Blade A3 Prime (Visible)

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jasonmerc

Senior Member
  • Dec 14, 2012
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    Making a new post where I'll upload all my TWRP attempts. Trying to port from other devices that also have an MTK6761 Helio P22 chipset, namely the Redmi 6A codename cactus. I'd highly recommend you don't flash these, just boot from them with "fastboot boot imagename.img". That way you can essentially sideload the dirty port TWRP images to your phone here and boot from them without making any permanent changes. Then, once in the sideloaded TWRP image, we can see about pulling the REAL images from the phone to compile our own stock ROM dump of boot, system, and recovery and make it freely available to everyone. Rooting would be easy as well, if we assume one of these TWRP images work you can just flash Magisk and be done.

    One thing to note too, on these newer phones they might be forcing encryption which would make it much harder to mess with these devices. Before doing anything like rooting or making image backups, we might have to also flash a no-verity zip and reboot/wipe to remove the force encryption flag in the boot image. Sometimes this is necessary to do mods to the phone or get proper backups.

    For now though, just do the fastboot boot image thing I wrote about above and see if you can at least BOOT into one of these TWRP dirty port attempts. If we can find one that at least boots/works we can then work from there. Taking this slow and one step at a time is key to make sure we don't miss anything important and screw everything up
     

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    Talysdaddy

    Senior Member
    Apr 15, 2013
    153
    44
    sEAtOWn, WA
    Making a new post where I'll upload all my TWRP attempts. Trying to port from other devices that also have an MTK6761 Helio P22 chipset, namely the Redmi 6A codename cactus. I'd highly recommend you don't flash these, just boot from them with "fastboot boot imagename.img". That way you can essentially sideload the dirty port TWRP images to your phone here and boot from them without making any permanent changes. Then, once in the sideloaded TWRP image, we can see about pulling the REAL images from the phone to compile our own stock ROM dump of boot, system, and recovery and make it freely available to everyone. Rooting would be easy as well, if we assume one of these TWRP images work you can just flash Magisk and be done.

    One thing to note too, on these newer phones they might be forcing encryption which would make it much harder to mess with these devices. Before doing anything like rooting or making image backups, we might have to also flash a no-verity zip and reboot/wipe to remove the force encryption flag in the boot image. Sometimes this is necessary to do mods to the phone or get proper backups.

    For now though, just do the fastboot boot image thing I wrote about above and see if you can at least BOOT into one of these TWRP dirty port attempts. If we can find one that at least boots/works we can then work from there. Taking this slow and one step at a time is key to make sure we don't miss anything important and screw everything up

    Thanks for this bro, gonna try in a sec.

    Finally found some stock roms, bad news its not the exact one from Visible however it will still work if you were bricked. Least you'll have a functioning phone again.
    Didn't know this but guess there's a few variants of this phone, carrier seems to be the only difference.
    Flashed both firmwares and confirm them both working.
    This is from GABB (carrier for kids?) Rom is pretty stripped down, didn't even have Dev Op's available. So wouldn't recommend it unless you really wanted it for whatever reason

    This is stock for Yahoo, this would be their first phone ever. Their rom is more complet, I'd use this one.

    Use the newest version of this tool to flash the roms

    Should prolly mention, I didn't upload either roms, simply found them and posting here in case anyone was soft bricked like me.
     
    Last edited:

    Talysdaddy

    Senior Member
    Apr 15, 2013
    153
    44
    sEAtOWn, WA
    Making a new post where I'll upload all my TWRP attempts. Trying to port from other devices that also have an MTK6761 Helio P22 chipset, namely the Redmi 6A codename cactus. I'd highly recommend you don't flash these, just boot from them with "fastboot boot imagename.img". That way you can essentially sideload the dirty port TWRP images to your phone here and boot from them without making any permanent changes. Then, once in the sideloaded TWRP image, we can see about pulling the REAL images from the phone to compile our own stock ROM dump of boot, system, and recovery and make it freely available to everyone. Rooting would be easy as well, if we assume one of these TWRP images work you can just flash Magisk and be done.

    One thing to note too, on these newer phones they might be forcing encryption which would make it much harder to mess with these devices. Before doing anything like rooting or making image backups, we might have to also flash a no-verity zip and reboot/wipe to remove the force encryption flag in the boot image. Sometimes this is necessary to do mods to the phone or get proper backups.

    For now though, just do the fastboot boot image thing I wrote about above and see if you can at least BOOT into one of these TWRP dirty port attempts. If we can find one that at least boots/works we can then work from there. Taking this slow and one step at a time is key to make sure we don't miss anything important and screw everything up

    Tried all 3, but none was able to boot to TWRP, they all thought for a bit then just booted to OS..
    Our MT6761 is A22, while MT6762 is the P22.
    Really appreciate all your efforts on this!
     
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    jasonmerc

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  • Dec 14, 2012
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    Thanks for this bro, gonna try in a sec.

    Finally found some stock roms, bad news its not the exact one from Visible however it will still work if you were bricked. Least you'll have a functioning phone again.
    Didn't know this but guess there's a few variants of this phone, carrier seems to be the only difference.
    Flashed both firmwares and confirm them both working.
    This is from GABB (carrier for kids?) Rom is pretty stripped down, didn't even have Dev Op's available. So wouldn't recommend it unless you really wanted it for whatever reason

    This is stock for Yahoo, this would be their first phone ever. Their rom is more complet, I'd use this one.

    Use the newest version of this tool to flash the roms

    Should prolly mention, I didn't upload either roms, simply found them and posting here in case anyone was soft bricked like me.
    You have SPFT working???? Damn I assumed that would be locked out. We can make our own stock ROM now if someone else with a Visible phone shows up again. If you have a safe image to restore to, can you please try writing my TWRP images to the phone via SPFT? It might make a difference

    By the way, can you upload an individual recovery IMG here (if the firmware includes it). I don't want to clog up my internet by downloading an entire stock ROM just to access the recovery image. Maybe if I use that I can get TWRP to work better.

    Even if that doesn't work, the kernel sources were found by OP, so I can maybe try to build TWRP from source for this thing. I know I don't have this device myself but my hopes are really getting up for this thing, I think if we can make something happen this will be an awesome little budget friendly device for anyone out there. Hell, if it does all work out and I can find an unlocked one cheap I might pick one up myself then as a beater phone for if I head off to job-training... rather have a cheap MTK break than a Moto X4.

    EDIT: don't worry about sending me just a recovery IMG, I'm gonna download stock firmware overnight and take a look at it further. It might take a long time but at least we'll have it. I will also mirror the Yahoo Mobile variant (the one you said was the most complete) on my Mega drive so in case the original link goes down we can still have it

    EDIT 2: link to my mega folder which I'll dump all the Blade A3 Prime crap I can find in: https://mega.nz/folder/loVA1LyZ#wzqt8XY_WIIAz_CsGKvFOQ
     
    Last edited:

    Ubiquity

    Member
    May 12, 2013
    12
    1
    I have an extra Visible Blade A3 Prime. It has a fairly cracked screen, so I bought a 2nd one cause it was so cheap and did all the things I wanted it to do.

    Model Z5157V

    What do you need me to experiment with?
     

    jasonmerc

    Senior Member
  • Dec 14, 2012
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    I have an extra Visible Blade A3 Prime. It has a fairly cracked screen, so I bought a 2nd one cause it was so cheap and did all the things I wanted it to do.

    Model Z5157V

    What do you need me to experiment with?
    Is it Visible Mobile? If so I want to work with you to make a Visible Mobile ROM Dump first. You'll need a computer, ideally with Linux but Windows will work too, and you'll need a tool called SP Flash Tools. Let me know if you can do this and then I'll show you how to make a ROM dump.

    After that, it's a matter of testing anything and everything we can throw at it, because should anything break we can just restore to the stock ROM dump.

    EDIT: I was tired last night and realized you do indeed have Visible Mobile as per your message, sorry about that. This is good though, Visible Mobile is the only variant we do NOT have a stock ROM dump of. Getting one and saving it would be awesome, and as alluded to before, would allow us to be more risky with our other development projects because we can always rest assured we have a stable base to restore back to.

    If you are not on the latest firmware update, please do NOT upgrade to it just yet. I don't know if Visible is catching on and disabling VCOM port access which we need to make SP Flash Tools work (used to backup & restore stock ROM images). When I worked with the R1HD from Amazon that's what they did with their V6.6 firmware update: disable VCOM so we couldn't use SPFT anymore. If possible, we should first take a dump of whatever firmware revision you have right now, and once we confirm that it worked THEN you can upgrade and we'll take another just to be safe.
     
    Last edited:

    Ubiquity

    Member
    May 12, 2013
    12
    1
    Is it Visible Mobile? If so I want to work with you to make a Visible Mobile ROM Dump first. You'll need a computer, ideally with Linux but Windows will work too, and you'll need a tool called SP Flash Tools. Let me know if you can do this and then I'll show you how to make a ROM dump.

    After that, it's a matter of testing anything and everything we can throw at it, because should anything break we can just restore to the stock ROM dump.

    Unfortunately I am on the most recent version of whatever is out there.

    I have a Linux machine, and searched for sp flash tools on ddg to just do this myself and give you the dump in this reply. Lotsa websites, many versions, and it all seems pretty spammy. Can you get me a good link and clear instructions, and I'll get it to you?
     

    jasonmerc

    Senior Member
  • Dec 14, 2012
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    Unfortunately I am on the most recent version of whatever is out there.

    I have a Linux machine, and searched for sp flash tools on ddg to just do this myself and give you the dump in this reply. Lotsa websites, many versions, and it all seems pretty spammy. Can you get me a good link and clear instructions, and I'll get it to you?
    Note: I wrote the following message when I was really tired. That combined with the fact that it's a lot to digest to begin with, if you ever can't understand what I'm saying feel free to ask me to clarify, or if you want I can try to set up a 1 on 1 realtime session where I can show you how to do everything mentioned here. As mentioned here I've also not used the following tool/s in a very long time so I could maybe use a bit of a refresher too

    https://spflashtool.com/download/ Use this website to download SPFT. Unfortunately this program is pretty crusty so all the websites used to host it also look pretty crusty. I've used this website in the past though when working with other MTK devices so I trust this particular site. Scroll down and click the link to get the latest Linux build.

    https://mega.nz/folder/loVA1LyZ#wzqt8XY_WIIAz_CsGKvFOQ Also download the Yahoo Mobile stock firmware here from my Mega. You'll need this to get something called a Scatter File from the firmware. The Scatter File is basically just a partition map that aligns the partitions on the phone with hex memory addresses. SPFT works on a very low level (direct memory addresses) so this is necessary. You'll also need something called the Preloader to do readbacks with. The Preloader is basically the "BIOS" of MediaTek phones. It assists the Scatter File with laying out how all the partitions are mapped on the device's memory.

    Setting up SPFT for a readback

    • Extract the program somewhere and the firmware somewhere
    • In the SPFT extracted program folder make another folder within it called "VisibleBladeA3FW" or something of the like. This will be where you do all your image dumps and just save them all there
    • Go to the extracted Yahoo Mobile firmware and get the MTK6761_Android_Scatter.txt and copy it over to the VisibleBladeA3FW folder you made before. This is just so you know where it is for future use. This is the partition map for all the partitions on the phone. It links them to hex memory addresses.
    • Go to the extracted Yahoo Mobile firmware and ALSO copy over everything that says "preloader" in it over to the new VisibleBladeA3FW folder as well. Sometimes it's just one "preloader.bin", other times it'll be a .bin and a .img. Get everything that mentions a preloader. This part seems necessary with newer MTK devices now, you have to use the preloader to flash things. I don't remember having to do this before with anything I worked with, but make sure you do this yourself now or else you'll run into errors. The preloader and scatter need to be in the same folder as the dumps you're making
    • Open a terminal within the extracted program folder and do a chmod a+x on the "flash_tool" binary file located in the program folder.
    • In that same terminal execute ./flash_tool to open the program. This is the actual executable you have to run to use the program and as far as I know you have to launch it from the terminal like this every time. I'm PRETTY SURE you don't need root to run it so let's try it out without first. If it doesn't work though try root
    • On the main window click the Scatter Loading tab and select the 6761 scatter file you copied earlier
    • Then click on the Readback tab to do readbacks of images
    • Make sure your phone is unplugged and turned off. Then remove the battery and leave it out. A lot of MTK phones need to have the battery removed before they go into the appropriate VCOM mode for readbacks. Keep your USB cable handy though because once you want to do a readback you'll need to plug the battery-less phone into your PC
    From this point you are ready to do readbacks of images. Below I will outline how to read back the boot image as a sample, but in reality all you need to do is open that scatter file TXT document you copied earlier and it'll list all the parameters you put into SPFT for what to save the image readbacks as. It'll give you everything: what you should call the file, the start physical address, the length in hex, the EMMC region it's stored on... everything. But just as an example I'll run through how to do one for the boot.img below

    Doing a readback of the boot partition
    • Click Add to add an option to the list below. Double click it and it'll open a file browser. Select the VisibleBladeA3FW folder and under the File Name call it "boot.img" and click OK
    • For Type keep it on Hex and for region make sure it's on EMMC_USER. The physical start address is "0x1d800000" and the length is "0x2000000". Copy and paste these in if you wish. Once done click OK
    • To reiterate make sure the phone is off and unplugged at this point. Then you click Read Back and plug in the battery-less phone to the computer. Give it a minute or two, if all goes well you'll see a green check mark on the screen indicating it was read back successfully.
    • Use your file browser to go to the folder and make sure the boot image is actually there. It should be about 33MB because that's what the Yahoo Mobile boot.img was.
    In theory we should only need a boot, recovery, and system image readback to be considered "safe". However, this phone is Project Treble so it might have that A/B partition bullcrap. I've never done SPFT readbacks through a phone with this A/B partition layout so this is slightly new territory for me too.

    If you want to do a full system readback, what you can do is check the Yahoo Mobile firmware folder for what images are located there. Some are straight .IMG files, some look like they're .BIN files, and some have no extension at all. What you can do is, look through the Yahoo firmware for a particular image, and then in the scatter file search for that exact image name with a Ctrl+F. The corresponding "entry" will be the parameters you need to input for each readback every time you do a new one. Use the physical_start_addr for the start address and partition_size for length. Be sure to look out for the EMMC region and filename as well, to keep things simple.

    In my example, I did a Ctrl+F for "boot.img" and found that it was listed under "boot_a". I then used those parameters to write out the instructions for you above. In theory if you just kept doing this for all of the images in the Yahoo folder we'll have a "complete backup" to restore to should something ever backfire on us. Try to get the boot.img and super.img because these appear to be the boot and system images respectively.
     
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    kentchristopher

    Senior Member
    Nov 16, 2007
    134
    24
    Can the A3 Blade Prime run without the battery?

    I'm considering it as a dedicated streaming device, and I know previous ZTE devices could boot up and run without the battery installed, which I prefer. I had one in the past but sold it, and never thought to check for this "feature".
     

    jasonmerc

    Senior Member
  • Dec 14, 2012
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    Can the A3 Blade Prime run without the battery?

    I'm considering it as a dedicated streaming device, and I know previous ZTE devices could boot up and run without the battery installed, which I prefer. I had one in the past but sold it, and never thought to check for this "feature".
    Don't think so, as in it won't turn on to android. It'll run without a battery to get to VCOM mode but won't operate normally
     

    Ubiquity

    Member
    May 12, 2013
    12
    1

    finally was able to devote some time to this. I'm having trouble running the flash tool -

    [email protected]:~/Downloads/sp Flash tool/SP_Flash_Tool-5.1916_Linux$ ./flash_tool
    ./flash_tool: error while loading shared libraries: libpng12.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    I looked into it, and apparently it's some archived version of libpng, which isn't available on the version of ubuntu studio i'm running on this machine. I tried manually installing it, but haven't compiled from source yet. Wanna help me figure this out?
     

    jasonmerc

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  • Dec 14, 2012
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    finally was able to devote some time to this. I'm having trouble running the flash tool -

    [email protected]:~/Downloads/sp Flash tool/SP_Flash_Tool-5.1916_Linux$ ./flash_tool
    ./flash_tool: error while loading shared libraries: libpng12.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    I looked into it, and apparently it's some archived version of libpng, which isn't available on the version of ubuntu studio i'm running on this machine. I tried manually installing it, but haven't compiled from source yet. Wanna help me figure this out?
    This is weird because I don't recall ever having this problem. I assume you're running Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04 as your base, so you can follow this guide to get libpng on there.

    If you do this and it still doesn't work then try running spft as root.

     

    Ubiquity

    Member
    May 12, 2013
    12
    1
    So I was able to get SPFT working with that tutorial. Thank you. I attempted a readback of boot.img using your instructions. I am receiving an error:

    ERROR : STATUS_BROM_CMD_SEND_DA_FAIL (-1073348605) , MSP ERROE CODE : 0x00.

    no hint is given

    Terminal gives this relevant output (unsure how to format correctly on this forum?)

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

    Total wait time = -1614741745.000000
    USB port is obtained. path name(/dev/ttyACM0), port name(/dev/ttyACM0)
    USB port detected: /dev/ttyACM0
    BROM connected
    Downloading & Connecting to DA...
    connect DA end stage: 2, enable DRAM in 1st DA: 0
    Failed to Connect DA: STATUS_BROM_CMD_SEND_DA_FAIL(-1073348605)
    Disconnect!
    BROM Exception! ( ERROR : STATUS_BROM_CMD_SEND_DA_FAIL (-1073348605) , MSP ERROE CODE : 0x00.


    [HINT]:
    )((ConnectDA,../../../flashtool/Conn/Connection.cpp,146))
    Connecting to BROM...
    Scanning USB port...
    Search usb, timeout set as 3600000 ms

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

    In addition, when I plug the battery-less phone into the pc, the phone power cycles showing a dotted, red battery icon with a warning sign. SPFT throws that error after about 15 seconds. I tried both user and sudo.

    I put the battery in, and plugged USB in without turning the phone on and attempted a readback as well. No dice there. Nothing happened after 5 minutes of waiting.

    **EDIT**
    I did some googling, and found https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...send_da_fail-0xc0060003.3707811/post-74617876

    This post suggested I hold the volume down key and then plug in the usb. I now receive a different error:

    ---------------------------------------
    Total wait time = -1614743845.000000
    USB port is obtained. path name(/dev/ttyACM0), port name(/dev/ttyACM0)
    USB port detected: /dev/ttyACM0
    BROM connected
    Downloading & Connecting to DA...
    connect DA end stage: 2, enable DRAM in 1st DA: 0
    Failed to Connect DA: STATUS_PRELOADER_INVALID(-1073545212)
    Disconnect!
    BROM Exception! ( ERROR : STATUS_PRELOADER_INVALID (-1073545212) , MSP ERROE CODE : 0x00.

    The Preloader file format is invalid!
    [HINT]:
    Please retry another official load.)((ConnectDA,../../../flashtool/Conn/Connection.cpp,146))
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    I tried googling all these issues, and couldn't figure out what to do next.

    What's the next step?
     
    Last edited:

    jasonmerc

    Senior Member
  • Dec 14, 2012
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    **EDIT**
    I did some googling, and found https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...send_da_fail-0xc0060003.3707811/post-74617876

    This post suggested I hold the volume down key and then plug in the usb. I now receive a different error:

    ---------------------------------------
    Total wait time = -1614743845.000000
    USB port is obtained. path name(/dev/ttyACM0), port name(/dev/ttyACM0)
    USB port detected: /dev/ttyACM0
    BROM connected
    Downloading & Connecting to DA...
    connect DA end stage: 2, enable DRAM in 1st DA: 0
    Failed to Connect DA: STATUS_PRELOADER_INVALID(-1073545212)
    Disconnect!
    BROM Exception! ( ERROR : STATUS_PRELOADER_INVALID (-1073545212) , MSP ERROE CODE : 0x00.

    The Preloader file format is invalid!
    [HINT]:
    Please retry another official load.)((ConnectDA,../../../flashtool/Conn/Connection.cpp,146))
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    I tried googling all these issues, and couldn't figure out what to do next.

    What's the next step?
    Damn, this is what I'm getting on the other phone I'm working on. This error means that SPFT is having trouble communicating with the preloader before it does its commands you tell it to do. I don't know why but communicating with the preloader is a necessary step. This usually means that you can't use SPFT, but whoever pulled the Yahoo Mobile dump obviously had to have used it.

    At least you guys have an unlocked bootloader to work with so you can still flash stuff in fastboot. You did unlock the bootloader right? Not sure if this'll make a difference but it's worth a try.

    EDIT: there are other tools we can try as well, if you want to dive into this: WwR_MTK is good, and Miracle Box is also pretty good, but these tools only work on Windows and you might have to visit some shady looking sites to get them. All up to you though, if you want we can just try to get it all working on here
     

    tlopez51

    Senior Member
    Jan 25, 2011
    110
    41
    If you're serious, the next step I need is some data collection.

    If you could download AIDA64 (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.finalwire.aida64)

    And take a screenshot of all the information that app provides you, especially the information under 'System' that would be a big help. Right now I'm shooting in the dark as to which defconfig is appropriate and that info would put me back on the right track.
    ---
    Even more importantly, we could skip above if anyone can pull the working defconfig straight from the device.

    "adb pull /proc/config.gz"

    That command should pull the working defconfig, and I could just use that.


    OR BEST OF ALL
    Dump the whole firmware following this guide:

    Hopefully the attached offers some help. All I've done so far is to unlock the bootloader.
     

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    tlopez51

    Senior Member
    Jan 25, 2011
    110
    41
    Note: I wrote the following message when I was really tired. That combined with the fact that it's a lot to digest to begin with, if you ever can't understand what I'm saying feel free to ask me to clarify, or if you want I can try to set up a 1 on 1 realtime session where I can show you how to do everything mentioned here. As mentioned here I've also not used the following tool/s in a very long time so I could maybe use a bit of a refresher too

    https://spflashtool.com/download/ Use this website to download SPFT. Unfortunately this program is pretty crusty so all the websites used to host it also look pretty crusty. I've used this website in the past though when working with other MTK devices so I trust this particular site. Scroll down and click the link to get the latest Linux build.

    https://mega.nz/folder/loVA1LyZ#wzqt8XY_WIIAz_CsGKvFOQ Also download the Yahoo Mobile stock firmware here from my Mega. You'll need this to get something called a Scatter File from the firmware. The Scatter File is basically just a partition map that aligns the partitions on the phone with hex memory addresses. SPFT works on a very low level (direct memory addresses) so this is necessary.

    Setting up SPFT for a readback

    • Extract the program somewhere and the firmware somewhere
    • In the SPFT extracted program folder make another folder within it called "VisibleBladeA3FW" or something of the like. This will be where you do all your image dumps and just save them all there
    • Go to the extracted Yahoo Mobile firmware and get the MTK6761_Android_Scatter.txt and copy it over to the VisibleBladeA3FW folder you made before. This is just so you know where it is for future use. This is the partition map for all the partitions on the phone. It links them to hex memory addresses.
    • Open a terminal within the extracted program folder and do a chmod a+x on the "flash_tool" binary file located in the program folder.
    • In that same terminal execute ./flash_tool to open the program. This is the actual executable you have to run to use the program and as far as I know you have to launch it from the terminal like this every time. I'm PRETTY SURE you don't need root to run it so let's try it out without first. If it doesn't work though try root
    • On the main window click the Scatter Loading tab and select the 6761 scatter file you copied earlier
    • Then click on the Readback tab to do readbacks of images
    • Make sure your phone is unplugged and turned off. Then remove the battery and leave it out. A lot of MTK phones need to have the battery removed before they go into the appropriate VCOM mode for readbacks. Keep your USB cable handy though because once you want to do a readback you'll need to plug the battery-less phone into your PC
    From this point you are ready to do readbacks of images. Below I will outline how to read back the boot image as a sample, but in reality all you need to do is open that scatter file TXT document you copied earlier and it'll list all the parameters you put into SPFT for what to save the image readbacks as. It'll give you everything: what you should call the file, the start physical address, the length in hex, the EMMC region it's stored on... everything. But just as an example I'll run through how to do one for the boot.img below

    Doing a readback of the boot partition
    • Click Add to add an option to the list below. Double click it and it'll open a file browser. Select the VisibleBladeA3FW folder and under the File Name call it "boot.img" and click OK
    • For Type keep it on Hex and for region make sure it's on EMMC_USER. The physical start address is "0x1d800000" and the length is "0x2000000". Copy and paste these in if you wish. Once done click OK
    • To reiterate make sure the phone is off and unplugged at this point. Then you click Read Back and plug in the battery-less phone to the computer. Give it a minute or two, if all goes well you'll see a green check mark on the screen indicating it was read back successfully.
    • Use your file browser to go to the folder and make sure the boot image is actually there. It should be about 33MB because that's what the Yahoo Mobile boot.img was.
    In theory we should only need a boot, recovery, and system image readback to be considered "safe". However, this phone is Project Treble so it might have that A/B partition bullcrap. I've never done SPFT readbacks through a phone with this A/B partition layout so this is slightly new territory for me too.

    If you want to do a full system readback, what you can do is check the Yahoo Mobile firmware folder for what images are located there. Some are straight .IMG files, some look like they're .BIN files, and some have no extension at all. What you can do is, look through the Yahoo firmware for a particular image, and then in the scatter file search for that exact image name with a Ctrl+F. The corresponding "entry" will be the parameters you need to input for each readback every time you do a new one. Use the physical_start_addr for the start address and partition_size for length. Be sure to look out for the EMMC region and filename as well, to keep things simple.

    In my example, I did a Ctrl+F for "boot.img" and found that it was listed under "boot_a". I then used those parameters to write out the instructions for you above. In theory if you just kept doing this for all of the images in the Yahoo folder we'll have a "complete backup" to restore to should something ever backfire on us. Try to get the boot.img and super.img because these appear to be the boot and system images respectively.

    Many thanks for the detailed instructions though it did take a bit of finagling to find the right sequence for the phone and flash tool to work together. I am on a Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS x86_64 platform and was able to go from the Visible Mobile stock firmware to the Yahoo Mobile stock firmware. Next step for me would be to find the tools to sim unlock the phone. I would appreciate any help in the right direction.
     

    jasonmerc

    Senior Member
  • Dec 14, 2012
    1,761
    890
    www.ixquick.com
    Many thanks for the detailed instructions though it did take a bit of finagling to find the right sequence for the phone and flash tool to work together. I am on a Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS x86_64 platform and was able to go from the Visible Mobile stock firmware to the Yahoo Mobile stock firmware. Next step for me would be to find the tools to sim unlock the phone. I would appreciate any help in the right direction.
    Dang, you didnt take a backup? I'm glad to hear it worked but so far we're only waiting on the Visible Mobile firmware dump because it's the only firmware that has not been dumped.

    But still, if Yahoo Mobile works as well maybe we don't have to worry about it if we already have a stable stock base to come back to

    EDIT: found some stuff to list here about the phone, thanks to @tlopez51 for sharing the config.
    1. The phone is 64 bit capable but only looks to be running 32 bit android, so this thing is doomed VERY quickly (google is dropping 32 support soon-ish)
    2. It appears to be an MTK6761 according to the config file
    Knowing this, we do have the kernel source, but converting from a 32 bit to 64 bit kernel is not easy. Even if we did, the phone's bootloader might block booting anything that's 64 bit anyway even though the hardware is technically capable of it. We can only hope google chooses to extend 32 bit android support for a bit longer as a last hurrah for you blade a3 owners here so that you can at least get SOME custom ROM support should we get that far
     
    Last edited:

    tlopez51

    Senior Member
    Jan 25, 2011
    110
    41
    Dang, you didnt take a backup? I'm glad to hear it worked but so far we're only waiting on the Visible Mobile firmware dump because it's the only firmware that has not been dumped.

    But still, if Yahoo Mobile works as well maybe we don't have to worry about it if we already have a stable stock base to come back to

    EDIT: found some stuff to list here about the phone, thanks to @tlopez51 for sharing the config.
    1. The phone is 64 bit capable but only looks to be running 32 bit android, so this thing is doomed VERY quickly (google is dropping 32 support soon-ish)
    2. It appears to be an MTK6761 according to the config file
    Knowing this, we do have the kernel source, but converting from a 32 bit to 64 bit kernel is not easy. Even if we did, the phone's bootloader might block booting anything that's 64 bit anyway even though the hardware is technically capable of it. We can only hope google chooses to extend 32 bit android support for a bit longer as a last hurrah for you blade a3 owners here so that you can at least get SOME custom ROM support should we get that far
    I tried taking a dump of the rom but could not find a way to accomplish it.
    Dang, you didnt take a backup? I'm glad to hear it worked but so far we're only waiting on the Visible Mobile firmware dump because it's the only firmware that has not been dumped.

    But still, if Yahoo Mobile works as well maybe we don't have to worry about it if we already have a stable stock base to come back to

    EDIT: found some stuff to list here about the phone, thanks to @tlopez51 for sharing the config.
    1. The phone is 64 bit capable but only looks to be running 32 bit android, so this thing is doomed VERY quickly (google is dropping 32 support soon-ish)
    2. It appears to be an MTK6761 according to the config file
    Knowing this, we do have the kernel source, but converting from a 32 bit to 64 bit kernel is not easy. Even if we did, the phone's bootloader might block booting anything that's 64 bit anyway even though the hardware is technically capable of it. We can only hope google chooses to extend 32 bit android support for a bit longer as a last hurrah for you blade a3 owners here so that you can at least get SOME custom ROM support should we get that far

    Sorry about not having taken a backup. At the time I could not find a scatter file and ran into a wall in trying to create one from scratch. After going to the yahoo firmware I tried to flash back a visible firmware I had stumbled upon on the net but could not get it to work as I got some errors. So now wondering if you switch roms you're pretty much stuck. Though I am not so convinced as it could be that the image I got could be missing something.
     

    jasonmerc

    Senior Member
  • Dec 14, 2012
    1,761
    890
    www.ixquick.com
    I tried taking a dump of the rom but could not find a way to accomplish it.


    Sorry about not having taken a backup. At the time I could not find a scatter file and ran into a wall in trying to create one from scratch. After going to the yahoo firmware I tried to flash back a visible firmware I had stumbled upon on the net but could not get it to work as I got some errors. So now wondering if you switch roms you're pretty much stuck. Though I am not so convinced as it could be that the image I got could be missing something.
    From what others have said I THINK you're fine if you're on Yahoo Mobile firmware. You should still have a functioning device at least, but I don't know if it'll break cell/mobile (because you're flashing a radio/baseband meant for ANOTHER carrier). The good news is there's this dude on AndroidForums that reached out to me and is willing to make a dump of a fresh Visible Blade A3 that still has Visible FW on it, so all hope is not lost.

    But yeah thats why in my tutorial I spoke about downloading the Yahoo Mobile firmware, because you'll actually take the scatter file from THAT to use for your Visible dump. They're different firmwares for the same phone, so while the images themselves differ, the basic stuff like Preloader and Scatter file are consistent.

    For now, if your phone is stuck, flash back over to the Yahoo firmware and see if it works. Like I said in a previous post, it looks like the phone will at least work in BASIC terms if you flash Yahoo firmware, but we aren't sure about cell/baseband. Even if you can't get signal, at least the phone itself will work for now. Or who knows, maybe you can get signal and everything will be fine
     

    tlopez51

    Senior Member
    Jan 25, 2011
    110
    41
    From what others have said I THINK you're fine if you're on Yahoo Mobile firmware. You should still have a functioning device at least, but I don't know if it'll break cell/mobile (because you're flashing a radio/baseband meant for ANOTHER carrier). The good news is there's this dude on AndroidForums that reached out to me and is willing to make a dump of a fresh Visible Blade A3 that still has Visible FW on it, so all hope is not lost.

    But yeah thats why in my tutorial I spoke about downloading the Yahoo Mobile firmware, because you'll actually take the scatter file from THAT to use for your Visible dump. They're different firmwares for the same phone, so while the images themselves differ, the basic stuff like Preloader and Scatter file are consistent.

    For now, if your phone is stuck, flash back over to the Yahoo firmware and see if it works. Like I said in a previous post, it looks like the phone will at least work in BASIC terms if you flash Yahoo firmware, but we aren't sure about cell/baseband. Even if you can't get signal, at least the phone itself will work for now. Or who knows, maybe you can get signal and everything will be fine
    Thanks for clarifying. From what I can see the phone is working only that it is locked to Visible so no way to test live on another carrier however, now working with Miracle Tools but so far not having any luck getting it to work. Also noticed the Visible NORMAL_ROM linear_start__addr: 0x1d000000 which is different from the Yahoo: 0x1d800000. This where I had issues in flashing back the Visible rom. The Visible rom errors out on 0x1d800000. Forgot what happened when I tried to flash back using 0x1d000000. Maybe missing Pre Loader or something else error message.
     

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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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