WRT54GL DDWRT Install Guide

WRT54GL DDWRT Install Guide
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Linksys wrt54GL DD-WRT Firmware Upgrade Guide
Put the MICRO or MINI build on this router first if you're upgrading from the
stock Linksys firmware -- the consequences of not following this advice can be VERY
GRAVE! Then you can upgrade to a STANDARD, VOIP or VPN build, according to
your needs. DO NOT try to load a MEGA build on this router. MEGA builds are too
large for this router!
Q: Why can't I directly upgrade from a stock Linksys firmware to DD-WRT versions other
than MICRO or MINI? A: The stock firmware from Linksys on the WRT54GL v1 and 1.1
won't accept a firmware image over 3MB in size (you will get the error: "Upgrade are
failed! [sic]" if you try). So you will need to flash the micro or mini versions of DD-WRT
onto the router BEFORE flashing the standard, voip, and vpn versions. Be sure to hard
reset your router to restore firmware defaults both BEFORE AND AFTER you upgrade
even to the micro or mini DD-WRT.
Q: Why can't I load a MEGA build? A: The WRT54GL has only 4MB for flashing firmware,
which is not enough space for a mega build. If you try to load a mega build onto this
router anyway, you may turn your router into a brick! I don't know if you can recover your
router using TFTP or other methods if you do this, because it's never happened to me.
Installation process from a stock Linksys firmware
1. Do a hard reset
You can HARD RESET by holding down the reset button on the back of the router for 30
seconds, then pulling the power cord for 30 seconds while STILL holding the reset
button, and then plugging in the power cord for a final 30 seconds while STILL holding
the reset button. You will hold the reset button in for 90 seconds without releasing it.
Then release the reset button and wait for the router to finish doing whatever it's going to
do. Usually the WLAN light will come on close to last in the boot sequence. Sometimes,
however, the POWER light will keep flashing for a good while. Either way, once you're
sure the router has done its thing, power cycle the router, by unplugging and replugging
the power connector in the back of the router. There's no need to wait between
unplugging and replugging.
2. Download and install the MICRO or MINI build from dd-wrt.com
You should check the MD5 HASH of the firmware after downloading it, see Hashes
& Checksums. Turn off and disable your firewall, turn off and disable your antivirus, and
sign into your linksys router with Internet Explorer only, **DO NOT USE FIREFOX** (Mac
users: use Safari instead of Firefox), and use the firmware upgrade web interface to
update your router with dd-wrt. DO NOT close your browser, DO NOT interrupt the
process, be EXTREMELY PATIENT, even after the firmware is already supposedly
upgraded. Wait around for a while, and make sure it settles down and is definitely
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finished doing whatever it's going to do. The router needs time to rebuild the NVRAM
after it has been flashed, and if you interrupt this you will regret it!
3. Decide if you would like to keep the MICRO or MINI version, or upgrade to the
STANDARD, VOIP, or VPN versions. DO NOT try to load a MEGA build on this router
(see above). If you are keeping MICRO or MINI, you are done, otherwise, continue
Read about the different versions' features here: What is DD-WRT?#File Versions. If you
won't be needing the features in the larger versions such as standard, you may be able to
increase the responsiveness of your router by getting the smallest version that includes
the features you need. Also, you can always update to a larger version later if down the
line you need the extra features.
4. Do a hard reset
5. Install the version of dd-wrt you want (again, you can't use MEGA... really)
6. Do a hard reset
IPitomy recommends that you use the Standard build, unless you know that you need the VoIP or
VPN build.
Full info for installation from DD-WRT can be found:
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