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How To Guide (P12/TB-Q706F) Flash GSI on Xiaoxin Pad Pro 12.6

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LSS4181

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2012
453
155
Google Pixel C
Razer Phone 2
C:
#include <std/disclaimer.h>
/*
 * I am not responsible for bricked devices, dead SD cards, thermonuclear
 * war, or the current economic crisis caused by you following these
 * directions. YOU are choosing to make these modifications, and
 * if you point your finger at me for messing up your device, I will
 * laugh at you.
 */

I bought the new tablet and unlocked it as soon as I was able to. After some fiddling I eventually got GSI up and running.

Originally I planned to post this when an actual forum for P12 becomes available, but given some known issues with the stock FW at the time of writing, I think I'll just post it here now.

What you need
1. Unlocked bootloader
Go to ZUI official unlock page to request an unlock (the page is in Chinese). For this tablet, you need to use the 4th option (Lenovo Tablet), which only requires you to enter the device's SN (can be found in the Settings screen, or from bootloader). Once you obtained the file needed to be flashed for unlocking, follow the official instructions to unlock the device.
NOTE: You need to wait for at least 8 hours since the device's initial connection to Internet to get your device's SN recognized by the official unlock service. If it complains about "incorrect SN" but you've verified that your input is correct, simply wait a few more hours and try again.

!!! WARNING: Like any other Android device, unlocking bootloader will wipe your data so BACKUP FIRST !!!


2. fastboot
The process utilizes fastboot exclusively, so make sure you have fastboot installed. No other tools are needed.

3. Magisk-patched boot.img, or a patched vbmeta
As there's currently no available PRC ROM dump for this tablet, the currently only known ROW dump will do.

Although you should be able to use GSI without Magisk, you'll probably need to patch vbmeta so the stock kernel won't refuse to boot the GSI in this case. This guide does not cover non-Magisk scenario for now, as I'm not entirely sure. With Magisk, patching vbmeta is not needed.

Note that flashing vbmeta (or maybe vbmeta_system) may change the device's metadata which will result in the device being unable to decrypt /data and you'll have to reformat it, SO MAKE SURE TO BACKUP (AGAIN) BEFORE FLASHING.

UPDATE: vbmeta_system is probably not needed and should not be touched, as I suspect it might be the real culprit for the inability to decrypt /data afterwards. For non-Magisk scenario, you probably only need to patch vbmeta.


4. Additional stuffs to flash
WARNING: This tablet happens to be very picky about the kernel and vendor image you use when running GSI. While a mismatched kernel (Magisk patched) worked fine on stock as far as I could remember, on GSI, it'll result in the device's Wi-Fi and Audio not working, unless additional components (vendor, maybe also odm) of the same FW version are also used.

If you're going to use the boot.img from the ROW dump (and patched it with Magisk), note about these images from the dump. I think at least vendor is needed. You may also try flashing odm if you're having issues.
- super_5.img (vendor.img)
- super_6.img (odm.img)

FOR EXPERTS: The boot.img and vendor.img (as well as additional files like dtbo and vbmeta) from Android 12L developer preview might also be usable for running GSIs. I haven't tested this yet and it's possible the binaries may carry known or unknown issues.

Steps to flash GSI

1. Enter fastboot
Use the following adb command to enter fastboot.
Bash:
adb reboot bootloader

2. Enter fastbootd
Enter the following command to enter fastbootd, where you can actually access the system partitions, as this tablet uses Dynamic Paritions.
Bash:
fastboot reboot fastboot

WARNING: The following steps will actually modify your system partitions and may leave your tablet unbootable. Make sure you have backed up everything before proceeding.
3. Flash Magisk patched boot.img
Assume you have the Magisk patched boot.img as boot_magisk.img, enter the following command.
Bash:
fastboot flash boot boot_magisk.img
Note that you can also flash boot.img directly from fastboot, before entering fastbootd.

4. Flash the GSI
Enter the following commands, assuming your GSI is called gsi.img.

Bash:
fastboot erase system
fastboot flash system gsi.img

Note that the erase command is optional. Replace gsi.img with the actual GSI image file of your choice.

5. Flash additional stuffs
You need to flash the vendor.img (or also odm.img) from the same FW dump as your boot.img. Assuming your vendor image is vendor.img, and odm image is odm.img, use the following command.

Bash:
fastboot flash vendor vendor.img
fastboot flash odm odm.img

NOTE: For which image files in the ROW dump correspond to vendor and odm, read above.

FOR EXPERTS: If you could somehow obtain a dump of the running boot.img and patch it with Magisk, you may skip this step, but you can always flash those stuffs in case Wi-Fi and Audio are not working. As there's no known PRC ROM dumps at the time of writing, I'm not entirely sure.


6. Wipe userdata if needed
You don't need to wipe userdata if you are dirty flashing newer build of a same GSI over the existing one.
In case you need to do so (such as flashing a different GSI, or factory reset), enter the following commands.
WARNING: These commands will erase everything in the internal storage, not just app data! Make sure you have everything in the internal storage backed up before doing this.

Bash:
fastboot erase userdata
fastboot erase metadata

7. Reboot
Enter the following command to reboot.

Bash:
fastboot reboot

If nothing goes wrong and the GSI doesn't have any major issue that might prevent it from successfully booting, you should be able to boot the GSI and further configure it yourself.

Current Status for GSIs
So far everything I could test works on Android 11 GSIs.
- Wi-Fi (needs matching vendor and maybe odm images, read above)
- Camera (both sides)
- Fingerprint Sensor (may occasionally not work)
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Bluetooth (Lenovo Precision Pen works)
- Physical Keyboard Case

I'm currently running DotOS 5.2 GSI on this tablet and am yet to encounter any serious issue. Even some demanding games work just fine. Just that when using the boot.img, vendor.img (as well as odm.img) from the ROW dump, the system would use a smaller font size by default.

NOTE: Like any other Qualcomm devices, "Use alternate audio policy" option may be needed to ensure audio works the same as on stock ROM.

The latest phh-AOSP versions (Android 12) can also boot on this tablet, but I haven't tested much yet. For now, I'll wait until a more customizable Android 12 GSI comes out (and also that Magisk becomes mature enough on the new Android version).

Still, I'm not sure about how to get features specific to ZUI, like Desktop Mode, to work on GSIs.
 
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mardon85

Senior Member
Jan 8, 2009
481
60
Manchester
Wow you seem to know your stuff.

Currently i'm stuck with a 12.6 tablet which is stuck in the boot loader due to flashing the ROW ROM and tripping the region lock check. The boot loader wont let me activate any other modes (i.e. Recovery). Am I stuck this way until I can get a bootable Chinese ROM?

I don't suppose you made a backup of your original chinese ROM did you? If so if you could share with my I definitely owe you a few drinks!
 
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LSS4181

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2012
453
155
Google Pixel C
Razer Phone 2
Wow you seem to know your stuff.

Currently i'm stuck with a 12.6 tablet which is stuck in the boot loader due to flashing the ROW ROM and tripping the region lock check. The boot loader wont let me activate any other modes (i.e. Recovery). Am I stuck this way until I can get a bootable Chinese ROM?

I don't suppose you made a backup of your original chinese ROM did you? If so if you could share with my I definitely owe you a few drinks!
Sorry, I don't have a full backup of the ROM my device had (I even let the device took an OTA, but all I got is a useless incremental package).

It certainly wasn't possible for me to dump partitions without being rooted first. So far I haven't seen anyone released a dumped a PRC FW for this device at a place that's easy to find.

I didn't flash everything from ROW. I only flashed some of the files (boot, vendor, odm, vbmeta, vbmeta_system) from ROW when I was trying to get GSI working. Some of the stuffs I flashed (namely vbmeta and vbmeta_system) may be optional, though.
 
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LSS4181

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2012
453
155
Google Pixel C
Razer Phone 2
@LSS4181 are we able to load the stock global P12 rom onto the Chinese Xiaoxin devices?
I didn't try it myself. mardon85 flashed the ROW FW before and the device got stuck at bootloader with virtually no way to recover.

Personally I'm against doing anything reckless when your bootloader is locked, as I don't know what can happen. The device may at worst end up hard-bricked.

It may be safe to flash these things when you're unlocked. When flashing, DON'T flash anything more than necessary. In fastbootd mode, just flash boot, system, vendor and vbmeta should be sufficient.

Assuming you're unlocked, you may consider patching boot with Magisk if you like. If not, you probably need to patch vbmeta to prevent bootloader from freaking out.

EDIT: I've updated the OP a bit to reflect the existence of an official Android 12 developer preview which is for our device, in case you might be interested. The package contained just these stuffs: boot, dtbo, system, vendor and vbmeta. Not sure if dtbo is also needed, though.
 
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pdscoelho

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2012
87
10
I didn't try it myself. mardon85 flashed the ROW FW before and the device got stuck at bootloader with virtually no way to recover.

Personally I'm against doing anything reckless when your bootloader is locked, as I don't know what can happen. The device may at worst end up hard-bricked.

It may be safe to flash these things when you're unlocked. When flashing, DON'T flash anything more than necessary. In fastbootd mode, just flash boot, system, vendor and vbmeta should be sufficient.

Assuming you're unlocked, you may consider patching boot with Magisk if you like. If not, you probably need to patch vbmeta to prevent bootloader from freaking out.

EDIT: I've updated the OP a bit to reflect the existence of an official Android 12 developer preview which is for our device, in case you might be interested. The package contained just these stuffs: boot, dtbo, system, vendor and vbmeta. Not sure if dtbo is also needed, though.
Yeah I'm interested in trying out the Android 12L beta lenovo have released for the P12 but not sure if I can try it on the Chinese Xiaoxin?

Hence I want to load the global rom. I'm not in a hurry though. Will wait for more support. Don't want to brick my device.
 

mardon85

Senior Member
Jan 8, 2009
481
60
Manchester
Yeah I'm interested in trying out the Android 12L beta lenovo have released for the P12 but not sure if I can try it on the Chinese Xiaoxin?

Hence I want to load the global rom. I'm not in a hurry though. Will wait for more support. Don't want to brick my device.
Lenovo have been pretty ****ty with this tbh. There's no recovery image for the Chinese ROM but if you flash anything including the New Android Preview which Lenovo actively promote you are at real risk of bricking your device.

I would leave well alone until one becomes available.
 

Slimerang

Member
Jun 2, 2011
15
3
I've got 12L running on my Xiaoxin Pad Pro 12.6. I couldn't stand the original stuff that was on there. Its pretty janky and has a lot of features disabled. I didn't make a backup of my original ROM b/c there was no way I was going back, but I should have. Today, I tried to go back to an official ROM via the Lenovo Rescue and Smart Assistant app which wasn't successful. Well, it was successful as far as tool was concerned, but the tablet said the software wasn't compatible once it booted and then just powered off. It downloaded TB_Q706F_USR_S211043_2111300010_Q00243_ROW. Probably didn't like the 8 GB or the 256 GB flash. No idea. I was able to get it into fastboot mode and re-flash it w/ 12L so no worse off than before.

As far as 12L on this, it works, but as mentioned, lots of features not present. It is buggy in detecting finger presses and scrolling. Once I'm in an app, it works pretty well other than I have trouble getting touches to register properly. I hope this unit becomes supported once 12L goes legit. The Chinese ROM was horrible, all kind of garbage on it, weird modes, setting not even close to normal, and lots of Chinese language regardless of the language settings. I had to use Google Translate on my phone to read some of the pop-ups. Very annoying, but, hey, I bought a Chinese unit. Me wanting that 8GB and 256 GB flash may end up biting me in the butt.
 
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mardon85

Senior Member
Jan 8, 2009
481
60
Manchester
I've got 12L running on my Xiaoxin Pad Pro 12.6. I couldn't stand the original stuff that was on there. Its pretty janky and has a lot of features disabled. I didn't make a backup of my original ROM b/c there was no way I was going back, but I should have. Today, I tried to go back to an official ROM via the Lenovo Rescue and Smart Assistant app which wasn't successful. Well, it was successful as far as tool was concerned, but the tablet said the software wasn't compatible once it booted and then just powered off. It downloaded TB_Q706F_USR_S211043_2111300010_Q00243_ROW. Probably didn't like the 8 GB or the 256 GB flash. No idea. I was able to get it into fastboot mode and re-flash it w/ 12L so no worse off than before.

As far as 12L on this, it works, but as mentioned, lots of features not present. It is buggy in detecting finger presses and scrolling. Once I'm in an app, it works pretty well other than I have trouble getting touches to register properly. I hope this unit becomes supported once 12L goes legit. The Chinese ROM was horrible, all kind of garbage on it, weird modes, setting not even close to normal, and lots of Chinese language regardless of the language settings. I had to use Google Translate on my phone to read some of the pop-ups. Very annoying, but, hey, I bought a Chinese unit. Me wanting that 8GB and 256 GB flash may end up biting me in the butt.

I agree the Chinese rom is absolutely terrible and very buggy.
For a number of reasons this will be my last Lenovo product. Unless they release some significant fixes this will be getting traded out for a Samsung Tablet ASAP.
 
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LSS4181

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2012
453
155
Google Pixel C
Razer Phone 2
I've got 12L running on my Xiaoxin Pad Pro 12.6. I couldn't stand the original stuff that was on there. Its pretty janky and has a lot of features disabled. I didn't make a backup of my original ROM b/c there was no way I was going back, but I should have. Today, I tried to go back to an official ROM via the Lenovo Rescue and Smart Assistant app which wasn't successful. Well, it was successful as far as tool was concerned, but the tablet said the software wasn't compatible once it booted and then just powered off. It downloaded TB_Q706F_USR_S211043_2111300010_Q00243_ROW. Probably didn't like the 8 GB or the 256 GB flash. No idea. I was able to get it into fastboot mode and re-flash it w/ 12L so no worse off than before.

As far as 12L on this, it works, but as mentioned, lots of features not present. It is buggy in detecting finger presses and scrolling. Once I'm in an app, it works pretty well other than I have trouble getting touches to register properly. I hope this unit becomes supported once 12L goes legit. The Chinese ROM was horrible, all kind of garbage on it, weird modes, setting not even close to normal, and lots of Chinese language regardless of the language settings. I had to use Google Translate on my phone to read some of the pop-ups. Very annoying, but, hey, I bought a Chinese unit. Me wanting that 8GB and 256 GB flash may end up biting me in the butt.
Good to hear that 12L preview can work on PRC models without a hard brick. As for the incompatible software issue, it was some kind of region lock implemented since around ZUI version 12.6. Xiaoxin Pad Pro 2021 users are probably more familiar about this phenomenon than us.

According to official information regarding the 12L preview, they already knew some features are not in a usable state yet, and probably disabled them artificially.

By the way, I'm not sure about your touchscreen issues. Did it happen on stock A11? On my device with GSI the touchscreen works almost flawless. Every single tap is being correctly registered, just that it's a bit oversensitive with swipes (not a major issue, though).

PS: I'm new to Lenovo Rescue and Smart Assistant app, but from your experience, it seems to be able to download a more recent ROW ROM image, although it won't be useful for PRC devices other than getting GSIs running.

I agree the Chinese rom is absolutely terrible and very buggy.
For a number of reasons this will be my last Lenovo product. Unless they release some significant fixes this will be getting traded out for a Samsung Tablet ASAP.

Personally I would recommend against any Samsung devices from now on. My previous Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is plagued by all kinds of touchscreen issues that I don't think it was mere hardware issue. Not to mention some new Samsung devices (like Z Fold 3) disables camera upon unlock to completely deter people from rooting (oh, and there's the so-called DefEx).

While the stock FW sucks, of all devices I've owned, unlocked and customized, Lenovo/Motorola ones are among the easiest to bring up.
 
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P-L

New member
Dec 15, 2021
4
0
Nice to see some progress on this part. I really enjoy the tablet in terms of hardware and looks but the SW is just ugh. Seems like it's just a waiting game now then for 12L. Is there no ROW variant with 8/256?
 

Slimerang

Member
Jun 2, 2011
15
3
Good to hear that 12L preview can work on PRC models without a hard brick. As for the incompatible software issue, it was some kind of region lock implemented since around ZUI version 12.6. Xiaoxin Pad Pro 2021 users are probably more familiar about this phenomenon than us.

According to official information regarding the 12L preview, they already knew some features are not in a usable state yet, and probably disabled them artificially.

By the way, I'm not sure about your touchscreen issues. Did it happen on stock A11? On my device with GSI the touchscreen works almost flawless. Every single tap is being correctly registered, just that it's a bit oversensitive with swipes (not a major issue, though).

PS: I'm new to Lenovo Rescue and Smart Assistant app, but from your experience, it seems to be able to download a more recent ROW ROM image, although it won't be useful for PRC devices other than getting GSIs running.



Personally I would recommend against any Samsung devices from now on. My previous Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is plagued by all kinds of touchscreen issues that I don't think it was mere hardware issue. Not to mention some new Samsung devices (like Z Fold 3) disables camera upon unlock to completely deter people from rooting (oh, and there's the so-called DefEx).

While the stock FW sucks, of all devices I've owned, unlocked and customized, Lenovo/Motorola ones are among the easiest to bring up.

As far as the touchscreen, I was so frustrated by the Chinese ROM that I didn't mess w/ it very much until I got 12L up. I think it is the S/W and not H/W b/c the RSA (Lenovo App) asks to install an app called Mobile Assistant on the tablet that becomes active when RSA is running. It probably runs by itself also. When it is active it has some tests and all the tests pass, like dragging a circle across the screen in ~15 different areas and also a touch test that tracks all 10 fingers very well. I wish I had my old ROM to try that out just for knowing that screen is good.

Maybe I'll give the GSI a try.
 

famaTV

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2012
84
18
Hello friends,

I ran into the very same problem you had with region lock. The Rescue and Smart Assistant tool ruined the device and I can't boot it anymore. Having this error message "The current system is not compatible …"

I tried going back to at least the 12L Preview but every time I run the script, it doesn't work. The device is not authorized

List of devices attached
HA**** unauthorized

How can I get it authorized from the recovery screen? There is no message in the device to ask me to grant the adb connection. By the weay, the device is already unlocked.

When I tried the manual instructions to flash 12L, during the below command, I get this error message


fastboot flash vendor vendor.img

target reported max download size of 805306368 bytes
sending 'vendor' (650920 KB)...
OKAY [ 16.256s]
writing 'vendor'...
FAILED (remote: Partition not found)
finished. total time: 16.261s"


Also:

fastboot flash system TB-Q706F-DPP_USR_S100039_2111232000_V4.5_DEV_system.img
Invalid sparse file format at header magic
Sending sparse 'system' 1/3 (786344 KB) OKAY [ 19.666s]
Writing 'system' FAILED (remote: 'Partition not found')
fastboot: error: Command failed

I even tried another image from GSI but all have this error message.

Many thanks in advance
 
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mardon85

Senior Member
Jan 8, 2009
481
60
Manchester
Hello friends,

I ran into the very same problem you had with region lock. The Rescue and Smart Assistant tool ruined the device and I can't boot it anymore. Having this error message "The current system is not compatible …"

I tried going back to at least the 12L Preview but every time I run the script, it doesn't work. The device is not authorized

List of devices attached
HA**** unauthorized

How can I get it authorized from the recovery screen? There is no message in the device to ask me to grant the adb connection. By the weay, the device is already unlocked.

When I tried the manual instructions to flash 12L, during the below command, I get this error message


fastboot flash vendor vendor.img

target reported max download size of 805306368 bytes
sending 'vendor' (650920 KB)...
OKAY [ 16.256s]
writing 'vendor'...
FAILED (remote: Partition not found)
finished. total time: 16.261s"


Also:

fastboot flash system TB-Q706F-DPP_USR_S100039_2111232000_V4.5_DEV_system.img
Invalid sparse file format at header magic
Sending sparse 'system' 1/3 (786344 KB) OKAY [ 19.666s]
Writing 'system' FAILED (remote: 'Partition not found')
fastboot: error: Command failed

I even tried another image from GSI but all have this error message.

Many thanks in advance

I hate to break this to you but I couldn't find any way out of this mess. I couldn't find a Chinese ROM to flash back to. I had to send it back to China for repair. Got it back and it was someone else's broken Tablet and had to ship it off again. Its turned into a right old saga. Where did you purchase yours?
 

famaTV

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2012
84
18
I hate to break this to you but I couldn't find any way out of this mess. I couldn't find a Chinese ROM to flash back to. I had to send it back to China for repair. Got it back and it was someone else's broken Tablet and had to ship it off again. Its turned into a right old saga. Where did you purchase yours?
I bought it from Lenovo Global Store in Aliexpress. I already contacted the seller and they mentioned that they will check best solution and get back to me. I will update everyone accordingly.

Still wondering how come I can't flash the 12L or any GSI roms because of the vendor.img strange partition error. Anyone else with more guidance is truly appreciated.

Here is the store I bought it from:


UPDATE: Two new things I learned. When things seems not working, open a new CMD window and start working. Sometimes fastbootd won't activate. Make sure you have "fastbootd" text showing on the top of the screen to be able to proceed with vendor.img and system.img without the partition issues. Also, 12L system.img didn't work. I tried a couple of them and was so successful to flash lineage-19.0-20211216-UNOFFICIAL-treble_arm64_bgS.img image. Finally I got the tab running with LoS image. At least it's not bricked hopefully. Will update everyone once the tab retailer answers me (I hope he will manage to get a CN backup rom to use). Thanks

UPDATE2: There is an annoying continuous notification stating "The device isn't Play Protect certified" Not sure how to get this solved, but I slienced it anyway. However, can't get it to work. Playstore won't open.

UPDATE3: I managed to install PixelExperience_arm64-ab-12.0-20211226-UNOFFICIAL.img without any problems with Magisk. I am exploring it now and shall share my feedback later on. So far, no major issues.
 
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mardon85

Senior Member
Jan 8, 2009
481
60
Manchester
I bought it from Lenovo Global Store in Aliexpress. I already contacted the seller and they mentioned that they will check best solution and get back to me. I will update everyone accordingly.

Still wondering how come I can't flash the 12L or any GSI roms because of the vendor.img strange partition error. Anyone else with more guidance is truly appreciated.

Here is the store I bought it from:


UPDATE: Two new things I learned. When things seems not working, open a new CMD window and start working. Sometimes fastbootd won't activate. Make sure you have "fastbootd" text showing on the top of the screen to be able to proceed with vendor.img and system.img without the partition issues. Also, 12L system.img didn't work. I tried a couple of them and was so successful to flash lineage-19.0-20211216-UNOFFICIAL-treble_arm64_bgS.img image. Finally I got the tab running with LoS image. At least it's not bricked hopefully. Will update everyone once the tab retailer answers me (I hope he will manage to get a CN backup rom to use). Thanks

UPDATE2: There is an annoying continuous notification stating "The device isn't Play Protect certified" Not sure how to get this solved, but I slienced it anyway.
Good luck getting a Chinese ROM. If you manage it there will be many happy people.

I'm going to ask reseller to flash Global rom on mine. I wish someone would make a guide or share the exact process on how to do it correctly.
 

LSS4181

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2012
453
155
Google Pixel C
Razer Phone 2
I bought it from Lenovo Global Store in Aliexpress. I already contacted the seller and they mentioned that they will check best solution and get back to me. I will update everyone accordingly.

Still wondering how come I can't flash the 12L or any GSI roms because of the vendor.img strange partition error. Anyone else with more guidance is truly appreciated.

Here is the store I bought it from:


UPDATE: Two new things I learned. When things seems not working, open a new CMD window and start working. Sometimes fastbootd won't activate. Make sure you have "fastbootd" text showing on the top of the screen to be able to proceed with vendor.img and system.img without the partition issues. Also, 12L system.img didn't work. I tried a couple of them and was so successful to flash lineage-19.0-20211216-UNOFFICIAL-treble_arm64_bgS.img image. Finally I got the tab running with LoS image. At least it's not bricked hopefully. Will update everyone once the tab retailer answers me (I hope he will manage to get a CN backup rom to use). Thanks

UPDATE2: There is an annoying continuous notification stating "The device isn't Play Protect certified" Not sure how to get this solved, but I slienced it anyway. However, can't get it to work. Playstore won't open.

UPDATE3: I managed to install PixelExperience_arm64-ab-12.0-20211226-UNOFFICIAL.img without any problems with Magisk. I am exploring it now and shall share my feedback later on. So far, no major issues.
As for "The device isn't Play Protect certified" aka uncertified device, you need to manually register the device with Google otherwise you won't be able to log in your Google account.

However, that didn't work for me so I used NanoDroid (for microG and modded IAP-capable Play Store) instead. Maybe you need to wait much longer for device registration to take effect so you could log in.
 

famaTV

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2012
84
18
As for "The device isn't Play Protect certified" aka uncertified device, you need to manually register the device with Google otherwise you won't be able to log in your Google account.

However, that didn't work for me so I used NanoDroid (for microG and modded IAP-capable Play Store) instead. Maybe you need to wait much longer for device registration to take effect so you could log in.
Hello!

Thanks … Good to know.

The PixelExperience Android 12 works without any issues so far and I am happy with the experience of the rom.
 
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famaTV

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2012
84
18
Nice to know. Does anything not work?
I haven't noticed anything not working (yet). Overall the performance is so smooth, camera, gps, fingerprint, gestures, gaming, videos are all working fine. Pen is working however, buttons are not functioning (registered) due to missing app. I wish desktop mode is included. Split screen / flexible screen experience could be improved compared to the stock version.

I have two devices, one with PixelExperience installed and another with stock Chinese ROM. The GSI seems to be smoother as Chinese ROM tends to lag sometimes (not sure why). The them of the stock rom is so refreshing and polished compared the GSI version. But I won't mind it. I am giving it a couple more weeks before changing the 2nd device to PixelExperience (and hopefully by then, the Aliexpress seller comes back with a backup solution to revert back to Global Rom / Chinese Rom).

Thanks again for your valuable help.
 

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    Nice to know. Does anything not work?
    I haven't noticed anything not working (yet). Overall the performance is so smooth, camera, gps, fingerprint, gestures, gaming, videos are all working fine. Pen is working however, buttons are not functioning (registered) due to missing app. I wish desktop mode is included. Split screen / flexible screen experience could be improved compared to the stock version.

    I have two devices, one with PixelExperience installed and another with stock Chinese ROM. The GSI seems to be smoother as Chinese ROM tends to lag sometimes (not sure why). The them of the stock rom is so refreshing and polished compared the GSI version. But I won't mind it. I am giving it a couple more weeks before changing the 2nd device to PixelExperience (and hopefully by then, the Aliexpress seller comes back with a backup solution to revert back to Global Rom / Chinese Rom).

    Thanks again for your valuable help.
    2
    Yesterday, I decided to give the Android 12 GSI a try. The package comes w/ system.img and vbmeta.img. I took my 12L tablet, put it in fastboot via recovery, and since it was already flashed w/ boot, dtbo, and vendor, I just skipped to vbmeta and system. I do all this under my Linux system, so:

    Code:
    $ fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification flash vbmeta gsi/vbmeta.img
    Rewriting vbmeta struct at offset: 0
    Sending 'vbmeta_a' (4 KB)                          OKAY [  0.002s]
    Writing 'vbmeta_a'                                 OKAY [  0.005s]
    Finished. Total time: 0.022s
    $ fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification flash vbmeta gsi/vbmeta.img 
    $ fastboot erase system                            # optional
    Erasing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.091s]
    Finished. Total time: 0.098s
    $ fastboot flash system gsi/system.img
    Invalid sparse file format at header magic
    Resizing 'system_a'                                OKAY [  0.005s]
    Sending sparse 'system_a' 1/11 (262108 KB)         OKAY [ 10.257s]
    Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  1.534s]
    # deleted for brevity
    Sending sparse 'system_a' 11/11 (42372 KB)         OKAY [  1.696s]
    Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.236s]
    Finished. Total time: 104.110s
    $ fastboot -w reboot

    And that booted up fine. No Magicsk stuff. What does that get me? Root? Didn't seem to be required.

    Anyway, immediately I noticed that the fingerprint scanner did not work which was depressing. I messed around a bit, but was not very happy. So I decided to try the Pixel experience ROM like @famaTV has mentioned. I downloaded PixelExperience_arm64-ab-12.0-20211226-UNOFFICIAL.img, got back into fastboot, and then flashed it:

    Code:
    $ fastboot erase system                          # optional
    Erasing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.076s]
    Finished. Total time: 0.083s
    $ fastboot flash system PixelExperience_arm64-ab-12.0-20211226-UNOFFICIAL.img
    Invalid sparse file format at header magic
    Resizing 'system_a'                                OKAY [  0.005s]
    Sending sparse 'system_a' 1/14 (262108 KB)         OKAY [ 10.054s]
    Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  1.518s]
    # deleted for brevity
    Sending sparse 'system_a' 14/14 (54348 KB)         OKAY [  1.970s]
    Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.098s]
    Finished. Total time: 134.571s
    $ fastboot -w reboot

    It booted up fine. Got Pixel boot animation and then it started asking me to setup my Pixel device and such. Now it was kind of janky when it booted that first time. It was missing touches and such. I could barely get the fingerprint reader to take one complete registration. I logged into Google account and was able to update apps via Play Store normal updates. The whole Pixel setup stuff was not working correctly on that first boot. It kept spinning on setting up. After a bit of that, I restarted it and everything went much better. It finally asked me to restore the tablet from a backup which worked great. I also added a 1 TB microSD card and it worked correctly. At this point everything that I have thought of to check works and works well. The device does think it is a phone more than it should. Like the Google Messages app that comes on the device is expecting to be on a phone. But once I device paired thru Chrome it let me download a different Google Messages app that works like it is supposed to where it uses my real cell to do all the texting.

    This experience is vastly superior to original CN ROM. I'm not even sure if I'd ever need to put a real Lenovo ROM on here. At that point I can not worry about the region code. I've attached a few screen shots from the Pixel Xp system FYI.

    Oh, Netflix is only showing L3 even though DRM Info shows L1. Not sure how to get that fixed or even if it is fixable. That may be a deal breaker for some.

    Hopefully 12L will get to this level of performance and I can get this thing to not think it is a phone. I'm not sure if I remember checking Netflix DRM level...
    1
    I've got 12L running on my Xiaoxin Pad Pro 12.6. I couldn't stand the original stuff that was on there. Its pretty janky and has a lot of features disabled. I didn't make a backup of my original ROM b/c there was no way I was going back, but I should have. Today, I tried to go back to an official ROM via the Lenovo Rescue and Smart Assistant app which wasn't successful. Well, it was successful as far as tool was concerned, but the tablet said the software wasn't compatible once it booted and then just powered off. It downloaded TB_Q706F_USR_S211043_2111300010_Q00243_ROW. Probably didn't like the 8 GB or the 256 GB flash. No idea. I was able to get it into fastboot mode and re-flash it w/ 12L so no worse off than before.

    As far as 12L on this, it works, but as mentioned, lots of features not present. It is buggy in detecting finger presses and scrolling. Once I'm in an app, it works pretty well other than I have trouble getting touches to register properly. I hope this unit becomes supported once 12L goes legit. The Chinese ROM was horrible, all kind of garbage on it, weird modes, setting not even close to normal, and lots of Chinese language regardless of the language settings. I had to use Google Translate on my phone to read some of the pop-ups. Very annoying, but, hey, I bought a Chinese unit. Me wanting that 8GB and 256 GB flash may end up biting me in the butt.
    1
    As for "The device isn't Play Protect certified" aka uncertified device, you need to manually register the device with Google otherwise you won't be able to log in your Google account.

    However, that didn't work for me so I used NanoDroid (for microG and modded IAP-capable Play Store) instead. Maybe you need to wait much longer for device registration to take effect so you could log in.
    Hello!

    Thanks … Good to know.

    The PixelExperience Android 12 works without any issues so far and I am happy with the experience of the rom.
  • 2
    Nice to know. Does anything not work?
    I haven't noticed anything not working (yet). Overall the performance is so smooth, camera, gps, fingerprint, gestures, gaming, videos are all working fine. Pen is working however, buttons are not functioning (registered) due to missing app. I wish desktop mode is included. Split screen / flexible screen experience could be improved compared to the stock version.

    I have two devices, one with PixelExperience installed and another with stock Chinese ROM. The GSI seems to be smoother as Chinese ROM tends to lag sometimes (not sure why). The them of the stock rom is so refreshing and polished compared the GSI version. But I won't mind it. I am giving it a couple more weeks before changing the 2nd device to PixelExperience (and hopefully by then, the Aliexpress seller comes back with a backup solution to revert back to Global Rom / Chinese Rom).

    Thanks again for your valuable help.
    2
    Yesterday, I decided to give the Android 12 GSI a try. The package comes w/ system.img and vbmeta.img. I took my 12L tablet, put it in fastboot via recovery, and since it was already flashed w/ boot, dtbo, and vendor, I just skipped to vbmeta and system. I do all this under my Linux system, so:

    Code:
    $ fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification flash vbmeta gsi/vbmeta.img
    Rewriting vbmeta struct at offset: 0
    Sending 'vbmeta_a' (4 KB)                          OKAY [  0.002s]
    Writing 'vbmeta_a'                                 OKAY [  0.005s]
    Finished. Total time: 0.022s
    $ fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification flash vbmeta gsi/vbmeta.img 
    $ fastboot erase system                            # optional
    Erasing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.091s]
    Finished. Total time: 0.098s
    $ fastboot flash system gsi/system.img
    Invalid sparse file format at header magic
    Resizing 'system_a'                                OKAY [  0.005s]
    Sending sparse 'system_a' 1/11 (262108 KB)         OKAY [ 10.257s]
    Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  1.534s]
    # deleted for brevity
    Sending sparse 'system_a' 11/11 (42372 KB)         OKAY [  1.696s]
    Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.236s]
    Finished. Total time: 104.110s
    $ fastboot -w reboot

    And that booted up fine. No Magicsk stuff. What does that get me? Root? Didn't seem to be required.

    Anyway, immediately I noticed that the fingerprint scanner did not work which was depressing. I messed around a bit, but was not very happy. So I decided to try the Pixel experience ROM like @famaTV has mentioned. I downloaded PixelExperience_arm64-ab-12.0-20211226-UNOFFICIAL.img, got back into fastboot, and then flashed it:

    Code:
    $ fastboot erase system                          # optional
    Erasing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.076s]
    Finished. Total time: 0.083s
    $ fastboot flash system PixelExperience_arm64-ab-12.0-20211226-UNOFFICIAL.img
    Invalid sparse file format at header magic
    Resizing 'system_a'                                OKAY [  0.005s]
    Sending sparse 'system_a' 1/14 (262108 KB)         OKAY [ 10.054s]
    Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  1.518s]
    # deleted for brevity
    Sending sparse 'system_a' 14/14 (54348 KB)         OKAY [  1.970s]
    Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.098s]
    Finished. Total time: 134.571s
    $ fastboot -w reboot

    It booted up fine. Got Pixel boot animation and then it started asking me to setup my Pixel device and such. Now it was kind of janky when it booted that first time. It was missing touches and such. I could barely get the fingerprint reader to take one complete registration. I logged into Google account and was able to update apps via Play Store normal updates. The whole Pixel setup stuff was not working correctly on that first boot. It kept spinning on setting up. After a bit of that, I restarted it and everything went much better. It finally asked me to restore the tablet from a backup which worked great. I also added a 1 TB microSD card and it worked correctly. At this point everything that I have thought of to check works and works well. The device does think it is a phone more than it should. Like the Google Messages app that comes on the device is expecting to be on a phone. But once I device paired thru Chrome it let me download a different Google Messages app that works like it is supposed to where it uses my real cell to do all the texting.

    This experience is vastly superior to original CN ROM. I'm not even sure if I'd ever need to put a real Lenovo ROM on here. At that point I can not worry about the region code. I've attached a few screen shots from the Pixel Xp system FYI.

    Oh, Netflix is only showing L3 even though DRM Info shows L1. Not sure how to get that fixed or even if it is fixable. That may be a deal breaker for some.

    Hopefully 12L will get to this level of performance and I can get this thing to not think it is a phone. I'm not sure if I remember checking Netflix DRM level...
    1
    C:
    #include <std/disclaimer.h>
    /*
     * I am not responsible for bricked devices, dead SD cards, thermonuclear
     * war, or the current economic crisis caused by you following these
     * directions. YOU are choosing to make these modifications, and
     * if you point your finger at me for messing up your device, I will
     * laugh at you.
     */

    I bought the new tablet and unlocked it as soon as I was able to. After some fiddling I eventually got GSI up and running.

    Originally I planned to post this when an actual forum for P12 becomes available, but given some known issues with the stock FW at the time of writing, I think I'll just post it here now.

    What you need
    1. Unlocked bootloader
    Go to ZUI official unlock page to request an unlock (the page is in Chinese). For this tablet, you need to use the 4th option (Lenovo Tablet), which only requires you to enter the device's SN (can be found in the Settings screen, or from bootloader). Once you obtained the file needed to be flashed for unlocking, follow the official instructions to unlock the device.
    NOTE: You need to wait for at least 8 hours since the device's initial connection to Internet to get your device's SN recognized by the official unlock service. If it complains about "incorrect SN" but you've verified that your input is correct, simply wait a few more hours and try again.

    !!! WARNING: Like any other Android device, unlocking bootloader will wipe your data so BACKUP FIRST !!!


    2. fastboot
    The process utilizes fastboot exclusively, so make sure you have fastboot installed. No other tools are needed.

    3. Magisk-patched boot.img, or a patched vbmeta
    As there's currently no available PRC ROM dump for this tablet, the currently only known ROW dump will do.

    Although you should be able to use GSI without Magisk, you'll probably need to patch vbmeta so the stock kernel won't refuse to boot the GSI in this case. This guide does not cover non-Magisk scenario for now, as I'm not entirely sure. With Magisk, patching vbmeta is not needed.

    Note that flashing vbmeta (or maybe vbmeta_system) may change the device's metadata which will result in the device being unable to decrypt /data and you'll have to reformat it, SO MAKE SURE TO BACKUP (AGAIN) BEFORE FLASHING.

    UPDATE: vbmeta_system is probably not needed and should not be touched, as I suspect it might be the real culprit for the inability to decrypt /data afterwards. For non-Magisk scenario, you probably only need to patch vbmeta.


    4. Additional stuffs to flash
    WARNING: This tablet happens to be very picky about the kernel and vendor image you use when running GSI. While a mismatched kernel (Magisk patched) worked fine on stock as far as I could remember, on GSI, it'll result in the device's Wi-Fi and Audio not working, unless additional components (vendor, maybe also odm) of the same FW version are also used.

    If you're going to use the boot.img from the ROW dump (and patched it with Magisk), note about these images from the dump. I think at least vendor is needed. You may also try flashing odm if you're having issues.
    - super_5.img (vendor.img)
    - super_6.img (odm.img)

    FOR EXPERTS: The boot.img and vendor.img (as well as additional files like dtbo and vbmeta) from Android 12L developer preview might also be usable for running GSIs. I haven't tested this yet and it's possible the binaries may carry known or unknown issues.

    Steps to flash GSI

    1. Enter fastboot
    Use the following adb command to enter fastboot.
    Bash:
    adb reboot bootloader

    2. Enter fastbootd
    Enter the following command to enter fastbootd, where you can actually access the system partitions, as this tablet uses Dynamic Paritions.
    Bash:
    fastboot reboot fastboot

    WARNING: The following steps will actually modify your system partitions and may leave your tablet unbootable. Make sure you have backed up everything before proceeding.
    3. Flash Magisk patched boot.img
    Assume you have the Magisk patched boot.img as boot_magisk.img, enter the following command.
    Bash:
    fastboot flash boot boot_magisk.img
    Note that you can also flash boot.img directly from fastboot, before entering fastbootd.

    4. Flash the GSI
    Enter the following commands, assuming your GSI is called gsi.img.

    Bash:
    fastboot erase system
    fastboot flash system gsi.img

    Note that the erase command is optional. Replace gsi.img with the actual GSI image file of your choice.

    5. Flash additional stuffs
    You need to flash the vendor.img (or also odm.img) from the same FW dump as your boot.img. Assuming your vendor image is vendor.img, and odm image is odm.img, use the following command.

    Bash:
    fastboot flash vendor vendor.img
    fastboot flash odm odm.img

    NOTE: For which image files in the ROW dump correspond to vendor and odm, read above.

    FOR EXPERTS: If you could somehow obtain a dump of the running boot.img and patch it with Magisk, you may skip this step, but you can always flash those stuffs in case Wi-Fi and Audio are not working. As there's no known PRC ROM dumps at the time of writing, I'm not entirely sure.


    6. Wipe userdata if needed
    You don't need to wipe userdata if you are dirty flashing newer build of a same GSI over the existing one.
    In case you need to do so (such as flashing a different GSI, or factory reset), enter the following commands.
    WARNING: These commands will erase everything in the internal storage, not just app data! Make sure you have everything in the internal storage backed up before doing this.

    Bash:
    fastboot erase userdata
    fastboot erase metadata

    7. Reboot
    Enter the following command to reboot.

    Bash:
    fastboot reboot

    If nothing goes wrong and the GSI doesn't have any major issue that might prevent it from successfully booting, you should be able to boot the GSI and further configure it yourself.

    Current Status for GSIs
    So far everything I could test works on Android 11 GSIs.
    - Wi-Fi (needs matching vendor and maybe odm images, read above)
    - Camera (both sides)
    - Fingerprint Sensor (may occasionally not work)
    - 120Hz refresh rate
    - Bluetooth (Lenovo Precision Pen works)
    - Physical Keyboard Case

    I'm currently running DotOS 5.2 GSI on this tablet and am yet to encounter any serious issue. Even some demanding games work just fine. Just that when using the boot.img, vendor.img (as well as odm.img) from the ROW dump, the system would use a smaller font size by default.

    NOTE: Like any other Qualcomm devices, "Use alternate audio policy" option may be needed to ensure audio works the same as on stock ROM.

    The latest phh-AOSP versions (Android 12) can also boot on this tablet, but I haven't tested much yet. For now, I'll wait until a more customizable Android 12 GSI comes out (and also that Magisk becomes mature enough on the new Android version).

    Still, I'm not sure about how to get features specific to ZUI, like Desktop Mode, to work on GSIs.
    1
    Wow you seem to know your stuff.

    Currently i'm stuck with a 12.6 tablet which is stuck in the boot loader due to flashing the ROW ROM and tripping the region lock check. The boot loader wont let me activate any other modes (i.e. Recovery). Am I stuck this way until I can get a bootable Chinese ROM?

    I don't suppose you made a backup of your original chinese ROM did you? If so if you could share with my I definitely owe you a few drinks!
    Sorry, I don't have a full backup of the ROM my device had (I even let the device took an OTA, but all I got is a useless incremental package).

    It certainly wasn't possible for me to dump partitions without being rooted first. So far I haven't seen anyone released a dumped a PRC FW for this device at a place that's easy to find.

    I didn't flash everything from ROW. I only flashed some of the files (boot, vendor, odm, vbmeta, vbmeta_system) from ROW when I was trying to get GSI working. Some of the stuffs I flashed (namely vbmeta and vbmeta_system) may be optional, though.
    1
    I've got 12L running on my Xiaoxin Pad Pro 12.6. I couldn't stand the original stuff that was on there. Its pretty janky and has a lot of features disabled. I didn't make a backup of my original ROM b/c there was no way I was going back, but I should have. Today, I tried to go back to an official ROM via the Lenovo Rescue and Smart Assistant app which wasn't successful. Well, it was successful as far as tool was concerned, but the tablet said the software wasn't compatible once it booted and then just powered off. It downloaded TB_Q706F_USR_S211043_2111300010_Q00243_ROW. Probably didn't like the 8 GB or the 256 GB flash. No idea. I was able to get it into fastboot mode and re-flash it w/ 12L so no worse off than before.

    As far as 12L on this, it works, but as mentioned, lots of features not present. It is buggy in detecting finger presses and scrolling. Once I'm in an app, it works pretty well other than I have trouble getting touches to register properly. I hope this unit becomes supported once 12L goes legit. The Chinese ROM was horrible, all kind of garbage on it, weird modes, setting not even close to normal, and lots of Chinese language regardless of the language settings. I had to use Google Translate on my phone to read some of the pop-ups. Very annoying, but, hey, I bought a Chinese unit. Me wanting that 8GB and 256 GB flash may end up biting me in the butt.