In this post, I will walk you through converting your TP-Link TL-WR1043ND from factory firmware to DD-WRT 3rd party firmware. DD-WRT is generally more stable than the factory firmware and contains more advanced features. This is a pretty easy firmware upgrade with one catch. If your router’s Serial Number begins with 12, then you will need to perform an additional step before converting to DD-WRT. The extra step is to flash a special german firmware image before flashing to DD-WRT. Newer versions of the TL-WR1043ND router turn off the WAN port during a firmware upgrade which never gets turned back on in DD-WRT. This special german firmware image prevents the WAN from being turned off during the DD-WRT conversion.
**UPDATE** If you already have a non working DD-WRT install, you can use this file to revert your firmware back to stock TP-Link. Then you can install the german firmware file and then install DD-WRT.
- First, you will need to make a hardwired connection to the router (do not attempt this using a wireless connection).
- Next you will need to obtain the DD-WRT firmware for this router. The firmware can be found HERE. The link is to the DD-WRT ftp site. Select the latest year, then select the most recent build (not a testing build), then select the tplink_tl-wr1043nd folder, and lastly click the factory-to-ddwrt.bin file. I used build 19419 at the time of writing this.
- If you have a router that has a serial number starting with 12, then you will need to download THIS german firmware file, otherwise you can skip this step.
- Open up a browser and navigate to http://192.168.1.1 and the default user is admin, default password is admin.
- Go to System Tools and then Firmware Upgrade. You should see the following screen:
- If your router serial number starts with 12, select browse and choose the german firmware file that you downloaded earlier. Otherwise select browse and choose the factory-to-ddwrt.bin file that you downloaded from DD-WRT.
- You will then see the next two screens and your router will automatically reboot.
- If you uploaded the german firmware file, then you will need to go back to System-Tools then Firmware-Upgrade to upload the factory-to-ddwrt.bin file.
- Once you have uploaded the factory-to-ddwrt.bin file, the router will reboot and you will see the DD-WRT setup screen. You just need to set your username and password and you are ready to start configuring your DD-WRT router.
If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment. Also, let me know what builds you have found to be stable on this router.