Nexus 6P Bootloop Fix Has Been Found, Makes Your Phone Use 4 Cores

Nexus 6P Bootloop Fix Has Been Found, Makes Your Phone Use 4 Cores

Have you been affected by the Nexus 6P Bootloop of Death? If you are one of the unlucky few with a Nexus 6P tucked away in some drawer, you’ll be happy to know that a fix has been found that’ll enable you to fully boot up your device once more.

This has been achieved by disabling the big cluster of the device’s Snapdragon 810 SoC, which then allows the device to finally reach its lockscreen. In order to revive your Nexus 6P, you’ll need to flash modified files provided by XDA Member XCnathan32 (with the help of XDA Senior Member rchtk) in order to get your ROM and recovery working again.


Context

Near the end of 2016, we saw a volley of reports from multiple users claiming their Nexus 6P units were inexplicably entering random bootloops, a problem seemingly separate from the early shutdowns that plagued the phone around the same time. This was different, and while reduced battery life is certainly bad, the bootloops essentially turned the smartphone into paperweight.

Users who faced this issue quickly sunk into despair as there was no remedy in sight. No amount of data wiping or re-flashing of factory images seemed to solve the problem, indicating that the issue was hardware-related, possibly a problem in the SoC. This wouldn’t be the first time for one of Google’s devices to enter devastating brick or bootloop states: the Nexus 7 saw widespread bricks upon receiving its original Lollipop OTA, and the LG-manufactured Nexus 5X suffered the same fate as many LG phones with a hardware-related bootloop as well.

The Nexus 6P bootloop issue had been confirmed by a Google representative who suggested users should contact their place of purchase for warranty or repair options. Users attempted to get a better solution out of Google, reaching out by starting a conversation in the AOSP issue tracker, and then we began hearing about a potential lawsuit being filed against Google and Huawei for both the early shutdown and bootloop issues.  A class action lawsuit was ultimately filed and then amended, with claimants in more than ten states. While Google and Huawei were clearly made aware of the issue, we still haven’t seen them address the problem beyond replacing Nexus 6p bootloop devices covered under warranty.


Nexus 6P Bootloop of Death, Bypassed

XDA Member XCnathan32 has posted a guide and modified files that reportedly fixes the Nexus 6P bootloop issue. The instructions are quite simple and they only involve flashing modified images for the boot.img and also a modified build of TWRP so you can flash other files afterwards. These builds have been changed to only use the little cluster of the Snapdragon 810 SoC, effectively disabling the A57 performance cores that are seemingly preventing the device from booting. While we won’t speculate as to why this is, it does mean that you’ll encounter noticeable lag, though the A53 little cores are also more power efficient. It’s quite the tradeoff, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

Multiple users have reported that the modified images provided in the opening post are working and allow the device to boot, and I tried it myself on a Nexus 6P bootloop unit to confirm as well. I was able to revive my younger brother’s Nexus 6P using this method, even when Google’s factory image was not working. Here are some instructions you can follow along if you are looking to revive your device:

Tutorial

  1. Download the latest ADB and Fastboot binaries and extract them to an easily accessible folder on your computer.
  2. Download and install the Google USB Driver if you are running Windows.
  3. Download N2G48B_4Cores.img and save it to the same directory where you saved the ADB and Fastboot binaries.
    • Optional: If you want to use TWRP recovery on your fixed Nexus 6P, you will need to use a modified version. Download twrp3_1_1_4Cores.img and save it to the directory where you saved the ADB and Fastboot binaries.
    • Optional: If you want to speed up your fixed Nexus 6P, you can flash a modified version of XDA Recognized Developer flar2‘s Elemental X Kernel. Download EX4_1_1_4Cores.zip and save it to your downloads directory.
  4. Plug your phone in to your computer.
  5. Open up a command prompt or terminal in the same directory where you saved the ADB and Fastboot binaries. On Windows, you can easily do this by holding shift and right-clicking, then selecting “open command prompt here.”
  6. Enter the following command: fastboot devices
  7. If you see your device’s serial number, you are ready to move on. If not, you will need to try re-installing the drivers.
  8. Important: your phone’s bootloader MUST be unlocked in order to flash these modified images. If your bootloader is already unlocked, skip the following 2 steps.
  9. Start the process to unlock your phone’s bootloader by entering the following command: fastboot flashing unlock
  10. Using the volume and power keys, confirm that you want to unlock the bootloader. THIS WILL WIPE EVERYTHING ON YOUR PHONE’S INTERNAL STORAGE. But it’s either this or deal with a multi-hundred dollar brick. Your choice!
  11. Now enter the following command to flash the modified boot image: fastboot flash boot N2G48B_4Cores.img
    • Optional: If you want to flash TWRP, then enter: fastboot flash recovery twrp3_1_1_4Cores.img
  12. Reboot your phone by typing: fastboot reboot
  13. After some minutes (it may take awhile), you should see your phone’s boot animation and eventually the lockscreen. Congrats, you’ve saved your phone!
  14. Optional: If you want to improve the performance and you flashed TWRP, copy the modified Elemental X kernel over to your phone’s storage, boot into TWRP, and flash the custom kernel. You can choose to overclock the little cluster during setup to squeeze a bit more performance out of your phone as well.

XCnathan32 does note that root works by flashing SuperSU in TWRP. He also offered a few suggestions to get more performance out of your device, such as disabling animations or changing the CPU governor to an aggressive one. While he tested the modified boot.img on a stock ROM, other ROMs such as PureNexus should be able to work as well. You just need to make sure you are running a kernel that’s modified to use the four little cores.

This is an impressive development and Nexus 6P owners are now able to revive their excellent device, even if there are compromises to this solution. Given there are many users who were unable to get their units replaced under warranty, they can now put the phone to good use instead of having it sit dead in a corner or drawer.

We advise you read the thread below in full as well, and to search the thread for any questions you might have ahead of posting them. Give your thanks to XCnathan32 and, if you can, help him debug the bootlooping Nexus 6P as he’s looking for a way to get the big cores working as well.


Check Out the Bootloader Fix in Our Nexus 6P Forums!

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