I could use a brief, yet thorough, explanation!

Discussion in 'Droid 4 Hacks' started by hooblah2u2, May 22, 2012.

  1. hooblah2u2
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    hooblah2u2 New Member

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    I haven't been in the hacking scene since the release of the original Droid and much catching up to do! There seem to be some new terminology and programs in place and I could use a summary of what it all does. What are fastfiles and what do they do? What is Safestrap and what is it relative to clockwork recovery? How is the new ICS build for Droid 4 irreversible and are there and failproof ways to install it?

    Thanks for all the help guys!
  2. podspi
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    podspi New Member

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    I know how you feel. I went from a D1 --> D4, and the difference is pretty big. Most of these differences are due to the fact that the D4 has a locked bootloader, while the D1 did not. Fastboot files are the firmware files that you flash with RSD Lite. Unfortunately, unlike the SFB files which (as far as I could tell) you could always flash no matter what (very very difficult to hardbrick a D1) you have to be more careful with fastboot files. That is the reason why you have to be sure you want to flash the ICS leak, because once you do, the Gingerbread fastboot files will no longer work. I haven't seen a definitive answer as to why this is the case, but I believe it has something to do with Motorola changing the partition sizes in the ICS update. This implies we may one day gain the ability to fastboot back to Gingerbread, but nobody has figured that out just yet.

    As for Safestrap, it is a ClockWorkMod recovery, so in some sense it IS CWM. That being said, there are some important differences. What Safestrap does is it sets up your phone to dual boot. It labels these two systems 'non-safe' and 'safe'. Your 'non-safe' system is the stock system, and safeboot will allow you to back this up, but will not allow you to flash any ROMs/Zips to it. Your 'Safe' system is the system Safestrap allows you to flash zips (ROMs) to. The upside to this is that if you softbrick your phone, you can just switch back to your 'non-safe' system and be fine. The downside is that this does take up some space on the internal memory card, which is a bit inconvenient.

    One mistake many people make when flashing with Safestrap for the first time is forgetting to do a factory reset on their safe system before flashing the first ROM. Apparently you have to do that first, or you will soft brick (recoverable via safestrap easily). Honestly I was very worried at first, since when I got the D4 there weren't any Fastboot files, but imho it is actually better than what we had with the D1, minus the ability to easily boot custom kernels. I have a "to play" ICS ROM loaded up, but when I NEED everything to work perfectly, I can jump back to stock in a few minutes. (Not that the ICS ROMs we have aren't good, they're pretty awesome).
  3. trter10
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    trter10 Developer Developer

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    You cant go back to a previous release because moto likes to block downgrading

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk 2
  4. hooblah2u2
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    hooblah2u2 New Member

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    Thank you for the wonderful response podspi! Okay I see how it all makes sense for the most part. Should I be in safe mode even when I'm not installing a custom ROM?
  5. podspi
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    podspi New Member

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    IMHO, the 'modes' are named in a confusing manner. When you are in 'safe mode', the only system you can boot is system #2. So if you haven't installed a ROM and try to boot into safe mode, your phone will just lock up @ boot (again, not an issue, you can just switch back to system #1, aka non-safe in safestrap).


    Essentially, what safestrap calls 'safe-mode' is really just switching over to system #2. When you are in safe mode, anything you do (flashing zips, factory resets, etc) will only have an effect on your 'safe system'. It is called the 'safe system' because if you royally screw it up, you can just switch back to your non-safe stock system and move on with your life (or wipe your safe system in safestrap and start again).

    The best way to think about safestrap is that you are dual-booting your phone. One installation (the non-safe installation) is the stock that comes with the phone, that safestrap does not let you touch. The other installation is the 'safe' installation that safestrap lets you do anything CWM would normally let you do.


    It is cool because you could, say, have a stock installation that you use during the day for work (hooked up to exchange, work appropriate background, etc) and then during the evening and weekends have a custom ROM with whatever you want on there, and the two systems will be completely separate. It is a pretty neat system, and honestly I prefer it to what we had with the D1 because it is just so easy to get back to stock (without having to wipe your custom install).
  6. hooblah2u2
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    hooblah2u2 New Member

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    Okay now I see the difference and purpose between safe and non-safe. I also see how it is preferable to the D1 setup! Thank you so much for the thorough response, it has increased my understanding very much! I do have one more question (right now at least): with the perks of safestrap's dual boot opportunity, where is the risk in bricking?
  7. podspi
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    podspi New Member

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    There honestly isn't much risk, provided you only mess with your 'safe' system. I've heard some people have managed to get themselves bricked by restoring to their non-safe system but interrupting it, or not restoring webtop, so to be safe I always include that in backups and restore them as well. Another thing you want to avoid is restoring a backup of your safe system to your non-safe system. That will either fail outright or brick you. That being said, the risk is minimal because we have gingerbread fastboot files, so even you really screw things up you can always get back home via RSD Lite.


    The only real danger at the moment is if you make the jump to one of the ICS leaks. I honestly wouldn't recommend it because we have no fastboot files for that yet, and I don't actually think safestrap is compatible with it yet anyway (though I could be wrong on that...)
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thank you for the thorough explanation