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[GUIDE][Z2 FORCE XT1789-05] Bootloader/TWRP/Custom ROMs/Root/Dirty flashing/Unbrick

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By Technical, Senior Member on 18th June 2018, 02:00 PM
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First, thanks to @Uzephi and @41rw4lk for helping me to use/recover my phone. Please, read and do not underestimate the guides: our phone is tricky! We have two system partitions (slot a and b) to allow stock updates on-the-fly. This complicates the normal flashing process and if you do not follow the steps, you may bootloop. Use these guides at your own risk!

Reading this page is a good beginning to understanding the A/B partitioning scheme and how Motorola Z2 Force works:
1) Our phone has A/B partitioning, so flashing Magisk/XPosed is different
2) It does not support Project Treble (faster stock updates)
3) It does not a recovery partition, so flashing TWRP is different

Note also that the RSD Lite from Motorola has issues with Windows 10 and you’ll need to manual flash firmware if you bootloop (see Process E below). Other way is directly flashing from Qualcomm EDL mode (Emergency Download Mode) from which users can perform various tasks like unbricking, unlock bootloader, and installation of any custom ROMs.

Right now, this guide has 5 parts (maybe we can dual boot our phone in the future). If you just want to use a rooted stock ROM, please, search for other guides here on xda. These guides were written (and tested) using a Motorola Z2 Force XT1789-05 phone (Brazil), although most of it should work for other variants if you download and use proper firmware files for these other phones. For other models, better if you follow Uzephi’s guide.

A. Opening bootloader
B. Preparing the phone to move into custom ROMs (AOSP) + TWRP recovery
C. Flashing a custom AOSP ROM + rooting
D. Dirty flashing AOSP ROM updates
E. Recovering from bricks or returning to stock
F. Oreo ROM features comparison table


If you want to move your Motorola Z2 Force to Project Treble ROMs, please, check this guide.
Here is a list of the ROMs that are waiting for you.
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18th June 2018, 02:04 PM |#2  
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A. Opening bootloader

With enough battery in your phone (80%), you can follow the Motorola official guide which steps are:

1. Backup everything you need. Your phone will be reseted including the internal sdcard.

2. Into the phone, enable the Developer Options clicking 7 times over the version (About section in the Settings). Go to Developer Options, click the OEM unlock option to enable it. Also enable USB debugging.

3. Install the Motorola drivers in your computer, but (in my personal experience) not the Android SDK suggested in the official guide. Instead, extract these adb/fastboot files in a blank folder of your computer.
3.1) Do not use other adb/fastboot binaries: I cannot guarantee they will work.
3.2) You need to use a USB 2.0 port of your computer. Some users report that USB 3.0 will also work.

4. Open a command line window in the adb/fastboot folder (step 3), reboot the phone into the bootloader (see adb command below or press power + volume down buttons). Plug the phone on computer (see 3.2 above). Test the connection and run the command to get the code for unlocking:
Code:
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot devices
fastboot oem get_unlock_data
You’ll get:
Code:
(bootloader) Unlock data:
(bootloader) <code 1>
(bootloader) <code 2>
(bootloader) <code 3>
(bootloader) <code 4>
(bootloader) <code 5>
5. You’ll need to join 5 codes and, after logging into your own Motorola account, check by clicking the button “Can my device be unlocked” (step 6) by Motorola here. Read the text: your warranty will be void if you go ahead. Consider if you have enough knowledge, time and money to deal with a troublesome (or bricked) device. Although, it’s not that easy to hard brick this phone (see process E below).
Code:
<code 1><code 2><code 3><code 4><code 5>
6. You’ll receive back an email with the code to unlock your bootloader (if it is available for your model). Then you’ll run the following command:
Code:
fastboot oem unlock <code 1><code 2><code 3><code 4><code 5>
7. You’ll receive a warning that all your data would be erased (see step 1 above) and need to re-run the same command to confirm. At this point, your bootloader should be unlocked. As an Android restriction, each time you boot the phone you’ll see a warning. Do nothing, wait for 5 seconds and the phone boots normally. Some users bother with this warning and try to get rid of it.
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18th June 2018, 02:05 PM |#3  
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B. Preparing the phone to move into custom ROMs (AOSP) + TWRP recovery

Requirements: unlocked bootloader (see guide A) and no security lock: disable PIN, gestures and fingerprinting (because TWRP cannot read the locked/cryptographed data of the phone). Enough battery in your phone (80%).

If you do not prepare your phone to custom ROMs and if you do not have both bootloaders of the phone in the same Android version of the ROM you’ll flash, you’ll hard brick the phone and lose also the access to the bootloader! You’ve been warned: follow the guide!

Note: if you hard brick, I suggest you be prepared to follow the Unbrick Qualcomm mobiles with Step-by-step guide or the Unbrick All Qualcomm Snapdragon’s from Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008 guide, but I never tested them myself. You can also use Qualcomm Flash Image Loader (QFIL) tool.


1. Backup everything you need. Your phone will be reset including the internal sdcard.

2. Into the phone, enable the Developer Options clicking 7 times over the version (About section in the Settings). Go to Developer Options and enable USB debugging.

3. Install the Motorola drivers and the adb/fastboot files.
3.1) do not use other adb/fastboot binaries: we cannot guarantee they will work.
3.2) you need to use a USB 2.0 port of your computer. Some users report that USB 3.0 will also work.

4. Download the firmware of the same Android major version of the future ROM you’ll install (Oreo for Oreo ROMs, for instance). When (and if) we move to Android P, most probably we will need to follow this guide again.
- Retail (XT1789-05) (Europe/Brazil).
- Other models (branded): ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile (TMO), USC, Verizon.
- Note: NPXS26 versions stand for Nougat and OPXS27 for Oreo. You do not need Nougat versions for anything.

5. Extract the zip contents to a blank folder in your computer.

6. Download the FlashAll_XT1789-05.zip file, extract the content and move all files to the same firmware folder (step 5 above). Be sure to overwrite any file (if needed).

7. Run the Preparation.bat file there to generate the flashfile.bat file that will send the commands to the phone. Credits: the original preparation files were from RootJunky (can be downloaded here) and include more options that we do not need for our purpose here. Also, it includes adb/fastboot binaries that could not work with our phone.

8. Reboot the phone into the bootloader (see adb command below or power + volume down buttons). Open a command line window in the firmware folder (step 5 above), test the connection and execute the flashfile.bat file generated on step 7.
Code:
adb devices
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot devices
flashfile.bat
Never ever unplug the device from the USB 2.0 port while flashing the firmware. This could cause a hard brick and your device will be dead.

9. There is a pause at the end. You should review if everything went fine (or even click on the menu of the command line window, select all and copy&paste the contents in a .txt file for further help/revision).

10. Reboot your phone into the system (ROM) and do a quick configuration (remember that everything will be deleted when you install TWRP further…).

11. Into the phone, enable the Developer Options clicking 7 times over the version (About section in the settings). Go to Developer Options and enable USB debugging.

12. Download both the .img and .zip file of the TWRP recovery from the official site. It's the same file for all models/variants of Z2 Force phone. Put the files into our firmware folder (step 5 above). Copy the .zip file to the phone internal card. Note: versions older than 3.2.2-2 does not support PIN/Password/Fingerprint, so disable them before proceed. Most probably, ROMs before July 20th, 2018 cannot be flashed in older TWRP.

13. Now boot (not flash) the TWRP .img file using a command line window in the same firmware folder (step 5 above):
Code:
adb devices
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot devices
fastboot boot <TWRP file name>.img
14. Only now that you’re inside TWRP temporarily flash the TWRP .zip file you’ve saved into the phone (step 12 above).

15. Reboot into TWRP (use the main reboot menu in TWRP).

16. Now, you should reboot again into bootloader: inside TWRP, go to Reboot menu and choose Bootloader.

17. Now you will wipe all user data via bootloader. This is necessary to use an AOSP ROM when you come from stock. Using a command line window in the same firmware folder of your computer (step 5 above), run the following commands:
Code:
fastboot devices
fastboot -w
18. Now you can reboot the phone into System using the buttons volume up/down to navigate and confirming with the Power button. You’ll be with stock ROM and TWRP. If you want to move to a custom AOSP ROM, do a quick configuration: into the phone, enable the Developer Options clicking 7 times over the version (About section in the settings). Go to Developer Options and enable USB debugging and go to the proper guide (Process C).
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18th June 2018, 02:05 PM |#4  
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C. Flashing a custom AOSP ROM + rooting

1. Requirements:
1.1 Motorola drivers.
1.2 Our custom adb/fastboot files (others may not work!).
1.3 USB debugging enabled into the Developer Options.
1.4 If you're using TWRP older than 3.2.2-2, disable disable PIN/gestures/fingerprinting. Also, most probably, ROMs after July 20th, 2018 cannot be flashed in older TWRP.
1.5 An USB 2.0 port of your computer (some users report that USB 3.0 will also work).
1.6 Two Oreo bootloaders (process B above).
1.7 Permanent TWRP
1.8 Enough battery in your phone (80%).

2. Download the AOSP ROM you want and move the .zip files to the phone. Right now, we have:

2.1 Dirty Unicorns: no need for Gapps. Official and Weeklies can be dirty flashed interchangeably. RC has a different signature. Support on Google+ page. More about DU kernel.
2.2 Lineage OS 15.1. MindTheGapps needed. OpenGapps not compatible yet. XDA thread.
2.3 Mokee: Gapps needed. Take care: online guides assume that you already have an AOSP ROM, TWRP and rooted device.

Deprecated (?)

2.4 AOSiP: no need for Gapps. XDA thread.
2.5 Invictrix. Gapps are built in. XDA thread

3. Choose the root method and download the .zip files: Magisk (suggested) or LineageOS SU Addon. Move the .zip files to phone. Note: if you bootloop on Magisk, most probably you’re flashing a wrong/different version of Magisk or you did not reboot between flashing ROM/Gapps and Magisk. Note: SuperSu is deprecated.

4. Reboot into TWRP:
Code:
adb reboot recovery
Then flash the ROM. It will be flashed in two steps only in the “other” slot. We have two slots, A and B. Our phone can be upgraded on-the-fly because the update is always applied to the slot not booted, the “other” slot. Then, immediately, flash the .zip TWRP or you will lose it.


5. Go to Reboot menu of TWRP and reboot into bootloader. Then, in the folder with adb/fastboot binaries (see 1.2 above), you need to wipe data (including sdcard) with the following commands:
Code:
fastboot devices
fastboot -w
6. Now you need to reboot the phone into System using the buttons volume up/down and confirming with the Power button (or typing fastboot reboot into the command line windows). You’ll be with an AOSP ROM and TWRP.

7. Once into the phone, enable the Developer Options clicking 7 times over the version (About section in the settings). Go to Developer Options and enable USB debugging if you intend to dirty flash ROM updates.

8. Reboot into TWRP again, flash Magisk (your settings and modules will be preserved). Note: if you bootloop on Magisk, remember it is mandatory to reboot between ROM flash (step 4 above) and GApps/Addon flash due to verity/slot-swap logic.

9. A good place to read what is not working is in the section known problems of LineageOS.
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18th June 2018, 02:06 PM |#5  
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D. Dirty flashing AOSP ROM updates

1. If you follow all the processes above, you can dirty flash updates because you have:
1.1 Motorola drivers installed.
1.2 Specific adb/fastboot files for our phone and an USB 2.0 port in a Windows computer (some users report that USB 3.0 will also work).
1.3 Unlocked bootloaders (Process A above).
1.4 Permanent TWRP running and TWRP .zip file placed inside your phone and ready to be flashed again.
1.5 An AOSP ROM already running.
1.6 Developer Options and USB debugging enabled.
1.7 If you're using TWRP older than 3.2.2-2, disable disable PIN/gestures/fingerprinting. Also, most probably, ROMs after July 20th, 2018 cannot be flashed in older TWRP.
1.8 Enough battery in your phone (80%)

2. Download your ROM .zip update, copy it into the phone sdcard and reboot your phone into TWRP. See download links here.

3. Within TWRP you should flash (install) things in the following order:
3.1 ROM update .zip file. Remember that, at this time, the update will be flashed int the other slot and inside phone you’ll have both the system before update (in the booted slot) and updated ROM in the other slot.
3.2 TWRP .zip file (step 1.4 above) once again (do not skip this step or you’ll bootloop!).

4. Reboot to System: if you skip this step, you’ll bootloop.

5. Reboot into TWRP again, flash Magisk (your settings and modules will be preserved) or LineageOS SU Addon .zip file. Note: if you bootloop on Magisk, most probably you’re flashing a wrong/different version of Magisk. I suggest v16.0 and, after you got rooted with 16.0, you can update. It is mandatory to reboot between ROM flash (step 4 above) and GApps/Addon flash due to verity/slot-swap logic.
Note: SuperSu is deprecated.

6. Wipe Dalvik/ART cache: go to Wipe menu of TWRP > Advanced Wipe > Dalvik/ART Cache only.

7. Reboot your phone into System (ROM) will use the “other” slot, the one with the updated ROM.

8. You can use XPosed installer app (and reboot).

9. Now you can add your PIN, fingerprint, gestures back until next flashing.
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18th June 2018, 02:06 PM |#6  
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E. Recovering from soft bricks or returning to Stock

If you’re reading this is because you already unlock your bootloader (see guide A) and anything went wrong, but you still can boot your phone into bootloader. Plug your phone and get enough battery (even if you do not see any charging signal).

1. Install the Motorola drivers and the specific adb/fastboot files for our phone. Remember, follow the rules because our device is tricky!
1.1) Do not use other adb/fastboot binaries: we cannot guarantee they will work.
1.2) You need to use a USB 2.0 port of your computer (some users report that USB 3.0 will also work).

2. Download the latest firmware for your model:
- Retail (XT1789-05) (Europe/Brazil).
- Other models (branded): ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile (TMO), USC, Verizon.
- Note: NPXS26 versions stand for Nougat and OPXS27 for Oreo. You do not need Nougat versions for anything.

3. Extract the zip contents to a blank folder in your computer.

4. Download the FlashAll_XT1789-05.zip file (it should work for other Motorola Z2 Force models as well), extract the content and move all files to the same firmware folder (step 2 above). Be sure to overwrite any file (if needed).

5. Run the Preparation.bat file there to generate the flashfile.bat file that will send the commands to the phone. Credits: the original preparation files were from RootJunky (can be downloaded here) and include more options that we do not need for our purpose here. Also, it includes adb/fastboot binaries that could not work with our phone.

6. Reboot the phone into the bootloader (see adb command below or power + volume down). Open a command line window in the firmware folder (step 5 above), test the connection and execute the flashfile.bat file generated on step 5.
Code:
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot devices
flashfile.bat
Never ever unplug the device from the USB 2.0 port while flashing the firmware. This could cause a hard brick and your device will be dead.

7. There is a pause at the end. You should review if everything went fine (or even click on the menu of the command line window, select all and copy&paste the contents in a .txt file for further help/revision).

8. Reboot your phone into system (ROM) and do not forget, later, to enable the Developer Options and USB debugging again.

Note: if you hard brick, I suggest you be prepared to follow the Unbrick Qualcomm mobiles with Step-by-step guide or the Unbrick All Qualcomm Snapdragon’s from Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008 guide, but I never tested them myself. You can also use Qualcomm Flash Image Loader (QFIL) tool. Maybe these Latest 2017 Qualcomm Diag QD-Loader Windows 10 Drivers signed will help you.
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18th June 2018, 02:07 PM |#7  
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F. Oreo ROM features comparison

This is a table for Oreo ROM features comparison for Motorola Z2 Force - nash.
I would like to receive feedback and updates from the users, as I can't keep changing from one ROM to another and they get new features, updates, improvements, etc.
I consider Lineage OS 15.1 our stock ROM regarding to customization. So, it's not listed there.

Legend:
Code:
X  = Feature present
XX = ROM excels in this particular feature (in my opinion).
18th June 2018, 02:07 PM |#8  
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If you want to move your Motorola Z2 Force to Project Treble ROMs, please, check this guide.
Here is a list of the ROMs that are waiting for you.
20th June 2018, 10:20 PM |#9  
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I came back to stock ROM. the problem is that it gets stuck in the initial configurations of the android trying to find a wifi network, to continue the configuration, without success, because I see in fastboot that the baseband is unknown, and I also can not install any rom, or recovery image because I have the following message in fastboot: FLASHING_LOCKED. and since I can not get past the initial android settings, I also can not unlock the developer options to enable OEM unlocking. now I'm standing in a rom that does not leave the initial configuration, it does not connect to any network and a fastboot that does not let me install anything. and I also tried the recovery mode and even tried to install an update via sideload, without success. I do not know what else to do if you can give me a light.
21st June 2018, 08:21 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renanjones

I came back to stock ROM. the problem is that it gets stuck in the initial configurations of the android trying to find a wifi network, to continue the configuration, without success, because I see in fastboot that the baseband is unknown, and I also can not install any rom, or recovery image because I have the following message in fastboot: FLASHING_LOCKED. and since I can not get past the initial android settings, I also can not unlock the developer options to enable OEM unlocking. now I'm standing in a rom that does not leave the initial configuration, it does not connect to any network and a fastboot that does not let me install anything. and I also tried the recovery mode and even tried to install an update via sideload, without success. I do not know what else to do if you can give me a light.

I see two possible scenarios:
1. Your bootloader is locked (yet) (see guide A).
2. Your in a "false locked" situation that, maybe, could be solved by resetting data via recovery or in bootloader (with the command: fastboot -w).
1st July 2018, 11:52 AM |#11  
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Great tutorial, but I did not get 4g in any of the roms, only 3g
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