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WTF, HTC? EVO 3D Has Same Locked Bootloader

Steven Blum


In a development that will likely alienate many potential customers, it seems that HTC's EVO 3D has the same stubbornly locked bootloader as the Sensation's. 

While the bootloader is not encrypted, it is "cryptographically-signed."

What does a cryptographically-signed bootloader do, exactly? According to Android Police, "Every time the EVO 3D boots up, it runs an internal check that includes reading a signature key of the bootloader, recovery, and kernel images on the phone. If the signature of any one of those, once decrypted, does not mach the internal, read-only memory stored value, your phone will refuse to boot."

Cryptopgraphically-signed images are essentially un-crackable, which is why the Droid 2 and the Droid X remain un-cracked, except through sidestepping. No doubt a developer will come up with a workaround that will trick the EVO 3D's bootloader, but this will certainly make the implementation of custom ROMs all the more difficult.

"Custom ROMs, kernels, and recoveries (like ClockworkMod) may never come to the EVO 3D, barring some kind of epic HTC screw-up," writes Android Police. Phandroid is more optimistic, writing "[this development] doesn’t mean we won’t see custom development for these HTC devices, but it will make the lives of hackers and modders a little more difficult."

*Facepalm* Let the yelling about HTC commence...

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  • Fabien Roehlinger May 25, 2011 Link

    HTC has just dropped a message that they would like to "re-think" their bootload politics. I think, we have to stay tuned on this...

  • Steven Blum May 25, 2011 Link

    But here's my follow-up question: how would unlocking the bootloader mess with the Sense 3.0 software? Unlike the Galaxy S2, it seems to be HTC's new software that's the focal point of the device, not the hardware.

  • Martin Krischik May 24, 2011 Link

    I have some time to go before I need to replace. I probably go for the Nexus 3. And the unlock the boot-loader first day.

    The only thing stopping me from unlocking my Nexus one is the factory reset. I wonder how bad that is…

  • Niels Christiansen May 24, 2011 Link

    To think that I went from Sony Ericsson to HTC. Undoubtedly in a weak moment. Well, it's always possible to switch back to the manufacturer I've used most of the years anyway. B-)

  • Steven Blum May 24, 2011 Link

    @Christian Yeah, what you said :) Glad we have a programmer's perspective on here.

  • Christian Brüggemann May 24, 2011 Link

    Custom system images can be achieved via UnionFS overlays, but that's it.. Custom kernels won't be possible without a working kexec, which is really buggy.