Unbrick a Netgear WNDR3300

I borrowed a brand new Netgear WNDR3300 from a colleague the other day. I quickly powered it up and accessed the internal configuration web page only to be met by the automatic update function which I hadn’t seen in previous Netgear wireless routers. Before I knew it I had mistakenly aborted the update and the router was more or less dead. The power LED just kept blinking, the router replied to ping but the configuration web page was nowhere to be seen.

I managed to solve the issue by downloading the firmware file from the Netgear site. It is a 3MB file with a .chk file extension.

I then uploaded the firmware using TFTP. The following step-by-step guide is from my Mac but should work on Linux. Start by connecting the wireless router to the computer but don’t power it up. Then open a terminal and type:

tftp 192.168.1.1
binary
rexmt 1
timeout 60
trace
put WNDR3300_V1.0.29_1.0.29NA.chk

Directly after the last line you should then power up the WNDR3300 and wait. Hopefully it will pick up the firmware file from the TFTP client. Once the file has been transferred it will take a few minutes while the router flashes its memory with the new firmware. This is normal. Just wait and hopefully you will have your wireless router back.