After installing dd-wrt and seeing that 24 sp1 still needs more work I decided to install Oleg's firmware.
Since direct upgrade failed I used nvram-clear and nvram-recover and the installed Oleg's firmware.
Now the router boots fine , but I can't access it either from telnet or via web interface because it won't accept my password.
I tried admin/admin , admin/"" and the password settings I used with dd-wrt before reformat.
One thing I forgot to mention is that wireless SSID is visible as dd-wrt even though I have run nvram-clear and nvram-recover many times.