07-10-2017 04:03 AM
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  1. ycc's Avatar
    After Android restricted writing to the external card, I must look into rooting my phone. (A Galaxy Note 3)

    It seems you must be really careful not to "brick" the phone. (making it completely dead and useless for all future, without any possibility to repair)

    Why do phones have this weakness of rather easily being bricked?

    A PC does not have this problem. "Whatever" you do with it, the hardware bootloader will always read an external memory like a CD or USB and you can load a new operating system.

    OK, theoretically you can brick a PC by flashing the wrong BIOS into it. But that option practically never comes into play. Just keeping the standard BIOS makes it possible to load any operating system. (If the install is corrupt or aborts you just start again.)

    Why have phones been constructed with this obvious big flaw? If I want to put a new OS into my phone I risk making it useless for all future!!
    09-15-2014 08:08 PM
  2. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    Flashing the wrong BIOS is essentially what most people who brick their phones are doing. Flashing the wrong ROM for your hardware frequently means the commands the ROM tries to execute aren't understood by the hardware or kernel.

    The BIOS in a PC is your firmware. On a phone, the firmware includes not only the BIOS equivalent, but the OS. Load the wrong firmware on either and you may lose the ability to communicate with the hardware. E.G. brick.

    Also understand that the manufacturers have designed the phone so this can't happen. To brick your phone you have to deliberately bypass the features the manufacturer put there to prevent you from doing so.
  3. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    Flashing the wrong BIOS is essentially what most people who brick their phones are doing. Flashing the wrong ROM for your hardware frequently means the commands the ROM tries to execute aren't understood by the hardware or kernel.

    The BIOS in a PC is your firmware. On a phone, the firmware includes not only the BIOS equivalent, but the OS. Load the wrong firmware on either and you may lose the ability to communicate with the hardware. E.G. brick.

    Also understand that the manufacturers have designed the phone so this can't happen. To brick your phone you have to deliberately bypass the features the manufacturer put there to prevent you from doing so.
    al-gsm likes this.
    09-15-2014 09:10 PM
  4. ycc's Avatar
    I know what you say. But the question is still unanswered. Why did they design phones in such a stupid manner that they easily can be bricked?
    Why didn't they isolate the "BIOS" of the phone so it does not suffer the risk of harm just because you want to load another operating system?
    09-15-2014 09:38 PM
  5. Sizzers's Avatar
    A PC does not have this problem. "Whatever" you do with it, the hardware bootloader will always read an external memory like a CD or USB and you can load a new operating system.

    Why didn't they isolate the "BIOS" of the phone so it does not suffer the risk of harm just because you want to load another operating system?

    I totally agree and it totally confuses me.

    I sincerely hope someone comes along to give some kind of explanation as I just don't get it all.
    09-16-2014 02:50 PM
  6. anon(394005)'s Avatar
    I know what you say. But the question is still unanswered. Why did they design phones in such a stupid manner that they easily can be bricked?
    Why didn't they isolate the "BIOS" of the phone so it does not suffer the risk of harm just because you want to load another operating system?
    The difference is that in a desktop computer the BIOS is a dedicated chip on the system board. Whereas on a mobile device it's not and the firmware is stored on the device's internal storage (ex. equivalent to a computer's hard drive) along with the OS. I'm not exactly sure why they went with that design (cost?).
    Sizzers likes this.
    09-16-2014 03:00 PM
  7. UJ95x's Avatar
    I know what you say. But the question is still unanswered. Why did they design phones in such a stupid manner that they easily can be bricked?
    Why didn't they isolate the "BIOS" of the phone so it does not suffer the risk of harm just because you want to load another operating system?
    I asked this question in the past here. Probably not the best place as it's more technical than the usual questions that get posted here, but anyway...basically the reason is that computers are built largely with off the shelf parts. The OSs are designed as "one size fits all" if that makes any sense. Phones on the other hand have specific hardware configurations that the OS is made for. So you need to change the code for every single device you want to load that OS on.
    Why they can't make it a "one size fits all" thing like on computers? I don't know...
    Sizzers likes this.
    09-16-2014 03:01 PM
  8. ycc's Avatar
    I think the answer to the question will maybe fall in either of two groups:

    1. They had to do it this way due to technical or other factors. They were maybe under time pressure and couldn't come up with something better in the situation at that time even though they wanted to.

    OR

    2. They designed it this way because they wanted to. As I understand this design gives the large mobile operators firm control over the phones of the users. Is it correct that you can't lock a bootloader unless it's included in the software like it is now? (But of course hackers always do their best.) They gave priority to the big mobile operators at the expense of the individual customer?

    But naturally there can be several factors that interact.
    09-17-2014 09:16 PM
  9. hawkwind212's Avatar
    Asking why they design a phone with a possible ways to brick it is like asking why they make passenger car that can go 160mph and there are 55mph speed limit on the majority of highway. It's that Just so you can if you want to do it, but if you screw up, that is your problem, and don't come crying to me about it. Notice when you brick a phone, you have already breached all the warranty agreement by root and modifying the OEM software. You will never have bricked the phone in the first place if you just use it like you're suppose to. So it's not why they design the phone that can be bricked. It's why do you want to mess with the phone so much that it becomes a brick?

    Sent from my LG-E980 using Tapatalk
    DWR_31 likes this.
    09-17-2014 09:36 PM
  10. ycc's Avatar
    You ask another question. You ask why I want to modify the software. It is because I am not satisfied with not being able to write to the external card.

    The question I ask is still not answered. Why did they design it in this poor way?
    09-17-2014 09:39 PM
  11. Ry's Avatar
    You ask why I want to modify the software. It is because I am not satisfied with not being able to write to the external card.
    Maybe look into another platform?

    Or take the Android Open Source Project code and build a phone yourself?
    09-17-2014 10:37 PM
  12. ycc's Avatar
    Thanks for related suggestions. I don't have time right now to try to build a phone.

    Please stay with the topic: Why are phones designed in the aforementioned, fragile way?
    09-17-2014 10:40 PM
  13. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    I'd be inclined to say so that they know a user messed with the OS. Remember, rooting is an exploit.
    09-17-2014 10:42 PM
  14. ycc's Avatar
    But they got the KNOX-counter now. That is ok I think. They can tell if I voided the warranty by installing non approved software, even if I "tidy up" afterwards.
    But risking to brick the phone is really too much, I think.
    09-17-2014 10:46 PM
  15. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    But risking to brick the phone is really too much, I think.
    Not really if they are trying to curb fraudulent warranty replacements.
    09-17-2014 10:54 PM
  16. ycc's Avatar
    They have the KNOX- counter now for that purpose. That is good. It seems like a waterproof way.
    You don't void the warranty of a PC if you run Linux a while.
    Why have phones been constructed in a much poorer way?
    The best way would be to make them like PCs - making them so robust you are allowed to run other software also under warranty.
    09-17-2014 11:00 PM
  17. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    They have the KNOX- counter now for that purpose
    Not every OEM has that.
    09-17-2014 11:05 PM
  18. tech_head's Avatar
    After Android restricted writing to the external card, I must look into rooting my phone. (A Galaxy Note 3)

    It seems you must be really careful not to "brick" the phone. (making it completely dead and useless for all future, without any possibility to repair)

    Why do phones have this weakness of rather easily being bricked?
    Locked bootloaders.
    Think of it this way, if your Windows PC or Mac could only run the OS signed with an encryption by the vendor, attempting to boot with anything else would cause the computer to fail to boot. On a computer it would give you the equivalent of "OS not found" or a "Sad Mac" on boot.

    Now a phone is but a small computer with a custom modem.
    In fact the Google AOSP or CM are the equivalent of a generic OS for the phone.

    What the phone manufacturers have done is locked the phone such that anything other than the firmware they have defined for the particular phone cannot be installed and will trip a flag if you attempt to do so.

    This is like Lenovo telling you that only Windows7 or products they authorize can be run on the hardware they make.
    Or better yet, GM saying your Chevy can run on BP gas and put a detector in the engine that will cause the engine to fail if you attempt to run Shell.

    The practice would be/is illegal in every industry that I can think of..... EXCEPT the tablet and cellphone market.
    Having an unlocked bootloader on your device would make it virtually impossible to brick. It might bootloop, but by flashing the correct firmware you would be able to recover the device.

    Hope that provides some insight.
    09-18-2014 07:29 PM
  19. ycc's Avatar
    Your post is a good explanation Tech head.

    Locked bootloaders.
    ...
    The practice would be/is illegal in every industry that I can think of..... EXCEPT the tablet and cellphone market.
    Having an unlocked bootloader on your device would make it virtually impossible to brick. It might bootloop, but by flashing the correct firmware you would be able to recover the device.
    You write that with an unlocked bootloader the phone can not be easily bricked.

    This I can not really follow. If I unlock my bootloader now I can still brick my phone. But if the phone was differently constructed, so that the "bootloader/BIOS" was clearly separated from the OS, THEN the phone would be much harder to brick.

    As long as you don't risk messing up the bootloader you won't brick the phone.

    Like you point out, it is a strange practice to only allow certain software in the phone. But if the bootloader was isolated from the OS it should still be hard to brick.

    Earlier in this thread I ask if it is possible that this locking of the bootloader could be a reason that the phone is easily bricked due to the following:

    You can not isolate the BIOS and hard code the bootloader if you want to lock it? Then it would be impossible to update the phone and allow updates of the OS. An isolated, hard coded, locked bootloader could not be made to accept updates of the OS? If you want to lock the bootloader you must include it in software to allow for future changes. And when the bootloader is in the software it will be vulnerable and the phone can be bricked??

    I have no idea if this is true. It is just a question of mine: If you want to be able to lock the bootloader you must include it in software and then the phone can be bricked???
    09-18-2014 09:02 PM
  20. DWR_31's Avatar
    You ask another question. You ask why I want to modify the software. It is because I am not satisfied with not being able to write to the external card.

    The question I ask is still not answered. Why did they design it in this poor way?
    You're blaming the wrong source.
    The sdcard problem is devs not updating their apps to Google's guidelines. If they code their apps right they can write to the sdcard.

    If you're talking about "A2SD", Google stopped making that a part of Android with the Galaxy Nexus. The codes used for A2SD come specifically from each OEM now.

    Posted my "LiquidSmooth 4.4.4" Sprint GS3 with $10 monthly FreedomPop Plan
    09-19-2014 12:20 AM
  21. ycc's Avatar
    You're blaming the wrong source.
    The sdcard problem is devs not updating their apps to Google's guidelines. If they code their apps right they can write to the sdcard.

    If you're talking about "A2SD", Google stopped making that a part of Android with the Galaxy Nexus. The codes used for A2SD come specifically from each OEM now.

    Posted my "LiquidSmooth 4.4.4" Sprint GS3 with $10 monthly FreedomPop Plan
    That's new and interesting information to me. I am sure you know what you are talking about. But look at the error message from Quickpic developers that I put in another thread:
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/sho...d.php?t=435653
    (First post in the thread.)
    They really claim they are helpless!
    09-19-2014 12:42 AM
  22. DWR_31's Avatar
    That's new and interesting information to me. I am sure you know what you are talking about. But look at the error message from Quickpic developers that I put in another thread:
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/sho...d.php?t=435653
    (First post in the thread.)
    They really claim they are helpless!
    You should search the AndroidCentral.com articles that deal with sdcard and 4.4....
    They also did a podcast that pretty much covered the whole topic.

    I believe it was in the first 4 months of 2014 that we in the comments made a big stink about it.
    KitKat and SD cards — what's fixed, what's broken and what's misunderstood http://www.androidcentral.com/kitkat-sdcard-changes

    Posted my "LiquidSmooth 4.4.4" Sprint GS3 with $10 monthly FreedomPop Plan
    09-19-2014 02:26 AM
  23. ycc's Avatar
    I have read that article. (It was sent to me in the thread I just quoted. We are getting a little off topic here but I reply.)
    As I see it Google are responsible for the problems I suffer. I was used to copying files with Quickpic and FS File explorer. I copied freely between different folders on the external card. I could also open any text file for writing in any folder on the external card using Jota text editor.
    After Kit - Kat I can not do that any more.
    As I understand this is purely due to changes Google have made and the developers of these apps can never fix it unless Google change Android.
    09-19-2014 02:50 AM
  24. al-gsm's Avatar
    whatever the situation, Android should come up with good solutions so that the handsets should not get bricked so easily..
    ycc likes this.
    09-20-2014 08:51 AM
  25. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    Having an unlocked bootloader on your device would make it virtually impossible to brick. It might bootloop, but by flashing the correct firmware you would be able to recover the device.
    No. Just ask all the GS3 users who bricked their phones by flashing the ROM meant for another carrier's version of the S3.
    09-22-2014 09:14 PM
  26. ycc's Avatar
    Sorry for off topic but finding the correct, safe ROM seems to be a big problem. I bought my Galaxy Note 3 in Brazil. Not locked to any provider. Below is what comes up with *#1234#
    I have no idea what ROM is safe.
    Why is it possible to brick a phone?-uploadfromtaptalk1411549598095.jpg

    (I think the bootloader is locked since the Samsung logo shows for several seconds at start up.)
    09-24-2014 04:07 AM
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