14
Jul
lockeddroidx

On the MyDroidWorld forums, site founder p3droid has recently shared some new and disheartening information about the Droid X. While we reported that the Droid X is locked down with an encrypted bootloader, it now seems Motorola has taken an extra step to ensure no one starts tinkering under the hood.

In the event that the bootloader, kernel, or ROM are noticeably compromised, your Droid X will try to brick itself.

How does it work? While p3droid’s technical explanation will be far more informative than my brief summary, the technology at work here is known as eFuse. It has a simple purpose: to check the version of the bootloader, kernel, and ROM of your phone against those which eFuse is programmed to look for.

If the check fails, eFuse corrupts your bootloader, rendering your phone completely useless (well, it might make a good paperweight). To fix it, you must take your phone to a Verizon store, and presumably they would have to ship it to a Motorola facility where the necessary hardware exists to resuscitate your device.

This has major ramifications for those who would attempt to find a way to unlock the Droid X; one wrong move could destroy hours, days, or weeks of effort. It would also be likely that Verizon (or Motorola) would also charge for this “service,” since you are likely aware that trying to unlock the phone will void your warranty.

Below, Motorola’s statement about the Droid X’s security “features”:

“Securing the software on our handsets, thereby preventing a non-Motorola ROM image from being loaded, has been our common practice for many years. This practice is driven by a number of different business factors. When we do deviate from our normal practice, such as we did with the DROID, there is a specific business reason for doing so. We understand this can result in some confusion, and apologize for any frustration.”

Credit: MyDroidWorld, Quote via AndroidAndMe

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    This is pretty sad - I find myself recommending Droid Incredible to my friends over Droid X, even though Droid X has better specs.

    We want open, Motorola, OK? This is Android, not some closed source OS.

    • James Danielson

      I am sorry, I haven't been watching news lately.When did Apple and Steve Jobs aquire Motorola?
      I bought the original Droid and it has been amazing,I even had friends go with that model. UNTIL this is fixed we will never purchase another Motorola PRODUCT again. A very dissapointed EX-Customer.

      • American Patriot

        As with anything being sold, Circle-M will pay dearly for their poor choices.
        As for the legal standpoint, if my phone is NOT subsidized, and their eFuse causes my property to fry, then I will sue for damages.
        They have no right or authority to deny me rightful use of my property!
        If I want to alter the programming, that is MY choice, not theirs!
        If their design causes my property to self-destruct, because I played with MY property in a manner I chose, then I think they CAN be held LIABLE for damages, knowing what they did WILL cause my phone to be destroyed.
        This is the same as buying a car and being told how fast you can drive it, or where you can drive it. And if you drive it to one of those 'unauthorized' locations, your car will no longer run, and you get a towing bill because of it.
        SAME THING! Willful destruction of private property is a CRIME inn the entire nation, and Motorola has NO RIGHT to be the cause of the criminal act.

        I wonder how many class action suits would need to be filed to force Motorola to change their mind?
        It WILL occur because of this very programming issue THEY designed into our hardware!

  • s15274n

    Good news for Samsung, who is pumping their OPEN fists up in the air with even BETTER specs of their own.

  • Haz

    Well that's not very encouraging. I don't even care that much about the whole rooting aspect, but the fact that the phone would brick itself is totally BS; don't destroy the whole damn phone just to stop rooting.

    Then again, I have to ask, what is the main advantage to rooting a phone?

    I could see if this was an AT&T phone which doesn't allow you to download apps, or trying to get Froyo onto the device early, but honestly I think I am willing to wait a couple of weeks to get an official version of 2.2.

    • Spherical Puma

      There are many advantages to rooting a phone. Putting early builds on your phone, does not require rooting if it's officially signed by Google as the leaked froyo incremental updates were. However they were for the T-mobile n1, so rooting was necessary to get them on an ATT phone.

      Having said that, one of the best reasons to root your phone are the Roms. I've used Cyanogen as my rom of choice and there's no going back. Cyanogen updates his roms frequently and is always adding the latest Google code that is out there.

      It's true that the majority of the users out there will buy the Droid X because they have no intention to root, and more than half of them probably don't know what rooting is. Perhaps if the public was more informed they wouldn't buy the device, whether they intended to root or not, as a FU to Motorola.

      Motorola isn't shooting itself in the foot necessarily because this device will still sell because of Verizon's marketing. However, they've certainly loaded the proverbial gun and are beginning to aim at their giant toe.

    • TEEDLE

      It's not normally a couple of weeks. As with my Inc, I'm looking more at half a year behind the official release of Froyo. However, with Sky Rider or the-soon-to-be CM6, I can get Froyo now instead of Q3 or whenever HTC/VZW feels like pushing the update.

    • KyleHase

      Here are the list of apps on my phone which request su (root) privileges.

      Titanium Backup - Able to backup otherwise locked files.

      GScript Lite - Scripts run as root can do pretty much anything.

      Quick Boot - Able to reboot phone or reboot into recovery mode.

      SetCPU - Overclocking/underclocking for increased performance & battery life.

      ShootMe - Screenshot utility

      MarketAccess - Spoof SIM data to gain access to otherwise blocked market apps.

      Shark - Able to capture packets off any network interface.

  • digitalthug

    So fucking sad they had to go and pull this shit. I'm guessing the only reason they made an exception to the Droid was because they needed to make a huge comeback in the smartphone sector, and what better way then by making ur first Android phone 'easily' rootable and creating a large community for it.

    And the reason they don't want their phones rootable is for the same reason as to why the g1 and mt3g (and other old Android phones) are still alive n kicking - custom roms that prolong the life of a device. Think about how many ppl haven't upgraded to newer devices because of Cyanogenmod...

    Shame on u Moto, I hope this decision backfires and u go back to being a nobody in the smartphone market

  • Darkseider

    Just say no to Moto! Motorola has now shown that they have no interest in their customers. I cannot in good faith purchase or recommend for purchase a Motorola handset unless Motorola revises this policy.

  • Frogford Ryder

    It is going to be a funny funny day the day the eFuse database goes offline or experiences a glitch, and every DroidX has to go back to Verizon.

    And it WILL happen ...

  • KyleHase

    At least with Android we have a variety of hardware vendors and networks from which to choose. (Thanks Google)

    If you really want Verizon, there's the Incredible. Otherwise the Evo is the closest spec'd device but it's on Sprint.

  • kenny

    Total bs ! Ill never get a phone thsts locked.

  • d0gmasTail

    This is sad, as a proud Moto Droid user I was willing to pay for this new phone; I just got my Droid in March and I'm not eligible for an upgrade.

    I will have to wait for Q4, when the 4G lineup is out there. I'll also have to start looking more at HTC for hardware.

  • Tom

    Samsung looks better and better every day. But I'm happy with my evo on sprint.

  • Paul

    Lol.. well that confirms it.. ill never buy another Motorola phone again. They want to piss on all the people that makes android great I think they are just shooting themselves in the foot.. and who wants a product with a built in self destruct function?. I will be spreading the work high and low to stay away from Motorola android phones that's for sure

  • Jigz

    What happen to "Droid Does", if I cannot unlock it? So much for this Does...

  • jim

    So much for customizable... fuck you motorola. I think we can safely say who wont last another 20 years

  • Greazy

    Ok, so far the bootloader to my knowledge has not been hacked so custom ROMs aren't currently available. But personally, I have a Droid X running 2.2 Froyo and rooted. I make calls, send/receive email, SMS, play games, and even can wirelessly tether it to my laptop for the internet w/out having to pay Verizon's $20/month fees for it. As for the bootloader, it's only a matter of time until someone is able to crack it. And yes, I do donate money when able to the people that make these things possible so that they can continue the AWESOME work that they do. Thank you hackers, for helping me to use my device the way I want to use my device.

  • http://www.cdmacellulars.com Glen

    The Motorola Droid Verizon wireless phone, boasts a gorgeous display and the benefits of Android 2.0, including a faster Web browser, Google Maps Navigation app, and better messaging and contact management. It also offers excellent call quality, long talk time, and improved speed over previous Android devices. The solid 3G connectivity is more than sufficient for web surfing and keeping in-touch with social networks. Despite of some design issues and a couple of missing features, the Motorola Droid wireless phones are the most powerful and fastest Google Android device to date.

    • Guest

      screw you, this is a BS response

  • steeldonkey

    one of the top dogs of cracking the boot loader has gave up after his first semi-custom rom......i am sad.......an done with moto!!!!!!! i really don't give a $hit if they unlock it now or not. I still will NEVER spend one more dime on a moto.... all they will do is just lock it down after they fatten there pockets once again!!!! Down with the hogs!!!! Android is open source.... $hit like this will have me back on a boost 50$ unlimited lmao .

  • bruce

    I have a Droid X. I want to use it with another provider. Is this possible, or the inability to "unlock" it going to make this impossible?

    Thanks

  • http://www.unlocking.com Jacob

    Just saw this now, I'm glad I didn't get a Droid X as I was considering it. This makes me consider ever getting a Motorola again, it goes against the whole spirit of Android to lock it down even further. Probably will go with Samsung (I have a Galaxy S- Captivate now) or HTC for my next phone.

  • http://techtt.in pankil joshi

    i hav it with no problem

  • Troy Boettcher

    I have a droid x i bought a year ago. i bought the phone and me and my gf were on her line with verizon. she got pissed because we broke up and she shut off my phone and i went to verizon to put it in my own name and they said it was locked. i want to sell it because i need the money and i have a evo 4g with sprint now. verizon sucks anyways. i used to have it rooted then the update came out back then and it shut me down and i was never able to re-root it. my question is how the hell do i unlock this damn phone so i can sell it? i did set it back to factory default already and cleared the phone memory. i just need to unlock it so i can sell it. any help would be very appreciated. i will never buy another moto ever!! i have the evo 4g which is an awesome phone by HTC. i have mine rooted and would like to hack it a bit more but have not really looked into that yet.

  • http://www.unlock.my Dan

    Seems in the current economic environment, the carriers have mandated to the manufacturers that unlocking has to become more difficult. However this I believe is just a little short-sighted. Customers are hanging into their phones a lot longer because of the cost and because of the sheer amount of data they now store. As a result they want to bring their phone with them to eho ever offers the best deal. So making a cell phone too difficult to unlock may back fire and lead to fewer handsets being sold.

  • Alejandro Villatoro

    So this means it can't be unlocked without being bricked?