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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
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    Default [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your system

    Unfortunately, the info on XDA is clear as mud but what I can tell is that there is the very real possibility of bricking your device if you take the OTA after rooting or modding your system files. I am not entirely clear on what constitutes a system file nor does anyone else over there appear to be. And modding your system includes freezing system apps using Titanium B/U or any other app that can do it.

    It looks like Motorola wants to stop those with locked bootloaders from rooting. To prevent this they have made the 4.4.2 bootloader so you can't revert back to any previous versions including 4.2.2 (which you need to do to root a device with a locked bootloader).

    So the bad news is if your bootloader is locked and you take the OTA you will not be able to get root at this time and maybe never since it looks like Motorola is doing everything they can to patch the exploits relied on for achieving root. The worse news is if you have a locked bootloader and rooted or modded your system files and take the OTA without reverting completely back to stock, you will hard brick your device. Even if your bootloader is unlocked, if you don't revert completely back to stock you may brick your device.

    So be careful and make sure you educate yourself before you take the OTA if you have tinkered with your device. While it is harder to brick a device with an unlocked bootloader, it is not impossible. One thing is clear - the Moto X is not a Nexus device and you should not be treating it as such and if you do, you may end up with an expensive paper weight.
  2. #2  
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    DevEd FTW!

    If you want root that is the way to go!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    mbar9607 likes this.
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by ClintRo View Post
    DevEd FTW!

    If you want root that is the way to go!
    Definitely, but you still have to be careful taking an OTA if you have rooted/modded because you can brick a Moto X with an unlocked bootloader if you don't know what you are doing. I know I am guilty of thinking the Dev Ed Moto X would be like a Nexus device, but it is not.

    After seeing what Motorola is doing with the updates, although I would never buy another Motorola phone that is not a Dev Ed since I need root, I also know that I can't just treat the Moto X Dev Ed like it were a Nexus. You CAN brick a Moto X with an unlocked bootloader. A Nexus device is pretty much unbrickable once its bootloader is unlocked.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Just because Motorola won't void your warranty if you unlock the boot loader on a Developer Edition device doesn't mean that the OS itself is any more root-friendly than on the non-Developer Edition devices. With Android 4.3, Google made our more difficult to achieve and maintain root access, and is continuing to do so with subsequent updates.

    The ability to unlock the boot loader just makes it possible to install an alternate recovery, and flash an alternate ROM; it doesn't mean there's any guaranty of stability (or even functionality) if you modify the system, or worse, subsequently accept/apply an OTA intended for an unmodified system.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMike View Post
    With Android 4.3, Google made our more difficult to achieve and maintain root access, and is continuing to do so with subsequent updates.
    I know and it sucks! But I can see why they do - businesses want it for their phones and the carriers want it.


    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMike View Post
    or worse, subsequently accept/apply an OTA intended for an unmodified system.
    yes, that is the problem - the OTAs are meant for an unmodified system and root is a mod, too.
  6. #6  
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    AFAIK, Motorola has always made it it so you couldn't step down after taking an update (for non-Dev edition phones).

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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by Ry View Post
    AFAIK, Motorola has always made it it so you couldn't step down after taking an update (for non-Dev edition phones).
    maybe but you were able to downgrade from 4.4. to 4.2.2 post camera - that is the only method available to root once you have upgraded to kit kat if your bootloader is locked. And once you upgrade to 4.4.2, there is no method to root with a locked bootloader.

    So if you don't have an unlockable bootloader and want root, do not update to 4.4.2. Stay on 4.4 rooted and use titanium backup to stop the install update popup.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    The information I gathered by more than one person is that if you revert from 4.4.2 to 4.2.2 precamera update (whatever that means, mine came with KitKat), then receive OTA, it will brick the device. This may be due to difference in bootloader (motoboot.bin) and partition table (gpt.bin). Once you flashed these two partition to the latest version it won't let you flash an older version.

    Some interesting info on Motorola bootloader security here, it's over my head but shows how many layers of security Qualcomm and Motorola put in too prevent unlocking: http://blog.azimuthsecurity.com/2013...ootloader.html

    There is a partition called CID, it holds authentication info, you never want touch it because if it's corrupted, fastboot will no longer work, you won't be able to flash anything to the phone.
    As a result, there is no way for a user to generate his or her own valid unlock token without either breaking RSA to violate the integrity of the CID partition
    Also with my non-Dev version I have found no way to relock the bootloader, which is possible with the dev edition.

    Anyway, I've flashed CM on my Moto X, it was very fast but I went back to stock immediately. Been using this phone stock unrooted since using it. The only thing I'm missing is App Ops.
    sent via Le Motonovo X
    Last edited by someguy01234; 02-16-2014 at 12:34 PM.
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy01234 View Post
    The information I gathered by more than one person is that if you revert from 4.4.2 to 4.2.2 precamera update (whatever that means, mine came with KitKat), then receive OTA, it will brick the device. This may be due to difference in bootloader (motoboot.bin) and partition table (gpt.bin). Once you flashed these two partition to the latest version it won't let you flash an older version.
    Actually, from XDA it seems that if you try to downgrade at all from 4.4.2 and then take the OTA you will brick.

    The firmware versions can be found here:

    Moto X firmware

    You can check to see what version you are running by going to Settings->About Phone->System Version

    This is from dray_jr on XDA:

    the only OTA that can downgrade is 4.4 to 4.2.2 Post Cam

    here is what we know right now that might make more sense

    4.4 to 4.2.2 Pre Cam will Brick
    4.2.2 Post Cam to 4.2.2 Pre Cam will Brick.
    4.4.2 to anything will Brick
    4.4 to 4.2.2 Post Cam you are ok

    [info][warning],bootloader, sbf firmware thread - Page 5 - xda-developers
  10. #10  

    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Actually no, what you posted validated what I said. Also I can go from 4.4.2 to 4.4 then receive OTA without problems. But this is due to the fact that the two version are very similar.

    It's just not safe to downgrade if you're unsure.

    sent via Le Motonovo X
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy01234 View Post
    I can go from 4.4.2 to 4.4 then receive OTA without problems.
    Are you sure because if you can do that, then you can downgrade from 4.4.2 to 4.4 then downgrade 4.4 to 4.2.2 postcamera and root. Then 4.4.2 would be rootable wouldn't it?
  12. #12  

    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozume View Post
    Are you sure because if you can do that, then you can downgrade from 4.4.2 to 4.4 then downgrade 4.4 to 4.2.2 postcamera and root. Then 4.4.2 would be rootable wouldn't it?
    Not so quick, I haven't tried that, and I wouldn't risk it or have a reason to go back to JB.

    You can flash the System and some other partitions, but the Bootloader (motoboot) and Partition Table (gpt) can't be flashed. OTA package would modify these partitions and would run into problem if they aren't matched.

    (With locked bootloader) Even if you did get root on it you still to have root and the phone survive through OTA update to get back to the latest version, which probably will brick in the process, so I wouldn't risk it.

    sent via Le Motonovo X
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy01234 View Post
    Not so quick, I haven't tried that, and I wouldn't risk it or have a reason to go back to JB.
    On XDA they were saying you can't downgrade from 4.4.2 to 4.4. But as you know, that site is as clear as mud many times.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozume View Post
    On XDA they were saying you can't downgrade from 4.4.2 to 4.4. But as you know, that site is as clear as mud many times.
    It only work for this incremental update, I wouldn't take it as a reason to try downgrading other incremental updates in the future, it depend on what part of the system they're updating in the OTA package and if certain things remain the same like motoboot and gpt, but there is a ridiculous amount of partitions in a Motorola phone they could be updating. There aren't many to deal with in a Nexus phone.

    I may consider the next Nexus over Moto X2 if they both have Touchless control. I'm a bit used to the predictability of the Nexus.

    sent via Le Motonovo X
    Last edited by someguy01234; 02-16-2014 at 01:41 PM.
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy01234 View Post
    I may consider the next Nexus over Moto X2 if they both have Touchless control. In a bit used to the predictability of the Nexus.
    ITA, problem for me is I am on Verizon. Verizon doesn't want the Nexus on its network because they are so easy to root.

    Motorola devices are meant to be consumer devices even though they sell a Dev Ed model. What all of this proves is that they are only going to make it harder and harder to root a consumer device.
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    by the way the same thing that bricks non dev units WILL brick a dev unit too. If you downgrade then accept an Ota.

    Sent from my XT1060 using Tapatalk
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by Clocks View Post
    by the way the same thing that bricks non dev units WILL brick a dev unit too. If you downgrade then accept an Ota.
    but isn't it a soft brick or no, it is a hard brick just the same as with the non dev eds?

    If the bootloader is unlocked, can't you flash the firmware for the latest version using RSD Lite and unbrick it or no?
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozume View Post
    but isn't it a soft brick or no, it is a hard brick just the same as with the non dev eds?

    If the bootloader is unlocked, can't you flash the firmware for the latest version using RSD Lite and unbrick it or no?
    It is a hard brick. It will fail some security check and you can't even use mfastboot.

    Sent from my XT1060 using Tapatalk
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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    I had a hard time accepting an OTA on my Sprint X after rooting post camera update. Flashing the stock images did nothing aside from wiping my device. I finally gave in and left it alone.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using AC Forums mobile app

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    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by Clocks View Post
    It is a hard brick. It will fail some security check and you can't even use mfastboot.
    I just read on XDA, it is an eFuse that causes the hard brick and it causes it as you say on dev eds and non dev eds alike.

    eFuse
  21. #21  

    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Soak test incoming!

    Posted via Android Central App
  22. #22  

    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    If this helps anyone. If you have the GEL installed uninstall it and then install the OTA otherwise it might will mess up the voice commands..YMMV.
    The "infraction"
  23. #23  

    Default Re: [WARNING] 4.4.2 OTA - be very careful taking the OTA if you have rooted and/or modded your syste

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozume View Post
    Unfortunately, the info on XDA is clear as mud but what I can tell is that there is the very real possibility of bricking your device if you take the OTA after rooting or modding your system files. I am not entirely clear on what constitutes a system file nor does anyone else over there appear to be. And modding your system includes freezing system apps using Titanium B/U or any other app that can do it.

    It looks like Motorola wants to stop those with locked bootloaders from rooting. To prevent this they have made the 4.4.2 bootloader so you can't revert back to any previous versions including 4.2.2 (which you need to do to root a device with a locked bootloader).

    So the bad news is if your bootloader is locked and you take the OTA you will not be able to get root at this time and maybe never since it looks like Motorola is doing everything they can to patch the exploits relied on for achieving root. The worse news is if you have a locked bootloader and rooted or modded your system files and take the OTA without reverting completely back to stock, you will hard brick your device. Even if your bootloader is unlocked, if you don't revert completely back to stock you may brick your device.

    So be careful and make sure you educate yourself before you take the OTA if you have tinkered with your device. While it is harder to brick a device with an unlocked bootloader, it is not impossible. One thing is clear - the Moto X is not a Nexus device and you should not be treating it as such and if you do, you may end up with an expensive paper weight.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you

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