How to De-Brick a Netgear WNR2200 Router

There are various reasons for installing new firmware on an old router that you may have lying around.  One is that you want to enable new functionality that isn’t supported in the default manufacturer’s firmware.

Picture of WNR2200

A popular project that supplies advanced firmware for household routers is dd-wrt. I had successfully installed this software on my router, but still wanted to add some additional functionality. I experimented with the firmware-mod-kit (see this page for info) and added a package to the distribution. I installed this new firmware on my WNR2200, but unfortunately it rendered my router unbootable. It just rebooted itself over and over again every ten seconds or so. No connectivity to it was possible at all. It really was “bricked” (ie had the same functionality as a house brick).

I tried various ways of trying to regain some control. There are various instructions on how to do a “30/30/30 reset” such as here. However, I couldn’t get the connectivity I required.

Finally I realised that after a single 30 second reset (ie holding the hard reset button that you need a pin to access for 30 seconds), you could access the router via TFTP on the default IP address (192.168.1.1). However, I was using the standard windows 7 TFTP client and the firmware transfer kept getting interrupted part way through.

In my search to find a solution for this, I came across another TFTP client here. Fortunately the first line on that page “The standard TFTP command-line utility does not support some very important features like blocksize option” caught my attention. I downloaded the “WinAgents TFTP Client” from the download page and gave it a try. This is a single .exe file that you can put in any folder and run from the command line. I put my firmware file and the tftp.exe file in the same folder, opened a command prompt and navigated to the folder containing tftp.exe and my default firmware.

I tried increasing the block size from the default 512 bytes to 8192 bytes and the timeout to 255 seconds for good measure. To my very pleasant surprise, this sorted out the problem and the old working dd-wrt firmware was successfully uploaded. My command was:

 tftp.exe -i -v -b8192 -t255 192.168.1.1 PUT wnr2200-factory_WW.img

Note: (Thanks to Ronald’s Comment below) – You need to start the TFTP transfer within seconds after powering on the router

As soon as it completes the upload, the router automatically installs it and reboots, so give it plenty of time to do this (up to 5 minutes).

I promise you that you will be very happy if you are able to log into your router again!

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19 Responses to How to De-Brick a Netgear WNR2200 Router

  1. Jochen says:

    Thanks a lot! This one really helped me out! Otherwise I would have needed to buy a new router.

  2. Ronald says:

    Thanks – this saved the day!
    Small comment: you need to start the TFTP within seconds after power on.

  3. ane says:

    Thanks Ronald – I have added your comment into the article

  4. hank says:

    Thanks! Worked great.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Thankyou! My router lives on 🙂

  6. OBook says:

    Thank you so much! you saved my wnr220.

    For linux users : set static ip on the PC 192.168.1.2
    send ping 192.168.1.1 in a terminal
    then do a single 30 second reset
    when ping is active :

    "40 bytes from 192.168.33.2: icmp_seq=214 ttl=64 (truncated)
    Warning: time of day goes back (-3646524965576487841us), taking countermeasures."

    Do in an other terminal :


    tftp
    tftp> connect 192.168.1.1
    tftp> binary
    tftp> rexmt 1
    tftp> timeout 60
    tftp> put wnr2200-factory_WW.img
    Sent 5099649 bytes in 2.0 seconds
    tftp>

  7. ane says:

    Thanks for your additional tip OBook

    Andy

  8. antoine says:

    Merci ! je peux de nouveau me servir de mon routeur !

  9. antoine says:

    Merci beaucoup

  10. David says:

    You’re the man!!!!

  11. Mark says:

    Awesome it worked. Thanks
    For anyone else- i had to set my IP to 192.168.1.2 and then do a single 30 second reset, dont power off and just run the command.

  12. Richard says:

    Hi. Can you please tell me how you first installed dd-wrt on the wnr2200 or can you direct me to a guide? I’m struggling to find anything definitive on the web.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wow Nice Work 🙂 worked a treat

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