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I didn't think you could brick a phone this thoroughly

In an attempt to get root on my FP2, I followed what appeared to be very simple instructions to install OpenOS. I downloaded fp2-sibon-19.11.2-manual-switcher, unzipped it and ran the flasher with some unfortunate results:

# ./flash-for-unix.sh 
** Fairphone OS 19.11.2 Manual Flashing Script **

WARNING: Flashing this image wipes all user data and settings on the phone.

Validating files...
Validation complete.

One Fairphone 2 in fastboot mode found (serial number: e548b67c).

Are you sure you want to wipe all user data and settings on the phone?
  Type "Yes" to continue: Yes

Proceeding to flash the device.

Sending 'rpm' (186 KB)                             OKAY [  0.009s]
Writing 'rpm'                                      OKAY [  0.017s]
Finished. Total time: 0.036s
Sending 'sbl1' (274 KB)                            OKAY [  0.012s]
Writing 'sbl1'                                     OKAY [  0.020s]
Finished. Total time: 0.043s
Sending 'tz' (334 KB)                              OKAY [  0.014s]
Writing 'tz'                                       OKAY [  0.028s]
Finished. Total time: 0.052s
Sending 'modem' (57585 KB)                         OKAY [  1.806s]
Writing 'modem'                                    OKAY [  1.284s]
Finished. Total time: 3.100s
Sending 'splash' (6075 KB)                         OKAY [  0.194s]
Writing 'splash'                                   OKAY [  0.146s]
Finished. Total time: 0.350s
Sending 'aboot' (536 KB)                           OKAY [  0.020s]
Writing 'aboot'                                    OKAY [  0.039s]
Finished. Total time: 0.070s
fastboot: error: Couldn't parse partition size '0x'.

ERROR: Could not flash the boot partition on device e548b67c.

ERROR: Please unplug the phone, take the battery out, boot the device into
ERROR: fastboot mode, plug in the phone, and start this script again.
ERROR: (To get to fastboot mode, press Volume-Down and Power until the)
ERROR: (Fairphone logo appears.)

Aborting now (press Enter to terminate).

At this stage, I still had a working phone, but not a freshly-wiped OpenOS one, so I persisted.

I tried swapping out the cable, but that didn’t work, so I started digging around online and I found that newer versions sometimes require :raw to be used, so I read though the provided shell script, lifted out the lines that did the flashing and appended :raw where it seemed appropriate. The output looked promising:

# fastboot flash:raw rpm images/rpm.mbn
creating boot image...
creating boot image - 194560 bytes
Sending 'rpm' (190 KB)                             OKAY [  0.009s]
Writing 'rpm'                                      OKAY [  0.019s]
Finished. Total time: 0.031s

# fastboot flash:raw sbl1 images/sbl1.mbn 
creating boot image...
creating boot image - 284672 bytes
Sending 'sbl1' (278 KB)                            OKAY [  0.012s]
Writing 'sbl1'                                     OKAY [  0.020s]
Finished. Total time: 0.036s

# fastboot flash:raw tz images/tz.mbn 
creating boot image...
creating boot image - 346112 bytes
Sending 'tz' (338 KB)                              OKAY [  0.014s]
Writing 'tz'                                       OKAY [  0.021s]
Finished. Total time: 0.039s

# fastboot flash:raw modem images/NON-HLOS.bin 
creating boot image...
creating boot image - 58970112 bytes
Sending 'modem' (57588 KB)                         OKAY [  1.806s]
Writing 'modem'                                    OKAY [  1.276s]
Finished. Total time: 3.210s

# fastboot flash:raw splash images/splash.img 
creating boot image...
creating boot image - 6223872 bytes
Sending 'splash' (6078 KB)                         OKAY [  0.194s]
Writing 'splash'                                   OKAY [  0.152s]
Finished. Total time: 0.366s

# fastboot flash:raw aboot images/emmc_appsboot.mbn 
creating boot image...
creating boot image - 552960 bytes
Sending 'aboot' (540 KB)                           OKAY [  0.020s]
Writing 'aboot'                                    OKAY [  0.023s]
Finished. Total time: 0.048s

# fastboot flash:raw boot images/boot.img 
Sending 'boot' (11710 KB)                          OKAY [  0.370s]
Writing 'boot'                                     OKAY [  0.279s]
Finished. Total time: 0.670s

# fastboot flash:raw recovery images/recovery.img 
Sending 'recovery' (13718 KB)                      OKAY [  0.433s]
Writing 'recovery'                                 OKAY [  0.314s]
Finished. Total time: 0.771s

# fastboot flash:raw system images/system.img 
creating boot image...
creating boot image - 667303936 bytes
Sending 'system' (651664 KB)                       FAILED (remote: 'data too large')
fastboot: error: Command failed

# fastboot flash:raw system images/system.img 
creating boot image...
creating boot image - 667303936 bytes
Sending 'system' (651664 KB)                       FAILED (remote: 'data too large')
fastboot: error: Command failed

# fastboot flash system images/system.img 
Sending sparse 'system' 1/2 (510357 KB)            OKAY [ 15.993s]
Writing 'system'                                   OKAY [ 16.892s]
Sending sparse 'system' 2/2 (141303 KB)            OKAY [  4.433s]
Writing 'system'                                   OKAY [  4.774s]
Finished. Total time: 42.134s

# fastboot flash userdata images/userdata.img 
Sending 'userdata' (138997 KB)                     OKAY [  4.354s]
Writing 'userdata'                                 OKAY [  3.810s]
Finished. Total time: 8.178s

# fastboot flash cache images/cache.img 
Sending 'cache' (12520 KB)                         OKAY [  0.396s]
Writing 'cache'                                    OKAY [  0.340s]
Finished. Total time: 0.746s

# fastboot reboot

The phone went black and never woke up again.

I tried holding down the power button for a few minutes. I tried holding down Volume-Down along with the power button. I tried unplugging and re-pluging it in, and even popping out the battery and putting it back in. It just sits there, all black, mocking me.

What have I done? Can this be undone? Is this a straight-up bricking?

Uhhmm…Sorry to dissapoint because I don’t have an answer but this may just be the worst hard brick in human history! Maybe try contacting the Fairphone repair center or something about it?

1 Like

It certainly doesn’t look good.

Here’s a topic with some pointers, for what it’s worth …

As for the initial error message, the forum search has this …

A hit in the Beta category says a Fairphone OS beta tester ran into this error message a while ago with fastboot versions 30.0.4 and 30.0.5, in the end 30.0.3 worked fine.
(Access to the Beta category is restricted, so no link or preview.)

2 Likes

Special stuff.

I’m reminded of times I accidentally flashed a ROM to a device that didn’t match the ROM - you can get all sorts of issues, from radios not working to screens not lighting up.

Something to try: take out the battery, reinsert it, press power+volume down the way you would to boot into the bootloader, and then hook the FP2 up to your PC to see (fastboot devices) if it’s going into the bootloader without turning on the screen or vibrator.

Edit: fixed wrong command

2 Likes

I guess my brain just turns into a pumpkin after midnight… never type adb fastboot devices OP, it’s like googling “google”!

3 Likes

Ah yeah, it seems bad. I had similar issues as pointed few posts before. In my case, when I plug the phone to the Laptop I can see all the partition of the phone as blank disk units. I did not find a way to repair it myself, and contacted the FP assistance.

The only option they gave me is to send it for free in the repair center in France, then they would look at it and contact me saying what they could do to repair it. Then I can choose wehther to:

  1. pay for repair,
  2. have it sent back to me broken as it was for 20euros
  3. leave it there for recycle.

In my case I am worried that the repair center will chose the simplest way which is to swap the motherboard instead of re-flashing everything correctly, and changing the motherboard costs about 200 euros. Therefore I decided to simply wait the moment which my second phone dies and buy a second-hand FP2.

I am sorry if I cannot help you further. But if you find a solution, let me know, maybe will work also for my phone.

Best

Yup. It’s looking pretty bad. Tailing the logs on my Linux machine when I plug it in (regardless of whether I’ve tried to turn it on) shows the following:

Mar 21 12:19:36 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: new high-speed USB device number 13 using xhci_hcd
Mar 21 12:19:41 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Mar 21 12:19:57 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Mar 21 12:19:57 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: new high-speed USB device number 14 using xhci_hcd
Mar 21 12:20:02 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Mar 21 12:20:18 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: device descriptor read/64, error -110
Mar 21 12:20:18 berlin kernel: usb 3-9-port1: attempt power cycle
Mar 21 12:20:18 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: new high-speed USB device number 15 using xhci_hcd
Mar 21 12:20:23 berlin kernel: pcieport 0000:00:03.0: AER: Corrected error received: 0000:00:03.0
Mar 21 12:20:23 berlin kernel: pcieport 0000:00:03.0: PCIe Bus Error: severity=Corrected, type=Data Link Layer, (Transmitter ID)
Mar 21 12:20:23 berlin kernel: pcieport 0000:00:03.0:   device [8086:6f08] error status/mask=00001000/00002000
Mar 21 12:20:23 berlin kernel: pcieport 0000:00:03.0:    [12] Timeout               
Mar 21 12:20:23 berlin kernel: xhci_hcd 0000:00:14.0: Timeout while waiting for setup device command
Mar 21 12:20:29 berlin kernel: xhci_hcd 0000:00:14.0: Timeout while waiting for setup device command
Mar 21 12:20:29 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: device not accepting address 15, error -62
Mar 21 12:20:29 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: new high-speed USB device number 16 using xhci_hcd
Mar 21 12:20:34 berlin kernel: xhci_hcd 0000:00:14.0: Timeout while waiting for setup device command
Mar 21 12:20:39 berlin kernel: xhci_hcd 0000:00:14.0: Timeout while waiting for setup device command
Mar 21 12:20:40 berlin kernel: usb 3-9.1: device not accepting address 16, error -62
Mar 21 12:20:40 berlin kernel: usb 3-9-port1: unable to enumerate USB device

I think this is a pretty solid definition of “bricked”. I’ll contact support to see if they have any advice. Worst case scenario maybe they can recycle it.