Austin Adams

Unbricking a TP-Link Archer C7 v2 Router

August 22, 2016

I’m a pro at using things incorrectly, so of course I’d brick my Archer C7 v2 a few hours after I got it. Fortunately, however, I didn’t find flashing working firmware too difficult. Here’s a quick attempt at a guide:

  1. Give your machine an IP address of 192.168.0.66/24, stopping any existing network daemons (e.g., NetworkManager). With iproute2 on GNU/Linux:

    # systemctl stop NetworkManager
    # ip link set dev eth0 up
    # ip addr add 192.168.0.66/24 dev eth0
    
  2. Install a TFTP server. I used tftpd-hpa:

    # apt-get install tftpd-hpa
    # systemctl start tftpd-hpa
    
  3. Put your firmware image in the docroot as ArcherC7v2_tp_recovery.bin. Debian seems to use /srv/tftp/ by default, so I did something like:

    # cp ~/my/firmware/image /srv/tftp/ArcherC7v2_tp_recovery.bin
    
  4. Plug your computer into LAN port 1.

  5. Turn off the router with the power button.

  6. Press and hold the WPS/reset button.

  7. Turn the router back on again. When the WPS light lights up and stays lit, you can let off the WPS/reset button.

  8. Tada! With any luck, your router is de-bricked. To tidy up and re-connect:

    # ip addr del 192.168.0.66/24 dev eth0
    # ip link set dev eth0 down
    # systemctl start NetworkManager
    

I learned most of this from the OpenWRT wiki, which should have more information.