Make Your Own SBF Files for the Photon 4G

RSD Lite

Many manufacturers have proprietary tools to flash firmware. Samsung uses tar files via Odin and Heimdall, Motorola uses SBF files via RSD Lite, and so on. So what if one wanted to create an SBF file for a Motorola phone? It’s not an easy process, but it is now possible for Motorola Photon 4G owners.

The process is fairly complicated. XDA Senior Member peetr_ has written up a tutorial guide on creating a custom SBF file for users to flash via RSD Lite. There are a lot of pros to having a custom SBF of your own, especially on locked bootloaders. As peetr_ explains:

But the better from this comes on locked bootloaders.
In case of softbrick, you don´t have to flash full SBF, root and install bootstrap.
You can just make your own SBF with custom rom (mof 2.3.5ish for locked for example), and in case of some system brick, just reflash your custom sbf without even wiping data and recover from brick after a few minutes.

And the best is, I am almost sure, that you can make custom SBF for recovering from Photon 2.3.5 ota brick, with CG2, CG3, CG39, RDL3 with signature version 2, taken from USC Electrify 2.3.5 SBF and Photon 2.3.5 OTA system dump (CG60).

You can probably install custom Webtop on locked 2.3.5 – OSH is not signed.

You cannot install AOSP roms on locked bootloader this way. You can change only not signed SMGs.

Do not try to flash radio this way, it´s not working. Locked or unlocked, always remove RDL1.smg and CG5.smg.

As mentioned, the process isn’t easy. Users are required to download an SBF codec that allows you to compile and decompile SBF files. From there, users need SMG Version, which will identify SMG signatures. Next comes a whole tutorial on the various kinds of SMG signatures, what they do, and what users need to remove or replace to get what they want.

The guide also includes some basic stuff as well, such as dumping whole partitions and a complete partition guide. For anyone with a locked bootloader—and we’re talking Motorola, so there are quite a few of  you—this is definitely something worth checking out. Do so at your own risk, however, as an improperly made SBF file can brick the Photon 4G.

To learn more, head over to the original thread.


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