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[DISCUSSION] Google Play Nexus not wiping after Bootloader Unlock

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BlindWolf8

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2010
194
13
35
Cherry Hill, NJ
So um...I'm kind of shocked.

I just unlocked the bootloader on my shiny new USA GSM Galaxy Nexus from Google Play and...my data was still there when I rebooted. No Android Wizard or anything.

It's as if I did nothing, but I checked MULTIPLE times and I'm unlocked. Got the unlock icon during boot and everything.

:eek:
digweed4me said:
same here on mine my data was intact
BlindWolf8 said:
Just relocked and unlocked again to make sure it wasn't some sort of weird fluke...looks like I'm immune. What's going on here? An unlock is supposed to wipe everything for security reasons.
FredFS456 said:
So all the apps, app data, virtual sdcard files, etc. were all there?
BlindWolf8 said:
Yessiree. Everything was still there. The phone acted as if nothing happened whatsoever, despite the onscreen warning about losing data. :eek:
Archpope said:
Same thing happened to me. I was prepared to start all over, but doing the 4-in-1 from the Galaxy Nexus Toolkit, I was surprised to see the only changes were an unlock symbol appearing on the screen at bootup, and Google Wallet griping about my having an insecure phone.

I may re-lock the bootloader now that I've rooted. I'm not sure if I will lose root, but I only rooted to run an adblocker anyway.
BlindWolf8 said:
For the record I didn't even do that. I simply did "fastboot oem unlock". I like to keep things simple. :)
uoY_redruM said:
Got mine from the play store Friday. Unlock wiped nothing..

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using xda premium
BlindWolf8 said:
Figured I'd just give ya all the info so you have it:

Stock bootloader shows:
FASTBOOT MODE
PRODUCT NAME - tuna
VARIANT - maguro 16GB
HW VERSION - 9
BOOTLOADER VERSION - PRIMELA03
BASEBAND VERSION - I9250XXLA2
CARRIER INFO - NONE
SERIAL NUMBER - [REDACTED] (I can give it if it's absolutely needed)
SIGNING - production
LOCK STATE - UNLOCKED

Download/Odin Mode shows:
OMAP-Samsung HW Information
Board Name: tuna REV 9
Board Rev: HSPA - 9
Boot Type: USB MMC1
Device Type: HS
Build Date: Jan 24 2012 18:27:20
efrant said:
Hmmm. You do have a shipping (sorry, "production") bootloader, not an engineering one. Very interesting... Not sure why some devices wipe while others will not, upon unlocking.
There are quite many security issues that could arise from being able to unlock the bootloader without wiping all data, for example, a hacker could get past your screen lock by:

1) Battery pull, then
2) Boot into bootloader using the key combination
3) fastboot oem unlock
4) Flash an unsecure boot.img that has r/w permissions
5) Edit the right files to remove screen lock

But I still have a feeling that this behavior with USA GSM Nexi is intended. Probably because Google intended that phone to be sold only to developers who are likely going to be unlocking bootloaders anyway, and decided to simplify the process?
 
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DOHCtor

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2009
1,109
121
Southern California
I don't think the Amazon is a USA version but an international version. If international version it will have to be shipped overseas for repair, Google Play has USA warranty. Also if you do decide to root the USA version does not wipe your device during the unlocking of bootloader like the international versions do.

The USA version, as any other hspa+ version, DOES wipe userdata when unlocking the bootloader.
 

DeezNotes

Senior Member
Apr 14, 2010
1,015
232
Baltimore
I have the USA version from the play store. My data wasn't wiped after unlocking the bootloader. Either way, its not a big deal. Warranty matters are much more important.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 
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NCguy

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2010
1,658
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I don't think the Amazon is a USA version but an international version. If international version it will have to be shipped overseas for repair, Google Play has USA warranty. Also if you do decide to root the USA version does not wipe your device during the unlocking of bootloader like the international versions do.

Nobody who has purchased a play store GN has reported wipe after unlock.
 

DOHCtor

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2009
1,109
121
Southern California
Does NOT wipe actually. Maybe leave it to people with first hand experience to answer a question like this?

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus

I have 3 Play store Galaxy Nexus. They all wiped data when I unlocked bootloader. I think that's first hand experience. If it doesn't wipe the data, then that's a security risk.

Example: Just yesterday, I got tired of using CM9 and fastbooted the stock images without -w. I didn't want to go into recovery to wipe data and factory reset (because that just wipes data partition, not usb storage), so while in fastboot, I did fastboot oem lock then fastboot oem unlock. If it didn't wipe data, then my usb storage should've had a clockwordmod folder, music that I precache, and other various folders that were created from apps that were installed, and I wouldn't be introduced to the welcome screen upon bootup. Like I said, if it doesn't wipe data for you guys, then that's a security risk and you should be contacting Google. Because if you lose your phone, someone can oem unlock your phone and go through your data.
 
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ragnarokx

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2010
2,330
511
Southwest
is this with the oem fastboot unlock method?

Yup.

I have 3 Play store Galaxy Nexus. They all wiped data when I unlocked bootloader. I think that's first hand experience. If it doesn't wipe the data, then that's a security risk.

Example: Just yesterday, I got tired of using CM9 and fastbooted the stock images. I didn't want to go into recovery to wipe data and factory reset, so while in fastboot, I did fastboot oem lock then fastboot oem unlock. If it didn't wipe data, then my usb storage should've had a clockwordmod folder, music that I precache, and other various folders that were created from apps that were installed, and I wouldn't be introduced to the welcome screen upon bootup. Like I said, if it doesn't wipe data for you guys, then that's a security risk and you should be contacting Google. Because if you lose your phone, someone can oem unlock your phone and go through your data.

Well then your statement about "The USA version, as any other hspa+ version" is at least inaccurate. As you can see, many people's data did not wipe when they unlocked their bootloaders, so all phones/situations are not the same.

And I'm not really worried about someone unlocking my bootloader if I lose my phone - it's already unlocked ;) If I had data that precious on my phone, I wouldn't root in the first place.
 

DOHCtor

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2009
1,109
121
Southern California
Yup.



Well then your statement about "The USA version, as any other hspa+ version" is at least inaccurate. As you can see, many people's data did not wipe when they unlocked their bootloaders, so all phones/situations are not the same.

And I'm not really worried about someone unlocking my bootloader if I lose my phone - it's already unlocked ;) If I had data that precious on my phone, I wouldn't root in the first place.

I was assuming that (maybe not the Docomo version) all GSM versions had the same hardware and if that's the case, then it's software related as to why your data's are not being wiped. Maybe the bootloader that came with the imm30d before it updated to imm76i doesn't wipe the data upon unlocking? Do me a favor, go into bootloader mode and tell me if your bootloader version is primela03.

I didn't get a chance to look at the bootloader versions when I received my Galaxy Nexus because I oem unlocked all three of them right away and fastbooted the latest takju images via flash-all.sh script on all of them just to avoid waiting for ota. I didn't want my dad and brother come to me and ask me "why is it telling me to update? What is it?"
 

ragnarokx

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2010
2,330
511
Southwest
I was assuming that (maybe not the Docomo version) all GSM versions had the same hardware and if that's the case, then it's software related as to why your data's are not being wiped. Maybe the bootloader that came with the imm30d before it updated to imm76i doesn't wipe the data upon unlocking? Do me a favor, go into bootloader mode and tell me if your bootloader version is primela03.

I didn't get a chance to look at the bootloader versions when I received my Galaxy Nexus because I oem unlocked all three of them right away and fastbooted the latest takju images via flash-all.sh script on all of them just to avoid waiting for ota. I didn't want my dad and brother come to me and ask me "why is it telling me to update? What is it?"

Interesting. I did the OTA update before unlocking.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus

Edit: you realize that flashing factory images will also wipe your device, right?
 
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bobsbbq

Senior Member
Jun 8, 2008
5,208
356
Cleveland, TX
The USA version, as any other hspa+ version, DOES wipe userdata when unlocking the bootloader.

Well sorry sir your wrong. At least I can say this for the first initial unlock and root using the Nexus tool kit. I have two of them and both of them did not wipe. When they booted up everything was the same as before I unlocked and rooted.

After reading some of the comments in the Tool Kit thread is is believed the USA version has a slightly different bootloader. Some think Google wanted to make it easier as they know people are going to root their phones.

There maybe other ways to unlock the bootloader which causes a wipe. But I can assure you using the tool kit doesn't.
 

NCguy

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2010
1,658
227
NC
I wont say that its not possible but I have read all the way through the play store gsm thread and not a single purchaser reported a wipe after unlock.
 

DOHCtor

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2009
1,109
121
Southern California
Interesting. I did the OTA update before unlocking.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus

Edit: you realize that flashing factory images will also wipe your device, right?

Yes, but after flashing the takju images for them, i loaded it up and did testing on the phone to make sure everything was okay. Afterwards, I would lock, unlock, and lock the bootloader again to wipe all data (including usb storage). How do I know it wipes? Because I am presented with the setup wizard again upon boot, and all the sample photos that I've taken to test the camera in the DCIM folder are gone.

Someone mention they unlocked bootloader and rooted with toolkit. For all those that did not have data wipe, which method did you guys use? I didn't use toolkit, I did it the old fashion way with setting up ADB. I'm use to doing that way since the G1 days.

edit: I'm not calling anyone a liars and this information about a no wipe bootloader unlock is all new to me. I'm just trying to find out why it's not wiping for some people...
 
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ragnarokx

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2010
2,330
511
Southwest
Yes, but after flashing the takju images for them, i loaded it up and did testing on the phone to make sure everything was okay. Afterwards, I would lock, unlock, and lock the bootloader again to wipe all data (including usb storage). How do I know it wipes? Because I am presented with the setup wizard again upon boot, and all the sample photos that I've taken to test the camera in the DCIM folder are gone.

Someone mention they unlocked bootloader and rooted with toolkit. For all those that did not have data wipe, which method did you guys use? I didn't use toolkit, I did it the old fashion way with setting up ADB. I'm use to doing that way since the G1 days.

edit: I'm not calling anyone a liars and this information about a no wipe bootloader unlock is all new to me. I'm just trying to find out why it's not wiping for some people...

So you have no way of knowing if your device was wiped the first time you unlocked, since you flashed factory images immediately afterwards. Could there be a difference between unlocking the first time and subsequent times? I wouldn't know because I only unlocked once.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
 
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DOHCtor

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2009
1,109
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Southern California
So you have no way of knowing if your device was wiped the first time you unlocked, since you flashed factory images immediately afterwards. Could there be a difference between unlocking the first time and subsequent times? I wouldn't know because I only unlocked once.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus

Then there's a possibility that all GSM Galaxy Nexus doesn't wipe the first bootloader unlock. Maybe people didn't take notice the first time they did it. Just a theory.

Can anyone that relocked and unlocked the bootloader chime in and let us know if it wiped their data?
 

sarni84

Senior Member
May 17, 2011
3,068
676
Levittown, PA
Dohctor maybe our play store versions are later revisions idk? All I know is I also have two galaxy nexuses from play store and when unlocking boot loader it did not erase the data that I had on my phone all of my apps were still there also. Obviously play store nexuses do not wipe data upon unlockingand who knows why. Anyways I will make a video to show the non believers I have no problem doing that.... I also relocked and unlocked boot loader because I tried starting dead fresh to get google wallet to work again let's just say that if u do not wipe or reset data inside the app your beat so I thought locking boot loader and unrooting then reflashing stock image would help. It didn't .... secure element is beat on my one device. So I unlocked the "relocked" boot loader ( this is what it says when u relock it) anyways it told me it would wipe data I proceeded. Rooted again threw touch recovery on booted into recovery and there was my aokp backup waiting for me :p ... so unlocked relocked and unlocked again...no data loss. Pretty cool I think of it as if u have data on your phone that is that important do not root then! So it not wiping data doesn't bother me. ....all using toolkit btw
 
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DOHCtor

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2009
1,109
121
Southern California
Dohctor maybe our play store versions are later revisions idk? All I know is I also have two galaxy nexuses from play store and when unlocking boot loader it did not erase the data that I had on my phone all of my apps were still there also. Obviously play store nexuses do not wipe data upon unlockingand who knows why. Anyways I will make a video to show the non believers I have no problem doing that.... I also relocked and unlocked boot loader because I tried starting dead fresh to get google wallet to work again let's just say that if u do not wipe or reset data inside the app your beat so I thought locking boot loader and unrooting then reflashing stock image would help. It didn't .... secure element is beat on my one device. So I unlocked the "relocked" boot loader ( this is what it says when u relock it) anyways it told me it would wipe data I proceeded. Rooted again threw touch recovery on booted into recovery and there was my aokp backup waiting for me :p ... so unlocked relocked and unlocked again...no data loss. Pretty cool I think of it as if u have data on your phone that is that important do not root then! So it not wiping data doesn't bother me. ....all using toolkit btw

Even if you don't root, people can get access to your data if it doesn't wipe upon unlocking the bootloader. For example; you lose or someone steals your phone and wants your data for some reason. You never unlocked or rooted your phone, it's bone stock. The thief will hook it up to his or her computer and unlock the bootloader and boot up clockwork recovery and pull all your data, including files and pictures in your usb storage (unless you enable encryption). I'm not paranoid, I telling you guys what's possible.

That sucks that relocking and unlocking the bootloader didn't wipe data for you. Don't have to make a video because I believe you. And about having a later version, that's not true. I ordered mines the first day Google made it available in the Play Store.

It sucks that Google Wallet still has that SE error. I always reset data within the app every time I switch roms. Glad my Wallet still works :)
 
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  • 5
    One byte Difference

    Note to efrant and Adam Outler:

    The only difference between the two zips you posted is a single byte at position 0x000007C which is 1 in the locked version and 0 in the unlocked version. See the result of diffing the output of xxd on each...

    Code:
    *** param.lock.hex	2012-06-06 17:23:51.000000000 -0700
    --- param.unlock.hex	2012-06-06 17:24:09.000000000 -0700
    ***************
    *** 7,9 ****
      0000060: 0b00 0000 0000 0000 0c00 0000 0000 0000  ................
    ! 0000070: 0d00 0000 0100 0000 0e00 0000 0100 0000  ................
      0000080: 0f00 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
    --- 7,9 ----
      0000060: 0b00 0000 0000 0000 0c00 0000 0000 0000  ................
    ! 0000070: 0d00 0000 0100 0000 0e00 0000 0000 0000  ................
      0000080: 0f00 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................

    I'd love to do a bitwise compare of two param dumps from the same device to see which bits need to be tweaked... Then repeat the process with dumps from a different version of the Galaxy Nexus (perhaps also one with an older version of the bootloader) to see if it's the same bits that change.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2


    ---------- Post added at 05:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:30 PM ----------

    Yes, you can try it. mskip tried doing that (I think), but the more people try it, the better.

    Did fastboot oem lock. Rebooted to bootloader to verify that it is locked; would not flash unsigned images, no "unlock" icon booting Android.

    Flashed your param.unlock using dd directly to the block device. Rebooted bootloader, shows as unlocked. No data wipe occurred.

    Rebooted to Android.

    Flashed your param.lock using dd directly to the block device. Rebooted bootloader, shows as locked.

    ----

    In short, your param.unlock and param.lock files work as advertised. Of course if your bootloader is locked, you need root and the courage to use dd as your flashing tool...

    See my previous post, there is only a one-byte difference between them. This should allow a more fine-tuned approach to unlocking than stomping on the entire partition with a saved image from some else's device...
    4
    Ok so I basically cloned my device with all the google play images available (dgs.img, metadata.img, misc.img, param.img from raftysworld) and then to top it off I also flashed the stock takju image. Relocking and then unlocking the bootloader STILL results in a full wipe of the data partition..

    Im stumped the only thing left which I can conclude is that either the bootloader checks the serial or IMEI or that there is some kind of hardware mod to block the wipe on unlock. Im trying to work through the logical process in my head but I keep hitting walls :(

    I really dont think there is anything we can do to clone the no-wipe function of the google play phones. It would be interesting to see what happens if someone with a google play phone flashes the above images from a 'wipe on unlock' phone and also flash a yakju image and then relocks/unlocks. I have proved that it is safe to flash these images without bricking your phone so as long as the person backed up there images first then there are no risks invloved.

    Im updating the ToolKit to add full partition backup (apart from the data partition as it includes the virtual sd card) but im adding this as a pull option so it goes straight to pc. Should be finished by tomorrow as I have to test everything.

    Mark.
    4
    Threads merged and cleaned up.

    Mark.
    3
    Just unlocked and posted param.img here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18280058/param_unlocked.img

    FWIW, I also checked misc, metadata, and dgs. Their MD5s are the same. But, the two different param.img files are exactly the same size (no surprise) but different MD5s:

    param.img: 015eb3e069f9ea64427e5802e6afa4ba
    param_unlocked.img: 4e01cb7d4a57abf5524abce583666b33

    I'm mostly helping because I love a good mystery :D

    EDIT: It looks like my MD5s were the same as efrant's. So while param.img does change, it seems it's likely not responsible for what makes the bootloader wipe the data.
    3
    Been following this thread and thought I'd help. Rooted and unlocked takju from the Play Store which did NOT wipe upon unlock. I pulled these (including param.img) from my device while the bootloader was unlocked.

    b5cfa9d6c8febd618f91ac2843d50a1c misc.img
    50138a293120201efb921cf452f1195b metadata.img
    b5cfa9d6c8febd618f91ac2843d50a1c dgs.img
    4117d45764f47db6b09c9dd525ad7d74 param.img

    Archive of the four images is attached.