Question Unlocking bootloader will disable the camera?

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白い熊

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Aug 29, 2011
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I just got a new Fold 3. Toggled OEM unlock in Developer settings, rebooted in Download mode – then long press up.

Now it asks to confirm bootloader unlock and says: “Doing so will cause the camera to be disabled”.

I've never seen this before – anyone seen that Samsung would do this on any other phone – disable the camera on bootloader unlock?

Can the disabled camera then be reenabled?

A phone without a camera would be problematic.
 

LR7875

Senior Member
Jun 25, 2021
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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
Xiaomi Mi Pad
I just got a new Fold 3. Toggled OEM unlock in Developer settings, rebooted in Download mode – then long press up.

Now it asks to confirm bootloader unlock and says: “Doing so will cause the camera to be disabled”.

I've never seen this before – anyone seen that Samsung would do this on any other phone – disable the camera on bootloader unlock?

Can the disabled camera then be reenabled?

A phone without a camera would be problematic.
Well it honestly, looks like what that will be caused by a virus.
Nonetheless, maybe it's Samsung's new way of ensuring you to stay on stock rom so that they can track (and maybe sell) your data, because samsung always does crap different (e.g. odin download mode instead of fastboot, need tar images, csc region code, etc)
 
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白い熊

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It's not a virus – this still happens while you're in download mode – it's a Samsung warning, they're trying to discourage unlocking the bootloader.

The question is whether this can be fixed somehow, so that the camera would work if you unlock the bootloader.
 
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LR7875

Senior Member
Jun 25, 2021
1,175
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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
Xiaomi Mi Pad
It's not a virus – this still happens while you're in download mode – it's a Samsung warning, they're trying to discourage unlocking the bootloader.

The question is whether this can be fixed somehow, so that the camera would work if you unlock the bootloader.
I DID NOT SAW ANYTHING LIKE THIS honestly.
Sorry for SCREAMING.
Other manufacturers choice:
Huawei: locked down oem unlock forever
Xiaomi: go home and wait 7 days bro
DEAR SAMSUNG why disable the camera? Why? It is going mad! How did the camera offend you? What is the reason? This kind of proofs that they are putting ads and trackers onto the phone as there are no reason outside this.


Well they are just discouraging advanced users from buying the phone and push them to Xiaomi, OnePlus, etc
 

白い熊

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I'm gonna wait a couple of days, just in case some info pops up somewhere on how to enable the camera.

If not, I'll return the phone – it'd be useless without the camera. Unless it'd just block the selfie cam, which I wouldn't mind. But there's no way to find out – unless you risk unlocking it, the camera would be disabled and then Samsung wouldn't take the phone back, as they'd say warranty is void.
 
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I'm gonna wait a couple of days, just in case some info pops up somewhere on how to enable the camera.

If not, I'll return the phone – it'd be useless without the camera. Unless it'd just block the selfie cam, which I wouldn't mind. But there's no way to find out – unless you risk unlocking it, the camera would be disabled and then Samsung wouldn't take the phone back, as they'd say warranty is void.
The warranty isn't void if you unlock the bootloader. You can lock it again and nothing will have changed. Just unlocking and relocking doesn't affect Knox.

Can you please post a photo of the screen with the warning about disabling the camera?

And can you confirm you have the global F926B model?
 
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白い熊

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F928B
20210820_121528.jpg


Low Q pic I took – but you can see the warning there.
The warranty isn't void if you unlock the bootloader. You can lock it again and nothing will have changed. Just unlocking and relocking doesn't affect Knox.
You're right – unless I flash something, should be OK.

I'll go and give it a try now, and see what's up with the camera.
 

Jake.S

Senior Member
The warranty isn't void if you unlock the bootloader. You can lock it again and nothing will have changed. Just unlocking and relocking doesn't affect Knox.

Can you please post a photo of the screen with the warning about disabling the camera?

And can you confirm you have the global F926B model?
No that's where you are wrong unlocking the bootloader does trig KNOX and warranty is void. I seen others unlock and their KNOX where triggered.
 
No that's where you are wrong unlocking the bootloader does trig KNOX and warranty is void. I seen others unlock and their KNOX where triggered.
I've been unlocking and flashing these devices for years and I can assure you that the act of merely unlocking the bootloader does not affect the Knox status.

That isn't affected until the first time that you flash an unofficial image to one of the partitions.

You can relock the bootloader without making modifications and Knox will still be intact.
 

renegade

Senior Member
May 27, 2003
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Seeing ianmacd is here brings hope that there might be a solution to be found...
The question is, did anybody actually try unlocking the bootloader and checked if the cameras really get disabled?
 
Seeing ianmacd is here brings hope that there might be a solution to be found...
The question is, did anybody actually try unlocking the bootloader and checked if the cameras really get disabled?
My own Fold3 (F926B) will arrive on Sunday.

I'll unlock the bootloader straight away and observe what happens to the camera. Then we'll know for sure.
 

StormCell

Senior Member
Jun 14, 2010
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Bear Creek
I just got a new Fold 3. Toggled OEM unlock in Developer settings, rebooted in Download mode – then long press up.

Now it asks to confirm bootloader unlock and says: “Doing so will cause the camera to be disabled”.

I've never seen this before – anyone seen that Samsung would do this on any other phone – disable the camera on bootloader unlock?

Can the disabled camera then be reenabled?

A phone without a camera would be problematic.
What country are you in?
 
Did your phone arrive and did you unlock it?

Yes, my Fold3 (F926B) arrived yesterday and I unlocked its bootloader this afternoon.

I can confirm that all cameras stop working afterwards. This means that facial recognition also fails. Anything that uses any of the cameras will fail.

I tried installing a third-party camera app, but this also failed. I took a logcat of the failure:

Code:
07-12 13:50:51.413  1384 31574 W ServiceManager: Permission failure: android.permission.CAMERA_OPEN_CLOSE_LISTENER from uid=10291 pid=8927
07-12 13:50:51.413  1384 31574 D CameraService: CameraDeviceState for CameraManager
07-12 13:50:51.413  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 0 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client net.sourceforge.opencamera API Level 1
07-12 13:50:51.413  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 1 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.413  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 2 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 20 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 21 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 23 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 3 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 4 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 52 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 71 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 73 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 91 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
07-12 13:50:51.415  1384 31574 D CameraService: getNumberOfCameras E
07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 W ServiceManager: Permission failure: android.permission.SYSTEM_CAMERA from uid=10291 pid=8927
07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 D CameraService: getNumberOfCameras X: ok
07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 D CameraService: getNumberOfCameras E
07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 W ServiceManager: Permission failure: android.permission.SYSTEM_CAMERA from uid=10291 pid=8927
07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 D CameraService: getNumberOfCameras X: ok
07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 D CameraService: getCameraInfo E: 0

At a glance, I'm confident that this can be fixed using Magisk (i.e. root), but I can't rule out the camera having been disabled in other ways, too. The situation may not be recoverable.

After relocking the bootloader, the camera works again.

It's really obnoxious of Samsung to do this, and I am in two minds now about keeping the device and working on a fix for the issue, or simply returning the unit in disgust. This is the kind of practice I expect from Apple, and I always tell Apple users to vote with their wallet when confronted with such anti-consumer practices.
 

chieco

Senior Member
Jul 6, 2011
677
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@ianmacd

Thank you so much for reporting back. This is just sad and disgusting what Sammy is doing. I was so excited to get a SD SoC in a Sammy flagship device in Europe and now this... Do you think down there line there will be a fix? Otherwise I'll have to cancel my pre-order because using a device without root is not acceptable for me.
 
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  • 24
    Did your phone arrive and did you unlock it?

    Yes, my Fold3 (F926B) arrived yesterday and I unlocked its bootloader this afternoon.

    I can confirm that all cameras stop working afterwards. This means that facial recognition also fails. Anything that uses any of the cameras will fail.

    I tried installing a third-party camera app, but this also failed. I took a logcat of the failure:

    Code:
    07-12 13:50:51.413  1384 31574 W ServiceManager: Permission failure: android.permission.CAMERA_OPEN_CLOSE_LISTENER from uid=10291 pid=8927
    07-12 13:50:51.413  1384 31574 D CameraService: CameraDeviceState for CameraManager
    07-12 13:50:51.413  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 0 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client net.sourceforge.opencamera API Level 1
    07-12 13:50:51.413  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 1 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.413  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 2 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 20 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 21 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 23 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 3 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 4 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 52 facing CAMERA_FACING_BACK state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 71 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 73 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.414  8927  9780 I CameraManagerGlobal: Camera 91 facing CAMERA_FACING_FRONT state now CAMERA_STATE_CLOSED for client android.system API Level 2
    07-12 13:50:51.415  1384 31574 D CameraService: getNumberOfCameras E
    07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 W ServiceManager: Permission failure: android.permission.SYSTEM_CAMERA from uid=10291 pid=8927
    07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 D CameraService: getNumberOfCameras X: ok
    07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 D CameraService: getNumberOfCameras E
    07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 W ServiceManager: Permission failure: android.permission.SYSTEM_CAMERA from uid=10291 pid=8927
    07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 D CameraService: getNumberOfCameras X: ok
    07-12 13:50:51.416  1384 31574 D CameraService: getCameraInfo E: 0

    At a glance, I'm confident that this can be fixed using Magisk (i.e. root), but I can't rule out the camera having been disabled in other ways, too. The situation may not be recoverable.

    After relocking the bootloader, the camera works again.

    It's really obnoxious of Samsung to do this, and I am in two minds now about keeping the device and working on a fix for the issue, or simply returning the unit in disgust. This is the kind of practice I expect from Apple, and I always tell Apple users to vote with their wallet when confronted with such anti-consumer practices.
    10
    Apologies that we haven't really been updating every step along the way the last few days! Joined a telegram group with other devs for fold 3 issues, which now is mostly about the camera, and just kind of been updating each other in the group.

    But we did stumble upon 2 odd things today.
    1 - the newest bootloader force closes the camera app and causes the phone to restart, where the original one just gives you an error message when you try to use the camera.
    2 - when you do try to use the camera, the lens does try to focus, meaning that the drivers and libraries are all loaded up and working properly. And it takes a few seconds for the camera app to say the camera isn't working (because another thread is opened when calling for the camera to the isp to display what the camera sees which takes a moment.)

    Both of those are kind of contradictory.
    (the rest of this comment is purely my opinion and doesn't explicitly represent the opinions of the rest of the dev group)
    The first implies that the actual bootloader impliments the lockout, whereas the second infers that it's software related.

    I potentially think a couple options as to what might be going on.
    1 - going with the simplest idea that should have been checked first, it could be as simple as SafetyNet Attestation built into the camera app that checks if the BL is unlocked right after starting the camera, which would explain the breif delay. So I'm going to check that tomorrow.
    2 - using the camera contexts, you can shut down the isp after the phone has booted as there is a couple of Contexts in the kernel talking about it. Shutting down the isp itself would stop the camera from being able to process and display what the camera sees (explains why opening the app takes a few seconds of black screen to say it doesn't work)
    3 - I know there was a 3, but my brain is fried as I'm about to go go bed so I'll edit-updates tomorrow when I am awake and back at my computer.

    However, this doesn't exactly explain why the new bootloader causes a force close and then phone reboot unless Samsung either messed up code somewhere in the new BL, or did it intentionally to create more frustration. Nor does it say how.

    We are all working very hard on this and working from different angles to try to cover as much ground as possible. Ivan said he had a possible fix, but he's been Mia for a week and no one has been able to get ahold of him so we can't rely on that right now!
    8
    Just to update since it's been a while.
    I have not been able to do a lot with this recently. The team has been working on it, but I have had numerous situations pull me away. Busy season for business since it's starting to get cold so I've been working nonstop. In the process of hiring more people so I can have more free time.

    Really debating doing a few things that I can't talk publicly about atm in order to get more Intel on the camera.
    I do apologize about the lackluster update because I know a lot of people are really looking forward to this
    8
    do you think it would work if i unlock my bootloader then flash a variant firmware then relock it?
    If you try to relock the bootloader with an unsigned firmware, it will brick your phone and you'd have to use Odin to flash factory firmware to fix it.

    I'm getting close to finding solutions, just hang tight.
    Still have half of our kernel code to go through. But I found the camera drivers and source code, which helps me know what to look for
    7
    So I'm not an android developer (been using Linux for 29 years though) and I do not yet have this phone but am planning on it. Still using rooted Note 8.

    Question - did any of you look at this from a different perspective - like what actions happen when you unlock the bootloader? If you can find the instructions that are executed when you "flip that switch" you can see the command that they are running to disable the cameras. I don't know if you can do strings searches for whatever the message is that is shown when you unlock the BL on the phone, but you should be able to download most of the software from / to your PC and search from there. Maybe they're are doing something like a linux module blacklist. I don't know where Android keeps the files like modules.conf (I'll search my rooted Note8 later) but that could be a possibility.

    Are there tools in Android where you can closely monitor when new jobs start to maybe see what happens when the BL is unlocked? If so, then maybe you can upload 'strace' and repeat the process to see what is executed.

    I figure for them to be able to change your phone on the fly that quickly, AND to put it back once the BL is locked (assuming no flashes) it has to be something like a command or a module. Since it also looks to see if anything was flashed I'm leaning towards a program, although if these things still run dm-verity then a command might not be necessary since flashes should be seen on boot.

    If it's a command it could be a new one. Maybe if someone has the earlier Fold (rooted) they could do a "ls -latR /" and someone could do the same on the Fold 3 - then do a diff to see what new commands show up.

    Then again - maybe I'm just too familiar with Linux and there are too many differences with Android. Hopefully this at least helps spur thought.