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[Guide] How to brick your Desire S

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Thanks Meter: 14
By apairofscissors, Junior Member on 19th August 2011, 04:59 AM
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How I bricked my Desire S - information on avoiding brick and an indictment of the dubious nature of HTC's S-on policy

The Desire S is a great phone so why did I want to root it?

The main reasons for rooting and s-off for me were:
Titanium backup (android built in backup is weak)
Being able to remove bloatware that takes up unnecessary spaces and unnecessarily reduces battery performance.
To try different ROMs from the community
Video screen capture
And of course I bought the phone so isn't it mine to use as I please.

Having waited a long time for a good s-off tool to come out I was getting more and more anxious to s-off.
Alpharev got together with Unrevoked to create Revolutionary.

I had previously used the Unrevoked tool to root my first generation Desire. The tool worked easily and flawlessly even on my Mac.
I later used the Alpharev bootable CD to s-off and root a later generation Desire. Again it worked smoothly and flawlessly.

Having had this positive experience I felt confident in the new tool, Revolutionary.

I read everything I could find about how the tool worked and how others were finding results. All seemed straight forward and uncomplicated so I proceeded to download and run the tool from my PC because there was no Mac version available.

Temp root and s-off went smoothly. No apparent issuse. Both Hboot and Fastboot had been successfully replaced on the phone, and CWM recovery was working.

So I added su in recovery then ran a nand backup of the whole system at this point.

Then I downloaded a Cyan 7 ported for the Desire S that was getting good reviews and feedback. The rom seemed to flash clean. After running it for a short time it stated crashing, so I decided to try an MIUI ported to Desire S. Again a ROM with good feedback and labeled as stable.

Downloaded the ROM and flashed it after a full wipe in recovery.

This time on reboot the phone hung at the HTC screen on boot for a very long time. So I wanted to do a force shutdown.

Here is where things got ugly.

The Desire S does not have a force shutdown keystroke combo as my old Desire did. So I opted to pull the battery.

Reinserting the battery and booting into recovery nothing worked properly.
CWM wouldn't mount its partitions, wouldn't flash a rom or even do a factory reset.
I tried doing some functions in fastboot mode. But nothing worked. Any command issued in fastboot mode would just lock up the phone and terminal.

At this point I was pretty worried so I got on #revolutionary and chatted with some of the big guns. I got some good feedback to test this and try that but in the end nothing worked. So I got on XDA forum and looked for others with similar issues.

What I found at this point was very troubling.

XDA user opumps had the same issue as me and had done some great research about the problem.

It becomes clear on reading, that like him, my Desire S had a fried eMMC chip. This is the internal storage device for HBoot. Once cooked your are basically F*ucked. There is no recovering from this by reformatting the eMMC. Pooched.

Doing the tests on the XDA post I found my eMMC to be pooched.

Now the question is, What fried the eMMc? Was it the S=off process or the forced pulling of the battery while the phone was boot locked?

I then took the phone to HTCs warranty center.

They tested the phone and called me back a few hours later. Your eMMC chip is fried they said. Yes, I said, Can you fix it please?

He told me that the eMMc was fried by the s-off tool I had used. Now, maybe he is full of **** and just wants an excuse to void my warranty. And, maybe not.
I told him to go ahead and fix it. He told me it would be a $200 Dollar replacement of the main board. ****. Well, what other choice do I have. Do it, I told him.

Next I got on the phone with the HTC help center. I got friendly with the lady technician on the call. After some nice chat I started probing for information on the Desire S. After a long conversation She told me that the Desire S, Incredible S, Desire HD all have the problem of frying the eMMC chip if the battery is disconnected while power is on. She said she gets calls every day with people who have fried their eMMC chip. Not through S-off but just because the battery came loose and lost contact while the phone was on or charging. The main reasons for the issue are as follows, HTC cheaped out on the eMMC chips in these phones, as the issue is specific to a particular series of eMMc. And because of a design flaw in the way the battery door closes, and because HTC did not include a force shutdown key combination to shut the phone off properly when locked.

So in the end it sounds like a lot of bad design and bad planning and poor foresight on HTC's part led to the fried eMMC on my phone. But they are not willing to stand behind their product and found an excuse to void my warranty and make me pay for the replacement Mainboard.

Now, here is where we get into the debate of should anyone s-off their phone? The main point here is no one should have to s-off. The phones should never be shipped s-on. It's bad policy to lock the bootloader. But having received an s-on phone you may very well want to s-off. If you decide to s-off just remember that you could easily brick your phone by many ways not related to s-off and your warranty will be void.

Another option is to not buy HTC because of the design flaws and their bad locked bootloader policy. To unlock and root a Samsung all you have to do is issue the command fastboot oem unlock. I don't know if Samsung phones also have the eMMc chip issue, so I can't comment there. But I certainly prefer their open policy on bootloaders.

Maybe the whole reason for locked bootloaders from HTC is beacause they are aware that they used sub par eMMc chips and are trying to reduce bricks.

Regardless this experience has made me very dubious of HTC in general.

I hope this is helpful and educational.
The Following 14 Users Say Thank You to apairofscissors For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift apairofscissors Ad-Free
19th August 2011, 05:54 AM |#2  
Flag Singapore
Thanks Meter: 14
Thanks for sharing, I removed my battery a couple of times while stuck in htc logo screen. Don't think I'll try that move again, anyway I read about holding power + vol up + vol down to force shutdown, wondering whether that works...

Sent from my HTC Desire S using XDA App
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to monkey21stc For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift monkey21stc Ad-Free
19th August 2011, 07:24 AM |#3  
ben_pyett's Avatar
Senior Member
Flag London, Colchester, Wivenhoe
Thanks Meter: 2,383
Originally Posted by monkey21stc

Thanks for sharing, I removed my battery a couple of times while stuck in htc logo screen. Don't think I'll try that move again, anyway I read about holding power + vol up + vol down to force shutdown, wondering whether that works...

Sent from my HTC Desire S using XDA App

Again, thanks for warning.sorry to hear your struggle, disappointed that htc use this tactic, will certainly reconsider buying an alternate make device next time of this issue persists

The volume up plus volume down plus power button combination does work, it's just but published
Very often, although have yet trio try out when the devices has hung, but certainly reboots my device .

Swyped from HTC Desire S using XDA Premium
19th August 2011, 09:48 AM |#4  
Thanks Meter: 2
just fyi in germay they take 184 € to repair a bricked eMMc :(
19th August 2011, 09:56 AM |#5  
Junior Member
Flag Stockholm
Thanks Meter: 0
Aye, Thanks for Sharing. I'v hade the same problem as you. I'll never buy an HTC phone again. Cheap bastards!
19th August 2011, 10:08 AM |#6  
Adidas108's Avatar
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 208
i need to know that every chip is different...bad for u that u got the bad one but i flash phone daily and its ok..i have same procedure every time i do brick phone can happen to experts too...well if u want to risk to get root and all goodies u can say good bay to warranty..thats for sure
19th August 2011, 10:34 AM |#7  
mixalakis32's Avatar
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 37
thanks for sharing man.

Originally Posted by monkey21stc

Thanks for sharing, I removed my battery a couple of times while stuck in htc logo screen. Don't think I'll try that move again, anyway I read about holding power + vol up + vol down to force shutdown, wondering whether that works...

Sent from my HTC Desire S using XDA App

that works on miui
20th August 2011, 01:53 AM |#8  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
Buy a htc with simlock.
Mine is t-mobile
When I've started my device for the first time, is was already s-off because if I turn my phone on it will show the t-mobile logo
So u can't brick your phone if you will s-off

But thanks for sharing
Next time I won't buy a htc

Sent from my HTC Desire S using XDA Premium App
20th August 2011, 04:25 AM |#9  
Senior Member
Western Australia
Thanks Meter: 179
Just remember though flash memory is extremely volatile, and ripping a battery out of a phone generally isn't a good idea to begin with, although I was lucky to read about the vol up/down + power procedure before I rooted my phone.

Very interesting post, interesting to see the bigger picture behind this issue.
20th August 2011, 10:18 AM |#10  
shrome99's Avatar
Senior Member
Flag Chandigarh
Thanks Meter: 1,534
so here's the deal - I am 99.9% sure that the bricked eMMC chip is a problem only in devices with a chip that was faulty in the first place. When the phone first came out, there were MANY threads on the hardware faults like "Battery cover not fitting" and "Misaligned screen". This was an issue that could't be identified easily, so it wasn't reported. Now, many people are having this issue and instead of panicking, we should do some research. I think that all the guys who bricked their phone would be living close to each other, in the same country or at least the same continent ie, this is a local issue. Also, i'm sure they had one of the other issues i mentioned above. I've not seen anyone in India or Asia with any such issues, so i think we need to find out why europe is having problems. Contact the BRICKees, i'll try making a new thread.
20th August 2011, 12:15 PM |#11  
Inactive Recognized Developer
Flag Rawalpindi
Thanks Meter: 4,184
^^^.. yes this issue you need to find the Source.. I sold my Desire yestreday to get Hold of the Desire S but my only concern is this Dead eMMC chip.. and that is the reason I am not buying it yet... I want to identofy the ones with this issue..

really I dont want to screw up my 40K Rs on a faulty set..
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