WHAT IS A BOOTLOADER, CAN I UNLOCK IT AND WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
What is a "bootloader?"
What does it mean to unlock the bootloader?
What is "Rooting?"
Does unlocking the bootloader mean I can use my device with any wireless operator?
Should I unlock the bootloader on my device?
How do I tell if my device has an unlockable/re-lockable bootloader?
Will all of my content, data and applications be there after unlocking?
If Google was backing up my device before I unlocked, will all of that data be restored if I set up the same account on the unlocked device?
What happens to my DRM-Protected content after unlocking?
After unlocking my bootloader, why don't some applications work?
Is there a list of the applications that won't work with an unlocked bootloader?
What is "Fastboot" and where do I get it?
How do I access Fastboot on Motorola devices?
Can I re-lock my device after I have unlocked the bootloader?
Will I receive software updates automatically after I have unlocked the bootloader?
WHAT MIGHT GO WRONG WHEN I TRY TO UNLOCK MY DEVICE?
How do I know if Fastboot recognizes my device?
What is my Device ID ?
The string "fastboot oem get_unlock_data" does not return any device ID. What can I do?
I can get a device ID, and my device is listed as supported, but I am getting a "DEVICE NOT FOUND" error when verifying that my device is eligible for unlock. Why?
I can get a device ID, and my device is listed as supported, but I am getting a "DEVICE IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR UNLOCK" error when verifying that my device is eligible for unlock. Why?
I can get a device ID, and my device is listed as supported, but I am getting another error. Why?
When is my Warranty voided?
How do I re-lock my device and go back to the original software?
Who can I contact for any issues with the unlocking procedure?
How do I get support after I have unlocked and reflashed my own system image?
WHAT IS A BOOTLOADER?
The bootloader performs basic hardware initialization, verifies the integrity of the operating system, starts the operating system, and provides a method to update device software. This validation is important to verify that the software loaded on the device will not damage sensitive components (radios, processors, etc.) or violate regulatory or carrier requirements. Google provides a base bootloader as part of the Android operating system, and most device manufacturers optimize this for their specific devices.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADER?
Unlocking the bootloader is the first step towards gaining root privileges. Some developers and enthusiasts unlock and root in order to experiment with applications or with custom builds of Android. Needless to say, you should not attempt to unlock the bootloader unless you know what you are doing.
WHAT IS ROOTING?
Rooting is when the user has gained root or administrative privileges on the device. In general, this gives users access to make modifications that would not normally be possible. With such privileges comes both risk and additional capability-best left to the very technically savvy. With rooting, you could make changes to the device that may permanently damage it or render it inoperable.
DOES UNLOCKING THE BOOTLOADER MEAN I CAN USE MY DEVICE WITH ANY WIRELESS OPERATOR?
No, this does not disable a carrier subsidy lock if one exists. Some subscriptions are tied to a specific wireless operator and the phone cannot be used on another operator's network. A "locked bootloader" and "carrier subsidy lock" are thus two entirely different topics. Do not unlock the bootloader if you are want to to disable the carrier subsidy lock.
SHOULD I UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADER ON MY DEVICE?
Motorola strongly recommends that users do not alter a product's operating system, which includes rooting the device, unlocking the bootloader or running any operating software other than the approved versions issued by Motorola and its partners. If you do, certain functions in your phone might cease to work. You may also damage your phone permanently. Unlocking the bootloader may cause your device to be unsafe and/or cause it to malfunction resulting in physical injuries or significant damage. Developer editions sold with an unlockable bootloader are sold "as-is" with no warranty. Any other device which has had its bootloader unlocked, or whose operating system has been altered, including any failed attempts to unlock the bootloader or alter such operating system, are not covered by Motorola's warranty. Please read more about the risks associated with unlocking the bootloader.
1. IMPORTANT FCC INFORMATION: YOU MUST NOT MAKE OR ENABLE ANY CHANGES TO THE PRODUCT THAT WILL IMPACT ITS FCC GRANT OF EQUIPMENT AUTHORIZATION. The FCC grant is based on the product's emission, modulation, and transmission characteristics, including: power levels, operating frequencies and bandwidths, SAR levels, duty-cycle, transmission modes (e.g., CDMA, GSM), and intended method of using the product (e.g., how the product is held or used in proximity to the body). A change to any of these factors will invalidate the FCC grant. IT IS ILLEGAL TO OPERATE A TRANSMITTING PRODUCT WITHOUT A VALID GRANT.
HOW DO I TELL IF MY DEVICE HAS AN UNLOCKABLE/RE-LOCKABLE BOOTLOADER?
This depends on a few factors. First is whether the device ships with a bootloader that is capable of being unlocked or re-locked. Second is whether the wireless carrier that sells the device allows the bootloader to be unlocked, as each of our operator partners has their own policy. As new devices are released, please check the bootloader introduction page. You will be able to check whether your device shipped with an unlockable bootloader. We will be adding devices to this list regularly.
As of August 2012, the only Motorola devices which can be unlocked are:
Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint)
RAZR Developer Edition (Europe Only)
Motorola XOOM Verizon
Motorola XOOM Wifi Worldwide
WILL ALL OF MY CONTENT, DATA AND APPLICATIONS BE THERE AFTER UNLOCKING?
No. All user data, content and media on the internal partition are erased when you unlock the bootloader. Please backup any personal content on your device before attempting to unlock. After unlocking, you may need to move data back to your device, set up user accounts, etc.
This is like a factory reset, but data on a removable SD card will not be deleted. However, any apps that depend upon user data on the internal partition will not be able to access this data. Encrypted data on a removable SD card will also be inaccessible as the encryption keys are removed when the bootloader is unlocked.
IF GOOGLE WAS BACKING UP MY DEVICE BEFORE I UNLOCKED, WILL ALL OF THAT DATA BE RESTORED IF I SET UP THE SAME ACCOUNT ON THE UNLOCKED DEVICE?
Yes, using the same account, with the caveat that anything that relied on Digital Rights Management (DRM)-protected content and/or encrypted data will not work if the bootloader is unlocked.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MY DRM-PROTECTED CONTENT AFTER UNLOCKING?
Content that requires Digital Rights Management (DRM) - such as rented movies in Google Play Movies - will not be available if the device is unlocked. This content is only enabled when the bootloader is in a locked state and when the device is running the original software as shipped by Motorola. When the device is re-locked and running the original software image, these capabilities should become available again.
AFTER UNLOCKING MY BOOTLOADER, WHY DON'T SOME APPLICATIONS WORK?
Certain applications rely on functionality that is only available to a device with a locked bootloader and OEM approved software; thus, once the bootloader is unlocked, they will no longer function properly.
IS THERE A LIST OF ALL OF THE APPLICATIONS THAT WILL NOT WORK WITH AN UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER?
Due to the ever-expanding list of new and revised Android apps and developers, it would be difficult to maintain such a list accurately, so no complete list exists.
WHAT IS 'FASTBOOT' AND WHERE DO I GET IT?
Fastboot is the protocol to update the flash file system in Android devices and supports the commands to unlock or lock the device. Fastboot is included in the Android SDK. See the Google developer site for more details.
HOW DO I ACCESS FASTBOOT ON MOTOROLA DEVICES?
Press and hold the volume down button and then press and release the power button. Alternatively, issue the command "adb reboot bootloader" from a terminal window using the Android SDK when connected to the device via USB cable.
CAN I RE-LOCK MY DEVICE AFTER I HAVE UNLOCKED THE BOOTLOADER?
Yes, by re-loading an original Motorola software image and re-locking the bootloader. After relocking your device, you will only be able to reflash your device with a signed system image. If such an image is not available online, you will have to send it to MOTOROLA support for reflashing. MOTOROLA reserves the right to charge for such assistance. Regardless of whether your device is re-locked, such device is still not covered by the MOTOROLA warranty.
WILL I RECEIVE SOFTWARE UPDATES AUTOMATICALLY AFTER I HAVE UNLOCKED THE BOOTLOADER?
Not necessarily; it will depend on what modifications you have made to the software. Accepting a MOTOROLA OTA (over the air) software update after unlocking your device and rooting or modifying your original system software might render your device inoperable. MOTOROLA therefore recommends you do not accept OTA updates after unlocking. MOTOROLA has no obligation to offer software updates for un-locked devices.
HOW DO I KNOW IF FASTBOOT RECOGNIZES MY DEVICE ?
To validate your installation, please follow these steps:
Turn off your phone.
Push and hold the power and volume down at the same time, release the power button then release volume down. The key sequence to power up in fastboot mode might differ between phone models. The device will power up in Fastboot mode and display a screen similar to this
Connect the phone to the computer via USB-cable. The Fastboot screen on the device will indicate that the device is connected to the Desktop over USB.
Open a command window
Change directory to the tools folder within the Android SDK folder.
To verify that the Desktop and Phone are connected, enter fastboot.exe devices . This should list your device as connected.
WHAT IS MY DEVICE ID ?
Your device ID is a unique string, retrieved through the fastboot command, which is used to generate a unique unlock code for your device. You can retrieve your Device ID by issuing "fastboot oem get_unlock_data" at the command prompt. Your Device ID is unique to your device, and should not be shared with anyone or posted online.
THE STRING "fastboot oem get_unlock_data" DOES NOT RETURN ANY DEVICE ID. WHY?
The bootloader on Motorola devices released before August 2012 is not unlockable. This fastboot command will not return a device ID or unlock data for these Motorola devices. At this point, only the devices on our Supported Devices list are eligible for the unlockable bootloader program.
The Motorola XOOM Tablet and Developer Edition RAZR can be unlocked through our legacy method.
If your device is on our supported list, and fastboot does not work or does not return a device id, please try the following.
Check that your device is in Fastboot mode. On most devices, to enter fastboot mode, power the device off then power up while pressing the power and volume down button simultaneously.
After powering up in fastboot mode, connect your device to your desktop using a USB cable. The fastboot screen on your device should indicate that it is connected over USB
Make sure the Motorola drivers for your device are installed
Make sure fastboot and the Android SDK are installed
I CAN GET A DEVICE ID, AND MY DEVICE IS LISTED AS SUPPORTED, BUT I AM GETTING "DEVICE NOT FOUND" ERROR WHEN VERIFYING THAT MY DEVICE IS ELIGIBLE FOR UNLOCK. WHY?
This error means that our unlock tool checked our online database but could not find a match between the Device ID/Unlock Data you submitted and any device in our database. This should only happen if the device data entered is not correct, or there are delays in updates to our device database.
Please check that your device model, as sold by your operator, is on our supported devices list
Please double check your device ID has to be entered correctly in the Verification field. The output from the fastboot command must be entered in the validation field on a single line, without any (bootloader) string, empty spaces, line feeds or carriage returns.
$ fastboot oem get_unlock_data ...
OKAY [ 0.297s]
must be entered in the Device ID field as a single entry, with no white spaces
I CAN RETRIEVE A DEVICE ID, AND MY DEVICE IS LISTED AS SUPPORTED, BUT I AM GETTING "DEVICE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR UNLOCK" ERROR WHEN VERIFYING THAT MY DEVICE IS ELIGIBLE FOR UNLOCK. WHY?
This error means that our unlock tool checked our online database and determined your device and carrier combination is not part of our unlockable bootloader program and, therefore can not be unlocked. Some of our operator partners do not allow unlockable devices on their networks. That is why a device with one operator may be unlockable, but the same model with a different carrier might not.
I CAN RETRIEVE A DEVICE ID, AND MY DEVICE IS LISTED AS SUPPORTED, BUT I AM GETTING ANOTHER ERROR WITH THE ONLINE TOOL. WHY?
Please consult our forum for answers. When posting an issue to this forum, do not post your Device ID on any public forum as it could be used by a third party to generate an unlock code on your behalf and void your device warranty.
WHEN IS MY WARRANTY VOIDED ?
Your device warranty will be voided as soon as an unlock code has been generated through our online tool, regardless of whether you actually unlock your device. Please do not request a bootloader unlock code unless you have read and accepted the terms of our legal agreement.
HOW DO I RE-LOCK MY DEVICE AND GO BACK TO ORIGINAL SOFTWARE ?
You can re-lock your device. Re-locking a bootloader will ensure that the device will only boot to Motorola signed and provided Android Images. PLEASE NOTE: Re-locking a device will not reinstate your device warranty as damage might have occurred when the device was unlocked.
To return to Original Software, you will need to reflash a Motorola signed software image to your device, or send it in to our service center to get reflashed. MOTOROLA reserves the right to charge for any assistance required by users during this process. At this time, we are not posting a recovery image for the Photon Q 4G LTE.
WHO DO I CONTACT FOR ANY OTHER ISSUE WITH THE UNLOCKING PROCEDURE?
Please consult our forum for questions and answers. When posting an issue to this forum, do not post your Device ID on any public forum as it could be used by a third party to generate an unlock code on your behalf and void your device warranty.
HOW DO I GET SUPPORT AFTER HAVING UNLOCKED AND REFLASHED MY OWN SYSTEM IMAGE?
Motorola is unable to provide you with assistance. Please consult online forums, such as the XDA developer community.
HERE IS THE URL TO MOTOROLA'S UNLOCK YOUR DEVICE PAGE. BE SURE TO CHECK FREQUENTLY TO SEE IF YOUR DEVICE MAKES THE LIST OF SUPPORTED DEVICES
In Europe, the Motorola RAZR™ Developer Edition is now available through the Motorola Shop.
Here's the link to take a look at the Photon Q
IF YOU HAVE FOUND THIS HELPFUL PLEASE GIVE THANKS