Netgear WNR3500L v2 install and bricked

Hi folks,

I'm new to LEDE, so bear with me :slight_smile: I flashed LEDE onto my Netgear WNR3500L v2 last night, and now it boots to a solid orange power light, no other lights, and it won't provide an IP to my laptop when connected to one of the LAN ports, so I can't start the configuration. The LAN port number lights up when I plug the laptop in, so that much is working.

I flashed the firmware from this page:

https://lede-project.org/toh/hwdata/netgear/netgear_wnr3500l_v2

The router had a recent stock firmware from Netgear on it before I flashed it. The Netgear admin interface warned me that I was downgrading the firmware, but I ignored it since I figured the stock firmware and LEDE don't coordinate version numbers. I don't recall the exact stock firmware version.

Without DHCP working, I can't access the LEDE configuration pages, so I'm stuck at step 2 on this page:

https://lede-project.org/docs/guide-quick-start/start

Any thoughts? Should DHCP work immediately after flashing? I can try assigning my laptopa static IP in the same subnet of the LEDE default (192.168.1.1) to see if that works.

Thanks!
-Paul

So I bought a little USB-to-Serial dongle and attached it to the serial port inside the router. This lets me interrupt startup and flash firmware directly via tftp. Below is what I see when I flash LEDE versus Netgear's latest firmware.

Booting to flash LEDE:

Found a Samsung NAND flash with 2048B pages or 128KB blocks; total size 128MB
Decompressing...done


CFE for WNR3500Lv2 version: v1.0.9
Build Date: Fri May  6 11:54:17 CST 2011
Init Arena
Init Devs.
Boot partition size = 262144(0x40000)
NFLASH Boot partition size = 524288(0x80000)
et0: Broadcom BCM47XX 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Controller 5.60.136
CPU type 0x19749: 480MHz
Tot mem: 131072 KBytes

Device eth0:  hwaddr 74-44-01-37-4F-26, ipaddr 192.168.1.1, mask 255.255.255.0
        gateway not set, nameserver not set
Startup canceled
CFE> tftpd
Start TFTP server
Reading :: Done. 3346490 bytes read
Programming...done. 3346490 bytes written
Skip writing CHK checksum for nflash.

Automatic reboot after flashing LEDE:

Found a Samsung NAND flash with 2048B pages or 128KB blocks; total size 128MB
Decompressing...done


CFE for WNR3500Lv2 version: v1.0.9
Build Date: Fri May  6 11:54:17 CST 2011
Init Arena
Init Devs.
Boot partition size = 262144(0x40000)
NFLASH Boot partition size = 524288(0x80000)
et0: Broadcom BCM47XX 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Controller 5.60.136
CPU type 0x19749: 480MHz
Tot mem: 131072 KBytes

Device eth0:  hwaddr 74-44-01-37-4F-26, ipaddr 192.168.1.1, mask 255.255.255.0
        gateway not set, nameserver not set
Checking crc...done.
Loader:raw Filesys:raw Dev:flash0.os File: Options:(null)
Loading: .. 3848 bytes read
Entry at 0x80001000
Closing network.
Starting program at 0x80001000

It just hands here. Note the small number of bytes read (3848), presumably the Linux boot/init code.

Booting to flash Netgear firmware v1.2.0.40_40.0.80:

Found a Samsung NAND flash with 2048B pages or 128KB blocks; total size 128MB
Decompressing...done


CFE for WNR3500Lv2 version: v1.0.9
Build Date: Fri May  6 11:54:17 CST 2011
Init Arena
Init Devs.
Boot partition size = 262144(0x40000)
NFLASH Boot partition size = 524288(0x80000)
et0: Broadcom BCM47XX 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Controller 5.60.136
CPU type 0x19749: 480MHz
Tot mem: 131072 KBytes

Device eth0:  hwaddr 74-44-01-37-4F-26, ipaddr 192.168.1.1, mask 255.255.255.0
        gateway not set, nameserver not set
Startup canceled
CFE> tftpd
Start TFTP server
Reading :: Done. 7557178 bytes read
Programming...done. 7557178 bytes written
Skip writing CHK checksum for nflash.

Automatic reboot after flashing Netgear firmware:

Found a Samsung NAND flash with 2048B pages or 128KB blocks; total size 128MB
Decompressing...done


CFE for WNR3500Lv2 version: v1.0.9
Build Date: Fri May  6 11:54:17 CST 2011
Init Arena
Init Devs.
Boot partition size = 262144(0x40000)
NFLASH Boot partition size = 524288(0x80000)
et0: Broadcom BCM47XX 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Controller 5.60.136
CPU type 0x19749: 480MHz
Tot mem: 131072 KBytes

Device eth0:  hwaddr 74-44-01-37-4F-26, ipaddr 192.168.1.1, mask 255.255.255.0
        gateway not set, nameserver not set
Checking crc...done.
Loader:raw Filesys:raw Dev:flash0.os File: Options:(null)
Loading: ....... 4171516 bytes read
Entry at 0x80001000
Closing network.
Starting program at 0x80001000
Linux version 2.6.22 (adrian@sw-server-206) (gcc version 4.2.3) #37 Sat Feb 4 17:45:36 CST 2017

And we're off to the races. Note the much larger bytes read (4171516).

Is it normal for LEDE to have a 3k init program? That seems pretty small for Linux.

Hi,
Same story on my WNR3500Lv2. LEDE image hangs in exact same way.
Recovered using serial console, and flashing some good firmware.
Indeed usb -rs232ttl dongle is handy, as it allows recovery from such cases.

Regards
Jan

Hey spljaa,

Did you try 17.1.2? I originally tried with 17.1.1, but I haven't tried again with the latest build.

-Paul

Hi Paul,
Yes, I used current, 17.01.2 for a test.
I did not play with some trunk or something like that.
Page claimed is supported, so I was thinking that I'm missing some bit in prerequisite step. Or something like that.
With more people having issues, it might sound like image is not correctly created. However I have no knowledge of image creation. One image I created some time ago was reason for me to buy that dongle, and put wires outside of router box... So I know only how to make incorrect image. :wink:

Regards
Jan

Well that's a bummer. I was hoping that 17.1.2 would have fixed whatever the issue is :frowning:

see:

Maybe I didn't read closely enough but what image should I use for this router to avoid bricking it?

As far as I know, there is no good image. I'm not sure why there are builds that claim to support it, when clearly nobody has successfully loaded them.

-Paul

Confirmed that with the latest snapshot image:
openwrt-brcm47xx-mips74k-netgear-wnr3500l-v2-squashfs.chk
DOES NOT BOOT after flashing, WNR3500L V2.
2018-02-27

So this device is still not working, but claimed to be supported device on the wiki.

Is there an image present that DOES work with wnr3500lv2? I mean even one of the older images...
Also, is it possible to extract NAND flash driver from original sources and integrate it into custom openwrt build?