Unbrick TL-WR1043 after sysupgrade failureData: 2016-12-03, autor: Michał Misztal
I decided to make this in English because this is common mistake with upgrade to dd-wrt firmware and, well, it suppose to be help for everyone who like experimenting with theirs routers. After migrating from original TP-LINK rom to OpenWRT and then to Gargoyle (OpenWRT fork) I decided - it's time to test dd-wrt (another OpenWRT hybrid). What could possibly go wrong?
I applied dd-wrt rom from Gargoyle interface. Applying changes, rebooting and..., nothing. I lost my router. Howewer it worked like basic switch so I haven't lost internet connection. Well, while searching how to solve this problem i found this topic. Great, I thought. I menage to make cable specified in topic. I hadn't CA-42 but I have a laptop with RS232 port. I connected GND, Rx, Tx cables, established connection with PUTTY on COM port with speed 115200. All I had was some weird literals on exit. I thought I need some multiplexer or something. So for now this solution doesn't work for me - obviously - I hadn't right tools.
I thought next day I'm going to take router to work. Because we have some RS232 cables. But I thought it wont't be a waste of time if I'm gonna search some topics about my problem that night. I found some - one on the official OpenWRT site - it requires RS232 cable as well. Any others sites referring the same solutions. But then I found a youtube video when someone debricked his hardware using built-in TP-LINK features.
Idea is simple - TP-LINK (and other companies probably too) prepare a simple way of upgrading ROM's. Router comes with nothing - it's blank. Working only with basic functionality. Computer must have 192.168.0.66/24 address, gate and DNS servers should be left blank. Next thing - you should download original firmware file from TP-LINK site and rename it to router_model_and_rev_version_tp_recovery.bin. In my case wr1043v1_tp_recovery.bin. Next thing - you must make this file visible with TFTP server. Next thing you should connect router with PC with ethernet cable and plug DC power to router holding reset button. Router should automatically download TP-LINK firmware from your TFTP server, install it and reboot. After reboot it should be working. In my case it's worked.
After the moment when I realised that I bricked my 1043 I thought "why I even thought about it, if I'm going to repair it, it was the last time with firmware upgrade". But now after repair I'm not quite sure. Especially when rapair wasn't difficult. Well, dd-wrt must be tested.
PS. Finally I had done it - dd-wrt work like a charm. Next will be VYOS. Thanks for reading, apologize for mistakes.