Droid X Bricks Itself When Tampered With

Posted on July 15, 2010

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Originally, the Droid X was seen my many as the Android phone to have for 2010. However, recent reports of it “self-destructing” have shattered that illusion. It all has to do with Motorola’s new eFuse security system, which is supposed to prevent people from hacking the device and running custom flash and ROMS on it. The way eFuse works is simple; when the phone boots and eFuse sees that the bootloader or any crucial boot file has been altered or tampered with, it corrupts the bootloader, crippling the phone.

If the eFuse fails to verify this information then the eFuse receives a command to “blow the fuse” or “trip the fuse”. This results in the booting process becoming corrupted and resulting in a permanent bricking of the Phone. This FailSafe is activated anytime the bootloader is tampered with or any of the above three parts of the phone has been tampered with.

The solution is a hardware fix, provided by Motorola, of course. Obviously it’s not covered by warranty, so that means you’ll need to shell out all the cash for the fix.

Naturally, many people, Android fans or not, are outraged over this. Once you buy the phone, it’s yours, you are legally allowed to do whatever you want with it. Having Motorola causing monetary damage to your property is criminal, it is a breach of privacy, and something should be done about it.

The main reason fandroids are fandroids is because they like the idea of open software, software that just asks to be hacked and modified. The whole idea of modifying Android to run custom apps has been a dream for many open source enthusiasts, but they might want to stay away from the Droid X (or any other device with eFuse) for now.

Should the average consumer be worried about these issues? Probably not. Unless you plan to modify the phone’s software, you should be safe. However, if you are planning on running custom ROM’s or any other homebrew software, stay away from the Droid X and any other Droid phone for the time being.

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Posted in: Android