Serial Recovery

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Revision as of 15:10, 30 October 2010 by Donny (Talk | contribs)
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Routers that have a serial port can often be recovered by using a serial adapter. This is an alternative to Jtag.

Serial ports are normally a four or five pins on the router motherboard. Usually, you have to solder to pads or remove solder from the holes and install a four or five pin header.

You connect to the router with the programs hyperterminal or putty.

The settings you want are: Baud: 115200 Data bits: 8 Stop Bits: 1 Parity: none No Flow control

Serial Commands

Erase Nvram

Power cycle the router and while it is booting hit control C quickly. You should get a CFE>

The most common command you will use is the "nvram erase" command. This command will erase the nvram values that are often the cause of bricked routers

At the cfe prompt:

cfe> nvram erase [enter]

To flash the firmware

This assumes you have a ttl adapter connected and ready to go. There is reference to stock firmware. This does not apply to router that used to run vxworks. All of those, have jtag tmk..

connect that bitch (the router to your serial adapter).. 115200,8,1,n and no flow control are the com, param's

I use hyperterminal. In the terminal, boot the router.

Immediately start hitting ctrl-c. If you hit it right you will be at the cfe prompt:


Execute the nvram erase command at the CFE prompt

Get the tftp utility ready to flash the STOCK firmware for your router so all you need to do it hit enter to launch.

You are going to tell the router to accept a tftp flash of firmware. It times out quickly so that is why you need to get the utility ready to launch.

Static ip on your rig.., mask, not necessary but gateway

If you have a linksyse router, at the cfe prompt:

flash -ctheader : flash1.trx

hit enter.. the router will want an upload of the firmware. It will time out after three tries. Don't let it time out, now launch the tftp utility. It will upload, program and then you will be back at the cfe prompt. This will take some time. You will see what is happening in the console.

You will be back at the cfe prompt when it is done:


issue a "go" command:

go [enter]

the router will launch its new firmware.

Let it boot. It will boot 2 ~ 3 times.. You are done.

Now install dd-wrt again.

Good Luck..

Before flashing the kernel (firmware), erase nvram so any bad nvram entries won't screw up the new kernel.

At the cfe prompt:

cfe> nvram erase [enter]