"Your device is corrupt. It can't be trusted and may not work properly." Pixel 2 XL

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cognitivedissonance

Senior Member
Jan 11, 2012
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I'm about 4 hours of reading in on this matter, and I still don't have a proper answer. I've run through countless threads with similar titles, and found some helpful tidbits, but nothing the resolves or fully explains what is going on here.

I just made the jump from Android 9.0.0 (latest) rooted to Android 10.0.0 (latest.) Here were my steps:

  1. Download the latest Platform Tools & unzip
  2. Download the latest Android 10.0.0 Factory image for Pixel 2 XL & unzip into the platform tools folder
  3. Download the latest USB drivers & install
  4. Hook up my phone to the computer (Windows 10) and verify that ADB & Fastboot are working properly via command prompt
  5. Execute the flash-all.bat (left the -w flag in so that it wiped my data) -- it appeared to be only flashing the one slot except for a couple mentions of the other slot's system towards the end of the commands
  6. The phone booted just fine and I went through and installed TWRP and Magisk 23 and so on

Here's where I encountered the error:
As I was rebooting out of TWRP, I realized I'd never used the "Slot A" or "Slot B" buttons, so I picked one, and it started rebooting the phone. The normal screen with the yellow text about phone being unlocked came up, then switched to the white background with the 'G' as expected. The expected next step would've been the 'G' spinning into a circle for a second, and then going to the homescreen, but instead what happened was the screen went black, and then a screen that said "Your device is corrupt. It can't be trusted and may not work properly." showed. It looked similar to the one when the phone first boots with the yellow text about the bootloader, but this text was red. I attempted to use the power button to bypass it, and when I did, it switched the the normal yellow-text-about-bootloader screen, and then switched to the 'G' with the white background again, but there it stayed, just frozen.

I was still able to boot to bootloader by using the power + down button, and could then boot to the stock recovery, but that was it. After a bit of reading, I discovered the following command:

fastboot set_active a
or
fastboot set_active b

and also fastboot getvar all

The set_active command chooses which Slot is being used, and the getvar command shows all the fastboot variables, one of which shows the "current_slot." Once I set the other Slot to be the active one and rebooted, the phone booted normally. Buuut, now I'm concerned that someone is screwed up with my phone, and it's going to fail at some point when I don't have my computer handy, so I went back to work trying to resolve the error when I booted out of the one slot.

Here's what I've tried:
  • Run the flash-all.bat file in one slot, let the phone reboot, boot to bootloader, switch slots, reboot to bootloader, flash-all.bat in the other slot.
  • Same as above, but without the -w flag.
  • Manually flash the bootloader, radio and image zip on both slots
  • Install the TWRP while booted into the adb-loaded TWRP img (this seems to write to both slots based on the output)
  • Install and uninstall Magisk both via recovery and via the patched stock boot image.
After every single attempt, the one slot would work just fine, and the other slot would exhibit the behavior I mentioned. Depending on which Slot is flashed first, the Slot that fails to boot properly does change (ie. it's not always Slot A or Slot B that fails.)


Untested methods:
  • Screwing with dm-verity -- I saw one thread that gave a few fastboot commands to disable dm-verity, and a couple people reporting success with it. After searching around and doing a bit of reading on dm-verity, I still don't understand what it does, whether disabling it would have any negative repercussions, and whether disabling it would fix the issue legitimately, or just kinda mute it.
  • Using Deuce's bootloop recovery tool -- again, I don't really know what that thing is running, it hasn't been maintained in quite some time as far as I can tell, and there are several threads indicating that it runs a bunch of haphazard stuff that could cause more problems. Some reports indicated it worked for them, but I'm concerned about what else it might be doing that may negatively affect things down the road.
  • Re-locking the bootloader -- I saw this one mentioned several times, but I also saw several people warning that you could brick your phone if you do it wrong. I also saw one or two folks who seemed like they couldn't get back to being unlocked after re-locking. I don't want to screw with this option given those risks.

Can anyone give me any more tips on how to resolve this? I'm pretty sure that the Pixels are supposed to run equally well from both slots, so I'd really like to get the matter resolved so I don't have to worry about what would happen if my phone moved me over to the other Slot for some reason. Any insight and explanations are appreciated!
 

runekock

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2012
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524
Samsung Galaxy Tab S
Nexus 6
People say that you cannot install both TWRP and magisk (I haven't tried it myself). So start again with a flash-all, and then, instead of installing TWRP, run it using fastboot boot whenever you need it.
 

Strephon Alkhalikoi

Senior Member
Aug 3, 2010
7,173
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Samsung Galaxy S4
Nexus 6
The OP needs to flash a factory image first or the corruption message will never disappear. While he's at it he should make the jump to Android 11...latest radios and all that. If he doesn't want to lose data he can edit flash-all.bat in the factory image and remove the -w flag in that batch file.

From there he can flash anything he wants. If he plans on rooting however he cannot install TWRP, only boot it using ADB. The combination of Magisk and TWRP causes a bootloop.
 

cognitivedissonance

Senior Member
Jan 11, 2012
646
201
The OP needs to flash a factory image first or the corruption message will never disappear. While he's at it he should make the jump to Android 11...latest radios and all that. If he doesn't want to lose data he can edit flash-all.bat in the factory image and remove the -w flag in that batch file.

From there he can flash anything he wants. If he plans on rooting however he cannot install TWRP, only boot it using ADB. The combination of Magisk and TWRP causes a bootloop.
Understood on the magisk / twrp thing, but regarding the factory image, that is exactly what I was going. The problem presents even after doing that. That's why it's so puzzling.

Edit: it's admittedly a very long post, but if you look at the section that's numbered, you'll see I'm grabbing the latest factory image for Android 10 and flashing it. Then in the section labeled "Here's What I've Tried" (aka my attempts to troubleshoot) the very first thing I did was flash the factory image (including the wipe) to both Slots and then trying to boot from one slot and then from the other.
 

Strephon Alkhalikoi

Senior Member
Aug 3, 2010
7,173
3,291
Vulcan
Samsung Galaxy S4
Nexus 6
Grab an Android 11 package and don't remove the -w flag when installing. The corruption may be persisting because user storage isn't being wiped.

The factory image - NOT OTA - is the only way to fix this short of sending the device to Google for service.
 

cognitivedissonance

Senior Member
Jan 11, 2012
646
201
Grab an Android 11 package and don't remove the -w flag when installing. The corruption may be persisting because user storage isn't being wiped.

The factory image - NOT OTA - is the only way to fix this short of sending the device to Google for service.
Why would it be any different when I wipe with Android 10 or Android 11? I flashed the latest Android 10 factory image to the phone *with* the -w flag as mentioned in my "here's what I tried" section. I even went so far as to force the phone to Slot A with the "set_active" command, and then set_active Slot B and flashed the factory image (not the OTA) again. After doing that, the one slot will boot just fine while the other gives the error. If I change it up and flash Slot B first and then Slot A the same thing occurs, just in reverse (the slot that booted before throws the error while the slot that threw the error before now boots.)
 

Strephon Alkhalikoi

Senior Member
Aug 3, 2010
7,173
3,291
Vulcan
Samsung Galaxy S4
Nexus 6
My initial post explains why I recommended an Android 11 ROM (updated radio). Any of them will of course work, but that's beside the point. Try using ADB to format the partitions and see if that resolves the issue. Otherwise contact Google, as I can't think of anything else that would be blocking you.
 
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Alekos

Senior Member
Feb 18, 2008
505
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Google Pixel 3 XL
I had this same issue and Flashing Android 11 on both partitions (without removing the -w command) resolved it.

I first booted into Recovery Menu and wiped both slots. Then downloaded the factory image (not ota) and flashed each slot separately wiping the device after each flash in recovery menu. it's the only way to fix this just like user @Strephon Alkhalikoi

If that doesn't resolve it then you have an issue that's more serious and will require a repair of some sort (not necessarily hardware).
 

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    My initial post explains why I recommended an Android 11 ROM (updated radio). Any of them will of course work, but that's beside the point. Try using ADB to format the partitions and see if that resolves the issue. Otherwise contact Google, as I can't think of anything else that would be blocking you.