I’m tinkering with some stuff in the wireless LAN world (more on that in a future post) which has led me to pursue setting up DD-WRT on my router. As I started googling I realized I’ve been having piece too much info from various sources to figure out how to set it up on my Linksys EA2700 router that came from RCN. So, I’m going to do a write up as I do it myself.
*Note: You will lose your 5ghz band if you go with this frameware. Just FYI.
You’ll need what’s called the “BrainSlayer” build of DD-WRT, (get it here: ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2014/12-11-2014-r25628/linksys-ea2700/) seems there’s been one crafted specifically for this model. I guess router hacking somewhat resembles smartphone hacking, with a name like BrainSlayer. The internet says that that this router is particularly annoying in regards to self-restoring it’s firmware. To circumvent this our best weapon is downgrading the firmware to a “classic” version first, weakening its defenses before moving in with the BrainSlayer. The firmware for this can be found here: http://downloads.linksys.com/downloads/firmware/FW_EA2700_18.104.22.168982.zip
I’ve created mirros for both, below (just in case)
Make sure you’ve got both of these files as you’re about to take your router offline and if you don’t have a backup you’ll be hosed.
The online community seems to agree that flashing multiple times and doing “30/30/30” resets of the router will do the trick. This does seem a bit excessive but I trust the Internets. Also, I had to google what a 30/30/30 reset is. It means holding the router’s reset button for 90 seconds- 30 seconds in the power should be disconnected. After another 30 seconds, plug the box back in.
On my first attempt I’m going to try just one hard reset. For me this means holding the the reset button for a good 45 seconds and then pulling the plug. When I did this my router started making a weird noise at about 35 seconds so I stopped. No issue so far. Also, that reset button is on the bottom left-hand side of the device (shown here). My router is actually black but for whatever reason it appears brown in the phote. Do not be alarmed.
Once you’re back to factory state, you should be able to log in via an open access point or a LAN cable. The default login to get onto this router is admin/admin
To get through the “smart” firmware (i.e. step #1), linksys has left an online manual that covers it on page 51: EA6500_v2_UserGuide_En-FRCA.pdf. The relevant bits are here:
Once the flash is finished, you’ll get the old ugly Linksys “classic” gui. Success! The next step is to install DD-WRT. Instructions to upgrade frameware from from the “classic” version can be found here: Linksys Firmware Flashing.
Great, so now when the router boots it all looks good. Hello DD-WRT!
So anyone with a bit of technical competence and some patience should be able to get DD-WRT installed on most routers. Up next, let’s see how DD-WRT can help us to become the gods of our network..
One final caveat– The router tries to kill your custom frameware occasionally after a few reboots and goes back to the factory firmware. Apparently you can prevent this by doing some additional scripting during the first few boots on your router with DD-WRT. I’ve taken the instructions verbatim from the DD-WRT bulletin board, although unfortunately I can’t remember where I found them. If this was your advice, please feel free to slap me around.
After the first dd-wrt boot, set the boot options in GUI (Administration -> commands -> save startup) nvram set partialboots=0 nvram commit Hard reset 30/30/30 Set again the boot options which had been erased by the 30/30/30 (Administration -> commands -> save startup)
Enjoy your DD-WRT.
[BrainSlayer DD-WRT Image] ( dd-wrt-24160-ea2700.zip | 16.4MB )
[LinkSys Classic Image] ( FW_EA2700_22.214.171.124982.zip | 12.3MB )