General 🛑❗⚠️ WARNING! Read this before you upgrade to Android 13 Stable!⚠️❗🛑

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Lughnasadh

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Mar 23, 2015
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For those who are wondering if we should or should not be worried, or how worried we should or should not be, here's a response from the Graphene dev who first tweeted about his colleague bricking his device due to the new ARB, for what it's worth...

So yes, at the minimum flash the A13 bootloader to both slots. May even want to flash all of A13 to both slots since we still are not certain what the outcome would be if the device reverted to a slot with the A13 bootloader and A12 everything else, since to my knowledge no one has tested that yet (being on A13 and flashing back to A12 with the A13 bootloader).

 

ctfrommn

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May 25, 2011
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Not sure what you're talking about. When you unlock a device's bootloader, it forces a factory reset. This isn't a bug, its by design.
Sorry, I thought you meant the inability to oem unlock and having to factory reset before the toggle was un-greyed.

Yes, unlocking the boot loader always required a reset. Unlocking the boot loader was always the first thing I did so I never cared.
 
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bobby janow

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The only case where we know someone's device has been bricked because of the bootloader was a GrapheneOS developer. And, we have already established that not only is it possible to successfully flash the Android 12 system on the 13 bootloader, it will boot and function normally, too.

As far as ethics and rights...Google is continuing to support their product the best they can, and how they do so is their own prerogative. They have not intentionally disabled or bricked anyone's device, and in fact went to lengths to warn people that there is risk involved. I would be careful about the assumptions you make. While "right to repair" is indeed an ongoing controversy, there is no legal basis for your claims.
Poor rollout in general. That bl unlock needed a factory reset is ridiculous.
This has always been the case, and it's intended to protect user data. If unlocking the bootloader did not wipe data, then an attacker could use that as a vector - unlock the device, flash or boot a compromised image, and use it to access anything on the device.
That's not what I meant. Bl unlock naturally needs a factory reset as you identified above. I meant that the OEM switch to become active needed a reset is wrong. I had to set up the device, then see the next day I needed an update and factory reset was required to activate the switch. That to me was just poor planning on Google's part.
 

bobby janow

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Sorry, I thought you meant the inability to oem unlock and having to factory reset before the toggle was un-greyed.

Yes, unlocking the boot loader always required a reset. Unlocking the boot loader was always the first thing I did so I never cared.
Yeah we all got caught up in the weeds here, but we're all in agreement. My issue was that I got it on release day and the OEM switch didn't become active until I had a system update and factory reset. In the meantime I had all my apps downloaded, everything configured, authentication app restored and then I had to start all over a day later. Not cool.
 
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ctfrommn

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Yeah we all got caught up in the weeds here, but we're all in agreement. My issue was that I got it on release day and the OEM switch didn't become active until I had a system update and factory reset. In the meantime I had all my apps downloaded, everything configured, authentication app restored and then I had to start all over a day later. Not cool.
Yes, this has been a pita so far, which is the main reason I never get current devices.

And ironically, when I unlocked my boot loader it didn't require a factory reset, only to get the toggle active.
 

bobby janow

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Yes, this has been a pita so far, which is the main reason I never get current devices.

And ironically, when I unlocked my boot loader it didn't require a factory reset, only to get the toggle active.
That's a new one that I heard before, however. So bl unlock is not requiring a factory reset any longer or did you just get lucky?
 

mike.s

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Apr 2, 2010
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Yeah we all got caught up in the weeds here, but we're all in agreement. My issue was that I got it on release day and the OEM switch didn't become active until I had a system update and factory reset. In the meantime I had all my apps downloaded, everything configured, authentication app restored and then I had to start all over a day later. Not cool.
What's the real problem here? If you intend to flip the switch and unlock the bootloader, you end up wiping everything anyway. Flipping the switch and not unlocking? There was once a concern that having the switch not allow unlocking could become permanent if you used a Verizon SIM on a fully "unlocked" (non-Verizon) phone. I don't know if that actually was or is the case.
 

bobby janow

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What's the real problem here? If you intend to flip the switch and unlock the bootloader, you end up wiping everything anyway. Flipping the switch and not unlocking? There was once a concern that having the switch not allow unlocking could become permanent if you used a Verizon SIM on a fully "unlocked" (non-Verizon) phone. I don't know if that actually was or is the case.
The problem is that you need to flip the switch in order to bl unlock the device.. in case.. just in case but not necessarily needing to. So I install a sideload or even a beta. The install goes to heck and I need to recover. I can boot into bootloader, issue the unlock command and wipe the device and recover from the boot loop or possible soft brick. So yes, flip the switch and not unlock. Without the switch being active you are SOL.

The information you received regarding the permanent unlocking not active is incorrect. If you can flip the switch nothing will change that no matter what you do.
 

ctfrommn

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May 25, 2011
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That's a new one that I heard before, however. So bl unlock is not requiring a factory reset any longer or did you just get lucky?
No idea, I was as shocked as anyone. I assume it was a fluke but who knows. Maybe before updating to 13 I'll try locking and unlocking again to see if it does that.

I'll definitely be clean flashing 13 anyway so...
 

bobby janow

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No idea, I was as shocked as anyone. I assume it was a fluke but who knows. Maybe before updating to 13 I'll try locking and unlocking again to see if it does that.

I'll definitely be clean flashing 13 anyway so...
I'm sure locking will wipe. But the other way is an anomaly and actually a major security flaw. Interesting to see what happens.
 
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Lughnasadh

Senior Member
Mar 23, 2015
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For those who are wondering if we should or should not be worried, or how worried we should or should not be, here's a response from the Graphene dev who first tweeted about his colleague bricking his device due to the new ARB, for what it's worth...

So yes, at the minimum flash the A13 bootloader to both slots. May even want to flash all of A13 to both slots since we still are not certain what the outcome would be if the device reverted to a slot with the A13 bootloader and A12 everything else, since to my knowledge no one has tested that yet (being on A13 and flashing back to A12 with the A13 bootloader).

Follow up. for what it's worth...

 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
That's not what I meant. Bl unlock naturally needs a factory reset as you identified above. I meant that the OEM switch to become active needed a reset is wrong.
Negative - toggling OEM Unlock does not require a factory reset. Unlocking the bootloader through fastboot does.
I had to set up the device, then see the next day I needed an update and factory reset was required to activate the switch. That to me was just poor planning on Google's part.
That hasn't necessarily been the case with any other Google device, although I understand it's been an issue with the 6a. Still, I think you're a little overzealous in attributing blame...I really don't think the OEM toggle issue was something they did on purpose. We are dealing with software devices, and as with all software, there will always be bugs.

Folks, let's keep this discussion on topic...if you want to rant about Google, do that somewhere else. This is meant to be an advisory and educational thread on the present issue of the Android 13 bootloader preventing rollback.
 
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bobby janow

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hecksagon

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Dec 15, 2010
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I appreciate knowing a little as to why a rollback to the old bootloader has been prevented but it still seems quite unnecessary. Unless the device is unlocked there wouldn't have been a way to restore the old bootloader anyway. And, if a device is unlocked, well, you're already insecure to an extent if someone gets their hands on your phone.

Instead of attaining security, now we have a bunch of bootlooping Pixels.

So much is done and given up in the name of security anymore that it's just peculiar to me. Hardening is great to an extent but there comes a level where it feels counterintuitive and obsessive. But let's keep making things harder on ourselves for an incident that one day may or may not even happen at all.

This assumes the security flaw in the bootloader didn't give the ability to flash without unlocking.
 

CertifiedBlyndGuy

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This assumes the security flaw in the bootloader didn't give the ability to flash without unlocking.
I think your interpretation of what I said is out of context. If someone is running the Android 13 bootloader with a locked device, it doesn't matter whether or not the vulnerability in the 12 bootloader can be exploited to flash software or not. It has nothing to do with rolling back to the insecure bootloader. People should be able to run whatever they want, whether it's secure or not. The A13 bootloader allowing you to roll back to the A12 bootloader would still require an unlocked device. ARB was not needed whatsoever.
 

CertifiedBlyndGuy

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I love how they say in that thread, "End users shouldn't be using a device with an unlocked bootloader." That could basically shut down this whole discussion in a heartbeat.

Edited and deleted.
Lol. I would like to think the individuals that unlocked their bootloader would understand what they are getting into well enough to make that decision for themselves
 

CertifiedBlyndGuy

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Yeah well I was one of the small percentage that only flashed onto one slot. Hard bricked my phone and I'm absolutely livid about it. If anyone has any suggestions or figures out a way to fix this issue, please let me know :(
Fortunately Google seems to be replacing these devices or at least repairing them. Tell Google support something happened when you went to update to Android 13 and now your phone isn't starting.
 

stmm

Member
Nov 20, 2018
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Fortunately Google seems to be replacing these devices or at least repairing them. Tell Google support something happened when you went to update to Android 13 and now your phone isn't starting.
Already did. Unfortunately, I bought the phone second hand from someone off facebook marketplace. And supposedly that person bought it from a retailer as opposed from google directly. I don't have contact with that person anymore either pretty much nothing I can do...
 
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CertifiedBlyndGuy

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Already did. Unfortunately, I bought the phone second hand from someone off facebook marketplace. And supposedly that person bought it from a retailer as opposed from google directly. I don't have contact with that person anymore either pretty much nothing I can do...
Unfortunately there's not much you can do aside from replacing the board yourself.
 

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  • 5
    Greetings to all. Ok my friends, let us please stop with the accusations, and the who's right and who's wrong disagreement. You all have exceptionally good knowledge
    of this recent topic, and all we ask is you respectfully disagree with each other, rather than trying to prove who's right or wrong with snarky, or disrespectful comments.

    Now please let us return to "On Topic" discussion. Thank you.

    -Regards: Badger50
    4
    Good luck with that, and post back either way so that we know how Google takes these.
    If you haven't send it yet, it would be worth running this command and posting it, so that in case it gives us a better insight.
    Code:
     fastboot getvar all
    UPDATE: I sent my phone to google and they accepted my claim and gave me a Brand New Phone since it was still under warranty. I am so relieved that google actually considered the whole eFuse claim.
    2
    You'll want to sideload the full OTA image once you have initially updated to Android 13 via OTA. Here's a good guide for sideloading an OTA for people who are not familiar with how to do it or have never done it before. You'll want to sideload the full OTA image. I hope you can translate the guide well.
    Thank you very much for the help and the links! I think I'll be able to get by with the translation, thanks again!
    2
    But I've never claimed to know the truth. Only calling out those who are claiming absolute knowledge, without any authoritative support. There's a big difference between stating an opinion, and claiming a fact.
    It's an open forum, and everybody is entitled to their views and opinions, even if they're not authoritative truth.
    Just like any news / gossip / talk ... you take what's good and you ignore what's bad or what doesn't interest you.
    No way you can win by battling every poster you disagree with (justifiably or otherwise).
    2
    I do however understand the argument you're trying to make - that replacing the board shouldn't be necessary provided they reflash the updated bootloader, and I think you're right in that regard.

    At the end of the day there's a lot of unknowns. We don't know exactly how Google fixed the brick, we don't know whether they opened the device, we don't know whether they reflashed the board or simply replaced it.
    @mike.s
    I think that sums it up pretty well.

    There are a lot of unknowns, and asking proof or evidence goes both ways in the argument, you don't have proof or evidence either.

    Let's remain calm and civil, we want to help each other, not knock each other down.
  • 9
    From the Pixel Images page:
    1660936653879.png


    This applies to ALL Tensor devices, regardless of whether or not you're rooted!

    What this means:
    Once Android 13 Stable boots, it updates an anti-rollback counter in the device hardware to prevent rolling back the bootloader. This will prevent previous versions of the bootloader from starting.

    Why this is a problem: The OTA only updates one slot, then reboots into that slot. It does not update both slots at once. If there is a boot failure at any point in the future, the device may attempt to "recycle" back to the old slot. If this other slot has a previous version of the bootloader, the bootloader will not start, rendering the device a brick.

    How do I make sure this doesn't happen to me?
    If you updated via OTA, simply sideload the OTA again. Since you are currently on the Android 13 slot, this will overwrite your old Android 12 slot with the new bootloader.
    If you have an unlocked bootloader and prefer to update using the factory image, you can flash the bootloader to both slots:
    fastboot flash bootloader --slot=all <bootloader image> It's highly recommended you do this BEFORE updating, but if you didn't, do it as soon as possible.

    What if I was on the Android 13 Beta? Same as above - the beta did not incorporate the anti-rollback, and the beta bootloaders are still considered "old".

    Will the new bootloader prevent me from flashing and running Android 12? The short answer is YES, for now. Contrary to what the warning above says, you CAN flash Android 12 on the Android 13 bootloader, and though it will boot, it will not run properly. See this post.
    8
    That would be the scoped storage sucking up resources/battery to make you feel safe...
    Android 10 is ok, 11 so-so, 12 sucks and along comes 13 beta. Yeah that'll work.
    Blame Gookill for this fubar.
    I mean...I've kinda liked A12. But to each his own.

    You'd probably rather run command line Linux on your phone, you old bastard lol
    5
    1000% fake comment.
    5
    This is such BS. Drama
    @blackhawk is entitled to his opinion, just as you are. Remember to keep your conduct civil and respectful:
    2.3 Flaming / Lack of respect: XDA is about sharing and this does not involve virtual yelling (flaming) or rudeness. Flaming or posting with a lack of respect is unacceptable. Treat new members in the manner in which you would like to have been treated when you were a new member. When dealing with any member, provide them with guidance, advice and instructions when you can, showing them respect and courtesy. Never post in a demanding, argumentative, disrespectful or self-righteous manner.