My old wireless router had started having trouble and the wireless chipset was beginning to get flaky.  I’d been running DD-WRT on it for about a year and a half without any problems, but lately it started having issues only with wireless connections.  Being the cheapskate I am, I ordered a refurb E2500 Cisco from Amazon for under $40 and in a few days it showed up in the mail.  I had already looked up the router in the DD-WRT router database and pulled down the mini firmware in order to overwrite the stock firmware.  (Unfortunately, what I would later read in the forum posts is that the firmware version dd-wrt.v24-18625_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-e2500.bin would basically brick the router.)  So do yourself a favor and use the 18710 version right off the bat  (dd-wrt.v24-18710_NEWD-2_K2.6_std_usb_nas-e2500.bin).

Even though I had properly followed the 30-30-30 power cycling procedure and updated the firmware with the one recommended in the router database, my router was caught in a continuous reboot cycle.  Every so often I could ping the router for a little while and if I timed it right, I could successfully TFTP up the original stock firmware, however after manually power cycling, it would go back to it’s constant reboot cycle on its own.  Believe me, I worked on it for quite a few hours and then gave up on it.  Then as luck would have it a few days later, I read a post that someone had left it unplugged for a day and the router no longer went through the automatic reboot and stayed solid, but they couldn’t get to the GUI DD-WRT interface.  I had the same results, and left the router unplugged for two days, and when I tired was able to telnet to the router and fix it using these steps:

Telnetting to the E2500 router
I had to set my laptop’s NIC card manually first to 192.168.1.100/24 and then was able to telnet to the router at 192.168.1.1

Then, as you can see above, I performed an “erase linux” and “erase nvram” and then power cycled the router.   At this point I could get to the Management Mode Firmware Upgrade Utility by going to http://192.168.1.1

Firmware upgrade management interface - cisco E2500
Thank goodness for the firmware upgrade management interface – cisco E2500

Now believe me, I really thought hard about loading up the stock firmware, but hey, I might as well try DD-WRT again.  Using the management interface I uploaded  newer fixed version of the DDWRT firmware (version 18625).

Of course waiting during the firmware upload is the worst part
Of course waiting during the firmware upload is the worst part for me. I’ve spent too many sleepless hours back in the day waiting around for hours while uploading images to old cisco routers over xmodem protocols to enjoy this sort of thing anymore.

Luckily this time the firmware took and after a single *yay* power-cycle, I was presented with the standard, change your password page for DD-WRT!

Yay!  The default change your user and password page for DD-WRT
Yay! The default change your user and password page for DD-WRT

Then all I had to do was go thought and put back in all my settings… and enjoy my new router with much better working wireless.

25 thoughts on “Bricked E2500 Cisco Wireless Router – Fixed!

  1. Hey man, I stumbled upon to your website because I pretty much have the same exact issue you have right now; bought a refurbished E2500 on Amazon, flashed it with a bad dd-wrt, version 18625.

    So when you unplugged your router for 2 days and plugged it back it, was it still resetting itself every couple seconds, or did stop its reset-cycle? I just left mine unplugged for about 24 hours and its still continually resetting itself.

    Reply
    • It actually stopped doing the automatic reset/reboot thing after I unplugged it for a few days. That was the craziest thing because I had messed with it for a few hours right after the initial brick and never could get it to stop rebooting over and over until I left it unplugged for a few days. I wouldn’t have believed it if it didn’t happen to me. give it a shot!

      Reply
      • Hm… that’s interesting. I’ll leave it unplugged and disconnected for 2-3 days to see if I can get it to stop resetting. I’ll be sure to let you know whether or not it worked for me or not.

        Reply
  2. I didn’t have the patience to wait a couple days, but I used your information and another tool to get it working. I was able to use TST10, a telnet scripting tool and a script with the commands you used above to make it able to get in to the Management Mode and re-flash. Set your lan IP as suggested in the article.

    My e2500 would blink in the following pattern. All lights, twice, followed by power light. Then about 10 secs later all the lan lights would flash, but not the power light, another 10 secs or so, and it would repeat. The middle flashing is when I would need to run the command, and when I’d have telnet access.

    Once downloaded create and save the script.txt file. Run the following command
    tst10 /r:script.txt /o:output.txt

    Again, I had to run it directly after the lan lights flashed, I did have to wait for Win7 to tell me it was connected first.

    Once that ran, the lan power light would start flashing, and the reboot pattern would stop. At which point I could go to the management page in a browser and reflash. The new firmware install took some time, but I was given an Uploading status percentage along the way.

    tst10
    http://support.moonpoint.com/downloads/windows/network/Telnet/tst10.php

    link to working wrt firmware listed in the article.
    http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/download.php?id=21986

    Script – Copy or at least Make sure Password is capitalized

    192.168.1.1 23
    WAIT “login”
    SEND “root\m”
    WAIT “Password”
    SEND “admin\m”
    WAIT “#”
    SEND “erase linux\m”
    WAIT “#”
    SEND “erase nvram\m”

    Reply
    • Jack, Many thanks for your sharing…..
      I tried many many time by tst10. finally i did it!
      thanks a gain. but there have some tiny things make a mark here. i change your posted Script all ” to ”
      Before change it, tst10 just display a login then quit, after change it i got all script done.

      Reply
    • Sorry, I replied to the wrong person, so I’m posting this again:

      When I run TST10 with the supplied command, I get a Telnet pop-up. If I time it right, I get a DD-WRT login prompt, but it goes away after about 2 seconds. It’s like the user name or password in the script is not correct, though I copied and pasted the information into the script.txt file. Maybe the router is disconnecting me before the user name and password can be sent?

      Any suggestions?

      Reply
    • I took 1 step forward, two steps back. I translated a post below and fixed the quotes after copying and pasting the script. It worked and I was able to connect to the router and begin flashing it. The page disconnected while it was flashing, now all I get on the router is a flashing power light. I can ping it, but that’s it.

      Reply
  3. When I run TST10 with the supplied command, I get a Telnet pop-up. If I time it right, I get a DD-WTT login prompt, but it goes away after about 2 seconds. It’s like the user name or password in the script is not correct, though I copied and pasted the information into the script.txt file.

    Any suggestions?

    Reply
  4. Thanks to everyone for this write up, it really helped me a LOT!
    I just wanted to take a moment and summarize because it took me a few tries to figure out what everyone was talking about and I see people stuck where I was.

    Gather software/firmware

    Set your ip address manually (192.168.1.1)

    Set up tst10 and make your script.txt in notepad in the same folder. When you copy the above script from the browser to notepad the quotation marks are not read correctly by the script, delete and replace them. If you don’t you will not get past the login prompt and the script will quit in 2 seconds regardless of the routers restart (see above posts)

    Run the script in command prompt set off to the side of the script (I kept clicking back to cmd and pressing up arrow and then enter rapid fire style. This would open a lot of script windows but one would hit it quickly. spray and prey.)

    There you have it. Hopefully this helps someone as much as this helped me.

    Reply
  5. But what to do if by using command tst10 /r:input.txt /o:output.txt tst10 doesn’t run that script. What this command does is it open that tst10 help windows, script is never being executed.

    Reply
    • Marius,

      What I did was put the script and tst10 on my desktop then from the command prompt entered cd desktop… Them ran the script tst10 /r:script /o:output make sure there are spaces between each of the three that was my issue that caused tst10 to open

      Reply
  6. I’m on a Mac and wasn’t having luck with any of the “expect” scripts out there until I did two things.

    1. Add an infinite timeout to your expect script – I’ve left my copy here: https://gist.github.com/5005728 You need this timeout because the default one is 30 seconds and sometimes you’ll connect and it will just start typing it out without actually doing anything.

    2. Run your expect script in a bash while loop like so: $ while true; do expect my_script.exc; done

    That way you really hit the router right in the split second you have to reset it. Once I did that it worked the first try (mine never got out of the reboot loop even after leaving it unplugged for days).

    Reply
  7. Hi – and thanks for posting everyone.
    I too fell prey to the default data base. And after closer inspection buried deep on the DD-Wrt forum on a page 9 there sits a person who states we all should learn to read the peacock page as he indicates that the default production bin file posted on the site will brick the device. Kinda makes you wonder why they would have bad bin file listed in their prod matrix? My personal experience with the e2500 is that I got caught in the reboot cycle however after leaving the device unplugged for one day I was able to get in. Once I tried to apply the changes to make a bridge I made a mistake and did a 30-30-30 and it started the recycling/reboot symptom again. So I will leave it unplugged for a day and flash it with the recommended version and see what happens. Thank-you for all the posts.
    H.

    Reply
    • Hi – I am replying to myself so everyone can see the notes on this – When I tried the next few days I could not connect to the management console. I used tst10 script and was able to get back into the flash console and re-flash the correct bin you have here – All is better… and yes, you have to run tst10 a few times as the timing is critical to catch the reboot loop at just the right time. Device seems to be working ok now – Thank you for posting everyone including the webadmin for this site.
      H.

      Reply
  8. Took some time. And hundreds of failed attempts. But finally got it with tst10 and the script!! Almost didn’t believe it!! Thank you much and timing is definitely key! Timing, timing, timing!!!

    Reply

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