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How to install DD-WRT Firmware on a Linksys E1200 Router?

How to install DD-WRT Firmware on a Linksys E1200 Router?

Linksys E1200 on DD-WRT
Linksys E1200 on DD-WRT Admin Screen

Two weeks ago, I installed a custom firmware on my Linksys E1200 router. This is the same router that suddenly died on me but I was able to have it replaced thanks to the one (1) year warranty.

DD-WRT is a custom firmware that offers a lot more features than the stock firmware (or the firmware that came with the router). Installing the firmware was pretty easy thanks to the step by step guides from the wiki. I used the wiki for the version two (2) of the E1200 [E1200v2]. Note that this router has two main versions (v1 or v2). You need to be very careful in checking your version as you will use different files to install depending on your version. You risk bricking your router if you use the wrong firmware.

Installing DD-WRT from Stock Firmware

This is what I did… I would still suggest that you read more on the wiki on the exact steps.

  1. Pray for strong nerves…
  2. Download the firmware as mentioned in the wiki
  3. Disconnect all cables except my laptop’s lan cable which is connected to a port in the router (don’t use wan port).
  4. Do a 30-30-30 reset on your router
  5. Log-in to the web interface; go to admin and upgrade firmware.
  6. Press the upload button and pray more… now the waiting begins
  7. The instructions were to wait for a few minutes; do the 30-30-30 reset again; wait more for a few minutes … do a power cycle; wait more again then you can log in. This is to stabilize the router.

After all these steps, my router is now in DD-WRT.

Problems experienced on DD-WRT

So what’s next? Well, a couple of days into using the router and I have been noticing problems.

  • Browsing speed has been reduced and brought to a halt when I start torrents.
  • Torrents weren’t doing so well too. I can barely reach 10kbps even on torrents with a lot of seeders.
  • I sometimes can’t even get into the web interface of ddwrt.

Updating DD-WRT to the latest beta firmware

I’m torn again whether to go back to stock firmware or stick to dd-wrt to find a solution. I decided on the latter and started reading again. My first course of action was to install a more recent version of dd-wrt to the router. I got the latest firmware from the beta (ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/) and it was named as dd-wrt.v24-24461_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-nv64k.bin

The update experience wasn’t as smooth as I had a hard time connecting to the router. A few frustrating 30-30-30 resets and power cycling later, I managed to install the update. The steps were still the same to do the update though.

I can say that the problems were resolved but I have a new problem.

New Problem – July 18, 2014 (Resolved)

Whenever I restart the router, the router doesn’t broadcast the wireless SSID until I do a dummy save on the router’s wi-fi settings. This means that every time I restart the router,  I would need to connect via lan, open the admin interface, and do a dummy save. I’ll report this in the forums to see if this has a solution.

Update:

I downgraded to back to mini 21676 and it looks good.

Here’s the order of my flashing:

  1. dd-wrt.v24-21676_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-e1200v2
  2. dd-wrt.v24-24461_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-nv64k
  3. dd-wrt.v24-21676_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-nv64k

Well, that’s it so far for my DD-WRT experience.

Till next time,

Allen

PS: What’s Next?

The build I installed was the mini version. They still have other versions such as the Big, Mega, and other customized builds so I’ll get to reading on what’s the best one for the router.

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