Originally Posted by Cryceratops
I've been looking through a lot of the ROM threads and I notice people saying certain versions after 4.3 don't support certain bootloaders. Some people say flashing a new modem is ok but flashing a new bootloader can brick your device, whereas others say the 2 are synonymous.. I'm just a bit confused as to what does what at this point.
If anyone could explain the difference between the different terms, and what pertains to what, it would really help make this whole thing a lot clearer. This seems to be the one part of Android flashing/modding I can't seem to get a clear answer for.
What are bootloaders?
To put it simply, the bootloader is among the first pieces of code that your phone (or any computer) runs when it is first turned on. It's in charge of looking for operating system software (in our case, Android) and passing control over to it. See Wikipedia:Booting#Boot loader for a detailed explanation.
Radio,Modem, Baseband are all referring to the Modem. Basically it is a software in the phone that allows the hardware to connect to your providers network. You can do further searches on Google to learn more technical info about modems.
You can flash modems separately on your phone with any Roms, firmwares, or such. Basically you can try out different modems to see WHICH modem works best for your area of the country/area you live in. This can effect better or worse your upload/download speeds from your service provider. There is no risk in flashing modems with worse case scenario being you have no signal. In that case you can flash another flashable modem to fix it. There is no risk of bricking your device.
Bootloaders are risky to flash and can brick your phone. Flashing bootloaders has gotten easier with flashable zips for just the bootloaders so the chances that something goes wrong during the time it takes to flash the boot loader files is relatively small but you should still be careful and KNOW what you are doing.
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