This guide covers the installation and upgrade of Oleg’s firmware for the ASUS RT-N16 using firmware version 188.8.131.52-10-rtn (experimental). The recovery process is also documented should you need it.
It is based on Wengi’s HowTo for the ASUS WL-HDD (http://wl500g.info/archive/index.php/t-10307.html). Thanks Wengi!
Important: Do this at your own risk. I exclude any liability.
This HowTo is for newbies! Please post a comment if have any improvements or find any mistakes.
Why would you want to install Oleg’s Firmware? Check out the reported problems with ASUS firmware in this and other blogs/forums…
You will need:
- A PC running Linux or Windows with a web browser
- Time. Allow around an hour for the first upgrade
- A copy of Oleg’s firmware – see below for download sites
- An internet connection for downloading the software and ASUS manual
- An installed copy of ASUS’s Firmware Restoration Utility
- A copy of the ASUS RT-N16 User Manual E4484 (Chapter 5 covers firmware restoration)
- A known good copy of the original or updated ASUS supported RT-N16 firmware
The last three items are only needed should your installation fail or if for some inexplicable reason you decide to go back to the ASUS firmware.
They are available from ASUS Support – http://support.asus.com/download.
Note: Oleg’s firmware is more stable than ASUS firmware and is frequently updated. In order of update frequency, Oleg’s firmware is available from:
http://wpte.kicks-ass.net/downloads/Oleg%20Firmware/RT-N16%20builds/ (nightly builds)
http://code.google.com/p/wl500g (choose the RT-N16 download)
Use the latest version and if necessary, extract the firmware. It MUST have the extension .trx.
As Oleg’s Firmware is being actively developed, there may come a time when new features of interest to you become available or bugs that have been annoying you are fixed. Check what’s changed at http://code.google.com/p/wl500g/wiki/News. The specific code changes can be inspected at http://code.google.com/p/wl500g/source/list?path=/branches/rt-n/. See section 4 for how to update Oleg’s Firmware.
1. Install firmware
NOTE: The Asus Firmware Restoration Tool will NOT install Oleg’s firmware. You need to flash the router via the Web Interface.
1.1 Save the RT-N16 configuration file to your PC via the web interface. You shouldn’t need it, but…
- Click on Advance Settings (Left Hand Side), and under the Administration heading, select Restore/Save/Upload Setting
- Save the RT-N16 configuration settings to your PC.
1.2 Turn off the RT-N16
1.3 If you have any USB devices connected, unplug them
1.4 Reset your RT-N16 to factory defaults for Web Interface access, i.e. user name:admin / password:admin
1.5 Turn on the RT-N16
1.6 Make sure your PC is connected to the RT-N16 via a wired connection, NOT wireless…
1.7 Browse to the router Web Interface and navigate to the upload page
- Click on Advance Settings (Left Hand Side), and under the Administration heading (middle bottom of page), click on Firmware Upgrade.
- Browse to your copy of Oleg’s firmware
1.8 Select the firmware (RT-N16-184.108.40.206-rtn-hardware_version.trx) and click Upload. (This loads Oleg’s firmware into the router RAM, flashes, then reboots the router.)
1.9 After the reboot, browse to the Web Interface of the router and again per above, reset to factory defaults for Web Interface access
1.10 Again a reboot and your router now has Oleg firmware!
2. Router Configuration
NOTE: When changing settings, click on the Apply button to confirm your settings before leaving a given web page.
After your final Apply, click on the Finish button to permanently save your settings and force a router reboot.
Do the following in the Web Interface:
2.1 Under IP Config, check and adjust as necessary all your settings (WAN and LAN, IPv6, SNMP, DHCP Server, Route and Miscellaneous). Your previous settings should have been retained, if not, you can reload them.
- Under System Setup .. Setting Management .. Load from a File, browse to your settings saved above and click on Upload.
2.2 Enter an access name for your router (This will be the username used to gain access to the router via the Web Interface and SSH/Telnet. It’s a security feature the original ASUS firmware doesn’t have).
- Under System Setup .. Change Name
2.3 I recommend you disable telnet access if you had that enabled and enable SSH. Choose ‘Yes LAN Only’ for maximum security.
– Under System Setup .. Services
2.4 Check that the Firewall is enabled. Unless needed, set Enable Web Access from LAN and Respond Ping Request from LAN to ‘No’.
– Under Internet Firewall .. Basic Config
2.5 Change FTP, Samba, NFS
- Under USB Application
2.6 Change the password
– Under System Setup .. Change Password
If you have finished configuration, click on Finish, which will reboot the wireless router.
2.7 After the reboot, check you can log in using your new name and password.
You’re all done!
3. Firmware Recovery
Hopefully you won’t ever need to visit this section, but it is reassuring to know that if you have problems, you have an excellent chance of recovery.
3.1 Have Windows running
3.2 Disable the Windows Firewall
3.3 Turn off the router
3.4 Hold down the Restore button (you’ll need a pen or paperclip as the button is recessed)
3.5 Turn on the power and release the Restore button between 1 and 5 seconds after power on
- The power LED should slowly flash (Other LEDS may also be on, depending on what is connected)
3.6 From your Windows PC, start the ASUS Restore Utility (From Start Menu ASUS Utility .. RT-N16 Wireless Router .. Firmware Restoration)
3.7 Browse to your copy of the ASUS Firmware file and click on Upload
3.8 Let the Utility work through the restoration process
3.9 Re-enable the Windows Firewall
If you make a mistake and are locked out of your router, hold down the router Restore button for more than 5 seconds. The Power LED will begin to flash. Release the restore button, the Power LED will stop flashing and you’ll find you will be able to get access to the router with the default name=admin/password=admin access.
4. Updating Oleg’s Firmware
This takes approximately 15 minutes (excluding the time to download or build a later firmware version).
4.1 Download a later firmware version and extract the .trx file if required
- you can of course build your own firmware version, but that’s a topic for another HowTo coming soon…
4.2 Save your router settings
- under System Setup, Setting Management, Save As a File and follow the instructions
4.3 Save Flashfs under System Setup
- under Flashfs Management, Save As a File and follow the instructions
4.4 Restore the router to Default Settings
- under System Setup – Factory Default, Click Restore button
(this resets the NVRAM to default settings including username/passsword =admin/admin)
– Click on Services, click on Finish, then click on Save and Restart
4.5 Perform the Flash upgrade
- Click on System Setup, Firmware Upgrade
4.6 Change Name and Password
- under System Setup, Change Name – Save
– Change Password – Save
4.7 Restore your router settings
– under System Setup, Setting Management, follow the instructions under Load From a File
4.8 Save Your Configuration
- under System Setup, click on Services, click on Finish, then click on Save and Restart
Thanks Oleg and the WL500g Project Team for the firmware. And thanks ASUS for releasing the RT-N16 firmware source code under GPL, so others can fix what should be ASUS’s responsibility. A pity that was necessary…