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Thread: Funny WAN port dies workaround -- do not try this

  1. #1
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    Funny WAN port dies workaround -- do not try this

    Guys,

    I just want to let you to know. It's possible to workaround the WAN port dies problem by exchanging the roles of WAN and LAN ports. I.e. all 4 ports will become WAN, and WAN port will become LAN.
    This requires several changes in the nvram, so I do not want to verify this on my unit.
    This is very delicate operation. So, if anyone is interested in this, then let me know.
    Last edited by Oleg; 12-09-2004 at 11:52.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Oleg
    Guys,

    I just want to let you to know. It's possible to workaround the WAN port dies problem by exchanging the roles of WAN and LAN ports. I.e. all 4 ports will become WAN, and WAN port will become LAN.
    This requires several changes in the nvram, so I do not want to verify this on my unit.
    This is very delicate operation. So, if anyone is interested in this, then let me know.
    e....
    it's funny..... i want to know ... Can you tell me?

  3. #3
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    Well, I'm not responsible for any damage.

    So, there are 2 nvram settings which determies the logical order of the ethernet ports: et0mdcport and et1mdcport. On my unit et0mdcport=0 and et1mdcport=1. So, to exchange these ports you just need to set et0mdcport=1 and et1mdcport=0. Also, there is a setting for phy addresses: et0phyaddr=30 and et1phyaddr=0, they should be also exchanged. So, the exact sequence (using any firmware, including provided by ASUS) should be as follows (execute via www backdoor or telnet/ssh in custom firmwares):

    1. Verify current settings
    Code:
    nvram get et0mdcport
    nvram get et1mdcport
    nvram get et0phyaddr
    nvram get et1phyaddr
    This should produce 0, 1, 30, 0 correspondingly.

    2. Set new values
    Code:
    nvram set et0mdcport=1
    nvram set et1mdcport=0
    nvram set et0phyaddr=0
    nvram set et1phyaddr=30
    3. Double check your changes:
    Code:
    nvram get et0mdcport
    nvram get et1mdcport
    nvram get et0phyaddr
    nvram get et1phyaddr
    This should produce 1, 0, 0, 30 correspondingly.

    4. Commit & reboot
    Code:
    nvram commit
    reboot
    wl500g should reboot and use WAN port as LAN and vice versa.

    The worst thing which could happen (but this is nearly imposible if you strictly follow the steps above) is that it can't boot. In this case wrt54g recover procedure should be used, i.e. shortening the flash pins.

  4. #4
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    Well... I tried this. After the router had rebooted, it wouldn't start anymore. The power led goes on and blinks at regular intervalls (it blinks for the first time about 1 second after powerup, for the second time 9 seconds after powerup, for the third time 20 seconds after power up, ...)
    Firmware Restoration isn't working anymore - in the past i could enter it in the usual way (powering down, pressing reset, powering up, releasing reset and the power light was flashing and I could use the ASUS Firmware Restoration Utility to upload a new firmware); the power led keeps blinking in this 8-11 second-intervall as described above.

  5. #5
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    Shit happens...

    So you need to either send it for warranty replacement or disassemble it and try the method described at this page
    http://voidmain.is-a-geek.net:81/red...g_revival.html

    This is for wrt54g unit. Yours use AMD flash - datasheet is at
    http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/cont...cs/23579c5.pdf

    You need to shorten pins 9 and 10 (A19 & A20) or 16 and 17 (A17 & A18) - wl500g should think it has corrupted nvram and restore it using defaults.

    In fact, after shortening these pins, it should go to firmware restoration mode and if does so, I will send you special firmware file...

    It's better to send it to replacement, I think...

  6. #6
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    hm... Warranty replacement is not an option with a broken warranty seal ;-)
    I know of voidmans site and have already tried shortening pins 9 and 10 before switching the wl500g on but this didn't change the situation.
    So I thought it would be better to short the exact same address lines as mentioned in voidmans description (pin #9 and #16 on the am29lv320dt). I succeeded in making a connection (it's not easy but possible to solder hair-thin wires with the right tools) but unfortunately the situation stays the same.
    Well, I guess the unit is really dead - although I really don't know why...

  7. #7
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    If still blinks with power led - it's ok. Pmon is alive.

    Ok, if you can desolder pin 9 it will solve your problems. You need the following - desolder it and shorten it to ground. Power in the unit and check it's in recovery mode. It should there.
    But do not try to restore the firmware it probably kill pmon!
    Let me know if it can enter recovery mode in this way.

  8. #8
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    The idea is following:

    nvram address
    1111111000000000000000

    last pmon address
    0000111111111111111111

    so, only higher 4 bits could be changed. In fact if we desolder highest bit (pin 10) and shorten it to ground we could the flash 2 megs firmware, which will fix your problems...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oleg
    If still blinks with power led - it's ok. Pmon is alive.
    It doesn't blink in the way it would normally blink - in fact it seems like pmon is in a kind of loop judging by the way the led is blinking:
    *power is connected* -> LAN leds switch on -> PWR led blinks -> LAN leds switch off -> PWR led on for 8 seconds -> PWR led blinks -> PWR led on for 11 seconds -> PWR led blinks -> PWR led on for 8 seconds -> PWR led blinks -> PWR led on for 11 seconds -> ...
    I don't understand why the restore mode isn't working anymore - isn't this a sign that the PMON-code is damaged? Or does PMON need valid data in the NVRAM partition to start the recovery mode?
    Quote Originally Posted by Oleg
    Ok, if you can desolder pin 9 it will solve your problems.
    I will try this, but desoldering only one pin is rather difficult (compared to desoldering a whole TSOP package)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtzm
    It doesn't blink in the way it would normally blink - in fact it seems like pmon is in a kind of loop judging by the way the led is blinking:
    *power is connected* -> LAN leds switch on -> PWR led blinks -> LAN leds switch off -> PWR led on for 8 seconds -> PWR led blinks -> PWR led on for 11 seconds -> PWR led blinks -> PWR led on for 8 seconds -> PWR led blinks -> PWR led on for 11 seconds -> ...
    I don't understand why the restore mode isn't working anymore - isn't this a sign that the PMON-code is damaged? Or does PMON need valid data in the NVRAM partition to start the recovery mode?

    I will try this, but desoldering only one pin is rather difficult (compared to desoldering a whole TSOP package)
    yes, pmon uses the same nvram data. so, it can't initialize ethernet port.
    in fact, you could just try grounding the pin without desoldering it in the hope bcm4702 handles this (it should, but who knows)...
    I've already prepared small firmware for you.
    The exact sequence should be as following:
    1) grounding pin
    2) power wl on
    3) wait for recover blinking
    4) restore the pin
    5) flash with small firmware
    6) it should boot and stop blinking (but it will not be accessible)
    7) turn off, restore connections and try to enter recovery mode
    the firmware will be
    here in a few moments.

  11. #11
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    Thank you very much for the quick answers and instructions, Oleg!
    I will try to flash the recovery firmware tomorrow and will post my post my results.

  12. #12
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    Well, hope this helps.
    You are the brave one.

  13. #13
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    First results: not a complete success but more than nothing
    After connecting pin 10 to GND and applying power the router restarted in recovery mode. I removed the connection and uploaded the clear-nvram firmware and rebooted it. After that, I could enter recovery mode by pressing the reset button. I uploaded a normal firmware and rebooted the router.
    But then the same problem as before reappeared: Rebooting in recovery mode is not possible and the same LED flashing loop as seen before...
    I'll have to review the flash-chip connections tomorrow (this is very strenuous without daylight ); maybe there is a solder bridge somewhere.

  14. #14
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    Have you desolder pin 10 or just shortened to ground?
    Also, just a suggestion - after rebooting the clear-nvram firmware allow it to boot again once more.

  15. #15
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    I just connected pin 10 to ground without first desoldering it.

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