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Identify your bootloader version:

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By bibikalka, Senior Member on 23rd July 2016, 08:57 PM
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While playing with AFTV2 tools quite a bit, I thought it'd be convenient to have some way to identify what bootloader version one has (given bricking implications & all). Doing checksums on the full TEE1 & UBOOT partitions is not very useful, because the empty area in the partitions may have junk, and that would impact the checksum. So something slightly different is needed.

Here is what I propose, one can read the first few bytes of TEE1 & UBOOT partitions, and then look at them with a hex editor. Fairly low tech, but there you go ... Unfortunately, "hexdump" is not present by default on Fire, so a few more manipulations are required. First, run this with adb (can also be read with AFTV2 tools):
Code:
adb shell
su
mkdir /sdcard/tmp/
dd if=/dev/block/mmcblk0p4 of=/sdcard/tmp/04_uboot.img
dd if=/dev/block/mmcblk0p9 of=/sdcard/tmp/09_tee1.img
cd /sdcard/tmp
md5 *.img
exit
exit
adb pull /sdcard/tmp
Then, with a hex editor (such as Frhed), look at the first few bytes of these images on your PC. On linux it's even easier, just do "cat -c 8 *.img | hexdump". You should see something like the following:
Code:
04_uboot.img: UBOOT: 88 16 88 58 b4 33 06 00 4c 4b 00 00 "LK"
09_tee1.img:  TEE1:  88 16 88 58 00 3c 10 00 54 45 45 00 "TEE"
The 4 bytes in red are key to identify the version. Please see the table below for the data I've compiled so far. Let's add to it as more versions become available/known (if your combination is not listed, please post here):
Code:
UBOOT
d8 27 06 00 Unreleased, 5.0.0, (Build date Saturday, August 1, 2015, 10:39 PM GMT)
b4 33 06 00 5.2.2_053820 5.0.1
54 3f 06 00 5.2.2_055120 5.0.1
e4 3b 06 00 5.4.1_112720 5.1.1
38 34 06 00 5.4.2_168620 5.1.2
78 34 06 00 5.4.4_271020 5.1.4
b8 3c 06 00 5.5.2_153420 5.3.1.0

TEE1
00 3c 10 00 Unreleased, 5.0.0, (Build date Saturday, August 1, 2015, 10:39 PM GMT)
00 3c 10 00 5.2.2_053820 5.0.1
00 3c 10 00 5.2.2_055120 5.0.1
00 3c 10 00 5.4.1_112720 5.1.1
00 3c 10 00 5.4.2_168620 5.1.2
00 3c 10 00 5.4.4_271020 5.1.4
90 84 11 00 5.5.2_153420 5.3.1.0
@DoLooper, @kirito9, @sd_shadow, @Kramar111, @zeroepoch, @hwmod, @Tomsgt
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23rd July 2016, 10:06 PM |#2  
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unknown 5.0.1
Code:
UBOOT
54 3f 06 00 5.2.2_055120 5.0.1

TEE1
00 3c 10 00 5.2.2_055120 5.0.1
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24th July 2016, 09:05 AM |#3  
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Fire originally with 5.1.3 - downgraded to 5.1.2 . uboot and tee1 are consistent with 5.1.2 .
24th July 2016, 03:20 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmc000

Fire originally with 5.1.3 - downgraded to 5.1.2 . uboot and tee1 are consistent with 5.1.2 .

Indeed, when you downgraded, the bootloaders got overwritten and so you see 5.1.2 ! But luckily, this combination does not brick.
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24th July 2016, 03:31 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmc000

Fire originally with 5.1.3 - downgraded to 5.1.2 . uboot and tee1 are consistent with 5.1.2 .

Quote:
Originally Posted by bibikalka

Indeed, when you downgraded, the bootloaders got overwritten and so you see 5.1.2 ! But luckily, this combination does not brick.

Hence the 'special' procedure for upgrading FireOS while leaving the current bootloader intact. A standard sideload/OTA update refreshes bootloader, kernel, rom, etc.
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4th January 2017, 10:50 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davey126

Hence the 'special' procedure for upgrading FireOS while leaving the current bootloader intact.

In a strict sense, the procedure doesn't leave the bootloader intact - it first writes the newer version (which is part of the stock ROM) to later replace it back with the original one. And this "later" may be crucial - if in-between something bad happens (bad battery level, bad cable, power outage on the PC side), game over.
What's the ratio of successful vs. bricking here?
Unfortunately, nobody seems to have followed the path @Vlasp had suggested a year ago: to trim down stock ROMs to explicitly exclude bootloader files and install instructions (and possibly add su, and disable ota and ads). I understand that with FF we're no longer limited to signed ROMs, so this should be feasible, and scriptable for future ROM versions, no? (If I could extend days to 36 hours...)
4th January 2017, 02:17 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve8x8

In a strict sense, the procedure doesn't leave the bootloader intact - it first writes the newer version (which is part of the stock ROM) to later replace it back with the original one. And this "later" may be crucial - if in-between something bad happens (bad battery level, bad cable, power outage on the PC side), game over.

True. Didn't expect a literal interpretation but appreciate the clarification and associated cautions for others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve8x8

Unfortunately, nobody seems to have followed the path @Vlasp had suggested a year ago: to trim down stock ROMs to explicitly exclude bootloader files and install instructions (and possibly add su, and disable ota and ads).

This has been done for other Amazon devices (eg: 3rd gen HDX) but garnished little user interest as an alternative to custom ROMs. The misunderstanding/misuse of custom stock builds actually created bigger headaches and a few unfortunate bricks. Eventually the images stopped being maintained.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve8x8

If I could extend days to 36 hours...

Still searching for those elusive hours! . Same can be said for developers who struggle to maintain what is already out there. Witness the cracks in several custom ROMs that have not seen recent updates.
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14th April 2017, 04:35 PM |#8  
Great and easy way to identify bootloader version. Disappointed to find that I was on 5.3.1 bootloader, but at least I know now
28th April 2017, 02:58 PM |#9  
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Quick update (although useless since reading off the timestamps would require root which isn't available yet for 5.3.2.1 and higher - that's why I won't merge this into the checker tool yet):
Code:
       fireOS-5.0.0/images/preloader.img: 20150728-232738
  fireOS-5.0.1/images/preloader_prod.img: 20150730-164940
  fireOS-5.1.1/images/preloader_prod.img: 20150923-180133
       fireOS-5.0.1/images/preloader.img: 20150930-051243
       fireOS-5.1.1/images/preloader.img: 20151202-052945
  fireOS-5.1.2/images/preloader_prod.img: 20160120-094719
  fireOS-5.1.4/images/preloader_prod.img: 20160217-183554
       fireOS-5.1.2/images/preloader.img: 20160227-021828
       fireOS-5.1.4/images/preloader.img: 20160506-045524
fireOS-5.3.1.0/images/preloader_prod.img: 20160603-023745
fireOS-5.3.2.0/images/preloader_prod.img: 20160603-023745
     fireOS-5.3.1.0/images/preloader.img: 20160624-191357
fireOS-5.3.2.1/images/preloader_prod.img: 20161102-031807
     fireOS-5.3.2.0/images/preloader.img: 20161104-214024
     fireOS-5.3.2.1/images/preloader.img: 20161201-113631
fireOS-5.3.3.0/images/preloader_prod.img: 20170116-085533
     fireOS-5.3.3.0/images/preloader.img: 20170328-012523


---------- Post added at 01:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:11 PM ----------

Um, by the way, there had been reports that 5.1.3 had been rooted without downgrading to 5.1.2, if I remember correctly.
If that's your last FireOS version, may I ask you to run the bootloader tool and report back the result? Same for 5.1.2.1... Thanks
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6th May 2017, 11:02 AM |#10  
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After an adventure in updating to 5.3.3.0 I have :

uboot : b0 99 0e 00
tee : not recognisable

The tablet boots, I can reload TWRP if needed but if I flash the previous bootloader I had 541 it bricks and I have to recover using the linux ISO. It looks like my tee1 partition is corrupted. Any advice on how to proceed would be good ! Thanks.
6th May 2017, 01:18 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpearn

After an adventure in updating to 5.3.3.0 I have :

uboot : b0 99 0e 00
tee : not recognisable

The tablet boots, I can reload TWRP if needed but if I flash the previous bootloader I had 541 it bricks and I have to recover using the linux ISO. It looks like my tee1 partition is corrupted. Any advice on how to proceed would be good ! Thanks.

Reflash the partition with DD?
Download the firmware update, rename it to *.zip from *.bin, and there should be something called TEE.img or something similar. Then push it to the device with "adb push /path/to/TEE.img /sdcard" Then, on the tablet or in adb shell, run 'dd if=/sdcard/TEE.img of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p9'
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