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Fire stick2 - first run / avoiding OTAs/ Youtube replacement:

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By bibikalka, XDA Ad-Free Senior Member on 13th December 2017, 02:13 AM
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I made some notes for my own use, and am posting them here since could help others too.

The goal is to preserve the earliest FireOS version that you get, and not let it get updated by Amazon on a whim.
I am starting with a Black Friday bought Fire stick, FireOS 5.2.4.2 (574263220)
The procedure needs to be done rather quickly (10-15 min), without leaving Fire stick idling - otherwise it may update on its own.
  1. Unpack FireTV stick 2, plug it in into a low power USB adapter, usually a TV USB port, it should complain, that is great, as another barrier for skipping an immediate update
  2. Set up a dedicated slow router, limit upload/download speed to 50 kbps (this is the trickiest part, I have a dedicated Tomato router which I use to control traffic to the Fire stick)
  3. Connect Fire stick to this slow router
  4. Once Fire stick finds Internet, it'll immediately have "Checking for updates" on the screen, this is where the slow router should kick in, and do the trick forcing the update to give up
  5. Wait a bit for updates, should eventually fail, press "back" button on the Remote if needed
  6. Sign in to Amazon account when prompted
  7. In "Settings/Device/Developers Options", turn on ADB debugging to ON, Unknown sources to ON
  8. Connect to ADB via network, disable OTA updates:
    Code:
    adb connect 192.168.1.XXX (your Fire stick IP address here)
    adb.exe uninstall -k --user 0 com.amazon.device.software.ota
    adb.exe uninstall -k --user 0 com.amazon.device.software.ota.override
  9. Navigate to the Settings option on Fire and reboot
  10. Verify that updates are disabled (Settings/Device/About/Check for System Update - click, should get "System Update Error")
  11. Now Fire stick is safe to play with, it won't do an OTA

More regular customizations
  1. Connect to your normal fast router, no longer need precautions
  2. Install Morelocale2 (from here):
    Code:
    adb install MoreLocale2-v2.3.1.apk
  3. Give Morelocale2 permissions :
    Code:
    adb shell pm grant jp.co.c_lis.ccl.morelocale android.permission.CHANGE_CONFIGURATION
  4. Run Morelocal2 on Fire stick, choose your language, if cannot find, go here(Settings/Applications/Manage Installed Applications/More Locale2/Launch Application)
  5. Install SmartYouTubeTV_Orig_v6.12.02_r.apk :
    Code:
    adb install SmartYouTubeTV_Orig_v6.12.02_r.apk
    (from https://smartyoutubetv.github.io/en/)
  6. Install Crosswalk library to support 1080p and above in SmartYouTubeTV for this link
    Code:
    adb install "Crosswalk Project Runtime_v23.53.589.4_apkpure.com.apk"
  7. Launch SmartYouTubeTV (Settings/Applications/Manage Installed Applications/SmartYouTubeTV/Launch Application)
  8. Connect SmartYouTubeTV to your google account via ""youtube.com/activate" using the provided code

Continue customizing as you are pleased, by following, for example, this guide by @Bropinski
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27th December 2017, 07:06 PM |#2  
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Great post!

One question, once the Fire Stick starts checking for updates, would powering off the router that it's connected to allow you to skip the "Checking for updates" part?
28th December 2017, 04:51 AM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bropinski

Great post!

One question, once the Fire Stick starts checking for updates, would powering off the router that it's connected to allow you to skip the "Checking for updates" part?

The problem is that after giving up on updates it'll ask to go to Amazon registration, so at that point you'll probably need to get your connection back.
29th December 2017, 07:02 PM |#4  
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Nice guide. I'd be surprised if the fire stick2 ever gets root. Been out for a while and I don't think any developers are working on it. My hope is that it gets upgraded to android M or N and there are easy flaws exploited to get root (i'm assuming you are blocking updates to get root someday). Been on blocked updates for about a year and it seems like I'm just missing out of bug fixes! I don't think Amazon would block smart youtube tv, they are already giving alternate ways to get on youtube that bypasses googles block.
7th January 2018, 01:42 AM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michajin

Nice guide. I'd be surprised if the fire stick2 ever gets root. Been out for a while and I don't think any developers are working on it. My hope is that it gets upgraded to android M or N and there are easy flaws exploited to get root (i'm assuming you are blocking updates to get root someday). Been on blocked updates for about a year and it seems like I'm just missing out of bug fixes! I don't think Amazon would block smart youtube tv, they are already giving alternate ways to get on youtube that bypasses googles block.

So far so good for me here with Smart Youtube TV - and it also removed the ads!
9th January 2018, 04:04 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibikalka

The problem is that after giving up on updates it'll ask to go to Amazon registration, so at that point you'll probably need to get your connection back.

My fire tv stick will be here tomorrow so I'm preparing for it, what I've done so far is put this in my hotspot's /etc/hosts file:

Code:
127.0.0.1    amzdigital-a.akamaihd.net
127.0.0.1    amzdigitaldownloads.edgesuite.net
127.0.0.1    softwareupdates.amazon.com
127.0.0.1    updates.amazon.com
I plan to hook it to low power USB on first boot of course and sign into my account. Does anyone know of any new host amazon checks for updates because I have only found these referenced from over 6 months ago, and amazon could have easily changed the behavior in the firmware being shipped. Also I'm aware this method is not going to work anytime the stick is connected to a different wireless lan, but that should not happen by mistake in my case.

PS I've avoided the firetv stick due to proprietary restrictions as with any similar device sold by a big name company, but my woman decided she wanted one for the price after we was shipped an android tv box without the original remote control and no way to power it on as it lacked a physical button, the fire stick was what we went with along with an OTG cable with 3 usb ports. Anyway I'm a semi-retired developer for other devices, so I look forward to contributing anything I possibly can to the community here. Thanks guys!
9th January 2018, 04:41 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxsociety

PS I've avoided the firetv stick due to proprietary restrictions as with any similar device sold by a big name company, but my woman decided she wanted one for the price after we was shipped an android tv box without the original remote control and no way to power it on as it lacked a physical button, the fire stick was what we went with along with an OTG cable with 3 usb ports. Anyway I'm a semi-retired developer for other devices, so I look forward to contributing anything I possibly can to the community here. Thanks guys!

I actually have a number of these now, they work real good, especially with sideloaded apps. To take this to the next level, root would be good. I recently tried with Kingoroot running on a PC, but it failed.

Btw, try to avoid WiFi connection as in this post here (Part I). That's a different Fire device, but who knows, it might be possible to bypass WiFi connection and updates without any router workarounds.
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8th February 2018, 11:26 AM |#8  
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hello, i can't bypass the first update .. unable to update your fire stick tv. i have try slow internet connection, dns domain blocking, uk and us vpn to access the internet. nothin work. My Fire Stick TV with alexa voice command is just a brick. Please guys, can you help me?

update - i have call amazon and they told me the device was reported as stolen !! this is way i can't update the device. I have buy this stick from internet and was brand new and sealed.
23rd February 2018, 05:57 PM |#9  
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Hi all,
I too have made some notes and found a new method to avoid OTA on first run I have not seen posted before, my thread is below.
https://forum.xda-developers.com/fir...-fire-t3752076
6th March 2018, 08:39 AM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xhostluv

hello, i can't bypass the first update .. unable to update your fire stick tv. i have try slow internet connection, dns domain blocking, uk and us vpn to access the internet. nothin work. My Fire Stick TV with alexa voice command is just a brick. Please guys, can you help me?

update - i have call amazon and they told me the device was reported as stolen !! this is way i can't update the device. I have buy this stick from internet and was brand new and sealed.

NEW INFO

Ok! I have buy a new sealed Fire TV stick 2 that was reported lost/stolen! No way to bypass the update screen after connecting to internet, the device is blocked by amazon. I find a way to go to settings and check ADB Debuging and Unknown Application.
I have installed Amazon remote on my smartphone, after connecting to internet and display the error can't update i have pair my phone with the stick and press SETTINGS on my application.
After i have connected with adb from my pc
installed Hijack V3 - https://forum.xda-developers.com/ama...ck-v2-t3561026 ;
disable bloatware https://forum.xda-developers.com/fir...stick-t3674629
installed https://forum.xda-developers.com/fir...re-tv-t3750451

my stick is alive
7th March 2018, 06:23 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xhostluv

NEW INFO

Ok! I have buy a new sealed Fire TV stick 2 that was reported lost/stolen! No way to bypass the update screen after connecting to internet, the device is blocked by amazon. I find a way to go to settings and check ADB Debuging and Unknown Application.
I have installed Amazon remote on my smartphone, after connecting to internet and display the error can't update i have pair my phone with the stick and press SETTINGS on my application.
After i have connected with adb from my pc
installed Hijack V3 - https://forum.xda-developers.com/ama...ck-v2-t3561026 ;
disable bloatware https://forum.xda-developers.com/fir...stick-t3674629
installed https://forum.xda-developers.com/fir...re-tv-t3750451

my stick is alive

Unfortunately i can't seem to do this. i've tired multiple ways to skip the update at first setup from completely blocking amazon updates servers on the router to limiting the internet speed. no matter what i keep getting stuck at the page that says "unable to update your fire stick" and the remote app on both my phones don't detect the fire stick to connect to it. i'm stucked
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