Blade A3 Prime (Visible)

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tlopez51

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Jan 25, 2011
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If you did anything different, like modified the instructions (which it looks like you did in yellow in a post above) would you mind doing a small write-up of the exact commands/steps you did to make it all work? Similar to the boot image thing, I want to post it up on an index for easy access so others can quickly jump to the instructions to get this working. And as always, I will properly cite you and give you credit for it since you're the one that figured it out
K ; - )
 
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tlopez51

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Jan 25, 2011
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Before I forget and thanks to @lopestom for the initial GIS flashing instructions I found out if you have to flash vbmeta.img or any other image destined to go into the vbmeta slot you need to be in => FASTBOOT mode. If you do it from fastbootd you will get an error and vbmeta will not get flashed. This one had me chasing my tail for a bit then realized I do most flashing in => FASTBOOT mode.
 
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tlopez51

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Jan 25, 2011
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This is the simplified step-by-step guide and it applies to the Yahoo OEM Firmware version for the ZTE Blade A3 Prime Z5157 phone only! If there are errors showing overflow when flashing the GIS you will need to wipe both system_a and system_b partitions. Go to this thread to read more about how to do that.

--------------------------------------------------
Entering "Android Recovery" to flash the GIS image
--------------------------------------------------

Press and hold "VOL-UP" then press and hold the "POWER" button and wait a few seconds.
At the ZTE logo screen let go at all the buttons and wait for the "Android Recovery" screen to appear.
Press the VOL-DOWN button twice to hi-lite "Enter fastboot".
Next press the "POWER" button once to enter the "fastbootd" mode.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Verify you are in the "fastbootd" screen.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Open a command prompt terminal and change to your desktop directory.

Have all files you are going to flash to the phone on the desktop.

Confirm device is connected via usb and phone will accept commands.

Type: fastboot devices

Response: <your device's serial No.> fastboot

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

fastboot -w (erases userdata, cache and metadata)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

fastboot delete-logical-partition system (erases system_a partition)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification --skip-reboot flash system system-roar-arm32_binder64-ab-vndklite-vanilla.img

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

fastboot reboot

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Enjoy!
 
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tlopez51

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You will loose the Superuser status because Magisk is not working in this version of Android 11 at least not yet.
 

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tlopez51

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Jan 25, 2011
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Update. The workarounds we have used to get root on the Yahoo firmware do not work on the Visible. I've confirmed this several times. Everything I've thrown-ed at the Visible version unfortunately puts it in boot loop. Magisk will install but won't root the phone. Darn it!
 
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jasonmerc

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    Update. The workarounds we have used to get root on the Yahoo firmware do not work on the Visible. I've confirmed this several times. Everything I've thrown-ed at the Visible version unfortunately puts it in boot loop. Magisk will install but won't root the phone. Darn it!
    Interesting. I'm gonna give this a shot tomorrow. If it doesn't work though... Maybe the Yahoo firmware is the gold standard after all that we should recommend everyone flash to
     

    jasonmerc

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    Did you get a phone? That be sweet if you did.
    Nah, didn't get a Blade A3, don't have the funds to do what seems to be a whole "pay full price then after we get your phone you'll get a rebate" thing. I'll pick up some other cheapo device to screw with in the meantime. Still though, glad this is working for you, seems like you're enjoying the Blade A3 a whole lot more now that the firmware is custom and moddable
     

    YoloYoda

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    This is the simplified step-by-step guide and it applies to the Yahoo OEM Firmware version for the ZTE Blade A3 Prime Z5157 phone only! If there are errors showing overflow when flashing the GIS you will need to wipe both system_a and system_b partitions. Go to this thread to read more about how to do that.

    --------------------------------------------------
    Entering "Android Recovery" to flash the GIS image
    --------------------------------------------------

    Press and hold "VOL-UP" then press and hold the "POWER" button and wait a few seconds.
    At the ZTE logo screen let go at all the buttons and wait for the "Android Recovery" screen to appear.
    Press the VOL-DOWN button twice to hi-lite "Enter fastboot".
    Next press the "POWER" button once to enter the "fastbootd" mode.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Verify you are in the "fastbootd" screen.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Open a command prompt terminal and change to your desktop directory.

    Have all files you are going to flash to the phone on the desktop.

    Confirm device is connected via usb and phone will accept commands.

    Type: fastboot devices

    Response: <your device's serial No.> fastboot

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    fastboot -w (erases userdata, cache and metadata)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    fastboot delete-logical-partition system (erases system_a partition)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification --skip-reboot flash system system-roar-arm32_binder64-ab-vndklite-vanilla.img

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    fastboot reboot

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Enjoy!

    Are there any steps missing in these instructions? I tried this on a fully stock phone and ended up bootlooping it. At the last step, fastboot couldn't flash because it can't find the system partition. I tried flashing to the super partition too but that didn't work either.

    I then tried creating a system partition in fastbootd mode use create-logical-partition. That failed with an error saying super could not be opened.

    I tried flashing the stock firmware using SFTP. The tool worked showed that it finished the flashing successfully but the phone is still stuck in bootloop.

    Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
     

    tlopez51

    Senior Member
    Jan 25, 2011
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    Are there any steps missing in these instructions? I tried this on a fully stock phone and ended up bootlooping it. At the last step, fastboot couldn't flash because it can't find the system partition. I tried flashing to the super partition too but that didn't work either.

    I then tried creating a system partition in fastbootd mode use create-logical-partition. That failed with an error saying super could not be opened.

    I tried flashing the stock firmware using SFTP. The tool worked showed that it finished the flashing successfully but the phone is still stuck in bootloop.

    Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
    I assume you went through all of these steps first:

    unlocked the bootloader in Developer options (OEM unlocking -> enabled) and rebooted to the bootloader (=> FASTBOOT) "adb reboot bootloader".

    next "fastboot flashing unlock" then press VOL-UP to proceed.

    next "fastboot flashing unlock_critical" then press VOL-UP to proceed.

    next "fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification --skip-reboot flash vbmeta /home/tony/Desktop/vbmeta_Mod-MT6761-10.img".

    next "fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification --skip-reboot flash boot /home/tony/Desktop/boot-oss-yesmagisk.img".

    next "fastboot reboot fastboot" to verify the phone will boot to fastbootd.

    next "fastboot reboot" the phone should boot up. You will see "Orange State" and additional notices below that as the phone boots up. Just disregard.

    If successful on boot up you have to install Magisk to become root. Verify first "OEM unlocking" is greyed out in Developers options. The bootloader must be unlocked otherwise something went wrong earlier in the steps above.

    Once you are root and Magisk says you are root you should patch the oem boot.ini that is in the yahoo image folder with Magisk.

    Copy the Magisk image to the Desktop and reboot the phone. You will find the Magisk processed patched image in the phone's internal storage Download folder NOT on the SD-CARD so you will have to copy it off the phone's internal storage to the sd-card and onto your PC's Desktop.

    Make sure to put the Magisk image on the Desktop and reboot the phone to fastbootd "adb reboot bootloader".

    Flash the Magisk image "fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification --skip-reboot flash boot magisk_patched-whatever_the label_magisk_assigns_here.img".

    Reboot the phone "fastboot reboot" and verify you are root and make sure Magisk has access to the internet.

    If successful at being root then go back to the GIS initial instructions.

    Let me know if unsuccessful afterwards or if something fails up to this point.
     
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    tlopez51

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    Jan 25, 2011
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    Are there any steps missing in these instructions? I tried this on a fully stock phone and ended up bootlooping it. At the last step, fastboot couldn't flash because it can't find the system partition. I tried flashing to the super partition too but that didn't work either.

    I then tried creating a system partition in fastbootd mode use create-logical-partition. That failed with an error saying super could not be opened.

    I tried flashing the stock firmware using SFTP. The tool worked showed that it finished the flashing successfully but the phone is still stuck in bootloop.
    You need to re-flash with SPFT but choose the Format All + Download option. This will overwrite whatever it is preventing the phone from booting up.

    Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
     

    jasonmerc

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    Uploading Visible Mobile boot image, unpacked and patched with the OSS patcher. @tlopez51 since you have Magisk Canary installed, can you use the Canary app to patch this boot image? I'd do it on my phone, but I'm running the stable branch at the moment and not sure if it'd screw with it in any way
     

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    tlopez51

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    Jan 25, 2011
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    Uploading Visible Mobile boot image, unpacked and patched with the OSS patcher. @tlopez51 since you have Magisk Canary installed, can you use the Canary app to patch this boot image? I'd do it on my phone, but I'm running the stable branch at the moment and not sure if it'd screw with it in any way
    I tried every which way, patched the visible image with Magisk too and it gets me in bootloop.
     
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    tlopez51

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    Normally Magisk should do an update after it is installed and the phone reboots on its own. That's the reason for making sure you have internet access after installing Magisk. After the phone reboots Magisk will give you root status. I tried to re-install on the Yahoo image today and Magisk is not doing the update. Perhaps there is work going on the branch side of things and the Magisk update is on hold.
     

    jasonmerc

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    Normally Magisk should do an update after it is installed and the phone reboots on its own. That's the reason for making sure you have internet access after installing Magisk. After the phone reboots Magisk will give you root status. I tried to re-install on the Yahoo image today and Magisk is not doing the update. Perhaps there is work going on the branch side of things and the Magisk update is on hold.
    Oh so Yahoo is doing the same now, so it must be on their end yeah. For now, we have the Yahoo boot image still at least, so we can use that.

    Quick question though, since I think you said this before but I just wanted to clarify. If you have the Visible Mobile Blade A3, and you flash over to Yahoo Mobile firmware, does it break cellular? As in can you still use Visible Mobile cell service even though you flashed over it with Yahoo Mobile firmware? If everything is still 100% functional, maybe we should just recommend everyone flash over to Yahoo to simplify logistics.
     

    tlopez51

    Senior Member
    Jan 25, 2011
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    Oh so Yahoo is doing the same now, so it must be on their end yeah. For now, we have the Yahoo boot image still at least, so we can use that.

    Quick question though, since I think you said this before but I just wanted to clarify. If you have the Visible Mobile Blade A3, and you flash over to Yahoo Mobile firmware, does it break cellular? As in can you still use Visible Mobile cell service even though you flashed over it with Yahoo Mobile firmware? If everything is still 100% functional, maybe we should just recommend everyone flash over to Yahoo to simplify logistics.
    The Visible cellular service I have is working on the phone with Yahoo firmware so it does not break the cellular by flipping from Visible to Yahoo.

    However, I was never able to get the cellular part to work on the Yahoo firmware with another carrier. I also have at&t service and I am not sure the radio in the phone will work on the at&t 4G LTE band. But when I switched over to the GIS it looked like it was up and good to go. Let me explain. I put in my at&t sim and it showed bars and APN settings updated from the carrier. I could not make a call as the phone did not register. I went to the at&t site to update the IMEI for my device and it keeps giving me errors and that I needed to try later. I have a prepaid account and by what I can see the prepaid account management web portal is crap when compared to other MVNOs. You can't even have a live chat for support. That is reserved for their regular service. Support for prepaid is you have to call in and talk to a human and wait. I don't have a solid answer yet but will keep at it. My guess the phone should work at least with the GIS firmware. ALL cellular settings are wiped clean in the GIS but not the Yahoo or Visible. The phone stll wants Verizon through Visible. It's all in the initialization scripts when the phone is powered ON so it is persistent. Much would have to be wiped to get it cleaned out.
     
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    YoloYoda

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    You need to re-flash with SPFT but choose the Format All + Download option. This will overwrite whatever it is preventing the phone from booting up.
    Thanks very much. This worked. Turns out that the stock ROM I got was a Yahoo ROM and not a Visible one. Is there a link to the stock Visible ROM?

    The reason I started trying to get GIS on this phone was to get support for a USB OTG ethernet adapter. I think at this point, I am going to use a different phone I have for this.

    Wish you all the best! Excellent progress so far.
     

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    • 1
      Yes this phone has root. If you stay on non-custom ROMs then Magisk works great. If you go the Custom Rom/GSI route then you may have some trouble.
      Awesome. Just need/want basic root. Downloaded all needed files. Just haven't wanted to mess with it today. Was up late getting the necessary tools etc. Thanks @jasonmerc 😁
      1
      Thanks @desilynn79. I got it to work, by doing a format in SPFT and then following your instructions on flashing it
      1
      Thanks @desilynn79. I got it to work, by doing a format in SPFT and then following your instructions on flashing it
      good deal. im just waiting on my new one, they recieved the old one yesterday so, in theory the new one ships today.
    • 2
      Doing anything listed here will void your warranty. I don't know the laws where you are so assume it makes you a criminal. These things are posted here for educational purposes only. Never follow any guide if you don't understand the commands.

      Enough BS, let's jump in.

      For windows users. Installing drivers:
      1. Plug USB cable into PC.
      2. On the A3 prime, instead of using USB as charging, select use USB as Updating Firmware (i forget actual wording)
      3. A prompt will come up on Windows, install those drivers.
      4. Reboot.

      Install adb and fastboot on your PC, it is up to you to do this.
      Enable developer options on your phone, and enable USB debugging and OEM Unlocking.

      In your CMD/Shell/Whatever you have.
      adb reboot bootloader

      fastboot flashing unlock (use volume up to confirm)
      fastboot flashing unlock_critical (use volume up to confirm)

      Congrats you've unlocked the bootloader.

      Use 'fastboot reboot' to reboot if you haven't done so already.

      -----

      this is where the progress on this device comes to a halt.

      The kernel source is available from opensource.ztedevices.com

      The device codename is Z5157V, the Kernel they have is listed under Z5157V Q(10) Kernel(4.4.185)

      What needs to happen next? Someone needs to compile the kernel from source.

      Once that is done, they can extract the boot.img from it, use Magisk, and make a modified boot.img

      Whoila, they will now have root. Once this person has root, they can extract recovery.img from the device, and we can begin making a custom TWRP, or who knows, maybe Team Win will pick it up (unlikely).

      Once we have a custom recovery and working Magisk, it's just a matter of time before we start seeing custom ROMS.

      If someone will sign up to be a guinea pig, or has an extra A3 Prime laying around I will continue development. I bricked mine because I was impulsive and honestly, kinda stupid. (browse through thread to see my idiocy)

      Until such a time that I come to possess another A3 Prime OR someone steps up to provide a firmware dump, I am unable to help.

      Good luck developing!
      2
      Oh boy! GIS is working. See photos and the image that I used is also attached.
      Congrats!

      Now you have the UNLOCKED free device.

      Congratulations on your courage and attitude to learn, share and trust in @jasonmerc.

      enjoy time and developments........
      :cowboy:
      1
      Yeah, I bricked my device by flashing a universal MTK TWRP.

      Came here to say this, do not flash universal MTK.

      It is a soft brick, bootloops with no access to stock or TWRP recovery.

      The phone's model number is Z5157V and the stock firmware is Z5157VV1.0.0B17 for google indexing reasons. Only place that MAY have it is behind a $40 pay wall.
      1
      Managed to get the kernel from opensource.ztedevices.com, just beginning to work on it now (not sure how I'm gonna get my phone out of bootloop mode, but I'll solve it later)
      1
      Thanks @desilynn79. I got it to work, by doing a format in SPFT and then following your instructions on flashing it
      good deal. im just waiting on my new one, they recieved the old one yesterday so, in theory the new one ships today.
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