Unbricking Your Droid X

Discussion in 'Droid X Hacks' started by xlivewire7x, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. xlivewire7x
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    xlivewire7x New Member

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    I will be going through to edit and update this guide soon so it stays current. Please be patient though because I have a busy schedule :) - Posted on 1/30/11
    Recently updated on 2/10/11

    Note to anyone using this to switch back to 2.1 from the leaked 2.2: you will most likely have to factory reset in order for the flash to work. Flashing 2.1 overtop of 2.2 didn't work for me and it's probably because of 2.2 being a more recent release. After you factory reset, follow the instructions on how flash the SBF in the Infinite Boot Loop section. You will need to reactivate after the phone is up and running again, which can be dialing *228 if the phone doesn't do it automatically.
    Update: Some people have reported being able to flash back to 2.1 from 2.2 without a factory reset. If you would like to try this, follow the steps below on how to flash the SBF. After that, try pulling the battery a couple times until the device fully boots up. Some people have said they had to do it 3+ times.


    Okay, I've been on these forums for a couple weeks or so and I haven't noticed anybody putting together an in-depth guide on unbricking the Droid X. With all the new theme mods and such coming out, the likelihood of you bricking your Droid X at least once is increasing greatly. I figured since I recently bricked mine to the farthest point of bricking and was still able to revive it, it would be easier to help save people some time and throw together all of the methods that I've found on how to unbrick your amazing phone. So here it goes:

    Errors and Bootloops after Switching ROM's or Firmware
    Some Info
    If you have recently tried to switch ROM's or tried to change software version (e.g. switching back and forth between 2.3.15 and 2.3.34) you may encounter a bootloop or an error in the bootloader menu. From what I understand, this is due to changes in system files that may not be applied right, specifically if you are switching between ROM's with different source code bases. For this reason, the files need to be cleared so that there are no conflicts.
    Symptoms
    Bootlooping at Motorola logo (or custom logo if one is installed) or errors at bootloader screen
    How to Fix
    This should work about 99% of the time:

    1. Reboot your phone into recovery mode by turning off the phone or pulling the battery and then holding the power button and home button down. When the triangle appears on-screen, press the search button (if you boot into clockwork recovery, you won't need to press the search button).

    2. Clear the data and cache - basically you want to factory reset your phone. This will get rid of any conflicts with system files.

    3. Reboot into the Bootloader menu (hold down power + volume down + camera) and use RSD Lite to flash your SBF (see instructions below if you don't know how to do that).

    4. After the SBF has been applied, you should now be able to install your ROM without problems.

    Thanks to jainer123 for reminding me to put this in!


    The Infinite Boot Loop
    Some Info
    This is usually the first stage of bricking that you'll come across. If you mess with a system file or anything like that, it will prevent the Droid from being able to load all of the files for startup and will thus just keep on trying to reboot itself.
    Symptoms
    Kind of obvious to tell but nevertheless the symptoms you'll notice are that your Droid will never be able to boot up fully, it will display the Droid Eye animated boot screen for a few minutes and then will reboot, going straight back to the eye.
    How to Fix
    Before I get into the fixing part let me be clear on one thing: there is a difference between the recovery menu and the bootloader menu. This is important because your computer will not be able to recognize your phone when it's in the recovery mode (trust me, I probably wasted a couple hours realizing this ;) ). Here is the step by step guide for Windows to reflashing the .sbf on your phone to fix the loop (couple things to note, this was taken straight from here but with added notes from me, and this works on Windows 7 64bit for anybody who thinks differently, I used it on my 7 64bit computer and it worked fine):

    1. Download these files:


    32 Bit and 64 Bit Drivers (thanks for the heads-up, akappy332; didn't know the drivers were online the whole time :))​

    SBF File (this has been removed. You can find this file by Googling "Droid X SBF")
    Credit to MyDroidWorld for RSD Lite.

    SBF INSTRUCTIONS: Install the RSDLite 4.8 program by double clicking on the program.
    Move the pst_flash.ini file into the following folder --> Program Files/Motorola/RSDLite​

    Note: It is important that you move the file to the correct folder other wise this WILL NOT WORK! I recommend copying it over twice to be sure. When is asks you if you would like to overwrite the file, make sure the new and old file sizes are the same when copying for the second time.

    2. Install the drivers that apply to your Operating System.

    3. Unzip the SBF into a folder.

    Note: I read somewhere that it works best if you unzip it straight into the C:\ folder so that's what I did, but I'm not sure if it made a difference.

    4. Open RSD Lite and find the UNZIPPED SBF
    Note: When opening RSD Lite, use "Shift + Right Click" and select "Run as administrator". Some people have reported that this helps bypass some firewall in the newer Windows operating systems. If you are in XP or anything older, don't worry about doing this. Also, in order for the program to see your phone you may need to go into RSD Lite, go to "Config" and then select "DeviceID Options". A window will open and you'll want to make sure that the option "First Come-First Serve DeviceId Mode" is selected. After you do that, hit "Okay" and restart the program.

    5. Put your Motorola Droid X in bootloader mode. Now connect the Droid X via usb.
    Note: Bootloader Mode is accessed by first powering down the phone. Then, hold down the camera button, volume decrease button, and power button. This should bring you to a completely black screen with white text on it.​

    6. Click start and sit back.
    Note: Make sure that your battery is at least 50% charged when doing this and do not disconnect the phone while it is reflashing. Doing so will cause you to get into a bricked mode that is a pain in the ass to get out of, but still possible. More details on that later.

    If you are using the Linux operating system, please refer to here for instructions.
    If you have any problems when going through these steps, please go through them at least twice and heed the notes that I wrote in between. If you still have questions, please feel free to ask and you will have a whole forum of people willing to help you out :)


    "Code Corrupt" Error
    Some Info
    Chances are that if you are getting this error, you probably tried to reflash the .sbf and something went awry (for me it was that I only waited to charge the battery for 10% :p).
    Symptoms
    You'll know your at this screen because, well, you'll be scared to death for your phone. This screen looks like the bootloader screen but it says "Code Corrupt" on it. If the screen says that your battery is okay and RSD Lite can still see it when you connect it to your computer, scroll up to The Infinite Boot Loop and go to the section How to Fix in order to fix the error.
    How to Fix
    One thing that you may notice is that when you have this error, your phone will not charge the battery and you'll only be able to see the screen turn on if its plugged into the wall. Somewhere on the screen it will say "Your Battery is Low" and "Cannot Reprogram" or something like that. The easiest way to get through this is to find a friend with a charged battery or go to your local Verizon store and see if they have a demo phone they can use to charge your battery. If you're like me though you will not be lucky in any sense like this so you will have to find the MacGyver inside of you and get a little creative. What you need for this is an old USB cord. One end must be a standard USB cable head and the other can pretty much be anything. Once you have that, follow these steps:

    NOTE: I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGE DONE TO ANY PHONE, BATTERY, ETC. FOLLOW THESE STEPS WITH CAUTION TO AVOID RISK OF DAMAGE.

    1. Take your cable and cut off one of the ends, leaving a standard USB plug at the opposite end to plug into your computer.

    2. Now you need to strip about and inch of the wire off until you get to the core where you should see 4 colored wires (red, black, white, and green). The colors don't really matter and they may vary, just as long as you can see a red wire and a black wire.

    3. Strip off about a quarter inch of the rubber sleeving on the red and black cables, exposing the actual metal wire.

    4. Twist the metal strands of each of the wires a couple of times so that all of the wires from the black cable are together and all of the wires from the red cable are together. This is just to make sure that you don't create a short circuit.

    5. Here's where it gets a little tricky. You are going to use this cable to make the phone think the battery is fully charged, when in fact you will just be powering the phone using the power from the USB port. Pull out the battery on your phone and find the 4 exposed metal slots (the battery terminals).

    6. Each of the far terminals should be labeled with a plus (+) or a minus (-). What you need to do is put exposed leads on the red wire up to the positive terminal and the leads of the black wire up to the negative terminal.

    Note: As tested by parm289, you can skip steps 7 & 8 and just use the cable to charge the battery if you'd like. He recommends allowing it to charge for 6-7 minutes before placing it back into the phone. Thanks parm!

    TRY THIS BEFORE TRYING STEPS 7 & 8 BECAUSE IF YOU SCREW UP ON STEPS 7 & 8 YOU WILL RUIN YOUR PHONE

    7. While still holding the leads on their respective terminals, slide the battery back into place in the phone. MAKE SURE THE WIRES ARE NOT TOUCHING WHEN YOU PUT THE BATTERY INTO THE PHONE! BAD THINGS COULD HAPPEN ONCE YOU PLUG THE CORD INTO THE COMPUTER!

    8. Once the battery is in place and the wires are on the correct terminals but not touching each other, plug the USB cord into the computer. If all has gone as it should, the screen on your phone should come on (may have to press the power button) and the phone should be telling you that the battery charge is okay and that it is okay to program. YAY! Your phone is almost back to normal!

    9. Go back up to the previous section in this post that tells you how to reflash the .sbf and follow all of the instructions there. Once that has finished flashing the .sbf to your phone, your phone should be back to working order! You will most likely have to redo the entire setup on your phone but at least your phone is no longer a fancy paperweight dancedroid

    Thanks to some help from other members of this forum, we have found out that you will need to reprogram your phone after flashing the .sbf if you didn't do a factory reset. This can be done by calling Verizon Wireless' toll free number (1.800.295.1614 Monday–Friday, 7AM–11PM EST - United States) and having them reactivate your phone. However, if you do a factory reset your phone will be able to reactivate itself but all the apps on your phone will be lost. Everything on your memory card should still be intact though so you may be able to reinstall your apps from that.

    Here are some more tips from some members of this forum. Too lazy to format their advice straight into the guide so I'ma quote them instead :)
    Special Thanks goes out to RootzWiki for the instructions and to Phoxus for finding the .sbf file and making it possible to revive our phones!

    This is everything I know about fixing a bricked Droid and if anybody sees a typo or would like to add something, please feel free to post the addendum here or PM me and I'll be sure to add it to the guide! I would like to see this stickied so that nobody has to worry about a bricked Droid X! dancedroid

    Please do not PM me asking for help on specific problems, only ask for the SBF. I'm not trying to sound rude but I don't have the time to fix individual problems, I barely have the time to check my private messages every night and send out the SBF. Thanks to everyone who is helping out other forum members in solving their problems, I appreciate the help.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  2. Juicemane
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    Juicemane Bang Bang Theme Developer Premium Member

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    Thank You Sir! I am going to need this guide as soon as my X gets here dancedroid
  3. drewlamo1
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    drewlamo1 New Member

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    nice write up!

    i tried on 64 win7 myself originally and did not have success.

    next time ill try running as admin.

    i do believe this is a firewall issue though because when i switched to win xp 32bit my firewall dinged for permissions ( which win 7 did not ask for ).

    also when i went from "code corrupt" back to a working phone i did keep all my apps, though i did have to re-root.

    Once again nice work!
  4. cgrimm9
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    cgrimm9 New Member

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    yes I hope this gets stickied cause this is always good to know. thanks.
  5. xlivewire7x
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    xlivewire7x New Member

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    Okay that's good to hear. My apps probably got wiped because when I was still in the boot loop, I went into recovery mode and did a factory reset thinking that would fix it. Guess all it did was add to the frustration haha.
  6. parm289
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    parm289 New Member

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    Wow, thanks for the post - I'm in the same boat as you were and was actually about to do the usb cord cutting trick right before i saw this. I know you suggest putting the red and black wires directly in contact with the phone's terminals - would it be possible to instead use the red and black wires to charge the battery (by putting the wires in contact with the battery's terminals)?
  7. xlivewire7x
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    xlivewire7x New Member

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    I was thinking about that but I figured I'd end up leaving it on too long by accident and destroying the battery. I figured this way I would be able to get the juice I needed to run the flasher and could disconnect the ghetto charger as quickly as possible. However, I see nothing wrong with you just charging the battery. If you go that route, please come back and post how you made out and how long you charged it for and I'll add that to the guide.
  8. parm289
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    parm289 New Member

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    So I truly ghetto charged the battery - I touched the red wire to the battery's + terminal and the black wire to the battery's negative terminal, then plugged in the usb end to my computer. I charged it for 2 minutes at first, then popped the battery into the phone to see if the message changed. The phone now said "Battery OK," so I ghetto charged the battery for another minute before starting the flash.

    The flash is still in process as I'm posting this - I don't know exactly how much charge the battery has, but hopefully it will last through the flash. This method was much easier than trying to finagle the stripped wires in between the battery and the phone terminals, so I'd personally recommend this way of doing it.

    EDIT: So the phone ran out of juice at 99% - so close to being done. I'm going to try charging the battery for five minutes this way and see what happens.

    EDIT2: OK - I ghetto charged my battery for five full minutes and then reattempted the flash. Since I had already gone through the first "phase" of the flash, RSD Lite skipped that part and went straight to the second phase. My phone lasted through the flash and is now fully working - I just have to activate. So, for anyone who needs to try this method of unbricking, I'd suggest charging for about 6-7 minutes, then trying to flash. If it fails, you can always charge and then try again.

    Livewire, thanks a bunch for the post!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  9. xlivewire7x
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    xlivewire7x New Member

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    Awesome, good to hear that you got it working! I will definitely be adding this to the guide.
  10. taypotts
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    taypotts New Member

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    Some credit to RootzWiki would be nice seeing that we are hosting the file, and to Phoxus for finding it. Thanks!
  11. xlivewire7x
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    xlivewire7x New Member

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    Thanks for pointing that out. Thought I thanked RootzWiki but I only linked to them. And didn't even think of thanking the guy that made this all possible :blush:
  12. parm289
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    parm289 New Member

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    I just want to add a little input about activation after unbricking your X.

    After I resurrected my phone, I tried calling *228 and programming OTA. Like a lot of other unbrickers, I was not able to activate this way - the recording told me to talk to a customer service rep. So, I headed over to the Verizon store and talked to a tech about reactivating. He tried *228, got the same error message that I did, and sent me off with the VZ activation and customer service toll-free numbers.

    After calling customer service (the activation number was unable to program my phone), I found out that when unbricking your droid, there is no "order" placed for reactivation of the droid. Reactivation must be done manually via the customer service toll-free #. I don't remember the number offhand, but if someone needs it or if this should be added to the OP, then I can find and post it.

    (What a nightmare this all was...!)
  13. xlivewire7x
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    xlivewire7x New Member

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    Yea I've seen a few people talk about stuff like this on the forums but wasn't sure what to make of it since my phone activated just fine. I just want to be clear, when you fixed your phone did you lose all of your apps etc? If not, I wonder if its because I did a factory reset on my phone and maybe that was the reason my phone activated okay.

    Edited for poor wording
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  14. parm289
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    parm289 New Member

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    Yes, all my apps, settings, contacts, etc. were all still intact after flashing. I was amazed that all my info and my whole setup was still there, even after a failed flash. So yes, your data was probably deleted when you did the factory restore (which I never did).

    Sent from my DROIDX
  15. xlivewire7x
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    xlivewire7x New Member

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    Sorry, my last post was kind of worded poorly. What I was getting at was that maybe since I did a factory reset, my phone was able to recognize that it needed to be reactivated.
  16. parm289
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    parm289 New Member

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    That is actually most likely the reason. The factory reset must create a Verizon order to reactivate the phone.

    Sent from my DROIDX
  17. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    If that statement is correct, nothing will bring the device back.
    Most incorrectly used word on this forum....
  18. xlivewire7x
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    xlivewire7x New Member

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    Apologies, I thought it was wrong but didn't know what word to use. Any suggestions for a fix?
  19. cgrimm9
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    cgrimm9 New Member

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    the sbf file has been removed from online. could I get someone send me one om me please.
  20. marktaylor22
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    marktaylor22 New Member

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    Alright, need some help here. Where do I find the "pst_flash.ini" file? I've unzipped the file, and I see the SBF there, but thats the only file in the SBF. What am I missing?

    Using Win7 64Bit and RSD Lite 4.7

    Thanks :)
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