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Old 01-08-2013, 04:15 PM
edsyl edsyl is offline
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Default CFE questions

Merlin:
I am not a CFE expert, nor do I want to be...lol

I have been doing my reading about the ASUS implementation still being a 32K NVRAM version, but with a virtual 64K support?

This puzzles me and I was wondering if you could clear this point up and whether or not I need to be concerned about this?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a 32K vs 64K CFE implementation?
Does the ASUS implementation suffer at all for it still being 32K for the 66U?

Thanks in advance for all the efforts,
Regards
Ed
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:19 PM
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Dig in, lol: http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showthread.php?t=8259
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:49 PM
edsyl edsyl is offline
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Think of it as the BIOS of a router. It's the first piece of code that gets run at power on time, it initializes basic hardware, allows recovery and such, before transferring control to the Linux kernel, which in turns will boot the actual firmware.


OK but what does a 64K version DO for me as a user of this router?
And does Merlin's version need it or would it even matter?
Regards
Ed
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:53 PM
Pierino Pierino is offline
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If you are sticking with asus fw or Merlin's then you don't need to do anything. As long as you are running a version newer than .220(not positive) you for all intents and purposes have 64k nvram.

I converted mine because I like dd-wrt, which I run on my linksys e3000, I tried it with the rt-n66u but found Merlin's better.
Although I have not tried the very latest dd-wrt on it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsyl View Post
Think of it as the BIOS of a router. It's the first piece of code that gets run at power on time, it initializes basic hardware, allows recovery and such, before transferring control to the Linux kernel, which in turns will boot the actual firmware.


OK but what does a 64K version DO for me as a user of this router?
And does Merlin's version need it or would it even matter?
Regards
Ed
Basically, Asuswrt, Asuswrt-Merlin and Tomato (those that included the code for this) will manually address the whole 64 KB of NVRAM, while other firmwares like DD-WRT will only access what is initialized by the CFE. The firmware-based fix isn't virtualized, it's just manually extending to the full 64 KB.

In Asuswrt-Merlin's case, the only reason why you might want the upgraded CFE would be if you needed the CFE to be able to use some modified settings. For example, if you were overclocking your router. But for 99% of users, there is no point in upgrading the CFE if using Asuswrt/Asuswrt-Merlin/Tomato.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMerlin View Post
Basically, Asuswrt, Asuswrt-Merlin and Tomato (those that included the code for this) will manually address the whole 64 KB of NVRAM, while other firmwares like DD-WRT will only access what is initialized by the CFE. The firmware-based fix isn't virtualized, it's just manually extending to the full 64 KB.

In Asuswrt-Merlin's case, the only reason why you might want the upgraded CFE would be if you needed the CFE to be able to use some modified settings. For example, if you were overclocking your router. But for 99% of users, there is no point in upgrading the CFE if using Asuswrt/Asuswrt-Merlin/Tomato.
What he said.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:19 PM
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The CFE thing is not necessary at this time. But I personally wanted to make sure it would not ever present itself as a problem so I updated it.

If you read the CFE Bootloader thread in the regular 66U forum you'll see time and time again folks saying, "Hey, that wasn't too hard..."

And it isn't. The steps are spelled out quite clearly and are step by step.

Is it critically valuable to do? No, it isn't.

Is it nice to know its done and I'm moving on and don't have to take note of the cfe bootloader 64K bug? Yes, it is.

Your call of course.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmiddleton4 View Post
The CFE thing is not necessary at this time. But I personally wanted to make sure it would not ever present itself as a problem so I updated it.

If you read the CFE Bootloader thread in the regular 66U forum you'll see time and time again folks saying, "Hey, that wasn't too hard..."

And it isn't. The steps are spelled out quite clearly and are step by step.

Is it critically valuable to do? No, it isn't.

Is it nice to know its done and I'm moving on and don't have to take note of the cfe bootloader 64K bug? Yes, it is.

Your call of course.
No it isn't difficult, but if you make a mistake, or the router software doesn't work exactly as expected (unlikely, but it happens), the stakes are high. So I think that the risk factor is what is being emphasized in those postings, that if you don't understand exactly what needs to be done and make a simple mistake, or are just unlucky, you're really hosed.

Last edited by RogerSC; 01-08-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:24 PM
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Thanks to all for replying. Very helpful.

It is still not clear to me just WHAT having the CFE 64K 'enabled' (not even sure that is the appropriate adjective) does for me. That is the missing piece.
So essentially it comes down to feature sets of ASUS, Merlin, and DD-WRT?
If I want dd-wrt then I will need to use the 64K CFE updated to be able to install the build that need it?

Regards
Ed
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsyl View Post
Thanks to all for replying. Very helpful.
If I want dd-wrt then I will need to use the 64K CFE updated to be able to install the build that need it?

Regards
Ed
The issue with dd-wrt is if you update the CFE to 64K you can not use regular builds of dd-wrt or you will brick your router.

You can only use the 64K builds if you have updated.

If you have not updated then you can not use the 64K dd-wrt builds or, once again, you will brick the router.

This is not an issue on stock or Merlins.
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