Some Pixel 2 Models Are Failing To Flash Factory Images, OTA Updates Failing to Install as Well

Some Pixel 2 Models Are Failing To Flash Factory Images, OTA Updates Failing to Install as Well

Seemingly out of the blue yesterday, Google announced the Android 8.1 Oreo preview program for Pixel and Nexus devices stretching back to the Nexus 5X. It took some time for Google to update their preview program sign-up site to support the newly released Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, so many of us took to flashing the factory images.

Unfortunately though, it seems that there are a number of errors cropping up upon attempting to flash these images, in particular to the smaller Pixel 2. Myself along with Ron Amadeo of ArsTechnica and Stephen Hall took to twitter yesterday to try and figure out our issues. While all of the issues are slightly different, there is something wrong with either our Pixel 2 devices or the images supplied. Stephen was able to fix his issue by flashing the OTA after reconnecting his data cable. Ron is unable to get out of the bootloader despite it seeming to flash properly. My issue is that I simply cannot flash any bootloader, even the original one. We worked through the evening trying various PC’s, Fastboot versions, cables, and even tried switching the boot slot to try and get the update to flash, but it just wouldn’t take. An issue in my case is that no bootloader will flash, even from the sideload OTA failing with a status -22 error. Unfortunately, even using the newly introduced Fastboot command: “Unlock_Critical” does not work.


Powershell is so much more pleasant to look at vs command prompt

Flashing betas, custom software, or even just flashing recovery images is part of what makes the Nexus and Pixel programs so appealing to enthusiasts like us, so when even these systems fail it is disconcerting. Even more troubling is Ron’s issue of not being able to get out of the bootloader, the Pixel’s dual partition system was supposed to help avoid this exact exact issue. We are awaiting word from Google on these issues to see if there are known issues and workarounds available for those of us with issues and will update accordingly.

We don’t yet know if this is a widespread issue or if this is a hardware problem vs a software issue. In the meantime it may be best to stay away from attempting to flash the factory images and stick with the OTA for the preview program that is supposed to be rolling out today, especially if you use the Pixel 2. However, some reddit users are also reporting that even those over the air updates are failing to install, which might point towards an even more widespread and/or serious issue.  If the OTA fails it is best to wait and see if Google pushes a revised version out instead of attempting the factory images which could fail.

Are you having issues with flashing the 8.1 images to your Pixel 2? Let us know in the comments!

About author

Daniel Marchena
Daniel Marchena

I've had a love for Android since 2009 but I also use iOS regularly. While I love rooting and customization, I tend to focus more on living with my devices. I also am just starting out writing in the PC space as I have always had a leaning towards this market. I am always all ears so PM, or Tweet me if you have any questions!

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