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.