Alternative Recovery Method For TP-Link Devices

Hello everyone,

I'm writing this post as I've found an alternative recovery method for TP-Link devices. It is likely that many of you are aware of this and in the same time it is likely that others are still scratching their heads trying to unbrick their device, as I was unable to find it anywhere in wiki.

For this method to work, there are 2 preconditions:

  1. You have access to serial console
  2. You have not deleted any important partition while trying other recovery methods.

So, let's jump into it.

What you'll need to do is:

  1. power up your device and gain access to u-boot serial console
  2. Set an IP address of your choice
setenv ip <your_IP_here>
  1. Simply type http. This should return a prompt similar to Starting HTTP server at <your_IP>
  2. From there, you can open your favorite browser and head to the IP specified at step 3.
  3. Hit Browse then choose your preferred OpenWRT factory binary.
  4. Hit Upgrade or Upload (depending on what your device is prompting in the web page)
  5. Wait 120-150s.

After the 2 mins have passed, you can try to access your device (Web GUI or SSH, depending on how you've configured and built your image) and it should work.

This method has been tested several times using a TP-Link Archer C6 v2 EU and OpenWRT 21.02.7.

There is a possibility that this method will work only on newer devices (after 2017-18 probably) that have the HTTP server built in U-Boot.

If anyone finds this useful, or confirms it works on their side, I think it might worth adding to the wiki.