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IMEI lost and recovered!

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drfr
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(Last edited by drfr; 14th May 2014 at 10:07 PM.)
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Default IMEI lost and recovered!

Hey guys,

I decided to share my horrible experience - as title says - with lost IMEI.
Some of you may remember that couple of months ago there were some posts here regarding lost IMEI and possible solutions and questions how is it possible to loose IMEI in the first place.
I remember at least three guys managed to do that by running "fastboot erase all".

What was my story?
Yesterday I decided to flash a new recovery (last two months I havenīt flashed anything and wasnīt active on the forum because of lack of time and I started to show signs of withdrawal syndrome ). My first mistake was that I flashed non-gpe recovery to my device with GPE rom, obviously that couldnīt work because of incompatibility in file systems. Nevermind, that happened before and itīs easy to go back to a proper recovery. But not this time. Tried hundred times, but flashing with fastboot always ended up by "OKAY" but the old recovery remained in place for some reason unknown to me. And also the system wouldnīt boot. Out of desperation I ran "fastboot erase recovery", that wouldnīt help either. In the end I got out of the situation by booting (not flashing) to a proper recovery (fastboot boot recovery recovery.img) and restoring system from a nandroid backup. All seemed fine. ROM booted OK and then I realized I had no service and IMEI: unknown.
The only reason for that was obviously this unfortunate move: fastboot erase recovery. Anything else I did was pretty much "normal".

Here comes the second part of the story.
I downloaded my cloud-stored pds.img backup (lucky me I have it I thought to myself) but that didnīt prove to be of any use.
When running

Code:
adb shell
su
dd if=/sdcard/pds.img of=/dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/pds
as seen on
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2537119

nothing happened. Dd ran too fast, just a fraction of a second and after reboot still IMEI: unknown.

To cut the long story short, after hours of searching for a possible solution (and thinking what would be my next phone) I finally came across this post:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...1&postcount=86
and tried that very easy method and it worked!

Takeaway messages:
1. donīt use fastboot erase "all" or "recovery" (other partitions may be erased without problems)
2. pds partition backup and restore method didnīt work for me
3. working solution (at least for me):
Remove sim, flash stock firmware using standard methods, boot to home screen, power off, insert sim, reboot and your IMEI should be back!
Device: Moto G XT1032 bought from Amazon.de
Current ROM: GPE 4.4.4
Previous ROMs: almost every stock firmware for XT1032 you can think of
Workflow: 1. read - 2. think - 3. try - 4. goto 1

Useful info: How to restore stock firmware
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2542219
When flashing OTA updates of stock firmwares:
1. root is not an obstacle 2. XPosed is not an obstacle 3. use stock recovery or Philz recovery only
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to drfr For This Useful Post: [ Click to Expand ]
 
deej_roamer
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(Last edited by deej_roamer; 14th May 2014 at 02:40 PM.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfr View Post
Hey guys,

I decided to share my horrible experience - as title says - with lost IMEI.
Some of you may remember that couple of months ago there were some posts here regarding lost IMEI and possible solutions and questions how is it possible to loose IMEI in the first place.
I remember at least three guys managed to do that by running "fastboot erase all".

What was my story?
Yesterday I decided to flash a new recovery (last two months I havenīt flashed anything and wasnīt active on the forum because of lack of time and I started to show signs of withdrawal syndrome ). My first mistake was that I flashed non-gpe recovery to my device with GPE rom, obviously that couldnīt work because of incompatibility in file systems. Nevermind, that happend before and itīs easy to go back to a proper recovery. But not this time. Tried hundred times, but flashing with fastboot always ended up by "OKAY" but the old recovery remained in place for some reason unknown to me. And also the system wouldnīt boot. Out of desperation I ran "fastboot erase recovery", that wouldnīt help either. In the end I got out of the situation by booting (not flashing) to a proper recovery (fastboot boot recovery recovery.img) and restoring system from a nandroid backup. All seemed fine. ROM booted OK and then I realised I have no service and IMEI: unknown.
The only reason for that was obviously this unfortunate move: fastboot erase recovery. Anything else I did was pretty much "normal".

Here comes the second part of the story.
I downloaded my cloud-stored pds.img backup (lucky me I have it I thought to myself) but that didnīt prove to be of any use.
When running

Code:
adb shell
su
dd if=/sdcard/pds.img of=/dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/pds
as seen on
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2537119

nothing happend. Dd ran too fast, just a fraction of a second and after reboot still IMEI: unknown.

To cut the long story short, after hours of searching for a possible solution (and thinking what would be my next phone) I finally came across this post:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...1&postcount=86
and tried that very easy method and it worked!

Takeaway messsages:
1. donīt use fastboot erase "all" or "recovery" (other partitions may be erased without problems)
2. pds partition backup and restore method didnīt work for me
3. working solution (at least for me):
Remove sim, flash stock firmware using standard methods, boot to home screen, power off, insert sim, reboot and youīre IMEI should be back!
Is it possible?
Probably your pds partition was never corrupted! IMEI was there the whole time and ROM had some problems?
 
drfr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deej_roamer View Post
Is it possible?
Probably your pds partition was never corrupted! IMEI was there the whole time and ROM had some problems?
Well, we donīt know what is happening exactly but we do know that a couple of people including me ran into problems after running fastboot erase all or fastboot erase recovery. I īm describing here a method that could help the other guys or somebody else in the future.
Device: Moto G XT1032 bought from Amazon.de
Current ROM: GPE 4.4.4
Previous ROMs: almost every stock firmware for XT1032 you can think of
Workflow: 1. read - 2. think - 3. try - 4. goto 1

Useful info: How to restore stock firmware
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2542219
When flashing OTA updates of stock firmwares:
1. root is not an obstacle 2. XPosed is not an obstacle 3. use stock recovery or Philz recovery only
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to drfr For This Useful Post: [ Click to Expand ]
 
deej_roamer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfr View Post
Well, we donīt know what is happening exactly but we do know that a couple of people including me ran into problems after running fastboot erase all or fastboot erase recovery. I īm describing here a method that could help the other guys or somebody else in the future.
Oh I am not criticising your work, I encourage it! I just pointed my point of view!
 
matmutant
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Added to FAQ (in the lost IMEI section), i also think that contrary to an erase all, the IMEI was not exactly lost but not readable by system (file system issue? misread cluster reading frame ? no idea) and that would explain the recover fail in the first place.

this is cool you could recover it by flashing stock, so i added your story to FAQ in case it happens again to anyone
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denzel09
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Good to know.
 
drfr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matmutant View Post
... i also think that contrary to an erase all, the IMEI was not exactly lost but not readable by system (file system issue? misread cluster reading frame ? no idea) and that would explain the recover fail in the first place.
Just adding some more information after searching through old threads.
I can see there were some little differences between my situation (loosing IMEI after fastboot erase recovery) and the situation of those guys who ran fastboot erase all.
In my case, I was getting IMEI unknown, they were getting IMEI 0. My baseband was also unknown, but their showed some number, but a wrong one.
There was one thing which we had in common though. We were able to see our correct IMEIs through fastboot getvar all, but not inside the ROM.

So Mat, you are obviously right in supposing that the IMEI was still stored SOMEWHERE only the system couldnīt read it, but not only in my case.

Hopefully the other guys will be able to find this thread and try my method.
Device: Moto G XT1032 bought from Amazon.de
Current ROM: GPE 4.4.4
Previous ROMs: almost every stock firmware for XT1032 you can think of
Workflow: 1. read - 2. think - 3. try - 4. goto 1

Useful info: How to restore stock firmware
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2542219
When flashing OTA updates of stock firmwares:
1. root is not an obstacle 2. XPosed is not an obstacle 3. use stock recovery or Philz recovery only
The Following User Says Thank You to drfr For This Useful Post: [ Click to Expand ]
 
RestlessScreams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfr View Post
Just adding some more information after searching through old threads.
I can see there were some little differences between my situation (loosing IMEI after fastboot erase recovery) and the situation of those guys who ran fastboot erase all.
In my case, I was getting IMEI unknown, they were getting IMEI 0. My baseband was also unknown, but their showed some number, but a wrong one.
There was one thing which we had in common though. We were able to see our correct IMEIs through fastboot getvar all, but not inside the ROM.

So Mat, you are obviously right in supposing that the IMEI was still stored SOMEWHERE only the system couldnīt read it, but not only in my case.

Hopefully the other guys will be able to find this thread and try my method.
Gonna try this if I can find some time, even if I don't realy got any hope left after flashing the hell out of this phone..
 
RestlessScreams
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Didn't work. I used erase all back in the days..
 
surfino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestlessScreams View Post
Didn't work. I used erase all back in the days..
Same here, tried with 4.3 and 4.4 german (my phone is)
used erase all back in the days still can see imei on fastboot getvar, imei 0 on mobile.

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