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

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samteeee

Senior Member
Hi guys;

I finally decided to take the on device A13 OTA and after the successful boot to OS,
I let it sit and do its things for a while and finally rebooted to Recovery and sideloaded
the September OTA zip and happy to report that my P6P booted to OS successfully!
I wanna thank all the good people here at XDA forum for reporting & sharing this problem
and its solution so that people like me can keep their devices intact for a bit longer.
 

domhall012N8

Senior Member
Hi guys;

I finally decided to take the on device A13 OTA and after the successful boot to OS,
I let it sit and do its things for a while and finally rebooted to Recovery and sideloaded
the September OTA zip and happy to report that my P6P booted to OS successfully!
I wanna thank all the good people here at XDA forum for reporting & sharing this problem
and its solution so that people like me can keep their devices intact for a bit longer.
New to the P6P... Haven't touched it "yet" beyond taking the Aug A13 Update... Does the Sept A13 Update, which will flash to the now inactive-A12 partition, not contain the A13 bootloader?

Or should I still sideload the Aug A13 Update to the inactive-A12 partition, then take the Sept A13 update?
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
New to the P6P... Haven't touched it "yet" beyond taking the Aug A13 Update... Does the Sept A13 Update, which will flash to the now inactive-A12 partition, not contain the A13 bootloader?

Or should I still sideload the Aug A13 Update to the inactive-A12 partition, then take the Sept A13 update?
The September update will have AT LEAST the August bootloader, if not a newer version.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
New to the P6P... Haven't touched it "yet" beyond taking the Aug A13 Update... Does the Sept A13 Update, which will flash to the now inactive-A12 partition, not contain the A13 bootloader?
Every month's update has a bootloader. Whether it's changed or not, or to what degree it has changed can vary. You don't need to flash the September bootloader to both slots if you are, for example, currently on the August Android 13 release right now, and you take the September OTA, which will provide you with an Android 13 Stable bootloader in each slot - albeit the August one in one slot, and the September one in the other slot. This is normal and perfectly acceptable, and there is no danger.

Or should I still sideload the Aug A13 Update to the inactive-A12 partition, then take the Sept A13 update?
I wouldn't bother. Just take the September OTA, and that'll get you what you need - an Android 13 bootloader on both slots. For that matter if you want a "just in case", you don't have to flash the August bootloader. Download the September factory image and do:
Code:
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot flash bootloader --slot all bootloader-devicename-slider-1.2-3456789.img
Using the filename of the bootloader.img file that's within the inner zip that's in the factory image zip.
 

samteeee

Senior Member
New to the P6P... Haven't touched it "yet" beyond taking the Aug A13 Update... Does the Sept A13 Update, which will flash to the now inactive-A12 partition, not contain the A13 bootloader?

Or should I still sideload the Aug A13 Update to the inactive-A12 partition, then take the Sept A13 update?
I apologize not making it clearer as I have a "locked bootloader"by choice, hence the only method to prevent a Bricked Pixel was to sideload a full OTA image, but as mentioned by @roirraW "edor" ehT, you can just flash the September bootloader to both slots and be safe!

Good Luck
 
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Dracarys321..

New member
Aug 29, 2017
1
1
From the Pixel Images page:
View attachment 5690651

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.
I am trying sideloading the ota again...been following every step....device do show up on adb devices command but on next step when try to sideload file.zip..it says cannot read file.zip....please help a noob here
 
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V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
I am trying sideloading the ota again...been following every step....device do show up on adb devices command but on next step when try to sideload file.zip..it says cannot read file.zip....please help a noob here
Try this:
  1. Reboot your device into sideload mode:
    1. Use adb reboot sideload via your ADB command window
    2. Or, if you are already rooted, open Magisk, tap the Reboot button at the top, and select Reboot to recovery
    3. Or, hold Volume Up while booting to enter recovery
    4. If you used steps 2 or 3 above, once you see the green Android with "No command", hold Power and click Volume Up, then select Apply update from ADB
  2. Connect via USB and open a command window in your ADB Platform Tools folder
  3. Your screen should read Now send the package you want to apply to the device using "adb sideload <filename>"...
  4. In the ADB command window, type adb sideload, then drag and drop the OTA package into the command window. Make sure you leave a space after "sideload".
  5. The update should apply and reboot the device.
 
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RetroTech07

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2021
366
274
Google Pixel 2 XL
Google Pixel 6 Pro
well i really dont know what my pro pixel 6 is running. i just typed in amiga and ran the cjeckmark opened my stuff added my prrfs then opened hd i need keybosrd for usb c then went to cli then now inm looking around for a backdoor i left to open anything the gheckmark did. have fun guys cracking it im gettinh the 500 gig soon and im hoping for at least android 16 causecivdont want 50 years and at 16 i can get parental concent to obtain root. thanks vercraczen
I have no idea what you just said...
 
Jan 12, 2021
8
8
be careful with the new bootloader process.

i tried wiping my partitions and slots with

fastboot --set-active=a -w fastboot --set-active=b -w

before updating to the September release and it bricked my phone. Luckily I was able to get a replacement device from Google because there's no fix to this brick yet (as of writing this, October 2nd).

just a FYI for everyone
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
be careful with the new bootloader process.

i tried wiping my partitions and slots with

fastboot --set-active=a -w fastboot --set-active=b -w

before updating to the September release and it bricked my phone. Luckily I was able to get a replacement device from Google because there's no fix to this brick yet (as of writing this, October 2nd).

just a FYI for everyone
Why are you using the -w argument when switching slots? You probably wiped your bootloader partitions.

This is why it's important to ask questions before you try things when you don't know what the potential outcome is.
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
this used to be the canonical way to wipe everything and flash a new image prior to A13. it even worked when upgrading from A12 -> A13_beta -> A13.
Since when? I have never heard of using the -w arguments when switching slots. Some use fastboot erase <partition> while others use the -w argument when flashing the system image (which does not flash bootloader) but never since the Nexus devices have I ever seen a full wipe combined with a slot switch.
 
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surej_84

New member
Jan 28, 2013
4
2
vadakkencherry
First of all thanks to all for this info. I received my new pixel 6 pro yesterday. I am not planning to root or unlock the bootloader for the first 6 months. Iam currently updating the device to A 13 via OTA. Please advise me if I should sideload the factory image to the second slot once the OTA installation is over ( iam a noob and this is my understanding of the issue...apologies if it's illogical) . Or should I wait for the next months OTA update ? ( I think I read somewhere that the next OTA will install in the second slot). I hope iam making sense. Thanks again
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
First of all thanks to all for this info. I received my new pixel 6 pro yesterday. I am not planning to root or unlock the bootloader for the first 6 months. Iam currently updating the device to A 13 via OTA. Please advise me if I should sideload the factory image to the second slot once the OTA installation is over ( iam a noob and this is my understanding of the issue...apologies if it's illogical) . Or should I wait for the next months OTA update ? ( I think I read somewhere that the next OTA will install in the second slot). I hope iam making sense. Thanks again
The factory image cannot be sideloaded; only the OTA image can.

But to answer your question, yes, you would simply sideload the OTA again.
 

AlexAuran

Member
Jul 15, 2010
24
3
Alright, I'm dumb. I read through this thread, thought I understood, then did the following:

1) Was on A12.
2) Flashed A13 bootloader only from the factory image to slot a and b.
"fastboot flash bootloader -slot=all bootloader-raven-slider-1.2-8895132.img"
The thought was I don't care if A12 runs properly, just want to get the bootloader unbrickable, then clean install A13 factory. Both slots return "fastboot getvar version-bootloader version-bootloader: slider-1.2-8895132"
3) Booted into A12 just fine.
4) Flash-all without -slot=all
5) Device boot loops as corrupt. Flash Tool will not detect phone. Fastboot detects from bootloader, adb from recovery and rescue.
6) Flash-all both slots, still corrupt.

Any ideas?
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Alright, I'm dumb. I read through this thread, thought I understood, then did the following:

1) Was on A12.
2) Flashed A13 bootloader only from the factory image to slot a and b.
"fastboot flash bootloader -slot=all bootloader-raven-slider-1.2-8895132.img"
The thought was I don't care if A12 runs properly, just want to get the bootloader unbrickable, then clean install A13 factory. Both slots return "fastboot getvar version-bootloader version-bootloader: slider-1.2-8895132"
3) Booted into A12 just fine.
4) Flash-all without -slot=all
5) Device boot loops as corrupt. Flash Tool will not detect phone. Fastboot detects from bootloader, adb from recovery and rescue.
6) Flash-all both slots, still corrupt.

Any ideas?
You have to be in bootloader to use the Flash Tool.

Have you tried reflashing the A13 image?
 
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V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
I have access to the bootloader and fastboot detects the phone just fine, but AFT doesn't connect at all. I have flashed the A13 factory image several times with no success.
If fastboot sees the device, Android Flash Tool should work. Make sure you allow ADB permissions in your browser; Google Chrome is recommended as not all browsers have WebADB capability.

To explain a little bit what's going on, I assume you're seeing a screen similar to this on boot:
1667493247664.png


This has nothing to do with the bootloader, and just means that Android has crashed enough times that the device thinks neither slot is bootable.

If you don't care about losing data, just perform factory reset; your device should boot fine.

If you want to try to keep data, see if you can sideload the OTA.
 

AlexAuran

Member
Jul 15, 2010
24
3
If fastboot sees the device, Android Flash Tool should work. Make sure you allow ADB permissions in your browser; Google Chrome is recommended as not all browsers have WebADB capability.

To explain a little bit what's going on, I assume you're seeing a screen similar to this on boot:
View attachment 5751479

This has nothing to do with the bootloader, and just means that Android has crashed enough times that the device thinks neither slot is bootable.

If you don't care about losing data, just perform factory reset; your device should boot fine.

If you want to try to keep data, see if you can sideload the OTA.
AFT doesn't see the device with ADB Permission granted on both MacOS and Windows Chrome Stable.

If I boot into recovery, I see the no command android, but pressing up+power doesn't show this menu.

I don't ever see the recovery menu. I can boot into the bootloader without issue. If I do a system boot, "Start", I get the Google Logo for about 5 seconds, then looped back to the bootloader.

If I flash-all, it completes successfully but then shows the red corrupt error screen, if I don't touch it at all, it loops and reboots until it ultimately shows the charging icon.

I'm fully backed up and don't care about any data. I'm completely stumped.
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
First, make absolutely sure you are using the latest ADB Platform Tools.
AFT doesn't see the device with ADB Permission granted on both MacOS and Windows Chrome Stable.
You have to be in bootloader mode. If you're in bootloader, and fastboot devices shows the device, Android Flash Tool should work. But, it probably won't help unless you force flashed all partitions which would require a data wipe.
If I boot into recovery, I see the no command android, but pressing up+power doesn't show this menu.
To enter the recovery menu, hold Power, and click Volume Up. Don't click them at the same time; you have to be holding Power when you click Volume +.
I don't ever see the recovery menu. I can boot into the bootloader without issue. If I do a system boot, "Start", I get the Google Logo for about 5 seconds, then looped back to the bootloader.

If I flash-all, it completes successfully but then shows the red corrupt error screen
Please post a picture of this screen. Is it like the one I posted above?

If it's this one, we have a different problem:
boot_red1.png

if I don't touch it at all, it loops and reboots until it ultimately shows the charging icon.

I'm fully backed up and don't care about any data. I'm completely stumped.
Well, let's see if sideloading works. Boot your device into recovery, get into the menu as I described above, and select Apply update from ADB. Connect to your PC, and download this file (OTA, Raven TP1A.221005.002).
In your ADB command window, type adb devices to ensure ADB sees your device, then type adb sideload <drag and drop the OTA package you just downloaded>. This will update the alternate slot, and once complete, should reboot into that slot.

If this doesn't work, boot to bootloader and try fastboot -w which will wipe both data and cache.
Alternatively, you can boot to recovery and select Factory Reset.
 

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  • 2
    @V0latyle I switched to a stock windows 10 VM that didn't have any adb or drivers installed. Downloaded everything fresh, got it booted. Turns out I mixed up .zip files on the original machine, so I didn't have the latest ADB Tools on the machine. I didn't look into it closely because I thought the if/then in the flash-all.bat would check that requirement since it's coded right there and all the commands seemly worked. Yes, I know that's a basic step. Admitting it publicly in case it helps someone else. Sorry for wasting your time, but thank you for your help. Can I buy you coffee?
    2
    Just got my new Pixel 6 Pro off swappa. On Android 13 October build.

    Both slots (A&B) show the same: slider-1.2-8895132

    So Im good to go? I can go ahead and root now?
    Yes, you have the A13 bootloader on both slots.
    2
    Im getting a secondary Pixel 6 Pro in the coming days. Going back to the original post:

    "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."

    So does this mean the first ota is installed on the active slot and the second ota will push the first one to inactive? Ending up with the same new bootloader for each?
    OTAs are never installed on your active slot. Every time you update via OTA the build is installed on your inactive/opposite slot. Once you initially update to A13 you will have the A13 bootloader installed on that one slot, which becomes your active slot after installation. The next time you update via OTA you will have the A13 bootloader (and everything else of course) installed on the inactive/opposite slot, therefore both slots at this time will have the A13 bootloader. This inactive/opposite slot now becomes your active slot.
    2

    How legitimate is this guide? I'm willing to try it if it means I can use Viper again
    I have serious doubts. The guide describes using the Android 12 factory image, and either removing the Android 12 bootloader, or replacing it with the Android 13 bootloader. In either case, it isn't actually a downgrade, and would not work because Android 12 will not flash on the 13 bootloader without the --force argument. As described in the OP, this has been done before, and the result was very unstable.

    TL;DR: the author of that article doesn't know what he's talking about, and seems to be drawing on limited experience with the Pixel series while being ignorant of the circumstances surrounding the anti-rollback.
    2
    Hi,

    Sorry...

    But that anti-rollback thing is such a restriction and such a potential risk to brick the device (so far, I managed to brick 3 devices, and one of them was a Google device, one of the early Google devices made by LG some 5/6 years ago).

    And you wrote that flashing back A12 over an A13 bootloader may cause a bricking of the device.
    No...

    As far as I know, the bootloader will refuse to downgrade, so if you attempt to flash an older bootloader on the new one, it will simply fail.

    The bricking issue is what I consider a poor rollout; since Pixels are A/B slot devices, the problem arises from when one slot is updated to Android 13 - as it would with an OTA - and the other slot isn't. If the device fails to boot from the Android 13 slot and attempts to "recycle" to the Android 12 slot, the bootloader won't load, rendering the device a brick.

    So, it's fair to say that they probably could have implemented this better, with a solution that updates both slots at once.

    That being said, bootloaders are almost always proprietary code and are NOT open source, so Google has the prerogative to roll out updates and make changes as they see fit. The update did NOT restrict development or prevent running older/alternative software, although the stock Android 12 software doesn't run properly on the 13 bootloader.

    Either way, they essentially had the right to do this, and while we can agree that how they did it could definitely have been better, I don't see the point of arguing about why, as it's already been done, or ranting about how this makes it a little harder to do one specific thing - reverting to the previous factory builds of Android 12. I doubt this was their intent - all they were trying to do was close a security vulnerability; they've always had the ability to implement anti-rollback in previous devices but have apparently never had a critical issue that necessitated its use until now.
    As I know I will probably play with the device some day, I was somewhat irritated to see that for some devices Google is less nice to play with than an unlocked device of some other brands.

    So please accept my apologies.

    Regards.
    Keep calm and chive on.
  • 21
    ***Note: THIS IS NOT A ROOT GUIDE. For updating and root instructions, check out my guide here.***

    From the Pixel Images page:
    1668631218213.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
    7
    Android 12 party is over, DRM APEX isn't functional when the Android 13 bootloader is installed.

    You won't be able to use WebView or browsers, and anything that wants to check DRM like streaming applications are going to crash.

    Maybe at some point a developer can look into cooking up a custom Android 12 ROM with Android 13 APEXs or patched ones.
    5
    FYI: Even though Android Flash Tool does not flash the whole image to both slots, they have added an option to flash the A13 bootloader to the inactive slot. This may be the easiest option when updating to A13 from A12.

    Just to be clear, when updating to A13 from A12 a prompt will show up asking whether you want to also flash the bootloader to the inactive slot as well. It doesn't show up in the regular tick boxes.


    Screenshot from 2022-08-24 14-39-11.png
    5
    Source? This would be nice. I still think Pixel Flasher is superior in most ways


    Screenshot_20220821-005234.png
    3
    understood. is it definitely confirmed that none of the betas had ARB?
    I don't know the answer to that. I also didn't participate in the Betas in any way at all other than sharing links for each new Beta version.

    personally I'm not willing to commit to no going back with a13 until I know all my critical apps are compatible.
    I haven't had any issues with any of my apps, but everyone's usage is different. Technically speaking, I can say that for a day or two after I flashed Android 13 Stable, the root/Xposed-based AOSP Mods only partially worked with Android 13, but it's since been updated to fully support all the features on Android 13 that I cared about, and then some.