Update (6): Bringing OpenWRT (Barrier Breaker) to TL-WA801ND v2

The Dropbox folder contains binaries of the “Barrier Breaker” trunk as well. Note that the latest ones have an unlocked bootloader. This allows to install a new or modified bootloader into the device from a started OpenWRT. If you feel uncomfortable with this as it also imposes some security risks: don’t use these binaries. Use one of the firmware files with a locked bootloader.

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Unbricking a TP-Link TL-WA801ND v2

Experimenting with embedded devices is fun but things not always work as expected. Sometimes you just flash the wrong firmware. So did I. After having done so I furthermore realized that the bootloader in my TL-WA801ND v2.1 was the current one and therefore contains a bug (or maybe it was deliberately crippled?). The impact of this bug was that you’re not able to load something via TFTP from the bootloader. How to unbrick this device? Is it possible at all? To anticipate the answer: It is. But at intermediate level…

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Reverting a TP-Link TL-WA801ND from OpenWRT back to stock firmware

I think it might be of interest what I’ve answered in response to one of my commenters. So I decided to put in here as well:

Going back to stock firmware is not that complicated although it can’t be done from the web interface.
First you need to get a stock firmware from TP-Link. I suggest you don’t grab the latest one as it comes along with a new bootloader. The new bootloader is either having a bug or by design crippled but you will no more be able to use TFTP with that one. It’s broken. Take an older one, e.g. TL-WA801ND_V2_120524. Unzip and copy the firmware to the device:

scp -l root wa801nv2_en_3_13_20_up\(120524\).bin IP ADDRESS:/tmp/tplink.bin

Then you need to logon to it via ssh and flash the firmware:

cd /tmp
mtd -r write tplink.bin firmware

It will reboot and come back again running the stock firmware.

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Update (5): Bringing OpenWRT (Barrier Breaker) to TL-WA801ND v2

I created a Dropbox folder from where you can download version 12.09 for TL-WA801ND v2 access points. It also contains binaries of the “Barrier Breaker” trunk as well. Note that the later ones are under development and not considered stable. The trunk builds are more or less actual. If time permits I compile the latest version and update.

Feel free to leave a comment to let me know if the Dropbox works for you.

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Update (3): Bringing OpenWRT (Barrier Breaker) to TL-WA801ND v2

Version 12.09 of OpenWRT is running really well on my TL-WA801ND access points and in the meantime the OpenWRT project is working on the upcoming version named “Barrier Breaker”. I ported this version to the TL-WA801ND v2 as well and it is also running fine.

If anyone is interested in this I uploaded the required patches here and a precompiled firmware binary here. The precompiled binary provides the same feature set as the one for version 12.09 does. In case that you wish to compile it your own you need to retrieve commit c3e1e1cb2f09ebc8c35455f2ff77061f937dfb05 (r37917) from the OpenWRT git repository in order to get the patch applied without error. I.e. issue git reset --hard c3e1e1cb2f09ebc8c35455f2ff77061f937dfb05 after cloning the repository.

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