A decision tree to help with build selection

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The_Lexx
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 07 Jul 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:25    Post subject: A decision tree to help with build selection Reply with quote
I have found the peacock thread informative as far as the basic situation, How to flash a rom, and how to best get a router out of a bad situation. However, when It comes to determining what builds can be installed on a particular router, I find the information convoluted. It might be within the post, but it's hard to interpret.

I propose we create a decision-tree to determine if the DD-WRT build that someone wants to use is problematic or could brick there router. The following is an example of such a tree based on my incomplete understanding of the selection precess.

Code:

Q1: Is the main processor of your router Broadcom based?

  A1.1: No
  R1.1: STOP! This tree is only applicable to Broadcom based routers.

  A1.2: Yes
  R1.2: Proceed to question Q2


Q2: Is The amount of Flash memory (NOT RAM) grater than the size of
    the image you wish to flash?

  A2.1: No
  R2.1: STOP! flashing a image too large could possibly brick your router?
        Don't do it!!

  A2.2: Yes
  R2.2: Proceed to question Q3

Q3: Is the current firmware on your router supplied by Cisco or Linksys?

  A3.1: Yes
  R3.1: You must use a Mini-Build for initial flashing via TFTP or WEB

  A3.2: No
  R3.2: *I don't know what to do after this step*

That was my simple interpretation of what such a decision tree would look like. Obviously it needs some work, but I hope it is a start of something that will make the selection process easier.
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Murrkf
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 10891

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote
The information is convoluted.

You will need to deal with k24, k26, build dates, router support dates, trailed builds, e3000 pre 16xxx and post 16xxx, nv60, nv64, build issues/bugs....etc.,

It is not simple but this is:
Follow the wiki for initial flashing. Normally there is not need to do anything else.

_________________
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I'm trying to teach you to fish, not give you a fish. If you just want a fish, wait for a fisherman who hands them out. I'm more of a fishing instructor. So See this:
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The_Lexx
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 07 Jul 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 17:10    Post subject: Reply with quote
Murrkf wrote:
You will need to deal with k24, k26, build dates, router support dates, trailed builds, e3000 pre 16xxx and post 16xxx, nv60, nv64, build issues/bugs....etc.


Well, Maybe it will not be a complete decision tree, but more of a guide to aid in selection and avoid pitfalls. Especially those bad choices that will brick your router. My immediate concern seams to be solved in this post.

I'm going to use your fishing analogy from your sig as an example

Murrkf wrote:
I'm trying to teach you to fish, not give you a fish. If you just want a fish, wait for a fisherman who hands them out. I'm more of a fishing instructor.



As it turns out most new comers of this forum have only one router and they only want it to do one thing. In fishing terms it equates to, "I've got to catch a Red Snapper.". With all the fishing instructions together it can seam daunting to someone with only a little experience. If there is a section that deals with how to go flyfishing for trout it can seam time wasting to read through that section if you are only looking to get a Red Snapper. Worse yet, you are confused and you take a flyfishing rod out to the sea only to find out later that it does not work at all.

So the decision tree would start with, "Are you going after a saltwater fish or a fresh water fish?". For people unsure it could point to a post for how to tell the difference. This way if someone were going after Red Snapper they could avoid reading about trout all together. The tree may reach a point where your choices are wade fishing, kayak fishing, or charter boat fishing of which there is a lively debate on which is best. The tree could point to a post where the pro and cons are discussed.

Well that was my 2 cents from the point of view of a newcomer to DD-WRT.
New_To_Me
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 18:35    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great Idea from The_Lexx.

I have read the Peacock memo at least 4 times and still don't have a clue what download I need. I find downloads not to use and good info about how to install but you need a path that follows Lexx's decision table or an updated trusted Router table like the one we are told not to use.
ProfWho
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 23:15    Post subject: Reply with quote
The_Lexx wrote:
Murrkf wrote:
You will need to deal with k24, k26, build dates, router support dates, trailed builds, e3000 pre 16xxx and post 16xxx, nv60, nv64, build issues/bugs....etc.


Well, Maybe it will not be a complete decision tree, but more of a guide to aid in selection and avoid pitfalls. Especially those bad choices that will brick your router. My immediate concern seams to be solved in this post.

I'm going to use your fishing analogy from your sig as an example

Murrkf wrote:
I'm trying to teach you to fish, not give you a fish. If you just want a fish, wait for a fisherman who hands them out. I'm more of a fishing instructor.



As it turns out most new comers of this forum have only one router and they only want it to do one thing. In fishing terms it equates to, "I've got to catch a Red Snapper.". With all the fishing instructions together it can seam daunting to someone with only a little experience. If there is a section that deals with how to go flyfishing for trout it can seam time wasting to read through that section if you are only looking to get a Red Snapper. Worse yet, you are confused and you take a flyfishing rod out to the sea only to find out later that it does not work at all.

So the decision tree would start with, "Are you going after a saltwater fish or a fresh water fish?". For people unsure it could point to a post for how to tell the difference. This way if someone were going after Red Snapper they could avoid reading about trout all together. The tree may reach a point where your choices are wade fishing, kayak fishing, or charter boat fishing of which there is a lively debate on which is best. The tree could point to a post where the pro and cons are discussed.

Well that was my 2 cents from the point of view of a newcomer to DD-WRT.


That is a good point. Reading all that stuff at the top doesn't always get you to exactly what many are looking for.
Murrkf
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 10891

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 22:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
Murrkf wrote:
Follow the wiki for initial flashing. Normally there is not need to do anything else.

_________________
SIG:
I'm trying to teach you to fish, not give you a fish. If you just want a fish, wait for a fisherman who hands them out. I'm more of a fishing instructor. So See this:
http://i31.tinypic.com/24mz3ms.png

LOM: "If you show that you have not bothered to read the forum announcements or to follow the advices in them then the level of help available for you will drop substantially, also known as Murrkf's law.."
The_Lexx
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 07 Jul 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:33    Post subject: Reply with quote
Murrkf wrote:
Murrkf wrote:
Follow the wiki for initial flashing. Normally there is not need to do anything else.


In the decision tree, the first branch could be to "Follow the wiki for initial flashing.".

I did follow the wiki so my initial flash was DD-WRT v24-sp2 (10/10/09) mini - build 13064. Which according to Malachi was, "You have a build on your router that I have read is the worst one made.". I guess in the end, it worked out because from there I was able to flash DD-WRT v24-sp2 (08/12/10) std (SVN revision 14929). The brain slayer version.
Murrkf
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 10891

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 16:11    Post subject: Reply with quote
The_Lexx wrote:
Murrkf wrote:
Murrkf wrote:
Follow the wiki for initial flashing. Normally there is not need to do anything else.


In the decision tree, the first branch could be to "Follow the wiki for initial flashing.".

I did follow the wiki so my initial flash was DD-WRT v24-sp2 (10/10/09) mini - build 13064. Which according to Malachi was, "You have a build on your router that I have read is the worst one made.". I guess in the end, it worked out because from there I was able to flash DD-WRT v24-sp2 (08/12/10) std (SVN revision 14929). The brain slayer version.


Which router? I will fix the wiki.

_________________
SIG:
I'm trying to teach you to fish, not give you a fish. If you just want a fish, wait for a fisherman who hands them out. I'm more of a fishing instructor. So See this:
http://i31.tinypic.com/24mz3ms.png

LOM: "If you show that you have not bothered to read the forum announcements or to follow the advices in them then the level of help available for you will drop substantially, also known as Murrkf's law.."
backroger
DD-WRT User


Joined: 07 Sep 2007
Posts: 56
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:30    Post subject: Reply with quote
Murrkf wrote:
Which router? I will fix the wiki.


He said on another topic that his router is WRT54GS 3.0.

So probably this...

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_WRT54GS_v3.0
The_Lexx
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 07 Jul 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 17:44    Post subject: Reply with quote
Humm, It seams like this post is veering from the original intent. I did not intend for this post to be a discussion of my problems, I made a different post for that. I think I have found the DD-WRT image that I will stick with for a while.

On the contrary, this post was to express my Idea to make sticky called "How to choose an DD-WRT image" or something like that, so that it could help all newcomers not just myself. For example this post WRT54GL v1.1- I'm still confused. If he were to read the sticky "How to choose an DD-WRT image", and it really was his initial flash, he would see right at the start he needed to follow the wiki for initial flashing. The bewildering part comes when trying to choose an image for post-initial flashing.

Sticky that does not exits yet wrote:
Q1:Is this your initial flash? An initial flash meaning that your router still has the factory supplied firmwares and you have NOT installed DD-WRT or any other third party firmware.

A1.1: Yes

R1.1: For your initial flash there are a limited number of images that you can choose from. To do the initial flash you will need to find your specific router from the wiki and follow the instructions precisely. click here

A1.2: No

R1.2: proceed to next question


Q2: Is the main processor of your router Broadcom based?

A2.1: No
R2.1: STOP! This sticky only deals with Broadcom based routers.

A2.2: Yes
R2.2: Proceed to next question


After that initial step is taken then the sticky can deal with k24, k26, build dates, trailed builds, e3000 pre 16xxx and post 16xxx and other things like that. I would suspect that depending of which router you have certain options are taken off the table rather quickly and do not need any consideration.
deviouswun
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 03 Aug 2012
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:10    Post subject: Reply with quote
Not much more to add to the conversation other than, great idea from "The_Lexx".
Very Happy

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2x WNDR3400v1 using dd-wrt.v24-18946_NEWD-2_K2.6_big-nv64.bin

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The_Lexx
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 07 Jul 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 0:30    Post subject: Reply with quote
deviouswun wrote:
Not much more to add to the conversation other than, great idea from "The_Lexx".
Very Happy


Well that encouraged me to try again.


DISCLAIMER!!!! This is not a working decision tree. There is much I do not know about the selection process. It is only here for me to create a skeleton of how I think such a tree will work. DD-WRT experts will need to flesh-out the skeleton before it is useful to the beginning DD-WRT user.

This is my third attempt at creating a decision tree based on the information found in the peacock thread mostly sections 3 and 4, which I have read over and over with only a limited understanding.

Sticky that does not exits yet wrote:

Note1: This sticky is not a substitute for reading the peacock thread. The peacock thread tells you how to flash the rom. This tree a merely a way aid the user in choosing a build to flash to his/her router. This tree will help the user avoid those build/router combinations that are highly problematic and could easily brick the router. In addition this tree suggest more stable choice over more adventurous one.

Note2: One of the major choices allowed to the user is build type. Possible choices of build types are Micro, Micro Plus, Mini, Mini USB, USB Generic, STD, VOIP, OpenVPN, Big, Mega plus a few others. The exact feature list of a build type varies from build to build. As you go through the decision tree, you will see that some build choices are not available for all routers.

Note3: Each line of the decision tree starts with Q-Question, H-Help, A-Answer, R-Result, W-Warning. Question is the question the tree is asking the user. Help is to help the user if he/he does not know how to find the answer. Answer is one or more possible answers to the question, if two or more answers lead to the same result then those answers are separated by a comma. Result is what the result of answering the question means and where to go next in the tree. Warning is a broad category of warnings that all users that pass a particular point in the decision tree must be aware of. Failure to heed the warning could result in bad things happening.

First step: Locate your router on the Supported_Devices page of the wiki. Information on the Supported_Devices page will help you answer many questions posed in the decision tree.


Q1: Is this your initial flash?

H1: An initial flash means that your router still has the factory supplied firmwares and you have NOT installed DD-WRT or any other third party firmware.

A1.1: No
R1.1: You are not required to use a trailed build, but you can use one if you like. Proceed to next question.

A1.2: Yes
R1.2: For your initial flash there are a limited number of builds called trailed builds too choose from. To do the initial flash you will need to find your specific router from the wiki and follow the instructions precisely. click here. STOP! This sticky has no farther info regarding initial flashing.


Q2: Is the main processor of your router Broadcom based?

H2: Look under the "Platform & Frequency" column of the Supported_Devices table.

A2.1: No
R2.1: STOP! This sticky only deals with Broadcom based routers.

A2.2: Yes
R2.2: Proceed to W3


W3: Warning- You must always make sure the size of the build does not exceed the maximum allowable size. Failure to do so could brick your router. The next few questions will help you decide the max build size.


Q4: Do you have a 2MB, 4MB or 8MB of flash memory.

H4: Look under the Flash column on the Supported_Devices page.

A4.1: 2MB
R4.1: proceed to Q5

A4.2: 4MB
R4.2: proceed to Q6

A4.3: 8MB
R4.2: Your maximum allowable build size is 7995392 bytes. proceed to Q7


Q5: Do you have a normal cfe (256k) or a compressed cfe (128k)?

H5: Heck if I know how to help you here.

A5.1: normal
R5.1: Your maximum allowable build size is 1769472 bytes. proceed to W7

A5.2: compressed
R5.2: Your maximum allowable build size is 1900544 bytes. proceed to W7


Q6: If your Router a Netgear Router

A6.1: Yes.
R6.1: Your maximum allowable build size is 3735552 bytes. proceed to W7

A6.2: No.
R6.3: Your maximum allowable build size is 3801088 bytes. proceed to W7


W7: Warning- You must never use a build older that the minimum required build for your router. The next few questions will help determine that.


Q8: Reading from the supported_Devices look under column "min required DD-WRT version" There something like ("K26 build" followed buy a number or range of numbers) or ("K24 build" followed buy a number or range of numbers).

A8.1: Yes.
R8.1: Do not choose a build with a number less than that number Proceed to Q10

A8.2: No.
R8.2: Proceed to Next Question

Q9: This is really confusing because there are so many different things in this column.

H: I have no help here

A12.1: Mine says "Micro only"
R12.1: I use a version "08-12-10-r14929" and it hasn't crashed yet

Q10: Did your initial flash use a build that started with "dd-wrt.v24_" or "dd-wrt.v26_"

H10: You can read the wiki if you forgot. For a full discussion of v24 vs v26 see LINK.

A10.1: dd-wrt.v24_
R10.1: You can only use builds that start with "dd-wrt.v24_". You must not use a build that has nv60k or nv64k in the name. Click HERE for a list of features based on build type. Proceed to Q12.

A10.2: dd-wrt.v26_
R10.1: You can only use builds that start with "dd-wrt.v26_". Click HERE for a list of features based on build type. Proceed to next Question.


Q11: Choosing nv60 or nv64 or nither.
H11: I have no Idea how to deal with this one

R11.1 You must always choose a build with nv60 in it's name. proceed to next question.

R11.2 You must always choose a build with nv64 in it's name. proceed to next question.

R11.3: You must not use a build that has nv60k or nv64k in the name. Proceed to next question.


Q12: Did your router support Wifi-N?

A12.1: Yes.
R12.1: You can not use a mini build. Proceed to next question


A12.1: No.
R12.1: You can use a mini build, unless some other step tells you that you can not use one


Q13: Now you just have to deal with pre 16xxx and post 16xxx, VINT and NEWD-2 builds.

H13: Holy crap that's a lot for one question



Edit: fixed R8.1


Last edited by The_Lexx on Sat Jul 20, 2013 16:11; edited 1 time in total
apersononearth
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 06 May 2012
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:52    Post subject: Reply with quote
I just wanted to chime in to say that I think this could be a great help. I think the BEST solution would be to have the router database controlled by the gurus but it has been mentioned over and over that this will most likely never happen.

I know that this would take a LOT of time and dedication but I think it would eliminate a lot of questions and save a lot of time in the long run for not only beginners, but repeat users on different hardware. I think there are enough supporters to even pay for a host for a separate web page providing it doesn't violate anyone's TOS. As a matter of fact, I know enough language to write the code. It would be rather simple with the provided information.

Also, I would like to speak on the relative subject that we fellow "nerds" understand how annoying it can be for someone to ask such a simple question that 5 other people have asked already, and how sometimes it may seem as though it's only fair that an individual come across his/her knowledge the same way you did.....by spending time looking for it, BUT... this could very seriously and honestly cut out most questions/posts about builds and also draw new users who were previously turned off by the commitment required. Then the forum could focus on other issues, like say... modifying hardware for better performance and most likely take a lot of the frustration out of moderating.

Just a few thoughts.

-Greg
Murrkf
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 10891

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 22:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
Another issue is that there has never been a perfect build. All have bugs. Build choices depend on what a person is going to use it for/which bugs they can live with. VPN or No? Do you need loopback? Repeater? All have different optimal build choices.

Hence the enormity of the task.....

_________________
SIG:
I'm trying to teach you to fish, not give you a fish. If you just want a fish, wait for a fisherman who hands them out. I'm more of a fishing instructor. So See this:
http://i31.tinypic.com/24mz3ms.png

LOM: "If you show that you have not bothered to read the forum announcements or to follow the advices in them then the level of help available for you will drop substantially, also known as Murrkf's law.."
apersononearth
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 06 May 2012
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 0:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
Any chance of constructing a router database of our own? Even a castle is built one brick at a time.
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