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

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V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
***Note: THIS IS NOT A ROOT GUIDE. For updating and root instructions, check out my guide here.***

From the Pixel Images page:
1668631439637.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 after updating to Android 13, 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.

I've updated several times since the August 2022 update, am I still at risk?
If you've updated via OTA at least once since August, you should be fine. Instructions to check bootloader versions are further down this post.

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.

How do I check my current bootloader version?
Code:
adb reboot bootloader #Reboots device to bootloader.

fastboot getvar current-slot #Outputs current slot, should also be visible on the device screen: "Boot slot"

fastboot getvar version-bootloader #Outputs current slot's bootloader version, should also be visible on device screen "Bootloader version"

fastboot --set-active=a or b #Use this to switch to the inactive slot - if current slot is A, set to B or vice versa.

fastboot getvar current-slot

fastboot getvar version-bootloader

fastboot --set-active=b or a (set to original slot) #Set active slot back to what it was before.  If you started on slot A, make sure you switch back to slot A.

fastboot getvar current-slot

fastboot continue #Commands device to resume boot, same function as selecting "Start" in the bootloader menu.

#So as an example:
fastboot getvar current-sot
>current-slot: a

fastboot getvar version-bootloader
>version:1.3

fastboot --set-active=b
>Setting current slot to 'b'

fastboot getvar version-bootloader
>version: 1.3

fastboot --set-active=a
>Setting current slot to 'a'

fastboot continue
 

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Lughnasadh

Senior Member
Mar 23, 2015
4,362
4,874
Google Nexus 5
Huawei Nexus 6P
I updated with OTA and later sideloaded the update, but my bootloader is unlocked. I'm screwed?
No. That's is the recommended method according to Google.

"To avoid hitting this state, if you are flashing a Pixel 6, Pixel 6a, or Pixel 6 Pro device with an Android 13 build for the first time, please flash the bootloader partition to the inactive slot after successfully updating and booting into Android 13 at least once. This can be done by following these steps:

Option 1 (recommended): After a successful boot into Android 13 for the first time, sideload the full OTA image corresponding to that build and reboot the device to ensure that both slots have a bootable image
."
 
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kylechen

Senior Member
Feb 13, 2009
111
47
Can we run A13 system on an A12 bootloader?

Is there any way / anyone / any research on the bootloader code to stop the "fuse" trigger?

Does it break any law in any country that software update secretly activates a hardware trigger that stops the user from using any good old systems?
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Can we run A13 system on an A12 bootloader?
Hasn't been tested yet. If you want, you can try by using the same --force argument; just be aware that if it doesn't work, you may need to wipe data.
Is there any way / anyone / any research on the bootloader code to stop the "fuse" trigger?
Don't know, doubt it.
Does it break any law in any country that software update secretly activates a hardware trigger that stops the user from using any good old systems?
This seems like something you could research yourself. I highly doubt it - many OEMs implement some form of anti-rollback on their devices to prevent downgrading to previous firmwares. Samsung is especially notorious for this.
 

tom1807

Senior Member
No, and you shouldn't. It has a vulnerability in the Android 12 bootloader.
Android is open source, and that means it is potentially vulnerable to "downgrade attacks." Essentially, an attacker downgrades the software to an older version that has known exploits. This is particularly dangerous in open source software like Android because the act of fixing an exploit reveals it to everyone.
I see no reason to downgrade the bootloader, you still can run A12 with the newer bootloader.

Cheers
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Can't comment on this, no idea what would be the side effects.
My active slot is A and has Android 13, I only updated the ootloader to the latest one on slot B but there should be still A12.

Cheers
Tom
The whole point of this thread is that if only one slot is updated and the device switches/is switched to the Android 12 slot after updating and running Android 13, it will brick.

The side effects of running 12 on the 13 bootloader have been established. See the OP. WebView and DRM Apex constantly crash.
 
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Lughnasadh

Senior Member
Mar 23, 2015
4,362
4,874
Google Nexus 5
Huawei Nexus 6P
Can't comment on this, no idea what would be the side effects.
My active slot is A and has Android 13, I only updated the ootloader to the latest one on slot B but there should be still A12.

Cheers
Tom
But if you flash back to A12 using the A13 bootloader you'll have a bunch of apps, webview, browers, etc. crashing.

Which actually makes me wonder about something...

@roirraW "edor" ehT When you were on A12 and flashed the A13 bootloader, did you experience apps crashing or other negative side effects? I don't remember you mentioning so which makes me curious if there is a difference in how well the OS runs when you are on A13 and flash back to A12 with the A13 bootloader vs. being on A12 and flashing the A13 bootloader???
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
But if you flash back to A12 using the A13 bootloader you'll have a bunch of apps, webview, browers, etc. crashing.

Which actually makes me wonder about something...

@roirraW "edor" ehT When you were on A12 and flashed the A13 bootloader, did you experience apps crashing or other negative side effects? I don't remember you mentioning so which makes me curious if there is a difference in how well the OS runs when you are on A13 and flash back to A12 with the A13 bootloader vs. being on A12 and flashing the A13 bootloader???
I didn't, but I didn't even both trying to launch anything, that I recall. I merely unlocked the phone - I might have swiped right to display "Google Discover" aka whatever it's called now via Nova Companion, and I might've swiped up to check out the app drawer, and swiped down to check out the notifications.

I didn't test texting, chatting, phone calls, web browsing, watching videos, harassing my fellow moderators LOL!, or anything when I had only upgraded the bootloader and still running my original, never upgraded Android 12 (first) July "global" update - 12.1.0 (SQ3A.220705.003, Jul 2022).
 
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Lughnasadh

Senior Member
Mar 23, 2015
4,362
4,874
Google Nexus 5
Huawei Nexus 6P
I didn't, but I didn't even both trying to launch anything, that I recall. I merely unlocked the phone - I might have swiped right to display "Google Discover" aka whatever it's called now via Nova Companion, and I might've swiped up to check out the app drawer, and swiped down to check out the notifications.

I didn't test texting, chatting, phone calls, web browsing, watching videos, harassing my fellow moderators LOL!, or anything when I had only upgraded the bootloader and still running my original, never upgraded Android 12 (first) July "global" update - 12.1.0 (SQ3A.220705.003, Jul 2022).
Ah, ok. Makes sense now. I had thought you stayed on it for a while and used it. Thanks...
 
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eagledipesh

Senior Member
Jan 8, 2011
794
179
Project Treble
Google Pixel 6
Can someone list steps to manually update Google pixel 6?
My phones bootloader is locked.

EDIT : I was just worrying, did manual update VIA sideloading OTA, worked well, now I need to figure out how to update the bootloader.
 
Last edited:

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Can someone list steps to manually update Google pixel 6?
My phones bootloader is locked.

EDIT : I was just worrying, did manual update VIA sideloading OTA, worked well, now I need to figure out how to update the bootloader.
Sideload the OTA again. It always installs to the inactive slot.
 
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sic0048

Senior Member
Jun 25, 2010
982
521
Google Pixel 6a
Google Pixel 7
Thanks for posting this. I manually flashed the OTA update from Google' site and there is no warning listed there (I just double checked to see if it was added since I flashed). I knew you wouldn't be able to roll back to the old bootloader, but I had no idea the recommendation was to flash both bootloaders.

EDIT - actually after looking at the warning on the factory image page (and not seeing it on the OTA image page), I have to wonder if the OTA image flashing process actually flashed both bootloaders. I would think Google would add the same warning to the OTA image site if this was a potential problem.
 

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  • 1
    Second try also resulted in failed/aborted sideload operation. Guess I'll continue without slot B.
    Make sure your Platform Tools are up to date. Try using an A to C cable using USB 2.0 port.
    1
    Make sure your Platform Tools are up to date. Try using an A to C cable using USB 2.0 port.
    Good advise Lughnasadh. My platform tools are definitely older. I'll wait to post next attempt until I get that cable. I did switch a different C to C cable while changing from the front to back panel.
    1
    I updated my platform tools. Used a USB A to C cable from my PC's USB 2.0 backpanel port.

    The "Update package verification" took 4567.4 seconds = 1hour 16minutes. A boolean zero means false while a number one means true. No errors were reported, but the final message on the phone was: "Install from ADB completed with status 0." I am correct in guessing that 'status 0' means that the ADB sideload install was successful?
    You should be good.
    1
    OTA sideload should only take 5 min or so. Sounds like a bad cable to me although there's the possibility of a dirty USB connector on your phone...
  • 14
    ***Note: THIS IS NOT A ROOT GUIDE. For updating and root instructions, check out my guide here.***

    From the Pixel Images page:
    1668631439637.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 after updating to Android 13, 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.

    I've updated several times since the August 2022 update, am I still at risk?
    If you've updated via OTA at least once since August, you should be fine. Instructions to check bootloader versions are further down this post.

    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.

    How do I check my current bootloader version?
    Code:
    adb reboot bootloader #Reboots device to bootloader.
    
    fastboot getvar current-slot #Outputs current slot, should also be visible on the device screen: "Boot slot"
    
    fastboot getvar version-bootloader #Outputs current slot's bootloader version, should also be visible on device screen "Bootloader version"
    
    fastboot --set-active=a or b #Use this to switch to the inactive slot - if current slot is A, set to B or vice versa.
    
    fastboot getvar current-slot
    
    fastboot getvar version-bootloader
    
    fastboot --set-active=b or a (set to original slot) #Set active slot back to what it was before.  If you started on slot A, make sure you switch back to slot A.
    
    fastboot getvar current-slot
    
    fastboot continue #Commands device to resume boot, same function as selecting "Start" in the bootloader menu.
    
    #So as an example:
    fastboot getvar current-sot
    >current-slot: a
    
    fastboot getvar version-bootloader
    >version:1.3
    
    fastboot --set-active=b
    >Setting current slot to 'b'
    
    fastboot getvar version-bootloader
    >version: 1.3
    
    fastboot --set-active=a
    >Setting current slot to 'a'
    
    fastboot continue
    2
    Hi,my pixel 6 build is TP1A.220905.004. SO do i have to sideload same TP1A.220905.004 OTA.zip build again on my device ?
    If you updated via OTA in August, then you should be fine.
    2
    I would still check both slots for the new bootloader to be safe, but I don't remember off the top of my head the commands to do that.
    Hello guys ! Since there was 2 Android 13 OTA updates, do we still need to sideload please ?

    The first OTA installed the Android 13 upgrade which I did and I got a message afterward to install the new Android 13 update (done too).

    (I'm pretty sure it's a dumb question, sorry)
    adb reboot bootloader

    fastboot getvar current-slot

    fastboot getvar version-bootloader

    fastboot --set-active=a or b (set to inactive slot)

    fastboot getvar current-slot

    fastboot getvar version-bootloader

    fastboot --set -active=a or b (set to original slot)

    fastboot getvar current-slot

    fastboot reboot bootloader

    fastboot reboot

    (There are a couple of redundancies in there just as a failsafe)

    P.S. You'll need to have an unlocked bootloader to switch/set slots.
    2
    Hello guys ! Since there was 2 Android 13 OTA updates, do we still need to sideload please ?

    The first OTA installed the Android 13 upgrade which I did and I got a message afterward to install the new Android 13 update (done too).

    (I'm pretty sure it's a dumb question, sorry)
    I would still check both slots for the new bootloader to be safe, but I don't remember off the top of my head the commands to do that.
    1
    I updated with OTA and later sideloaded the update, but my bootloader is unlocked. I'm screwed?
    No. That's is the recommended method according to Google.

    "To avoid hitting this state, if you are flashing a Pixel 6, Pixel 6a, or Pixel 6 Pro device with an Android 13 build for the first time, please flash the bootloader partition to the inactive slot after successfully updating and booting into Android 13 at least once. This can be done by following these steps:

    Option 1 (recommended): After a successful boot into Android 13 for the first time, sideload the full OTA image corresponding to that build and reboot the device to ensure that both slots have a bootable image
    ."