Revive a TP-LINK TL-WDR3600

Hello

I'm bringing this device back into service after being in storage for years to be an AP. Wondering if I should upgrade to the latest version supported as specified at https://openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wdr3600_v1.
Currently running "OpenWrt Attitude Adjustment 12.09 / LuCI 0.11.1 Release (0.11.1)".

The question is:
Can I upgrade directly to the latest? Or should upgrade to another release before the final version?

It seems some people had some issues with other versions sometime back but it might be all fine now, according to: https://openwrt.org/docs/techref/targets/ath79

You should probably upgrade to another release before the final version. There were many changes since version 12. I would try the following:

12 <> 14 <> 17 <> 18 <> 19 <> 22.03.5

Thanks @lleachii

I would assume a factory.bin is preferred vs a sysupgrade.bin correct?

I did find the images for the following releases:
https://archive.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/
https://archive.openwrt.org/releases/17.01.0/targets/ar71xx/generic/
https://archive.openwrt.org/releases/18.06.0/targets/ar71xx/generic/
https://archive.openwrt.org/releases/19.07.0/targets/ar71xx/generic/
https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/22.03.5/targets/ath79/generic/

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If your device is currently running OpenWrt, that would be Incorrect.

  • Sysupgrade is used to perform an in-place upgrade of OpenWrt - this is what you desire
  • Factory is generally used when doing: unbricking, recovery, booting from TFTP/bootloader, initial installation, etc.

You should use sysupgrade.

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so there is no way to perform a 'clean install' for old installations, wiping everything in the process in a single step? it is compulsory to do major release by release installations?

I have chaos calmer installed, is it necessary to go 15 <> 17 <> 18 <> 19 <> 22 <> 23?

where can I download the releases for v17 & v18? the firmware selector only goes back to 19

If you want to preserve config you need to sysupgrade one release at a time, fastest would be to back up configuration and (force) upgrade to 23.05.3 directly since there is breaking change around 19.x changing architecture from ar7xxx to ath79 requiring wiping configuration. If you step release by release you will not need to force sysupgrade, but will be required to reset configuration anyway.

https://firmware-selector.openwrt.org/?version=23.05.3&target=ath79%2Fgeneric&id=tplink_tl-wdr3600-v1
You need sysupgrade image only, others are for other, non-upgrade uses.

Then extract backup file to the desktop and restore config files one by one via luci web interface.

Also worth noting that 8MB device will have 1..1.5MB writable overlay which means you do not have space for package installation, probably auc utility is of help for painless upgrades (XOR luci-app-attendedsysupgrade, it is really that low on space)

https://downloads.openwrt.org

You need to get ath79 19.07.10 image to do no-force still-lose-config architecture swap from selector. ie 19.07.0 ar7xx -> 19.07.10 ath79 -> 21 ath79

ok in that case I will have to go from chaos calmer -> LEDE 17.01.0 -> OpenWrt 18.06.0 -> OpenWrt 19.07.0 ( ar7xx) ->19.07.10 ath79 -> OpenWrt 21.02.0 -> OpenWrt 22.03.0 -> OpenWrt 23.05.2 without being able to skip anything in between?

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Back up config now, it will be discarded mid 19.x
I would go now->19.07.0 ar7x->19.07.10 ath79->23.05.3
No point to be that careful, conf will be wiped, 1 version upgrades are needed to execute uci-defaults to migrate config one version at a time.

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