New Wiki Material
For initial flash see All Asus WL-500xx series routers
As this router has a N-type NIC it is recommended to use a new firmware that supports this, this means no v24SP1. The firmware should be newer, like v24-pre-SP2 versions (also called v24_TNG)
For those of you who plan to use JFFS2 on this model Asus, consider the following or you run the risk of BRICKING your WL500W:
Brainslayers mega flash size - 7.33MB
Eko's Big Flash size - 5.9MB
Now, the error only occurs when JFFS2 is enabled and the router reboots, so you are safe if you DONT enable JFFS2.
Total available JFFS2 size for BS's build is 640KB which overwhelms the kernel and causes a panic. Even using a storage device with the command mount -o bind /mnt/jffs /jffs will still cause a kernel panic.
Eko's JFFS2 partition size is 1640KB+, allowing much more room.
I tested this on BS's 12996,12874 and 12533 builds and partially bricked my router several times. (A simple power disconnect for 30 secs will allow it to recover)
Eko's build however works flawlessly AND provides the SAME features (except for connection warning) as BS's.
One thing I am still unsure of is why this particular model Asus router is subject to this bug, but in the mean time, I suggest using Eko's Big build until the dev's can work it out..
First of all, the WL500W is Extremely temperamental by nature. Once you have flashed a fresh firmware image, you should always wait 3-5 mins after flashing before making ANY config changes. This is because the CPU is still writing NVRAM variables. Watch the CPU usage, once it falls Below 50%, then start making the changes, and click APPLY settings after every config page. Trying to save everything on a huge firmware, and then executing it all at once can/will cause this router to throw a kernel panic and temporarily brick..
Unplugging it after making config changes is not wise either. Never unplug this router if there is ANY CPU load whatsoever. Configure it, exit out of the Web-inf, and wait for a good safe 5 mins before unplugging it.
See this for a HowTo make the most of your Asus WL-500W guide.
Old Wiki Material
See the links to associated forum posting next to summary.
- Not following installation instructions (use asus tool or be sure to use trx to clear nvram and recovery trx)
- Not doing 30-30-30
- Nvram variables, particularly ssh and vpn keys which cause cfe (bootloader) crash in some instances (albeit unknown) cause router to not boot (typical 'bricking'). Here and Here
- Bad Power Supply and/or Board Filter Capacitors Here
There are a couple of ways to de-brick depending on what the issue is.
- Nvram Issue
- Pin 9 trick
- Console cable setup, cntl-c while plugging router in, nvram erase at cfe console or nvram show, nvram unset variable that is crashing nvram show
- Power Capacitor Issue
- Replace power supply/wall wart
- Replace filter caps on board
Here is the old information including thread links that was very hard to parse and required reading a lot of loooong threads.
More info on getting the router to flash when there are a couple of ping responses that go away Here (probably caused by nvram variables)
And Here (This is Pock's thread and contains the best overall info regarding getting your router working again)
And this thread supplied a solution to which nvram variables cause the CFE to crash - added 07/30/09
And Here Another thread regarding crash of CFE pointing at many key sequences causing the crash at cfe nvram show - added 11/23/09
Bad capacitors in some units - added 08/23/09
Here is a pictorial and video on how to install a serial port into this router, which you will likely need to do if you don't follow these instructions.