[Solved] Repurposing a Samknows TL-WR1043ND v1.10

Greetings! I have participated in the monitoring project for several years. A couple of years ago, I upgraded my internet service to 300Mb+ and was no longer able to participate. The instructions from Samknows were to dispose of the equipment in a 'environmentally friendly way'. This seems a bit wasteful since, at it's heart, there remains a reasonable router.

Is there a path to install OpenWRT on this router, or has Samknows so effectively bricked it?

It appears the Samknows firmware is a derivative of OpenWrt and it is not hard to obtain a root shell through failsafe mode or likely serial console. Much is about hacking the later version which was a WDR-3600. The WR1043 would be essentially the same.
When you get to step 5 you'd of course use OpenWrt instead. This installation method requires the sysupgrade file, not the factory one. Ideally use the sysupgrade script if it exists in the samknows build. With mtd write first check cat /proc/mtd to make sure you're writing to the "firmware" partition.
The WR1043v1 having only 32 MB of RAM does limit what you can do with it, for example VPN servers will not fit. But you can do some basic stuff.


Indeed! Thank you very much. I am now running OpenWrt 19.07.5,

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does anyone have an alternative link as this one to github is not found? :frowning:

https://gist.github.com/Mag81 klick hacking-the-whitebox.md

My experience...

Telnet access was simple but after changing the password (as mention in the banner) ssh was not starting.
Manual startup (/etc/init.d/dropbear start) worked a treat and allowed for an scp of the bin file into the device.

Now have the mesh network back in place using openwrt after my cheapy chappie devices failed and I was pushed into learning openwrt. Much happier as able to control what devices connect where and improve the local plex streaming :slight_smile:

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