Unbrick your WRT54G V5

I decided to share my experiences below on how to unbrick my Linksys WRT54G V5 wireless router – it was bricked after I had a problem (after) installing open source firmware, and I could not find specific instructions for the V5. Having nothing to lose, as it wasn’t working, I followed similar instructions for the V4 series.

I have a couple of wireless routers at home. Having heard so much about the Linksys WRT54G being a good router to run open source firmware, I decided to buy one.

The firmware I put on it was DD-WRT . It has a good user base and support, and being easy to use I was quiet happy with it.

Then the fun started. Somehow, the power plug for the router was not sitting in the power point properly, so the unit was powering off/on in succession. Then the unit would not boot up. The power LED was flashing, and the port LEDs were not coming on when I plugged the Cat5 cables into them.

Oh no, have I ‘bricked’ the Linksys – two days after I have bought it? I did a bit of searching around and All the info I could find was for earlier model WRT54G routers that use a intel chip. The V5 does not.

Before I go on, please read this disclaimer:

I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies of the following information, or of any damage to you or your equipment. Whatever you do with your Linksys is done so at your own risk.

Also, have a read of this section on the DDWRT Wiki . There is some handy info and things to try before you get to the drastic stage.

This forum thread is a very handy one to read before trying anything also.

Having nothing to lose – as my Linksys router was useless, I decided to short out the same pins on the chip that replaced the intel on the V5. Note: to identify what version your WRT54G is, have a look at the bottom on the unit on the sticker. The version number will be listed there.

Because the photos I took were so bad (and didn’t realise it until after I put my WRT54G back together), the guide here better shows how to take the unit apart. The only difference is that the V5 has a different chip located on the PCB in a different position.

The chip in question is circled in the (bad) picture below, and pin 1 is pointed to.


With the power on, short out pins 15 and 16 (count from pin 1 left up to 15 & 16).

Hopefully this will bring your WRT54G back to life, and you then be able to ping it and, if so desired, resintall the DDWRT firmware.

As I said, it worked for me and I hope it does for you too.

Feel free to add your experiences with unbricking below……

Tags: , , , , ,
Previous Post

Backup your PHPBB SQL database

Next Post

Having a shower


  1. Pingback: Look for IT over here

  2. Thanks! I bricked my router yesterday – to my horror. I wasnt sure which is pin 1 in the flash chip.

    I will try this once I get back home.

    • indi
    • April 18, 2007

    Best of luck. It’s not hard, you just have to be sure you understand what I have explained.

    Looking at my (bad) picture, pin 1 is on the top right corner, and then count to the left.

    If you’re still not sure, leave a message.

    • Mike
    • April 20, 2007

    How would I go about shorting the pins?

    • indi
    • April 20, 2007

    Just with a short piece of (stiff) wire or a paperclip opened up.

    • Eric
    • August 10, 2007

    This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title r IT over here. Thanks for informative article

    • Maxxy
    • September 21, 2007

    It worked! Thanks! I thought my V5 was going to be nothing but a paperweight 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing!

    • CelsoFuk
    • November 19, 2007

    It worked with my v8 WRT54G. I am not sure which pins I shorted, I guess were 17-18. One detail, when I shorted, there was a little spark. It is important you to way for about one second to work. During this time all lights turned off (my router had all lights on). After this my router go back to work. Yuhhhhuuuuuu!

    • indi
    • November 23, 2007

    V8? What firmware version are you using? I bought another WRT54G and it’s a V7 that is not compatible with DD-WRT (yet).

    Good to hear it worked for you!!

    • locomien
    • December 10, 2007

    Holy cow, I was frustrated over my v8 and I just gave this a try using a knife as the metal and it worked! Boy was I amazed when the screen started to get replys

    • Satish Alwani
    • June 15, 2008

    I got a screwed v5 as well. I tried 15 and 16, the lights brighten as as tho the router restarted. However its not respondign to PING nor tFTP. I am trying

    Just curious, what happens with you guys when you shorten it

    Once or twice I had all my LAN ports lighten up. But still nothing. No tFTP nor any ping.

    Please suggest

    • indi
    • June 15, 2008

    It should just start working again. What lights have you got on the front of the WRT54G now (after shorting the pins)?

    • bach
    • August 5, 2008

    my problem is worse. I got WRT54G v5, and bricked it when flashing. It has all light lit, exept wlan, and power light blinking. I try your method but nothing happen. My windows still say ‘network cable unplug’ and unable to ping. Anyone has the same problem?

    • jaimin
    • August 26, 2008

    i shorted the pins but nothing happened

    • Enforcer
    • November 5, 2008

    I would like to say that I can vouch for this. I had this router for a while with DD-WRT v23 firmware and for some reason got bricked after lending it to a friend. So after taking it apart and shorting the pins out, I was able to get it out of the state where the power light was blinking and all ethernet ports were powered on!

  4. Greatings,
    Great job. But not enought info. Where can i read more?

    Thank you

    • indi
    • February 13, 2009

    Hi Robor,

    There’s not too much more to tell, but you can check the DD-WRT forums.

    What do you need to know?

    • cel
    • February 15, 2009

    I have this same model and problem but this procedure isn’t working for m… I short the two pins together and nothing happens. Is it damaged beyond repair or could I be doing something wrong?

    • cel
    • February 16, 2009

    Never mind, I just got it working! It’s a great feeling to see those lights change and the pings start showing up. Then tftp was a snap and I’m back in business. What I did differently was to connect pin 15 and 16 (or maybe just 16; it was hard to see because the pins are so small and I didn’t have much light) to the antenna (ground?). I read about this procedure in The WRT54G Revival Guide: http://www.linksysinfo.org/forums/showthread.php?t=47259

    • indi
    • February 16, 2009

    Good to hear you got it going again.

    I think the longer you look at those pins the harder it is to work out which one is which 🙂

    • Rick
    • March 8, 2009

    Didn’t work for me. My power light is just flashing on and off. If I plug in a RJ5 wire it lights up the light to match the plug. Same as before the short same as tafter the short.

    • Freeman
    • March 16, 2009

    Nothing happened when I shorted out the pins. I am not sure if I did not correctly. I used a paperclip and inserted between pin 15 and 16. any comment?

    • indi
    • March 18, 2009


    Either you were unlucky or the wrong pins were shorted (it is quite difficult to count the pins with them being so small.

    • indi
    • March 18, 2009

    Hi Zoran,

    Which one would you like andd where do you plan using it?

  5. Hi, nice post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for writing. I will probably be subscribing to your site. Keep up the good work

    • John
    • July 26, 2009

    Didn’t work on my v5 either. Power light blinking, all ethernet & internet lights on solid 🙁

    • indi
    • July 26, 2009

    Sorry to hear it didn’t work. The only thing I can suggest is to check that you are shorting the right pins. The chip is quite small and difficult to count the number of pins.

    • David
    • April 14, 2010

    Thank you very much. It worked after several attempts. I have a WRT54G V5, either I am not counting right, or it is indeed pin 16 which needed to be jumped (to the antenna). You unpaperweigthed my router!!

    • ds
    • April 16, 2010

    i got a wrt54gl ver 1.1; it probably got a power surge issue. the WLAN works fine and i can on the web interface but the DMZ and the 5 ethernet ports turn on when i plug the power in but then immediately go off. so the DMZ and 5 ethernet ports dont work. what can i do

    • indi
    • May 18, 2010

    @ David – Glad to see you worked it out. It is hard to count the pins, especially with my bad photo 🙂

    @ ds – Not sure with a wrt54gl. Haven’t used one of them so I don’t know how different they are to what I have, sorry.

    • Ludax
    • September 11, 2010

    Works on WRT54GS V5 I spent two hours on it, worked with a curved copper cable between pin 15 (3rd white mark next to the pin starting from 1) and the 16.

    Did it while ping -t on my computer and while power was on (as explain in this article)

    be patient you may have to try several time to get it to work… but it does !!!

    • Mikeynav58
    • September 22, 2010


    I accidentally “bricked” my Linksys Router WRT54GS v7.2. I tried everything on your website to un brick it, but it still does not work. I have 5 solid lights (4 where the cat5 attaches and 1 internet light). I cannot log into the router and ping does not work along with no network.

    I took it apart thinking I can take a jeweler’s to a “short pin’s 15 and 16, but this has the Broadcom (not Intel) chips so I do not know which one is the flash chip and what pins to use.
    Can you advise?


    • codeslayer
    • October 2, 2010

    I have same problem as Mikenav58. I tried to short 15 and 16 pin but nothing happened not even spark as some said in above posts. I even tried to short pin 15 and 16 with antenna, still nothing.

    Can anyone advise, please.

    • indi
    • October 6, 2010

    @Mikeynav58 – I have only tried the above procedure on a V5. You said you have a V7. Have a look at the DD-WRT forums (link in my orginal post)

    @Codeslayer, I would say either you have the wrong pins, it’s not a V5, or the unit is dead.

    • jamie
    • June 27, 2011

    You sir deserve a medal. Shame you don’t have a dontat button, seriously.

    It’s been a while since ive seen the shorting of the flash trick, but, wow. So, any ideas why it works? Whats the chip in question, are datasheets available? What is the function of 15+16?

    It took a fair bit of poking and jiggling, plus a fair amount of patience, but its worked.

    Thanks! 😀

    • indi
    • June 29, 2011

    Thanks for the kind words, Jamie.

    I never got right into the functions of those two pins, datasheets etc at the time. I think I was more pissed with myself for bricking it within 30 minutes of opening the box, and then finding little/no info on the V5 on the internet.
    It was a 50/50 gamble when I did it, and luckily it paid off. The uptime on the unit is approaching 2 years now – hasn’t missed a beat.
    And yeah I agree, it did take a bit of patience – you don’t have too much room to play with.
    Glad I was able to help.


    • jamie
    • August 7, 2011

    Well, I’ve bricked it again, but this time, looks like its a JTAG job this time – the 15 and 16 shorting doesn’t seem to be working because it looks like I’ve cattled the bootloader.

    Well I had a quick check on the datasheet for the MX29LV160C chip which the markings claim it to be, pin 15 is marked RY/BY# (Ready/Busy Output), and pin 16 is marked A18 which is an address input.

    Perhaps the ready/busy output outputs stuff to the address input, sticks complete rubbish into the flash chip and upon the CPU doing an integrity check to data it thought it was writing, sees the corrupted stuff and performs a reset at the flash chip to clear things out.

    • Chris
    • November 7, 2011

    Thanks for this..

    Just revived 2 x bricked routers and can now extend my wireless =)

    • Mike
    • December 8, 2011

    Does anyone know of a video online that shows how exactly you can accomplish the pin shorting? I have attempted the paperclip method and nothing happens, good or bad. No return from a ping to, but also no destruction of the router either. I’m just trying to get regular linksys firmware back on after dd-wrt created a bad flash.

    • David B.
    • January 18, 2013


    I tried your method with my wrt54g but with no luck. I have a couple pictures that I took however that you could use to demonstrate to others how to do it. They’re pretty decent quality, so even if I can’t rescue my wrt54g, others still can. From what I can tell from your v5, the capacitor is located in a different place, so I wonder what else they modified.

    • indi
    • January 20, 2013

    David, do you mind if I use your photos on this post? I’d be interested to see how different yours is as well as being able to help others.
    If so, I’ll shoot you an email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.