02
Nov
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You're probably aware of one of the slightly more irksome facets of the G2 that is stymying attempts at custom ROMs, namely the locked down /system partition, where the OS is kept. Heretofore it has been impossible to tinker with this internal memory in a permanent fashion. All alterations were reverted on the next boot, leading to solutions like Paul O'Brien's VISIONary soft-root.

Well, Mr. O'Brien isn't the kind of fellow you can restrain with NAND lockdowns, and with a flourish today he unveiled his latest hack. His program, G2 Google Goggles Remover, is a proof of concept which he says will permanently delete the Google Goggles application from your G2. Due to the locked /system partition you cannot upgrade the Goggles that ships with the G2, so this deletion allows you install a later version to your /data partition instead, where normally downloaded applications are stored.

This hack is done through a flaw in the NAND lock, where deletion can be done in recovery mode. It also requires you to have a temporary root installed, such as O'Brien's VISIONary. It's unclear if this discovery will be of direct benefit to the attempts at permanently rooting the HTC Vision (T-Mobile G2 / Desire Z), but it provides an interesting new vector of attack for investigation.

Paul also explained the hack in further detail on the #modaco IRC channel on irc.freenode.net, stating:

18:55 <@paulobrien> I played with deleting rmt_storage
18:55 <@paulobrien> Which stopped it reverting changes
18:55 <@paulobrien> Which was quite interesting

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19:03 <@paulobrien> There is no caching or protection on /system in recovery
19:03 <@paulobrien> Hence why this works

There will also be a future revision of the hack to allow you delete other files of your own choosing (albeit one at a time), which should come in handy for removal of any annoying bloatware that you have been stuck with so far.

Check out the proof-of-concept app in the market:

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.modaco.gogglesremover

Source: MoDaCo

Brian O'Toole
Having learnt his writing techniques reading e-Books of Sherlock Holmes, Brian now spends his time /kicking, lurking, SSHing and encoding.
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