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[GUIDE] Rooting your Essential PH-1

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Lakino

Senior Member
May 23, 2012
374
131
Silicon Valley
I am trying to wrap my head around all of this but for right now, based on what you know about this, if I want to use TWRP now on stock/rooted 036 (to make nandroids for example), will touch work for me?

My path was:
New phone (7.1.1) -> immediately took OTA (on the phone) to 9.0 (091) -> followed OP to root w Magisk 16.7 -> updated Magisk to 17.1 (via direct thru app) -> Grabbed 036 boot image from OP and patched it w/Magisk and copied to computer -> Sideloaded OTA (from Essential's www) -> rebooted directly to bootloader and "fastboot flash" patched boot image -> Reboot to rooted 091, nothing else changed.

You predict touch working on TWRP or do I get and OTG to connect a mouse?

I don't think you can make normal nandroid backups with TWRP on the Essential as you can with most other phones, due to the A/B partitions.
 

socali

Senior Member
Aug 7, 2009
371
718
...
Honestly, due to all of these issues, the best way to root the September update right now may be to just patch the boot image with the Magisk Manager and fastboot flash that, without ever having to use TWRP. I never put that patched boot image method up in the OP because I found it to be very buggy and inconsistent in the past, and even now with 17.1, it seemed some people still had weird issues here and there.

I've been using this method of patched boot for the past few updates on 2 phones with no issues at all. In Magisk Manager I simply did Uninstall - "Restore images" or fastboot flash the original boot image, then did OTA update and then used Magisk to patch the new boot image and fastboot flash.
As I mentioned in my prior post here, this was the first time I ran into issues where I had to uninstall Magisk Manager itself as well. I suspect this had to do with the v16 - v17 bootloop issue mentioned in Magisk release notes.

----

Regarding touch screen issue - interestingly, at some point I fastboot flashed a mismatched boot image (I believe september boot on august slot) and I did not have touch when the phone booted up. I was worried that I messed up something, but then realized it's the wrong boot version. I'm guessing TWRP is expecting the old drivers or firmware and it's incompatible with the update one.
 

NLBeev

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2007
3,338
1,865
Scheveningen
. . . fastboot flash the original boot image, then did OTA update and then used Magisk to patch the new boot image . . .

I'm guessing TWRP is expecting the old drivers or firmware....
I think your guess is right. TWRP did not work AFTER I installed the OTA.
About OTA.
I did the online OTA, but didn't work, because only the current stock boot.img was flashed. I needed to flash the current system.img too. To undo changes in the system partition (substratum.layers; Hosts for ad blocking; tweaks in build.prop)
 

Nburnes

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2010
1,330
977
Google Pixel 5a
With the September OTA I did some experiments.
The online OTA will only install when boot.img and system.img are exactly stock. No substratum, Hosts Adblock, build.prop tweaks etc.
Well yeah, that's how it works. It won't flash if a single bit is changed on either /system or /vendor.

Even mounting it rw will cause block verification to fail.
 
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GuestK00177

Guest
If u dont get touch in twrp, just switch to the opposite slot. It is more critical of mismatches now.so one must flash twrp to both slots, then switch to the other. I am running a gsi with the stock kernel from update 036
 

Ryuk359

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2015
153
62

HACK3DANDR0ID

Senior Member
May 25, 2017
1,157
323
41
New Jersey
Anyone having a problem with booting into TWRP and it just freezes on the TWRP start screen, forced to power device off.

Factory Image : PPR1 Sept 2018 patch

*edit*
Nevermind, I see im not the only 1
 
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techlogik

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2006
1,853
304
The touch screen issue has been covered at various locations.

If you want your OS touch screen to work, seems like you need to Side load the OTA. Not the Fastboot version. The fastboot version caused mine to not work in the OS. But, if you sideload the OTA version, TWRP touch won't work.

Since I have a USB OTG cable, I just plugged it into the phone, booted TWRP, and could flash Magisk no problems then. Most people are thinking that there is some firmware snafu from Essential on the full ADB fastboot build compared to the OTA that are hosing the touch screen. But who knows.

I recommend sideloading the OTA version, you can use the stock recovery, or if you haven't upgraded already, boot TWRP with full version 9 P from August, select sideload, let it sideload, reboot, your touch screen in the OS works. TWRP touch will require a USB OTG cable for now as a work around.

A tip for the USB OTG, fastboot flash boot twrp.img, then unplug and put your USB OTG in, then select Recovery and reboot into that. I personally use a wireless mouse/keyboard, works fine.

Good luck!
 
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sash11

Senior Member
Sep 30, 2011
276
162
The touch screen issue has been covered at various locations.

If you want your OS touch screen to work, seems like you need to Side load the OTA. Not the Fastboot version. The fastboot version caused mine to not work in the OS. But, if you sideload the OTA version, TWRP touch won't work.

Since I have a USB OTG cable, I just plugged it into the phone, booted TWRP, and could flash Magisk no problems then. Most people are thinking that there is some firmware snafu from Essential on the full ADB fastboot build compared to the OTA that are hosing the touch screen. But who knows.

I recommend sideloading the OTA version, you can use the stock recovery, or if you haven't upgraded already, boot TWRP with full version 9 P from August, select sideload, let it sideload, reboot, your touch screen in the OS works. TWRP touch will require a USB OTG cable for now as a work around.

A tip for the USB OTG, fastboot flash boot twrp.img, then unplug and put your USB OTG in, then select Recovery and reboot into that. I personally use a wireless mouse/keyboard, works fine.

Good luck!
That's the whole idea of A/B slot design - OTA is installed into the inactive slot to prevent possible faulty flashing. If update is successful, active slot changes, if not things stay the way they were. I really don't understand why anybody would use twrp now since flashing patched boot.img seems faster and easier. I had to sideload the OTA because normal installation would fail for me no matter what I tried. Then flashing patched_boot.img gives me root back. It's that simple.
 

techlogik

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2006
1,853
304
That's the whole idea of A/B slot design - OTA is installed into the inactive slot to prevent possible faulty flashing. If update is successful, active slot changes, if not things stay the way they were. I really don't understand why anybody would use twrp now since flashing patched boot.img seems faster and easier. I had to sideload the OTA because normal installation would fail for me no matter what I tried. Then flashing patched_boot.img gives me root back. It's that simple.

When I build a patched boot.img file through Magisk, it makes the file 2MB is size...when it is normally 20MB. Flash it through fastboot, never boots. So that method doesn't work for me.

Also, flashing a custom kernel, then rooting is easy. The A/B partition sounds great in theory..but execution with rooting/modding/custom kernels etc..have created a nightmare with all sorts of crazy workarounds.

Coming from a Pixel 2 XL...it isn't any better over there either.

Normal installation fails because you had a modified system/boot image...unless you flash stock ones...the OTA won't install. Hence, needing the sideload OTA which is the only method that worked for me without messing up my touchscreen in the OS. The full fastboot image my screen would never work in the OS.

So, next best work around, USB OTG cable with wireless mouse. Now I have Elemental installed through TWRP (took awhile to use the up/down/power keys to get around Aroma to install that), then Magisk with the mouse. Back to normal now. But a PITA.
 

philsner

Member
Sep 6, 2018
19
7
Sorry for asking but by reading the last couple of pages I really want to play safe.
I reckon its a bad idea to root / use custom kernel on a fresh install of an unlocked stock pie (sept. update)
Because of the talking about custom/patched boot images I'm afraid ending up with an expensive paperweight.
 

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    WARNING: Before attempting to root your device, do note that by unlocking your bootloader and modifying your device with root, ROMs, etc... you are risking voiding your warranty! I am NOT responsible for what you do to your device either, so follow these instructions at your own risk. Make sure you know what you're doing, it's best to understand the process rather than just copy and paste commands and such.

    Useful and important general information can be found in the second post here.

    NOTES

    1. If you flash the TWRP Installer when you've already got Magisk installed, your device will keep booting to the recovery. You should be able to fix this by just simply reflashing Magisk.

    2. If you have TWRP installed via the TWRP Installer, you will not be able to install stock OTA updates. You will have to reflash the stock boot image for whatever build you're running beforehand.

    3. The prebuilt TWRP image may not have touch functionality if you're using the September 2018 Update or newer. Patching the boot image, however, for these builds with the TWRP Installer will allow touch to work flawlessly. Here is a pre-patched September 2018 Boot Image with TWRP. It should also work with builds newer than September. Since it's based off the September 2018 update, I suggest not using this as your main boot image but rather just as a replacement for the pre-built TWRP image from the official TWRP thread.

    4. Simple "flash and forget" boot images pre-patched with Magisk and TWRP are provided by @aer0zer0 and are available here. They are based on ianmacd's variant of Magisk. If you are running stock, you can flash these boot images to get root and TWRP instead of following the guide to patch it yourself. Here is January's.

    If you don't care about TWRP and simply want to just root your device, you can just simply patch the boot image for your ROM with the Magisk Manager and flash it in fastboot with
    Code:
    fastboot flash boot patched_boot.img
    The link to the boot images for most stock builds can be grabbed from my Google Drive link in the second post or from the back-to-stock zips.


    REQUIREMENTS
    An unlocked bootloader
    Working adb and fastboot environment, along with knowledge on how they work.
    The latest build of TWRP along with the TWRP Installer. Read Note 3 above beforehand.

    1. Download the latest build of TWRP and the TWRP Installer. Transfer the TWRP Installer zip to your device.

    2. Reboot your phone into fastboot. Once in fastboot, change your device's current slot using the command
    Code:
    fastboot set_active other
    If the command above doesn't work for you, use fastboot getvar current-slot followed by fastboot -aX, replacing "X" with the slot opposite (a or b) from your current slot.

    3. Once your device's current slot has been switched, flash the TWRP image you downloaded earlier using the command
    Code:
    fastboot flash boot twrp.img
    Depending on your version of fastboot, the above command might not work either. In that case, you can enter the following command, replacing "X" with your current slot (a or b).
    Code:
    fastboot flash boot_X twrp.img

    4. Once TWRP has been flashed, boot into the recovery.

    5. Once you have booted into TWRP, simply flash the TWRP Installer zip.

    6. Once you have finished flashing the TWRP Installer zip, boot to recovery on the OPPOSITE slot. You can do this from TWRP by going to "Reboot", then selecting the opposite of the current slot (if on A, select Slot B. If on B, select Slot A), then select "Recovery." You can also do this through fastboot by running the same command from step 2.

    7. Once you have booted back into TWRP, simply flash the Magisk zip and you are now good to go! Feel free to flash anything else like kernels while you're at it.

    8. Reboot. :good:

    NOTE: TWRP WILL remain installed on your device so long as you reflash the installer zip after every update.
    21
    https://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=11410963190603865614

    December patched boot.img (stock, TWRP, ianmacd 1203 17.4 magisk

    Enjoy :)
    20
    Important Information for the Essential PH-1 can be found here. Keep it bookmarked.

    Tips on updating via OTA after rooting can be found here.

    In the case that you mess something up on your device, you may find it helpful to revert back to stock with the unofficial factory images graciously provided by @invisiblek and @aer0zer0 over here.

    Official TWRP XDA Thread for the Essential PH-1

    Join the Essential PH-1 Discord Server! -- Lots of cool people here!

    Join the Essential PH-1 Development Telegram Channel!

    Stock Boot Images for most builds can be found at my Google Drive link here.

    Have a Red Verity Warning when booting your device? Click here.
    If the link to the boot.fix.red image isn't working, you can also find it here or in my Google Drive link in the first post.

    Essential Phone (PH-1) Partition Layout

    Dumping Boot Images

    1. Find the current slot with
    Code:
    fastboot getvar current-slot
    or
    Code:
    adb shell getprop ro.boot.slot_suffix
    2. Switch to the opposite slot in Fastboot using the command
    Code:
    fastboot set_active other
    3. Flash TWRP using the command
    Code:
    fastboot flash boot twrp.img
    4. Now, boot into TWRP and use the following command from your PC, replacing X in "boot_X" with the original slot from step 1 (a or b). TRIPLE CHECK:
    Code:
    adb shell dd if=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/boot_X of=/sdcard/boot.img
    5. Profit! Don't forget to switch back to the original partition with the same command from step 2!

    extractTarFork() error when restoring data from a TWRP backup

    1. Reinstall the ROM from which the backup is based on.
    2. Wipe your data. You can do this from the recovery or from fastboot using the command
    Code:
    fastboot -w
    3. Boot into the ROM. When going through the initial setup, use the EXACT same security setup as the one from your backup. For example, if you used a Fingerprint + Password in the backed up ROM, use the exact same combo along with the exact same password as well. There is no need to set up anything else, like accounts.
    4. Flash, install, and reboot into TWRP. You should now be able to restore the data backup without any issues.
    16
    15
    https://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=11410932744536995931

    nov_patched_twrp_magisk_stock boot.img is up

    Enjoy:)