Kexec Bootloader Bypass Released for Motorola Droid Razr

Users of many Motorola Android devices have been clamoring for an unlocked bootloader for quite some time. There have been petitions signed, social media accounts spammed, and users have really shown that bypassing that unlocked bootloader means a lot to them. While Motorola hasn’t been much help in unlocking bootloaders, there has been some development going on to fix the problem once and for all. While many Motorola phones are still without an unlocked bootloader, users who own the Motorola Droid RAZR now have the option to simply bypass it completely.

XDA Recognized Developer kholk, member of the EternityProject with the help of XDA Forum Member embeem or [mbm] for short, has released the rumored Kexec project, which allows users to bypass the bootloader signature checks and ignore the fact the bootloader isn’t unlocked. Simply put, this is a giant step forward for Motorola Droid RAZR development. Users can now do pretty much anything that users with unlocked bootloaders can do, including flashing custom kernels. Yeah, pretty exciting stuff. However, this is a beta release and there are some issues. Says kholk:

- CPU1 doesn’t come up.
– It fails on (some?) CDMA Droid RAZRs

While there are still some kinks to work out, the EternityProject team is working to bring users the finishing touches, so users need to remain patient. Rumor has turned into an official beta release. Now it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump until there’s a stable version for all RAZRs.

For additional information, download links, screen shots, instructions and more, head on over to the original thread. Be sure to follow all instructions to the letter.

MultiROM Available for the Samsung Galaxy Note II

With so many ROMs available on XDA, it’s incredibly difficult to find the one that suits us most. We must choose between modified stock firmwares, AOSP-derived ROMs, or alternate OSes like Ubuntu Touch and Firefox OS. There are solutions to make the choice a bit easier, and one of them is multiboot. XDA Recognized Developer Tassadar‘s MultiROM is the ideal perfect solution for all you folks that can’t decide which ROM should be used as a daily driver.

In the last few weeks we have been seeing MultiROM popping up on various devices, but it’s certainly nice to see its debut on the popular Samsung Galaxy Note II, a device that was released nearly two years ago. Kernel and device tree implementations were done by XDA Senior Member tilaksidduram.

To make use of MultiROM functionality, your device must be running a kexec-hardboot patched kernel. Details regarding the patch and the kernel have been provided by tilaksidduram. There is one flaw at the moment, which is that MultiROM Manager doesn’t work on N7100, but there are some works in progress to fix this little drawback.

If you’re having a Samsung Galaxy Note II sitting in your pocket, use multiple ROMs on it without flashing and wiping all the time. You can find a MultiROM for N7100 by visiting the MultiROM for the Note II development thread.

Learn How to Boot Multiple ROMs on Your Sony Xperia TX

If you’ve ever tried to get multiboot functionality to work on your Android device, you’ve probably heard of kexec. This is a method of live booting different kernels without having to flash them or using fastboot. Kexec has been used as the basis for bringing multiboot functionality to various devices such as the HTC Droid DNA and Sony Xperia M. And in fact, as of right now, it’s pretty much the only viable way of getting such feature working on your Android device.

With this said, we see another device taking the kexec route in order to boot multiple ROMs, this time being the Sony Xperia TX. This is made possible by XDA Senior Member updating, who has written a tutorial going through the necessary steps in order to get multiboot working. Due to the rather complicated procedure, each step has been explained in great detail, with plenty of examples of code to help you along the way. Credit must also be given to XDA Recognized Developer Tasssadar for porting the kexec-hardboot patch to MSM chips, and Senior Member alvinhochun, the creator of the aforementioned multiROM port for the Xperia M.

Updating does warn that this procedure is quite risky and advanced, so be warned when you do decide to give this a go on your Xperia TX. However, if you feel like you’re up a challenge, make sure to head over to the Xperia TX multi-boot guide to get started.

Learn How to Run a ROM Off Your External SD Card

Aftermarket modding has been around since practically the beginning of the modern day smartphone, but its build-up on Android has been pretty explosive. Since the early days of the HTC Dream right up to the current generation of devices, almost every device has received its fair share of third party modifications. These can come in the form of ROMs, kernels, scripts and more, but ROM development has taken front and center stage. Obviously, the word ROM stands for Read Only Memory. And for our modern devices, that’s the NAND-based Flash ROM that makes up their internal storage. However, in the development community, the term has come to mean a custom operating system image that you install (or flash) onto the internal storage of your device.

So what are you supposed to do if this internal memory gets corrupted somehow? Expensive paperweight? Not yet, as XDA Member lexelby was faced with this exact dilemma and detailed a solution. Lexelby’s method involves running a ROM off your external SD card, which requires you to partition your SD card into a format that will allow you to boot the ROM, such as the EXT4 format.

Head over to the dead mmc thread to get started, where lexelby posted the problem and subsequently, the solution, which states with a fair amount of confidence that it should be compatible with any device, given that the kernel supports kexec.

Xperia Boot Menu Ported to the Xperia P in Preview Form

Back in September, we talked a little bit about XDA Recognized Developer munjeni‘s Xperia Boot Menu. The project, which was originally compatible with the Xperia U, Sola, and GO allowed users of those devices to enjoy the benefits of multiple ROMs without having to lose any data while switching between installations.

While the previously featured Xperia Boot Menu was great for Sola, U, and GO users, this naturally caused Xperia P owners to feel a bit left out. Thankfully, XDA Senior Member percy_g2 has made progress in porting munjeni’s Xperia Boot Menu over to the final member of the device family, the Xperia P.

Just like munjeni’s original work, this solution relies on kexec to live boot the alternate kernel after the Xperia Boot Menu has been loaded. In order to use the modification, you need a tweaked kernel and recovery image. Luckily, both are provided in the thread’s OP, as well as instructions on how to get this running with CM 10.1.

If you wish to give this preview a shot, head over to the development thread and leave your feedback. Then once you’ve gotten the goods, head over to Senior Member NoobCoder‘s detailed guide on enabling the feature.

Boot Multiple Roms on the HTC Droid DNA with Unofficial MultiROM Port

It seems like XDA Recognized Developer Tassadar‘s MultiROM seems to be quite the popular method for different devices to boot multiple ROMs nowadays, considering that MultiROM was originally developed for only the Nexus 7 and has since been ported over to a number of other phones such as the Sony Xperia M and the Optimus One. And the community doesn’t look like stopping any time soon, as the HTC Droid DNA, a.k.a. HTC Butterfly, has recently received an unofficial MultiROM port.

This comes thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member jamiethemorris, making it possible for users of the Droid DNA to run multiple ROMs (not at the same time of course) without the hassle other devices must go through. The installation process comes in three parts:

  1. flashing the provided MultiROM zip through a custom recovery
  2. flash the provided modified recovery through fastboot or with Flashify
  3. install a kernel with the kexec-hardboot patch (currently only supports two kernels with more to be added in the future)

Installation will not wipe or affect the sole, primary ROM you’re using right now. Additionally, you can run ROMs installed on a USB drive, which has to be connected to the phone with an OTG cable. To boot another ROM, you simply choose from those installed on your device or a USB drive from a menu at startup, and you’re good to go.

So if you’re interested in booting multiple roms on your Droid DNA, or would like to find out more, check out the original thread for more information.

Boot Multiple Roms on Your Sony Xperia M with MultiROM Xperia

MultiROM is probably a name that many on XDA will recognize, especially if you’re an owner of one of the officially supported devices, such as the Nexus 7, for which MultiROM was originally developed by XDA Recognized Developer Tasssadar. As you may have guessed from the name, MultiROM is a tool that enables one to boot multiple different ROMs on a supported device, without going through all the hoops such as wiping a ROM or performing backups.

Well, it seems like another device has discovered the magic of MultiROM, with the Sony Xperia M receiving an unofficial port of the tool called MultiROM Xperia, courtesy of XDA Senior Member alvinhochun. As of right now, MultiROM Xperia is in its alpha phase and is up for testing, but its installer is still not ready, meaning one must install this by flashing its boot image through fastboot.

In action, MultiROM Xperia can boot multiple ROMs installed on either your micro SD card or a USB storage device connected to your phone via an OTG cable. Additionally, if you have a kernel with a kexec-hardboot patch, you can even boot ROMs with kernels different from one another

MultiROM Xperia is compatible with both the single SIM and dual SIM variants of the Xperia M, and will only work when the device’s bootloader is unlocked and running the 15.1.C.2.8 build of Android 4.1.2. So if you’re interested in multiboot solution to your Xperia M, check out the original thread for more information.

Enable Multi-Boot on the Xperia U, SOLA, GO

We’ve featured multi-boot methods for various devices in the past. If for no other reason, having multi-boot is just plain cool because it allows you to try various ROMs without having to lose your current installation.

Now thanks to XDA Recognized Developer munjeni‘s app Multi Boot Manager, you can accomplish this relatively easily on the Xperia U, SOLA, and Go. And thanks to Senior Member NoobCoder, there is now an easy guide for using munjeni’s creation. The guide, which is available in our newly created Sony Cross-Device Development Forum, shows you how to get multi-boot up and running on your own device.

Munjeni’s Multi Boot Manager app uses kexec and a compatible kernel to allow you to choose between ROMs. The guide covers how to configure Multi Boot Manager, extract the required images, partition your SD card, and how to get the ROMs ready to be loaded.

To get Multi Boot Manager for your self, head over to munjeni’s tool thread. And once you have the tool and wish to get started, be sure to visit NoobCoder’s guide thread.

Kernel Lighter Loads Kernels on Tegra 3 One X Away from PC

Up until recently, loading kernels onto the Tegra 3-powered HTC One X has been a relatively difficult affair. This was due to the fact that unlike its Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered cousin (originally called the HTC One XL), the Tegra 3 variant has not received S-Off. While not everyone would be bothered by needing to be stationed at a traditional computer in order to proceed with kernel flashing via fastboot, it can’t hurt to have these restrictions lifted.

In order to get around the issue, XDA Recognized Developer Thunder07 first looked to kexec. The name should sound familiar, as it has been used countless times to bypass various security measures or add additional functionality to unlocked devices. However, this came with some problems, as managing online hardware proved a tad problematic. Thunder07, however, came up with another way. Named kexec-hardboot, it works by, “loading the kernel into memory and force restarting the phone with new kernel.” In other words, it’s quite similar to standard kexec, but with the addition of a forced hardware restart.

Installation is simple. First you install a controller APK. Next, you use fastboot (and a connected PC) to flash a provided boot image. Finally, you flash another provided file through recovery, and you should be good to go. Instructions are provided in the thread for loading alternate kernels, and they are similarly straightforward.

It is important to keep in mind that with any major modification such as this, there is always the possibility that something can go terribly wrong, so read the directions carefully several times, and make sure you are willing to deal with the consequences if the flash doesn’t go as planned. If you’ve pined over the idea of loading aftermarket kernels away from your PC, head over to the original thread to get started.

Get More, Much More From Your Nexus 7 with MultiBoot

The Nexus 7 is one of the best devices for a few reasons: perfect size, loaded with power, easy to use, and most importantly best bang for your buck. Yes, it has a few quirks, which many of us are annoyed at like the lack of an SD card port (devs are working on this as we speak), but overall this is a great device for people getting started on Android, as well as for those who are more seasoned in the field of Android development. So, how could you make something this good even better? XDA Recognized Developer Tasssadar can answer this question with his latest creation: Multi-Boot for the Nexus 7.

You are likely familiar with the concept of dual booting or multiple booting different operating systems on your devices or your computer. However, more often than not, doing this comes at a price where you have to modify your bootloader, erase all your data, or a slew of other unsavory things that most people outside of our little world would rather not do. This tool saves you from all of the above, as it does not touch the /system partition on your device, nor does it wipe your data. That said, there is an inherent risk of wiping your data or even damaging your device, as it does mess with the /data partition and boot sector. However, if everything works the way it should, your system and data should be safe. So, what can you run with this? Pretty much anything that you want: other versions of Android (as long as the ROM is made for the device, of course), different versions of Linux such as Ubuntu, and more.

Currently, the only caveat is that the ROMs will need to run from the internal storage, but the dev is hard at work trying to get around that issue to enable booting the images through USB.. Oh, and for those of you with 3G versions, you are covered as well. Please take this for a spin and breath new life into this small powerhouse.

MultiROM is multi-boot solutiom for Nexus 7. It can boot android ROM while keeping the one in internal memory intact or boot Ubuntu without formating the whole device. For now, ROM can be only in internal memory of the device, but booting from USB is planned, I am trying to get support for kexec into Ubuntu, which is essential for this.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

[Thanks Diamondback for the tip!]

Official CM9 Getting Closer for Epic 4G Touch

With the title of “Worlds Longest Name for a Smartphone” already in the bag, the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch (SSGS2E4GT) has become known as the SGS2’s Red-Headed Stepchild. Back when Samsung released the US variants of the SGS2 i9100, the E4GT was the first to appear. However, it has taken the longest to receive official ICS from Samsung. Coupled with taking longer to receive official CM9 love, and you have a device that seems to have been forgotten.

XDA Recognized Developer darchstar has done a great job, with the help of the rest of Team Epic CM, in continuing to work on CM9 for the E4GT without much help, naturally, from Sprint and Samsung. After months of leaks, Sprint started rolling out the FF18 ICS OTA and Samsung released the kernel source—two essential elements in getting to an official CM9 for the device.

Now that Team Epic CM has had a chance to look over the published code, they have posted a status update on their team blog:

  • Team Epic dev mkasick has been working on porting kexec support for the source kernel similar to the Gingerbread based directbootCWM kexec kernel released earlier.
  • Team Epic dev nubecoder has been working on an FF18 temp boot utility similar to the EL29 temp boot released earlier. This will allow for prl and profile updates, recalibrating sensors, device activations, gps locks, etc, while on a CM build for those who need it.
  • Team Epic dev chris41g has also been working on getting the source kernel booting and integrating it into the CM build process. He has also updated the custom recovery from CWM5 to Koush’s latest, CWM6. Along with that, the emmc brick bug has been patched making it safe to wipe, flash, backup and restore in.

Be sure to follow the CM9 Alpha development thread and the accompanying discussion thread to stay up to date with the latest developments, as they work towards official CM9 and eventually CM10.

Bypass the Locked Bootloader on the Verizon Galaxy S III

It can be said that development on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III has been a struggle. What was once anticipated to be a utopia of development between the four major carriers due to having nearly identical Galaxy S III devices has been marred by the locked bootloader on the Verizon version. Understandably, this has somewhat stifled development for the device, as the other three US variants rush forward at a breakneck pace while Verizon developers are held at the starting line.

This is a problem that CMTeamEpic is looking to fix. By reviving a concept Motorola Droid RAZR members will recognize, CMTeamEpic plans to get beyond the locked bootloader using Kexec, the bootloader workaround. The premise is to install a custom kernel in such a manner that it boots from the recovery instead of from the bootloader. CMTeamEpic explains:

Also recently, we’ve finished porting kexec hardboot—a method of booting kernels through recovery without needing to flash them to the device—to the Sprint SGS3, a feature that would also enable Verizon SGS3 users to make use of custom kernels despite the locked bootloader.

Despite being a breakthrough in development, the process is far from being complete. The ability to use a custom kernel is actually successful, but there’s a few unusual problems that CMTeamEpic are running into. The most interesting of which is that, once booted with the custom recovery, using the power menu to reboot the device automatically takes users back to recovery. Additionally, Kexec for the Galaxy S III is still being touted as a proof-of-concept process, so users should definitely be cautious while using it, as there can be some serious issues. CMTeamEpic released the standard boilerplate:

This is a proof-of-concept kernel intended for developers and experienced testers. It offers no new features in addition to the stock kernel. While we don’t expect these kernel images to cause touble, improper installation of these kernel images may cause irreparable harm. Use at your own risk.

For additional discussion, check out the original thread.

Atrix Bootloader Almost Bypassed — Like a Boss

Cracking the Atrix bootloader is something man has been on a quest to do ever since it was released. When I say man, I’m of course referring to the fantastically techy ladies and gentlemen in our forums.

XDA member kholk has been working very hard to make this a reality, rather than a dream. He’s successfully managed to run Kexec, but he needs a kernel and the exact address of the boot parameters.

The kexec has been provided for any developers who wish to help, and this is exactly what kholk is looking for. Some dashing, strapping, and helpful developers, who are willing to lend a hand to a great member of the community.

Familiar with kernel and Atrix development? Head on over to the original thread for more information on how you can help!