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Updating your rooted Pixel 4a 5G on Windows

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WhiteAsIce

Senior Member
Dec 1, 2010
84
3
Is it possible to go back to an older firmware with this method? Every time I try this, my device gets stuck on the booting screen.
 
You can also update using the ota.
Download both the full factory image (fi) and ota
Extract boot.img from the fi, and patch on your phone using magisk - place in the same folder as the ota (on your pc)
Disable all modules in magisk. I also disable adaway (may not be necessary)
Reboot
Boot into recovery. Once the android is on the screen, hold power then press vol +
Select apply update from adb, then on the pc in a command window or powershell run
Code:
adb sideload xxx.zip (where xxx is the name of the ota image)
Once done, reboot into bootloader
Code:
adb reboot bootloader
Flash the patched boot
Code:
fastboot flash boot xxx.img (where xxx is the name of your patched boot img)
Reboot into system, give the phone a few mins. Enable all magisk modules, reboot, enable adaway, reboot. Done.
Hi ! I'm on Android 11 October update root.
Can I update my pixel 4a 5g to Android 12 same with ota and flash boot factory image with magisk.
 

killchain

Senior Member
Oct 6, 2012
326
71
30
Google Pixel 4a 5G
I rushed and updated with the OTA the normal way (updating from Android 11, June patch - or July, can't remember, but it wasn't the October patch for sure). It went fine. I then went ahead and tried to flash a boot.img (extracted from the latest FI, not the OTA) patched by Magisk. After flashing patched boot, I get "failed to load/verify boot images" in fastboot; if I flash stock boot.img, it's fine again (but I lose root). Can I go forward with getting root back without wiping?

Also, what's up with that vbmeta.img that keeps getting mentioned in the Pixel 5 thread?
 
I rushed and updated with the OTA the normal way (updating from Android 11, June patch - or July, can't remember, but it wasn't the October patch for sure). It went fine. I then went ahead and tried to flash a boot.img (extracted from the latest FI, not the OTA) patched by Magisk. After flashing patched boot, I get "failed to load/verify boot images" in fastboot; if I flash stock boot.img, it's fine again (but I lose root). Can I go forward with getting root back without wiping?

Also, what's up with that vbmeta.img that keeps getting mentioned in the Pixel 5 thread?
Hi ! Thanks for message. I can update ota but flash patched boot doesn't work for you. Have you stop all modules on magisk before ? And use the canary version of Magisk for Android 12. I see the vbmeta.img later.
Have a good day.
 
I rushed and updated with the OTA the normal way (updating from Android 11, June patch - or July, can't remember, but it wasn't the October patch for sure). It went fine. I then went ahead and tried to flash a boot.img (extracted from the latest FI, not the OTA) patched by Magisk. After flashing patched boot, I get "failed to load/verify boot images" in fastboot; if I flash stock boot.img, it's fine again (but I lose root). Can I go forward with getting root back without wiping?

Also, what's up with that vbmeta.img that keeps getting mentioned in the Pixel 5 thread?
I read the thread Pixel 5. For update ota without loose data and root you do to flash vbmeta with disable verity & vérification and after flash patch boot.

But you flash ota with adb sideload and when finish start it or reboot directly to fastboot ? On the thread Pixel 5 do wait until you are in/system with the update process finished.

Or they had always the methid with Android flash tool but loose data. Perhaps is more good when change major update !?
 
On Android 12, disabling verity and verification will require a data wipe if it hasn't been done before. What seems to "lock" the state of boot verification is booting into system; so, if you perform an update, or flash vbmeta without the disable flags, then reboot into Android, you have essentially enabled boot verification and will require a wipe to disable it again. Confusing, I know.

Here is the appropriate update process. DO NOT take the automatic OTA if you are rooted. If you allow the phone to reboot after an update without disabling boot verification, you will have to wipe in order to disable it again, as you would need to for a patched boot image.


OTA Sideload:
1. Download both the OTA and the factory zip.
2. Extract vbmeta.img and boot.img from the factory zip.
3. Patch the boot image and copy it back to your computer.
4. Reboot to recovery and sideload the OTA: select Apply Update via ADB, then on your PC:
Code:
adb sideload ota.zip
5. When the OTA completes, you will be in recovery mode. DO NOT REBOOT TO SYSTEM. Select "Reboot to bootloader".
6. Reflash vbmeta to disable boot verification:
Code:
fastboot flash vbmeta --disable-verity --disable-verification --slot=all vbmeta.img
7. Flash patched boot image:
Code:
fastboot flash boot --slot=all magisk_patched-23xxx_xxxxx.img
8. Reboot to system.



Factory update:
1. Download the factory zip.
2. Extract boot.img
3. Patch the boot image and copy it back to your computer.
4. Reboot to bootloader.
5. Apply update:
Code:
fastboot update --disable-verity --disable-verification --skip-reboot image-codename-buildnumber.zip
6. Flash patched boot image:
Code:
fastboot flash boot --slot=all magisk_patched-23xxx_xxxxx.img
7. Reboot to system.


Android Flash Tool:
1. Download the factory zip.
2. Extract boot.img
3. Patch the boot image and copy it back to your computer.
4. Reboot to bootloader.
5. Follow the instructions on the Android Flash Tool to update your device. The ONLY boxes you should check are "Disable Verity" and "Disable Verification"
6. When the update completes, the phone will reboot to system without root.
7. Reboot to bootloader and flash patched boot image:
Code:
fastboot flash boot --slot=all magisk_patched-23xxx_xxxxx.img
8. Reboot to system.
 

roundaway

Senior Member
Dec 9, 2009
217
33
USA
Pixel 4a 5g. Previously upgraded from A11 to A12 (Oct 21) with a wipe, and the obtained permanent root. Just updated to the A12 (Nov 21) release and flashed the magisk_patched.img can't get past the Try Again or Factory Reset message. Had to reflash vbmeta.img and then boot.img.

What will the process be to update each month and keep root?
 

j-a-d-z

Senior Member
Oct 30, 2013
559
281
Google Pixel 4a 5G
Google Pixel 5

Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
2,786
1,401
Pixel 4a 5g. Previously upgraded from A11 to A12 (Oct 21) with a wipe, and the obtained permanent root. Just updated to the A12 (Nov 21) release and flashed the magisk_patched.img can't get past the Try Again or Factory Reset message. Had to reflash vbmeta.img and then boot.img.

What will the process be to update each month and keep root?
Upgrading to Android 12 and Updating Android 12 via the factory image is in the OP, #4.
 

Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
2,786
1,401
Upgrading to Android 12 and Updating Android 12 via the factory image is in the OP, #4.
 

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  • 9
    I'll try to make a step by step to update your Bramble (Pixel 4a 5G) with the latest updates assuming you're rooted (otherwise it would update normally). These steps worked for me. I know there are other ways. If you want to link to another way, please do.

    Make sure you have the latest USB drivers: https://developer.android.com/studio/run/win-usb
    and the latest platform tools: https://developer.android.com/studio/releases/platform-tools.html

    1. Some Magisk modules may cause bootloops so it's best to disable them and to reboot before updating.
    2. Download the latest Factory Image (look carefully to use the right one: Verizon or other) https://developers.google.com/android/images#bramble
    3. Unzip this in your adb folder (I'm assuming you have this already set up as you're rooted already)
    4. Edit the 'flash-all.bat' in Notepad and look for the "-w" in the last line. Remove the "-w" as this will wipe your phone
    5. With your device plugged into the computer, open a command prompt in the adb folder. (pen the folder, hold down Shift and right click inside the folder, "Open Command window here")
    6. Run this command to go into bootloader on your phone:
      Code:
      adb reboot bootloader
    7. Now run the flash-all.bat from the command line
      Code:
      flash-all.bat
    8. This can take a while, and sometimes it even fails the first time. Don't worry and try again.
    9. In the extracted folder there is another zip file. Extract this too.
    10. Now inside the extracted folder, look for boot.img
    11. Your phone should be finished upgrading by now and booted normally
    12. Copy the boot.img file to your phone (remember where you put it)
    13. Open Magisk Manager (you should be on the Update Channel: Canary in the Settings)
    14. Click on "install" (the top one)
    15. Select "Select and Patch a file" and browse to your boot.img
    16. Click "Let's go"
    17. Magisk manager will now patch your boot.img to a rooted version and will tell you where it saved the file, and it's name
    18. Now move this file to your adb folder and open the folder in the command line again
    19. Go into bootloader again by running this code
      Code:
      adb reboot bootloader
    20. When in bootloader mode run this code
      Code:
      fastboot flash boot magisk_patched_xxxxx.img [replace the filename with the one you have]
    21. Reboot your updated and rooted device!
    22. Now can can turn back on your Magisk modules.
    5
    You can also update using the ota.
    Download both the full factory image (fi) and ota
    Extract boot.img from the fi, and patch on your phone using magisk - place in the same folder as the ota (on your pc)
    Disable all modules in magisk. I also disable adaway (may not be necessary)
    Reboot
    Boot into recovery. Once the android is on the screen, hold power then press vol +
    Select apply update from adb, then on the pc in a command window or powershell run
    Code:
    adb sideload xxx.zip (where xxx is the name of the ota image)
    Once done, reboot into bootloader
    Code:
    adb reboot bootloader
    Flash the patched boot
    Code:
    fastboot flash boot xxx.img (where xxx is the name of your patched boot img)
    Reboot into system, give the phone a few mins. Enable all magisk modules, reboot, enable adaway, reboot. Done.
    2
    Hi ! They hadn't firmware update for June ? On Android 11 ? Only dev firmware on Android 12 ?
    Thanks
    The June update was released today, its factory and OTA images are now available to download.
    2
    Hi ! They hadn't firmware update for June ? On Android 11 ? Only dev firmware on Android 12 ?
    Thanks
    Usually first Monday of the month which would be June 7.
    2
    Hi ! And it's possible to flash the magisk mod Center Clock ? Or make bootloop ?
    Here is a quick video I made today which shows the whole process:
    And please don't flash the clock mod again as that will lead to a bootloop again. Hope this helps! :)