Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to fix a bricked router by hard resetting it

All routers have reset buttons. That makes things so easy. You just press and hold it for about ten seconds, and the router is absolutely new, all default settings. But in some cases, like  when installing third party firmware, such as DD-WRT, you need to do a hard reset, usually multiple times.

As people ususally think, pressing the reset button isn't a hard reset. A hard reset is also called a 30/30/30 reset, and that's for a reason.

Performing a 30/30/30 reset is very simple. Though the results are generally the same as doing a normal 10 second press and hold, this is a 'harder' reset for the firmware, and not required always. To do it, follow these steps.
  • Have the router plugged for power (duh!).
  • Use a thin object to press the reset button, as you usually do.
  • Hold the button for 30 seconds.
  • While you hold the button, unplug the cable.
  • Do not release  the button. Hold it for 30 seconds with the power unplugged.
  • Plug the cord back in, while holding the button.
  • Hold the button for another 30 seconds with the power connected.
So, if you read the bold letters above, you'll understand why it is called a 30/30/30 reset. Remember that the button is pressed continuously for 90 seconds in this procedure.

Update: I now know that you can even, in most cases, fix a bricked router using this technique.