Archer C7 v2 won't connect or reset

I just received an Archer C7 v2 off of Ebay. I want to install OpenWRT. I can't access any user interface from a web browser, and I can't reset it using the standard protocol. Perhaps the previous admin reconfigured the WPS/reset button?

When I hold the reset button the WPS indicator flashes. As I continue to hold the button nothing else happens no matter how long I hold it (up to 30 seconds). Should I hold it for a minute? 10 minutes?

I don't know where to go from here. Please advise.

The first router I purchased for this OpenWRT project bricked. I have not had a working router for a few weeks now. I am feeling frustrated. Ugh.

Here are further observations and notes in case helpful somehow:

I see an inventory sticker on the bottom of the unit with a barcode and text that reads: "Property of the Nielsen Company". According to "Nielsen Holdings plc is an American information, data and market measurement firm. Nielsen operates in over 100 countries and employs approximately 44,000 people worldwide. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and used to be a component of the S&P 500."

I connect it to my Linux computer using a LAN cable into port #1.
My linux machine confirms that there is an active LAN connection to the router.
On the router I see these lights:

  • Power = green and stable (power is on)
  • System = green and stable (The router is initializing or maybe has a system error)
  • 2.4 ghz wifi = green and flashing (The wireless function is enabled. The router is working on 2.4GHz radio band.) even though the physical wifi switch is set to OFF.
  • Port 1 = green and flashing (There is an active device linked to the port.)

In a web browser I navigate to ( but get no response.

I also try but again no response.

Does your pc get an ip address from the router ... and possibly a gateway, which may well be the routers ip

By the way. Reset procedure on stock firmware is hold the reset/wps button until the sys led flashes fast ... over 10 seconds

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This is TFTP recovery mode built into the bootloader. If the unit is powered on with the reset button held down, recovery mode will start instead of any OS firmware, so it is good that this still works. You will probably need to TFTP flash a generic OpenWrt "factory" build. I suspect that the Nielsen firmware is locked down from any access.

Nielsen's business is to (with permission) monitor the TV viewing habits of a group of people and publish the rating numbers of each show. So the firmware in the unit is likely very custom for that particular application.

But, do not press the reset button at first, as that gives recovery mode. Allow the firmware to boot fully (until the system LED stops flashing) then press the button. This is probably not going to do anything if there is special firmware.

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I have a C7 v2 as well, and at some point when setting it up I managed to get it into exactly this state. The only way I was able to recover it was through TFTP. Even that was tricky; I had to connect to the router through an old hub, and make sure the laptop running the TFTP server had no other connectivity at all (wifi off). Also remember to try TFTP addresses in both the 192.168.0 and 192.168.1 ranges; both appear in TFTP tutorials for this device, and you won't know which one your router responds on till you try.

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Connect the cable to a LAN port and your PC. Run Wireshark. Hold the reset button at power on to trigger the TFTP procedure. See if there are any TFTP packets.

The wiki has good detailed instructions.

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In my Linux cli I ran

ip r

which displayed

default via

and this is what I found in my browser

I have not installed anything on this router yet.

my bad, misunderstood your initial post, I'll delete the comment.

@martindholmes Yes, I already did this several times. And now we know it does have custom firmware from Nielsen (see my recent post).

So, it sounds like my current options are to either return this item to the eBay seller and get a normal router, or attempt a tftp flash through recovery mode.

@martindholmes @mk24 Wireshark shows no tftp packets when attempting to start router in recovery mode (power on while pressing the WPS/reset button). I also observe that the dashboard lights fire on in the exact same order and fashion regardless of whether or not I hold the reset button while powering on. From what I can tell, it seems that Nielsen disabled recovery mode.

I'm starting to think get your money back, especially if it wasn't a small amount.

There are certainly ways to hack it and make it work but not necessarily for beginners.

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