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Upgrading Linksys Router to DD-WRT Firmware

Upgrading Linksys Router to DD-WRT firmware? Why do we want to do it? Well you might want to consider it due to limited network functionality of the router but want to set up a complex network at home with VPN functionality or multiple network support, or you are getting bored with your existing router or you would like to learn new networking skills.


Ok! Let's continue.. What is DD-WRT? DD-WRT is a very popular Linux based alternative OpenSource firmware suitable for a great variety of wireless routers and embedded systems with great number of functionalities support. The other popular opensource router firmware are OpenWRT and Tomato firmware, but the focus of this article will be on DD-WRT.

There are free and professional versions of DD-WRT, but free version should be good enough for private use at home. These are main characteristics of DD-WRT:
-Supports more than 200 different devices
-Comprehensive functionality (multiple WLAN, OpenVPN, OpenDNS, etc.)
-Supports all current WLAN standards (802.11a/b/g/n)
-Supports outdoor deployment
-Supports enhanced frequencies
-VPN integration
-Supports various Hotspot systems
-Bandwidth management
-Multilingual user interface

Initial Firmware Upgrade on Linksys E1200

In this article I will show how I upgraded my old Linksys E1200 router v1 from stock firmware to DD-WRT:

1)Explore and read the DD-WRT Wiki to identify the correct upgrade approach for the router model and also download the correct DD-WRT firmware.

2)Disable the wireless settings on the Linksys E1200 so that no mobile devices are connected to it and leave it powered on.

3)Connect a laptop to this wireless router's LAN port with a LAN cable, then set IP address 192.168.1.100 and gateway 192.168.1.1 (router's LAN IP address) on wired settings and disable the wireless adapter on laptop, so that you can access router web interface via wired connection during upgrade (open web browser to test the access to 192.168.1.1).

4)Perform hard reset (aka 30/30/30 reset) on router as shown below (do this carefully and be patient for it to reboot eventually):

-With the wireless router powered on, press and hold the reset button on back of router for 30 seconds
-Without releasing the reset button, unplug the router and hold reset for another 30 seconds
-Plug the router back in STILL holding the reset button a final 30 seconds

5)Log into Linksys Web Interface Firmware Upgrade page with default user name admin and password admin.

6)Upload the known good initial flash E1200 (v1) Trailed Build. Click Upgrade and follow instruction to upgrade it.

7)Wait 5 minutes to assure flash integrity, then power cycle the router (unplug for 10 seconds).

8)Plug the E1200 back in and wait about 2 minutes until it finishes booting.

9)Do a hard reset(step 4 above) again, then wait for it to boot with DD-WRT firmware.

10)Open web interface (192.168.1.1) to set a new username and password, then configure as needed.
DD-WRT changing password
11)You can proceed to configure the wireless router installed with DD-WRT firmware after setting up the username and password.
DD-WRT web interface

Upgrading DD-WRT

1)To upgrade the Linksys E1200 installed with DD-WRT, use a k2.6 nv64k mini build (_K2.6_mini-nv64k.bin) that you can download from the /broadcom_K26 directory.

2)Research build threads first to avoid bad builds.

3)Log in to E1200 wireless router web interface, go to firmware upgrade page (Administration->Firmware Upgrade), upload the new firmware, click Upgrade and follow the instruction to upgrade it.
DD-WRT firmware upgrade


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