You are here

TPlink CPE210 with inoperable won't boot replacement FW

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
TPlink CPE210 with inoperable won't boot replacement FW

I have 2 TPlink CPE210s V3.26 that I want to flash with AREDN firmware.  I first tried the most recent "aredn-" using the PHAROS software that came with the CPE210.  It flashed, I could ping it and open the NOCALL page.  When I entered the user/password I got the "Bad Gateway error that many have reported.   I just spent a week trying to reflash it with, which worked on my 2nd CPE210, using the TFTP and TinyPXE methods but nothing ever took.   Following the instructions on the bottom of this page   I was able to use Putty to log into it and WinSCP to copy firmware files into the 1st CPE210.  I tried to load the version that had worked on my 2nd unit and the lights flashed etc, but it never seemed to really load, was always still there.  I tried to load the TPlink original firmware, same thing.   I had renamed the files recovery.bin, though I probably didn't need to, and copied them into root/tmp/tmp with WinSCP before "flashing".  Attached is the Putty log of one of the attempts.   I entered "sysupgrade -F /tmp/tmp recovery.bin".  

File Attachment: 
nc8q's picture
sysupgrade /tmp/tmp recovery.bin
gelmce@nc8q-desktop:~$ ssh -p2222 root@nc8q-sxtsq-5ac
root@nc8q-sxtsq-5ac's password:

BusyBox v1.35.0 (2023-04-27 20:28:15 UTC) built-in shell (ash)

              _____  ______ _____  _   _
        /\   |  __ \|  ____|  __ \| \ | |TM
       /  \  | |__) | |__  | |  | |  \| |
      / /\ \ |  _  /|  __| | |  | | . ` |
     / ____ \| | \ \| |____| |__| | |\  |
    /_/    \_\_|  \_\______|_____/|_| \_|
 1) Research AREDN and choose a supported device
 2) Download and install AREDN firmware
 3) Deploy and enjoy the mesh
  20230719-ef17d9b, r20134-5f15225c1e
root@NC8Q-SXTsq-5ac:~# sysupgrade /tmp/tmp recovery.bin
Tue Jul 25 17:23:53 UTC 2023 upgrade: Image metadata not present
Tue Jul 25 17:23:53 UTC 2023 upgrade: Use sysupgrade -F to override this check when downgrading or flashing to vendor firmware
Image check failed.
root@NC8Q-SXTsq-5ac:~# ls -l /tmp/tmp

'/tmp/tmp recovery.bin'
seems to be a 'bad' file 'path/filename' construct.

It seems to me that 'sysupgrade /tmp/tmp/recovery.bin' would be a valid command and file construct.

Please show the contents of '/tmp/tmp' especially showing a filename beginning with a space: ' recovery.bin'.

73, Chuck

w6bi's picture
file path
Chuck, it would be 'sysupgrade /tmp/web/<filename.bin>


Thanks Chuck, maybe that's my problem.

There is a folder in /root named /tmp and there is a folder in /tmp also named /tmp.   The last (bottom) tmp folder was empty at first. I copied the recovery.bin file into that empty folder.  I exited and came back to make sure it was there.   I then ran the 'sysupgrade -F /tmp/tmp recovery.bin' command and lights flashed etc.   When I looked back in the '/tmp/tmp' folder, it was now empty.   I took that as evidence the system had found and processed the file, and that the path was correct.  There was no space at the beginning of the filename 'recovery.bin'.  That, and the assumption that the file had been processed, might have been my mistake.   I'll run it with the 'sysupgrade /tmp/tmp/recovery.bin' command and report back - thanks.

nc8q's picture
run it with the 'sysupgrade -F /tmp/tmp/recovery.bin' and report

Good, run the command as in the title.
You ran the command without the trailing '/' and a space ' ' in front of the file name.
IMHO, the command should be
'sysupgrade -F /tmp/tmp/recovery.bin' , and not
'sysupgrade -F /tmp/tmp recovery.bin' .

Please copy-n-paste a 'ls -l /tmp/tmp' so that we can see that 'recovery.bin' actually exists.
I got no error message about not finding a file to load. :-|

73, Chuck

Good news: That made a difference! the bad news...

Before I got your last message and it's instructions, I ran the  the 'sysupgrade -F /tmp/tmp/recovery.bin' command and this time a whole different pattern of indicator LEDs lit.  Unlike every time before, I no longer see version on the CPE210.  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of flashing the manufactures firmware and something went wrong.  It is not behaving like a new from the factory CPE210.   When plugged into the LAN, where it is the only device except the computer, it shows 4 ip addresses.  3 of them a ping 'could not find the host' and the 4th was pingable but no reply.   This has been a great learning experience, but unless someone has a good idea, this one is going into the trash.  Lucky they are only $40.    Sincere thanks for all your help!!!  

nc8q's picture
but unless someone has a good idea, this one is going into the t
It seems that you have only tried the Pharos method.
Please try the TFTP method.
"If the process above does not work ..., then you can install AREDN® firmware on your device using steps similar to those described above for Mikrotik devices."

73, Chuck

Thanks, Will do

Thanks Chuck, I'll give it another try.  I tried the tinyPXE method but it did not work for me.  I've also tried Tftpd32 and 64 but I'm not sure I had all the settings right.  The good news is I now have two working AREDN-CPE210s talking to each other.   I can use them to start learning the ropes.

I gave it a few more tries.

I think I truly bricked this CPE210. The first two LEDs stay on constantly when power is applied.  It shows no sign of communicating over ethernet (LAN led constant on) and holding the reset button down and adding power does not produce any changes in the LEDs, even after more than a minute hold down.  It used to.   I don't see it on the LAN anywhere and attempts to TFTP to it at the usual locations come back with a timeout and no contact.   I can not find a port into which to SSH.  It is the only ethernet device on a small computer, so it is a relatively simple system.  Two other CPE210s work fine on the same system as does a Bullet M2 HP.   I sure learned a lot in the two weeks I have been working on it and for that, I am grateful.    

The Bullet was a struggle, but this post helped a lot-   Bullet M2(HP) xw install issue. | Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (  . I went through a few firmware versions (TFTP) until I tried the one G4SGX recommended.  It was a real relief when it came to life!

Thanks Chuck!!!  and thanks G4SGX!

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer