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[INFO] Rootable Serial Numbers

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By bhiga, Recognized Contributor on 21st November 2013, 07:17 PM
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First ask yourself, do I need to root? Then come back to see if you have possibility to root.
See: Root Mini-FAQ: What's the big deal with root? and Why should I root?
For help with FlashCast, see the FlashCast: Quickly and easily mod your Chromecast thread and Rooting with FlashCast Mini-FAQ
For help with HubCap, see the HubCap Chromecast Root Release! thread.

Note: THANK YOU to all the folks who contributed reports to the first incarnation of this list. Your help made it possible for many other users to pick winners from their local stores. Now that we're in the second generation of root (and unrootability), it was time for a revamp.

At the core, it's not the serial number that determines whether a Chromecast is rootable, but rather the firmware build on it. However, because Chromecasts ship from the factory with a specific firmware build, we can use the serial number to predict whether a particular unit is rootable out of the box, or is unrootable because it has a firmware that is not vulnerable to known exploits.
Firmware builds >= 19084 are not rootable by current means.

Also, for Chromecast, "root" means to flash a rooted ROM that disables Google OTA updates. Any Google OTA update at this point will render a Chromecast unrootable, regardless of its serial number. If that didn't make sense, please reread the previous paragraph above.

Want root? Find your scenario below:
I KNOW MY FIRMWARE BUILD AND IT IS...
  • 12072
    -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
  • Greater than 12072, but less than 19084
    -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
  • 19084 or higher
    -> Sorry, you're not rootable

I DON'T KNOW MY FIRMWARE BUILD BUT MY CHROMECAST IS...
  1. NEW, UNOPENED, NOT USED, NOT REFURBISHED, NOT RECERTIFIED, NOT REPLACEMENT AND
    NEVER CONNECTED TO INTERNET

    AND ITS SERIAL NUMBER STARTS WITH...
    1. 3922 or lower (ie, 38AD, 371C, 3612, etc)
      -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
    2. 3923 or 3924
      -> Please determine your firmware build version without setting up and report it to me with your serial number before attempting root.
      -> Build 12072 - Try root with FlashCast
      -> Build less than 16664 - Try root with HubCap 12940 version
      -> Build greater than 16664 but less than 19084 - Try root with HubCap 16664 version
      -> Build 19084 or greater - you're not rootable. Are you sure you didn't get a used/refurbished/recertified/replacement unit??
    3. 3925-4A1F (MFG 10/2014 and earlier, or no MFG date on label)
      -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
    4. 4A20-4C09 (MFG 9/2014 to MFG 12/2014)
      Note: This range is in flux - I have a 4A27 that had 15098, but another user had a 4A20 with 20472
      -> Please determine your firmware build version without setting up and report it to me with your serial number before attempting root.
      -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
    5. 4C10 and higher (MFG 12/2014 and newer)
      -> Your Chromecast has firmware 20472 or newer and is not rootable.
      -> If you determine your firmware build version without setting up is less than 20472, please report it to me with your serial.
  2. SET UP BUT (CONTINUOUSLY) DISCONNECTED FROM INTERNET PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 2013
    -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
  3. SET UP BUT (CONTINUOUSLY) DISCONNECTED FROM INTERNET PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
    -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
  4. SET UP AND CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 OR LATER
    -> Your Chromecast auto-updated to firmware 19084 or newer and is not rootable.
  5. REFURBISHED/RECERTIFIED/REPLACEMENT
    -> Impossible to determine what build will be on the device.
    -> Determine your firmware build version without setting up then proceed based on build number.
    -> Build 12072 - Try root with FlashCast
    -> Build less than 16664 - Try root with HubCap 12940 version
    -> Build greater than 16664 but less than 19084 - Try root with HubCap 16664 version
    -> Build 19084 or greater - you're not rootable.

Root method requirements:
  1. FlashCast method
    • Firmware build 12072 (this exact build, no others) on Chromecast
    • Powered MicroUSB OTG cable
    • Compatible USB flash drive 256 MB or larger (most drives are compatible, a few are not, check the thread)
  2. HubCap method
    • Firmware build 19084 or lower/older on Chromecast
    • Powered MicroUSB OTG cable
    • Teensy 2, Teensy 2++, compatible or similar device that has ported build (see the thread)
    • Compatible USB flash drive 256 MB or larger (most drives should be compatible, check the thread)
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Attached Images
File Type: jpg CCRefurbSN.jpg - [Click for QR Code] (33.9 KB, 1817 views)
File Type: jpg CCRefurbSeal.jpg - [Click for QR Code] (10.0 KB, 1714 views)
Last edited by bhiga; 25th June 2015 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Fix flux range. Must not have been paying attention that day.
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22nd November 2013, 05:26 PM |#2  
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FYI. Just tried 3812 which was already on 12940. Hence not rootable.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk
22nd November 2013, 05:33 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaganit

FYI. Just tried 3812 which was already on 12940. Hence not rootable.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk

Uhoh, that kind of punches a hole in the serial number range theory...
Was this an online or retail store purchase?

And just to make sure, was it new and fresh out of the box, not set up or not connected to the Internet long enough to get an automatic update?
22nd November 2013, 05:37 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhiga

Uhoh, that kind of punches a hole in the serial number range theory...
Was this an online or retail store purchase?

And just to make sure, was it new and fresh out of the box, not set up or not connected to the Internet long enough to get an automatic update?

Pretty sure the serial number theory works. He might have connected it online at some point. This is why I say open it out of the box and root (don't even bother setting it up), that way you won't have issues!
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22nd November 2013, 05:48 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermind278

Pretty sure the serial number theory works. He might have connected it online at some point. This is why I say open it out of the box and root (don't even bother setting it up), that way you won't have issues!

If it updated wouldn't it be build 13300 instead of 12940? I guess somebody could have returned it after connecting to WiFi.
22nd November 2013, 06:30 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wptski

If it updated wouldn't it be build 13300 instead of 12940? I guess somebody could have returned it after connecting to WiFi.

It's possible. Big box stores are not supposed to return opened products to the shelf, but sometimes they miss that it's been opened, or they sell it as an open box.
22nd November 2013, 07:07 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhiga

It's possible. Big box stores are not supposed to return opened products to the shelf, but sometimes they miss that it's been opened, or they sell it as an open box.

There was one post here where they were allowed at Best Buy to check some CC to check if they'd flash. How was that done?
22nd November 2013, 07:20 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wptski

There was one post here where they were allowed at Best Buy to check some CC to check if they'd flash. How was that done?

I read that post yesterday while I was hunting for serials. It was guy4jesuschrist here.

He asked the Geek Squad agent who then asked someone else (likely the manager, as the product would then become an open-box, but perhaps they had space for another floor unit). It's at the manager's discretion, but I suspect most times they would be cool with it, especially if you're a My Best Buy Elite Plus member (formerly RewardZone Silver) because that means you shop there a lot.

Plus at $35 it's not like getting a return of a TV... But again, manager's discretion - and don't abuse the system, you will eventually get flagged for excessive returns.

So find a likely serial first, then check it - and if it works, honor your end of the deal and buy it.

Hmm... I guess for those in "root-dry" areas that are really desperate you might be able to talk a manager into letting you test and buy the display unit at regular price, assuming they used actual units and weren't provided demo/fakes. Or maybe exchange your working but non-rootable unit with the demo unit.
22nd November 2013, 07:38 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhiga

I read that post yesterday while I was hunting for serials. It was guy4jesuschrist here.

He asked the Geek Squad agent who then asked someone else (likely the manager, as the product would then become an open-box, but perhaps they had space for another floor unit). It's at the manager's discretion, but I suspect most times they would be cool with it, especially if you're a My Best Buy Elite Plus member (formerly RewardZone Silver) because that means you shop there a lot.

Plus at $35 it's not like getting a return of a TV... But again, manager's discretion - and don't abuse the system, you will eventually get flagged for excessive returns.

So find a likely serial first, then check it - and if it works, honor your end of the deal and buy it.

Hmm... I guess for those in "root-dry" areas that are really desperate you might be able to talk a manager into letting you test and buy the display unit at regular price, assuming they used actual units and weren't provided demo/fakes. Or maybe exchange your working but non-rootable unit with the demo unit.

Yeah, I found the post as well. I think flagging for excessive returns happens for clothing mostly, women purchase for one occasion and return it!

There wasn't any demo of the CC at my local Best Buy store when I just stopped to see if they had any. I found one 3916 amongst the 3A's which I buried. My nephew has been talking about one but not sure when.
22nd November 2013, 07:47 PM |#10  
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I think it's both frequency and value figures... the return system does it automatically, so just be mindful. Not to mention returns, especially of non-defective products, hurt the store's numbers.
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