Partially bricked RT-N66U

Arrold

New Around Here
Hello, I've got 2 other Asus (broadcom) routers, I did try running dd-wrt on them all but that didn't go so well, and in the case of this poor RT-N66U, I think pushed it one step too far.

Huge thanks to @that1geek for this thread https://www.snbforums.com/threads/t...d-while-flashing-from-tomato-to-merlin.29077/

Let me just say ahead of time that I'm already beyond my skill level but I'll tell you where I'm at. I'm not set up to do any soldering, if it comes to that I'd happily give this thing away (any takers?)
And also, I honestly wasn't aware that I was putting Linksys firmware on my Asus router.

Tried dd-wrt, was attempting to get WDS working across a couple of nodes, I frequently got the signal strength to look OK but they never actually shared an internet connection, so I was experimenting a bit with this one because it's the slowest of the 3 routers I have.
We live in a 3 storey house and reception on the top floor is sketchy, we\ve got a blazing fast fibre connection in but powerline adapters throttle the hell out of it so was looking to do something meshy. I don't think I should have to run cables, in a few years I think they'll be obsolete anyway.

Current status:

It doesn't ping at all if connected directly over ethernet.
It allows a wifi connection to be established (passwordless dd-wrt) for about a minute during boot. In that time you can get a dd-wrt landing page, set a user & pass, navigate to administration and try to upload another trx file but about 20 seconds into that the wifi disappears.

Ordered serial cable, got connected from a MacBook (don't have anything running windows with an ethernet port), if I let it boot I get a login prompt and I can log in

Code:
DD-WRT v3.0-r48141 mini (c) 2022 NewMedia-NET GmbH
Release: 01/21/22
Board: Linksys WRT54G/GL/GS

DD-WRT login: root
==========================================================

     ___  ___     _      _____  ______       ____  ___
    / _ \/ _ \___| | /| / / _ \/_  __/ _  __|_  / / _ \
   / // / // /___/ |/ |/ / , _/ / /   | |/ //_ <_/ // /
  /____/____/    |__/|__/_/|_| /_/    |___/O___(_)___/
                                                   
                       DD-WRT v3.0
                   https://www.dd-wrt.com


==========================================================
Jan  1 01:17:44 login[1026]: root login on 'console'


BusyBox v1.35.0 (2022-01-21 02:25:28 +07) built-in shell (ash)

[email protected]:~# ifconfig
br0       Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr AC:22:0B:32:4F:D8
          inet addr:192.168.1.1  Bcast:192.168.1.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:20 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:840 (840.0 B)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

[email protected]:~# busybox
busybox: applet not found

I edited the above because it's constantly interrupted with:

Code:
get_wl_instance doesnt return the right value 0
eth1: No such device

If I escape out to CFE it won't let me activate an interface.

Code:
CFE> ifconfig eth0 addr=192.168.1.1 mask=255.255.255.0
Could not activate network interface 'eth0': Error
*** command status = -1


CFE> ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.1.255
Could not activate network interface 'eth0': Error
*** command status = -1


CFE> ifconfig br0 addr=192.168.1.1 mask=255.255.255.0
Could not activate network interface 'br0': Error
*** command status = -1

I can usually get it into rescue mode but I can't connect to it while it's in that mode, other than the serial connection.

I guess, is there a way to push firmware over the serial connection? I can't seem to figure that out.
As I've said, if it comes to this JTag thing, I'm out, this thing isn't worth it to me and would happily donate, otherwise any assistance would be appreciated
 
Last edited:

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
ifconfig not showing any interfaces means the module / fw isn't loaded to pick them up.

I've had this issue on my Z690 PC and the issue was the RTL module being loaded was for a prior version and needed to be blacklisted in order for the newer version to load.

busybox - I've used this on Android for rooting phones

I'm not sure what CFE is but, seeing the > usually means you have to do an "enable" to get into the elevated privilege mode to run commands of substance.

If you wanted to you could pick up a USB <> Ethernet adapter for cheap on Amazon and connect while in recovery mode from any device.

To copy / flash a different image you'll likely need to use tftp from a computer to transfer the image over or a USB with the file on it to cp the image to the device.

If you want better coverage then getting an actual AP w/ Ethernet backhaul will give you the best results instead of trying to use a wireless backhaul solution.
 

Arrold

New Around Here
If you wanted to you could pick up a USB <> Ethernet adapter for cheap on Amazon and connect while in recovery mode from any device.

To copy / flash a different image you'll likely need to use tftp from a computer to transfer the image over or a USB with the file on it to cp the image to the device.
The ethernet ports aren't working at any stage, whether that's in Recovery or when it boots and for the period when it has some wifi so ethernet or tftp isn't going to work.

I didn't even think about putting it on a USB!

Any idea what I should format the USB as to be readable at CFE level? And any idea what path that shows up as so I can mount it?
 

Arrold

New Around Here
Yeah I think the same is happening with USB, whatever I plug in there isn't seen, wouldn't you expect a message to be posted to the logged in serial console thing.
Think I've reached the end with this one, thanks for the help
 

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