update TP-Link TL-WR1043ND to DD-WRT

HOWTO : DD-WRT on TP-Link TL-WR1043ND

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND comes with 1 Gigabit WAN and 4 Gigabit LAN as well as 1 USB port. The USB port is for storage purpose. It is a 300Mbps N Wireless router.

This router can flash to DD-WRT to enhance its features. One interested thing is that it can support 3.5G USB modem after flashing to DD-WRT. As far as I know, it supports Hauwei 3.5G modem only. After flashed to DD-WRT, your router can act as a VPN server. It also supports WDS.

Step 1 :

Download the DD-WRT for this router. Beware, other version of DD-WRT does not work on this router; otherwise, your router will be bricked.

The current version of DD-WRT at the time of this writing for this router is V24 preSPs2 r14144.

If you are the first time to flash the router (not upgrading), download the file "factory-to-ddwrt.bin". If you are upgrading the DD-WRT of this router, download the file "tl-wr1043nd-webflash.bin" instead.

Step 2 :

Connect the router and computer via the LAN port. Point your browser to http://192.168.1.1. Enter "admin" for username and password.

Step 3 :

Flash the DD-WRT firmware from the official webpage as usual. DO NOT UNPLUG THE CABLE AND SWITCH OFF THE COMPUTER AS WELL AS ROUTER WHEN FLASHING THE FIRMWARE.

Step 4 :

After the router is rebooted, telnet to the router :

telnet 192.168.1.1

Username is "root" and password is "admin".

Issue the command :

mtd -r erase nvram
reboot

After the router is rebooted, unplug the power cable of the router and wait for a while. Then plug in the power cable again. Now, your router is ready to use and it is DD-WRTed.

Step 5 :

Use your browser to point to http://192.168.1.1. Then change the username and password. Becareful, do not mis-type the username. However, you can change the username and password later.

Step 6 (Optional) :

Flash back to factory firmware.

Download the modified factory firmware at here. Extract and save it to a USB stick. Insert the USB stick to the USB port of the router.

Telnet to the router. Make sure the USB stick is connected and mounted.

mtd -e linux -r write /mnt/ linux

The screen will display :

root@ router_name:/tmp# mtd -e linux -r write /mnt/0x20200.bin linux
Unlocking linux ...
Erasing linux ...
Writing from /mnt/0x20200.bin to linux ... [w], which the [w] will change between [w] and [e]

After a few minutes, the following is shown :

Connection to host lost.

After these steps, the router will be flashed back to factory firmware.

** Beware, I did not try this Step 6 myself. Or, your router will be bricked. **