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bootloader unlock doesn't 'register' in Nexus S
I've spent lots of time looking through forums trying to answer/solve my issue so I hope it's not something stupid I've missed. Sorry for the trouble if it is though.
So, my issue is that I simply cannot unlock the bootloader of my Nexus S (i9020T). The phone's connecting to my computer via Samsung Android ADB Interface as seen under the Device Manager. I see the proper device ID when I type "fastboot devices" into the adb command prompt. Then, when I type "fastboot oem unlock" the phone starts the unlock verification process -- I select yes, the phone restarts, but it goes back to the stuck Google screen. Then, if I pull the battery and go into fastboot mode directly, bootloader's still locked. I've tried this quite a few times and same result -- same result trying to unlock w/ toolkits like WugFresh's NRT.
I've also tried to solve it w/ all versions of Odin. None of them detect my phone even after installing Kies w/ drivers. I think I have the required drivers though since I can command the phone fine through adb. And Odin should need bootloader unlocked to work anyway so it won't work if bootloader cannot unlock.... I've even tried a few other things like pushing recovery and bootloader images onto the phone via adb, but these also failed due to the locked bootloader. All options seem to require an unlocked bootloader.
I also cannot enable USB debugging under phone settings either b/c I now can't get past the Google logo/fastboot mode menu. I don't think this is required to unlock bootloader through adb though.
Background: Phone had the latest auto updated version of Android when the phone all of a sudden turned off in the middle of the night recently. Weird b/c the battery was basically full. It now always gets stuck on the Google logo upon normal restart. It goes into fastboot mode OK if I remove the battery and press power/vol. buttons -- I then first tried the restore and recovery functions there, etc, but no effect.
Any ideas? Or is the phone just dead now?
To add, one of the first things I tried was to do a manual factory data reset in the recovery menu (selecting 'yes' to erase all data).
And I tried adb sideload of the OTA .zip file. But installation was aborted. The following appeared immediately under the regular adb sideload instruction in the system recovery menu (under "Now send the package you want to apply to the device..."):
Finding update package...
Opening update package...
Verifying update package...
file_getprop: failed to stat "/system/build.prop": No such file or directory