I installed 21.02.1 factory on a new US Archer A7 v5 (back says v5.8) that was running TP-Link stock 201029 out the box. Installed using the TP-Link UI (given wiki said TFTP is not required for this version).
After the install everything seemed to be fine except none of the settings survive a reboot (password and everything is gone on reboot).
I see in the logs:
jffs2_scan_eraseblock(): End of filesystem marker found at 0x0 jffs2_build_filesystem(): unlocking the mtd device... jffs2_build_filesystem(): erasing all blocks after the end marker...
a whole bunch of these
jffs2: Newly-erased block contained word 0x1e4a3c6b at offset 0x00940000
jffs2: notice: (2363) jffs2_build_xattr_subsystem: complete building xattr subsystem, 0 of xdatum (0 unchecked, 0 orphan) and 0 of xref (0 dead, 0 orphan) found. daemon.notice procd: /etc/rc.d/S95done: cp: can't create directory '/rom/overlay/upper': No space left on device daemon.notice procd: /etc/rc.d/S95done: cp: can't create directory '/rom/overlay/work': No space left on device daemon.err mount_root: failed - cp -a /tmp/root/* /rom/overlay: Not a tty
From a search this seems consistent with a device that ran out of space (like those with 4MB flash), but isn't the Archer A7 v5 16MB?
df -h output
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on /dev/root 3.5M 3.5M 0 100% /rom tmpfs 60.3M 240.0K 60.0M 0% /tmp tmpfs 60.3M 72.0K 60.2M 0% /tmp/root overlayfs:/tmp/root 60.3M 72.0K 60.2M 0% / tmpfs 512.0K 0 512.0K 0% /dev /dev/mtdblock5 9.3M 9.3M 0 100% /rom/overlay
cat /proc/mtd output
dev: size erasesize name mtd0: 00020000 00010000 "factory-uboot" mtd1: 00020000 00010000 "u-boot" mtd2: 00ec0000 00010000 "firmware" mtd3: 00200000 00010000 "kernel" mtd4: 00cc0000 00010000 "rootfs" mtd5: 00950000 00010000 "rootfs_data" mtd6: 00020000 00010000 "info" mtd7: 00050000 00010000 "config" mtd8: 00010000 00010000 "partition-table" mtd9: 00010000 00010000 "art"
I tried installing 21.02.1 factory again using TFTP, although upload goes through 100% every time nothing changes. Then I tried 21.02.0, 19.07.8, TP-Link stock 201029, 190403, 19.07.7, 210519, 211022, 201120. Every time the upload is successful but nothing changes. From a search it seems there may be some version check in TFTP, so even if upload is successful, doesn't mean it installs. It seems there needs to be a UART connection to see a log of error messages and I'm not about to take the router apart and soldering to get access to that. I found talk about stripping headers from stock firmware, but it was not clear if it was just for sysupgrade or if it helps TFTP install, nor were instructions clear what to strip out.
I also tried sysupgrade through the UI and ssh (using the sysupgrade version) 19.07.8, 21.02.0, 21.02.1, both with and without the -n option, but it doesn't seem to change (no errors but router still stuck in same situation). Even tried mtd -r write with 21.02.0 sysupgrade onto firmware partition, but again it changes nothing even though no errors (although ssh disconnects so can't see any of messages).
This is not the first A7 v5 I installed OpenWRT on, I installed 19.07.7 successfully previously a few months ago on another that was updated to stock 20210125 (UI install failed, but TFTP worked fine). I have another one still in box that I plan to also install OpenWRT, but I don't dare to proceed until I figure what went wrong with this one.
I'm stumped on how to proceed. Ideally I hope to figure a way to return to stock and try again, but if not possible, at least get the settings to survive under the current situation (or with an older version of OpenWRT).