This is the first time I'm ever posting on a forum lol I'm usually good at searching very deeply everywhere and finding my answers but damn this one is difficult I need help !!!
It's been two days now that I've been struggling really really hard with my router... I have a GL-S1300 (Convexa-S) upon which I'm trying to install OpenWrt 22.03.5 which is at this date if I'm not mistaken, the latest version that I can get.
This isn't my first rodeo. I used to run OpenWrt 21.02.1 since I bought the router back in 2021 so I was already familiar with the process.
I firstly tried this :
Many, many times... because I know that it works. This is how I installed OpenWrt on my router the first time but this time for some obscure reason it wouldn't work. I went back and forth between the factory QSDK firmware and OpenWrt using "s1300-factory-to-openwrt.img" and "s1300-openwrt-to-factory.img". I also tried flashing back OpenWrt 21.02.1 instead of OpenWrt 22.03.5 to try and at least get that to run but every time and no matter the order I flashed the different img and bin files, I would only get to be able to get the factory firmware to work but never OpenWrt.
Meaning that after flashing the s1300-openwrt-to-factory.img and then the factory firmware, everything would boot and work, but when trying s1300-factory-to-openwrt.img and then OpenWrt, I would only get the non blinking "Power On" led indicator on the router and nothing else. No Wifi, No Ethernet either on 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.8.1, (not even ping) and no router config web page. The only page I'd be able to get would be the uBoot page on 192.168.1.1 when reflashing to go back to the factory firmware.
Then I tried the first steps described here :
I was getting the same non blinking "Power on" led indicator and nothing else...
Then I found this :
And I realized that the ".itb" file provided for OpenWrt 22.03.5 (Obtained here : https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/22.03.5/targets/ipq40xx/generic/) is actually an initramfs partition that would enable me to run OpenWrt on RAM so I tried just that part and it worked !
Of course it's all running on RAM so the system is non-persistant but at least I can keep it running this way while looking for the actual solution.
My understanding based on reading the documentation is that the factory firmware runs on the eMMC 8GiB flash memory of the router but still uses NOR flash for bootloader while OpenWrt installs itself completely on the NOR 16MiB flash. The two ".img" transition files configure the bootloader to boot from one or the other.
So, given the fact that OpenWrt when installed in persistant mode wouldn't boot (or at least it looks like it) I'm wondering if there is maybe some kind of issue with the NOR mtd8 flash partition (https://openwrt.org/toh/gl.inet/gl.inet_gl-s1300?datasrt=firmware%20openwrt%20install%20url#flash_layout) do you think that makes sense or that it's even possible ? And if so how could I verify this and hopefully fix it ? Should I or is it possible to reformat that partition ?
I would like to note that uBoot worked nicely the whole time so there is some part of NOR that works...
Hopefully I was clear enough while providing any detail you might wonder about.