TP-Link TL-WR1043ND DD-WRT No WAN fix

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:

>Download the necessary files

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)
3: Finished!

Full details below the break

Step A

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.

Step 1

Install the german TP-Link Firmware. It’s in folder “Step 1″ as “wr1043nv1_de_3_9_17_up_boot(100331)”

Step 2

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”

Step 3

Finished! It should be working now.

Hope this helps

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52 Responses to TP-Link TL-WR1043ND DD-WRT No WAN fix

  1. Tinker says:

    Thanks for your post. I have a Version 1.8 WR1043ND with a serial number starting “11..”. So I would like to use the firmware in Step 2 of your procedure.

    What is the version of DD-WRT firmware you are using in Step 2?

    I’m asking as I’m finding it very difficult to get a simple answer to ‘Which version of DD WRT will work on my V1.8 WR1043ND router?”.

  2. admin says:

    I believe it was dated 3/19/2012

  3. admin says:

    The version was DD-WRT v24-sp2 (03/19/12) std – build 18777, although DD-WRT and OpenWRT don’t have a stable driver for the new Qualcomm radio that they started putting in to these (S/N 12xxxxx), I’ve since reverted to the factory firmware because large amounts of activity over N wifi using encryption caused the wifi stack to crash repeatedly. Not sure if using 3×3 antennas is the problem, but encrypted N on this thing with WRT is not a realistic option at the moment unless you want to jump down to G (…then what’s the point of having an N router with 3 antennas?). They haven’t fixed the problem in a year so I doubt a fix is coming soon, unless someone else starts using the same Qualcomm chip in a more popular router.

  4. Victor says:

    I have the 1.8 version with S/N 1.12xxxxx
    All working great! Thanks so much.

    After that, Can I upgrade to any newer version without less WAN port in the future?


  5. Carl says:

    worked great, i thought i lost dd wrt firmware as official firmware worked fine but am very happy, thanks for your help and info!

  6. johnnyrainbow says:

    Thank you very much! Just what I was looking for.

  7. Jk says:

    Regarding the encryption which slows down the Wifi – You can fix it by using WPA2 with AES and also by running the following command:
    nvram set wl_bcn=”50″ ;
    nvram set wl0_bcn=”50″ ;
    nvram commit ;

    This will help you :)

  8. Elmo says:

    Thank you very much, that did the trick!

  9. Shareed2k says:

    tanks you very much you saved me with this post!!!

  10. Many, many thanks. You helped me fix this weird problem that I had with my router: WLAN working fine with stock firmware but not with dd-wrt.

    I am keeping an eye on your blog, for future reference ;)

  11. Jr says:

    Thanks, you saved my day!!!

  12. Pingback: need a wifi router with usb and if possible adsl

  13. admin says:

    Looks like DD-WRT group is finally starting to address this bug (after 6+ months!). You can follow their progress here:

  14. Vaseer says:

    I have TP-Link TL-WR1043ND, Rev 1.7, Serial 119xxxx… and I have the same problem with WAN port (I am using PPPoE).
    Regardless which type of connection I select (PPPoE, DHCP, PPTP…), WAN won’t turn on.

    Could it be the same problem, that it is with Serial 12xxxx…?

  15. juri says:

    Thank you very much the procedure saved me from hours of testing!!

    Greetings from Italy

  16. passh says:

    Today, you ara my god. tnks god.

  17. JustOneGuy says:

    Guys, I´m getting confusing answers in different forums concerning the Wr1043ND firmware update. Some say if updating from V1.8, which I have, to the latest firmware V1_120405, it will disable the WAN ports. I´m connecting my two computers through cat 5 cables, not wireless and therefore I will need these ports working. (My wr1043ND has serial number beginning with
    I just want to update the firmware with the official one in TP-Link’s webpage. I´m open to suggestions…
    Thank you…

  18. darkenergy says:

    I was a bit worried about doing this but it worked perfectly. The infamous 30/30/30 reset was performed before each flash.
    So far, everything is rock-stable and I can see no disadvantage to this procedure,

  19. Cesar Radtke says:

    I don’t know why, but works.
    Thanks, bcos I was willing to give up and return to retail firmware.

  20. Stuart C says:

    TL-WR1043ND V1.9 S/N 12xxxxxxx. Thanks a million. Normally no problems with TP-Link hardware, good hardware for very affordable price. Went ahead with usual dd-wrt install, then disaster no WAN. Luckily found your brilliant fix on forum. Well presented and with files too. Up and running within minutes.

  21. Trev says:

    Thank you very much!!

  22. Handy says:

    Thanks. it’s working great. ddwrt firmware is much more function than original firmware.

  23. Nikel says:

    Thanks a lot mate! I was also close to givin’ up.

  24. eilz says:

    Does anyone know how to add the below, do you have to create a script or can I just add it into the web interface under Commands? Thanks!

    nvram set wl_bcn=”50″ ;
    nvram set wl0_bcn=”50″ ;
    nvram commit ;

  25. Bruno says:

    Thank you so much. Great article. Solved my problem.
    Best regards.

  26. Kosmin says:

    Thank you! wr1043nd after hours finally i find your blog and solve WAN problem…Damn’ DDWRT, they didn’t find a solution from about a year!!

  27. Mads says:

    Thank you so much for this easy to follow guide. I have been struggling with the no-WAN problem for the last 4 hours (it is now 0235 :P ).

    I have the TL-WR1043ND v. 1.8 serial: 12xxxxxxxxx – and your guide worked for me.

  28. Joe Kazura says:

    I have a version 1.8 unit with a SN: 11Bxxxxxxxx

    With latest TP-LINK F/W the LAN goes DEAD after a period of time. :-(

    I followed DD-WRT site instructions and updated with the “Factory to DD-WRT” middle step (v24-sp2 (08/07/10) and then any attempts to go beyond that “don’t stick”! Update appears to go through, but when unit comes up, it’s got the same FW as before. ODD!!!

    What worked for me is get it back to TP-Link Factory, flash the German FW, then flash BrainSlayers v24-sp2 (12/31/12) build 20453. There is both a factory to DD-WRT and a ‘final’ DD-WRT version. Go here:
    and find them here: Downloads › others › eko › BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2 › 2013 › 01-01-2013-r20453 › tplink_tl-wr1043nd

    Cheers …

  29. em says:

    What @Kazura says is correct. No need for the german ROM now.

  30. riley says:

    Thank you so much . I finally got my router back to its working state thanks so much

  31. Eduardo Castro says:

    Works perfectly!!
    Thank you so much!!

  32. George Adrian says:

    Thank you so much. I bought the router in november 2011, when I installed dd-wrt without problems everything worked fine. After that I needed original firmware for some reason. Now I wanted dd-wrt back and surprise: not working anymore. I tried everything (all dd-wrt versions, all tl versions back an forth nothing worked) until I found your blog. My router S/N is 11xxxxxxxxx and the upgrade was a success only the first time. If reverting to tp-link firmware and after you want dd-wrt again must follow these instructions. Very strange indeed. God bless you for your post.

  33. sushar2000 says:

    Work great. Thanks a ton.

  34. tom says:

    Worked like a charm. Sn:12xxxxx, no wan access, followed the guided and now works perfect. Thx

  35. Hardest says:

    Thank you very much, working perfectly.. AWESOME

  36. Some guy says:

    I did the above after experiencing issues with the stock DD-WRT firmware (which has worked well on a 1043 for over a year now). Indeed the WAN port issue was fixed but I saw bizarre behavior when defining port forwarding.

    First, the PPPoE tunnel on the WAN port would disconnect after apply a new NAT rule. I could somehow live with that but I also observed that forwarded packets came through corrupt. The router was promptly shelved.

  37. Robert says:

    Thank you very much the procedure saved me from hours of testing!!

    Greetings from Poland

  38. Chella says:

    Thanks very much. I just bought this from Amazon and after flashing with dd-wrt, the router would not get an IP from my cable modem. You suggestion worked perfectly. Again, Thanks.

  39. jabidin says:

    Hi Chella:
    what model??
    I have also bought one on amazon, exactly this:

    Firmware Version: 3.13.12 Build 120405 Rel.33996n
    Hardware Version: WR1043ND v1 00000000


  40. KYColP723 says:

    Thank you so much!! This Worked flawlessly.
    I have the 1.8 version with S/N 1.1xxxxxx

  41. Martijn says:

    After cracking my brain for half an hour why my WAN port was no longer alive, I found this page.
    Thanks a ton for sharing the info and the required files!

  42. Did anybody fix wifi dropout [1] issue with their wr1043nd when running ddwrt or openwrt? I’m still having issue and really pissed off…

    I posted to this bug report [2] but still no news from any of the developers.

    It looks like same bug [3] is also present in openwrt firware, I can confirm that I had same issues with openwrt.

    Is there any workaround?


  43. Robert says:

    with dd-wrt on this router is it possible to power off the wifi radio during the night ?

  44. I have a very similar with pictures on my website if anybody would like to see a step by step screenshot.

  45. Alexandru says:

    Thank you very much the procedure saved me from hours of testing!!

    Greetings from Madrid (Spain)

  46. Uriel says:

    Awesome, solved my problem completely! Thank you very much!!

  47. admin says:

    Glad this helped!

  48. Dean says:

    Hi , is this still valid and up to date?

  49. admin says:

    Yes, so long as your device meets the S/N requirements listed in the first paragraph

    I’m currently using (after doing the fix in this article) DD-WRT v24-sp2 (05/27/13) std
    (SVN revision 21676)

    Which you can find in the site path
    Path: Downloads › others › eko › BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2 › 2013

    It looks like as of this writing the most recent version is build 23204

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