Updating TD-W8970 Image too big for Flash memoory

Hi, I installed OpenWrt Ver 15.05 on a TP Link TD-W8970 a few years back. I am now trying to update it to Ver 22.03.3 using flash firmware option.
I get the message "image does not fit into flash memory (size 7.06MB 6.63MB available.)
What should I do ?

try an older version.

If you want to use it as AP, I confirm you can have it with 22.03.3.

Anyway, you have two options to reduce the image size

Firmware selector:


Image Builder:

I personally use Image Builder.

Obviously, the more you need, the larger the size, and you can easily reach the limit...

Thanks for the replies. I'll try the suggestions. Jodel

Sorry.... I forgot the most important hint: when you have up and running a "minimal" image, you can use Extroot to expand it:

Once again, I did it.

I went to this link:
This offers to build an image and customise installed packages.
It gives a long list of possible packages. What are the minimum ones I need to select for a basic home router serving 3 or 4 machines , a few phones and a few tablets?

I think more or less the same you are currently using; if you don't know, leave what Firmware Selector suggests and/or remove packages having in mind your use case. As far as I've seen, if you build a less than 7.5 MB starting image, you are ok. Once installed, get an USB key, configure Extroot and add everything else.

But, first and above all, double check what you have to know to safely upgrade from 15.05: I'm not a pro, so when I moved from Chaos Calmer to OpenWrt 21, I read forum and wiki and accepted the risk to brick or burn or blow it up, because it was not my home main router and I had a spare AP device ready to use.

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You might give up DSL parts USB and PPPoA
base-files busybox ca-bundle dnsmasq dropbear firewall4 fstools iwinfo kmod-ath9k kmod-gpio-button-hotplug kmod-leds-gpio kmod-nft-offload libc libgcc libustream-wolfssl logd mtd netifd nftables odhcp6c odhcpd-ipv6only opkg ppp ppp-mod-pppoe procd procd-seccomp procd-ujail uci uclient-fetch urandom-seed urngd wpad-basic-wolfssl luci luci-mod-dashboard
this outputed 6.12MB image

Brilliant. Thanks for the help. I have just built the same image and when I get a chance later I will try and upgrade my router. As is is only a one I am experimenting on, it doesn't matter if I brick it!

This is an important element here.

  1. Your settings are not compatible, so do not attempt to retain the configuration files, and do not restore a backup from an old version into a running installation of something new.

  2. Make a backup of your settings to use as a reference (human readable), if you might not remember exactly what was configured once things have been reset to defaults.

  3. You'll need to upgrade in stages. A direct upgrade will not work. I recommend the following upgrade path:
    15.05 > 17.01 > 19.07 > 22.03
    Reset the device to defaults first. Then upgrade along the above path. For each upgrade, do not keep settings (this keeps everything consistent with the relative default state for each version).

It is probably best to use the normal stable release build for your first upgrade to 22.03... from there, you can easily re-flash with your custom image.

If you get any warnings about the upgrade process, don't force the update... come back here with the information about the warning and ask for advice... there's always some risk of a failed flash, but we'll help you minimize that by ensuring that any force upgrade situations are expected.

Thanks for the good advise. Unfortunately, before your post, I tried to flash the image I created ( and had kept config ticked also) and now the router is no longer booting up. The router was not in productive use anyway - I was only using it to try and learn OpenWrt.
Am I correct in thinking that the only way forward now is to open it up to get serial access?

So it should be flashed correctly. Now try https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/troubleshooting/failsafe_and_factory_reset . If device is not in bootloop from uboot it will be saved via factory reset.

Thanks for that. I'll try as suggested.