2021-10-10 Genre: Articles

My Experience with Bricks and Bootloops

The scariest moment when flashing custom ROMs(for amateurs).

If someone told me to root a phone five years since now, I would get scared of damaging the device. I didn't have internet at that time and also a very little knowledge of what it could do. I just knew that it could let me see the passwords of connected WIFI as well as the passwords of WPS enabled WiFi which at that time was like a treasure to me. A friend of mine had rooted his phone and he shared his experience that his phone was completely dead a few days after while adding a module. He shared stories of phones blasting and catching fire because of root and since I didn't have internet there was nothing to do except to believe in his stories. Those stories caused me to think that I would never root my device ever.

But after some years we had internet in our own house and I used to watch life hacks, hacking videos, new gadgets and inventions, new and useful apps for android, phone reviews, customizing android, and all sorts of tech videos on YouTube. On some hacking videos (hacking with an android, I didn't have a computer at that time.) I again stumbled upon root. Then I watched videos describing benefits and disadvantages of rooting. I loved to watch what a phone could do with Magisk modules and was very eager to try rooting. But still deep inside my brain there was a feeling that I would damage my new phone.

After a lot of watching advantage and disadvantage videos I decided to root my phone, I knew that it would void the warranty of my phone but after four months of buying I was so eager that I unlocked the bootloader (MI made me wait 7 days) flashed a custom recovery and rooted my phone. I installed a bunch of modules with Magisk and Ed-exposed, tweaked MIUI with substratum which did cause my first boot loop, but it was easily fixed because there was a zip pre-managed by substratum for those cases.

A few days after I rooted, there was an update to MIUI and I decided to install it like I normally did. My phone wouldn't boot to the system, It just rebooted after the MI logo. I was having chills in my heart, suddenly I felt very cold, I booted to recovery and tried to format my device. It didn't solve the issue, but all the files on my device were deleted. I started searching for fixes, I flashed the official MIUI ROM by forwarding it via adb, but the Issue was still there. I tried flashing pixel experience, Havoc, Corvus etc. but nothing worked. It was 12 AM already, and I still was trying to fix my phone. Then I found out that there is a different kind of ROM that could be flashed from fast boot mode, first I tried the latest fast boot ROM, and it still didn't work, then I tried the oldest fast boot ROM, It changed the boot screen to old MI logo but was still stuck on a boot loop. At that point I was crying, I had bricked my phone, The warranty period hadn't finished, but my warranty was already void. I slept at around 2 AM with a cold heart and tears in my eyes.

The next morning I woke up at 5 AM, at that point I was ready to do anything to fix my phone. I tried a bunch of things from the internet but none of them worked, then I came across a tool called "ALL in One" on XDA forums dating back to 2014 (This story takes place in 2020). I immediately downloaded the tool, installed the exe file, and opened the program. There was an option to flash recovery ROMs, I downloaded the latest official recovery ROM, connected the phone to my computer and flashed it using the tool. And magically it worked, a tool from 2014 saved my phone. But that incident didn't stop me from rooting my phone because as soon as the phone booted I went back to the recovery mode and flashed the magisk file.

After some weeks I flashed a custom ROM from the same tool and fell in love with it. I tried different ROMs after that and yes I did go into a boot loop sometimes, but I could easily fix it. Now, it isn't a big deal to me to flash a ROM or root anyone's phone and I love doing it.