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[GUIDE] [ELI5] [Root] [TWRP] [Moto E5] Root and TWRP for Moto E5 Play Explained

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By weakNPCdotCom, Senior Member on 19th October 2018, 06:41 PM
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Explain It like I'm 5 - TWRP and Root for Moto E5 Play (and other E5 variants)
Step-by-Step explanation of the Root procedure found in @CodyF86 TWRP and Root thread for the Moto E5 Play

Because there are some entry-level users out there, I wanted to break down the steps for those of us who might not have as much experience in working with phones.

12/02/18 - THREAD UPDATE!
PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING

Procedure should be safe for all E5 devices.
DO NOT FLASH ANY NO-VERITY KERNELS LISTED IN XDA

Expand for details...

This guide was originally written for James specific devices.
HOWEVER.. many have asked if this will work on their specific devices, and after answering questions and doing some brief research, I am convinced that this procedure SHOULD BE safe for ALL Moto E5 devices.

BEWARE.. The TWRP port provided for this procedure is not fully ported for the E5. I have confirmed flashing zip or image files, and making/restoring backups of boot, system and data are successful with James. These basic features of TWRP will work on all E5 phones, BUT this TWRP build will cause your phone to be identified as a PERRY device when checked by ROMs or flashable zips that do assert checks on the device name or id.


Prerequisites
DISCLAIMER
  • Unlocking your bootloader is not for the faint of heart. Unlocking your device and installing your own software might cause the device to stop working, disable important features and functionality, and even make the device unsafe to the point of causing you harm. Neither Motorola, nor your wireless carrier or retailer from whom you purchased the device, will be responsible for such damage, so please do not unlock or load any software unless you know what you are doing.
  • You have only yourself to blame. Unless you have a Developer Edition device, once you get the unlock code, your device is no longer covered by the Motorola warranty; in other words, please don't blame us if things go wrong, even if they appear unrelated to unlocking the bootloader.
  • The law still applies. You still need to operate your device in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations prescribed by the FCC, and any other governmental agency for that matter. Your wireless carrier may prohibit unlocked devices from operating on their network.

Steps from Stock Device

1 - Unlock Bootloader

Procedure
2 - Flash TWRP
DISCLAIMER
  • This process will overwrite your recovery partition. It is wise to make a complete nandroid backup of your device prior to performing any of the steps below.

Procedure
  • Download Magisk zip package, TWRP 3.2.1 E5 Play and fstab.qcom files from the E5 Play Root Recovery thread.
  • Put these 3 files in your adb/fastboot directory on your pc
  • With your phone on and booted to android, connect to your PC using your USB cable.
  • Open Command Prompt and cd to your ADB/Fastboot directory
  • run "adb devices" to make sure your device is connected to adb (you will need to approve the initial connection on your device)
  • manually copy twrp_james.img to your phone's external sd card or
    Code:
    adb push twrp_james.img /sdcard/
  • run "adb reboot bootloader" to reboot to fastboot mode
  • boot directly to TWRP with
    Code:
    fastboot boot twrp_james.img
  • make a full backup and store the backup on your phone's external sd card or transfer to your PC.
  • in TWRP, Reboot->Reboot Bootloader
  • When back in fastboot mode, flash TWRP to your recovery partition.
    Code:
    fastboot flash recovery twrp_james.img
    fastboot reboot recovery
  • your phone should reboot to TWRP now on your recovery partition.

3 - Disable Force-Encryption and Root device with Magisk

Procedure
  • while in TWRP, run the following in your ADB terminal
    Code:
    adb shell mount -o,rw /dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/vendor /vendor
    adb push fstab.qcom /vendor/etc/fstab.qcom
  • from TWRP menu: Wipe-> Format Data
  • copy magisk zip to newly formatted data partition
    Code:
    adb push Magisk-v17.2.zip /sdcard/
  • From TWRP, Install Magisk zip

You now are rooted and have TWRP on your Recovery partition. After rebooting to Android, make sure you install the latest Magisk Manager first thing.
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22nd October 2018, 03:41 AM |#2  
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Great tutorial. Worked like a charm on my James.
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16th November 2018, 06:05 PM |#3  
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Thanks for posting this. Ive been rooting and messing with phones for years but never really got comfortable with adb and fastboot commands and the other post makes no mention of unlocking the bootloader even though it was obvious i needed to. I considered doing it this way same way i unlocked my e4 Qualcomm but wasn't 100% sure that was what was needed until i read this. Very easy to follow guide that ensures i didn't miss anything.
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26th November 2018, 07:41 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AesopRock127

Thanks for posting this. Ive been rooting and messing with phones for years but never really got comfortable with adb and fastboot commands and the other post makes no mention of unlocking the bootloader even though it was obvious i needed to. I considered doing it this way same way i unlocked my e4 Qualcomm but wasn't 100% sure that was what was needed until i read this. Very easy to follow guide that ensures i didn't miss anything.

My pleasure. Thank you very much. I'm happy to help.
28th November 2018, 01:14 PM |#5  
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Working like a charm on my Moto E5 PLAY XT1920-16
HI,
After a few attempts i've managed to root my Moto E5 PLAY XT1920-16. I did not flashed twrp_james.img (boot error) just boot directly to TWRP (fastboot boot twrp_james.img) and followed the instructions from step 3. Flashed boot logo from here to "hide" N/A, Bad Key message.
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28th November 2018, 03:24 PM |#6  
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Thanks for this, as it's easy to understand and follow - especially the ADB in TWRP for FSTAB which I previously messed up and got into all sorts of horrible boot loops / errors and had to run away and hide for 36 hours as my wife threatened to chop off something if she heard me scream "B*******" one more time.

No drama this time, it just worked
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28th November 2018, 04:51 PM |#7  
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Will this work on a regular E5?
30th November 2018, 08:36 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diaconu.silviu

HI,
After a few attempts i've managed to root my Moto E5 PLAY XT1920-16. I did not flashed twrp_james.img (boot error) just boot directly to TWRP (fastboot boot twrp_james.img) and followed the instructions from step 3. Flashed boot logo from here to "hide" N/A, Bad Key message.

Thanks for this! I've been trying to figure out how to hide the N/A forever on this phone
30th November 2018, 08:37 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba1601

Thanks for this, as it's easy to understand and follow - especially the ADB in TWRP for FSTAB which I previously messed up and got into all sorts of horrible boot loops / errors and had to run away and hide for 36 hours as my wife threatened to chop off something if she heard me scream "B*******" one more time.

No drama this time, it just worked

Awesome lol. Thanks for your comment
30th November 2018, 08:42 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slavois

Will this work on a regular E5?

TWRP version excluded, yes, it should. First make sure you get a TWRP image that is compatible with E5 model you are working with. I wouldn't use the twrp_james.img file linked in this thread if you dont have a james device. I dont know if the regular E5 is james, nora or rhannah. You should have information related to this on your fastboot screen.
If I recall correctly, the fstab.qcom file linked in this thread, which is needed to disable encryption, should work on your phone. There was another member who used it on their E5 Plus without issue.
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30th November 2018, 11:04 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weakNPCdotCom

TWRP version excluded, yes, it should. First make sure you get a TWRP image that is compatible with E5 model you are working with. I wouldn't use the twrp_james.img file linked in this thread if you dont have a james device. I dont know if the regular E5 is james, nora or rhannah. You should have information related to this on your fastboot screen.
If I recall correctly, the fstab.qcom file linked in this thread, which is needed to disable encryption, should work on your phone. There was another member who used it on their E5 Plus without issue.

Also a warning about twrp.....

I'm using the XT1920-15 E5 play (PETTYL) and the alleged twrp version for that device (not available here on XDA) doesn't work on that device.
The James version works on PETTYL.

There's two or three E5 play and plus twrp versions floating around here, just a heads up for users to be cautious.....
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