[Guide] Pixel XL Android 7(Nougat) Unlock/Install Stock Images + Kernels/Recovery +

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lloydsw

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2012
166
19

Now I've gone and done it. Just flashing the radio didn't change anything so I flashed it all. Now I'm stuck only being able to boot into TWRP. Not sure what I did...I also tried the flashall bat file after editing out the -w to preserve data. Within TWRP, I've tried rebooting into system and bootloader, but always end up back in TWRP. Any ideas?
 

lloydsw

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2012
166
19
Got it fixed somehow by changing to slot b, flashing boot, rebooting, changing back to slot a. Still not sure why the zip in the archive wouldn't flash
 

lloydsw

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2012
166
19
For some reason I couldn't see it before. Is your adb/fastboot up to date

Funny that you asked, I was thinking about that this morning while mowing. I'm pretty sure they're from two years ago when I installed them to have my way with my Nexus. I'll wait until the next update for the phone before I try again with the (now) updated adb/fastboot. Thanks for the hint!
 

pcriz

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2008
5,009
2,934
Funny that you asked, I was thinking about that this morning while mowing. I'm pretty sure they're from two years ago when I installed them to have my way with my Nexus. I'll wait until the next update for the phone before I try again with the (now) updated adb/fastboot. Thanks for the hint!

Yeah older versions of adb/fastboot don't support the a/b setup of the pixel so when it gets a command like flash boot_a or something like that it doesn't recognize it and it fails. Google now offers adb/fastboot separate of the full sdk so it's a considerably smaller download.

https://www.xda-developers.com/google-releases-separate-adb-and-fastboot-binary-downloads/
 
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lloydsw

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2012
166
19
Yeah older versions of adb/fastboot don't support the a/b setup of the pixel so when it gets a command like flash boot_a or something like that it doesn't recognize it and it fails. Google now offers adb/fastboot separate of the full sdk so it's a considerably smaller download.

https://www.xda-developers.com/google-releases-separate-adb-and-fastboot-binary-downloads/

Thanks! Tried it yesterday on my wife's phone & it worked perfectly!

However, she lost TWRP. Before I do something stupid like I did with mine & end up in a TWRP loop at boot, I've verified via SU app that root is gone, so should I just be able to just reflash TWRP & reinstall root within TWRP?
 

Homeboy76

Senior Member
  • Aug 24, 2012
    2,574
    1,249
    Thanks! Tried it yesterday on my wife's phone & it worked perfectly!

    However, she lost TWRP. Before I do something stupid like I did with mine & end up in a TWRP loop at boot, I've verified via SU app that root is gone, so should I just be able to just reflash TWRP & reinstall root within TWRP?

    Fastboot Twrp.img, Flash TWRP.zip (RC1) and SuperSu [See #6]
     
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    DMK1111

    Member
    Jan 7, 2010
    10
    1
    Austin, Texas
    First of all thank you so much for putting together all this information!!! I have a Pixel XL that I bought directly from Google so it came with the bootloader unlocked. I have since rooted and installed TWRP and Had Flashfire installed so I could update without losing root. I had my backup in Flashfire. I am stuck in a bootloop!!!! I have been reading through the threads trying to figure out how to get it out of this loop. In ADB when I type in adb devices it is not recognized!! However I can adb fastboot boot twrp.img and get to TWRP. From there I mount/ OTG/ insert my usb that has my twrp-pixel-installer-marlin-3.1.0-0RC2.zip and my SR1-SuperSU-v2.82-SR1-20170608224931.zip files. I flash the marlin zip file and try to reboot into recovery and it just goes back to the loop??? Someone Please Help!!! I have been hesitant to post because I know how irritated people get when users don't read... I have been reading but know just enough to be dangerous. Obviously!!!! Any help will be appreciated. Thanks DKERR1111
     

    pcriz

    Senior Member
    Aug 23, 2008
    5,009
    2,934
    First of all thank you so much for putting together all this information!!! I have a Pixel XL that I bought directly from Google so it came with the bootloader unlocked. I have since rooted and installed TWRP and Had Flashfire installed so I could update without losing root. I had my backup in Flashfire. I am stuck in a bootloop!!!! I have been reading through the threads trying to figure out how to get it out of this loop. In ADB when I type in adb devices it is not recognized!! However I can adb fastboot boot twrp.img and get to TWRP. From there I mount/ OTG/ insert my usb that has my twrp-pixel-installer-marlin-3.1.0-0RC2.zip and my SR1-SuperSU-v2.82-SR1-20170608224931.zip files. I flash the marlin zip file and try to reboot into recovery and it just goes back to the loop??? Someone Please Help!!! I have been hesitant to post because I know how irritated people get when users don't read... I have been reading but know just enough to be dangerous. Obviously!!!! Any help will be appreciated. Thanks DKERR1111

    What is the marlin zip?

    Also you can fastboot because you can get to the bootloader. Fastboot works in the boot loader and adb works in the booted os and recovery
     
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    Master Cylinder

    Senior Member
    Oct 31, 2013
    1,258
    532
    Albuquerque
    Is there any compelling reason to stick with this phone?

    Is there any compelling reason to stick with this phone? It's a Pixel 5" with 128GB. I'm not one to be following the manufacturers into every new gimmick or have to have the coolest thing anymore, so I'll have to live with it a couple of years at least.

    Just jumped on Pixel because of fi (15 years of Verizon was an education, and I've vowed to never let them have another penny of mine if possible. I realize these alt-carriers are just jumping on the backs of the majors, but oh well ...) and I wanted to have an unlocked bootloader.

    So coming from my S3 that I screwed around with one too many times (with no case and only a ZAGG screen protector, 1000+ drops was not the problem) that was hacked 4 years ago, I'm having to learn some new concepts. I'd heard of "fastboot" here and there but am learning on this thread as I go.

    I still have a week to send it back if I want - can't say I'm crazy about the phone physically. As a dilettante artist and sculpture, it was when I put the S3 in my hands that I knew it was the one back then. There's nothing physical about this phone to recommend it - anonymous as can be, and all of the cool colors disappeared long ago. Now you can only get black or white with some silver on it. Can't change the batt out or put the mem card in your computer. The screen scratched within 2 days, though there could be no reason for this to happen except maybe a plastic button on my back pocket of one of my pants.(Maybe it came that way?) Have hardly even used it yet!

    Thanks to one and all for being in the xda community! Invaluable. :highfive:
     
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    GroovinChip

    Senior Member
    Aug 7, 2016
    370
    177
    Is there any compelling reason to stick with this phone? It's a Pixel 5" with 128GB. I'm not one to be following the manufacturers into every new gimmick or have to have the coolest thing anymore, so I'll have to live with it a couple of years at least.

    Just jumped on Pixel because of fi (15 years of Verizon was an education, and I've vowed to never let them have another penny of mine if possible. I realize these alt-carriers are just jumping on the backs of the majors, but oh well ...) and I wanted to have an unlocked bootloader.

    So coming from my S3 that I screwed around with one too many times (with no case and only a ZAGG screen protector, 1000+ drops was not the problem) that was hacked 4 years ago, I'm having to learn some new concepts. I'd heard of "fastboot" here and there but am learning on this thread as I go.

    I still have a week to send it back if I want - can't say I'm crazy about the phone physically. As a dilettante artist and sculpture, it was when I put the S3 in my hands that I knew it was the one back then. There's nothing physical about this phone to recommend it - anonymous as can be, and all of the cool colors disappeared long ago. Now you can only get black or white with some silver on it. Can't change the batt out or put the mem card in your computer. The screen scratched within 2 days, though there could be no reason for this to happen except maybe a plastic button on my back pocket of one of my pants.(Maybe it came that way?) Have hardly even used it yet!

    Thanks to one and all for being in the xda community! Invaluable. :highfive:
    My view of the Pixel is that this is a phone that will last me a good 4-6 years. It'll get OS updates through Android Phone, and the developer community will continue to support it for years, as with many other devices. I'd say keep it.

    As far as looks, all my phones go in cases immediately. As much as I'd love to admire the beauty of a smartphone, I'd rather it last me and let me get my money's worth.

    128 GB of storage should be fine, I can't imagine needing more.

    Through reading posts here on XDA you'll learn all the terms and processes for unlocking your bootloader, rooting, flashing custom ROMs, etc etc.

    I'd say keep the phone.

    Sent from my Google Pixel XL using XDA Labs
     
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    vlucchetti

    Senior Member
    Dec 3, 2009
    660
    123
    Latrobe, PA
    I'm getting this phone as a warranty replacement for my Nexus 6P which is suffering from serious battery drain after almost two years. Bought from Google with the device protection program, best $99 I ever spent.

    If the 6P would have survived, I'd be keeping it until the Pixel 3 XL comes out, but this will be a very serviceable replacement, and if I get as many years out of it as the 6P, I'll be happy.

    Like was posted above, goes in a case, get's tempered glass, and Pure Nexus will be installed and life will go on as before....
     

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    • 17
      [Guide] Pixel XL Android 7.1.2 (OREO) Unlock/Lock Bootloader + Install Stock Images/Custom kernels/TWRP Recovery/Systemless ROOT + August 2017 Security Patch

      Intro
      • This thread is for Pixel XL owners that want to Root their phone, and enjoy the benefits of rooting it without installing a custom ROM. However, for those that just can't live without a Custom ROM, take a look at 'Custom ROMs for Pixel/Pixel XL'.
      • It also works for Pixel owners: If, they download the correct files for their Pixel.
      • This Guide is not for use with the Second Generation Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL devices.

      Update(s):
      • Other - Added 'Other' after 'Prerequisites'

      Disclaimers:
      • I assume no responsibility for the malfunctioning/bricking of your phone.
      • The order of listed items i.e., Custom Kernels, Custom ROMS, etc. Does not indicate my preference for them. It is your responsibility to do the research before selecting an item.

      Prerequisites

      Need help installing Android SDK or SDK Platform Tools


      Other

      Credit/Thanks/Recognitions


      Index
      1. Open Command Prompt/ Boot Bootloader/Boot Recovery

        1. Open Command Prompt on Computer
          • Option 1 - Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder, press shift, right click, and select open command prompt here.
          • Option 2 - Open File Explorer, click platform-tools folder, highlight the directory information in the address bar or click the folder (left side of address bar) to highlight it type 'cmd' and press enter.
          • Note: If your computer only has 'open powershell here' in the context menu and you do not want to change it or add open 'command prompt here' use use option 2.
        2. Boot Bootloader:
          • Power off phone, press and hold the power and volume down buttons until you see Start.
        3. Boot Recovery
          • Power off phone, press and hold the power and volume down buttons until you see Start. Press volume Up/Down button until you see Recovery Mode > Press Power button.
      2. Testing ADB (Android Debug Bridge)/fastboot

        • ADB
          1. Enable USB Debugging - Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Developer Options. Enable USB Debugging.
          2. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
          3. Type this at the prompt and press enter to test ADB.
            Code:
            adb version
            It should return a version number for ADB.
        • fastboot
          1. Enable USB Debugging - Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Developer Options. Enable USB Debugging.
          2. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
          3. Boot bootloader.
          4. Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable.
          5. Type this at the prompt and press enter to test fastboot.
            Code:
            fastboot devices
            It should return your device serial number.
      3. Unlock Your Bootloader

        • Backup your data and Internal storage
        • Activate Developer Options: Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Build Number. Tap Build Number until you see you're a Developer. Tap back > Developer Options. Enable OEM Unlock and, USB Debugging.
        • Boot Bootloader
        • Connect your phone to your computer via USB cable.
        • Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
        • Type the following at the prompt and press enter:
          Code:
          fastboot flashing unlock
          This will erase all user data from the device!
        • You should see a screen on your phone asking you to confirm this action, use the volume keys to scroll and the power key to make your selection.
        • Allow the process to complete and then issue this command:
          Code:
          fastboot reboot
        • When your phone reboots disconnect your usb cable.

          Note: After unlocking your bootloader, you'll be greeted with a warning that says Your device software can't be checked for corruption. Please lock the bootloader everytime you reboot. It's ok, as long as your bootloader is unlocked it will stay there.

          Important: do not repeat do not relock your bootloader unless your phone is fully stock. You must flash the factory images first in order to remove root and custom recovery (if you have them), if this precaution isn't taken you may end up with a brick. Please see 9 of this guide for instructions on how to return to stock and lock the boot loader.
      4. Install Factory Image and wipe data

        • Backup your data and Internal storage
        • Download the factory image for your phone and carrier.
        • Unzip factory Image
        • Copy the following files to the Platform Tools folder on your Computer
          1. flash-all.bat
          2. bootloader-marlin-9999-999999-9999999999.img
          3. radio-marlin-9999-999999-9999999999.img
          4. image-marlin-aaa99a.zip
        • Boot Bootloader
        • Connect phone to Computer with USB cable
        • Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
        • Type the following at the prompt and press enter.
          Code:
          flash-all
      5. Install Factory Image and keep data

        • Backup your data and Internal storage
        • Download the factory image for your phone and carrier.
        • Unzip factory Image
        • Edit flash-all.bat: Remove -w
        • Copy the following files to the Platform Tools folder on your Computer
          1. flash-all.bat
          2. bootloader-marlin-9999-999999-9999999999.img
          3. radio-marlin-9999-999999-9999999999.img
          4. image-marlin-aaa99a.zip
        • Boot Bootloader
        • Connect phone to Computer with USB cable
        • Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
        • Type the following at the prompt and press enter.
          Code:
          flash-all
      6. Install A Custom Recovery and Root with SuperSU

        • Important: Set Pin before installing TWRP: Setting > Security > Pin.
        • Important: Make and restore nandroid backups with TRWP RC1 zip. Some, users have reported problems creating/restoring nandroid backups with TWRP RC2 zip.
      7. Install A Custom Recovery and Root with Magisk (Clean Install)

        • Important: Set Pin before installing TWRP: Setting > Security > Pin.
        • Important: Make and restore nandroid backups with TRWP RC1 zip. Some, users have reported problems creating/restoring nandroid backups with TWRP RC2 zip.
        • Note:[Substratum] theme Spectrum does not work with Magisk root.
        • Backup your data and Internal storage
        • Download the following files:
          1. ElementalX-P-1.14.zip for Pixel XL
          2. twrp-3.0.2-0-RC1-fastboot-marlin.img
          3. twrp-pixel-installer-marlin-3.0.2-0-RC2.zip
          4. Magisk-v13.3-Pixel-b4.zip
          5. MagiskManager-5_1_1.apk
          6. Magisk-uninstaller-20170720.zip
        • Flash Boot.img - If you have TWRP, SuperSU, or a custom kernel installed.
          1. Extract the contents of your factory image and open the folder it creates. From there, extract the second archive (image-marlin-aaa99a.zip)
            Then open that folder and copy the boot.img file and paste it into the platform-tools folder.
          2. Boot Bootloader
          3. Connect the phone to your computer
          4. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
          5. Type the following command at the prompt:
            Code:
            fastboot flash boot --slot all boot.img
          6. When it finishes, leave the command prompt window open, your phone in bootloader mode and connected to your computer.
        • Install TWRP
          1. Place twrp-3.0.2-0-RC1-fastboot-marlin.img in your platform-tools folder and Rename it twrp.img
          2. Type the following command at the prompt:
            Code:
            fastboot boot twrp.img
          3. When TWRP boots, tap the Install button and select twrp-pixel-installer-marlin-3.0.2-0-RC2.zip
          4. Swipe the slider to install
          5. Press the back button until you are on TWRP's main menu select Reboot > Recovery.
        • Flash the ZIPs
          1. Disconnect your phone from your Computer.
          2. Tap the Install button, then navigate to the files you downloaded.
          3. Select the Magisk Uninstaller.zip, tap the Add more ZIPs button.
          4. Select the twrp-pixel-installer-marlin-3.0.2-0-RC2.zip.
          5. Swipe to install
          6. Reboot Recovery
          7. Tap the Install button select a Custom Kernel: ElementalX-P-1.1x.zip or Franco's Kernel-r1x.zip.
          8. Tap Add more ZIPs button select Magisk-v13.3-Pixel-b4.zip, tap the Add more ZIPs button and select: twrp-pixel-installer-marlin-3.0.2-0-RC2.zip
          9. Swipe to install
            Note: During the Installation of ElementalX, ElementalX's AROMA installer interface, will require your input: So, tick I agree, then tap Next a few times and press Install ElementalX when prompted.
          10. When ElementalX AROMA installer finishes, tap Next, and Finish. After, the other ZIPs are installed.
          11. Reboot System
            Note: If you're prompted to install the TWRP app at this point, remove check marks from two check boxes and select Do Not Install.
        • Install MagiskManager
          1. Install Magisk Manager (5.1.1.apk)
          2. Wipe data on Magisk Manager
          3. Enable Magisk Hide
          4. Enable Core Only Mode
          5. Toggle on and off systemless hosts
        • Reboot system
        • Check for Latest Version, Root, and Saftey Net.
      8. Update Magisk Dirty Flash

        1. Download file:Flash the ZIPs
      9. Custom ROMs for Pixel/Pixel XL
      10. Install Custom Kernel

        • Franco's Kernel - SuperSu
          1. Download file:
          2. Boot into TWRP
          3. Press Install button select the file you downloaded
          4. Swipe slider to install
          5. Reboot System
        • ElementalX-PXL-1.xx by flar2 Kernel - SuperSU
          1. Download files:
          2. Flash ElementalX zip in TWRP recovery (do not flash SuperSU-v2.82-201705271822.zip again if you're already rooted).
            • During the Installation, ElementalX's AROMA installer interface, will require your input: So, tick I agree, then tap Next a few times and tap Install ElementalX when prompted.
            • When ElementalX AROMA installer finishes, tap Next, and then Finish.
              Note: If you're prompted to install the TWRP app at this point, remove check marks from two check boxes and select Do Not Install.
        • Franco's Kernel or ElementalX-PXL-1.xx by flar2 Kernel - Magisk
      11. Install Substratum Theme

      12. Return to Stock and Lock Bootloader

        • Return to Stock
          1. Backup your data and Internal storage
          2. Download the appropriate factory image for your phone and carrier.
          3. Unzip factory Image
          4. Copy the following files to the platform-tools folder on your Computer
            • flash-all.bat
              • Verify -w is present in flash-all.bat. Example: fastboot -w update image-marlin-aaa9.999999.999.zip
            • bootloader-marlin-9999-999999-9999999999.img
            • radio-marlin-9999-999999-9999999999.img
            • image-marlin-aaa99a.zip
          5. Boot Bootloader
          6. Connect phone to Computer with USB cable
          7. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
          8. Type the following command at the prompt.
            Code:
            flash-all
        • Lock Bootloader

          1. Phone
          2. Boot Bootloader
          3. Connect your phone to your Computer with USB cable.
          4. Computer
          5. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
          6. Type the following at the prompt:
            Code:
            fastboot flashing lock
          7. When it finishes the bootloader is locked.
          8. The next step won't be needed if your Pixel XL reboots into system after bootloader relock.
          9. You need to boot into system now, either press Power button to reboot OR issue the following command:
            Code:
            fastboot reboot
          10. When your phone reboots disconnect your usb cable.
      13. Audio Mod

      3
      Intro
      The purpose of this thread is twofold:
      First, it is for Pixel XL owners that want to Root their phone, and enjoy the benefits of rooting it without installing a custom ROM...

      If you follow the instructions above you should not have to worry about slot a/b.

      If you are installing Custom ROM this thread is not for you. You, should follow the installation instructions of the Custom ROM you want to install.

      A few things that may make this a bit confusing for users.

      Your steps work fine for users that want to use custom roms. This is because unlocking, flashing, twrp, flashing SU and flashing a rom are independent.

      So basically someone can follow your steps to get their device to a state that flashing roms is possible. The other thing is why do you have them flash radio and boot loader separately? When they download the factory image it has a flash all bat that flashes everything for them.

      Also if any of these users are coming from the O beta your steps will not work because they will have factory flash in both A and B slots.. Or at least flash bootloader and boot.img in both slots.

      Lastly you dont need the huge android sdk for the latest ADB and fastboot..

      Google provides ADB and Fastboot in a 4mb package here: https://developer.android.com/studio/releases/platform-tools.html
      2
      we already have guides though

      can't hurt to have an updated guide for those too lazy to read.. so many posts about "this guide is out of date" or "i dont have time to read 6 pages about other people's experiences"
      2
      SuperSU v2.82 SR2
      2
      I think I asked the wrong question so let's start again.
      My phone has the current factory firmware (July) and is rooted.
      The boot slot is a.

      I want to install a Custom ROM ex., PureNexus:
      What are the steps to install the ROM, vendor.img, gapps, root (SuperSu/Magisk), kernel, trwp.zip.
      Also, please include instructions on how to set a slot active via adb/twrp. There are a lot of novices when it comes to flashing a Custom ROM, including me. All the thanks, credit, and recognition will go to you. :)

      I'm gonna assume your other slot is at least bootable
      Boot into recovery
      Factory reset
      Flash ROM
      Flash twrp
      Reboot recovery
      Flash vendor
      Flash super user (if you flash magisk you need to flash twrp after it before you reboot)
      Boot ROM

      There are no gapps for pure nexus but if you needed to flash them do it after you flash the ROM and have rebooted once.

      If want to use your current slot because you know its good. Boot into recovery. Go into reboot and select the opposite slot. Then choose to reboot into recovery and perform the steps I listed above.