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Light At The End Of The Tunnel

systems administration meanderings

Recovering my Billion 7404VGPX

I’ve always liked Billion ADSL routers, this was my third or fourth over the years. One is still being used by my in-laws. This one I used for a while and then tried to upgrade the firmware. Unfortunately, it failed during the update and this stopped it working properly.

I bought a Belkin and to say I’m disappointed is an understatement. It’s ok as a ADSL modem, but as a router it’s limited. I can’t add a static route for instance.

So I revisited the Billion I always promised I would recover. Fortunately, Billion have done a couple of things well. One is they provide a recovery image, and secondly provide a serial to ethernet adapter. The serial output is on port 4 of the router.

I based my process on the instructions in this thread. I downloaded the recovery image. Moved it to my server, in /tftpboot as 7404.cer.  Told dnsmasq to set the dhcp-boot file to 7404.cer.

Connected up my MacBook Air to the serial port via USB-to-serial. Opened up iTerm and used screen to connect to the USB port. Sent the * to the modem, and it retrieved the recovery image, rebooted and then installed the factory reset image.  Brilliant! I updated the firmware with the latest. All done.