If my Droid bricks is there a way to fix it?

Discussion in 'Android Hacks and Help' started by Tadas T, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Tadas T
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    Tadas T New Member

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    I would really like to root my phone when the option exists since it seems like it makes a lot of really neat features possible. The only thing I am concerned with is bricking my phone since I really don't have another $500 to spend on a phone. So I am wondering if it is possible to somehow restore your phone in case it does get bricked. Thanks all!
  2. shatteredzman
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    shatteredzman New Member

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    It depends, if you can get into the recovery menu you can usually fix the phone. If you can not get to the recovery menu your phone is dead and there is no known way to fix it.
  3. Tadas T
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    Tadas T New Member

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    So basically its just a risk? And does the phone bricking have to do with a mistake in the rooting process, if not what causes the phone to brick?
  4. shatteredzman
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    shatteredzman New Member

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    The most common way to brick a phone is flashing a new rom on the phone. You can also brick it by flashing a new recovery menu. Think of it like this, installing a rom is like installing windows, flashing a new recovery menu is like updating the bios on your motherboard. If you screw up the bios your ****ed, if you screw up windows it can be fixed, except on android phones it can rarely cause your phone to brick. The cause of all bricking is due to some type of file corruption. If the power dies and the phone doesnt finish flashing or the file you were flashing is corrupt or incompatible the phone cant boot anymore and its bricked.
    I have flashed my G1 many many times, I even messed it up once and I couldnt boot but I could get to the recovery menu and I fixed it and its worked great since. What are you planning on doing with your phone that is making you worried of bricking it?
  5. Tadas T
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    Tadas T New Member

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    To tell the truth I don't know what I want to do with a rooted phone, I thought I would read up more on the capabilities it adds when the root is available for the Droid. I am a fan of hacking my devices and I have done so with my iPod Touch as well as a few other devices and I have been really happy with the results so I was hoping that things would be the same with the Droid. I know that "flashing ROMs" is one of the main draws to rooting the phone but I am unfamiliar with what that exactly is. Could any one quickly explain?
  6. shatteredzman
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    shatteredzman New Member

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    I really doubt you can completely brick your phone just by rooting. But flashing your phone with a new rom means you can do anything with your phone. If you like the droid eris interface you can install it on the droid. My G1 has a mix of several roms merged together. My phone supports tethering, multitouch, more then 3 home screens, a different lock screen, fancy transitions between programs like fading, the HTC weather widget, in theory I could flash the droid interface onto the G1.

    I dont have my droid yet but I dont think you can root your phone or install custom roms yet. I think reading these will help you understand more about what I am talking about.

    Here is a how to for custom rom installation for the G1 and mytouch.
    How to root a T-Mobile G1 and myTouch 3G Android phone – Android and Me

    Here are some custom rom examples.
    AndroidSPIN: ROM Database v12.0
  7. ei8htohms
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    ei8htohms New Member

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    the most common cause of bricks on the G1 was an SPL / Radio combination

    I modded my G1 extensively and flashed dozens if not hundreds of different experimental ROMs, a handful or different recovery images and several different SPLs and radios. The only G1 bricks I saw were related to flashing the 1.33.2005 SPL without the 2.22.19.261 radio installed OR flashing an older radio while that SPL was already installed. There may have been some other random hardware failures, but other than a series of crazy mistakes, there didn't seem to be too many ways anyone bricked their G1.

    Don't get me wrong. A lot of folks got into spaces that made them nervous because they couldn't get the OS or possibly even recovery to boot, but as long as you could get into recovery or the boot loader, you could pretty much always get it back if you were patient and did your research. All the phones that bricked using the "Danger" (Haykuro, Death, etc.) SPL mentioned above remain bricked to this day unless they were sent in to HTC for repair or someone replaced the board.

    All of the above only applies to the G1 however, so we need to get the Droid rooted and start playing with it before we really know what can and cannot be done with it and how much of a chance there is of bricking it with any of the various mods folks come up with. There is always a risk of damaging your phone when you mod it, so your best bet is just to go slow, do your research and let a lot of other folks try out the hacks first.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  8. thrashtrash
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    thrashtrash New Member

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    take it from me

    before i got my G1 i had no idea what the hell linux even was and i couldnt manage to brick my phone just doing a simple root process. i would imagine the process will be much different for the dorid but this is just my 2 cents. its when you get into altering the SpL and the Radios that you run the real rish of bricking your android phone. it is an amazing platform for this type of power usage and as long as you can get to the recovery console or hell, even the bootloader (provided youre equipped with the proper .nbh file) you are not bricked. i had my share of scares but remember the search function in forums is your friend and all will be as it should
  9. Stigy
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    Stigy New Member

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    Everything said above is correct.

    In the G1 community the biggest risk of bricking your phone was upgrading the SPL or the radio incorrectly. I flashed ROMs every day and never bricked my phone. Granted I did get into a decent amount of boot loops, but those were easy to fix and if you did a full (nandroid) backup of your phone before hand you could just revert the phone to EXACTLY the state it was in before something got messed up.

    Yes there are tons of risks with rooting the phone, but the benefits TOTALLY outweighed any risk associated with them.
  10. Tadas T
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    Tadas T New Member

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    OK so it definitely seems like in regards to flashing ROMs in most cases if you do your homework you won't run into much trouble. So where can I find a place that will reach me the basics? I honestly have no idea what the SPL is or what radioing is as well. I realize that the forum is a great place to learn and ask questions but as of right now I know so little that I can't even form worthwhile questions on these topics. Thanks for all the help guys, you're all great!
  11. thrashtrash
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    thrashtrash New Member

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    umm i would recomen xda-developers.com in the G1 (dream= HTC device name) and android development forum. this site only deals with HTC phones which is a bummer because the droid is moto and that community is HUGE and most everyone there is very knowlegable. and just btw its not radioing, once the phone is rooted you can use the radio frequencies of other phones such as the SE Xperia 1 and the Mytouch 3g and so on. some radios may have better results in your area and the Spl is basically the bootloader. i dont have an in depth description for what it is but if its described well anywhere its on xda. happy trails
  12. Stigy
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    Stigy New Member

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    Careful with your facts there...

    The DROID would not be able to use the radio of the myTouch since that is a GSM device and uses different frequencies than the CDMA DROID would. But the overall idea is correct in that you can manually update to a different radio when its released by Motorola.
  13. thrashtrash
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    thrashtrash New Member

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    thanks for straightening me out there mod, this is my first CDMA phone ever so things like the CDMA/GSM difference slip my mind. on that note, i havent really looked into the process of rooting the hero (which is also CDMA), but does anyone know how much the process differs on a CDMA device if it is noticably different or if the type of network even makes a difference. thanks
  14. cellulararrest
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    cellulararrest New Member

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    We don't even know how the Droid is really setup yet. There's a good bet that it's similar, but we're still learning about it. There's not much point in looking at all the stuff for the G1/Magic. It's all going to change.

    Just relax and let people play. The G1 has been out for quite some time. It has been analyzed and understood. We've only had our devices for a week.

    Early indications are that bricking this thing will be difficult (by playing with the software). There are many options to boot from. But the first step is getting ourselves to the point of being able to reverse any changes made (such as an nandroid backup on the G1). If you screw something up, you're able to fall back on a backup.
  15. limaxray
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    limaxray New Member

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    In theory, it shouldn't be possible to brick this phone because of the boot features available in the OMAP3 processor. These chips are designed to be 'unbrickable' and easily recoverable without the use of advanced tools like a JTAG.

    A better analogy comparing the phone to a PC is the bootloader on the phone is just like the bootloader on your computer - it's a piece of software that sits at the beginning of a disk (MBR) and is executed by the BIOS to handle loading the OS. If you manage to destroy the MBR on your PC's hard disk and the BIOS can no longer find the bootloader, you simply pop in a CD or flash drive and set the BIOS to boot from that instead. BAM problem solved.

    The OMAP has a BIOS of sorts called a bootrom and you cannot flash this as it is a hardcoded part of the chip. When the chip powers up, the bootrom checks the state of a number of pins to determine where it should boot from - NAND, UART, USB, or SD. When Motorola designed the PCB in the phone, they configured the default state of these pins to boot from NAND. The usual design practice though is to make these pins available to allow the boot order to be changed in case the default boot location gets botched up.

    The question now is are these pins available and if so, where are they? Yevar, over at alldroid.org has offered to reverse engineer his phone if we can donate enough money to cover the cost of the phone. This is one of the many important questions that he can answer by doing so.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2009
  16. jstrick5
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    jstrick5 New Member

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    I think by definition "bricking your phone" means it's permanently unusable and has been transformed into a brick.
  17. dalegg
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    dalegg New Member

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    I bricked mine.

    I have no idea why by phone is a paper weight. I did everything according to what I thought was correct and when I booted it, it would load the Motorola Logo and freeze. I have loaded the recovery thing, reinstalled, and every other option on the menu and it still freezes on the logo screen.
    So, beware, it is possible to ruin your phone.
  18. brianr0131
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    brianr0131 New Member

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    Do you have nandroid installed? You probably do. Go to sholes.info and grab the nandroid backup of virgin oem 2.01 (put it into nandroid folder on sd card) and boot into recovery (hold "x" while powering up) go to backup/restore the advanced. Then select the backup you just added and select all options except recovery and then select perform restore. You should be golden after that. And, you'll still have root.

    PM me if you need more help. I am by no means an expert but I see you having issues in a few threads and I want to help.
  19. Se7enLC
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    Se7enLC New Member

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    "bricked" generally means "cannot be fixed by a user". Yes, your phone won't boot, but that doesn't mean it is bricked or ruined. If you have a recovery console, you have options, still.

    Also - somebody mentioned "installing a rom" is where most bricking happens. Probably true for other phones. So far, the biggest cause for near-bricking seems to be people getting root and then just jumping right in to modify files without first installing SPRecovery. A ROM is typically tested and packaged and won't cause major problems. Also, they tend to REQUIRE that the recovery console already be installed. Some (sholes) even performs an automatic system backup right before installing to make SURE you don't brick. Of course, their installer app has CAUSED a number of unbootable phones in the last week, but I digress...
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  20. brianr0131
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    brianr0131 New Member

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    To which they don't admit or offer help.
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