Got bitten by the same issue, I think (stock FW boots fine, any OpenWRT I try boot loops). Should there be a warning on the Wiki page that this is a common problem?
Will it help if all of us having this issue telnet to the stock FW and print the content of /proc/mtd
dev: size erasesize name
mtd0: 00c80000 00020000 "qcadata"
mtd1: 00500000 00020000 "APPSBL"
mtd2: 00080000 00020000 "APPSBLENV"
mtd3: 00140000 00020000 "art"
mtd4: 00140000 00020000 "artbak"
mtd5: 00400000 00020000 "kernel"
mtd6: 06080000 00020000 "ubi"
mtd7: 00700000 00020000 "reserve"
The info on telneting to the official FW can be found here:
Mtd info is the same for all.
The problem is that the "factory" initial installation image is one unified piece like kernel+padding+rootfs. And when there is a bad block in the kernel area, ubifs takes care of it and jumps over it, but the start of the rootfs gets written one block too far.
ok kkkkkkkkkkkkkk...........rrrrrrrrr one bad block and rootfs starting in wrong location kkkkkkXkkkkkkkk...........rrrrrrrrr it should be (sysupgrade does it in two pieces, kernel and rootfs separately) kkkkkkXkkkkkkkk..........rrrrrrrrr
The OEM firmware has a logic noticing that bad block and new rootfs address, but OpenWrt does not.
So the question is to find the number of bad blocks (Xs) in kkkkkkkkkkkkkk (without serial cable).
Is it possible to see it somehow from the OEM telnet shell?
Finally got into the console of mine (my PL3203 died and I had to order an FTDI to get in). Just wondering how I calculate the offset now.
U-Boot 2012.07 [local,local] (Sep 03 2015 - 17:33:28) U-boot 2012.07 dni1 V0.4 for DNI HW ID: 29764958 NOR flash 0MB; NAND flash 128MB ; RAM 512MB; 1st Radio 4x4; 2nd Radio 4x4; Cascade smem ram ptable found: ver: 0 len: 5 DRAM: 491 MiB NAND: SF: Unsupported manufacturer 00 ipq_spi: SPI Flash not found (bus/cs/speed/mode) = (0/0/48000000/0) 128 MiB MMC: *** Warning - bad CRC, using default environment PCI0 Link Intialized PCI1 Link Intialized In: serial Out: serial Err: serial 131072 bytes read: OK MMC Device 0 not found cdp: get part failed for 0:HLOS Net: MAC1 addr:bc:a5:11:3e:6f:b9 athrs17_reg_init: complete athrs17_vlan_config ...done S17c init done MAC2 addr:bc:a5:11:3e:6f:b8 eth0, eth1 Hit any key to stop autoboot: 0 Client starts...[Listening] for ADVERTISE...TTT Retry count exceeded; boot the image as usual nmrp server is stopped or failed ! Loading from device 0: nand0 (offset 0x1480000) Skipping bad block 0x017e0000 ** check kernel image ** Verifying Checksum ... OK ** check rootfs image ** Verifying Checksum ... OK MMC Device 0 not found Loading from nand0, offset 0x1480000 Image Name: Linux-3.4.103 Image Type: ARM Linux Kernel Image (uncompressed) Data Size: 2160064 Bytes = 2.1 MiB Load Address: 41508000 Entry Point: 41508000 Automatic boot of image at addr 0x44000000 ... Image Name: Linux-3.4.103 Image Type: ARM Linux Kernel Image (uncompressed) Data Size: 2160064 Bytes = 2.1 MiB Load Address: 41508000 Entry Point: 41508000 Verifying Checksum ... OK Loading Kernel Image ... OK OK mtdparts variable not set, see 'help mtdparts' no partitions defined defaults: mtdids : nand0=msm_nand mtdparts: none info: "mtdparts" not set Using machid 0x136c from environment Starting kernel ... Booting Linux on physical CPU 0 Linux version 3.4.103 (li.zhang@CNXMDNICP01) (gcc version 4.6.3 20120201 (prerelease) (Linaro GCC 4.6-2012.02) ) #1 SMP Thu Oct 17 15:17:32 CST 2019 CPU: ARMv7 Processor [512f04d0] revision 0 (ARMv7), cr=10c5387d CPU: PIPT / VIPT nonaliasing data cache, PIPT instruction cache Machine: Qualcomm Atheros AP161 reference board QCA command line: console=ttyHSL1,115200n8 DNI command line: console=ttyHSL1,115200n8 ubi.mtd=netgear root=/dev/mtdblock6 msm_reserve_memory: 0x44600000, 0x200000 memory pool 3 (start 5fc00000 size 400000) initialized Memory policy: ECC disabled, Data cache writealloc smem_find(137, 80): wrong size 72 socinfo_init: v6, id=280, ver=3.0, raw_id=17, raw_ver=17, hw_plat=0, hw_plat_ver=65536 accessory_chip=0 hw_plat_subtype=0 PERCPU: Embedded 8 pages/cpu @c0d56000 s10624 r8192 d13952 u32768 Built 1 zonelists in Zone order, mobility grouping on. Total pages: 123178 Kernel command line: console=ttyHSL1,115200n8 ubi.mtd=netgear root=/dev/mtdblock6 PID hash table entries: 2048 (order: 1, 8192 bytes) Dentry cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 6, 262144 bytes) Inode-cache hash table entries: 32768 (order: 5, 131072 bytes) Memory: 49MB 436MB = 485MB total Memory: 482488k/488632k available, 14152k reserved, 0K highmem Virtual kernel memory layout: vector : 0xffff0000 - 0xffff1000 ( 4 kB) fixmap : 0xfff00000 - 0xfffe0000 ( 896 kB) vmalloc : 0xdf000000 - 0xff000000 ( 512 MB) lowmem : 0xc0000000 - 0xdeb00000 ( 491 MB) pkmap : 0xbfe00000 - 0xc0000000 ( 2 MB) modules : 0xbf000000 - 0xbfe00000 ( 14 MB) .text : 0xc0008000 - 0xc0630000 (6304 kB) .init : 0xc0700000 - 0xc0802980 (1035 kB) .data : 0xc0804000 - 0xc08a7940 ( 655 kB) .bss : 0xc08a7964 - 0xc09525d8 ( 684 kB) SLUB: Genslabs=11, HWalign=64, Order=0-3, MinObjects=0, CPUs=2, Nodes=1 Hierarchical RCU implementation. NR_IRQS:1689 sched_clock: 32 bits at 32kHz, resolution 31240ns, wraps every 134175798ms Console: colour dummy device 80x30 Calibrating delay using timer specific routine.. 12.55 BogoMIPS (lpj=62792) pid_max: default: 32768 minimum: 301 Mount-cache hash table entries: 512 CPU: Testing write buffer coherency: ok CPU0: thread -1, cpu 0, socket 0, mpidr 80000000 Setting up static identity map for 0x41952b58 - 0x41952be0 CPU1: Booted secondary processor CPU1: thread -1, cpu 1, socket 0, mpidr 80000001 Brought up 2 CPUs SMP: Total of 2 processors activated (25.11 BogoMIPS). dummy: NET: Registered protocol family 16 AXI: msm_bus_fabric_init_driver(): msm_bus_fabric_init_driver meminfo_init: smem ram ptable found: ver: 0 len: 5 Found 1 memory banks grouped into 8 memory regions gpiochip_add: registered GPIOs 0 to 151 on device: msmgpio smem_find(137, 80): wrong size 72 socinfo_init: v6, id=280, ver=3.0, raw_id=17, raw_ver=17, hw_plat=0, hw_plat_ver=65536 accessory_chip=0 hw_plat_subtype=0 msm_rpm_init: RPM firmware 3.0.16777364 clk_tbl_nss_fast - loaded msm_dmov_memcpy_init: Success sps:BAM 0x12244000 enabled: ver:0x5, number of pipes:20 sps:BAM 0x12244000 is registered. sps:sps is ready. msm_pcie_setup: link initialized PCI host bridge to bus 0000:00 pci_bus 0000:00: root bus resource [mem 0x08000000-0x0fefffff] PCI: bus0: Fast back to back transfers disabled pci 0000:00:00.0: bridge configuration invalid ([bus 00-00]), reconfiguring PCI: bus1: Fast back to back transfers disabled msm_pcie_setup: link initialized PCI host bridge to bus 0000:02 pci_bus 0000:02: root bus resource [mem 0x2e000000-0x31efffff] PCI: bus2: Fast back to back transfers disabled pci 0000:02:00.0: bridge configuration invalid ([bus 00-00]), reconfiguring PCI: bus3: Fast back to back transfers disabled msm_pcie_setup: link initialization failed pci 0000:02:00.0: BAR 8: assigned [mem 0x2e000000-0x2e1fffff] pci 0000:03:00.0: BAR 0: assigned [mem 0x2e000000-0x2e1fffff 64bit] pci 0000:02:00.0: PCI bridge to [bus 03-03] pci 0000:02:00.0: bridge window [mem 0x2e000000-0x2e1fffff] PCI: enabling device 0000:02:00.0 (0140 -> 0143) pci 0000:00:00.0: BAR 8: assigned [mem 0x08000000-0x081fffff] pci 0000:01:00.0: BAR 0: assigned [mem 0x08000000-0x081fffff 64bit] pci 0000:00:00.0: PCI bridge to [bus 01-01] pci 0000:00:00.0: bridge window [mem 0x08000000-0x081fffff] PCI: enabling device 0000:00:00.0 (0140 -> 0143) bio: create slab <bio-0> at 0 SCSI subsystem initialized spi_qsd spi_qsd.5: master is unqueued, this is deprecated spi_qsd spi_qsd.6: master is unqueued, this is deprecated usbcore: registered new interface driver usbfs usbcore: registered new interface driver hub usbcore: registered new device driver usb Switching to clocksource gp_timer NET: Registered protocol family 2 create ipmac proc IP route cache hash table entries: 4096 (order: 2, 16384 bytes) TCP established hash table entries: 16384 (order: 5, 131072 bytes) TCP bind hash table entries: 16384 (order: 5, 131072 bytes) TCP: Hash tables configured (established 16384 bind 16384) TCP: reno registered UDP hash table entries: 256 (order: 1, 8192 bytes) UDP-Lite hash table entries: 256 (order: 1, 8192 bytes) NET: Registered protocol family 1 smd: register irq failed on wcnss_a11 smd: deregistering IRQs SMD: smd_core_platform_init() failed Partition (from dni partition table) qcadata -- Offset:0 Size:64 Partition (from dni partition table) APPSBL -- Offset:64 Size:28 Partition (from dni partition table) APPSBLENV -- Offset:8c Size:4 Partition (from dni partition table) ART -- Offset:90 Size:a Partition (from dni partition table) ART.bak -- Offset:9a Size:a Partition (from dni partition table) kernel -- Offset:a4 Size:11 Partition (from dni partition table) rootfs -- Offset:b5 Size:ef Partition (from dni partition table) netgear -- Offset:1a4 Size:224 Partition (from dni partition table) firmware -- Offset:a4 Size:100 Partition (from dni partition table) crashdump -- Offset:3c8 Size:4 Partition (from dni partition table) language -- Offset:3cc Size:1c Partition (from dni partition table) config -- Offset:3e8 Size:9 Partition (from dni partition table) pot -- Offset:3f1 Size:9 smem_find(427, 88): wrong size 96 get_bootconfig_partition 0 0 : v2 magic not found acpuclk-ipq806x acpuclk-ipq806x: SPEED BIN: 0 acpuclk-ipq806x acpuclk-ipq806x: ACPU PVS: 5 acpuclk-ipq806x acpuclk-ipq806x: CPU0: 6 frequencies supported acpuclk-ipq806x acpuclk-ipq806x: CPU1: 6 frequencies supported msm_rpm_log_probe: OK squashfs: version 4.0 (2009/01/31) Phillip Lougher msgmni has been set to 942 Asymmetric key parser 'x509' registered io scheduler noop registered io scheduler deadline registered (default) Serial: 8250/16550 driver, 2 ports, IRQ sharing disabled msm_serial_hs: probe of msm_serial_hs.0 failed with error -2 msm_serial_hs module loaded msm_serial_hsl: detected port #1 msm_serial_hsl.1: ttyHSL1 at MMIO 0x16340000 (irq = 184) is a MSM msm_serial_hsl: console setup on port #1 console [ttyHSL1] enabled msm_serial_hsl: driver initialized ahci ahci.0: forcing PORTS_IMPL to 0x1 ahci ahci.0: AHCI 0001.0300 32 slots 1 ports 6 Gbps 0x1 impl platform mode ahci ahci.0: flags: ncq sntf pm led clo only pmp pio slum part ccc apst scsi0 : ahci_platform ata1: SATA max UDMA/133 mmio [mem 0x29000000-0x2900017f] port 0x100 irq 241 msm_nand_probe: phys addr 0x1ac00000 msm_nand_probe: dmac 0x3 msm_nand_probe: allocated dma buffer at ffdfc000, dma_addr 5f5b8000 status: 20 nandid: 1580a1c2 maker c2 device a1 ONFI probe : Found an ONFI compliant device MX30UF1G18AC Â Found a supported NAND device NAND Controller ID : 0x4030 NAND Device ID : 0x1580a1c2 Buswidth : 8 Bits Density : 128 MByte Pagesize : 2048 Bytes Erasesize: 131072 Bytes Oobsize : 64 Bytes CFG0 Init : 0xa8d408c0 CFG1 Init : 0x0004745c ECCBUFCFG : 0x00000203 Creating 13 MTD partitions on "msm_nand": 0x000000000000-0x000000c80000 : "qcadata" 0x000000c80000-0x000001180000 : "APPSBL" 0x000001180000-0x000001200000 : "APPSBLENV" 0x000001200000-0x000001340000 : "ART" 0x000001340000-0x000001480000 : "ART.bak" 0x000001480000-0x0000016a0000 : "kernel" 0x0000016a0000-0x000003480000 : "rootfs" mtd: find squashfs magic at 0x16a0000 of "msm_nand" the correct location of partition "rootfs": 0x0000016a0000-0x000003480000 0x000003480000-0x000007900000 : "netgear" 0x000001480000-0x000003480000 : "firmware" 0x000007900000-0x000007980000 : "crashdump" ata1: SATA link down (SStatus 0 SControl 300) 0x000007980000-0x000007d00000 : "language" 0x000007d00000-0x000007e20000 : "config" 0x000007e20000-0x000007f40000 : "pot" m25p80 spi5.0: found pm25lv512, expected s25fl512s m25p80 spi5.0: pm25lv512 (64 Kbytes) UBI: attaching mtd7 to ubi0 UBI: physical eraseblock size: 131072 bytes (128 KiB) UBI: logical eraseblock size: 126976 bytes UBI: smallest flash I/O unit: 2048 UBI: VID header offset: 2048 (aligned 2048) UBI: data offset: 4096 UBI: max. sequence number: 236 UBI: attached mtd7 to ubi0 UBI: MTD device name: "netgear" UBI: MTD device size: 68 MiB UBI: number of good PEBs: 548 UBI: number of bad PEBs: 0 UBI: number of corrupted PEBs: 0 UBI: max. allowed volumes: 128 UBI: wear-leveling threshold: 4096 UBI: number of internal volumes: 1 UBI: number of user volumes: 6 UBI: available PEBs: 33 UBI: total number of reserved PEBs: 515 UBI: number of PEBs reserved for bad PEB handling: 5 UBI: max/mean erase counter: 2/1 UBI: image sequence number: 0 UBI: background thread "ubi_bgt0d" started, PID 662
Reason I'm asking is that this thread states "OpenWrt requires the rootfs to exist exactly at 16a0000", but my stock fw says that's where the rootfs is:
mtd: find squashfs magic at 0x16a0000 of "msm_nand" the correct location of partition "rootfs": 0x0000016a0000-0x000003480000
Here's the OpenWRT crash:
[ 2.384575] NET: Registered protocol family 10 [ 2.390253] Segment Routing with IPv6 [ 2.393185] NET: Registered protocol family 17 [ 2.397014] bridge: filtering via arp/ip/ip6tables is no longer available by default. Update your scripts to load br_netfilter if you need this. [ 2.401824] 8021q: 802.1Q VLAN Support v1.8 [ 2.414401] Registering SWP/SWPB emulation handler [ 2.430348] qcom_rpm 108000.rpm: RPM firmware 3.0.16777364 [ 2.442409] s1a: supplied by regulator-dummy [ 2.442511] s1a: Bringing 0uV into 1050000-1050000uV [ 2.446092] s1b: supplied by regulator-dummy [ 2.450741] s1b: Bringing 0uV into 1050000-1050000uV [ 2.455290] s2a: supplied by regulator-dummy [ 2.459960] s2a: Bringing 0uV into 775000-775000uV [ 2.464380] s2b: supplied by regulator-dummy [ 2.468901] s2b: Bringing 0uV into 775000-775000uV [ 2.478138] UBI error: no valid UBI magic found inside í[ 2.484394] VFS: Cannot open root device "(null)" or unknown-block(0,0): error -6 [ 2.484415] Please append a correct "root=" boot option; here are the available partitions: [ 2.490940] 1f00 12800 mtdblock0 [ 2.490944] (driver?) [ 2.503169] 1f01 5120 mtdblock1 [ 2.503173] (driver?) [ 2.509680] 1f02 512 mtdblock2 [ 2.509684] (driver?) [ 2.516260] 1f03 1280 mtdblock3 [ 2.516265] (driver?) [ 2.522698] 1f04 1280 mtdblock4 [ 2.522702] (driver?) [ 2.529210] 1f05 4096 mtdblock5 [ 2.529215] (driver?) [ 2.535786] 1f06 98816 mtdblock6 [ 2.535790] (driver?) [ 2.542230] 1f07 7168 mtdblock7 [ 2.542234] (driver?) [ 2.548741] Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0) [ 2.551192] CPU1: stopping [ 2.559432] CPU: 1 PID: 0 Comm: swapper/1 Not tainted 4.14.171 #0 [ 2.562117] Hardware name: Generic DT based system [ 2.568292] Function entered at [<c030f1c4>] from [<c030b390>] [ 2.572973] Function entered at [<c030b390>] from [<c07c0664>] [ 2.578787] Function entered at [<c07c0664>] from [<c030e40c>] [ 2.584602] Function entered at [<c030e40c>] from [<c03014b8>] [ 2.590418] Function entered at [<c03014b8>] from [<c030bf8c>] [ 2.596233] Exception stack(0xdd461f80 to 0xdd461fc8) [ 2.602080] 1f80: 00000001 00000000 00000000 c0315100 ffffe000 c0a03cb8 c0a03c6c 00000000 [ 2.607204] 1fa0: 00000000 512f04d0 00000000 00000000 dd461fc8 dd461fd0 c030854c c0308550 [ 2.615341] 1fc0: 60000013 ffffffff [ 2.623488] Function entered at [<c030bf8c>] from [<c0308550>] [ 2.626789] Function entered at [<c0308550>] from [<c03589c8>] [ 2.632693] Function entered at [<c03589c8>] from [<c0358d10>] [ 2.638508] Function entered at [<c0358d10>] from [<423017cc>] [ 2.644328] Rebooting in 1 seconds..
Update: Replying to myself but maybe it helps others. I ended up going the "sysupgrade via uboot-initramfs" route and got OpenWRT to boot.
Here's an overview on how I did it. DISCLAIMER: Portions of this may be bad practice or even outright wrong. I assume no responsibility for you bricking your hardware, or any other damages, by following this.
- You will need a way to get to the serial console (I'm using an FT232RL. A PL3203 did not work and even died on me while trying.)
- A PC set to 192.168.1.10. (You may be able to change the IP in uBoot, or even specify which one to use to download, but I preferred not to mess with it and instead reconfigured my PC.)
- A TFTP server running on that PC (I'm using atftpd on a Linux machine, but you may be able to use tftpd64 on Windows or others)
- The initramFS uBoot image, as well as Internet access to get the sysupgrade image (https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/19.07.2/targets/ipq806x/generic/openwrt-19.07.2-ipq806x-generic-netgear_r7800-initramfs-uImage at the time of writing this). Place this image into the root directory of your TFTP server.
- Get to the serial console. Make sure your serial client (PuTTY in my case) is configured with 1152008N1, and set 'Flow Control' to None (if this is set to Xon/Xoff, you won't be able to type into your console.
- While booting, you should see a prompt that says:
Hit any key to stop autobootDo that and you should end up in uBoot, with a prompt that looks like this:
- You can type 'printenv' to get some information on the uBoot settings. Mine look like this:
(IPQ) # printenv baudrate=115200 bootargs=console=ttyHSL1,115200n8 bootcmd=sleep 2; nmrp; if loadn_dniimg 0 0x1480000 0x44000000 && chk_dniimg 0x44000000; then bootipq2; else fw_recovery; fi bootdelay=2 eth1addr=bc:a5:11:3e:6f:b8 ethact=eth0 ethaddr=bc:a5:11:3e:6f:b9 ipaddr=192.168.1.1 loadaddr=0x42000000 machid=136c modelid=R7800 serverip=192.168.1.10 stderr=serial stdin=serial stdout=serial updateloader=ipq_nand linux && nand erase 0x01180000 0x00080000 && imgaddr=0x42000000 && source $imgaddr:script
(note the "serverip" indicating which tftp server uBoot will use by default)
- Now download the initramfs image to RAM using this command:
(You may be able to do a "tftpboot 192.168.1.10:openwrt-19.07.2-ipq806x-generic-netgear_r7800-initramfs-uImage" here to specify the IP. I never tested it with anything other than the default.)
- Finally, boot that image with this command:
After a while, OpenWRT should come up and be available at the default IP (192.168.1.1). From there, you can then issue a sysupgrade (without keeping settings).
I did it manually via SSH:
- Configured default gateway and /etc/resolv.conf so that I had internet.
- Downloaded the sysupgrade image with wget:
cd /tmp ; wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/19.07.2/targets/ip q806x/generic/openwrt-19.07.2-ipq806x-generic-netgear_r7800-squashfs-sysupgrade. bin
- Launched the sysupgrade:
sysupgrade -n openwrt-19.07.2-ipq806x-generic-netgear_r7800-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
Here to say that I believe I'm in the same unfortunate boat.
Just received a new R7800 today, and any flash attempt results in a boot loop. I can successfully go back to the vendor
R7800-V184.108.40.206.img, but haven't managed to successfully flash OpenWrt yet (despite years of doing so on other equipment).
Should I be looking to just get another R7800, and maybe it won't have any of the same bad blocks?
I've read through all the related threads I can find on this. Did I miss any options for confirming the bad blocks, and/or successfully flashing OpenWrt - without opening the case (and violating the warranty / options for return)? Are there any custom builds I could try over TFTP (no serial or JTAG) that would overcome this?
This was intended to replace my TP-Link AC1750 / Archer C7 V2, on which I cannot rely upon stable wireless connections (Archer C7 2.4 GHz wireless dies in 24~48 hours, Archer C7 V2 - Massive Problems). If anyone has any better recommendations for similar hardware that is well-supported under OpenWrt, please share...
Very unlikely, as I assume you tried to flash OpenWrt from the webinterface and not the only correct way of using push-button tftp recovery for the initial flashing of OpenWrt (since 18.06.x the flash partitioning differs between the OEM firmware and OpenWrt, as the OEM partition for the kernel has gotten too small). Only the tftp flashing method can deal with differing flash partitioning layouts (re-create the UBI volume), while flashing from the webinterface will lead to the symptoms you describe.
Of course, it is possible that you still have to deal with bad blocks at an inconvenient location, but my bets would be on you having used the wrong flashing procedure.
Very unlikely, as I assume you tried to flash OpenWrt from the webinterface and not the only correct way of using push-button tftp recovery for the initial flashing of OpenWrt
No, I only used TFTP.
Boot log of stock firmware should show where bad blocks are.
Boot log of stock firmware should show where bad blocks are.
Is there any way I can get that without cracking the case open? (From the original vendor firmware somehow? As Bugfunder was asking above?)
I just received a replacement R7800, and it immediately and fully resolved my issues.
Nice solution indeed, if you can replace the router. I cannot unfortunately..
In the meantime, was reading this thread, and thought perhaps it is 128kb of bad blocks in my router as well. In that case removing 128kb of 0s will also help. Can anyone with more experience with dd tell me if the following command is right for this:
dd bs=128k if=openwrt-19.07.2-ipq806x-generic-netgear_r7800-squashfs-factory.img skip=18 seek=17 conv=notrunc of=test.img count=46
so that I can then try to flash test.img?
Could you elaborate on this? What symptoms are to be expected or can be checked?
In my ignorance i factory flashed several new R7800's straight from the web gui with 19.07.2 and they all seems to work just fine.
Hi! Thanks for this. I was having the same problem. I could only get it to boot
lede-17.01.7-ipq806x-R7800-squashfs-factory.img. All other images would send the router into a boot loop.
I had to do a few things differently than what you described, though:
Opening the router is pretty easy, but I'd recommend using a credit card (or one of those iFixit opening tools) to pry open the case. I used a flathead screwdriver and managed to leave a few marks on the case
There's already a pin header soldered to the PCB, but you will have to bend the pins sideways (as shown here) using a pair of needlenose pliers or similar. Otherwise, you won't be able to get the jumper wires onto the header (the top cover is in the way).
There's not a lot of room around the pin header, so I used a pair of pliers to connect the jumper wires to the header.
Whenever I would execute the
bootmcommand, the router would freeze at
Starting kernel. I managed to get it to work by specifying a load address (in this case, 50000000, but you may have to experiment with different values):
tftpboot 50000000 openwrt-19.07.2-ipq806x-generic-netgear_r7800-initramfs-uImage
I had to install additional packages in order for
wgetto be able to download files over HTTPS:
mkdir -p /etc/ssl/certs
opkg install wget openssl-util ca-certificates ca-bundle libustream-openssl
When closing the case, be careful not to bend the pins on the LED slide switch. That is, make sure all of the connectors line up with the holes in the back panel when reassembling the case.
I used a "Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge" (Vendor ID 10C4; Product ID EA60) which worked out of the box on Windows 10. Device Manager shows its COM port assignment (in my case, COM5).
I thought about doing something like this as well, but decided against it, since I already had the USB serial thingy lying around.
If you decide to open up the case, I'd be happy to guide you through the process.
It is already pretty well described with photos with:
Yes - I referenced one of those photos in my post above. Thanks for providing them, very helpful.
I meant the entire process (opening the case, connecting to the serial port, performing the sysupgrade via SSH...)
Interesting info on the tftpboot address. (I might have downloaded the image to 50000000 before doing the normal tftpboot and not realised that it was in fact the first tftpboot that allowed it to boot.)
If you don't feel like installing all the HTTPS/SSL stuff, you could also download the image to an internal webserver and then use that to transfer it in (provided you can trust your internal network of course). That also saves you getting DNS and default gw up manually.
Good catch on the LED switch too. I hit it while re-assembling the router which actually caused the mainboard to detach from the top casing (the glue on the heatsink isn't very strong apparently). Still working fine though (nothing broke).
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