Motorola bootloader could brick ROM-tampered phones

July 15, 2010
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When we wrote yesterday about Motorola's confirmation that the DROID X, DROID 2 and - most likely - all future Android handsets from the company would come with a locked bootloader and thus make hacking pretty difficult, we didn't realise quite how difficult it would actually be.  According to MyDroidWorld, Motorola's locking system uses a so-called eFuse chip that verifies the handset's firmware (i.e. the ROM), the kernel and the bootloader version.  If it detects that a non-Motorola ROM has been loaded, then that's when the problem starts.

If any of those three elements have been modified unofficially, the eFuse "blows" and the handset is bricked to the user.  Now, the eFuse can be reset but that can apparently only be done with specialist hardware that Motorola themselves had; in other words, you'll have to test quite how happy the company is with you loading third-party ROMs and then trying to claim under their warranty.  Considering yesterday's information, we're guessing Not Happy At All is the answer.


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