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[INFO] Rootable Serial Numbers

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bhiga

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Oct 13, 2010
2,501
1,016
First ask yourself, do I need to root? Then come back to see if you have possibility to root.
See: Root Mini-FAQ: What's the big deal with root? and Why should I root?
For help with FlashCast, see the FlashCast: Quickly and easily mod your Chromecast thread and Rooting with FlashCast Mini-FAQ
For help with HubCap, see the HubCap Chromecast Root Release! thread.
For help with Flashcast-AutoRoot, see the Flashcast-AutoRoot thread.

Note: THANK YOU to all the folks who contributed reports to the first incarnation of this list. Your help made it possible for many other users to pick winners from their local stores. Now that we're in the second generation of root (and unrootability), it was time for a revamp.

At the core, it's not the serial number that determines whether a Chromecast is rootable, but rather the firmware build on it. However, because Chromecasts ship from the factory with a specific firmware build, we can use the serial number to predict whether a particular unit is rootable out of the box, or is unrootable because it has a firmware that is not vulnerable to known exploits.
Firmware builds >= 19084 are not rootable by current means.

Also, for Chromecast, "root" means to flash a rooted ROM that disables Google OTA updates. Any Google OTA update at this point will render a Chromecast unrootable, regardless of its serial number. If that didn't make sense, please reread the previous paragraph above.

Want root? Find your scenario below:
I KNOW MY FIRMWARE BUILD AND IT IS...
  • 12072
    -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
  • Greater than 12072, but less than 19084
    -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
  • 19084 or higher
    -> Sorry, you're not rootable

I DON'T KNOW MY FIRMWARE BUILD BUT MY CHROMECAST IS...
  1. NEW, UNOPENED, NOT USED, NOT REFURBISHED, NOT RECERTIFIED, NOT REPLACEMENT AND
    NEVER CONNECTED TO INTERNET

    AND ITS SERIAL NUMBER STARTS WITH...
    • 3922 or lower (ie, 38AD, 371C, 3612, etc)
      -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
    • 3923 or 3924
      -> Please determine your firmware build version without setting up and report it to me with your serial number before attempting root.
      -> Build 12072 - Try root with FlashCast
      -> Build less than 16664 - Try root with HubCap 12940 version
      -> Build greater than 16664 but less than 19084 - Try root with HubCap 16664 version
      -> Build 19084 or greater - you're not rootable. Are you sure you didn't get a used/refurbished/recertified/replacement unit??
    • 3925-4A1F (MFG 10/2014 and earlier, or no MFG date on label)
      -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
    • 4A20-4B20 (MFG 9/2014 to MFG 11/2014)
      Note: This range is in flux - I have a 4A27 that had 15098 and another user had a 4A29 with 15098, but one user had an unrootable 4A20 with 20472
      -> Please determine your firmware build version without setting up and report it to me with your serial number before attempting root.
      -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
    • 4B21 and higher (MFG 11/2014 and newer)
      -> Your Chromecast has firmware 20472 or newer and is not rootable.
      -> If you determine your firmware build version without setting up is less than 20472, please report it to me with your serial.
  2. SET UP BUT (CONTINUOUSLY) DISCONNECTED FROM INTERNET PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 2013
    -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
  3. SET UP BUT (CONTINUOUSLY) DISCONNECTED FROM INTERNET PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
    -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
  4. SET UP AND CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 OR LATER
    -> Your Chromecast auto-updated to firmware 19084 or newer and is not rootable.
  5. REFURBISHED/RECERTIFIED/REPLACEMENT
    -> Impossible to determine what build will be on the device.
    -> Determine your firmware build version without setting up then proceed based on build number.
    -> Build 12072 - Try root with FlashCast
    -> Build less than 16664 - Try root with HubCap 12940 version
    -> Build greater than 16664 but less than 19084 - Try root with HubCap 16664 version
    -> Build 19084 or greater - you're not rootable.

Root method requirements:
  1. FlashCast method
    • Firmware build 12072 (this exact build, no others) on Chromecast
    • Powered MicroUSB OTG cable
    • Compatible USB flash drive 256 MB or larger (most drives are compatible, a few are not, check the thread)
  2. HubCap method
    • Firmware build 19084 or lower/older on Chromecast
    • Powered MicroUSB OTG cable
    • Teensy 2, Teensy 2++, compatible or similar device that has ported build (see the thread)
    • Compatible USB flash drive 256 MB or larger (most drives should be compatible, check the thread)
After you already have root via one of the above methods, you can install Flashcast-AutoRoot to stay current with updates while still preserving root.
 

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Last edited:

bhiga

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Oct 13, 2010
2,501
1,016
FYI. Just tried 3812 which was already on 12940. Hence not rootable.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk
Uhoh, that kind of punches a hole in the serial number range theory...
Was this an online or retail store purchase?

And just to make sure, was it new and fresh out of the box, not set up or not connected to the Internet long enough to get an automatic update?
 

mastermind278

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2006
104
65
NJ
Uhoh, that kind of punches a hole in the serial number range theory...
Was this an online or retail store purchase?

And just to make sure, was it new and fresh out of the box, not set up or not connected to the Internet long enough to get an automatic update?

Pretty sure the serial number theory works. He might have connected it online at some point. This is why I say open it out of the box and root (don't even bother setting it up), that way you won't have issues!
 

bhiga

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Oct 13, 2010
2,501
1,016
If it updated wouldn't it be build 13300 instead of 12940? I guess somebody could have returned it after connecting to WiFi.
It's possible. Big box stores are not supposed to return opened products to the shelf, but sometimes they miss that it's been opened, or they sell it as an open box.
 

bhiga

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Oct 13, 2010
2,501
1,016
There was one post here where they were allowed at Best Buy to check some CC to check if they'd flash. How was that done?
I read that post yesterday while I was hunting for serials. It was guy4jesuschrist here.

He asked the Geek Squad agent who then asked someone else (likely the manager, as the product would then become an open-box, but perhaps they had space for another floor unit). It's at the manager's discretion, but I suspect most times they would be cool with it, especially if you're a My Best Buy Elite Plus member (formerly RewardZone Silver) because that means you shop there a lot.

Plus at $35 it's not like getting a return of a TV... But again, manager's discretion - and don't abuse the system, you will eventually get flagged for excessive returns. :)

So find a likely serial first, then check it - and if it works, honor your end of the deal and buy it.

Hmm... I guess for those in "root-dry" areas that are really desperate you might be able to talk a manager into letting you test and buy the display unit at regular price, assuming they used actual units and weren't provided demo/fakes. Or maybe exchange your working but non-rootable unit with the demo unit.
 

wptski

Senior Member
Dec 8, 2011
1,371
157
Warren, MI
I read that post yesterday while I was hunting for serials. It was guy4jesuschrist here.

He asked the Geek Squad agent who then asked someone else (likely the manager, as the product would then become an open-box, but perhaps they had space for another floor unit). It's at the manager's discretion, but I suspect most times they would be cool with it, especially if you're a My Best Buy Elite Plus member (formerly RewardZone Silver) because that means you shop there a lot.

Plus at $35 it's not like getting a return of a TV... But again, manager's discretion - and don't abuse the system, you will eventually get flagged for excessive returns. :)

So find a likely serial first, then check it - and if it works, honor your end of the deal and buy it.

Hmm... I guess for those in "root-dry" areas that are really desperate you might be able to talk a manager into letting you test and buy the display unit at regular price, assuming they used actual units and weren't provided demo/fakes. Or maybe exchange your working but non-rootable unit with the demo unit.
Yeah, I found the post as well. I think flagging for excessive returns happens for clothing mostly, women purchase for one occasion and return it!

There wasn't any demo of the CC at my local Best Buy store when I just stopped to see if they had any. I found one 3916 amongst the 3A's which I buried. My nephew has been talking about one but not sure when.
 

bhiga

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Oct 13, 2010
2,501
1,016
I think it's both frequency and value figures... the return system does it automatically, so just be mindful. Not to mention returns, especially of non-defective products, hurt the store's numbers.
 

gaganit

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2008
102
4
Correct. This was NIB purchased from Best Buy yesterday. The box did not look to have been opened previously. I thought I was lucky to find a 38 one. But oh well.



Uhoh, that kind of punches a hole in the serial number range theory...
Was this an online or retail store purchase?

And just to make sure, was it new and fresh out of the box, not set up or not connected to the Internet long enough to get an automatic update?
 

bhiga

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Oct 13, 2010
2,501
1,016
Thanks for the info and report gaganit, hopefully you remain the sole exception to the rule. ;)

Thanks also to dirtfoot for the report!
 

bhiga

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Oct 13, 2010
2,501
1,016
There seems to be no serial number printed on the outside of the Chromecast itself, unless it's in UV ink or something...
I'm not sure whether there are laws or manufacturing codes that prevent re-use of serial numbers.

Another possibility is the unit may have been produced, but recalled before shipment for some reason (maybe it didn't pass a QA check or someone thought something was missing from the box) and it was updated during the re-check. Since it never left Google's manufacturing, I think it could still be sold and packaged as new at that point. *shrug* The world may never know...
 

wptski

Senior Member
Dec 8, 2011
1,371
157
Warren, MI
There seems to be no serial number printed on the outside of the Chromecast itself, unless it's in UV ink or something...
I'm not sure whether there are laws or manufacturing codes that prevent re-use of serial numbers.

Another possibility is the unit may have been produced, but recalled before shipment for some reason (maybe it didn't pass a QA check or someone thought something was missing from the box) and it was updated during the re-check. Since it never left Google's manufacturing, I think it could still be sold and packaged as new at that point. *shrug* The world may never know...
A serial number could be in a file inside the CC.
 

guy4jesuschrist

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
461
138
I read that post yesterday while I was hunting for serials. It was guy4jesuschrist here.

He asked the Geek Squad agent who then asked someone else (likely the manager, as the product would then become an open-box, but perhaps they had space for another floor unit). It's at the manager's discretion, but I suspect most times they would be cool with it, especially if you're a My Best Buy Elite Plus member (formerly RewardZone Silver) because that means you shop there a lot.

Plus at $35 it's not like getting a return of a TV... But again, manager's discretion - and don't abuse the system, you will eventually get flagged for excessive returns. :)

So find a likely serial first, then check it - and if it works, honor your end of the deal and buy it.

Hmm... I guess for those in "root-dry" areas that are really desperate you might be able to talk a manager into letting you test and buy the display unit at regular price, assuming they used actual units and weren't provided demo/fakes. Or maybe exchange your working but non-rootable unit with the demo unit.

Yes, I was allowed to test it, probably since it was my 3rd attempt and I live an hour away. They knew that I would buy it and try it anyways, so they allowed me to test it there to save me a trip. Thankfully it worked. Mine was probably a special case, but that's not to say that someone might run across a generous employee/manager who's willing to help. After he had already opened it and was in the process of getting it hooked up and ready to test, during my explanation of why I was trying to find an older firmware model, he did tell me that since it had been opened it couldn't be returned to the shelf and would he sent back to Google.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 

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  • 34
    First ask yourself, do I need to root? Then come back to see if you have possibility to root.
    See: Root Mini-FAQ: What's the big deal with root? and Why should I root?
    For help with FlashCast, see the FlashCast: Quickly and easily mod your Chromecast thread and Rooting with FlashCast Mini-FAQ
    For help with HubCap, see the HubCap Chromecast Root Release! thread.
    For help with Flashcast-AutoRoot, see the Flashcast-AutoRoot thread.

    Note: THANK YOU to all the folks who contributed reports to the first incarnation of this list. Your help made it possible for many other users to pick winners from their local stores. Now that we're in the second generation of root (and unrootability), it was time for a revamp.

    At the core, it's not the serial number that determines whether a Chromecast is rootable, but rather the firmware build on it. However, because Chromecasts ship from the factory with a specific firmware build, we can use the serial number to predict whether a particular unit is rootable out of the box, or is unrootable because it has a firmware that is not vulnerable to known exploits.
    Firmware builds >= 19084 are not rootable by current means.

    Also, for Chromecast, "root" means to flash a rooted ROM that disables Google OTA updates. Any Google OTA update at this point will render a Chromecast unrootable, regardless of its serial number. If that didn't make sense, please reread the previous paragraph above.

    Want root? Find your scenario below:
    I KNOW MY FIRMWARE BUILD AND IT IS...
    • 12072
      -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
    • Greater than 12072, but less than 19084
      -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
    • 19084 or higher
      -> Sorry, you're not rootable

    I DON'T KNOW MY FIRMWARE BUILD BUT MY CHROMECAST IS...
    1. NEW, UNOPENED, NOT USED, NOT REFURBISHED, NOT RECERTIFIED, NOT REPLACEMENT AND
      NEVER CONNECTED TO INTERNET

      AND ITS SERIAL NUMBER STARTS WITH...
      • 3922 or lower (ie, 38AD, 371C, 3612, etc)
        -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
      • 3923 or 3924
        -> Please determine your firmware build version without setting up and report it to me with your serial number before attempting root.
        -> Build 12072 - Try root with FlashCast
        -> Build less than 16664 - Try root with HubCap 12940 version
        -> Build greater than 16664 but less than 19084 - Try root with HubCap 16664 version
        -> Build 19084 or greater - you're not rootable. Are you sure you didn't get a used/refurbished/recertified/replacement unit??
      • 3925-4A1F (MFG 10/2014 and earlier, or no MFG date on label)
        -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
      • 4A20-4B20 (MFG 9/2014 to MFG 11/2014)
        Note: This range is in flux - I have a 4A27 that had 15098 and another user had a 4A29 with 15098, but one user had an unrootable 4A20 with 20472
        -> Please determine your firmware build version without setting up and report it to me with your serial number before attempting root.
        -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
      • 4B21 and higher (MFG 11/2014 and newer)
        -> Your Chromecast has firmware 20472 or newer and is not rootable.
        -> If you determine your firmware build version without setting up is less than 20472, please report it to me with your serial.
    2. SET UP BUT (CONTINUOUSLY) DISCONNECTED FROM INTERNET PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 2013
      -> Root with FlashCast or HubCap 12940 version
    3. SET UP BUT (CONTINUOUSLY) DISCONNECTED FROM INTERNET PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
      -> Try root with HubCap 12940 version, if that doesn't work, try root with HubCap 16664 version
    4. SET UP AND CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 OR LATER
      -> Your Chromecast auto-updated to firmware 19084 or newer and is not rootable.
    5. REFURBISHED/RECERTIFIED/REPLACEMENT
      -> Impossible to determine what build will be on the device.
      -> Determine your firmware build version without setting up then proceed based on build number.
      -> Build 12072 - Try root with FlashCast
      -> Build less than 16664 - Try root with HubCap 12940 version
      -> Build greater than 16664 but less than 19084 - Try root with HubCap 16664 version
      -> Build 19084 or greater - you're not rootable.

    Root method requirements:
    1. FlashCast method
      • Firmware build 12072 (this exact build, no others) on Chromecast
      • Powered MicroUSB OTG cable
      • Compatible USB flash drive 256 MB or larger (most drives are compatible, a few are not, check the thread)
    2. HubCap method
      • Firmware build 19084 or lower/older on Chromecast
      • Powered MicroUSB OTG cable
      • Teensy 2, Teensy 2++, compatible or similar device that has ported build (see the thread)
      • Compatible USB flash drive 256 MB or larger (most drives should be compatible, check the thread)
    After you already have root via one of the above methods, you can install Flashcast-AutoRoot to stay current with updates while still preserving root.
    4
    For those of you who are stuck with unrootable serial devices, do not fret. Even if it's not rootable today, it may be tomorrow. No device is "Hack/Exploit Proof" ;)
    4
    Just got mine from Amazon with a 3922 serial. It's rootable!
    3
    If I'm able to get a few rootable ones, would any of you be interested in obtaining them? I'd only charge maybe $3 over normal price because the drive is an hour there and an hour back (to help with the gas cost). I know there was at least 1 rootable one left the last time I went, and I didn't grab it because I figured they were still plentiful and didn't wanna screw anyone else that was trying to find one there, but this thread is starting to worry me. So, if I'm able to help out even one of you with getting a rootable one, I'd try my best. Just need to know if anyone's interested before dropping that much of my cash on something. I'd probably be buying at minimum 3 of them.
    3
    Not to derail this topic and go completely off-topic but... you're saying there are rooted stock images floating around? So in the event that Eureka bottoms out or something happens, there is a stock alternative? or reverting to stock?
    Yes. See threads by Team-Eureka
    But to be 100% clear... Chromecast root is not in the code itself, it's in the bootloader (see Mini-FAQ: What's the big deal with root?) - you need root to keep root. If you don't have root, you can't magically get root, at least not with the current exploit.

    • (True) Stock
      Automatically receives Google OTA updates Only root-capable if on original 12072 build. With current root exploit (FlashCast), any Google OTA update to will patch the root exploit, resulting in no more root.
    • Eureka-ROM
      Requires root to apply (write with FlashCast).
      Preserves root. Everything stock does (except for Google OTA updates), plus... Optional Team-Eureka OTA updates. Other fun features (web panel, Team-Eureka whitelist, etc)
    • Stock - No Updates
      Requires root to apply (write with FlashCast).
      Preserves root. No OTA updates. No extra features. It's Stock minus the OTA updates that would kill root.

    You never want to write a true Stock update to a rooted Chromecast, as that will irreversibly kill root.

    So why is there a Stock - No Updates version if Eureka-ROM does everything stock does and more?
    Because Google release OTA updates when they're done, but Team Eureka needs some time to analyze the source, add the Eureka-ROM goodness, and check for introduced bugs. This isn't Team Eureka's full-time job (nor do they get compensated save for donations from appreciative folks like me), so it takes time.

    The Stock - No Updates version is there for people who just can't wait for the corresponding Eureka-ROM build to release and must have the latest Google-released features immediately. This sometimes happens if a new app requires some firmware-level enhancement that's only in the newest build. For example, when the Cast SDK 2.0 apps released, they required the newest firmware at the time.