Installing OpenWrt on Buffalo WBMR-HP-G300H

The Buffalo WBMR-HP-G300H is a little beast of a modem/router, based on the Lantiq AR9 SoC family, and built on the following hardware:

Type Part Notes
CPU Lantiq XWAY ARX168 PSB 50810 EL MIPS 34Kc @ 333MHz
Flash Macronix MX29GL256ELT2I-90Q 32MB
RAM Samsung K4H511638F-LCCC 64MB @ 166MHz
Switch Atheros AR8316 ?
WiFi Atheros AR9223  IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

The modem officially supports DD-WRT but we will be installing OpenWrt Barrier Breaker.

There are two ways of getting OpenWrt on the WBMR-HP-G300H. You can either install OpenWrt through DD-WRT (provided, of course, you’ve installed DD-WRT first) or you can talk to the modem’s bootloader via TFTP and upload an OpenWrt image. In this post I’ll be taking the DD-WRT route, which is really simple. Let’s begin.

Step 1: Install DD-WRT

If DD-WRT is not already installed on the modem (i.e. the modem is running the official Buffalo firmware), you need to install it. Download buffalo_to_dd-wrt_MULTI.enc from DD-WRT’s website and save it on your hard-drive. Turn on the modem and connect to 192.168.11.1. The default username is root, the password is blank. (Note: use IE or Opera, otherwise the pages won’t render properly). Now navigate to Admin Config/Update. Choose the file you just downloaded from DD-WRT’s website and press Update Firmware.

Updating to DD-WRT.

Updating to DD-WRT.

After you press Update Firmware you need to wait for about 6-7 minutes. A progress bar will be displayed in the browser to let you know how far along the process has got. Once the update is complete you should renew your ethernet connection. The new router ip will be 192.168.1.1.

Step 2: Flash OpenWrt

With DD-WRT installed we can proceed to flashing OpenWrt. From OpenWrt’s website download openwrt-lantiq-xway-WBMR-squashfs.image and save it on a USB stick (formatted either as ext2/3 or FAT32). Login to the DD-WRT admin page at 192.168.1.1 (on first access you will be prompted to set a new password) and navigate to Services/USB. We will enable USB support in order to copy the OpenWrt image from the USB stick to the modem’s internal storage. To do so, enable Core USB Support, USB Storage Support and Automatic Drive Mount, as pictured below, and apply settings.

Enabling USB support.

Enabling USB support on DD-WRT.

With USB support enabled, plug-in your USB stick to the modem. Telnet to the modem at 192.168.1.1 and login with username root (even if you have changed the username!) and the password you previously set. You can see below that, in my case, my USB stick has been mounted on /tmp/mnt/sda_part1.

The USB stick has been mounted on /tmp/mnt/sda_part1/.

We are now ready to flash OpenWrt. Change to the directory where the stick is mounted and issue the following command:

mtd -r write openwrt-lantiq-xway-WBMR-squashfs.image linux

This will write OpenWrt to the modem’s flash storage.

Writing OpenWrt.

Writing OpenWrt.

The telnet connection will be closed once the write is complete. At this point you have to wait while the modem boots OpenWrt for the first time. Do not turn off the modem. Once the modem is ready you will be able to ping it and telnet to it at 192.168.1.1 again.

Connecting to OpenWrt for the first time.

Connecting to OpenWrt for the first time.

Congratulations, OpenWrt Barrier Breaker is now installed.

If you have any questions or if you spotted any errors or omissions, please leave me a comment.

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9 comments
  1. Keith said:

    Hi, I’m trying to follow your procedure and get as far as logging in to dd-wrt but there is no indication of where the USB is mounted unlike your screenshot. I presume the second ‘green entry is the path – though I can’t read it!

    Have I missed something? Thanks . . .

    Like

    • Hi, to check where the stick is mounted, you need to run ‘mount’.

      Like

      • Keith said:

        Thanks for your response and sorry for the long delay – too many other commitments! I have made progress and now have Openwrt installed but I’m stuck on the next step downloading the Openwrt source files.

        Forgive my ignorance but by ‘terminal window’ I presume you mean using CMD – but that will not accept the ‘git’ command you published to download the files. What should I be using?

        Like

      • Hello Keith. Yes indeed, by ‘terminal window’ I mean cmd. Why are you trying to download the OpenWrt source files? Those instructions have to do with removing OpenWrt and restoring the original firmware provided by Buffalo. Are you trying to restore Buffalo’s original firmware?

        Like

      • Keith said:

        My apologies! I hadn’t noticed that you have kindly provided the decrypted firmware which I have now flashed to the modem but sadly, although the indicator lights appear normal I cannot gain access using 192.168.11.1 despite a number of 30/30/30 resets.

        Do you have any any ideas?

        Like

  2. Keith said:

    I didn’t get your last reply – yes, I’m trying to restore the original firmware.

    Like

    • Well, another user mentioned that they had to flash the original firmware twice in order to get it working, though I’m not quite sure how they did it. Here’s the comment: http://bit.ly/1VlpXUs. Maybe you can ask them?

      Like

  3. Keith said:

    Thanks, I’ll give it a try . . .

    Like

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