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Failed Marshmallow update/Stock Android (Locked Bootloader & Unrooted) Solution

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By dsclee1, Junior Member on 16th October 2015, 03:46 PM
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First time poster, but thought I'd share how I managed to fix my problem, in hope that it helps someone else out.

I recently received the OTA Marshmallow update for my Stock Nexus 9 (unrooted and locked bootloader), but unfortunately it didn't work, and threw me into "bootloop" where it continually tried to apply the update but failed. First off I followed instructions to clear the Cache, which only made the problem worse, as all the tablet would do then was boot into the “swirling colour dots” and do nothing else until eventually the battery died.

After reading several forum posts I discovered that the usual solution is to flash via fastboot, however on a Nexus 9 you need to unlock the bootloader by activating "Enable OEM Unlock" from within Android. As I'm running a 100% Stock Nexus 9 I had never done this, so couldn't flash it.

Eventually though, after having an absolute nightmare trying to get it to work again, I found a working solution! Just use "Apply update from ADB" under Recovery, along with the correct update image!

A lot of what's in the steps below is likely to be known to most of the community, but I’ve tried to keep the steps extra simple so anyone can pick this up.

Steps:

1. Reboot into HBOOT (Hold down Volume Down + Power Button).

2. Press Volume Down to highlight Recovery, then press the Power Button to enter it.

3. Wait until the Google logo goes away, and you should see a picture of an Android laying on it’s back. Hold down the Power Button + Volume Up (very important to hold Power FIRST).

4. On the Recovery page it lists a few details about your version at the top. Note down the 6 character identifier for your device (which is in the format of 3 text characters, 2 numeric, and another text char). For me I was running 5.1.1 before the update, so my identifier was LMY48T.

5. Find the OTA update that upgrades from your current version to the next version. For me I was going from 5.1.1 to 6.0.0 on a Nexus 9, so I searched for LMY48T on Google and found that this was the OTA update needed: https://android.googleapis.com/packa...rom-LMY48T.zip

6. If you don’t have it already, download and install “Minimal ADB and Fastboot”: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2317790 – when it’s installed let it run straight away, and leave the command prompt open you’ll need it in a min.

7. If you don’t have it already, download and unzip the Google USB Driver: https://dl-ssl.google.com//android/r...er_windows.zip

8. Copy the OTA update file you downloaded to the folder that Minimal ADB was installed in (usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot\).

9. Back on your device use Volume down to get to “Wipe Cache Partition”, and press the Power Button to activate it. If you want to be really sure this will work you should do a “Wipe data/factory reset” too, but be aware you will definitely lose your data.

10. Use Volume up to go to “Apply update from ADB”, and press the Power Button to enter it.

11. Plug your tablet into your PC (if it’s not already). You’ll need to go to your Device settings on your PC and you should see a new device named the same as your device or possibly just “Android”. Go to the Properties of the device and force the Driver to be the ADB Google driver from the Google USB Drivers that you downloaded earlier. (There’s plenty of other longer tutorials on how to do this if you’re having issues)

12. On your PC, in the Minimal ADB Command Prompt (that you should still have open from earlier) enter “adb sideload {NAMEOFOTAFILE}” e.g. for me this was “adb sideload ab835e17c874202049463ccd916f86fede83199e.signed-volantis-MRA58K-from-LMY48T.zip”.

13. Let it run. It took less than half hour for it to install for me, and I’m now the proud owner of a working Stock Nexus 9 with Marshmallow!

So why does this work but applying the stock images via fastboot doesn’t? As far as I can see it must be due to the “signing” of the files. The regular stock Google fastboot flash images don’t include signature information (as far as I’m aware) so they’re rejected as unsafe by the locked bootloader, whereas when you run the OTA update files through ADB sideloading signatures are on the OTA update files, and your device determines that these are safe to install.
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16th October 2015, 08:48 PM |#2  
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Yeah, as long as your system partition is intact, "adb sideload" is a good option. I'm not so lucky...
17th October 2015, 08:17 AM |#3  
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nothint to do with mine, it doesn't show any OS versione unfortunately.
30th October 2015, 09:52 PM |#4  
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works well
Hi,
I had exactly the same upgrade failure, despite of a clean stock Nexus 9.
I followed the procedure and it works great for me.

Thank you for this post !
11th November 2015, 09:53 PM |#5  
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FYI - You don't need to go searching for OTA files on Google. They're all conveniently posted here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2906492
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14th November 2015, 06:15 AM |#6  
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Ok, so I found where mine said lmy48i. I downloaded the upgrade file a8f87fa059f17f2fd4cd773921e888366b1dfa0e.signed-volantis-LMY48M-from-LMY48I.a8f87fa0.zip. When adb starts sending it, it gets to about 48% and the tablet starts verifying already. It winds up erroring out with the following information:
************
system partition has unexpected contents
E:Error in /sideload/package.zip
(Status 7)

Installation aborted.
************

Any thoughts?

Josh
17th November 2015, 12:56 PM |#7  
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Unhappy
Quote:
Originally Posted by gijosh28

Ok, so I found where mine said lmy48i. I downloaded the upgrade file a8f87fa059f17f2fd4cd773921e888366b1dfa0e.signed-volantis-LMY48M-from-LMY48I.a8f87fa0.zip. When adb starts sending it, it gets to about 48% and the tablet starts verifying already. It winds up erroring out with the following information:
************
system partition has unexpected contents
E:Error in /sideload/package.zip
(Status 7)

Installation aborted.
************

Any thoughts?

Josh

The same situation, maybe have any other solutions?
17th November 2015, 01:21 PM |#8  
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I wound up calling HTC and getting an return authorization. I have to pay shipping to them. They cover shipping back to me. But the whole thing is going to wind up taking about 2 weeks. Couple days to get there, 7-10 days to fix, couple back. I haven't sent it out yet. I bought mine at BestBuy, so I was going to see if I could swap it out there first.

Josh
16th December 2015, 08:33 AM |#9  
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it doesnt show any OS version either, what can i do?
16th December 2015, 11:24 PM |#10  
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Guide works perfectly. Massive thanks.

The trick is finding the latest OTA zip. Here for the moment.

http://apk-bro.blogspot.com/2015/12/...allow-ota.html
19th December 2015, 12:57 PM |#11  
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I got it to work but I'm never buying another HTC product again. I called warranty service in the first guy refused to help me out unless I had the tablet in front of me. The second guy did help me but I'm still waiting for the RMA ticket, it still has not showed up. So when I got these instructions I managed to resurrect for my Nexus 9 which is good. Now I have a working tablet to which I'm talking to the right now, but other than that HTC still sucks ass and I'm never going to buy anything from them again. Done.
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