Flashing the Router

Warning

Care must be taken when following these instructions, as it is possible to destroy your router and turn it into a round cornered brick. You have been warned.

Do not attempt to flash the router using a wireless connection to the computer. This will almost certainly brick the router. Use only a wired Ethernet connection.

Introduction

The firmware on a router is updated by using the router's web interface. This tutorial will show you how to upgrade your factory firmware to the ROOter firmware and how to upgrade the ROOter firmware to a newer version. Several examples using different routers will be shown, including the WR703N, which has a Chinese language interface.

Preparing the Computer

In general, the computer does not need to have anything done to it before flashing the router. If you want, you can change the computer to use a Static IP Address rather than the address assigned by your network. This is not really necessary but it can add some security to the flashing operation.

To see how to set the computer to use a Static IP Address see the instructions here.

The best results are achieved by connecting the router directly to the computer using an ethernet cable. While it is possible to flash the router when it is connected to a network it is not advised. Never flash the router over a wifi connection.

 

Upgrading the Firmware from Factory to ROOter

With the router reset, unplug it from power and hook an Ethernet cable from LAN 1 on the router to the network port on the computer. Power up the router and wait for it to boot up.

Use your browser to access the web interface of the router at the default IP Address and log in with the default User Name and Password.

For most routers the default IP Address is 192.168.1.1. Check your router's manual if you are unsure of the default address. In many cases the default User name is admin and the Password is also admin. Again, check the manual if unsure.

The example used here is the TP-Link MR3420V1 but other routers will be very similar.

Navigate to System Tools and then to Factory Defaults .

If the button says Upgrade then nothing needs to be done. If it says Restore then click on it and confirm the pop-up dialog.

Next, navigate to System Tools and then to Firmware Upgrade .

Use the Browse button to find the custom firmware file on your computer. Make sure it is the correct firmware file for your model of router, as an incorrect firmware will brick your router.

Click on the Upgrade button and confirm the firmware upgrade.

Wait for the router to reboot. Do not interrupt the power during this process . It may take several minutes for the upgrade to take place so be patient. Wait until the light on the router stops flashing, even if you have access to the router web GUI.

The router should reboot after the upgrade. Congratulations, you have converted your router to a ROOter.

If the SYS led is active and you haven't seen the ROOter web interface, browse to 192.168.1.1 and log in. You do not need a password to log in at this time.

Since you have upgraded your router from the factory firmware to the ROOter firmware it necessary for you to configure the router to match your requirements. To do this, follow the instructions on the Configuring the ROOter page.

Upgrading the TP-Link WR703N Firmware

Since the WR703N comes with a Chinese language web interface, we will look at flashing its firmware in more detail. By default the web interface is at 192.168.1.1, the default User Name is admin and the default Password is admin.

System Tools is the last bulleted entry in the list. Click on this to fold out the various options here.

Firmware Upgrade is the third item in the fold out list.

Click on the Browse button and select the correct image file to use for flashing the router. Make sure it is the correct firmware file for your model of router, as an incorrect firmware will brick your router.

Then click on the Flash Image button. You will be asked to confirm the flash so click on OK.

A progress bar will appear.

Wait for the router to reboot. Do not interrupt the power during this process . It may take several minutes for the upgrade to take place so be patient.

The router should reboot after the upgrade. Congratulations, you have converted your router to a ROOter.

If the SYS led is active and you haven't seen the ROOter web interface, browse to 192.168.1.1 and log in. You do not need a password to log in at this time.

Since you have upgraded your router from the factory firmware to the ROOter firmware it necessary for you to configure the router to match your requirements. To do this, follow the instructions on the Configuring the ROOter page.

Upgrading the ROOter Firmware to a New Version

If your router is running the ROOter firmware and you wish to upgrade it to a newer version or you wish to restore the factory firmware you can do it through the ROOter web interface. Use your browser to log on to the ROOter web interface and select System in the upper tab and Backup/Flash Firmware in the lower tab.

The section of interest is the Flash new firmware image section at the bottom. Use the Browse button to select the new firmware on your computer. Be sure to select the correct firmware for the model of router you have. A wrong firmware cannot be flashed as the firmware checks for the correct image.

Unless specifically told otherwise, you can leave the Keep Settings checkbox selected. This will retain all your settings from the current firmware and carry them over to the new firmware. No reconfiguration will be required after upgrading.

When upgrading to the 2017-04-15 GoldenOrb firmware make sure the Keep Settings box is unchecked. This will prevent some strange errors from occuring.

Click on the Flash image button.

You will be asked to verify that you wish to flash the router. To do so click on Proceed.

Wait for the router to reboot. Do not interrupt the power during this process . It may take several minutes for the upgrade to take place so be patient.

The router should reboot after the upgrade and you will be running the new firmware.

If you left the Keep settings box checked then nothing else needs to be done, as the router has all the settings from the previous firmware.

If the box was unchecked then you must configure the router before using it. To do this, follow the instructions on the Configuring the ROOter page.