How to flash the Linksys WRT54G v8 with the DD-WRT Firmware

This tutorial will walk you every step of the way through flashing your Linksys WRT54G (version 8) router to use the DD-WRT firmware.

According to Wikipedia, the Linksys WRT54G v8.0 is “currently one of the most commonly available (routers) at US retail establishments, such as Best Buy and Target”. Due to hardware limitations, the 8.x versions (8.0, 8.1 and 8.2) are only able to run the “micro” version of the DD-WRT firmware (you can find a firmware version feature comparison chart here). Even so, the micro version of the DD-WRT firmware provides dozens of features, many of which are not available with the default Linksys firmware.

This walkthrough is based on the WRT54G v8.x tutorial on the DD-WRT wiki. The biggest difference between this one and the one on the DD-WRT wiki is that I’ve elaborated a bit, and provided screenshots for each step.

Please note: This guide was published back in 2008 and is now considered out of date, unless you’re using the same (older) version of DD-WRT.

Please make sure you understand each step before you complete this tutorial. If you’re unsure of anything, please leave a comment and I’ll respond as soon as I can. It is possible to brick (render the router unusable) your device if done incorrectly.

  1. You’ll need to use a wired (not wireless) computer to flash your WRT54G with the DD-WRT firmware. Make sure that computer (doesn’t matter if it’s a Mac or PC running Windows or Linux) is plugged in to Port 1 of your router. Unplug all other devices from the router – you can leave the WAN port plugged in to your cable/DSL modem.
  2. Download the files vxworkskillerGv8-v3.bin and dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin to the computer you’re going to use to flash your WRT54G (the one plugged in to Port 1 of your router).
  3. You’ll need to set your computer to use the following static IP settings:

    IP Address: 192.168.1.100
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    Gateway: 192.168.1.1


  4. OS X Static IP Settings


    Windows Static IP Settings

  5. Unplug the power cord from the WRT54G. Push the Reset button (see image below) while plugging the power cord back in, and hold down the button for about 20 seconds. Use a pencil or ball-point pen to push and hold the Reset button – it’s a bit recessed and very difficult to push and hold with your finger or fingernail.

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  7. Open your browser and enter the address http://192.168.1.1. Use a browser other than Firefox, as issues have been reported with Firefox not being able to flash the device properly. I’ve used Safari and Internet Explorer and both had no problems.

    You’ll be presented with a Management Mode Firmware Upgrade page. Click the Choose File button.


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  9. Navigate to the vxworkskillerGv8-v3.bin file, select it, and close Choose (or Open if you’re using IE).

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  11. Make sure that vxworkskillerGv8-v3.bin is listed on the Management Mode Firmware Upgrade page, and click the Apply button.

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  13. Wait for at least two minutes before you go any further. After the 2 minutes is up, if you notice a dialog asking you to reboot the router, do so by unplugging the power cord and plugging it back in again. If you don’t get a message telling you to reboot the router, wait another 3-4 minutes and then reboot the router.

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  15. You should be able to ping 192.168.1.1 (in Linux or OS X open a Terminal and type ping 192.168.1.1. In Windows open a Command Prompt by clicking Start, selecting Run enter cmd and then type ping 192.168.1.1). If the router doesn’t reply you probably haven’t set your network settings correctly (step #3 above).

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  17. Now it’s time to flash the WRT54G with the DD-WRT firmware. To do so, enter the appropriate command for your Operating System:

    Windows: (note: Vista users will need to install tftp first) enter tftp -i 192.168.1.1 put dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin from the Command Prompt. Make sure that the dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin file is in the same folder that you’re using the Command Prompt from. For example, if you downloaded dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin to your Desktop, make sure the Command Prompt reads C:\Documents and Settings\your-user-name\Desktop> – where your-user-name is your Windows user name.

    Linux: enter tftp -m octet 192.168.1.1 -c put dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin at your shell/terminal. Note: if you get the the message error code 3 while trying to flash it, try atftp. The aftp command is: atftp –option “mode octet” –verbose -p -l dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin 192.168.1.1

    OS X: enter tftp -e 192.168.1.1 From the tftp> prompt enter put dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin

    Make sure that the dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin file is in the same folder that you’re using the Terminal from. For example, if you downloaded dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic.bin to your Downloads folder, make sure you’re using the Terminal prompt from /Users/your-user-name/Downloads – where your-user-name is your Mac user name.


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  19. The file will be transferred and automatically installed. Once this is done, DD-WRT will automatically boot. After about a minute, you can browse DD-WRT on your router at http://192.168.1.1.

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  21. If you browse away from the main page, you’ll be prompted for a user name and password. The default user name is: root and the default password is: admin. To change the user name and/or password (a very good idea!!) – select the Administration tab and then the Management tab. Enter your new user name and/or password in the spaces provided, and click the Save button at the bottom of the screen.

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  23. When you navigate away from the Management tab, you’ll be prompted to enter your user name and password again. Enter your new user name and/or password to continue.

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32 thoughts on “How to flash the Linksys WRT54G v8 with the DD-WRT Firmware”

  1. I upgrade the firmware to vxworkskillerGv8-v3.bin and now my router wont come up anymore. the power light is flashing and all ethernet lights are on. i tried to reboot but still same ting. can you please help?

    Thanks

  2. great tutorial. flash my router with no problems. You may want to add tftp under the files to be downloaded for those on Macs

  3. Help! All goes well until #10 “Error on server: Access Violation:. I see this same issue posted previously but I do not see fix. Also, do I resume at step #10 or start over at step #1? Thanks!

  4. Hi was wondering if the micro version for wrt routers v 8.1 support serial ports…guess not since i saw the table comparision and both USB & MMC/SD are not supported those devices uses the Rx Tx in common, but who knows any toughts here?….Thanks

  5. THANK U!! This tutorial is awesome, got my router wrt54gv8 onto dd-wrt in less than 6 minutes. Now im using the repeater mode to “share” my neighbors internet. and my other wrt54gv5 with ddwrt installed as well for in house networking ;-) NOTE: On steps 4-7 you must do this in under 30 seconds or else the router boots up normally. BTW got my router today for $15USD on craigslist.

  6. Great tutorial. I found the wikis on this subject confusing and full of info most people would never use. This worked perfect.

  7. No doubt, an excellent instruction for flashing the router. Thanks to the author, but it seems, that no one who has asked a question in this forum has got any answer or reply. Should we not share experience here?

  8. Excellent tutorial – clear, concise steps. Very easy to follow and great images and screenshots. DD-WRT now works great on my Linksys wireless router. Thanks!

  9. Hi! Thank you for the instructions.
    I followed the instructions and completed steps 1-13 without encountering any error, but I now cannot connect to the internet via wired or wireless. I restored the IP settings but still not working. Is there anything that I need to do after step 13? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  10. Nice tutorial, worked perfect for me. Using the DD-WRT software for a repeater. Makes at $20 used router off ebay work like a $500 …

  11. Love it, worked like a charm on my WRT54G v5

    btw: those who think they can skip the step to manually set the local computers IP address (instead of using DHCP), your wrong ;-)

  12. This was very helpfull for me. I did it and everything is fine.
    I need to flash a motorola sb 4200.
    May you tell me please How I do that.
    Thank very much, this is the best tutorial ever.

  13. Hi, this worked great. Now, I’m able to connect to the internet through wired connections, but not through wireless. I see the wireless network and enter the WEP key, but I’m only given limited local connectivity. I’ve been through all the wireless settings, and they seem ok, but maybe I’m missing something? Any thoughts? Thanks

  14. Thanks for this tutorial, it helped immensely!! I was having difficulty getting my wrt54g v 8.2 into management mode; however, it eventually loaded.

    The TFTP client is still available and works in Windows 7 beta, just fyi. :)

  15. OK, I have a WRT54G and this is by far the most clear explanation I’ve seen yet (screen caps included) but my main problem is that I can’t get to the MANAMENT MODE for the router. Yes, before you ask, I’ve tried the whole “push the reset, plug in cord, wait [for however long] then try to connect via the browser. Over and ove and over again with times from 5 seconds to 2 minutes. It just keeps going back to the usual login box. Did they disable the managment mode or something?
    I even went so far as to try to tftp to put the vxworkskiller on their directly first. Seemed to proceed but no change and still no management mode screen.
    At this point I’d rather have a brick. At least that might FORCE it to get to that screen so I can proceed.
    Any ideas?
    [P.S. – for the sake of others searching as much as I did with no hope I’m going to ad this so they’ll maybe find the answer. Sort of an old fashioned meta tag thing: can’t get to management mode, no management mode, can’t see management mode]
    Thanks

  16. Nice tutorial Ross….

    I have been having unexplained issues for well over a year – maybe 2. I have a WRT54G v.3. It was suggested to me that it might not be just Comcast issues, but might also be the router.

    Does this firmware work with a v.3, or is it only for the newer models?

    Also, though the tutorial does not explicitly say it, do you undo the static IP address after the flash is complete?

  17. you did a very good job, very apreciated :)

    congratulations, thanks to you, and your guide, now i’m running DD-WRT v24 on mi Linksys WRT54G v8.2

    Thanks master !!

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