Sunday, October 14, 2018

Resurrecting a bricked router

A couple of days ago, I tried to install dd-wrt to a top link router I purchased. I have another router of the same model which works perfectly with dd-wrt so I was surprised when the new one was bricked by the installation.

Apart from throwing it away the only alternative would be to try using the router serial port and tftp to upload new firmware.

In order to do that we need to solder the serial pins on the router board, have a serial to ttl device that will allow us to open the serial port from a computer.

I did not have a usb-ttl device so I tried to use an arduino clone I had. All of these devices that have a USB port have an internal usb-ttl that we can highjack to open a serial port. After that all we need is a tftp server to serve the new image.

The commands can be found on the internet. I tried various images the only one that worked was open wrt which was installed without problem. Not the router is working perfectly.

Here are some similar instructions for a Xiaomi router, one of the most affordable systems out there that can be loaded with OpenWrt https://dzone.com/articles/hacking-into-xiaomi-mi-router-3g-and-openwrt-firmw

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