Soft bricked Pixel XL

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HanaTruly

New member
Oct 25, 2019
3
0
Glasgow
A week ago, all of a sudden, my Pixel decided to freeze and become unresponsive. To make a long story short, it only goes to the Google logo screen and will not go into bootloader or recovery mode. Took it to a repair shop and they said it needed to be sent back to Google (it's three years old so long past its warranty) which would cost a fortune. They said it is soft bricked.

I'm looking into things and since my phone is already useless, I surely can't make it any worse. (fingers crossed.)

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on how to get my phone back up and running whilst also keeping all of the data on my phone. I'm not keen on wiping the data as it has important information on it. Is it possible to unbrick a Pixel XL without factory resetting it?

Does anyone have a simpletons guide on how to do it? I've looked at numerous guides and they are either long winded or far too complicated for me. I'm not familiar with downloading a file to unzip it or extracting it. Although, I am very much willing to learn given my circumstances.

If anyone can provide any information, I would be very grateful!
 

sudoxd

Senior Member
Jan 16, 2017
212
51
Adelaide
sudoxd.xyz
i think if anything at this point, you need to assume none of your data can be saved. if you send it to google for them to fix, no data will be kept most likely, nor if you find any solution to do yourself. what happens if on the google screen you hold down power and voldown until it turns off and then keep holding them down?
 

HanaTruly

New member
Oct 25, 2019
3
0
Glasgow
It goes into fastboot with the android guy on it's back and it gives me the "restart bootloader", "recovery mode", "barcodes", etc, options. None of which the phone can enter apart from the barcodes and the powering off option. :crying:
 

Nilkong

Member
Sep 28, 2012
10
0
A week ago, all of a sudden, my Pixel decided to freeze and become unresponsive. To make a long story short, it only goes to the Google logo screen and will not go into bootloader or recovery mode. Took it to a repair shop and they said it needed to be sent back to Google (it's three years old so long past its warranty) which would cost a fortune. They said it is soft bricked.

I'm looking into things and since my phone is already useless, I surely can't make it any worse. (fingers crossed.)

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on how to get my phone back up and running whilst also keeping all of the data on my phone. I'm not keen on wiping the data as it has important information on it. Is it possible to unbrick a Pixel XL without factory resetting it?

Does anyone have a simpletons guide on how to do it? I've looked at numerous guides and they are either long winded or far too complicated for me. I'm not familiar with downloading a file to unzip it or extracting it. Although, I am very much willing to learn given my circumstances.

If anyone can provide any information, I would be very grateful!

I have the same exact problem. Started Nov. 14. Talked to google asked me to take it to uBreakiFix. They ran diagnostics and said they can't fix it.

My phone used to boot up randomly but would freeze after 2-3 mins and crash again into a bootloop. Now it's stuck on white "google" screen and can't get into recovery or any other modes.
 

sudoxd

Senior Member
Jan 16, 2017
212
51
Adelaide
sudoxd.xyz
I have the same exact problem. Started Nov. 14. Talked to google asked me to take it to uBreakiFix. They ran diagnostics and said they can't fix it.

My phone used to boot up randomly but would freeze after 2-3 mins and crash again into a bootloop. Now it's stuck on white "google" screen and can't get into recovery or any other modes.

by boot up randomly do you mean it would randomly reboot or turn on while it was off?
 

Nilkong

Member
Sep 28, 2012
10
0
by boot up randomly do you mean it would randomly reboot or turn on while it was off?

I mean it would boot successfully and take me to lock screen where I can use the phone for few minutes until it freezes again.

Currently I am connected to computer with adb shell open and have phone on the screen where I can see options to select 'barcode' 'recovery mode' 'power off'. The screen shows baseband version, CPU, UFS, DRAM, "Device is locked".
Adb is recognizing the devices (I can't unlock because I had the option to "OEM unlock" turned off in settings). But when I try selecting 'recovery mode' its back to 'Google' screen and stuck there.
 

sudoxd

Senior Member
Jan 16, 2017
212
51
Adelaide
sudoxd.xyz
I mean it would boot successfully and take me to lock screen where I can use the phone for few minutes until it freezes again.

Currently I am connected to computer with adb shell open and have phone on the screen where I can see options to select 'barcode' 'recovery mode' 'power off'. The screen shows baseband version, CPU, UFS, DRAM, "Device is locked".
Adb is recognizing the devices (I can't unlock because I had the option to "OEM unlock" turned off in settings). But when I try selecting 'recovery mode' its back to 'Google' screen and stuck there.

try sideloading the latest OTA and see what happens, this doesnt require an unlocked bootloader, just adb sideload.
 
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Nilkong

Member
Sep 28, 2012
10
0
try sideloading the latest OTA and see what happens, this doesnt require an unlocked bootloader, just adb sideload.

I flashed the new version of OTA from google's site. And it looks like it's booting up. Will report back if it crashes or continues to hold up.

Thanks!

EDIT: It's back to boot looping. It was at the "G" screen with white loading bar underneath. It froze there and went back to bootloop. Looks like there might be no avail.
 
Last edited:

thomase00

Senior Member
Sep 25, 2012
57
16
Similar issue here. I gave up on it a month ago, but I figured it can't hurt to ask around. FWIW, there seem to be a lot of similar reports on Google's Pixel support forum.

Anyway, during the 2nd year of owning my Pixel XL (got it in Septempter 2017), I started experiencing slowdowns and random reboots more frequently, but never any bootloops until after receiving Android 10. After receiving Android 10, the random reboots seemed to be happening more frequently. I also experienced a weird issue where the phone would spontaneously exit out of the Google app (reached by left edge swipe from home screen) consistently within a few seconds of entering it.

Eventually, after another increasingly common random freeze, the phone rebooted and got stuck in a bootloop. Initially, chances were high that I would be able to complete the boot process after a few attempts, but inevitably, it would freeze and start bootlooping again. During the handful of successful boot attempts, I was able to backup some photos, and more importantly, enable OEM bootloader unlock in the developer options. After several more failed attempts to boot successfully, I did a total reflash of the latest factory image as of September 2019, after which I was able to get partially through the new phone setup process before crashing. For each subsequent attempt, the crash would happen earlier and earlier in the setup process until it wouldn't get further than the 'G' logo before rebooting. When the October 2019 factory image became available, I tried flashing that as well, but no luck.

On one hand, considering that the failures got progressively worse over time, it seems that this is fundamental hardware failure in the SOC, motherboard, RAM, etc. On the other hand, there seems to have been so many recent reports of this, especially after the Android 10 update, that I wonder whether or not it is software issue. Or could it be some combination of both, where the Android 10 update is pushing the hardware in new ways that is more likely to exacerbate an underlying hardware flaw?

Should I try re-flashing with Android 9 instead? At this point, it is a total brick...
 
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    I mean it would boot successfully and take me to lock screen where I can use the phone for few minutes until it freezes again.

    Currently I am connected to computer with adb shell open and have phone on the screen where I can see options to select 'barcode' 'recovery mode' 'power off'. The screen shows baseband version, CPU, UFS, DRAM, "Device is locked".
    Adb is recognizing the devices (I can't unlock because I had the option to "OEM unlock" turned off in settings). But when I try selecting 'recovery mode' its back to 'Google' screen and stuck there.

    try sideloading the latest OTA and see what happens, this doesnt require an unlocked bootloader, just adb sideload.