That’s a no-no. Same thing for Firefox et al. Dust off your IE for this one.
- First, read the Peacock Thread. If I ever say RTFM, this is it. Don’t come to me later crying about how you bricked your router. It’s a very good read and has tons of tips and what to do before, during, and after the installation and also what to do if something goes wrong. I think it would be a good idea to save the page to your local disk. Oh, and the DD-WRT installation wiki is a good read too.
- Download the specialized DD-WRT flash image for WRH54G. You can use the link provided above or use their official, secure download page just to make sure you have the version you want.
- While you’re at it, download the TFTP tool too. This will be essential if you failed to flash the image properly. Better safe than sorry, right?
- Get the official Linksys firmware image. This will also be your safety net. If something goes wrong you can try to revert back to the official firmware.
- Do a back-up of your router configuration first. So, in case something goes wrong, you should still have it to fallback on. Click the
Administration > Config Management menu to do this.
- Do a hard reset. It’s done by doing the so called 30-30-30 reset. As the Peacock Thread put it, push the reset button with your router powered on. Hold it for 30 seconds with the router powered on. STILL holding it, pull the power cord for 30 seconds. Still holding it, plug the router back in. You will have held the button for a full 90 seconds without releasing it. How can you tell if you’ve managed to do a proper hard reset? Simple. If you’ve changed the router’s default admin password before, this hard reset should put the factory default password back on.
- Use the web configuration to flash the DD-WRT firmware. With your browser, open the web configuration of the router and access the
Administration > Firmware Upgrade menu. Browse to the DD-WRT flash image you downloaded earlier and press the Upgrade button.
- Wait for the router to reset itself. Do absolutely nothing before the router resets itself. Do not unplug the cable, do not cancel the process, do not close your browser, don’t click any button, and do not refresh your browser page. The progress bar will do its thing and the router will reset itself and finally you’ll be prompted for password once again.
- Do another hard reset. That’s right, never mind the password prompt.
- Access the web config address and you’ll be taken to the change password screen. If the screen displays, it means that you’ve successfully flashed to DD-WRT. Use the screen to change the default administrator user name and password. Be smart and use a highly secure password.
- That’s it, you’re done.
Oh, by the way, if you’re having trouble and wants to reset it back to the official linksys firmware, this site might help.