Droid X Bootloader Locked, Custom ROMs Unlikely

Discussion in 'Android News' started by wuyanks, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. wuyanks
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    wuyanks DF News Team Premium Member

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    Droid X's have been floating around for quite some time, but only recently have they been getting in the hands of retail customers (thanks to a few early shipments by Verizon). As a result, many questions about the device remained unanswered. One such question was whether or not the bootloader was locked by Motorola. Well, we have some disturbing news for those in the Android development community looking to make the switch to the Droid X. Birdman (a popular Moto Droid and HTC Incredible developer) has had a chance to play with a retail Droid X, and is reporting the the Motorola Droid X's bootloader is indeed encrypted, and may be locked down worse than the Milestone.

    [​IMG]
    Stephen Bird, a.k.a BirdMan, goes into much further depth on what he has noticed in regards to the locked-down state of retail Droid X's:

    Apparently, also included in the Droid X system image are a few suspect script files, that may be behind this lock-down. He also continues to explain that the Droid X will eventually be rooted, but is less optimistic about bypassing that locked bootloader:

    What does this mean for the average user? Not much. However, keep in mind that while the bootloader is locked, you will not be able to install a custom recovery or custom ROM on your Droid X, until the bootloader's signature is cracked.

    This was not a complete surprise to those familiar with Motorola's lockdown policies, as in February a Motorola representative explained it was not in their "business practice" to provide unlocked phones, in an article entitled Custom ROMs and Motorola's Android Handsets:

    We all know the resiliency and devotion of the Android hacking community, so I wouldn't put anything past them, but these findings truly are grim. Considering it took more than six months to break the encrypted bootloader on the Milestone, and that the X may be locked down even worse, will this force you to reconsider your decision to purchase a Droid X? Let us know. Also, follow mrweeeedbirdman for updates on the matter!

    via Droid-Life
    Source Twitter, Steven Bird's Blog
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  2. DeadlyAP1
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    DeadlyAP1 Member

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    Yes, this will and did effect my decision.

    I wanted to get into the android scene after coming from a jailbroken iphone and having a few hacked WM devices in the past. Needless to say, having the ability to do what I want software wise with the phone is big to me.

    I had gotten in on the Droid X pre-order at bestbuy but later canceled it when I heard the bootloader was locked. I instead picked up a Droid and have already enjoyed rooting, loading Chevy's great ROMs and overclocking.

    Im sure the X will be a great phone out of the box, but I like flexibility. And I look forward to be able to have Gingerbread on my phone before it's released while my buddies with their new Droid X's are still excited about getting the OTA update of FroYo!
  3. mth04
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    mth04 Premium Member Premium Member

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    This isnt even clost to accurate. Gingerbread will be out but the Droid X will have Froyo long before it gets here. the other side of that is just maybe the froyo files are already here :icon_ devil:
  4. danDroid
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    danDroid DF Administrator Staff Member

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  5. DeadlyAP1
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    DeadlyAP1 Member

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    So you don't think Droid x will have to wait to get Gingerbread until Moto does what they have to do to it first?

    Google is talking about a 4th quarter release of Gingerbread. DX is supposed to just be getting Froyo at the end of the summer. Doesn't it stand to reason that they will be behind the curve a bit because of whatever moto has to do to the OS before they release it OTA?
  6. nerdkill
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    nerdkill Member

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    i feel like this is the future of a lot of android phones coming out.
  7. linkboy
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    linkboy Member

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    I reckon my next phone will be an HTC. This (most likely) means the Droid 2 will be locked as well.
  8. wuyanks
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    wuyanks DF News Team Premium Member

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    Yes, this certainly does not bold well for future Motorola phones... when we look back on this in the future, the Moto Droid 1 will probably be the exception to the rule.
  9. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    Only speculation at this point in regards to the Droid 2 being locked down as well. Just because the X is locked does not necessarily mean the Droid 2 will be.

    I certainly understand that it doesn't look good but lets not rule it out just yet.

    Sent from my Droid
  10. Abe21599
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    Abe21599 DF Super Moderator Rescue Squad

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    i havent been following much but why is motorola doing this? do they not know how many customers are turned away bc of the signed bootloader? im not too worried about having a custom ROM but i want wifi tether and the ability to overclock. will the DX still have those?

    and if the bootloader is locked, could I still put froyo on it? i have it on my droid now and would like to be able to put it on the DX when i get it
  11. Eschy
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    Eschy Member

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    i really hope they dont do this with Droid 2
  12. nphil
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    I'm having a hard time figuring out how custom ROMS hurt Motorola. The only reason I can come up is people bricking/semi bricking their phones while flashing ROMs and sending it in to Verizon/Motorola for repairs. I'm guessing they don't want to deal with the headache.

    Moto's official reasoning behind locking down the Milestone was to "ensure a safe and secure platform for all Motorola users etc etc" What a load of PR crap. I remember back in the RAZR days, motorola phones (synergyOS/P2K OS) were famous for being extremely customizable.. Monsterpacks, DRMs, SEEM edits, you know what I'm talking about.. What the hell happened?

    What's the point in having an open OS if you're not even allowed to make changes to it? Want a custom kernel? Want your own source built Gingerbread on your X? Sorry no can do, locked bootloader.

    I'll wait till motorola comes out with a dual-core OMAP based handset this December and if it's the same locked bootloader BS, I'm just gonna jump back ship to HTC, or get a Google Phone (Nexus 2).
  13. Eschy
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    Eschy Member

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    bad news no nexus 2 No New Nexus In Sight, Says Schmidt: Nexus One Did Its Job | Android Phone Fans I have my eye on the 2ghz moto phone though. You wont even really need to root with that kind of processor. It would be sick if they go with the x86 architecture too.
  14. nphil
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    To add to my previous post, since I cannot edit:

    It's ironic that Moto would give people free reign to do whatever they wanted with a proprietary and in-house built OS (P2K OS), but when it comes to an open source OS like Android, it's all locked down.

    I guess I'm in the minority here, but part of the reason I wan't an Android smartphone is that I like customizing what I'm running on MY hardware. I don't like the way stock Android looks, so I theme everything to my liking. I like testing kernels that I compile for fun. I miss running some basic unix commands on my phone, so I add the required binaries/scripts to /system/bin.

    That's the spirit of open source - experiment, collaborate and share the knowledge. I only wish companies would stop pissing on the very ideals Android was built on.
  15. xsylus
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    xsylus Active Member

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    I'm guessing that Verizon isn't happy about people activating their phones on other carriers. While the Moto Droid doesn't have the bootloader locked down, getting it to work on another carrier is a lot trickier than most other phones. Talk and text is straight forward enough but 3G and MMS not so much.