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[GUIDE] Android 12 Update and Root **READ THE NOTES**

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Zorga

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2017
79
10
Google Pixel 5
Alright so I got the update through OTA and updated with no problems, tried reflashing VBmeta but got the corrupt message in recovery of try again or factory reset. tried a couple of times with no luck then used the command ( fastboot flash vbmeta vbmeta.img ) and the phone booted normally but no root obviously

what should I do now if I want root and don't want to wipe my phone? suggestions?
 

thecompany

Senior Member
Dec 17, 2006
209
16
Alright so I got the update through OTA and updated with no problems, tried reflashing VBmeta but got the corrupt message in recovery of try again or factory reset. tried a couple of times with no luck then used the command ( fastboot flash vbmeta vbmeta.img ) and the phone booted normally but no root obviously

what should I do now if I want root and don't want to wipe my phone? suggestions?
How did you get the OTA? Did you unroot first by flashing the unpatched boot.img and then checking for updates in system settings?
 
From what I'm reading, looks like you can't really safely update from A11 to A12 and then successfully root without wiping even if you use the OTA update method? @V0latyle
It almost seems that way.

Reflashing vbmeta is a solution we found to work on the 12 Beta. I'm glad it worked for some of you; it didn't work for me, as I continually got a corrupt data error until I performed a factory reset.

It is extremely advisable to back up all your photos and data before any update.

For those of you who haven't been able to recover from the "data corrupted" error, see if you can ADB sideload the OTA.
 
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Reboot to bootloader (use the buttons on the phone)

Try to reflash vbmeta
Code:
fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification flash --slot=all vbmeta vbmeta.img

If that doesn't fix it, reflash vbmeta without disabling verification:
Code:
fastboot flash vbmeta vbmeta.img
You'll have to reflash the stock boot image too.

This will get you out of a boot loop, albeit without root, while we try to figure this out.
Hi ! I have flash fhe Fi and do wipe data but Always when flash patch boot doesn't work !? I'm on Android 12 work but how can root it now ? I don't understand ? Please ?
Do flash ota again and vmbeta and patch boot ?
Thanks
 
Hi ! I have flash fhe Fi and do wipe data but Always when flash patch boot doesn't work !? I'm on Android 12 work but how can root it now ? I don't understand ? Please ?
Do flash ota again and vmbeta and patch boot ?
Thanks
Many users are experiencing issues and we are still trying to figure out the problem. If you need root, you may need to perform a factory flash and wipe data. If you don't need root, try to ADB sideload the OTA.
 
I ended up having that "corruption" screen when I tried to flash the vbmeta, glad to know I wasn't the only one who dealt with that (and that was before the post got updated to address the issue).
I've been trying to stay on top of it.

Currently the only fix seems to be to perform a factory reset. Everything seems to work just fine after that.
 

PablosCorner

Member
Aug 26, 2018
22
11
pabloscorner.akawah.net
I've been trying to stay on top of it.

Currently the only fix seems to be to perform a factory reset. Everything seems to work just fine after that.
I was able to sideload the OTA update to restore my phone back to normal with my data intact. At least this time, if I really want root back, I can prepare myself to back up all my important data before wiping it.

EDIT: In order to be able to do the OTA sideload to recover from that error, when you press "Try again" on the error screen, quickly press the button combo to boot to bootloader, and then you should be able to access the recovery menu and be able to sideload the OTA update.
 
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For those of you who have not yet wiped data and are using unrooted Android 12:

As long as your system boots, you should be able to live boot a patched boot image and use that for temporary root:

fastboot boot patched_boot.img

If you are currently stuck at the "corrupted data" message in recovery, try sideloading the OTA or dirty flashing the factory image (with NO FLAGS). If that doesn't work, the only fix that I know of that works is to perform a factory reset...but if you get to that point, you might as well clean flash the factory image with both --disable flags:

fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification -w update redfin_image.zip

at which point you should be able to flash and boot the patched boot image.
 
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pappy97

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2012
232
48
For those of you who have not yet wiped data and are using unrooted Android 12:

As long as your system boots, you should be able to live boot a patched boot image and use that for temporary root:
fastboot boot patched_boot.img

This works beautifully! Yeah it's not persistent, but it works! Every time I install a magisk module, instead of letting magisk reboot it, I reboot into the bootloader and boot the patched image. Works great, thanks!!
 
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PablosCorner

Member
Aug 26, 2018
22
11
pabloscorner.akawah.net
For those of you who have not yet wiped data and are using unrooted Android 12:

As long as your system boots, you should be able to live boot a patched boot image and use that for temporary root:
fastboot boot patched_boot.img

If you are currently stuck at the "corrupted data" message in recovery, try sideloading the OTA or dirty flashing the factory image (with NO FLAGS). If that doesn't work, the only fix that I know of that works is to perform a factory reset...but if you get to that point, you might as well clean flash the factory image with both --disable flags:
fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification -w update redfin_image.zip
at which point you should be able to flash and boot the patched boot image.
Wow, that's a pretty good workaround until a viable permanent method is discovered for A12. Awesome job! 👏🏼
 
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Dark_Eyes_

Recognized Developer / Recognized Contributor
Sep 19, 2013
2,719
10,660
I know it's a bit OT, but I'm wondering if it isn't some side effect of installing A12 on top of A11 rooted. For now I just boot the patched magisk image through fastboot to prevent having to factory reset, but I might have to in the end. Anyway, am I the only one to see this when going in the At a glance settings?
 

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I know it's a bit OT, but I'm wondering if it isn't some side effect of installing A12 on top of A11 rooted. For now I just boot the patched magisk image through fastboot to prevent having to factory reset, but I might have to in the end. Anyway, am I the only one to see this when going in the At a glance settings?
I saw that too, and I performed a wipe.

There should be no issue with upgrading from rooted A11. The only issue should be trying to dirty flash the factory A12 image over A11. The proper way to upgrade while retaining data is to use the OTA.
 

Dark_Eyes_

Recognized Developer / Recognized Contributor
Sep 19, 2013
2,719
10,660
I saw that too, and I performed a wipe.

There should be no issue with upgrading from rooted A11. The only issue should be trying to dirty flash the factory A12 image over A11. The proper way to upgrade while retaining data is to use the OTA.
I used the ota. Can you check in the settings if you have the same thing as me? (long press the date on the homescreen, customize, gear icon besides At a glance).
 
Hm, I suppose we could see what it looks like for someone who wasn't rooted and updated to Android 12 normally, to rule out that happening from root, or the methods to get there.
I originally took the OTA coming from beta 5, but I didn't think to check.

There are some other individuals in here that are unrooted, although I highly doubt this bug would be specific to us rooted folks
 

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  • 3
    On that note, has anyone on A11 October tried either:

    - Flashing just vbmeta from A11 Oct full system image, using the disable flags, then tried a dirty flash of A12 Nov FSI, also with disable flags

    -or-

    - Dirty flash A11 Oct FSI over the same installed A11 Oct using the disabled flags, then dirty flash A12 Nov FSI

    Wondering if either would avoid the necessity of the system wipe with the first install of A12 FSI in order to be able to then flash modified boot images with success.

    If nobody's done it yet or knows for certain it wouldn't work I may go guinea pig and try it. *May not be for a bit yet, but as soon as I have a day of life buffer to deal with possible issues and restores, there's really nothing to lose as currently I have to wipe anyhow.*
    3
    Then I'm confused about the need to wipe.

    If I uninstall magisk, restore the original boot image to A11, then flash A12 factory image, remove -w but add the disable flags, I'm then on A12 unrooted.

    Install magisk, patch boot image, flash patched image.

    I'm then rooted on A12 without wiping, yes?

    Again, what am I missing?

    I don't understand the need to wipe in this scenario.
    Read the OP, please. It's been explained thoroughly. If you try flash a patched boot image on stock A12, on the 765G and Tensor devices, bootloader will reject your boot image:
    failed to load/verify boot images
    To fix this, you have to reflash vbmeta:
    Code:
    fastboot flash vbmeta --disable-verity --disable-verification vbmeta.img
    If you have not wiped, and AVB was not already disabled, this will result in booting into recovery (Rescue Party) telling you your data is corrupted with the option to try again or factory reset.

    Meaning: A wipe is required when you upgrade from Android 11. A wipe is required when you root the first time on Android 12. A wipe will also be required if you let the phone boot after forgetting to disable verity and verification.

    I have an untested idea that one could try and disable vbmeta while still on A11, then dirty flash the A12 image also disabling vbmeta...but as far as I know this will require a data wipe as well.
    3
    Universal SafetyNet Fix 2.2.0 is out for public access; this version has been ported to Zygisk.
    2
    Hello

    I somehow managed to update my Pixel 4a to Android 12 without wipe, and keep persistent root. I don't know what I did, but I never seen the 'data corrupt' message, but had another problem with boot stuck on G logo with progress bar, after flashing patched boot.img. And this fixed by adb shell, su, magisk --remove-modules

    Double checked: rebooted again, all my data in place, android 12, root works
    Using Magisk canary 23012
    4a has the SD730G instead of the SD765G. So afaik no wipe is required. It is only required on the SD765G based 4a 5G, 5, 5a and the Tensor based 6 and 6 Pro.
    2
    Is there a post that describes exactly what is the correct way to "dirty flash" A12 (which was wiped) to the latest Nov patch without losing root or soft bricking the Pixel 5?

    I dirty flashed from 12.0.0 (SP1A.210812.016.A1, Oct 2021, Verizon) to 12.0.0 (SP1A.211105.002.A1, Nov 2021, Verizon, Verizon MVNOs) and it once again soft bricked the phone after I flashed the magisk patched boot.img. I couldnt get out of it and had to -w and start again on this months firmware.
    What exactly are the commands for ADB when upgrading to the monthly security patches now? This would be a wiped pixel 5 currently on latest firmware with root. :edit and I think this should be stickied for everyone on the latest build and wiped already and just want to move onto the latest months firmware going forward.

    However,
    Before flashing to update your already rooted and previously wiped userdata with boot verification off, remove the -w from the flash-all script while retaining --disable-verity --disable-verification (step #10 and #15).

    Disregard the backup pieces since you are not wiping (again); only updating while maintaining boot verification off.
  • 18
    WARNING: PERMANENT ROOT WHEN UPGRADING FROM ANDROID 11 REQUIRES A DATA WIPE! THERE IS CURRENTLY NO WAY AROUND THIS.


    WARNING: MANUALLY INSTALLING FACTORY UPDATES OR IMAGES REQUIRES AN UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER. If your bootloader is locked, DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS.

    WARNING: MODIFY YOUR DEVICE AT YOUR OWN RISK. YOU ALONE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MALFUNCTION, DAMAGE, OR LOSS OF ANY KIND IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG.

    Root will be done via Magisk. If you aren't already using it, download and install to your phone.

    Warning: For the sake of simplicity, I frequently will use generalizations when referring to files ("[patched boot image]" instead of "magisk_patched-23001_xxxxx.img" for example). It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure you are flashing the correct file. The easiest way to do this is type the command in the command line without the file itself, then drag and drop the file you want to flash into the command line window.



    For those of you with a locked bootloader:

    Simply install the update as usual via OTA, whether automatically through Android Update, or manually via adb sideload.

    First, a bit of information on why you need to follow this guide (See this post)

    Two new Verified Boot features implemented in Android 12 will interfere with attempts to root. A more detailed explanation is below if you would like.

    Dm-verity (device-mapper-verity) is a method by which an image on block devices (the underlying storage layer of the file system) can be checked to determine if it matches an expected configuration, using a cryptographic hash tree. If the hash doesn't match, dm-verity prevents the stored code from loading.

    Vbmeta verification is the other half of this - it provides a cryptographically signed reference hash which is used to verify the integrity of /boot, /system, and /vendor partitions. The vbmeta image is only used to verify /boot, while vbmeta-system is used to verify /system.

    This was implemented to prevent persistent rootkits by means of a hardware level security check, to prevent "potentially harmful applications" such as Magisk from evading detection, as such applications residing within the kernel will have higher privileges than the detection applications.

    What this means is that with these two enabled, a modified boot image will cause a verification error when flashed to the device, preventing boot. Interestingly, this check is not performed against "live" boot images loaded via ADB, so with dm-verity and vbmeta verification enabled, a modified image can be booted as long as the image in /boot is intact.

    The good news is, disabling these features is as easy as using a command switch.
    The bad news, however, is that /data must be clean the first time this is done.


    If you update via automatic OTA: THIS WILL REQUIRE A WIPE EVERY TIME!
    1. Download the factory image (Yes, this is required) to your computer. Connect your device via USB.
    2. Extract the contents of the factory image, then extract both boot.img and vbmeta.img from the image-[device].zip (where [device] is the codename for your device, such as Redfin for Pixel 5
    2. Reboot to bootloader: With device connected via USB, Developer Options enabled and USB Debugging enabled, reboot to bootloader using ADB:
    Code:
    adb reboot bootloader
    3. Continue to Reflash vbmeta below

    To manually install the OTA:
    1. Download the OTA for your device, as well as the factory image (Yes, you need both) to your computer.
    2. Install the OTA
    3. Extract the contents of the factory image, then extract both boot.img and vbmeta.img from the image-[device].zip (where [device] is the codename for your device, such as Redfin for Pixel 5
    4. Let the update complete, and IMMEDIATELY reboot to bootloader.
    5. Continue to Reflash vbmeta below

    Reflash VBmeta
    1. Reflash vbmeta with dm-verity and boot verification disabled:
    Code:
    fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification flash --slot=all vbmeta vbmeta.img
    2. If this is the first time you are rooting Android 12, you will end up in Recovery with this message: "Can't load Android system. Your data may be corrupt." You will have to perform the factory reset to continue. Once complete, let the device boot Android.
    3. If you have previously wiped and are updating, let the device boot Android.
    Continue to Patch Boot Image below.

    1. Open this link in Google Chrome (DO NOT USE MICROSOFT EDGE OR MOZILLA FIREFOX) Here is the link for beta
    2. Connect your device via USB (make sure USB Debugging is enabled)
    3. Enable ADB access in the browser
    4. Select your device
    5. Select the Android 12 build
    6. IMPORTANT: Click the pencil icon next to the selected build
    7. Ensure Wipe Device, Disable Verification, and Disable Verity are checked. DATA WIPE IS REQUIRED when updating from an older version of Android. Don't lock your bootloader if you want root. Force flash all partitions should not be necessary (but use this if you've run into problems and are starting over). Skip Secondary and Force Debuggable should be unchecked, unless you want to use ADB for root access on the stock kernel for some reason.
    8. Click Install Build.
    9. Wait until the update finishes, including a reboot to Android.
    10. Continue to Patch Boot Image below.

    1. Download the factory image to your computer and connect your device via USB, with USB debugging enabled.
    2. Extract the contents of the factory ZIP
    3. Reboot to bootloader:
    Code:
    adb reboot bootloader
    4. If necessary, update the bootloader: WARNING: IF DONE INCORRECTLY THIS WILL BRICK YOUR DEVICE!
    Code:
    fastboot flash bootloader [bootloader image]
    Reboot back to bootloader.
    5. If necessary, update the radio:
    Code:
    fastboot flash radio [radio image]
    Reboot to bootloader.
    6. Install the update:
    Code:
    fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification -w update [factory image zip]
    DATA WIPE IS REQUIRED when updating from an older version of Android.
    7. Let the update complete, including a reboot to Android
    8. Continue to Patch Boot Image below

    1. Extract boot.img from the factory image ZIP if you haven't done so already
    2. Install Magisk on your phone
    3. Move the boot image to your phone via USB, and patch it using "Select and Patch a File" in Magisk
    4. Move the patched boot image back to your PC
    5. Reboot to bootloader
    6. Flash the patched boot image:
    Code:
    fastboot flash boot [patched boot image]
    7. Reboot to system.

    For subsequent updates to Android 12:
    DO NOT USE AUTOMATIC UPDATE! DO NOT LET THE DEVICE BOOT BEFORE YOU DISABLE VERITY AND VERIFICATION!

    Follow the same directions as above, except you don't have to wipe.

    Key reminders:
    * The OTA does not have a way to set the disable flags for vbmeta, so if you update via OTA, you will have to reflash vbmeta with the disable flags every time you update.
    * The most critical thing to remember is that once you have disabled verified boot and gained permanent root, YOU MUST NOT let the device boot into Android if /vbmeta is flashed without disabling verity and verification.
    * If you forget to do this and let the device boot into Android, you will end up in Rescue Party: Recovery Mode screen with the message "Can't load Android system. Your data may be corrupt." YOU WILL HAVE TO WIPE TO GET ROOT BACK.



    If you run into problems, or just want to share your results, please feel free to post your method and results in this thread.
    6
    Who is calling you stupid?!?! It's an American expression: for example, your costume is ruined by rain, so, you say: it's the weather stupid.

    Anyway, I am trying to help, so, there is no reason to seek insults where there isn't one.
    It's just the way you worded it is all. I am born in America, and actually thought the same thing when I read it.
    It's confusing to me though..

    I would say, not "it's the weather, stupid"
    but rather
    "it's the stupid weather"

    so reading "It's the bootloader stupid"
    I feel should be,
    "it the stupid bootloader"

    but thank you for clearing up that you aren't passing insults.
    And it's hard to tell through text whose being argumentative, and whose being helpful.
    Glad you're the latter.
    5
    Or he/you could add this to it when flashing factory image via ADB only. Why? Because it works on the pixel 4a 5(G) and may work on the Pixel 5. It would not confuse anyone, just provide another less complicated option for upgrading/updating those phones. Seems pretty black and white to me.
    Agreed.

    The confusion arises from this:
    PS :
    Pixel 4a 5(G) phone owners need to know for the initial upgrade (Android 11 to Android 12), they do not need the fastboot flash --disable-verity --disable-verification --slot-all vbmeta vbmeta.img step in this case
    This implies that verity and verification need not be disabled when upgrading from Android 11...which if you want permanent root, is not true. This can be omitted if one flashes the factory image, as they can incorporate the flags into the command:
    Code:
    fastboot update -w --disable-verity --disable-verification image-device-buildnumber.zip
    However, if the update is performed via the OTA, then vbmeta must be specifically disabled.

    If you understand what he is saying, why not add the Pixel 4a 5(G) note to the Reminders?
    This is true across ALL affected devices - Pixels on the SD765G and Tensor. It is not specific to one device.

    Still, I will update the notes for the sake of clarity.
    4
    For those of you who have not yet wiped data and are using unrooted Android 12:

    As long as your system boots, you should be able to live boot a patched boot image and use that for temporary root:

    fastboot boot patched_boot.img

    If you are currently stuck at the "corrupted data" message in recovery, try sideloading the OTA or dirty flashing the factory image (with NO FLAGS). If that doesn't work, the only fix that I know of that works is to perform a factory reset...but if you get to that point, you might as well clean flash the factory image with both --disable flags:

    fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification -w update redfin_image.zip

    at which point you should be able to flash and boot the patched boot image.
    4
    Who is calling you stupid?!?! It's an American expression: for example, your costume is ruined by rain, so, you say: it's the weather stupid.

    Anyway, I am trying to help, so, there is no reason to seek insults where there isn't one.
    I didn't seek one, I guess I misunderstood. I have never heard of that expression before, at least not in that context. I'm American too, and I've generally heard it like this:

    "Hey, what's making that howling noise?"
    "It's the wind, stupid!"

    I digress.

    I'll have to pick this up later; it's late, my wife is demanding....attention, and I want to enjoy the weekend.