03 Jan 2006

dlink dsl-300t firmware woes (and solution)

we've been having various performance issues with this dlink DSL-300T ADSL modem. the solution i'm currently trying out is using some semi-official (russian) firmware just to make it not slow down when we use bittorrent at home.

 Archivos 2333-683-Imagen Dsl-300T
we bought this ADSL modem back in september 2005 because this was the only modem that was reasonably priced and has ADSL in, and ethernet out. it basically bridges between the two so we run a linksys WRT54G.

apart from the trademark ugly and broken web interface that comes with most dlink products, the box has been working fine. until i started using bittorrent, once in a while, depending on what client and how it is configured, it would grind to a halt and we'd have to power cycle the damn thing to get anything more than a trickle of data out of this modem.

for a while, i've been thinking of upgrading the firmware, but unfortunately, the latest firmware on the uk dlink site is from june 2004. this wasn't a big problem really since we're not a huge p2p user, but ever since bittorrent 4.2 with their fancy trackerless support, it's been getting very bad, nearly 2 power cycles every day. so finally, i ventured out and downloaded some firmware version (V2.00B01T01.EU.20050606) from the russian dlink ftp site and installed those instead.

comments on the forums seem to support my observation that p2p software kills the modem with the old UK firmware and seems to be solved with the new unofficial russian firmware. as a bonus, it also upgrades the modem to an ADSL2+ compatible modem.

so if you have the same modem and have problems with it freezing, crashing or just slowing down after running peer to peer software like skype, kazaa or bittorrent, then you should consider flashing it.

the final annoyance is that you NEED to have a windows machine to flash it. in fact, you need to turn on "corrupted image mode" with the firmware updater, which basically just starts an embedded TFTP server that the modem would use to download the firmware. as opposed to a regular upgrade where you do it through the web interface. it took me two tries for this to stick. and if you do have problems, remember to set an ip address on your windows machine before continuing because the poor modem needs to get an ip address from somewhere!

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