Support for TP-Link Archer C8 and Huawei E5786

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fabiansc
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 15:56    Post subject: Really appreciate your help Reply with quote
Hi guys,

I would really appreciate your help.
Until this morning I had the original TP-Link C8 V1 latest firmware (160517) which has been giving me a hard time, especially since the Wireless connection disconnected every few minutes. So I decided to try DD-WRT. I tried flashing the latest Archer C8 V1 that appears on the website (dated to 2016) and tht bricked my router. I've been having a reset loop since.
I tried following the guide, but this brought two questions:

1. Were you able to make TFTP work on Windows 10? How? With which software? I tried using a V3 recent TP-Link image, but I didn't even get any progress dialog.
2. What file did you use? Right now I don't care to go back to the default one, or to use DD-WRT, I just want a working router.

I'll appreciate your help with these two questions!
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fuxxi
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 16:11    Post subject: Reply with quote
There is no way to revert from DD-WRT to TP-Link Firmware.

There is only one person all over the web who said that its possible, but he wasnt able to proof (I pm'd him) and there is no confirmation at all from other persons, that its possible to convert back on Archer C8 v1 from DD-WRT to TP-Link.

"Were you able to make TFTP work on Windows 10? How? With which software?"

TFTP is working perfectly under Win10 using TFTPD32.


"What file did you use?"

I tried all available firmware files from TP-Link.
dudumaroja
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 17 Oct 2019
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:12    Post subject: Reply with quote
I whould try if someone could make a stripped firmware, with I really doesn't know how to do.

I have a spare router so I'm willing to test .


That's is what I think is missing for this to work.
bwstrauss
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 12 Oct 2019
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 16:03    Post subject: Support for TP-Link Archer C8 and Huawei E5786 Reply with quote
Try this page to unbrick:
https://crosp.net/blog/hardware/unbrick-tp-link-wifi-router-wr841nd-with-tftp-wireshark/
ptuMb
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 May 2020
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 20:21    Post subject: Reply with quote
EDIT: If you just stumbled across this topic and you didn't read all the comments here then PLEASE DO READ all the follow up posts as this method probably will not work for you!

I have successfully reverted Archer C8 v1 stock firmware too.
Originally my router had the following firmware: 4.0.0 Build 20160517 Rel. 44603

I flashed the factory-to-ddwrt.bin
https://download1.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads/betas/2016/12-15-2016-r30949/tplink_archer-c8v1/factory-to-ddwrt.bin

After that I was unable to figure out how to set up vlan tagging on DD-WRT and I needed the stock firmware back.

Following the unbrick guide lead me to the same IP and filename that aorus wrote in his comment.
https://crosp.net/blog/hardware/unbrick-tp-link-wifi-router-wr841nd-with-tftp-wireshark/

I have then downloaded the same firmware I had on my router before
Archer C8(UN)_V1_160517
https://www.tp-link.com/uk/support/download/archer-c8/v1/#Firmware

Changed my PC IP address to 192.168.0.66 and renamed the firmware to ArcherC8v1_tp_recovery.bin and started TFTP server.

Powered off the router then waited a good 10 seconds and while holding the reset button pressed I powered it on.

After uploading it to the router it took a while to reboot but then I was able to load the TP-Link admin page and configure it.

I'll make a video how I did it if I have free time.


Last edited by ptuMb on Sun May 31, 2020 20:28; edited 2 times in total
jwh7
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 25 Oct 2013
Posts: 2576
Location: Indy

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 16:32    Post subject: Reply with quote
ptuMb wrote:
Changed my PC IP address to 192.168.0.66 and renamed the firmware to ArcherC8v1_tp_recovery.bin and started TFTP server.

Powered off the router then waited a good 10 seconds and while holding the reset button pressed I powered it on.

After uploading it to the router it took a while to reboot but then I was able to load the TP-Link admin page and configure it.
Thanks for the report! I've added a link to your post from the wiki. Smile

What exactly is the VLAN tagging issue you're having? You need broadcom builds after r35165 to use tags over 15.

Complicated setups (and some router/switch configs) can't use the GUI setup anyway. Take a look here, and if you still can't get it working on 43217 (after doing a telnet `nvram erase && reboot` followed by manual setup), then post it in either the broadcom or advanced networking forum (but not both). Cool

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jmfolcik
DD-WRT User


Joined: 06 Nov 2010
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 2:07    Post subject: Reply with quote
So I was super excited to see this recent update, as I have a C8 V1 as well that I wanted to revert back, since the wifi is so flaky without stock firmware.

I had done the tftp method a dozen times on wr841 models, so I just tried and you are right it will download off tftp like you'd expect with the reset button on powerup trick. I was unable to have it actually flash any of the firmware versions from tplinks site. I even tried the one you listed that worked for you (mine is US)

What happens with mine is it downloads the whole file over tftp, then just a couple seconds later the router reboots again - right back into dd-wrt. I then upgraded dd-wrt to the very latest version to try again and it was the same. I dont think it has to do with the version your running since this is a rescue boot operation. For some reason though it just wouldn't take for me with the 192.168.0.66/tftp method. I probably tried it 6 or 8 times with different download versions and trying multiple times each. I wonder if there is some check it is performing on the file, then refusing the file or something - it does download the whole thing, because the tftp server shows the transfer progress.

jwh7 wrote:
ptuMb wrote:
Changed my PC IP address to 192.168.0.66 and renamed the firmware to ArcherC8v1_tp_recovery.bin and started TFTP server.

Powered off the router then waited a good 10 seconds and while holding the reset button pressed I powered it on.

After uploading it to the router it took a while to reboot but then I was able to load the TP-Link admin page and configure it.
Thanks for the report! I've added a link to your post from the wiki. Smile

What exactly is the VLAN tagging issue you're having? You need broadcom builds after r35165 to use tags over 15.

Complicated setups (and some router/switch configs) can't use the GUI setup anyway. Take a look here, and if you still can't get it working on 43217 (after doing a telnet `nvram erase && reboot` followed by manual setup), then post it in either the broadcom or advanced networking forum (but not both). Cool
kernel-panic69
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 7197
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 2:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
tftpd32 v4.52 32-bit standard edition server/client software with "Use Anticipation Window of 1024 bytes"
under settings for TFTP checked might help.

^^^- not sure if this is how you did your TFTPD32 recovery, but.

I would venture to say if the TFTP method is not working, the only thing that may work is either CLI or serial recovery
on the V1, most likely the latter, but that is speculation. I don't have one in my hands to investigate, unfortunately. The only way you are going to know what is not working is having serial adapter attached and serial console up, though.

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jmfolcik
DD-WRT User


Joined: 06 Nov 2010
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 3:32    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just tried that setting - it appeared to slow down the transfer a bit, still rebooted 5 or so seconds after it completed straight into dd-wrt.
kernel-panic69 wrote:
Quote:
tftpd32 v4.52 32-bit standard edition server/client software with "Use Anticipation Window of 1024 bytes"
under settings for TFTP checked might help.

^^^- not sure if this is how you did your TFTPD32 recovery, but.

I would venture to say if the TFTP method is not working, the only thing that may work is either CLI or serial recovery
on the V1, most likely the latter, but that is speculation. I don't have one in my hands to investigate, unfortunately. The only way you are going to know what is not working is having serial adapter attached and serial console up, though.
kernel-panic69
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Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 7197
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 3:59    Post subject: Reply with quote
Then I guess you're only option is to set up serial and see what is happening.
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Last edited by kernel-panic69 on Sun Jun 28, 2020 20:54; edited 1 time in total
ptuMb
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 May 2020
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 19:05    Post subject: wow ok this is not working now Reply with quote
Hi,
I have additional info regarding reverting the stock firmware on the Archec C8.
First time I have flashed the firmware as described in my post it went as it should.

Now the dd-wrt firmware (r30949) was on my router for less than an hour in total.
I have rebooted it several times but I did NOT update the firmware.

This may make some difference in terms of ability to restore stock firmware.
But even if you have this firmware something is still not totally right.
Let me explain..

So when I did the 'impossible' it worked for me just as I described in my post.

Today I had some free time to make a video how I did it so I started the same procedure again but I was unable to get DD-WRT flashed and working this time.

Just like before I flashed the factory-to-ddwrt.bin (r30949) through stock webGUI and after the router rebooted it went into an infinitely repeating reboot cycle. I would call this state "bricked".

No matter what I did it just kept rebooting.
I then restored the stock firmware again throug tftp and that fixed the router.
I was welcomed by the stock webGui.

Downloaded the dd-wrt firmware again (r30949) and repeated the upgrade through stock webGUI with the same rebooting loop afterwards (so bricked again).

I fixed it again with stock fw through TFTP.
Then I tried to flash the dd-wrt firmware through TFTP method and it worked... BUT wait Smile

Router rebooted and dd-wrt welcomed me everything seemed to be working as it should.

Then to make the video tutorial I have then flashed stock fw through TFTP methond and
..
...
....

WOW now I have the same thing what everyone else said on the topic.
Stock fw TFTP upload completes and after reboot DD-WRT welcomes again.

So now I'm stuck with DD-WRT like you guys.
ptuMb
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 May 2020
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 21:33    Post subject: Reply with quote
All right.. so to begin with I'm not an expert here.
In fact I consider myself a noob.
Now this has been cleared lets talk about serial debugging.

I have soldered a header on the router and set up a serial connection.

Set the PC to do the tftpd firmware recovery,
and with reset button depressed powered on the router.

The firmware download completes but the router rejects it.
I attached the full log but here is the part for the recovery attempt:

Code:
Reading 192.168.0.66:ArcherC8v1_tp_recovery.bin: Done. 15455002 bytes read
Reading Partition Table from NVRAM ... OK

Parsing Partition Table ... OK

file_len:15455002
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00583 @ unknown id(M›ÞEh(), skip it.
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_proinfo_buildStruct():00496 @ should be 2 args (1).
[Error]sysmgr_cfg_checkSupportList():00867 @ ArcherC8 NOT Match.

Firmwave not supports, check failed.

[NM_Error](nm_checkUpdateContent) 00743: the firmware is not for this model

[NM_Error](nm_buildUpgradeStruct) 00834: checkUpdateContent failed.


If I hold down ctrl+c on my keybord while turning on the router I have a CFE command prompt. I would need some help here how to backup current state to file and how to flash stock.
I have no idea what addresses to use and what firmware.

There was a guy who have flashed the stripped C9 files to a C8 and he got the webGUI working but from there he had trouble restoring to C8 again. I'm not sure if he could actually use the router with the C9 fw though.
https://community.tp-link.com/en/home/forum/topic/92532



archer_C8_startup_cancelled.txt
 Description:

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 Filename:  archer_C8_startup_cancelled.txt
 Filesize:  6.5 KB
 Downloaded:  41 Time(s)


archer_C8_firmware_recovery_ddwrt_failed.txt
 Description:

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 Filename:  archer_C8_firmware_recovery_ddwrt_failed.txt
 Filesize:  29.55 KB
 Downloaded:  34 Time(s)

kernel-panic69
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 7197
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 21:39    Post subject: Reply with quote
It seems as if there is other information in the stock file that needs to be hexedited, perhaps. Read through the serial recovery wiki and use it as a guide:

https://wiki.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Serial_Recovery

I think what you have to keep in mind is if there is one or two "linux" partitions, perhaps, and whether or not you need to use -ctheader or -noheader and what the exact flash device(s) name(s) is/are.

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ptuMb
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 May 2020
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 21:24    Post subject: Reply with quote
So I did a few things and got some kinda good results but now I have bricked it for good. Very HappyVery HappyVery Happy

I have followed the link for the serial recovery wiki. Most of the command did not work from the wiki.
Here are all the commands that was available to use:
Code:

CFE> help
Available commands:

show clocks         Show current values of the clocks.
nvram               NVRAM utility.
reboot              Reboot.
md                  Dump content on memory in hex format.
fdump               Dump content on flash device in hex format.
flash               Update a flash memory device
batch               Load a batch file into memory and execute it
go                  Verify and boot OS image.
boot                Load an executable file into memory and execute it
load                Load an executable file into memory without executing it
save                Save a region of memory to a remote file via TFTP
ping                Ping a remote IP host.
arp                 Display or modify the ARP Table
ifconfig            Configure the Ethernet interface
help                Obtain help for CFE commands

For more information about a command, enter 'help command-name'
*** command status = 0

CFE> show devices
Invalid command: "devices"
Available "show" commands: clocks



After I could not use any of the commands from the wiki I have decided to flash the stripped Archer C9 firmware.
One guy did it before and on tp-link forum he asked help to get it reverted from C9 back to C8 but without luck as no one helped him.
So I have decided to do it myself cowboy style.
Through CFE I've flashed the 2 files and when rebooted I had the C9 stock webGUI.
Downloaded the latest C9 firmware from tp-link and updated it.
Booted up with no errors. I kept looking at the serial terminal when booting and everything seemed ok.

Not tested the C9 firmware for long but I had ethernet wifi 2.4g and 5g.

Kept looking to revert it back to C8.

I tried tftp recovery to upload C8 but through the serial terminal I've seen the router refused it saying it is a Archer C8 firmware and not compatible.

I've used a hex editor to edit the stock fw bin file. searched for "Archer C8" and replaced it with "Archer C9".

Saved and tried again tftp recovery no success.

As I understand from what I see from serial terminal when I hold the reset button at boot it must be running a script for firmware recovery. It uses the same flash command I believe but with the -fr option.

Code:
     flash [options] filename [flashdevice]
     
     Copies data from a source file name or device to a flash memory device.
     The source device can be a disk file (FAT filesystem), a remote file
     (TFTP) or a flash device.  The destination device may be a flash or eeprom.
     If the destination device is your boot flash (usually flash0), the flash
     command will restart the firmware after the flash update is complete

     -noerase     Don't erase flash before writing
     -offset=*    Begin programming at this offset in the flash device
     -size=*      Size of source device when programming from flash to flash
     -noheader    Override header verification, flash binary without checking
     -fr          TP-LINK FirmwareRecovery Function
     -mem         Use memory as source instead of a device


The -noheader at the other hand would override verification. So I went back to CFE and played around with flash. Bad luck I must have screwed up the target because now I have no access to CFE anymore.

I did a backup of the CFE while it was working but unfortunately I can't find any jtag connections on the board so I cannot flash it back.

I have now ordered an EEPROM/Flash programmer and I just need a full bump of someones flash memory Very HappyVery HappyVery Happy
Otherwise I will have to invest in another identical unit and save it off from there.
If anyone has a full dump... please Smile
ptuMb
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 21 May 2020
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 21:48    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here is the serial log file when the C9 firmware was on the device.


C9.txt
 Description:

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 Filename:  C9.txt
 Filesize:  16.06 KB
 Downloaded:  66 Time(s)

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