resetting linksys router


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 16, 2007
I've had my wireless system set up now for about a week with no problems at all. I have a linksys 54G router. This morning I lost the signal on my laptop and had to reset the router :(
I see some people have had issues with this. Is this going to be an on going problem?? Why would this happen in the first place?


macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2007
NE Ohio
If its anything like my Linksys WRT54 router it was it is a common ocurance... My buddy had one, and he had to reset it every few weeks. Mine started out that way and was a hassle but eventually it just stopped working all together, I updated the latest Linksys firmware and still wouldn't work, wireless or hardwire...but there is a hope ! :)

I installed the DD-WRT firmware hack, which makes it run a micro version of linux and it works great, i've had it up for a few months and 0 troubles. Mine was version 5 which was a bit of a struggle to hack, I think the newer ones are a bit easier. One thing if you do this, make sure you have the correct firmware, I flashed the micro version when I needed the micro_generic and it wouldn't work for awhile, then I re-flashed it and works better than when I bought it!

Unfortiontly I think those routers are plagued with that problem.

Hello. I can -- and what's more, I'm going to -- answer your questions, and I'm quite happy to do so. However, please be advised that everything I'm going to cover briefly here I've already answered, along with probably several others, on multiple prior occasions here on the forums. Because I intend to keep this reply brief, I'd suggest you do a search for any of the following terms here on this board to find more detailed answers which will actually be of benefit to you:

  • linksys

First, you need to know the problems you're experiencing are not of the "ID10T" or "PEBKAC" variety, but the actual honest-to-goodness legitimate type. Second, you need to also realize that, even while it may seem like I'm trying to do this, I'm actually not intending to slam Cisco/Linksys in my comments. That doesn't mean they're beyond reproach here, it just means this problem is bigger than just them. And third, you also have to understand my perspective on such matters comes as a result of 20+ years' exposure to the computer world, and about 10 years' on-and-off exposure to the Linux world.

Linksys products are not the products they used to be, any more than Linksys is the company it used to be. It was bought out several years ago by Cisco, and one or two models excepted, since that time their products have diminished in quality as a result, primarily, of two factors: 1. Cost-cutting measures; 2. Increased, super-heated rates of unit production such that their QA division surely can't hope to keep up with.

If you search on Google for problems WRT-series users are experiencing with their products, you'll find an alarming number of instances of unit lock-ups, radio transmitter failures, unit overheating, and other, somewhat nebulous issues which probably more often than not can be traced back to simply running out of RAM.

Now, I said before I wasn't trying to slam Linksys, and the proof of this is I'll also readily tell you that you'll probably find many of these same issues cropping up in other manufacturers' products. The reason for this is two-fold. First, most router manufacturers try to cut costs to remain competitive. Second, a goodly percentage of the routers out there use the same underlying hardware, so naturally you'll see some of the same issues coming up over and over again.

What then, exactly, am I trying to tell you to do about it? Well...

1. Restart Your Router. Often.

Any router can potentially benefit from being restarted. It's the same basic cause for them as it is for computers: memory fragmentation, memory leaks, and from time to time, simple system lock-ups. And the less RAM you have in your router, the more acute this issue's going to be. Typically, most Linksys products (especially the WRT54G series) have only 8MB of RAM. (And yes, that's MB as in MegaByte, not a typo for GigaByte).

2. Consider flashing your router.

Firmware is basically no more than an operating system that lives hard-coded inside the chipset of your router. And just like computer OSs, there's better and worse firmware, too. Also not unlike Mac OS X, which benefits (whether you realize it or not) from developments in and contributions from the Linux community, firmware which is developed "in the community" -- instead of in the isolation of one company's development department with just a few staff programmers to work on it -- inherently has a greater potential for being bug-free and more powerful.

Ever since Linksys released their original firmware as required because some of the parts of it were based on GPL'd, open-source software, the FSF/OSS community has been working to create replacement firmware which far outclasses the proprietary stuff that anyone -- Linksys, D-Link, Buffalo, anyone -- has made for their own routers. DD-WRT and OpenWRT are the two major players, with DD-WRT being geared more towards the any-man, and OpenWRT being geared more towards the specialist-needs geek.

3. Consider getting a more powerful router.

There are a multitude of choices out there when it comes to routers -- many more than you will simply find on the shelves of your local brick-and-mortor Best Buy, CompUSA, etc. Ultimately what you want is a router which, at a minimum, has more RAM on it (16 MB is the least you should really consider, and is probably fine for most uses). Some routers have built-in USB, others let you open them up and add an internal hard drive, others let you share printers or other devices, and so on.

But how are you to know what's out there? This is a simple question to answer, and frankly even if you're still sitting there stone-cold convinced that flashing a router's firmware is not for you, you'll still want to at least go to this particular DD-WRT web page because it tells you what the specs and other features are of a multitude of different brands and models of router. If nothing else, at least you can form an educated opinion on what product you should spend your hard-earned cash.

In case you're curious, I, too, have a Linksys WRT54G v5 router. After replacing it twice (once via retailer, and once via warranty), I flashed it over to DD-WRT v23 SP2 (the then-current release). Now true, as I have said above, I still had to reboot the thing, but not quite as often (which kind of tells me that some of the reboots were not exactly memory-related ;) ). I finally a couple months ago replaced the router (which I've kept and now use as a Wireless <-> Ethernet bridge) with a Buffalo WHR-HP-G54. Their firmware really sucks, but having flashed it also to DD-WRT, I've had no issues at all with the hardware, and only two non-installation-related reboots, both of which were necessitated by my cable modem's own stupidity, and not the router's, nor DD-WRT's.

Thus endeth the lesson.

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