[STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS] Unlocking and Rooting a Dev Ed Moto X Running Kit Kat

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Cozume

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Jan 30, 2014
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I posted these step-by-step instructions in another thread but thought others might like to see them in their own thread. This works for Dev Ed Moto X's running either 4.4 or 4.4.2. If you have a non-Dev Ed with an unlockable bootloader, it works for those, too, but of course you void your warranty if you unlock your bootloader if you have a non-Dev Ed.


To unlock and root the developer edition:

1) Get the unlock code from Motorola and unlock the bootloader by following the directions in this link, including downloading the Android SDK and installing Motorola Device Manager:

Unlock Moto X Bootloader


2) Get mfastboot.exe here:

mfastboot.exe

and place it in the same directory as fastboot (fastboot is in the \sdk\platform-tools subdirectory of the Android SDK).


3) Get the TWRP custom recovery for kit kat here:

TWRP for Moto X 4.4

and place it in the same directory as fastboot.


4) On your unlocked Moto X, enable USB debugging and download SuperSU here:

SuperSU 1.93


5) Double check to make sure USB debugging has been enabled! Put your unlocked Moto X into bootloader mode by pressing the Volume Down button and then the Power button. Hold for about 3 seconds and release and you should be in bootloader mode. Connect your Moto X to your PC via a USB cable.


6) Open a command prompt on your PC and change directory to the folder where mfastboot.exe is.


7) At the command prompt type:

mfastboot flash recovery twrp-2.6.3.1-ghost-4.4.img

to flash the custom recovery to your Moto X.


8) After the custom recovery has been flashed to your Moto X, at the command prompt type:

fastboot reboot-bootloader

to reboot into the bootloader.

(I am not sure if this step is necessary but I read somewhere it was necessary and I did it and it worked).


9) Unplug your device from your PC. Then get into recovery mode by pressing the Volume Down button to highlight recovery mode and pressing the Volume Up button to select the recovery mode.


10) You should now have booted into the Team Win Recovery Project custom recovery. Click on Install to install SuperSu. Scroll down to find the sdcard and select it. Then scroll down to download and select it. Select the SuperSU zip file and swipe to install.


If you want to check to see if you successfully rooted, you can download Root Checker Basic from the playstore and it will tell you if you are rooted.

From what I have read you can use the version of TWRP I linked to above to root 4.4.2.

Remember, to take an OTA, you have to revert back to stock!
 
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ragingd

Member
Jul 18, 2011
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Can anyone post the steps to flash stock recovery to accept the OTA TO 4.4.2? Thanks.

Sent from my XT1060 using Tapatalk
 

YankInDaSouth

Senior Member
Oct 30, 2010
1,787
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Sharpsburg, GA
Can anyone post the steps to flash stock recovery to accept the OTA TO 4.4.2? Thanks.

Sent from my XT1060 using Tapatalk

Grab the firmware for your model here: http://sbf.droid-developers.org/phone.php?device=0
Then you can follow the steps from here: https://motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/standalone/bootloader/recovery-images ... Of course if you don't have flash every component, only what you need. Recovery of course and perhaps system...



Tapatalked via my moto x
 
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Tuse0708

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Nov 13, 2012
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Assistance

Perhaps someone could shed some light on this for me. I have a T-Mobile (XT1053) with an unlocked bootloader (I'm certain it's unlocked as I get the unlocked bootloader warning). I unlocked via Motorolas site. I then attempted to install TWRP with mfastboot, which it says it has done, but then when I attempt to reboot into recovery, it just ends up at a black screen (off essentially) and I can only power up as normal. Any one have any ideas?
 

Cozume

Senior Member
Jan 30, 2014
429
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Perhaps someone could shed some light on this for me. I have a T-Mobile (XT1053) with an unlocked bootloader (I'm certain it's unlocked as I get the unlocked bootloader warning). I unlocked via Motorolas site. I then attempted to install TWRP with mfastboot, which it says it has done, but then when I attempt to reboot into recovery, it just ends up at a black screen (off essentially) and I can only power up as normal. Any one have any ideas?
First, with your device disconnected from any power source, boot into bootloader mode and verify that it says Device is UNLOCKED. Status Code: 3. BTW - the bootloader unlocked warning logo stays even if you relock the bootloader unless you flash a new logo.

Then if it does say device is unlocked, hit Volume Down to highlight Recovery and Volume Up to select recovery. Is that when you see a black screen? It takes TWRP a little while to load.
 

Tuse0708

Member
Nov 13, 2012
14
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First, with your device disconnected from any power source, boot into bootloader mode and verify that it says Device is UNLOCKED. Status Code: 3. BTW - the bootloader unlocked warning logo stays even if you relock the bootloader unless you flash a new logo.

Then if it does say device is unlocked, hit Volume Down to highlight Recovery and Volume Up to select recovery. Is that when you see a black screen? It takes TWRP a little while to load.

Nevermind....Thanks for the help, got it going.
 
Last edited:

hbar98

Senior Member
Oct 11, 2010
229
59
So I'm getting an unlock code. I am currently on 4.4.2, and if I read the posts right, I don't have to downgrade to 4.4 to root, TWRP will still root 4.4.2 without issue, right?

EDIT

Nevermind. I've slapped my Moto, so I'm going to SBF back to 4.4.2 to make sure there aren't any... issues...
 
Last edited:

fury683

Senior Member
Dec 20, 2010
1,019
283
MSP
I'm currently rooted on 4.4. I have made changes to /system, so I can't take the OTA. I got an unlock code today. I understand that unlocking the bootloader will induce a Factory Data Reset. Do I need to SBF to stock 4.4 (or 4.2.2) before I do this? Will the FDR clear up the changes I made?

Furthermore, what order should I do these steps in? If I have 4.4 and unlock/root it, I can't take the OTA with non-stock recovery, correct? I would need a flashable ZIP for TWRP/CWM? Would it be better to unlock, FDR, take OTA to 4.4.2, then do TWRP and root?

Hopefully this isn't too silly of a question, I appreciate any advice for the best path to take on this.
 

t1.8matt

Senior Member
Jan 22, 2012
1,922
419
Pittsburgh, PA.
Hey all, just ordered a Dev Edition to go along with my N5 and had a question regarding mfastboot. I downloaded mfastboot from one of the stickies, it was only one file and placed it in my sdk platform tools folder. I was reading on Motorola website about flashing factory images and seen this note-"NOTE: You must use the Motorola fastboot utility to flash (included in the Darwin/, Linux/ or Windows/ directory). Please do NOT use the Android fastboot utility.". First of all, what does it mean included in Windows directory? And I'm guessing about not using the Android fastboot utility, they want you to use "mfastboot flash...." instead of "fastboot flash...."? Just trying to get some research in before I receive the device. I'm used to using fastboot on my Galaxy Nexus and now my N5. I used to have alot of Moto devices before this and using the SBF files in Moto's flashing tool, but never had an unlockable bootloader Moto device that can use some form of fastboot.
 
D

Darth

Guest
Hey all, just ordered a Dev Edition to go along with my N5 and had a question regarding mfastboot. I downloaded mfastboot from one of the stickies, it was only one file and placed it in my sdk platform tools folder. I was reading on Motorola website about flashing factory images and seen this note-"NOTE: You must use the Motorola fastboot utility to flash (included in the Darwin/, Linux/ or Windows/ directory). Please do NOT use the Android fastboot utility.". First of all, what does it mean included in Windows directory? And I'm guessing about not using the Android fastboot utility, they want you to use "mfastboot flash...." instead of "fastboot flash...."? Just trying to get some research in before I receive the device. I'm used to using fastboot on my Galaxy Nexus and now my N5. I used to have alot of Moto devices before this and using the SBF files in Moto's flashing tool, but never had an unlockable bootloader Moto device that can use some form of fastboot.

Fastboot can't handle the file sizes. So Motorola made mfastboot. You have to use it when flashing the Moto x.

Sent from my cell phone telephone....
 

t1.8matt

Senior Member
Jan 22, 2012
1,922
419
Pittsburgh, PA.
Fastboot can't handle the file sizes. So Motorola made mfastboot. You have to use it when flashing the Moto x.

Sent from my cell phone telephone....

Ok, gotcha. And I've been reading a little about people wanting to downgrade from 4.4.2, but if you have a locked bootloader and upgraded to the latest bootloader, they can't without bricking. I assume this won't be an issue with an unlocked bootloader, even though I'm not sure of why you would want to downgrade. Edit: I see, for root reasons, but this shouldn't be an issue if you're flashing SuperSU in TWRP?
Edit again: I should read more. Rooting 4.4.2 with an unlocked bootloader isn't an issue if I follow this guide in this thread. Thanks for your help. Looking forward to getting this device.
 
Last edited:
D

Darth

Guest
Ok, gotcha. And I've been reading a little about people wanting to downgrade from 4.4.2, but if you have a locked bootloader and upgraded to the latest bootloader, they can't without bricking. I assume this won't be an issue with an unlocked bootloader, even though I'm not sure of why you would want to downgrade. Edit: I see, for root reasons, but this shouldn't be an issue if you're flashing SuperSU in TWRP?
Edit again: I should read more. Rooting 4.4.2 with an unlocked bootloader isn't an issue if I follow this guide in this thread. Thanks for your help. Looking forward to getting this device.

Root will be easy. Same as a nexus. Unlock bootloader, flash custom recovery....root. install superSU if needed.

As far as what's NOT like a nexus....yes, you can still brick downgrading an unlocked device....even the dev edition...which is no different than any other unlocked Moto x. Without going into all the details, you can read about it all over....there is a specific way to downgrade. And you cannot take an ota after....that MAY brick any Moto x...locked or unlocked. There is tonnes of conflicting opinions on this....so read as much as you can, and decide from there. There's very specific ways to downgrade and upgrade after. In my opinion....there's risk involved in all of it.

Just Google "Moto x brick downgrade xda" to read the stories. :)

If you find you must downgrade from 4.4.2.....study hard before you do. ;)

Sent from my N5, N7, Moto X,G Tab 3 or S2..... ;)
 
Last edited:

t1.8matt

Senior Member
Jan 22, 2012
1,922
419
Pittsburgh, PA.
Root will be easy. Same as a nexus. Unlock bootloader, flash custom recovery....root. install superSU if needed.

As far as what's NOT like a nexus....yes, you can still brick downgrading an unlocked device....even the dev edition...which is no different than any other unlocked Moto x. Without going into all the details, you can read about it all over....there is a specific way to downgrade. And you cannot take an ota after....that MAY brick any Moto x...locked or unlocked.

If you find you must downgrade from 4.4.2.....study hard before you do. ;)

Sent from my N5, N7, Moto X,G Tab 3 or S2..... ;)

Great info. But the only reason people are downgrading from 4.4.2 is if they have a locked bootloader and want to retain root?
 
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    I posted these step-by-step instructions in another thread but thought others might like to see them in their own thread. This works for Dev Ed Moto X's running either 4.4 or 4.4.2. If you have a non-Dev Ed with an unlockable bootloader, it works for those, too, but of course you void your warranty if you unlock your bootloader if you have a non-Dev Ed.


    To unlock and root the developer edition:

    1) Get the unlock code from Motorola and unlock the bootloader by following the directions in this link, including downloading the Android SDK and installing Motorola Device Manager:

    Unlock Moto X Bootloader


    2) Get mfastboot.exe here:

    mfastboot.exe

    and place it in the same directory as fastboot (fastboot is in the \sdk\platform-tools subdirectory of the Android SDK).


    3) Get the TWRP custom recovery for kit kat here:

    TWRP for Moto X 4.4

    and place it in the same directory as fastboot.


    4) On your unlocked Moto X, enable USB debugging and download SuperSU here:

    SuperSU 1.93


    5) Double check to make sure USB debugging has been enabled! Put your unlocked Moto X into bootloader mode by pressing the Volume Down button and then the Power button. Hold for about 3 seconds and release and you should be in bootloader mode. Connect your Moto X to your PC via a USB cable.


    6) Open a command prompt on your PC and change directory to the folder where mfastboot.exe is.


    7) At the command prompt type:

    mfastboot flash recovery twrp-2.6.3.1-ghost-4.4.img

    to flash the custom recovery to your Moto X.


    8) After the custom recovery has been flashed to your Moto X, at the command prompt type:

    fastboot reboot-bootloader

    to reboot into the bootloader.

    (I am not sure if this step is necessary but I read somewhere it was necessary and I did it and it worked).


    9) Unplug your device from your PC. Then get into recovery mode by pressing the Volume Down button to highlight recovery mode and pressing the Volume Up button to select the recovery mode.


    10) You should now have booted into the Team Win Recovery Project custom recovery. Click on Install to install SuperSu. Scroll down to find the sdcard and select it. Then scroll down to download and select it. Select the SuperSU zip file and swipe to install.


    If you want to check to see if you successfully rooted, you can download Root Checker Basic from the playstore and it will tell you if you are rooted.

    From what I have read you can use the version of TWRP I linked to above to root 4.4.2.

    Remember, to take an OTA, you have to revert back to stock!
    2
    Yes. The process in the OP of this thread still works great to root when your bootload is unlocked, even with the newer ROM updates...

    The only changes to the OP would be...

    Download the latest TWRP Recovery from -> http://teamw.in/project/twrp2/234 (under the Download-Fastboot heading) and the latest SuperSU from -> http://download.chainfire.eu/supersu or the latest CWM / TWRP / MobileODIN installable ZIP from http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1538053

    and use them while following the instructions.
    2
    So, just in summary, if you're on 4.4.2 (and Moto X, unlocked/dev ed) and want to update to 4.4.4, I would suggest:
    1. Visit the link above for the FXZ image
    2. Download the RSD flasher and RSD Lite if you don't have it
    3. Have RSDFlasher unpack the .zip file and build the script (some XML)
    4. Connect your phone in Fastboot mode
    5. Run RSDFlasher with the newly created XML file and reboot. You now will have 4.4.4 installed
    6. Reboot back into fastboot mode and reflash TWRP using the usual fastboot command with the latest TWRP image
    7. Restart using recovery boot (this boots TWRP)
    8. Hit the install button in TWRP to install that latest copy of SuperSU you downloaded to the phone earlier.
    9. Now boot to system and you're good to go with root and 4.4.4
    A couple comments on your post

    You start off mentioning having a Verizon Dev Ed, but not using the Chinese middle man.. Correct. The only time the China Middleman is needed is when you have a phone Motorola will NOT give the Bootloader Unlock code out for (i.e. ATT, Republic Wireless, Non-Dev Edition Verizon). If you have a Dev Edition (GSM or for Verizon), GSM Unlocked, Sprint, Rogers Wireless, and others. Moto will give you the code for FREE on their web site.

    And you only needed to request the unlock code ONCE. So if you were already bootloader and unlocked, either the China Middleman or the Moto Web site is not needed. The bootloader wont relock unless you go through the process and manually fasboot oem lock it. If you do manage to manually relock the bootloader, the same code you had will unlock it again.

    If you are suggesting to download the FXZ/SBF of 4.4.4 and flash it, that only works if/when the FXZ/SBF has leaked for your phone/carrier.

    You and I have Verizon. We are luck that the 4.4.4 FXZ leaked as early as it did. For ATT, T-Mo, Republic, and the Non-USA variant X (think XT1052 and others), the full FXZ hasn't leaked yet.

    For new users who have only unlocked their bootloaders, flashed TWRP and rooted, then only make use of apps like RootExplorer, QuickBoot(reboot), Adfree, Wifi Tether for Root, etc.. that do NOT modify /System, the easiest way to take the OTA is to...

    1. download the SBF/FXZ for your carrier and the Software Version currently on your phone from http://sbf.droid-developers.org/phone.php?device=0 Do NOT use a lower Software Version, or the SBF/FXZ for another carrier or you will risk bricking your phone!!!
    2. unzip it.
    3. boot the phone into fastbootAP/bootloader mode
    4. use mfastboot to flash the recovery.img to your phone - mfastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    5. immediately reboot into fastbootAP/bootloader - mfastboot reboot-bootloader
    6. select recovery.
    7. once you've entered stock recovery, you can reboot back into normal system.
    8. take the OTA when it gets to your phone.
    9. you will likely remain rooted, and its optional to flash your custom recovery back on there via mFastboot

    However, if you are running Xposed, did a wifi tethering hack, edited build.prop, DELETED bloat from your phone, your phone will fail the OTA Update's validation checks and it will fail. In that case, you can boot back into fasbootAP/Bootloader mode, use mfastboot to flash system.img (mfastboot flash system.img ) from the SBF/FXZ you already downloaded and unzipped. then reboot ( mfastboot reboot ), and try the OTA again. You will need to re-root by flashing custom recovery (like twrp), and re-install SuperSU
    2
    So basically after the Unlock/Root process is all done, even if I flash the stock recovery back on, there may be info that does not match the OTA update manifest causing it to fail. So rule of thumb is don't risk an OTA update if you are modded bc it's no guarantee the it will be successful.

    So in order to be 100% sure an OTA update will be installed successfully I would have to unroot and return to stock (I can leave it unlocked though?).
    You've sort of got it... but not quite... And yes, you are over thinking a little...

    You can be rooted, running TWRP day to day. If you've rooted and done things like the tethering hacks that have your replace file (Like the older VZW Entitlement APK hack, or the newer replace the framework.res.apk hack) you'd need to undo those and make sure you have stock recovery before you take an OTA. Other hacks that similarly replace/modify/delete system files would need to be undone too.

    If all you do is install twrp, root, and install an app or two that require root in order to operate, then you'll only need stock recovery.

    Take me for example.. I've flashed TWRP and Rooted, installed Wifi Tether For Root (or see This Post), Adfree, 3C Battery Widget, Quick Boot, and some root capable file managers... To get ready for the 4.4.2 update, since none of my apps modified/deleted system aps, all I needed to do was flash stock recovery back on and take the 4.4.2 OTA. Afterwards, I was still rooted, so I never flashed TWRP back on yet, I'm still running stock recovery.
    1
    I assume this is the same process regardless of Android build # (ie. After updating to 4.4.2) ...
    It works for both 4.4 and 4.4.2.