If you thought the Motorola Droid X and its eFuse system protection technology was going to stop Android developers from finding a way to root and eventually flash custom Android ROMs to the Verizon superphone, consider your preconceptions put on notice. Thanks to the work of developer/hacker Birdman, the Droid X has just gotten its first custom recovery image as proof that the handset can indeed be set up (at least in these early stages) for flashing custom ROMs.
The method for getting custom recover image onto your Droid X was posted today by Birdman, who just so happens to be the very same dev that figured out how to get root on the big-screened smartphone from Verizon. But, before you dive head-first into your own attempts at trying this method on your own X, you should know that it’s little more than a proof of concept right now and requires that you know how to bring a bricked Android phone back from the dead. If that sounds scary, good. The point is that it’s now possible to setup a custom recovery image, but anyone not named “Birdman” should steer clear.
Here’s what we’re told about the hack:
Using a hack discovered by the folks who’ve done all the work on the Milestone, birdman has booted a custom recovery on his handset. The process is labor-intensive and dangerous if you’re not prepared to recover from a bricked device (and technically this bricks the device since you can’t reboot into Android at this moment), but it’s a sucessful proof of concept.
Right now he’s working on getting ADB up so we can further investigate what it will take to get a fully functional recovery working (that will also allow reboot back into Android).
From there the focus will move to a more robust recovery and discovery if/how we can do Nandroids and/or write a new /System image (like Froyo).
For those of you confused, a custom recovery image is the first step to flashing an unofficial ROM. It’s basically a method to put an Android phone into a pre-boot state that’s receptive to flashing third-party ROMs. The danger here is that anything you do to phone at this level runs the risk of turning a shiny, expensive smartphone into a shiny, expensive brick.
To make matters worse, Motorola implemented the so-called eFuse technology in the X to prevent any unauthorized changes to the device’s software. At first it seemed that simply whispering the words “custom recovery image” or “flash Android ROM” to the Droid X would brick the darn thing, but subsequent responses from Motorola and developers downplayed the seriousness of eFuse. As it stands, we still have no idea if anyone will be able to release a consumer-friendly method for flashing ROMs to the X.
Still, worry not, X owners. Birdman is apparently hard at work trying to take his Droid X hacking to the next level. ADB is the next step, after which he’ll attempt to flash an Android ROM – probably Android 2.2 Froyo – to the device. Stay tuned, this should get exciting!
Don’t forget to check out our full review of the Verizon Motorola Droid X here.
REVIEW: Verizon Motorola Droid X – Is this the Droid you’re looking for?