Xperia ion Bootloader Unlocking & Relocking

Spectre51

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Jul 24, 2010
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Taken from [Tutorial] Xperia S/P/U/Sola Bootloader Unlocking & Relocking and modified slightly for the ion. I take no credit for this tutorial.

Quick tutorial for unlocking & relocking the bootloader of the Xperia ion.

This is the official way to unlock bootloader

Warning!

This procedure will wipe the /data partition of your phone, so you will loose all ur stored data, settings. SDCARD will NOT BE WIPED!!!

DRM keys WILL be lost forever


Why should I unlock the bootloader?
  • You can flash custom ROMs/Kernels.
  • You don't need to worry if the new firmware can be rooted or not as with unlocked bootloader you can always ROOT your device.
  • SE/Sony gives sneak-peaks/preview builds of latest OS which requires unlocked bootloaders, as they did with Xperia 2011 line (they had ICS alpha/beta), so who knows may be SE/Sony may give early builds of ICS (JellyBean???)

Most of this is taken from lollylost100's his tutorial from ARC thread (all credits for that concise tutorial go to him, i have elaborated on a few things and added device specific changes)


[ Before we begin unlocking bootloader ]
  • Get the IMEI code for your device: type *#06# in phone dialer to find it out, note only the digits (no dashes)
  • Download the fastboot package with usb drivers (alternate drivers if the ones in package dont work)
  • Make sure u have a windows PC with USB cable to connect the phone
  • Power down your phone and keeping the Volume Up button pressed connect the USB cable to PC this will trigger FASTBOOT mode and windows will start driver installation, extract the above package and point the driver install to that location (usb_driver) folder
  • Once drivers are installed just disconnect cable and power on device


[ how to unlock ] (official way)
  1. Go to: http://unlockbootloader.sonymobile.com/ and read everything!
  2. At the bottom click 'Start Unlocking the Bootloader'
    First, you should confirm that it is possible to unlock the boot loader of your phone by checking the service menu. In your phone, open the phone dial pad and enter *#*#7378423#*#* to access the service menu.

    In your phone, tap Service info > Configuration > Rooting Status. If Bootloader unlock allowed says Yes, then you can continue with the next step. If it says No, or if the status is missing, your device cannot be unlocked.
  3. After you have verified that you can unlock bootloader, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Continue"
  4. You will get "Are you sure prompt" accept it by clicking "yes i am sure" (i assume that you have read an understood it)
  5. Then accept the "legal terms"
  6. Finally you will get a "Create Unlock request" page, enter your IMEI (sometimes the last digit needs to be removed for this to work), name and email address
  7. You should now receive your unique unlock key, its displayed on screen, SAVE THIS KEY SAFELY
  8. Extract fastboot_with_Android_USB_file.rar and open fastboot folder
  9. Hold SHIFT and right click on the background of the folder
  10. Select 'Open command window here'
  11. Connect your phone in fastboot mode (turn phone off, hold Volume UP button and plug in USB Cable) [make sure drivers are installed as explained above)
  12. In the cmd windows type in fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version
  13. If a value is returned (it will return 0.5), it means the phone is correctly connected
  14. Type in fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY and replace KEY with the key which you received earlier.
  15. Your device should now be bootloader unlocked

If this tutorial is too much for you then itskapil wrote a step-by-step guide (and recorded a video also):
-Instructions: http://www.theandroidsoul.com/how-to...-play-neo-pro/
-Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRH3pC7MhEA
(the above videos and some steps are for Xperia 2011 devices, but most the steps are same for Xperia ion)


Info on Relocking bootloader is in next post
 
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Spectre51

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Relocking bootloader

RELOCKING BOOTLOADER WILL ALLOW YOU TO GET NEWEST UPDATES & REPAIR DEVICE USING SEUS/PCC


Before we begin relocking the bootloader make sure that u have flashtool download & installed

You can get the latest version of FlashTool from:
http://androxyde.github.com/Flashtool/

Download link is under "Installation" tab

If you have not use FlashTool before read this thread:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1526866


Download this FTF:
Xperia ion -> LT28-ION_Relock_bootloader_Dogsly-TEST.ftf // Mirror 1

Flash this FTF via FlashTool:
When it says enter flashmode, power down device and keeping VOLUME DOWN button pressed connect usb cable to phone, the device will now enter flashmode (green LED)

After this file is flashed reboot phone
Bootloader will now be relocked!!!

Incase device doesn't boot DO NOT PANIC... You can flash stock firmware FTF anytime to get back to stock ROM


P.S.: there is no official way to relock bootloader
 
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Auggy99

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Jul 2, 2012
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So because my phone says I can't unlock the bootloader, does that mean I can never unlock the bootloader? Or do I have to wait to be able to root it first?

PS: I got my ion from Best Buy so is that why? Will I ever be able to unlock the BL ? I've rooted and unlocked my x10, back in the old days lol but I'm just wondering if there's any difference with getting a phone from at&t directly or from the sony store and best buy.
 
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Spectre51

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Jul 24, 2010
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So because my phone says I can't unlock the bootloader, does that mean I can never unlock the bootloader? Or do I have to wait to be able to root it first?
Have to wait to see if another way to unlock the bootloader is discovered. Root and unlocking the bootloader are two different things that accomplish or allow different things you can do on the phone.

IE rooting allows you to uninstall system apps & bloatware, backup apps/data, make changes to build.prop etc. Unlocking the bootloader will give you access to fastboot so you can flash custom roms/kernels and other images such as a pre-rooted system image to gain root.
 
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Bach415

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Jun 25, 2012
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I wonder. If we can not unlock the bootloader for some LT28at, why is there a key to unlock it? I did the Sony bootloader unlock for fun and apparently they have a key for my LT28at even though it says bootloader unlock is not allowed.
 

dogsly

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Apr 4, 2010
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I wonder. If we can not unlock the bootloader for some LT28at, why is there a key to unlock it? I did the Sony bootloader unlock for fun and apparently they have a key for my LT28at even though it says bootloader unlock is not allowed.
You can unlock bootloader on the LT28i and, accordingly, there is a file to be relock bootloader LT28i
 

Bach415

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Jun 25, 2012
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You can unlock bootloader on the LT28i and, accordingly, there is a file to be relock bootloader LT28i
I understand that works for lt28i but I'm referring to lt28at the us model of the ion and why there is a bootlloader unlock code when we can't unlock it.
 

Spectre51

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Jul 24, 2010
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Has anyone with an ion that has
Bootloader unlock allowed says Yes
tried to unlock it via the sony site and if you did and it was successful have you tried to relock it using the file linked above? Would be nice to know if that works.
 

SMN23

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Oct 12, 2011
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Possible fix?

If the LT28i can be unlocked, what if we flash the international firmware on our LT28at's and then do the LT28i method? Maybe a stupid question but this is the first phone I've had that's a challenge to do stuff like unlocking and rooting. My last phone (HTC Aria) was extremely easy.
 

Spectre51

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Jul 24, 2010
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If the LT28i can be unlocked, what if we flash the international firmware on our LT28at's and then do the LT28i method? Maybe a stupid question but this is the first phone I've had that's a challenge to do stuff like unlocking and rooting. My last phone (HTC Aria) was extremely easy.
Flashing firmwares does not change the ability to unlock the bootloader.
 
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athris

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Jan 20, 2011
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I tried to relock the bootloader. The flash pass but the phone can't turn on after that.

*I reflash the stock kernel again and the phone can power on now.
So here is the result, once you relock bootloader, you need to flash back the stock kernel in other to turn on the phone. Hopefully this will help those people who got stuck after relock bootloader.
 
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Assyle

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Apr 17, 2012
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Hello guys :)

I was just wondering, if bootloader unlock or flashing cutom kernel will allow to use sim cards from other mobile operators (European for ex.) ?
I have an ability to buy this device in us through my friend. but Im interested if I would be able to use it in Europe :) I was thinking of buying xperia p or s, but they dont have microsd card support. :(
Im not interested in using LTE networks. Just common 2g.
I planning to use it like a second android device as a multimedia player instead of my galaxy s wifi5.0. (because of good sound quality and other features).

Thanx a lot for responses :)
 

Spectre51

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Jul 24, 2010
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Hello guys :)

I was just wondering, if bootloader unlock or flashing cutom kernel will allow to use sim cards from other mobile operators (European for ex.) ?
I have an ability to buy this device in us through my friend. but Im interested if I would be able to use it in Europe :) I was thinking of buying xperia p or s, but they dont have microsd card support. :(
Im not interested in using LTE networks. Just common 2g.
I planning to use it like a second android device as a multimedia player instead of my galaxy s wifi5.0. (because of good sound quality and other features).

Thanx a lot for responses :)
No. You can't unlock the bootloader of the lt28at and you can't sim unlock it either. Best bet is get an international version not one from the US.

Sent from my LT28at using Tapatalk 2
 
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Assyle

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Apr 17, 2012
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No. You can't unlock the bootloader of the lt28at and you can't sim unlock it either. Best bet is get an international version not one from the US.

Sent from my LT28at using Tapatalk 2
ok. thanx :)
probably wait for Xperia acro S... probably will be sold in europe in nearest future. :)
 

miahdog

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Feb 8, 2008
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Drivers aren't working for my device. The alternative drivers link isn't working. Can someone please upload the alternative drivers. Thank you.:good:
 

apkraven

Senior Member
Jan 29, 2011
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i'm sorry if it was mentioned, but i didn't find . is there a way to unlock the carrier already for lt28at ? i don't mind losing the lte.
 

wolf0491

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Jan 11, 2009
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i'm sorry if it was mentioned, but i didn't find . is there a way to unlock the carrier already for lt28at ? i don't mind losing the lte.
I think you can switch the rom to international version but it will still be bootloader locked. Not sure about carrier

Sent from my Sony Xperia Ion