I have just bought a Buffalo WHR-HP-54 router, and am interested in trying out the Tomato firmware for it. However, there is this warning in the Tomato readme file:
"WARNING: Be aware that Buffalo only has encrypted firmwares on their web site. You will not be able to revert the router's firmware back to Buffalo's without an unecrypted version of their firmware."
Unfortunately there seems to be no additional advice regarding what to do about this. I am concerned that if my attempt to install Tomato fails, or if I don't like it, I make end up unable to revert. Is there anywhere with some more information about how to restore original Buffalo firmware?
I believe you may find a link to one decrypted version of the Buffalo HP firmware somewhere on the DD-WRT site. It doesn't have to be the latest, just something that works well enough to flash the firmware again with the lastest version from the Buffalo site.
However, I wasn't able to locate anyone who had actually done this. In the end, I just left the stock firmware alone. The only thing it does that isn't so great is that it drops everything when it renews it's lease from Cox at the mid-point (12 hours). It either doesn't wait long enough to get a response from the DHS server, or it can't find the same one it used to get the lease originally, or something, but the log confirms that about half the time instead of a seamless renewal, it drops everything and negotiates a new lease. Of course everything online at the time is cut off, and has to recover. I don't know why it's so all-fired insistant to do the renewal - it could wait till the 3/4 point, or even later. But no.
Anyway, it's no huge deal. So, I just let it be. But if I ever need any of the more advanced functions, I would probably do DD-WRT. I don't know anything about Tomato.
How to recover from a bad flash on various Buffalo routers:
I've never had to go back to original firmware on a Buffalo router, so I've never tried any of the recommended procedures. However, I have read somewhere that the only reliable way to revert is to use the TFTP method, which takes a bit of skill and some timing practice. Frankly, I've never seen the need to switch back to the original firmware, although I've jumped between OpenWRT and DD-WRT many times, and bricked the router a few times. Incidentally, the way I've bricked various devices during the flash procedure is to start tinkering prematurely. When the screen says it's ready, it's usually too soon. When you upload a new flash image, just go away and do something else for perhaps 5 minutes to be sure it's really done.
for the installation instructions which include something on TFTP.
The above article recommends you search the DD-WRT Forums for "WHR-G54S bricked". There are enough debricking threads, you don't need to start your own.
The article also includes this suggestion: Once you flash to DD-WRT on the Buffalo WHR-G54S/WHR-HP-G54/WZR-RS-G54 and you, for whatever reason, want to flash back to the Buffalo firmware, look in the downloads section of dd-wrt.com in the "buffalo factory revert" folder for unencrypted firmware that will load from the DD-WRT gui. The WHR-HP-G54 image is the German version. Download the English version from Buffalo's site. Flash the German version and use that to flash the English version. The files mentioned are buried here:
Seems like most people are recommending DD-WRT rather than Tomato. I did briefly compare the two firmwares and it seemed to me that Tomato offers the features I need in a fairly friendly-looking package, while DD-WRT looks aimed more at the serious networking specialist.
Anyhow, I tried flashing with Tomato and TFTP kept saying "Timeout Occurred", so for now I'm still on the Buffalo firmware (and the router seems to be working well). I'll probably try DD-WRT next.