Mike DePaulo on 7 Jan 2016 06:39:54 -0800

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [PLUG] Rooting Phone Experiences

I agree with what Rich says. Some things to also point out:

On Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 9:06 AM, Rich Freeman <r-plug@thefreemanclan.net> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 7:39 AM, Mail List <MailList@nerdworld.org> wrote:
>> However, their web page has all kinds of scary warnings about rooting, and
>> I definitely cannot afford to brick this device.  It seems like this is a
>> fairly simple process, but the cost of being wrong is potentially very high
>> (non-working $400 phone).  Before I proceed, I wanted to see how other
>> people (who are braver and smarter, but not as good-looking as me) have
>> fared rooting their phones.
> You won't brick an android phone as long as:
> 1.  The phone supports fastboot and that is how you're flashing things.
> 2.  You either:
>    a. Don't touch the bootloader/radio partitions.   (Note that boot
> != bootloader - you can touch the boot partition all you want.)
>    b. Only update these following the proper procedure, ensuring the
> two are ALWAYS compatible.
> If you follow those rules you'll always have a working bootloader,
> which means that if you mess everything up you can use fastboot to
> reflash another image.

And above fastboot is your recovery environment.

Your recovery environment lets you flash new ROMs. Sometimes people
install new recovery environments, but in case you mess up your
recovery environment, fastboot lets you recover your recovery

So like Rich says, Fastboot provides good protection against bricking
as long as you follow instructions..

> If you mess up your boot or radio images, then your options get really
> hairy, possibly involving JTAG and such.  Sometimes a particular
> version of the radio is not compatible with a particular version of
> the bootloader, so I never touch these without care and without making
> sure I'm checking both and updating them together following the
> vendor's procedure.  Third-party ROMs and such shouldn't be messing
> with these.  The only time you might mess with them is to root your
> phone if the vendor doesn't support it, or to unlock the SIM if the
> vendor isn't helping you out with this.  That, and normal system
> updates, in which case you should be using the vendor's flashing
> procedure and images.
> If the vendor supports rooting then generally there isn't that much
> risk if you know what you're doing.  The risks tend to come in when
> the vendor doesn't support rooting, which means that at least at first
> the phone won't support fastboot, which means you're probably mucking
> about with directly modifying flash partitions, and if you get
> anything wrong here a brick is definite possibility.  The whole design
> of fastboot is intended for kernel/system development so that you
> don't accidentally brick your phone.
> If you ever read instructions that involve using dd to copy files to
> /dev/whatever then you're treading in dangerous waters.  Usually when
> you are going this route the goal is to carefully do a one-time
> modification of the bootloader to enable fastboot, and then from there
> reboot into the bootloader and use the MUCH safer fastboot process
> from then.  To some degree this tends to depend on how easy it is to
> enable fastboot - often it ends up using a copy of an engineering
> bootloader either smuggled from the vendor or one that was released
> for a similar phone (such as the original ADP bootloader being used on
> the G1 - same hardware different software).

Yeah. Note that the ROMs you will be flashing (as often as you'd like)
(e.g., Cyanogenmod) are .zip files, which contain designated files
within them. The recovery environments are designed to install them.

In contrast, it will be very rare for you to upgrade those special
images. If you do need to upgrade those special images, like upgrading
the radio (firmware) image 1 year from now for the sake of
compatibility with a new ROM, just follow instructions carefully and
ask any questions you may have 1st (e.g., on xda-developers.)

> Hopefully this is helpful...
> --
> Rich

Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --        http://www.phillylinux.org
Announcements - http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug-announce
General Discussion  --   http://lists.phillylinux.org/mailman/listinfo/plug