Perform a firmware recovery on a router

Edited by Fritzel Mae Banzon, Lynn, Melsan, Eng and 18 others

At some point in its lifespan, a router's firmware may become corrupted, which will prevent the router from booting up and operating normally. For routers that were shipped with a CD, the CD usually contains a Firmware Recovery Tool, which can be used to correct this malfunction.

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The steps in this article are required particularly for the newer routers that were not shipped with a setup disk or CD that has a firmware recovery tool, or for older routers whose disks were already misplaced or lost. Most of the routers in the market do not come with a CD anymore for easy setup purposes. So if this problem occurs, they won't have any tool for recovering the firmware in case of a firmware failure.

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  1. 1
    Identify Firmware failure by one of the following:
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    1. Green blinking power light.
    2. Steady amber power light.
    3. No access to administrator user interface.
    4. Router does not assign DHCP address to local clients after factory default.
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  2. 2
    Before going ahead with firmware recovery try resetting router using the instructions below:
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    1. Use a paper clip to press and hold the reset button on the back of router for about 5 to 10 seconds.
    2. Release the button when the power LED starts blinking.
    3. Disconnect power for about 10 seconds and then reconnect.
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  3. 3
    If the router still is showing above mentioned symptoms, then the following steps should be followed:
     
    1. Connect the computer directly to the modem using an Ethernet cable providing that the modem is working fine.
    2. Download the router's latest Firmware. You may download the said file on the manufacturer's website depending on the brand name of the product.
    3. If there is no internet connection from the modem, try to download from another internet connection/network.
    4. Unzip the downloaded file and save it on the desktop page.
    5. Download a TFTP server software. There are many available third party TFTP server software programs available in the internet. There is even a TFTP utility that is built in for Windows. But for this article, we will be using an easy to use third party software that could be downloaded from http://www.shadowsoftware.net/shadowgameworld/downloads/.
    6. Connect the computer to the router. Assign a static IP of the router's default range (192.168.1.x or 192.168.0.x) on the LAN connection.
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  4. 4
    To accurately set static IP.
     
    1. Check the default IP found at the bottom or at the back of the router.
      Wl500gP-V2-bottom.jpg
      Router-bottom2.jpg
    2. On the computer. Click on Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
    3. You may also select "Start" and then type "Network and Sharing Center" on the search box found at the bottom of the screen.
      Network and Sharing2.jpg
    4. At the left side select "Change adapter settings". Then right-click "Local Area Connection" and select "Properties"
      Adapter settings2.jpg
      Properties.jpg
    5. Highlight "Internet Protocol Version 4" (TCP/IPv4). Select "Properties"
      IPV4.jpg
    6. You should see a window pop up. Set the static IP based on the range of the default IP address. On this example, the default IP is 192.168.1.1 so, we set the IP to 192.168.1.100. Once done, select "OK."
      IP address.jpg
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  5. 5
    Now we can begin to flash the firmware of the router.
     
    1. Run the tftp2.exe file that was downloaded earlier.
    2. You should see this window on the screen.
      TFTP.jpg
    3. In the field "Server" enter the default IP of the router.
    4. In the field "Password" enter the default password of the router. You will not need any username.
    5. In the field "File" browse and locate the firmware file that was downloaded earlier.
    6. Turn the router off for 10 seconds and turn it back on.
    7. While the router is still in the boot process. And when the power light is still amber, click on "Upgrade" and wait for the process to be completed.
    8. Once the process is complete. the power light should turn stable, and you can reconfigure the router accordingly.
    9. Do not forget to set the computer back to dynamic IP. To do this, just follow the steps above.
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  6. 6
    What does TFTP mean?
    TFTP or Trivial File Transfer Protocol is a basic functionality of transferring file configurations between machines in a local environment. TFTP is limited and rarely used, as it does not need any authentication, unlike the FTP.
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  7. 7
    Other way to recover/perform TFTP.
    To complete these troubleshooting steps, you don't need to download any other software to perform recovery, aside from the firmware of the router you wish to recover. You will be using a command prompt to do these steps. Please see below:  
    1. Download the firmware of the router you wish to recover. Make sure you download the latest update.
    2. Make sure to save the file where you can easily locate it.
    3. If you have downloaded a zip file format. Just right click then unzip.
    4. Open the file folder and copy the firmware from the folder where you extracted it.
    5. Close all Windows and go to your Start/Windows logo. Then click "Computer" or "My Computer".
    6. Go to your disk drive C and paste the file there and not on any folder.
    7. Make sure you have the full name of the file when you paste it in the C drive. Close all Windows and open the command prompt.
    8. Go to your Windows logo. Then go to the control panel, and then click "Programs".
    9. Under the programs and features that you opened. Click on the "Turn Windows features on or off" section.
    10. On the Windows features box. Scroll down to look for the "TFTP Client" folder, and check the box beside it.
    11. Wait for the process to enable the TFTP.
    12. Set the static IP on your LAN adapter. Make sure that the IP address is in line with the router's IP address.
    13. Once done with setting the static IP on the LAN adapter. Open the command prompt by going to Start > All Programs > Accessories, then click on Command Prompt.
    14. Type in the command as "tftp -I 192.168.1.1". Then put (space)(firmware_filename).
      DOS tftp.jpg
    15. After the process is finished. Restart or power cycle the router to refresh its system. Then check to see if your getting a valid IP address from the router.
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Tip

  • Before you proceed to recover the firmware, make sure to first set the static IP address on your computer that is in line with your router's IP address and do a ping test. If the router would not reply to the ping test, meaning the router is dead already, then you may need to replace it with a brand new router.

Questions and Answers

My firmware is corrupt, need help?

My firmware is corrupt on my NETGEAR WNDR4500 router. I am trying to manually reload the firmware. I have already downloaded the firmware and the FTP. I am having a hard time getting the router to recognize the computer so I can upload the firmware.

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NETGEAR recommends that you use a computer that is wired to the router to perform this procedure. If you don't, you may experience a wireless disconnect during the procedure, which could corrupt your router.

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To install the firmware you've downloaded, follow these steps:

  • Visit http://www.routerlogin.net/.
  • Click the Advanced Tab, and go to Administration and click Router Upgrade.
  • Click Browse to find the firmware file and click upload to begin the process.

If your router doesn't let you log into it through that website, you will need to call NETGEAR to fix the issue since its software is corrupt and won't allow you to upgrade it.

See more questions like this: Hi , router firmware corrupt on netgear r8000 router?

I've tried following the instructions but it fails to connect when I update, any ideas?

Power went out and now the power button is ON, the router is flashing, I believe the firmware is corrupt.

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How do I recover firmware on Netgear wndr4500v2 after a bad firmware update?

Already power cycled numerous times, already turned off for 30 minutes + and tried to power cycle again, tried resetting to factory settings (all didn't work); what I want to know is if I can download the updated firmware and install it on the router without having to access 'routerlogin.net'

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: Problem with Netgear router WNR612v3?

I need help with a Netgear wndr4500?

Power LED is flashing green. I don't know how to update the Firmware, because even when I tried to connect the router through a cable, I can't get anywhere

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

My router Netgear 6220 reset itself while I was on vacation?

Upon returning home, it came up on my (old) Mac with all the original factory settings and asked me to upgrade the firmware. That process failed halfway through and now I can't get it to respond to either my (new) PC or my old Mac.

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: Netgear n900 router firmware update

Need help on router LED lights?

Perhaps you can help me, I reset my router r6300 version 2 yesterday morning, I got everything back working except for power and internet are like amber yellow and I don't know how to make them green

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See more questions like this: My wndr4500 router green light is blinking?

Not able to make the tftp program to work?

I did all the steps, inclusive tried to ping the router. If I ping 192.168.1.1 (default router IP) it doesn't return any answer, however if I ping 192.168.1.100 (as entered in the IP dialog box) it does get an answer. The tftp2 software is giving me the following answer: unable to get response from the server

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

How to use tftp, I keep getting error messages?

I'm trying to do tftp -I 192.168.1.1. I put the file name and all I keep getting back is "timeout occurred, connect request failed".

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I can't ping WNDR 4500 at 192.168.0.1 or 1.1?

Green light is blinking so I need to update or fix the Firmware

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ROUTER FIRMWARE UPGRADE problem with response from server?

I'm having a problem with the IP address and the gateway address. I'm doing it with the TFTP2 app because I have a blinking green light on my router, which I have LED to believe means I have corrupted firmware. I can't seem to get a response from the server when I try to upgrade.

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Thank you

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: Can I firmware upgrade a netgear router without being able to ping

What does it mean assign static, how?

Need to reinstall latest Firmware in router, power light blinking orange/green

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TP Link Archer C9 router firmware issue?

Sir, my TP Link Archer C9 router firmware is corrupted, so I can't enter the configuration. How can I recover it? Please help me!

Power up the router. Turn the router around so that the back panel faces you. You will see the "Reset/WPS" button next to the Internet socket. Press and hold the "Reset/WPS" button for 8 seconds. Release the button and wait the router to reboot to its factory default settings. If this procedure has not helped you, then follow steps 3-7 in the article above (in step 3, download tftp2.exe from the link). For the firmware BIN file, please navigate to http://www.tp-link.us/download/Archer-C9.html#Firmware. If you are outside of the United States, then you will need to choose your region by clicking the word "here" in "Click here to choose your region for the most suitable firmware" on the web page.

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The last method is bringing the router it to a TP-Link service center for repairs.

See more questions like this: Hello I have a TP-link archer router and want to revert to factory firmware?

Hello, I have bricked my Netgear R7500 trying to flash it for open-wrt?

Is there anyway to unbrick it?. I have tried: I've tried to reinstall firmware using TFTP.

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How do I factory reset a router that has its reset button malfunctioning?

I have tried to factory reset my router this morning due to being unable to access the default admin site to change its values according to what I want them to be but unfortunately the router's reset button does not function and I cannot do anything but power cycle the router which has no effect at all is there any way I can reset my router to its default factory settings without having to press the reset button since it seems virtually impossible now that it is malfunctioning. I have tried: I have held the reset button for 30 seconds but nothing happens not even a reboot or anything as if I was not holding the reset button at all. I think it was caused by: The reset button must be malfunctioning

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Digisol firmware dd-wrt installation?

How to install dd-wrt firmware in my digisol WiFi router.

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How do I get my tablet to fully turn on?

When I try to charge my Emerson tablet, the charging screen comes up. Then I hold down the power button, the loading screen comes on, but stays on and doesn't power on. I tried resetting it by using a toothpick to press the R button but it does the same thing. So I held the volume up and power button, but an Android robot laying down with red triangle comes up.. I have tried: I have tried resetting it by holding power button and volume up button. I also used a toothpick to push reset button on the back.. I think it was caused by: I'm not exactly sure, but I think it has something to do with the battery.

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