How to unlock the Nokia 2.1 bootloader
Nokia 2.1 owners now have a way to unlock their bootloaders thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member hikari_calyx. This, of course, is a required first step towards opening up a world of possibilities in the way of rooting and flashing custom ROMs, kernels, and other mods. The procedure described in the forum post involves flashing a “service bootloader” file available via a firmware download link and then unlocking it. Of course, the hope is that enough time passes before Nokia-brand manufacturer HMD Global blocks the procedure for a decent development community to, erm, develop. Of course, since Android Pie is already available for the Nokia 2.1, any custom ROMs that get built will no doubt be based on Pie.
The procedure is outlined in the forum thread with great detail. Basically, it involves downloading the correct firmware, putting the phone into fastboot mode, and entering several lines of code from your computer.
Step 1: Download firmware which consists the service bootloader file
You can download it from https://fih-firmware.hikaricalyx.com/hmd_en.html#e2m
Please download E2M-0390-0-00WW-B02 one in this case. If you’re using Android 9, download E2M-108C-0-00WW-B01.
Then, extract E2M-0-0390-00WW-1-2-emmc_appsboot_service.zip to get service bootloader file, and the extract password is “WLBGFIH123”.
Step 2: Boot your phone to Download mode (Fastboot mode)
You can execute following command then connect your phone when powered off, or use any other method you’re familiar with:
fastboot oem alive
Step 3: Flash service bootloader
fastboot oem dm-verity (md5_of_serial_number)
Surprised huh? This command is still usable on Nokia 2.1, even on Android 9 basis, not sure why.
For example, if your Serial Number is E2MGAHIKARICALYX, the md5 checksum is 0ab1b1e9f3aacc85849341cd5fb21412, then command will be:
fastboot oem dm-verity 0ab1b1e9f3aacc85849341cd5fb21412
You can simply Google a website to calculate md5 checksum of a string.
And flash service bootloader:
fastboot flash aboot /path/to/E2M-0-0390-00WW-1-2-emmc_appsboot_service.mbn fastboot reboot-bootloader
Step 4: Unlock the bootloader
Your phone will reboot to service bootloader. Then grant unlock permission with following commands:
fastboot oem dm-verity (md5_of_serial_number) fastboot oem fih on fastboot oem devlock allow_unlock
Then unlock the bootloader:
fastboot oem flashing unlock_critical
When your phone is erasing userdata, then:
fastboot oem alive (wait for triggering to download mode) fastboot oem dm-verity (md5_of_serial_number) fastboot oem fih on fastboot oem devlock allow_unlock fastboot oem unlock-go
All done. Your phone has unlocked bootloader.
Hopefully, the Nokia 2.1’s Snapdragon 425 and 1GB RAM will be able to handle the latest and greatest custom ROMs whenever they may get built for the device. Check out the forum thread for more instructions and information.