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[GUIDE] Unlock Bootloader, Install Custom Recovery, and Root the Pixel C (2/4/2016)

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By oRAirwolf, Senior Member on 3rd February 2016, 07:20 AM
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The instructions in this guide are outdated and way more complicated than necessary. Once the official release of Android 7.0 Nougat becomes available/rooted, I will update the procedures in this thread. In the meantime, I recommend referencing this post along with the original instructions.

A massive shout out to @cheep5k8 for all the hard work he did in getting root and recovery working on the Pixel C. Please donate to him if you can. He deserves it.

Disclaimer: This will wipe your device. Backup anything important before you start. I mostly made this guide for selfish reasons. cheep5k8 has done a great job but some of the instructions are a little vague. I like being spoon fed and I wanted a resource to refer to in the future. You know the drill. If it breaks, not my problem. Post in the forums or hop onto the XDA IRC channel.

There may be more efficient ways to do this, but this will get you where you need to be. If you find any problems or have any suggestions, feel free to reply (BE VERY SPECIFIC WITH STEPS) and I will do my best to update the instructions.

Prerequisites:
  • ADB/Fastboot - Minimal ADB and Fastboot
  • ADB/Fastboot Drivers - I recommend using Wugfresh's Nexus Root Toolkit and using the full driver installation guide. Alternatively, you can install them yourself using the official Google Drivers (no installer)
  • An easy way to access the ADB prompt is to navigate to the directory that ADB is installed in, hold shift and right click inside the directory. This will give you an expanded right click menu that includes an option to "Open command window here." Select this option and a command prompt will open that is already in the ADB directory, saving you from having to do a bunch of cd nonsense. You can check to see if your device is recognized in ADB by typing "adb devices." If ADB and the driver are all working correctly, it should come back with something like "5A20001071 device." You can also check to make sure your device is recognized in fastboot by booting to the bootloader and typing "fastboot devices." It will show something similar.
Necessary Files:
Device Prep:

Enable developer mode
  1. Go to Settings > About tablet
  2. Tap on Build Number 7 times until it says "You are now a developer"
Enable OEM Unlocking
  1. Go to Settings > Developer options
  2. Enable OEM Unlocking
  3. Tap on Enable when a disclaimer pops up
Enable USB Debugging (ADB)
  1. Go to Settings > Developer options
  2. Enable USB debugging
  3. Tap on OK when prompted with a disclaimer
  4. If the ADB USB driver has been installed, you will see a popup that says "The computer's RSA key fingerprint is: xx:xx:xx:xx(blah blah)"
  5. Check the box next to "Always allow from this computer"
  6. Tap on OK

Unlock Bootloader:
  1. Open ADB prompt (see prerequisites)
  2. Input the following:
    Code:
    adb reboot-bootloader
  3. The device will now boot into the bootloader and say
    Code:
    Waiting for fastboot command...
  4. Input the following to unlock the bootloader:
    Code:
    fastboot flashing unlock
  5. You will be prompted on the tablet screen with a warning about unlocking the bootloader.
  6. Press the power button to unlock the bootloader.
  7. The device will reboot and say "Bootloader is unlocked and OS verification is OFF. Device will continue booting in 30 seconds." You will also hear an audible beep. You will then see the green android with some spinny stuff. This is the userdata being formatted.
  8. When complete, the device will boot back into the bootloader and say
    Code:
    Waiting for fastboot command...
  9. Boot back into Android by inputting:
    Code:
    fastboot reboot
  10. Your Pixel C will be reset, so you will need to re-enable USB debugging. Connect to your wireless network and then skip past everything else in the initial setup, as all of this setup info will be wiped again later on. Refer to the "Enable USB Debugging (ADB)" steps above to re-enable USB debugging.

Install Custom Recovery:
  1. Open ADB prompt (see prerequisites)
  2. Input the following:
    Code:
    adb reboot-bootloader
  3. The device will now boot into the bootloader and say
    Code:
    Waiting for fastboot command...
  4. With the Pixel C in the Fastboot bootloader and the recovery file in your ADB directory, input the following:
    Code:
    fastboot flash recovery (replace with custom recovery filename).img
    Example:
    Code:
    C:\>fastboot flash recovery twrp-2.8.7.0-dragon-ryu-01082016-2.img
    target reported max download size of 268435456 bytes
    erasing 'recovery'...
    (bootloader) erasing flash
    OKAY [  0.054s]
    sending 'recovery' (13760 KB)...
    OKAY [  0.349s]
    writing 'recovery'...
    (bootloader) writing flash
    OKAY [  0.375s]
    finished. total time: 0.783s
  5. Reboot into Recovery using the physical buttons. If you reboot the device back into Android, it will write over the custom recovery with the stock one. This will be fixed in the future.
    Code:
    Power + Volume down until screen turns off, keep pressing volume down to boot into Coreboot Bootloader. Navigate to Reboot into Android Recovery with volume down and then press power to select.

Install Root:
  1. In TWRP, navigate to Wipe > Format Data
  2. Type "yes" in the warning prompt and wait for the userdata partition to format. Again, this will wipe your tablet.
  3. Press the Home button at the bottom when the format is complete
  4. Navigate to Reboot > Bootloader to boot back into Fastboot
  5. In the ADB prompt, flash the new kernel:
    Code:
    fastboot flash boot (replace with xCeeD kernel filename).img
    Example:
    Code:
    C:\>fastboot flash boot xceed-kernel-google-dragon-02-01-2016-RC1.img
    target reported max download size of 268435456 bytes
    erasing 'boot'...
    (bootloader) erasing flash
    OKAY [  0.064s]
    sending 'boot' (6220 KB)...
    OKAY [  0.161s]
    writing 'boot'...
    (bootloader) writing flash
    OKAY [  0.197s]
    finished. total time: 0.426s
  6. Reboot into Android. The device may boot twice.
    Code:
    fastboot reboot
  7. Reboot back into Recovery. Power + Volume down until screen turns off, keep pressing volume down to boot into Coreboot Bootloader. Navigate to Reboot into Android Recovery with volume down and then press power to select.
  8. In TWRP, navigate to Mount and check only Data
  9. In the ADB prompt move su.img to /data:
    Code:
    adb push su.img /data
    Example:
    Code:
    C:\>adb push su.img /data
    5677 KB/s (33554432 bytes in 5.772s)
  10. In TWRP, navigate to Mount and uncheck Data
  11. In TWRP, navigate to Reboot > System
  12. Perform initial device setup
  13. Once you are at the home launcher, re-enable USB debugging (Refer to Device Prep)
  14. In the ADB prompt, install superuser.apk:
    Code:
    adb install Superuser.apk
    Example:
    Code:
    C:\>adb install Superuser.apk
    8612 KB/s (6227998 bytes in 0.706s)
            pkg: /data/local/tmp/Superuser.apk
    Success
  15. Install Busybox from the Play Store: link

Congrats. You are now rooted (not in the Australian sense).
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3rd February 2016, 08:43 AM |#2  
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Big big thanks
Amazing, great job.
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3rd February 2016, 09:29 AM |#3  
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P.S. One thing to add, for those who bought SuperSU Pro, you can install that too from the Play Store instead of installing the APK, but at the moment, it will say that the su binary is outdated (because the xCeeD kernel comes with 2.66, but SuperSU is already at 2.67). There needs to be a somewhat better solution but it's a bit hard to come up with it.

xCeeD v1-RC4 will have SuperSU updated to 2.67, and I'm thinking of how to make it possible to flash the normal SuperSU ZIP in TWRP. I will probably modify TWRP in some way to make that possible.
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3rd February 2016, 09:31 AM |#4  
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Very good step by step, guide, I went through the same process myself yesterday, although without the benefit of your guide!

Just one additional suggestion I would make, especially for people who have already got things set up nicely on their device.

Before doing anything you can make a backup of your device data using adb.

I used the guide at - http://forum.xda-developers.com/gala...-root-t1420351

Although you cannot guarantee everything will restore perfectly (I recommend that for important apps that have the capability - backup the settings manually and remember to copy them off the device), it certainly saved me a heck of a lot of time in putting things back exactly as they were before - and it is a lot quicker than letting google backup restore things.
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3rd February 2016, 09:39 AM |#5  
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Does this void the warranty?

Great job,anyway

Enviado desde mi Pixel C mediante Tapatalk
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3rd February 2016, 10:54 AM |#6  
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Cool, but you don't mind make put the video or pictured for guides.

Keep it up!!
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3rd February 2016, 11:53 PM |#7  
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there no show up wipe/ fromat data when I into in reboot into android recovery look like said no command
4th February 2016, 12:12 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarfacez2007

there no show up wipe/ fromat data when I into in reboot into android recovery look like said no command

Are you booting into TWRP recovery or the stock Android recovery?
4th February 2016, 01:11 AM |#9  
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I have unlocked and I was install install custom recovery that all

---------- Post added at 01:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:21 AM ----------

I just installed trwp then I into on reboot into android recovery but still no command
4th February 2016, 03:36 AM |#10  
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Thank you for this in depth tutorial.. GREATLY appreciated..my C will be in tomorrow just in time for RC4! Hopefully all goes smooth with this. So no need to swipe fastboot fix in twrp??
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4th February 2016, 05:40 AM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarfacez2007

I have unlocked and I was install install custom recovery that all

---------- Post added at 01:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:21 AM ----------

I just installed trwp then I into on reboot into android recovery but still no command

I had that too after my first attempt, I reinstalled TWRP and it worked after the second flash.
There were no errors shown either time.
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