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[HOW-TO]Unlock the Bootloader on the Nvidia Shield

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By shimp208, Recognized Contributor on 9th August 2013, 10:05 PM
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Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to unlock the bootloader on your Nvidia Shield.

Why Would I want to Unlock my Bootloader?

Unlocking your bootloader allows you to modify all aspects of your device to suite your needs which includes but is not limited to, installing custom Recovery images such as Clockworkmod Recovery or Team Win Recovery Project, installing custom ROM's, custom Kernels, as well as other MOD's and patches.

Will Unlocking my Bootloader Void my Warranty?

Warning: Unlocking your Nvidia Shield's bootloader will void the warranty, please note that even if you re-lock the bootloader the bootloader still show a flag that the device is voided for warranty.

This warning being given please also see this post by JordanKeyes regarding warranty information as it relates to hardware issues or hardware failures.

Unlocking your Bootloader

1. Backup everything on your device that you don't want to loose such any apps (And there respective data), pictures, videos, music, etc. as unlocking your devices bootloader will erase all data on the device. You can fully backup your devices contents without root using ADB's backup command or by using the Holo Backup Tool.
2. Download and install the ADB and Fastboot drivers for your Shield, the drivers can be downloaded here. You can also follow along with wwjoshdew's excellent video tutorial on how to properly install the ADB and Fastboot drivers for your Shield on Windows.
3. Make sure you have ADB and Fastboot setup and installed on your computer. If you haven't already setup and installed ADB and Fastboot a simple ADB and Fastboot installer can be downloaded from here.
4. Fully power off your Shield by long pressing on the Power button until the power menu appears, then select the "Power off" option.
5. Boot your Shield into Fastboot mode using one of the following ways:
5. A. Power on your Shield while simultaneously holding the Power button + Back button + Home button. Release the buttons once the Fastboot bootloader screen appears.
5. B. Run the following ADB command from a command prompt window (USB cable must already be connected from your Shield to your Computer):

Code:
adb reboot bootloader
6.Now that you are at the Fastboot bootloader screen, connect your Shield to your computer using your USB cable. Make sure that your USB cable is plugged into a USB 2.0 port directly connected to your motherboard as sometimes USB 3.0 ports can cause problems and front panel USB connections can be unreliable.
7. Open up a command prompt window (cmd) in the directory where installed ADB and Fastboot to. For example if I installed ADB and Fastboot to a folder on my Desktop which is on my D: drive I would open a command window in "D:\Desktop\Fastboot_ADB".
8. From the command prompt windows enter the following command:

Code:
fastboot devices
If you device is detected and it shows your devices serial number you are ready to move on to the next step. If no device is shown make sure you have the correctly installed the ADB and Fastboot drivers from step number 2.

9. Now that your device is detected by Fastboot the following command is used to unlock your bootloader:

Code:
fastboot oem unlock
10. You will now be presented with the bootloader unlock menu. After reading the disclaimer, use the Back button and the Home button to navigate to the "Unlock" option. Once the "Unlock" option has been highlighted use the Shield button to confirm your selection of unlocking your bootloader. It's important to remember that unlocking the bootloader will wipe all your data from the device, and that a flag showing your warranty is void will appear at the bootloader screen.
11. Once your bootloader has finished being unlocked, you will be taken back to the fastboot bootloader screen. From here you can power off your Shield.

Re-locking your Bootloader

To re-lock your bootloader you can following steps 4-8 of the procedure listed above and when you come to step 9 run the following command instead of "fastboot oem unlock":

Code:
fastboot oem lock
The above command will re-lock your Shield's bootloader. Note: As previously mentioned re-locking your Shield's bootloader will not restore your warranty or remove the warranty void flag on your device's bootloader.

Conclusion

Now that you have successfully unlocked the bootloader on your Nvidia Shield you are free to flash custom Recoveries, ROM's, Kernel's, MOD's etc. enjoy .

[B]If you are stuck with the bootloader unlocking procedure I would recommend checking out this great video tutorial by wwjoshdew.

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20th August 2013, 11:56 PM |#2  
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I'm having an issue unlocking the bootloader. I have the drivers and fastboot install successfully as well as adb and fastboot. I run the command "adb reboot bootloader" which reboots my shield into bootloader but when I run "fastboot devices" nothing shows up. USB debugging is enabled.

When the device is booted normally the command "adb devices" picks up the device. It is only in fastboot that adb commands aren't recognized.

I added a picture, any thoughts?

Edit: followed the instructions in the following video and all is dandy now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSisjVwcPbE&hd=1
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ADB issue.jpg
Views:	1675
Size:	60.0 KB
ID:	2202679  
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21st August 2013, 12:44 AM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themichael

I'm having an issue unlocking the bootloader. I have the drivers and fastboot install successfully as well as adb and fastboot. I run the command "adb reboot bootloader" which reboots my shield into bootloader but when I run "fastboot devices" nothing shows up. USB debugging is enabled.

When the device is booted normally the command "adb devices" picks up the device. It is only in fastboot that adb commands aren't recognized.

I added a picture, any thoughts?

Look in device manager and check if the PC recognizes the shield as an adb device when in fastboot.
For me i have to switch between using fastboot and being able to copy files to it.
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23rd August 2013, 03:43 PM |#4  
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fastboot error
Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyowner

Look in device manager and check if the PC recognizes the shield as an adb device when in fastboot.
For me i have to switch between using fastboot and being able to copy files to it.

Hi i am having issue with dab and fast boot drivers.
When I install the driver as adb I can't fast boot to install the thor.img but once it reboots It reverts or reinstalls a shield driver and causes confusion and blocks when I want to mount.
23rd August 2013, 07:07 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogul1

Hi i am having issue with dab and fast boot drivers.
When I install the driver as adb I can't fast boot to install the thor.img but once it reboots It reverts or reinstalls a shield driver and causes confusion and blocks when I want to mount.

Nvidia just released a new set of USB drivers in their Tegra for Android Development Pack which you can download from here. I would recommend installing the development pack and the drivers it includes.
24th August 2013, 11:41 AM |#6  
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ok
I have done it and these are the new drivers I have under device manager.

Still can't mount though, operation not permitted Usb debugging enabled.

here are the two new drivers which let me get as far as the mount command but no further
Click image for larger version

Name:	new reinstalled drivers.JPG
Views:	1276
Size:	76.4 KB
ID:	2210144

and here's it telling me no in abd and fastboot

Click image for larger version

Name:	Fastboot mount operation not permitted.JPG
Views:	1298
Size:	75.4 KB
ID:	2210148
24th August 2013, 05:36 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogul1

I have done it and these are the new drivers I have under device manager.

Still can't mount though, operation not permitted Usb debugging enabled.

here are the two new drivers which let me get as far as the mount command but no further
Attachment 2210144

and here's it telling me no in abd and fastboot

Attachment 2210148

From that pic you posted the mount command failed because you were not root.
24th August 2013, 06:48 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyowner

From that pic you posted the mount command failed because you were not root.

I have updated the original post in my manual rooting procedure thread that includes a new insecure boot.img that has a patched adbd binary to allow the insecure boot.img to provide a root shell when booted from.
25th August 2013, 02:09 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimp208

I have updated the original post in my manual rooting procedure thread that includes a new insecure boot.img that has a patched adbd binary to allow the insecure boot.img to provide a root shell when booted from.

Huh??????????

EDIT
Were you trying to answer this post
25th August 2013, 03:46 AM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyowner

Huh??????????

EDIT
Were you trying to answer this post

Oh what I meant chevyowner was since you had responded to that guy's post about him not having a root shell after booting the insecure boot.img I decided to jump in and mention I had updated the original post to include a new updated insecure boot.img that should fix his root shell problem. Sorry for any confusion I caused there buddy!
25th August 2013, 03:50 AM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimp208

Oh what I meant chevyowner was since you had responded to that guy's post about him not having a root shell after booting the insecure boot.img I decided to jump in and mention I had updated the original post to include a new updated insecure boot.img that should fix his root shell problem. Sorry for any confusion I caused there buddy!

No problem.

I had to change to oil in my car in a parking lot earlier because it was cheaper to change it then it would have been add 3-4 quarts and change it when I got home. My car need 5 quarts of oil. I was not in a a good mood then.
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