Firmware Meltdown

1 minute read

So, the WRT54GC router arrived on Monday. Seeing as it was my birthday, it was like a gift to myself. I immediately started playing with it, turning on WPA2 and putting in a password from Steve Gibson’s excellent WPA password generator.

Being the obsessive compulsive software upgrader that I am, I decided to flash its firmware. Keep in mind that I’ve flashed many network devices including an original Airport Base Station, a Linksys BEFSR41, a D-Link DI 624, a D-Link DI-524, a Motorola WA840G, a D-Link DWL-G810, and a couple other routers. I can’t list the others because usually I was upgrading the firmware of some stranger’s unprotected router over the wireless connection. Yes, I am a daredevil.

All that said, when I attempted this (totally routine and over a wired connection) upgrade, it failed. I’m not talking about simply needing to retry it or having to reset the router and try again. I’m talking about an amber powerlight complete meltdown. I got walked through the reset procedure by two separate Linksys tech support people (even though I’d already done it). Finally, they told me to return it to Amazon for a replacement.

When the new one arrives, I’m going to try it again even though it’s tempting fate. If it fails again, I’m going to be a little suspicious.