Unbricking a Router With a Raspi


About a decade ago, [Mansour] learned of the Linksys WRT54G, a wireless router that’s been shoved into just about every project under the sun. After learning of this device’s power, he decided a firmware upgrade was in order. Unfortunately, he accidentally bricked this router and left it sitting on a shelf for a few years.

Idle devices are the devil’s playthings, and when [Mansour] discovered a Samsung hard drive with a an SDRAM that was compatible with the WRT54G, he decided he would have a go at repairing this ancient router. There was only one problem: the most popular utility for programming the router through the JTAG header required a PC parallel port.

No problem, then, as [Mansour] had a Raspberry Pi on hand. The parallel port utility bit-banged the new firmware over to the router, something the GPIO port on the Pi could do in spades. By adding Pi support to the debricking utility, [Mansour] had a functional WRT54G with just a little bit of patience and a few wires connecting the GPIO and JTAG header.

18 thoughts on “Unbricking a Router With a Raspi

      1. If you opt to just order some RAM, a good candidate is ISSI IS42S16160D-7TLI, you can get it from Arrow for $3.59 a piece, and they have craploads in stock. 16 bit wide, 143MHz speed grade, 32MB, good stuff. I upgraded the abysmal WRT54GS2 to 32MB of RAM and 8MB of flash (up from 8MB RAM/2MB flash).

    1. Unless you have replaced your SDRAM or otherwise slammed a hammer on it, it’s often unlikely that the issue is a hardware one. My router was fine before the surgery (unlike what’s in the description here). I just wanted to upgrade the RAM for better performance.

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