Last manual install A.0084 broke my fairphone

If you use the phone, as commonly done, with a sim card, isn’t it more reliable to wait for the network to update you via OTA. The fact that the network doesn’t implies Fairphone have not got it working for the network a user has. Though I acknowledge that doesn’t equate to a complete failure to boot.

Or @Tori has the same “problem” I have, a rooted phone, and simply cannot update via OTA? My phone nags since the update came out but fails to install it when trying (as expected).

Now I wonder whether I should give the manual update a try…

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I think something might be wrong with the A.0084 image, looking at the partition sizes:

-rw-r--r-- 1 1550438400 Mar  5 19:01 FP3-REL-Q-3.A.0084-20210204-2.105300-user-fastbootimage-repack/system.img
-rw-r--r-- 1 2618602208 Dec 21 07:07 FP3-REL-Q-3.A.0077-20201221.124002-user-fastbootimage/system.img
-rw-r--r-- 1 2608452320 Sep 29 04:40 FP3-REL-Q-3.A.0054-20200929.092252-user-fastbootimage/system.img

The new system image is just 1.5GB instead of 2.5GB, which is probably not ok (It is a sparse image but still that seems weird, I can try later if there is a way to check the image). Also almost all the other files in that zip have Feb 4 as date, but the system.img is from Mar 5, maybe an incomplete copy?

I would not recommend flashing that for now.


Please clarify if you mean the .zip or the extracted folder. I agree on the .zip size, but extracted (which is needed for the manual installation), it’s more like 2.41, if I remember correctly.

Additional info on my failed attempts yesterday: One of the last bits that the installation protocol included was that it failed to lock the bootloader. Might that explain the failing boot afterwards? As you can guess, locking the bootloader manually through command prompt is something I am afraid to do right now – given the risk of not being able to unlock it again in case I still cannot properly boot. Don’t want to brick the device.

If I extract the zip there is a system.img in the FP3... folder, this will be flashed on the main system partition.
In the 0084 file this system.img is 1.5GB but it is 2.5GB in the 0077 zip file and the 0054 as well.

That file is supposed to be a Android Sparse Image, but it fails to convert to a raw image with the corresponding tool:

$ file system.img
system.img: Android sparse image, version: 1.0, Total of 786432 4096-byte output blocks in 63 input chunks.
$ simg2img system.img /tmp/tmp.img
Failed to read sparse file

If I do the same with the file from the 0077 archive it works fine.


Hi Rae,

Thanks for getting the new update out! I’m very excited about the fixes for the audio problems that I’ve also experienced a couple times!

I downloaded the newest fastboot image from Manually install Fairphone OS on FP3/FP3+ – Support earlier this week, but it looks like there’s a problem with the system.img:

$ simg2img FP3-REL-Q-3.A.0084-20210204-2.105300-user-fastbootimage-repack/system.img system.img
Failed to read sparse file

A couple users have reported that flashing this image will leave the phone unbootable:

Could you have a look at this and upload a new ZIP file with a fixed system.img?

Thanks and best,
. Christian

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Explicitly tagging @rae to make sure it’s not lost :wink:
See the post above about problems with the A.0084 install image, please.


Hi, I have allowed myself to move your and @Ingo’s posts here so more info on this specific problem can be found in one place. Rae is already notified and will bring it up in an imminent meeting with the team.


Thanks for flagging! I will return here with an update asap. :slight_smile:


i have the same issue… flashed the newest image and now i am stuck at the black “fairphone” boot screen. system.img gives me the same invalid sparse error as mentioned above… sadly i flashed it before finding this thread :frowning:

i am on a fp3+

Try flashing the previous version and then do an OTA update.

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yes i will try this. i am using this link to download the 0077 release: ✏ FP3 OS updates - changelog & OTA links

update: it worked as described below.

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Hi again thanks for taking the issue into account :relaxed:
So my phone was (badly) rooted making it impossible to OTA update like @lothar_muc
My initial objective was to manually flash the update without wiping my user data.
After bricking the phone with the provided update, I’ve just wiped my phone and reinstalled the last working update and performed OTA unrooted then root again :slight_smile:
I hope future OTA will be released quicker and without bugs :wink:

Also it will be nice to have a list of every OTA updates with downloads somewhere close to the manual installation tutorial :slight_smile:

That correct, I should have mentioned that my phone was rooted with modification on /system so I was out of luck for OTA :stuck_out_tongue:
Reinstalling the previous version and performing the OTA allowed me to bump my phone to A.0084


The manual install page now links to a new archive which contains a better system.img:
It is 2.7GB large and simg2img produces a raw image without any errors. The resulting image can be fsck’d and mounted (loop device under linux) successfully.

To summarize: The new image should be good, at least as far as I can tell without really installing it (I currently have lineageos running).


Hi everyone,

The new package was updated this morning around 10:30am as noted above. Thanks again for flagging this right away and apologies for the inconvenience.


Thanks! No Problem. QC ist hard with a small team…

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In this case, it shouldn’t be hard even with a small team, after all users (each a team of 1 person) simply using the file as intended found out it’s bad without too much trouble.

But we’re all just human.
Hopefully the process gets improved, so that the same thing can’t happen again.

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I can not unlock the Fairphone 3, in Fastboot Mode, fastboot oem unlock:
no way for install new !!!