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WARNING - Do not use OTA to get Android N Beta Preview before reading this!

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By naddie, Senior Member on 10th March 2016, 09:22 AM
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UPDATE: Solution below!

There is a chance the OTA will fail, as this have happened to some users already:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/nexu...eview-t3332715



You might be able to recover if you have USB Debugging turned on PRIOR to performing the OTA update. (Will need to flash factory image).



The problem is the factory image will require you to unlock the bootloader to flash it. To unlock the bootloader, you need to enable USB Debugging. BUT if the OTA fails, you can't boot into the OS to enable USB Debugging. You will end up with a brick.



Here's my experience:

I enrolled my Nexus 9 in the Android N Beta Preview program, and a minute later I got a notification that I have a system update. I went through with the update like any other update. I got to the part where you see an Android laying on it's back and it says "updating system" (or something to that effect) and it has a progress bar. After a few minutes, I see the same Android on it's back, but with an exclamation mark and the words "ERROR!". It would then reboot itself after a few minutes later, but get stuck at the Google logo.



If you leave everything stock, unrooted, and bootloader locked (like a good user), don't try to get the preview via OTA without enabling USB Debugging first! This way, you can at least be able to flash the factory image if the OTA takes a dive.



Since I bought the tablet on Amazon, Google is washing their hands from tech support. Instead, they gave me HTC's support line (which is currently closed). I don't know what I will have to face tomorrow morning when I call.

UPDATE: Google posted signed OTA zips that can be used to recover from this situation. You can now use adb sideload to side load the full OS in OTA form. Go to https://developer.android.com/preview/download-ota.html to download.
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10th March 2016, 09:32 AM |#2  
Will I be able to recover if this happens by unlocking the bootloader and enabling USB debugging then install Android N preview? I'm feel for you. Good luck.
10th March 2016, 09:35 AM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalinskym

Will I be able to recover if this happens by unlocking the bootloader and enabling USB debugging then install Android N preview? I'm feel for you. Good luck.

If you unlock the bootloader and enable USB debugging prior to installing the Android N preview (via OTA), you should be fine. You're essentially leaving yourself a backdoor to flash the factory image should the OTA fails.
10th March 2016, 09:52 AM |#4  
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Yes, I wish I know this earlier, and now I have a bricked Nexus 9 with me. :sad
10th March 2016, 09:55 AM |#5  
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Ouch, had that issue and went here looking for help. Should have waited before I tried it 😕
10th March 2016, 10:35 AM |#6  
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THIS IS CRAZY! OTA should work :-\
So crazy to hear that you are all having the same issue with the Android N Developer Preview on Nexus 9!

I have had exactly the same experience today when I enrolled my device for the OTA. It downloaded and started to install fine, but got stuck with the android on his back with the red exclamation mark. It then rebooted and is now stuck on the Google logo. I have tried using adb to push files, factory reset/wipe cache & nexus root toolkit. However, I had NEVER set the OEM unlock option and that seems to have left me stuck!

I'm hoping someone will figure out an amazing fix! Just in case no one does, I called Google and as I purchased it from the play store they have offered me a replacement. Sadly I'm living in Thailand and they can only arrange it to my home country, Australia. So sorry they wouldn't help you Naddie
10th March 2016, 12:07 PM |#7  
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I didn't unlock the bootloader and I'm also facing exact same issue, my tablet is now almost bricked .

I can go to "recovery" mode, so I tried to do "adb sideload" with OTA image for MMB29V from MMB29R (got from gist.github.com/jduck/744a6c8a9042e9c792b7), but my device is already at MMB29V so it complains with below error:

"system partition has unexpected contents"

Will I be able to flash OTA image through recovery once we get it for MMB29V to AndroidN_version? And where should I get it from?

What other option do I have to recover the device?
10th March 2016, 01:29 PM |#8  
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WARNING - Do not use OTA to get Android N Beta Preview before reading this!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sashinde

I didn't unlock the bootloader and I'm also facing exact same issue, my tablet is now almost bricked .



I can go to "recovery" mode, so I tried to do "adb sideload" with OTA image for MMB29V from MMB29R (got from gist.github.com/jduck/744a6c8a9042e9c792b7), but my device is already at MMB29V so it complains with below error:



"system partition has unexpected contents"



Will I be able to flash OTA image through recovery once we get it for MMB29V to AndroidN_version? And where should I get it from?



What other option do I have to recover the device?


Gee, I hope we're still on MMB29V... But since the OTA seemed to have failed during the update, the system partition may be partially whatever build this Android N preview is and partially MMB29V - which is to say ... It's completely borked for ANY OTA update to fix it via side loading.

Does anyone even have the OTA zip for MMB29V to N preview for we poor souls to try?




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
10th March 2016, 02:00 PM |#9  
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Hello. Sorry for my english. The same from here. I called Google and they offered me a replacement. I said yes. Waiting for a new Nexus 9. I hope you will find the solution.

Enviado desde mi Nexus 6P mediante Tapatalk
10th March 2016, 02:04 PM |#10  
Naddie, have you contacted HTC or Google yet about getting a replacement?
10th March 2016, 02:32 PM |#11  
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My update failed too and I cannot boot. I did not have the OEM unlock switch flipped, so I can't unlock my bootloader. I chatted with Google last night and since I didn't buy it from the Google Store, they wouldn't replace it. They gave me the HTC phone number instead. I haven't tried calling them yet.
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