One of the biggest possible hacks for most current Android devices is the ability to completely remove security flags from the bootloader. Most companies these days will give you some way to unlock your device’s bootloaders, but many are simply partial unlocks, while others are entirely not unlockable. HTC is one such company that offers what is known as a “developer unlock” through the htcdev service. However, as stated already this is but a partial unlock, which allows you to do a few fun things like flashing custom recoveries and using them to flash new ROMs. This is good, but it is quite limited, and you must have access to a PC to use fastboot commands in order to do more. This is normally overcome by disabling the HBOOT security flags, which is not an easy task. Every time HTC releases a new HBOOT, it comes loaded with patches to try and keep people from achieving a complete unlock (S-OFF). If you have either an One S, One XL, and Droid DNA your luck has just changed, courtesy of XDA Recognized Developers beaups and XDA Elite Recognized Developer jcase.
The process involves flashing a file through fastboot, which essentially removes eMMC write protection. After that, a second file is pushed into /data/local/temp, which removes all the S-OFF flags on the device. The only real requirement to perform this procedure (aside from having a PC with adb and fastboot) is that you are SuperCID. The latter (which stands for Super Country ID in case you are not familiar) is a protection to prevent you from flashing a RUU meant for a different region. This is a protection that has been around since the days of the HTC Wizard, and it is still present to this day. The flashing of the original zip requires you to have SuperCID off (rooting and custom recovery are not required for this to work). Luckily, this has already been achieved for all three devices, but it seems to have been blocked yet again after a recent OTA update. So, if you have not SuperCID’ed your device yet, do not attempt to do this! Having said that, stay tuned; a fix is on its way.
Please read the procedure carefully and thoroughly. Achieving S-OFF does involve some risk, and as such, there is a chance of bricking. That being said, rewards await you once the device is fully S-OFF, so make haste! Oh and just as your momma told you… don’t accept candies from strangers or OTAs from manufacturers. Have fun and happy unlocking!
Welcome to Facepalm S-Off for modern HTC phones
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer
Join us for xda:devcon 2014. For a limited time, XDA Portal readers get 20% off registration!