Fairphone 2 - Booting in EDL mode and unbricking

I would like to know if any of you has experience in booting in EDL mode with the FP2. I’m trying to work on an unbricking procedure for the FP2, but I can’t reach EDL even on a normally working FP2.

Booting to EDL with adb reboot edl or with this app only makes it reboot to system.
Booting with the two volume buttons pressed makes it continuously vibrate each second.
I could try short-circuiting the two test points, but I’d need to know where they are, and I’m not even sure EDL is available on the FP2.

Ideas? Perhaps @k4y0z you have an idea in that matter? Could it be possible that the Fairphone 2 doesn’t have EDL and would therefore not be unbrickable? Would you be able to find the test points only with a photo of the motherboard?

I have not the faintest idea, just reading this What is EDL Mode and How to Boot your Android Device into it to get to know what EDL is and note a slightly different command when I get it correctly .\adb reboot edl . There seem to be an option to use fastboot

Thanks, I read this article already :slight_smile: The command .\adb reboot edl is only applicable in case of using adb in the folder in which the terminal is open, e.g if you download official Android Platform Tools, but I have adb installed system wide under Linux. So the command is adb reboot edl. I may try with the official package though.
Will try fastboot but I doubt it works as well.

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If you can use ADB, the device isn’t bricked. This way to reach EDL mode is probably there for testing purposes, but that’s just my guess.
Apparently it’s at least good for checking whether the procedure and/or EDL mode even work on a non-bricked device.

If you can use fastboot, the device is most probably not bricked. At least there are things possible in fastboot mode which should salvage most of the possible issues.


About the test points, does this perhaps help? I have no real clue either …

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Yes, but EDL can also be useful for flashing purposes (a bit as fastboot and recovery, probably in different manners). Don’t ask me how, I have no idea.

The thing is, it doesn’t work, that’s my problem.
And the button combination doesn’t work either.

YES! Thanks, I had stumbled upon this topic without being aware of what it really was. Perhaps it’s not called EDL but nevertheless seems promising.
Gets quite technical though…

Edit: typo

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I think rebooting into EDL from Android was disabled with this: https://github.com/FairphoneMirrors/android_kernel_fairphone_msm8974/commit/724d6dc13d160b42ac8d5e0bfa5e9a6a8a5be673
But if Android and the bootloader is working I don’t see a reason to go EDL?

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Is there a specific reason for this?

I was just testing on a working FP2, I have two (three perhaps) core-modules which don’t get to either of them and don’t boot normally.
Ideas what I could do with them without EDL?

You can force the phone to boot into EDL mode by bridging these pins near the battery connector. For this you need to remove the shield and remove some of this black plastic sticking on top to access them. You can bridge these with e.g. a paper clip and then plug in the USB cable (quite tricky doing this alone so maybe look for a second person to help you with this). The device should then show up on the computer in EDL (9008) mode.
Also don’t be confused by the picture, there’s just two pins there, the additional two in the photo are just a reflection on the metal.

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Hundred thanks, I’ll try it out as soon as I can! :slight_smile:

Very interesting thread. My FP2 mainboard is bricked too - I just get the red led if i try to charge it without battery. Perhaps there is hope to restore it back to life :slight_smile:

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Hello Alex! Just curious: did you try it out? Have you succeeded unbricking the FP2?

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I’ve been trying, I managed to get the FP2 in what seems to be EDL mode (lsusb outputs an empty line visible only when the device is plugged, got the same on two devices which seemed to have booted in EDL), but the edl.py script doesn’t seem to find the device, I think modemmanager is interfering. But I didn’t have time to have a look again.
Also I might not have been careful enough when short-circuiting the pins because some component burnt out with a “scrshhhh”, and I don’t really want to burn my house :sweat_smile::joy: But I’ll try again sometime, don’t know when.
If ever I manage, I’ll do a guide.

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I would have been frightened as well :sweat_smile:

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EDIT: I manage to enter into EDL mode but still I am not sure how to unbrick the phone. Any suggestion?

I will take time to do a guide very soon (which should work if you managed to ender EDL). Sorry for not answering to your DMs.

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Sooo, a guide for those interested.
I’m writing it as promised, then taking a few weeks pause from the forum, I’m too busy right now :slight_smile: So don’t await feedback from me too quickly.
@demetrio


How to (try to) unbrick a FP2

This is the draft of a guide to unbrick the FP2, greatly inspired from the Fairphone 3 unbricking guide get a read at the topic as well, you might get a few helpful tips). Yet untested. Please press the green pencil button in the bottom right corner to edit and improve this post if you feel you can.

Disclaimer: I and the forum members having contributed to the post are not responsible for any damage you can deal to your device or yourself in any way.

Note: This guide currently won’t work for various reasons. So currently don’t try it as is, it will get improvements in Feb 22 sometime.

  1. Get a computer ready for android operations (get ADB/fastboot ready, get a working Python environment; my own on which I started elaborating the guide is a Debian 10 KDE with latest ADB/fastboot binaries from Debian and Python 3.9 in a virtual environment)
  2. Get to know what EDL mode is, open a terminal and relax, and the 2 hours you prepared for it will become 8.
  3. Get edl.py on your computer by reading their README (do all required steps and install all missing dependencies in your python environment)
  4. Check edl.py is working by entering edl.py -h, and try with different variants (./edl.py -h or python edl.py -h), it will display the help.
  5. Download the latest Fairphone OS or Fairphone Open manual installation file, extract it, copy the “images” directory and paste it in the main edl.py folder.
  6. Check if your bricked phone is in EDL or not. From a Linux computer, lsusb should output a line containing “9008” or “9006” (should be something like Bus 001 Device 009: ID 05c6:9008 Qualcomm, Inc. Gobi Wireless Modem (QDL mode))
    • If your phone isn’t in EDL mode already, see this post to start in it by short-circuiting the test pins (:warning: This can deal physical damage to you or your device, be very careful and take precautions and inform yourself, and remember you’re short-circuiting some electric circuits, which can lead to fire if not careful) You can also inspire yourself from this post done for FP3 [@Alex.A: I didn’t manage this step, my devices output an empty line after the ID, I have to check and try again, probably ModemManager I forgot to disable. If you also have an empty line at the same step, go on and try, it may be some FP2 special.]
  7. In the terminal enter edl.py wl images --loader=images/emmc_appsboot.mbn && python edl.py reset
  8. Follow what’s told, see if it’s your lucky day, your phone should reboot in the end and you should be able to reach fastboot.

Good luck!

TODO:

  • Improve the structure of the guide if needed
  • Adapt for Windows
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I have tried using the QFIL and firehose.mbn file on windows but I get a writing error at a specific point of the flashing process. I believe my emmc is corrupted and this is why I keep getting the error.

Actually if someone wants to try using the QFIL for windows would be useful to understand whether it is actually a good working method or not.

I’ll have a last try using Linux following your guide, although I wonder why do I need Linux ? I’m not an expert but can’t I just use a python version on windows and install there the relative edl.py ?

I’ll try and report my feedbacks in any case.

Just for the records in case someone else is reading this and want to try, I can enter in the edl mode by shorting the two pins quite easily. It seems scary at first but it’s not that difficult nor risky I’d say.

Of course, I just know too badly windows to adapt the guide for it, but it should. Good luck and feel free to improve the guide once you’re done!

I second that. Nevertheless, a lack of care can lead to physical damage as I described a bit higher it the topic.

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