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[WARNING] Do NOT Downgrade Your Bootloader or Partition Table - You Risk Bricking!!!

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By JulesJam, Senior Member on 10th May 2015, 10:34 PM
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BEFORE YOU COMMENT ON THIS THREAD - PLEASE READ THIS POST AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN THE BOOTLOADER, PARTITION TABLE, SYSTEM AND KERNEL/RAMDISK!!!!

This post is not about downgrading from lollipop to kit kat in general. It is SPECIFICALLY about and it is ONLY about downgrading the BOOTLOADER (motoboot.img) and the PARTITION TABLE (gpt.bin). The system (system.img) and kernel/ramdisk (boot.img) are NOT the subject of this thread. If you don't understand the difference b/t the bootloader, partition table, system and kernel/ramdisk, then please refrain from posting on this thread and simply read until you understand the difference.

Please do not comment if you do not even know the version of the bootloader you are running b/c you have nothing substantive to contribute then. If you know the version of the bootloader you are running now and know what it was before you upgraded and after you downgraded, great, please let us all know your experience. But if you don't, AGAIN, you have nothing of value to contribute to this thread.

The Moto X 2014 is not a Nexus device - you CANNOT safely downgrade your bootloader (motoboot.img) or partition table (gpt.bin). You risk bricking if you do, especially if you downgrade the bootloader!!!

You need to understand what you are flashing. If you don't understand what you are flashing, read and ask questions before you flash until you do understand what you are flashing. You also need to know what version of the bootloader you currently have before you flash.

Also, you should not attempt to have a bootloader-partition table mismatch in terms of versions. Both your bootloader and your partition table should be the same version - i.e., if your bootloader is the 5.0 bootloader, your partition table should be the 5.0 partition table.

Edited - it looks like mfastboto and maybe even regular fastboot have checks in them to prevent a bootloader or partition table downgrade. However, the OTA updater scripts may or may not have sufficient checks in them to prevent bricking if you have previously upgraded then downgraded the system/kernel/radios and then attempted to take an OTA. For instance, people have reported bricking after flashing to 5.1 then downgrading system/kernel/radios to 4.4.4 then taking the 5.0 OTA = brick.
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10th May 2015, 10:57 PM |#2  
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I've seen alot of stuff about that in the threads. Are you saying that you can't downgrade back to 5.0 or 4.4? Cause I have successfully flashed back to stock KitKat from the 5.1 soak several times. Even flashing partition and motoboot. It just downgraded the tz.

Sent from my XT1095
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10th May 2015, 11:42 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin_b

I've seen alot of stuff about that in the threads. Are you saying that you can't downgrade back to 5.0 or 4.4?

I am saying exactly what I said in the OP - you can't safely downgrade your bootloader or partition table. And you can't have a bootloader/partition table version mismatch. There are rare exceptions to that like the one for the MX13 that jcase used to root 4.4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin_b

Cause I have successfully flashed back to stock KitKat from the 5.1 soak several times. Even flashing partition and motoboot. It just downgraded the tz.

Did you use RSDLite to flash motoboot.img and gpt.bin? If so, like I said in the OP, it has checks built into it and it will prevent you from downgrading your bootloader and partition table. mfastboot may have the same checks built in, idk, but I don't think fastboot from the SDK does and that is where people are getting into trouble.

What did you use to flash?

Also, can you post a video showing you doing this w/o bricking? Show your BL version on 5.1, which from what has been reported is 60.14, and then flash the 5.0 BL, which is 60.1 1 and show us that you were able to downgrade your bootloader back to 60.11 w/o bricking. Then once you do that, downgrade the bootloader down to 4.4.4 (I am not sure what the version number is, but once you successfully downgrade you can tell us).

The Q&A forum is littered with people who bricked their devices when they attempted to downgrade their bootloaders.

I think people would be foolish to believe that it is safe to downgrade the bootloader of a Moto X given all the bricks unless you post some proof it is safe.
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10th May 2015, 11:47 PM |#4  
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It might be awhile before I could do a video but I just used fastboot from the SDK. I don't know if it actually downgrades the bootloader. Maybe just the trust zone. I've never actually checked. I wonder if people have noticed but on the 5.1 soak you have to go into developer options and check OEM unlocking now.

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10th May 2015, 11:51 PM |#5  
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In the past when I downgraded to KK from 5.0, if I tried to flash the old bootloader, it would simply fail to flash. It never bricked. I have also flashed the gpt from KK when downgrading in the beginning. It flashed fine and didn't brick. I don't flash gpt now that I know what it is but the first few times I downgraded, I did flash it.

Edit: I always used fastboot/mfastboot. I can't get RDSLite to detect my Moto X. MDM doesn't detect it either.
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10th May 2015, 11:52 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin_b

It might be awhile before I could do a video but I just used fastboot from the SDK. I don't know if it actually downgrades the bootloader. Maybe just the trust zone. I've never actually checked.

Honestly, I would not try this as there is no reason to do it. It is dangerous and it doesn't provide any benefit. If you don't believe me that it it dangerous, read on the Q&A forums when people ask for help after bricking their devices - almost always they were attempting a bootloader or partition table downgrade when they bricked. It is just not worth it IMO. You do what you want of course as you seem to believe it is possible but it is not something I would do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin_b

I wonder if people have noticed but on the 5.1 soak you have to go into developer options and check OEM unlocking now.

That is how it is on the Nexus 6 too.
10th May 2015, 11:59 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walrusmonarch

In the past when I downgraded to KK from 5.0, if I tried to flash the old bootloader, it would simply fail to flash. It never bricked.

why some people get a failed flash and others get a brick, idk, but all you have to do is read on the Q&A forums how many people brick attempting to downgrade the BL and/or PT.
11th May 2015, 12:02 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesJam

why some people get a failed flash and others get a brick, idk, but all you have to do is read on the Q&A forums how many people brick attempting to downgrade the BL and/or PT.

Yeah, I've seen people brick it that way. I think I just got lucky the few times I have done it
11th May 2015, 12:03 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walrusmonarch

I have also flashed the gpt from KK when downgrading in the beginning. It flashed fine and didn't brick. I don't flash gpt now that I know what it is but the first few times I downgraded, I did flash it.

Edit: I always used fastboot/mfastboot. I can't get RDSLite to detect my Moto X. MDM doesn't detect it either.

I just don't see why it is ever necessary to mess with the BL or PT. System, recovery, radios, kernel, sure I see why you would do that. If downgrading your BL or PT doesn't provide any benefit to you, why do it?
11th May 2015, 12:04 AM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesJam

I just don't see why it is ever necessary to mess with the BL or PT. System, recovery, radios, kernel, sure I see why you would do that. If downgrading your BL or PT doesn't provide any benefit to you, why do it?

I agree with you. I did it mostly because I didn't know what the heck I was doing back then. I was just flashing away hoping everything would work
11th May 2015, 12:11 AM |#11  
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Originally Posted by walrusmonarch

I agree with you. I did it mostly because I didn't know what the heck I was doing back then. I was just flashing away hoping everything would work

My first device was a Nexus (GNex) so I flashed with abandon w/o knowing what I was doing and never bricked. When I got my Moto X 2013, I went to the MX13 XDA forum and started to read and am damn glad I did b/c I would have never known. There were tons of people who bricked trying to downgrade. I am sure Motorola had to do a lot of warranty replacements for this reason. Really, there should have been more checks that would prevent bricking and the flash would just fail. There weren't though except with RSDLite. IMO Motorola deserved having the added cost of these warranty replacements.

Hopefully, Motorola has built more checks into the system now where the flash will fail rather than bricking the device, but clearly whatever they have done isn't enough. Again, idk why some people report being able to do this and others end up with bricks, but I don't see the need to do it at all and until it becomes universally safe to do this across the board every time, I wouldn't do it.
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