Obtain the factory firmware from the OEM: http://www.tplink.com/en/support/download/?model=Archer+C7
UNTESTED in case the file name of this firmware file does not contain the word "boot" in it, you can simply revert back to original firmware
in case the file name of this firmware file does contain the word "boot" in it, you need to cut off parts of the image file before flashing it:
An example of an image file with the word "boot" in it is
Cut the first 0x20200 (that is 131,584 = 257*512) Bytes from original firmware (not sure why 0x20200, as the bootloader partition is only 0x20000, but it works!):
dd if=orig.bin of=tplink.bin skip=257 bs=512
You should transfer the firmware image to the /tmp folder and revert back to original firmware (if available you can flash the firmware via the webinterface as well):
Via the safer method using sysupgrade:
Or alternatively you can use the mtd method:
mtd -r write /tmp/tplink.bin firmware
TFTP Recovery (De-Bricking)
The serial-less TFTP recovery method for the TP-Link TL-WDR4300 also works for the Archer C7 (confirmed on v1.1 and v2) and the Archer C5 (v1.20).
For firmware revisions before 3.14.1 (140929), the router looks for an IP address of 192.168.1.66 and a file named
ArcherC7v2_tp_recovery.bin . Firmware 3.14.1 updates the bootloader to look for an IP address of 192.168.0.66 and a file named
ArcherC7v3_tp_recovery.bin even on hardware v2 units. Some v1.1 units may also look for
ArcherC7v1_tp_recovery.bin . The model Archer C5 looks for the file
To activate TFTP Recovery press and hold WPS/Reset Button during powering on until WPS LED turns on. Setup your computer to 192.168.0.66 (SubnetMask /24 = 255.255.255.0) and connect it to LAN1. Start TFTP server and provide recovery file with it.
For de-bricking with an OpenWrt image use the factory.bin image. In case you are flashing back original firmware, make sure original firmware image name does not contain word
boot → return_to_factory_firmware.
TFTP de-brick Alternative
Use the Cut file above and rename it ArcherC7v2_tp_recovery.bin
Change your Ethernet adapter to IP 192.168.0.66, subnet 255.255.255.0, gateway 192.168.0.1
Download Tftpd32 by Ph. Jounin at http://tftpd32.jounin.net/tftpd32_download.html
Browse to the directory that hold ArcherC7v2_tp_recovery.bin file.
Choose 192.168.0.66 for your "server interfaces"
Choose Tftp server tap
Activate TFTP Recovery press and hold WPS/Reset Button during powering on