Confused with the instructions for Archer C20 v1(non EU)!

Hey there! I decided to install OpenWRT on my Archer C20 v1(non EU router) and as I was going through the support page, I came across the Installation section and I couldn't find the link for the factory image under Firmware OpenWRT Install column. Later, in the next section i.e Using TFTP method, it states that the uboot.bin should be merged into openwrt-19.07.6-ramips-mt7620-tplink_c20-v1-squashfs-factory.bin, which was no where to be found in the support page. Upon searching the web I bumped into OpenWrt Firmware Selector and downloaded the stated factory image 19.07.6.

So, I've come here for help/suggestions from the community to tell me if I'm going in the right path. Because, I do not want to risk breaking the router by fiddling around with the wrong files. Any guidance would be really helpful. Thank you in advance.

Prerequisites that I've until now,

  • Stock firmware of non EU router.
  • Factory image.
  • Debian WSL for extraction and merging of files.
  • Tftpd64
  • Sysupgrade image.

Why did you download the 19.07 image and not the 22.03 image?

The instructions are relatively clear: You need to get the OEM firmware and extract the uboot.bin part from it (that's the first dd command). Then you need to append the OpenWrt factory image to this uboot.bin part and it can be flashed. Seems very similar to the RE200 v1, which suffers from the same "quirk".

As an alternative, somebody seems to provide a Dropbox link to a ready-made image, based on 19.07.3 that can be used for initial installation. Afterwards, you sysupgrade to the latest version.

Because the last factory image according to Firmware Selector is for 19.07.7 and I couldn't find one for 22.03. All there is, is a kernel and sysupgrade for 22.03.

I understood the instructions, got the stock firmware and extracted the uboot.bin which is around 38KB. But I'm confused if I'm safe to merge that file into 19.07.6 for initial installation as suggested in the support page and not break the router.

Can you provide me the link? Will I be able to find it in the forum?

It's on the wiki page you linked to. NB: I have an RE200v1, not a C20v1, but the instructions seem similar.
There is no guarantee that you won't break it, these TP-Links are not very safe to flash - I was really surprised by this fact when I worked on the RE200v1.

So you mean to say that I should be safe by merging the uboot.bin to 19.07.6 and install it through TFTP?

No, there is simply no guarantee because TP-Link didni't make the procedure safe. I don't know how easy it is to disassemble the C20v1, but the RE200v1 is welded together and it's nearly impossible to disassemble it non-destructively.

If I were you, I think I would go for the prebuilt Dropbox-image and then do a sysupgrade to the latest version. Sysupgrades are safe, they won't mess with the boot loader.

I don't know about regional differences, some TP-Link devices have different partition layouts depending on the region (the WPA8630Pv2 is such an example).

Yeah ikr, the procedure is really tedious and I'm scared to brick the router and go through another tedious process to fix it which again is not guaranteed.

I did compare this file with the other I created as per the instructions. Both the files are of same size! But, now the thing is I don't know if the recovery image from the Dropbox contains the uboot from non EU version of the router.

I'm really confused rn! And the best part is there is no discussions on the internet for the router I have.