For whatever reason TP-Link introduced a new feature that turns off the WAN port when you do a firmware upgrade. This is to help with MAC address migration or some other obscure thing. It doesn’t help us, however. Generally if your S/N serial number on the bottom of the unit says “S/N 1xxxxxxxxx” then you should be able to flash to DD-WRT directly. Newer models, introduced in April 2012 and commonly found on Newegg and Amazon by August 2012 have a serial number that says “S/N 12xxxxxxx”. These devices with the 12xxxxx serial need to follow these instructions:
What we’re going to do
A: Get a good version of TP-Link Firmware installed on your router
1: Install a goofy German TP-Link firmware with a loophole in it
2: Install DD-WRT (or OpenWRT)
Full details below the break
If you haven’t tried upgrading to DD-WRT yet and still have the stock firmware, go ahead and skip to Step 1.
If you’ve upgraded to DD-WRT already, you need to revert back to a version of TP-Link firmware. If you are currently running DD-WRT with no WAN port access, you’re going to need to use the “tl-wr1043nd_v1-webrevert” firmware found in the Utilities folder.
Ok, once you have a version of the TP-Link firmware installed, you need to install a special German version of the TP-Link Firmware. This version does not turn off the WAN port when you do a firmware upgrade. No, I don’t know why. It just does.
Install the german TP-Link Firmware. It’s in folder “Step 1″ as “wr1043nv1_de_3_9_17_up_boot(100331)”
Install the DD-WRT firmware (or OpenWRT firmware, doesn’t matter). I’ve included a working version of the DD-WRT firmware that is known to work. It is in the “Step 2″ folder as “factory-to-ddwrt”
Finished! It should be working now.
Hope this helps