I have been doing some tests on my router (TL-WR841N) by flashing DD-WRT and OpenWRT firmwares instead of the stock TP-Link firmware (by doing that directly from the stock firmware web interface). And then I reverted the firmware from both OpenWRT and DD-WRT back to the stock firmware (using Tftpd method without any external serial connection) and everything went fine.

But a couple of days ago, I found in OpenWRT official documentation, that when I want to revert back to Stock firmware from OpenWRT or DD-WRT, I have to remove the beginning sector of the stock firmware image (if its name has boot word).

Actually my stock firmware has boot word, but nevertheless, I flashed the stock firmware WITHOUT removing anything from image and it worked perfectly!

  • I couldn't understand why should I remove that part of the image?

  • If it is important as they say, why it does work with me although I didn't removed it?

  • What bad things can happen if I continued reverting from OpenWRT back to stock firmware ignoring removing that beginning part of the stock firmware?

migrated from serverfault.com Jan 4 '17 at 20:59

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

  • 1
    I never removed something from any image and everytime everything works normály on this router. – Misaz Jan 8 '17 at 17:32
  • @Misaz yes I have the same experience, but do you know then why did they write that in OpenWRT official docs? – Mohammed Noureldin Jan 8 '17 at 18:24
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    Only one reason for that i think is that flashing over tftp dont accept all images. For example sysupgrade image is invalid for that and removing some bytes could "repair" that (not tested). But i think if you have no problém with flashing any other problém couldn't appear. – Misaz Jan 8 '17 at 19:49

The Tplink firmware contains bootloader and openwrt does not. So after upgrading from tplink to openwrt, bootloader does not changes, firmware of tplink changes to openwrt and again when openwrt to tplink using tftp firmware changes, not bootloader. If you change firmware from openwrt to stock firmware using sysupgrade or mtd command then it will brick your router. Otherwise you remove bootloader from stock firmware and then use this commands(sysupgrade or mtd). I hope you understood my explanation.

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