Resurrecting the dead


D-Link DI-524 WiFi Enabled Internet Router
D-Link DI-524 WiFi Enabled Internet Router

A very well meaning friend (aka client) recently popped an innocuous question: The wireless router which had been working perfectly till last week; worked no more. Could I help?

Like all tech-support professional brethren of mine, a hundred things that could go wrong; and hundred & ten ways to fix the issues instantly popped to my mind. The only quick fix of recycling the power to the device had already been tried out autonomously by my client. Clients are getting quite tech savvy these days. All other solutions either required me to be on the phone for extended periods on a late Saturday evening or request the client to come over to my place with the device. I chose the later as the lesser of two evils.

My Client true to his professional form was at my doorstep on the dot while my Sunday arse was just trying to come to grips with the position of the sun in the sky.

The wireless router is question is a D-Link DI-524 (H/W Ver B4, F/W Ver 2.03, FCC-ID: KA2DI524G) Wireless-G Internet Router. At my client’s place, it is connected to a Huawei DSL Modem/Router. The DSL Modem is configured in bridge mode and its the D-Link that is configured in PPPoE mode to perform On-demand dialing and routing.

The second quick fix to fixing a router is simply to reset it. This I desisted from performing right away since I had configured the router with a host of settings and didn’t wanna re-do all the settings. So I attempted to diagnose the problem with the router.

Exactly as the client had described, it indeed turned out that while the status indicator lights on the front of the router were glowing normally (Power:ON, Status: ON, WLAN:ON); the router’s wireless was undetectable. No amount of ‘Refresh’ in Windows ‘View Wireless Networks’ helped.

I connected the laptop I was using to diagnose the issue; to the router using a Ethernet cable. Windows correctly determined that ‘Network cable connected’ but could not setup the Network since an IP via DHCP was not received in time. Multiple attempts to ‘Repair connection’ through a few power cycles on the router were in vain.

Next, I assigned a static IP of 192.168.0.11 to the Laptop’s Ethernet interface and attempted to ping the D-Link router at 192.168.0.1 (the D-Link router’s default IP). No dice. I added additional IPs (192.168.1.11 & 192.168.2.11) to the Interface and attempted to ping a range of IPs known to be used by various router manufacturers. Still no dice.

Next I attempted to apply the second known quick fix: Reset the router by pressing the ‘Reset’ button at the back of the router; adjacent to the power socket.

Back View of D-Link DI-524 WiFi Internet Router
Back View of D-Link DI-524 WiFi Internet Router

Very Important Note: For a wide range of routers, there are two types of reset that can be performed. 1) Factory Defaults Reset 2) Firmware Update Reset.

The Factory Defaults Reset simply returns the router to factory default configuration and allows reconfiguration of the router from a known point. To perform this reset, switch ON the router. Once the Router lights have stabilized, press the Reset button for a period of 10 seconds till the lights at front flash. Let go of the reset button. The router should reset and reboot itself.

The Firmware Update Reset wipes out the existing firmware on the router and prepares it to receive new firmware from the PC. This mode is generally used by the Router manufacturer and firmware update for this mode is rarely made available to the general public. To perform this reset, switch OFF the router. Press the reset button and power ON the router. Keep the reset button pressed through the power-up. Error lights on the router should indicate that the router is in abnormal mode.

Perform a firmware reset only if you know what you are doing. If you perform a firmware reset without the firmware updater software, your router is probably toast and you will have to return it for servicing.

In short, DO NOT press the reset button and power ON the router. This will perform a firmware reset.

Coming back to the topic, I attempted a simple Factory defaults reset and tried to access the router’s configuration page. No dice. Very evident since my Ethernet did not receive IP via DHCP. I tried the Factory Default reset a few more times; some of them to convince me, some to convince my client. No dice.

I explained to the client all that we would do in the normal course of action had been done to no avail. I explained to him that I would either have to perform a firmware reset or open the router up to check for broken stuff. With a tremulous voice, my good client reaffirmed his faith in my ability to fix his stuff and left for his home leaving the router with me. I guess, at this point he wrote off his router.

After a hectic day spent with guests, as I retired to my PC with my glass of Coke, I pulled out the router and performed a Firmware Reset on it. I regretted it almost immediately afterward.

Much to my chagrin, the router just turned over, rolled it’s eyes, stuck out it’s tongue and started playing dead.

The status-quo had not changed one bit and this irritated me further, prompting me to get another refill of Coca Cola.

Through my searches on Google, I eventually found a firmware update for the router and quite luckily, it was exactly what I needed. Godsend. You can download it from: http://tsd.dlink.com.tw/temp/download/2222/20060428_524_V204.zip

The downloaded file contained an EXE file and a BIN file. This was good news since this meant that I could probably fix the router from a Windows PC even if the router was basically unresponsive. This is very similar to performing BIOS updates for many motherboards and controller cards.

It looked like I was all set to repair the router, hence I double clicked on the EXE file to launch the update. The update program launched and immediately reported ‘No device found’. Harrumph

I remembered that during my attempts at accessing the router’s configuration page after a ‘Firmware update reset’, I was able to successfully ping the router, but after a power cycle I was not. This was achieved by:

  1. Perform a Firmware Reset of the router (keep the reset button pressed for 20 seconds while powering ON the router).
  2. The lights should blink and eventually settle to just the ‘Status’ LED blinking very rapidly.
  3. At this point if you ping the router (192.168.0.1), you will receive ping replies, but attempts to access the configuration page in a web browser will fail.
  4. Recycling power restores the router lights to normal mode but the router no longer responds to ping.

Taking this as a clue, I reset the router till Step 3 and launched the Update program again. It reported no device yet again. Of course it would. Since the router was actually not working and my network was set to receive an IP over DHCP, it could not join the 192.168.0.0 network.

I configured my laptop’s Ethernet connection to static IP (192.168.0.11) again. I confirmed that the Status Indicator Light was blinking rapidly and re-launched the update program.

Surprise! The update program correctly determined that I had a ‘Crashed’ router and offered to update the firmware. Less than a minute later, it reported success. The router restarted itself and came back to life.

D-Link DI-524 Router Firmware Update in progress
D-Link DI-524 Router Firmware Update in progress

I was able to ping to my hearts content, reconfigure my Network card to receive IP via DHCP (which it did) and access the Router’s homepage to configure it.

D-Link DI-524 Firmware Update Complete
D-Link DI-524 Firmware Update Complete

While the router’s basic settings; most importantly Protected Wireless settings have been reconfigured, the actual login/password details required for using the BSNL DSL service are not known to me and my client must enter them on his own. This may lead me write yet another article.


30 responses to “Resurrecting the dead”

  1. The information aboutresurrecting the dead DI-524 was very helpful to me. In addition, it was the only such information regarding the router listed by Google. I managed to get my router wotking again. Complimetnts for our writing style – I liked reading the article a lot.

  2. Dude! I just did what you said and it fixed the modem. Just a plain update!

    I tried portscanning to check if the modem was up on any other port… nothing came out (up to port 10001).

    Then I saw your post… DL’ed the updater and BINGO! The only thingy that I had to do was to place my IP as 192.168.0.x not the regular private WinXP Ip.

    Worked like a charm. TY very much.

    Warm regards from Brazil.

  3. God bless you my friend, you saved my day! My DI-524 crashed while a firmware update and it became completly dead. I followed your steps and it’s alive again!

    Thank you very very very much!

    • Hi GTorres! It makes my day to receive your thanks! In many ways you were lucky enough to have bought the D-Link router. A couple of NetGear routers have crashed on me and I am still not able to revive them. Perhaps one day I will figure that out and post an article here.

  4. Hi, Rajib it was a good tip, But My D-Link DI-524, H/W Ver. B4, F/W Ver. 2.03. I followed your steps but still my Wireless connection is not visible, the status indicator lights on the front of the router were glowing normally (Power:ON, Status: ON, WLAN:ON); the router’s wireless was undetectable. No amount of ‘Refresh’ in Windows ‘View Wireless Networks’. I can connect the computer using the wired lan and it is working fine. So, please tell me what i have to do.

    • If you can access the Router’s Configure Homepage, then in theory the router is working.

      The wireless LAN may not be visible due to factors such as – it is turned off in configuration, the antenna is loose/broken, the wifi chip or associated capacitors are busted.
      Have it checked by a computer repair shop.

  5. Hello can you help me please. I have the same router and facing the same situation. I followed your step but to no success. When I tried pinging the router, it replies :

    ping 192.168.0.1

    Pinging 192.168.0.1 with 32 bytes of data:
    Request timed out.
    Request timed out.
    Reply from 192.168.0.11: Destination host unreachable.
    Request timed out.

    Ping statistics for 192.168.0.1:
    packets: Sent = 4, Received = 1, Lost = 3 (75% loss)

    This is the setting in ipconfig :
    IPv4 Address : 192.168.0.11
    Subnet Mask : 255.255.255.0
    Default Gateway : 192.168.0.1

    Maybe there is something wrong in my step and I wish that you could give me any ideas on how to solve this.
    Thanks in advance

  6. hi….i have the same problem as akey….i’ve done ur steps with no success …..in addition my status led doesnt light at all………the problem appeared after a fw update from 2.04 to 2.07 via cable

    thank you

  7. Thanks mate! You just saved my day! I bricked my router when I did a firmware update (2.07, that actually worked until I turned off the router).

  8. I have a B4 rev i think , i look inside the case i saw rev D. Well after you make the reset and have the blinking status led you have ping so you can somehow connect to the router but there are 2 ips u can connect
    192.168.0.1 or 192.168.123.254 . So check your router’s ip using the firmware software software from dlink or from this site and get a static ip for your PC. After that just press Upgrade and all it’s on . Another solution is to put firmware using tftp protocol.

    tftp -i 192.168.0.1 PUT code.bin code.bin

    where the ip is the router’s ip and code.bin is the firmware filename.

    Goodluck.

  9. i have dlink dir 600 n150 wifi router just brought 2 months back now router got totally dead only the power light gets glow no ping also .now i can flash my router to return back please anybody can hep me in this case. how to re-flash my router Dlink dir600

  10. Hi,

    My DI 524 was working fine but sometimes not working. I performed the steps that were provided in your blog. It did recognize the router at first and I clicked the Update button. After sometime, the status LED stopped and now it is not responding. Please help I need to fix this router.

    • Dear Tashaz,

      For a router that occasionally does not respond, a simple soft-reset (either using Router’s Management Interface) or the reset button in enough.

      If you have performed a hard reset on your router and it is no longer responding, just follow the steps outlined in this article carefully to restore your router’s firmware.

      The process mentioned here works quite well. I have used it myself and quite a few other people have used it successfully.

      Regards

  11. Hi Rajib,
    Sorry for the late response.
    I meant that now the status LED is dead after the update, request you to provide a quick solution for my DI -524 router to my mail id.
    thanks in advance.
    Tashaz

  12. Wonderful website I must say, any way my power, wlan status LEDs are solid, none if them are blinking. I tried powering it off and holding the reset button and starting the modem and waiting for 20 + seconds, but all lights still are solid. mine is Rev B2. Any help would be appreciated
    Thank you

    • Dear Advait,

      Start by verifying that the power adaptor of your router is supplying the requisite voltage.

      Installing a firmare update or restoring the firmware to factory default is not easy and requires a fair amount of research. When I first fixed the D-Link router, I practically ended up spending the whole day! Thus the inspiration to write the blog article.

      I recommend that you source the appropriate firmware for your hardware from the Internet and broadly follow the steps outlined in my article.

      HTH

  13. Hi Rajib,

    I am not able to start modem with firmware upgrade mode.
    I tried holding the reset switch for 20 s with powering up the DI-524 RevE1 , I am not able to see fast blink for status LED. Any suggestion will be appreciated.

    JB

  14. I am facing same problem with Dlink 524 and followed all steps. However I am not able to detect router by utility.

    I am not able to hard reset it either way. In one screen it asked for password when i typed 192.168.0.11 and pressed enter.

    please suggest me available options. thank you.

  15. Hi Rajib, I have an old D-Link DI-524. I accidently flashed it with the wrong firmware. I’ve searched the internet for the firmware (Rev B4) but am not able to find it. Any chance you still have it? Could you please send it to me via mail.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    [email protected]

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