Motorola Atrix 4G bootloader locked down – custom ROMs a no-go

We’re certainly not surprised about this one, but the Atrix 4G has a locked bootloader, courtesy of Motorola.

To the average Joe that has no intention of modifying their phone, this means very little. However, those who like to install custom ROMs and modify their handsets may not have as much fun with their new Atrix as they’d like to right now.

Motorola has already come out and said “buy elsewhere,” if you’re looking to apply modifications to their products, so the locked bootloader shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Plus, this wouldn’t be the first time the have locked down the specific part of a product. We know the Atrix has already receive root, which allows for root-only applications to work, but those who want to install a custom ROM to get Motoblur off of their phone (we don’t blame you) won’t be able to do so with a locked bootloader.

Luckily for you, Motorola doesn’t really stand a chance to XDA developers and they have successfully unlocked the bootloader of the Droid X – we can imagine to see the same done for the Atrix as well, it just may not happen very soon. While rooting is legal, it doesn’t mean that the handset-maker won’t try to make it harder to modify their products. Motorola, who likes to stick it to Apple in their ad campaigns, is slowly becoming the Apple of Android with their lock-down procedures.

The Atrix 4G’s bootloader will eventually be unlocked, which will make way for custom ROMs, but until then you’re SOL. That said, the Atrix 4G is one beast of a phone and if you don’t enjoy Motoblur you can always download a home replacement application likeADW Launcher EX. That said, we aren’t suggesting avoiding this handset solely on the fact that the bootloader is locked. It’ll happen eventually, and you may not noticed all the time that has gone by when you see how stupid-fast the Atrix is.

[Via: XDA-Developers]

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, why do the companies insist on doing this?

    Average joe phone buyer, who makes up the largest part of their customer base, is never going to touch root or bootloading.

    The only people they are locking out are the enthusiasts, who will aggressively avoid devices that implement these features going forward.

    Essentially, locking bootloaders serves almost no purpose, and alienates a chunk of potential customers. Really, really good idea Motorola.

    • I agree completely.
      I don’t see the need for this. Then again, I don’t see a need for custom UI’s, either.
      Companies are wrecking the platform, slowly but surely.

  • Honestly, I think companies are, quite frankly, ruining Android. In and of itself, Android is a beautiful platform. But all these custom UI’s are meaningless now, and they just bog down memory. Make it an option, not a requirement.
    As for locking the bootloader, Moto should go to Win7 if they want a closed platform. Oh…wait…that’s too “Closed” of a platform. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me. I miss the original Droid.

  • Anonymous

    come on moto dont lock the bootloader thats a sick phone!!!

  • .46caliber

    Please correct this post. The Droid X and Droid 2 were not unlocked. There was a circumvention to allow installation of a custom “ROM.” The bootloader lock is still in tact and prevents installation of a custom kernel.

    The top layer of security was circumvented. The base layer of security for the bootlaoder is still there.

  • Njl6705

     looks like I’m waiting for the Galaxy S2.  I wanted that fingerprint scanner too – that was cool. At least I’ll have USB OTG.

    I can’t believe none of those geniuses at XDA can crack that bootloader.  Motorola must really have a lot of time on their hands.  Maybe they could use it to crank out updates faster, if they won’t allow us to make them ourselves.

  • JOse

    i have motorola atrix, i problem is: SVF: 105: 1: 2
    failed to boot 0x100 

    • Coletonpoole

      I had the same issue, it is a very easy fix 🙂

  • Definite Deal Breaker for me!

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