Question: Recovering stock firmware using a programmer

So I bricked my device TP-Link TD-W8961ND Ver: 3.0 and I want to revert firmware back to stock so without thinking I immediately removed the chip and soldiered it on my personal programmer PCB, went to the official site, and downloaded the latest firmware, but what I got is a file named "ras" at a size of 1.54 MB (not a typical rom size) which means it is not a raw rom file... the rom file should be at a size of 2 MB.

I want some help.

How can I take out a rom file out of this file? Or should I just flash this file as it is?

Stop. Don't continue without thinking through what you're doing. It only causes problems otherwise. Especially since later in the sentence you

Stop. This should not be necessary in basically every plausible scenario that doesn't involve outright failure of the flash. After all, this is where the bootloader lives. Even if the firmware has been completely trashed, the bootloader should still work. Put the chip back onto the board, put away the programmer and hook up a USB serial UART instead.

I understand, but it happened that I went through anyway... not gonna resolder the chip back to device without doing anything. Add to that I don't have a linux system and don't know other ways :sweat: how do I do it with the programmer?

Back up the flash memory onto your PC and put the SOIC back from whence it came. Then power on the device and figure out how to get into the bootloader via the serial console. From there it should be possible to de-brick the device.

Do you have any guidance link for that? I mean loading the console or reaching bootloader on Windows

From the OpenWrt wiki page for this device:

Alternative mode (you have to open the router case):

  1. Flash using a Serial TTL adapter and CFE bootloader.
  2. Setup a TFTP server on your computer.
  3. Using the serial connection, stop the boot process by pressing any key when asked
  4. Once you are on the CFE prompt do “flashimage hostip:image.bin” (example CFE > flashimage
  5. The device should automatically reboot to OpenWrt

Do you have any idea which protocol these firmware files are written with. I may use a Hex editor to edit the new file after extracting both files with IFR extractor and comparing them :thinking: However I am not sure if I know what I am talking about :joy:

Alright thank you will check that out

I've just realized how old this device is after looking up the wiki page, are you sure you want to expend this much work to resurrect a device that was obsolete years ago?

Seriously, this device is E-waste at this point. Recycle it and get a new wireless router, for your own sake.

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