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[WARNING] Do NOT Downgrade Your Bootloader or Partition Table - You Risk Bricking!!!

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JulesJam

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2014
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BEFORE YOU COMMENT ON THIS THREAD - PLEASE READ THIS POST AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN THE BOOTLOADER, PARTITION TABLE, SYSTEM AND KERNEL/RAMDISK!!!!

This post is not about downgrading from lollipop to kit kat in general. It is SPECIFICALLY about and it is ONLY about downgrading the BOOTLOADER (motoboot.img) and the PARTITION TABLE (gpt.bin). The system (system.img) and kernel/ramdisk (boot.img) are NOT the subject of this thread. If you don't understand the difference b/t the bootloader, partition table, system and kernel/ramdisk, then please refrain from posting on this thread and simply read until you understand the difference.

Please do not comment if you do not even know the version of the bootloader you are running b/c you have nothing substantive to contribute then. If you know the version of the bootloader you are running now and know what it was before you upgraded and after you downgraded, great, please let us all know your experience. But if you don't, AGAIN, you have nothing of value to contribute to this thread.

The Moto X 2014 is not a Nexus device - you CANNOT safely downgrade your bootloader (motoboot.img) or partition table (gpt.bin). You risk bricking if you do, especially if you downgrade the bootloader!!!

You need to understand what you are flashing. If you don't understand what you are flashing, read and ask questions before you flash until you do understand what you are flashing. You also need to know what version of the bootloader you currently have before you flash.

Also, you should not attempt to have a bootloader-partition table mismatch in terms of versions. Both your bootloader and your partition table should be the same version - i.e., if your bootloader is the 5.0 bootloader, your partition table should be the 5.0 partition table.

Edited - it looks like mfastboto and maybe even regular fastboot have checks in them to prevent a bootloader or partition table downgrade. However, the OTA updater scripts may or may not have sufficient checks in them to prevent bricking if you have previously upgraded then downgraded the system/kernel/radios and then attempted to take an OTA. For instance, people have reported bricking after flashing to 5.1 then downgrading system/kernel/radios to 4.4.4 then taking the 5.0 OTA = brick.
 
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MrMeeseeks

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2013
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Huntsville, AL
Google Pixel 5
I've seen alot of stuff about that in the threads. Are you saying that you can't downgrade back to 5.0 or 4.4? Cause I have successfully flashed back to stock KitKat from the 5.1 soak several times. Even flashing partition and motoboot. It just downgraded the tz.

Sent from my XT1095
 
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JulesJam

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2014
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I've seen alot of stuff about that in the threads. Are you saying that you can't downgrade back to 5.0 or 4.4?
I am saying exactly what I said in the OP - you can't safely downgrade your bootloader or partition table. And you can't have a bootloader/partition table version mismatch. There are rare exceptions to that like the one for the MX13 that jcase used to root 4.4.

Cause I have successfully flashed back to stock KitKat from the 5.1 soak several times. Even flashing partition and motoboot. It just downgraded the tz.
Did you use RSDLite to flash motoboot.img and gpt.bin? If so, like I said in the OP, it has checks built into it and it will prevent you from downgrading your bootloader and partition table. mfastboot may have the same checks built in, idk, but I don't think fastboot from the SDK does and that is where people are getting into trouble.

What did you use to flash?

Also, can you post a video showing you doing this w/o bricking? Show your BL version on 5.1, which from what has been reported is 60.14, and then flash the 5.0 BL, which is 60.1 1 and show us that you were able to downgrade your bootloader back to 60.11 w/o bricking. Then once you do that, downgrade the bootloader down to 4.4.4 (I am not sure what the version number is, but once you successfully downgrade you can tell us).

The Q&A forum is littered with people who bricked their devices when they attempted to downgrade their bootloaders.

I think people would be foolish to believe that it is safe to downgrade the bootloader of a Moto X given all the bricks unless you post some proof it is safe.
 
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MrMeeseeks

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2013
725
442
Huntsville, AL
Google Pixel 5
It might be awhile before I could do a video but I just used fastboot from the SDK. I don't know if it actually downgrades the bootloader. Maybe just the trust zone. I've never actually checked. I wonder if people have noticed but on the 5.1 soak you have to go into developer options and check OEM unlocking now.

Sent from my XT1095
 

walrusmonarch

Senior Member
Jun 29, 2012
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In the past when I downgraded to KK from 5.0, if I tried to flash the old bootloader, it would simply fail to flash. It never bricked. I have also flashed the gpt from KK when downgrading in the beginning. It flashed fine and didn't brick. I don't flash gpt now that I know what it is but the first few times I downgraded, I did flash it.

Edit: I always used fastboot/mfastboot. I can't get RDSLite to detect my Moto X. MDM doesn't detect it either.
 
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JulesJam

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Aug 9, 2014
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It might be awhile before I could do a video but I just used fastboot from the SDK. I don't know if it actually downgrades the bootloader. Maybe just the trust zone. I've never actually checked.
Honestly, I would not try this as there is no reason to do it. It is dangerous and it doesn't provide any benefit. If you don't believe me that it it dangerous, read on the Q&A forums when people ask for help after bricking their devices - almost always they were attempting a bootloader or partition table downgrade when they bricked. It is just not worth it IMO. You do what you want of course as you seem to believe it is possible but it is not something I would do.

I wonder if people have noticed but on the 5.1 soak you have to go into developer options and check OEM unlocking now.
That is how it is on the Nexus 6 too.
 

JulesJam

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Aug 9, 2014
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In the past when I downgraded to KK from 5.0, if I tried to flash the old bootloader, it would simply fail to flash. It never bricked.
why some people get a failed flash and others get a brick, idk, but all you have to do is read on the Q&A forums how many people brick attempting to downgrade the BL and/or PT.
 

JulesJam

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Aug 9, 2014
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I have also flashed the gpt from KK when downgrading in the beginning. It flashed fine and didn't brick. I don't flash gpt now that I know what it is but the first few times I downgraded, I did flash it.

Edit: I always used fastboot/mfastboot. I can't get RDSLite to detect my Moto X. MDM doesn't detect it either.
I just don't see why it is ever necessary to mess with the BL or PT. System, recovery, radios, kernel, sure I see why you would do that. If downgrading your BL or PT doesn't provide any benefit to you, why do it?
 

walrusmonarch

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Jun 29, 2012
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I just don't see why it is ever necessary to mess with the BL or PT. System, recovery, radios, kernel, sure I see why you would do that. If downgrading your BL or PT doesn't provide any benefit to you, why do it?

I agree with you. I did it mostly because I didn't know what the heck I was doing back then. I was just flashing away hoping everything would work :p
 

JulesJam

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Aug 9, 2014
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I agree with you. I did it mostly because I didn't know what the heck I was doing back then. I was just flashing away hoping everything would work :p
My first device was a Nexus (GNex) so I flashed with abandon w/o knowing what I was doing and never bricked. When I got my Moto X 2013, I went to the MX13 XDA forum and started to read and am damn glad I did b/c I would have never known. There were tons of people who bricked trying to downgrade. I am sure Motorola had to do a lot of warranty replacements for this reason. Really, there should have been more checks that would prevent bricking and the flash would just fail. There weren't though except with RSDLite. IMO Motorola deserved having the added cost of these warranty replacements.

Hopefully, Motorola has built more checks into the system now where the flash will fail rather than bricking the device, but clearly whatever they have done isn't enough. Again, idk why some people report being able to do this and others end up with bricks, but I don't see the need to do it at all and until it becomes universally safe to do this across the board every time, I wouldn't do it.
 

walrusmonarch

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Jun 29, 2012
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My first device was a Nexus (GNex) so I flashed with abandon w/o knowing what I was doing and never bricked. When I got my Moto X 2013, I went to the MX13 XDA forum and started to read and am damn glad I did b/c I would have never known. There were tons of people who bricked trying to downgrade. I am sure Motorola had to do a lot of warranty replacements for this reason. Really, there should have been more checks that would prevent bricking and the flash would just fail. There weren't though except with RSDLite. IMO Motorola deserved having the added cost of these warranty replacements.

Hopefully, Motorola has built more checks into the system now where the flash will fail rather than bricking the device, but clearly whatever they have done isn't enough. Again, idk why some people report being able to do this and others end up with bricks, but I don't see the need to do it at all and until it becomes universally safe to do this across the board every time, I wouldn't do it.

Yeah, my first android device was a N7 (2012). I flashed away at it like crazy. Sometimes multiple times a day... I guess I just had that same mentality when I started trying to flash the Moto X... It is a good idea to read before flashing. I've been trying out Windows phone recently and managed to flash a rom on my lumia 635 without bricking. I barely read anything, and I probably just got lucky again...

RSDLite seems convenient. I wish I could get it to work for me, along with MDM. Sigh... oh well.
 

JulesJam

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Aug 9, 2014
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walrusmonarch

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MrMeeseeks

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2013
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442
Huntsville, AL
Google Pixel 5
Honestly, I would not try this as there is no reason to do it. It is dangerous and it doesn't provide any benefit. If you don't believe me that it it dangerous, read on the Q&A forums when people ask for help after bricking their devices - almost always they were attempting a bootloader or partition table downgrade when they bricked. It is just not worth it IMO. You do what you want of course as you seem to believe it is possible but it is not something I would do.

Ok, so after attempting again I have discovered a couple of things. First, I had to use the fastboot commands from withn the mfastboot folder. I did not use mfastboot commands though. Secondly, it doesnt actually downgrade the bootloader. I think it just downgrades the tz (there is a message about this on the fastboot screen). It did not brick though and I have done this multiple times. But it obviously doesnt make a difference so I'm with you. No one should try this at the risk of bricking their device! My apologies to you @JulesJam. I wasn't trying to be offensive but just thought I would throw it out there since I thought I had done it before. I am far from an expert on these things especially fastboot cause I was on Galaxy devices before this so i never had to use it. I'm kind of like the other guy I have always went by another guide on returning to stock and just thought it should be that way. So again, DO NOT DO THIS AT THE RISK OF BRICKING YOUR PHONE:good:
 

JulesJam

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2014
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Ok, so after attempting again I have discovered a couple of things. First, I had to use the fastboot commands from withn the mfastboot folder. I did not use mfastboot commands though.
I am not sure what you mean fastboot commands w/in the mfastboot folder. Mfastboot
is just motorola's version of fastboot that allows the system image to be flashed as a single image file instead of being broken down into chunks. Unless you manually rename it, it is called fastboot, however some people have manually renamed it and then uploaded it in a zip file and you can find links to it online. I manually renamed mine mfastboot.exe so as to avoid confusion with fastboot.exe from the SDK.
 

JulesJam

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2014
2,468
773
I was on Galaxy devices before this so i never had to use it. I'm kind of like the other guy I have always went by another guide on returning to stock and just thought it should be that way. So again, DO NOT DO THIS AT THE RISK OF BRICKING YOUR PHONE:good:
Did you use ODIN before? I think RSDLite is similar to ODIN but since I have never used ODIN I don't really know.

But yes, what Samsung does and what Motorola does wrt the bootloaders is completely different as the bootloaders are proprietary. I am just glad to see that there are more checks now than there used to be that prevent you from downgrading at least some of the time.

There are some very sad people on the Q&A forum right now searching for the signed binary files to restore their bootloaders but those have to be leaked and so far, they do not seem to be anywhere accessible by outsiders.
 

nbell13

Senior Member
Aug 10, 2011
910
253
I've done it loads of times too. Everytime I tried to flash back the gpt or motoboot, it just failed (was trying to relock bootloader, never would let me), normal fastboot. Also with the newest version of fastboot it can flash the system files, no need to use mfastboot at all anymore.
 

JulesJam

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2014
2,468
773
I've done it loads of times too. Everytime I tried to flash back the gpt or motoboot, it just failed (was trying to relock bootloader, never would let me), normal fastboot.
Yeah, again I can't explain why some people just get a failure and others get a brick, but on the Q&A forum you will see there are those who brick attempting to downgrade.

Also with the newest version of fastboot it can flash the system files, no need to use mfastboot at all anymore.
Last time I tried the latest version of fastboot, it cannot flash the single file system.img. It can flash the system if it is broken down into chunks. So if you are using the fxz with the single system.img, you have to use mfastboot last I checked.
 

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    BEFORE YOU COMMENT ON THIS THREAD - PLEASE READ THIS POST AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN THE BOOTLOADER, PARTITION TABLE, SYSTEM AND KERNEL/RAMDISK!!!!

    This post is not about downgrading from lollipop to kit kat in general. It is SPECIFICALLY about and it is ONLY about downgrading the BOOTLOADER (motoboot.img) and the PARTITION TABLE (gpt.bin). The system (system.img) and kernel/ramdisk (boot.img) are NOT the subject of this thread. If you don't understand the difference b/t the bootloader, partition table, system and kernel/ramdisk, then please refrain from posting on this thread and simply read until you understand the difference.

    Please do not comment if you do not even know the version of the bootloader you are running b/c you have nothing substantive to contribute then. If you know the version of the bootloader you are running now and know what it was before you upgraded and after you downgraded, great, please let us all know your experience. But if you don't, AGAIN, you have nothing of value to contribute to this thread.

    The Moto X 2014 is not a Nexus device - you CANNOT safely downgrade your bootloader (motoboot.img) or partition table (gpt.bin). You risk bricking if you do, especially if you downgrade the bootloader!!!

    You need to understand what you are flashing. If you don't understand what you are flashing, read and ask questions before you flash until you do understand what you are flashing. You also need to know what version of the bootloader you currently have before you flash.

    Also, you should not attempt to have a bootloader-partition table mismatch in terms of versions. Both your bootloader and your partition table should be the same version - i.e., if your bootloader is the 5.0 bootloader, your partition table should be the 5.0 partition table.

    Edited - it looks like mfastboto and maybe even regular fastboot have checks in them to prevent a bootloader or partition table downgrade. However, the OTA updater scripts may or may not have sufficient checks in them to prevent bricking if you have previously upgraded then downgraded the system/kernel/radios and then attempted to take an OTA. For instance, people have reported bricking after flashing to 5.1 then downgrading system/kernel/radios to 4.4.4 then taking the 5.0 OTA = brick.
    3
    Amazing, this works. I have searched for a solution for months!

    It seems that I have to reissue the command every time I start twrp. Is there a way to make this stick?

    I cant take the credit I was/am working with dees_troy the main dev on twrp. As far as making it stick I am working with dees and crew to make a version that defaults to permissive so we wont have to do this manually. It will likely be a modded 2850 version as 2860 seems to break OTG backups which are critical to me. Also have them working on a 2860 with working otg but that is much more complicated so will take longer
    2
    To resolve the problem, flash the KXE stock recovery image with fastboot, reboot the bootloader and flash TWRP 2860 again.

    After that you should have no problems with otg backups whether on Kitkat or Lollipop.


    https://dl.twrp.me/victara/
    Maybe you should start a separate thread about TWRP issues since this thread is really about downgrading your bootloader/partition table. I am sure others would like to know about the fix.
    2
    I have a Pure Edition (XT1095) that shipped with 5.0;

    I downgraded to 4.4.4 using the 21.21.42 package provided by Motorola;

    I only flashed the boot & system images using mfastbootV2.

    ROM booted & ran just fine, but TWRP 2.8.6.0 lost the ability to write to the internal storage (errno=13).

    Yes, I re-flashed 2.8.6.0, as well as versions 2.8.0.0-2.8.5.0 as well as CWM, to no avail.

    I also triple-checked all permissions and symlinks.

    Custom recovery functionality did not come back until I flashed both the KXE partition table & motoboot.

    It didn't downgrade my bootloader as I'm still on 0x611.

    Take that as you will, but I would advise against recommending that people flout Motorola's official instructions for downgrading.

    twrp issue can be resolved by loading 2850 and from terminal in twrp issuing the following command
    setenforce 0
    error 13 is resolved then
    1
    I've seen alot of stuff about that in the threads. Are you saying that you can't downgrade back to 5.0 or 4.4? Cause I have successfully flashed back to stock KitKat from the 5.1 soak several times. Even flashing partition and motoboot. It just downgraded the tz.

    Sent from my XT1095