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How to Flash Chip of a Router With a Programmer | TP-Link Router Repair & MAC address change

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In this video tutorial, I show how to flash chip of a router with a programmer. Also, I show how to change MAC address of the router (you can see it at the end of the video).

Why do such flashing:

Such repair procedure can be helpful after wrong or unsuccessful flashing.

I flashed my router because I wanted to go back to an older firmware, but TP-Link blocked it with a firmware lock (error 18005), but with a programmer, I flashed it anyway.

I also show in the video how to change MAC address of the router using a programmer, MAC address stored in the chip so you can easily change it using a programmer.

What programmer did I use:

I programmed my chip with a CH341A programmer.

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Hi, guys, welcome to electrical projects channel. In this video, I’ll show you all you need to know how to unsolder flash memory of a router and flash it. You may ask why to do it at all. Well, for most of the people the main reason is to repair not working router after wrong.

Or unsuccessful flashing, but here is my reason, well, all this experimenting started when.

I decided to update the firmware of my router, I went to tp-link website and download the.

Latest firmware for my router. Changelog claimed improved stability and bug fixes, so I didn’t care about a small warning.

That I only will be able to upgrade to the EU firmware after this, but my thoughts at.

That time ware why do I want to go back to an old firmware version anyway? Well, I downloaded it and flashed it successfully. But actually, I’ve not noticed any improved stability, but instead, I’ve noticed that.

Very important for me feature called “antenna alignment” was removed. I was angry, and I even called TP-Link tech support, but they politely said that it is.

Impossible to go back to an older firmware and that they cannot help..

And when I tried to flash an older firmware I’ve just got an error, I was really angry.

At TP-Link, I really don’t know why they do it. Well, after a little bit of reading on the internet I’ve chosen a very radical way,.

But at the same time it is a very simple way for me, I’ve bought a cheap 4$ programmer,.

And decided to program the chip. For most people, it will be not very reasonable to buy a programmer just to flash a chip one single time. But since I wanted to experiment, and learn new things, I’ve decided to buy it. Basically, with such programmer, it is always possible to restore a router if the hardware of the router is still alive. Well, Let me show what you need to do in order to flash a router with such programmer..

Well first, of course, we need to disassemble the router.

And here you can see the actual chip that stores the firmware. It is 32 Mbits, which equals 4 Mbytes of memory. But in order to flash it, we need to unsolder it from the main PCB. It will not be very easy since I am going to use just a soldering iron. Well let’s add some liquid flux, some solder,.

And now, we need to quickly heat up one side and another..

And here it goes, now let’s clean it..

Now it is clean. Here is the chip. The programmer comes with this PCB adapter for the chip, and I suppose to solder the chip directly to it, but since it is not easy to unsolder the chip using just a soldering iron, I’ve decided to use wires. Now, we just need to solder wires in the correct order..

Like this. Now, let’s put this adapter in the programmer and let’s flash the chip..

Now, let’s talk about flashing. First let’s click on detect, the program should recognize the chip, now let’s choose.

What’s written on the chip. And now goes very important thing before flashing. Let’s create a back up file. Click on "read" button and wait. It is a very important step because inside the chip is stored unique information like.

MAC addresses and WPS pin and you may need this data later. So, you need to read the chip and save the data..

Now when the reading is complete, let’s click on save button, name the file, and choose.

To save as type bin file,.

And click save. Now, with this bin file, you can always restore everything as it was before flashing..

Now when we have the backup file we can erase the chip, to do so click on Erase button and.

Wait. Now let’s read the chip just to be sure that the chip is amply..

Well as you can see the erasing was successful and the chip is empty. And now you probably think that I am going to download a firmware bin file from TP-Link.

Website and flash into the chip, but no, it doesn’t work like that, and if I do that.

The router simply will not boot. Actually, to make the router work I need to flash into the chip what is called “a full dump”..

A ‘full dump’ is a bin file that was red by a programmer from the chip of another router..

It is the same bin file as we just created by saving the data from the chip, but we need such file from another router. And you may ask “but where do I get such file?” Well, the answer simple, try to find it on the internet. That’s what I did, I found on some forum the ‘full dump’ for my model of the router and now am going to flash it. To flash the ‘full dump’ file, let’s click on open, choose appropriate bin file.

And click write. And now let’s wait until the flashing is complete..

Now after flashing is successful let’s start soldering. Well, here I am also going to use wires because if my flashing is not successful it will not be easy to unsolder the chip again..

Now the wires are soldered. A little bit of cleaning..

Now let’s solder the chip..

And Now let’s test it. And the router is working, and I have an older version of the firmware without any locks. An interesting thing that I also have the new MAC address. Well after successful flashing I’ve really licked the ability to flash this chip with any firmware that I want, so, I decided to make this chip easily accessible..

I am going to build my own adapter for the chip. This adapter will be accessible outside of the routers housing. Let’s solder the wires. Now, a little bit of cleaning..

Now let’s fixate this socket for the chip to the routers housing, I am going to use a screw..

Now Let’s Pull the wires through the holes.

And Now, let’s unsolder older wires and solder new..

And like always a little bit of cleaning. After soldering is finished, let’s assemble the router. Now, let’s make an adapter for the chip. I am using DIP8 socket. Let’s solder wires to the socket, Let’s bend wires, and cut them appropriately.

And now let’s solder the chip to the wires..

And That is how it looks all together..

And now let’s test it. And It works!.

But it’s not all, the last thing that I want to show, is how to change MAC address of the router. To change MAC address let’s put the chip in the programmer..

Now, let’s click on detect, and choose the chip..

Now click on the Read button and wait. And now in order to change MAC address we need to go to address 0001FC00 and here you.

Can see the MAC address of the router, let’s change it to something else..

Now after MAC is changed, it is important to click on Erase button and wait..

After erasing is finished let’s click on write button and wait until the flashing iscomplete..

Now am going to put the chip in the socket of the router and we’ll see what we have..

And check this out guys, is it not cool? Now, you definitely will not forget the MAC address of your router.

And that is all for today, like this video, subscribe to my channel, and thanks for watching..

See you next time.




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