Home > IT > Re-Flashing / Repairing a bricked Bufalo WZR-HP-G300NH

Re-Flashing / Repairing a bricked Bufalo WZR-HP-G300NH


Many ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) are today upgrading your internet connection for free , and you will get more bandwidth for the same price.
Many of you have old routers that are simply not capable to handle the speed of your newly internet connection and therefore you are forced to make some upgrades on
the hardware , like your cable modem or your router.

Most of the new routers are better in terms of performance and are Plug & Play and you won’t need to do anything beside plugging in the power , internet connection cable and your computer and you are ready to go !
But some of you are a bit more demanding and are not satisfied with the standard capabilities of the router and want to have better performance , more options , more functions
than the standard firmware offers and therefore you have decided to upgrade the router with a new firmware or a non standard firmware. Upgrading the firmware it’s pretty easy this
days and can be simply done from the web interface of the router and in a few minutes you will have the new firmware up and running.
But sometimes the things don’t go as planned and your firmware upgrade can fail and then you will have a so called “bricked” router and you don’t know what to do with it.

Most of the so called SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) routers are pretty hard to brick by accident but if this happen they can be fixed and I am going to show you how.
In our case we will take the new Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH router.
The standard firmware that comes with the router can be the version 1.76 or 1.72 and in our case we will try to replace this firmware with a non standard firmware like the one
offered by DD-WRT and we can download the latest firmware from the DD-WRT website.
You can either download the firmware from http://www.dd-wrt.com or you can download it from here : DDWRT Wiki Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (I recommend the second one).

After downloading the firmware you will find detailed information on how to actually flash the new firmware within the ZIP file containing the firmware and the How-To manual.
The firmware upgrade it is pretty straight forward :

  1. Start up Windows.
  2. Please confirm that both the LAN adapter and the AirStation’s IP addresses are on the same network subnet. Refer to AirStation’s User Manual for instructions on changing IP address settings.
  3. Select [Run] from the Start Menu.
    Enter “http://192.168.11.1/” (the AirStation’s LAN side IP address) in the field and click “OK”.
  4. Navigate to the AirStation’s Web Admin interface. (If you haven’t created a account yet, enter a username and password. Click “Change Password”.)
  5. Click “Administration” from the upper menu.
    When the login prompt appears, enter your new username and password.
  6. Click “Firmware Upgrade”.
  7. Click “Browse” to the right of “Please select a file to upgrade” and navigate to the extracted firmware file. The file should be of the form “wzrhpg300nh-pro-***” where *** is the version number. Click “Upgrade”.
  8. During the firmware update, the Diag LED will flash for about 5 minutes. When the update is complete, the LED will turn off. Do not turn off the AirStation until the firmware update is complete. If the unit is unplugged while the Diag LED is still flashing, the AirStation may be damaged.

After flashing the router with the new firmware please wait for at least 5 minutes or until you see the green lights on the router and the DIAG led stopped flashing.
You are done.

Now the tricky part after this is that IF you want to go back to the original firmware you will have to DOWNGRADE the firmware to version 1.65 , 1.66 or similar before
you can actually re-flash the router to another version.
You can download the standard firmware from the Buffalo website here :  http://www.buffalotech.com/support/downloads/

Now the router has some kind of built in fail-safe mechanism that will not let you downgrade from the web interface and when you try to re-flash the router to a previous version , the firmware upgrade process will fail. The only way to re-flash the router is then by TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol).
This method can also be used if your initial firmware upgrade failed by some reason and the only light you can see on the router is the DIAG led that flashes constantly.

In order to flash the router by TFTP you will have to know a few things :
– The Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH can only be flashed when the router has its factory default IP address that is : 192.168.11.1
So if you changed this , please change it back to the factory defaults. This can be simply made by pressing the reset button on the bottom of the router for more than 3 seconds.
– You will need to know the MAC address of the router. You can find that on the web interface of the router or on the router itself on the white sticker.

Now , you can either do this from the Windows or Linux.

A. Windows
As your router is dead , your machine will not have any IP address assigned so you will need to assign it manually.
1) Go to Start and click on Control Panel.

2) Control Panel window will appear. Double click on Network Connections.

3) Network Connections window will appear. Right click correct Local Area Connection by identifying correct network card and click Properties.

4) Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Click on Properties.
You can now manually type in the IP address, Subnet mask, Default gateway and DNS servers.
Assign the following IP address : 192.168.11.2 and SubnetMask : 255.255.255.0

Locate the firmware file you want to have it flashed on your computer. Let’s say you have saved it on your C:  drive in a folder called BUFFALO.
Please note the name of the BIN file you have there , it will be something like : wzrhpg300nh-176.bin
Download Linksys TFTP utility

Now , power off the router and leave it connected to your machine by the network cable plugged into one of the 4 black Ethernet ports.
Open a command prompt and type ” route print” in order to get a list of your network card adapters. Write down the number of your network card.
My list looks something like :

Network Adapter
12…00 1b fc 6b 3f d8 ……Marvell Yukon 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller
11…00 1b fc 6b 36 d4 ……Realtek PCI GBE Family Controller
26…00 50 56 c0 00 01 ……VMware Virtual Ethernet Adapter for VMnet1
27…00 50 56 c0 00 08 ……VMware Virtual Ethernet Adapter for VMnet8
1………………………Software Loopback Interface 1

My active network card it is number 12
Now you will need to bind the interface number 12 with the routers MAC address and you can do this by going back to the command prompt and type :

netsh interface ipv4 add neighbors 12 192.168.11.1 xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx

Where xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx it’s the actual MAC address of your OWN router and replace the number 12 with your own interface number.
Run Linksys TFTP utility that you downloaded earlier .
Put 192.168.11.1 in the Server address. Password field let it empty and the file is the firmware file you downloaded wzrhpg300nh-176.
Set retry time to 60 just in case so you have time to power on the router.

Now hit the  “Upgrade” button in the TFTP utility and power on the router.
The flash process should start now
Wait until the flashing process is complete.
The router will reboot itself when the upgrade is done. This can take up to 10 minutes so please be patient until your router reboots by itself.
Now the green lights are ON and the DIAG led stopped flashing.

You can now open a browser and navigate to http://192.168.11.1 to see your router interface.

B. Linux

If you do not have a Linux running you can just download the Ubuntu from here and burn the image on a CD or put it on an USB flash drive.
You can download it from here : http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download
On the same page you can also find out how to make a bootable CD or USB flash drive.
Save the firmware on a USB Flash drive.

Now that you are all set , boot the machine with the Ubuntu and choose to TEST the Ubuntu and not install it on your machine.
The machine will come booted in the graphic mode and you will need a shell in order to perform the tftp firmware upgrade.
When the Ubuntu booted up press : CTRL+ALT+F1
This will take you to a shell prompt.
While in the shell type :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tftp-hpa
sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
sudo ifconfig eth0 192.168.11.2
sudo ifconfig eth0 netmask 255.255.255.0
sudo arp -s 192.168.11.1 xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
# where xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx is your router MAC address.
#If you booted on a CD you will need to find the firmware on the USB flash drive.
# that would be something like /media/127648279256 (you will see what I am talking about)
cd /
cd media
ls
#note the long number , that is your USB drive
cd 127648279256
tftp 192.168.11.1
#from now you are at the tftp command prompt, the “tftp>”  Your prompt will look something like “tftp>” so the commands you need to give are after the prompt.
tftp> verbose
tftp> binary
tftp> trace
tftp> rexmt 1
tftp> timeout 60
tftp> put wzrg300nh-176.tftp

Now power on the router and wait. You will see the firmware being sent to the router.
Wait until the flashing process is complete.
The router will reboot itself when the upgrade is done. This can take up to 10 minutes so please be patient until your router reboots by itself.
Now the green lights are ON and the DIAG led stopped flashing.

You are done and can reboot the machine and enjoy your new un-bricked router.

This guide has been made with information from the DD-WRT Forum.

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