Evo 3D to have locked down bootloader

Evo 3D to have locked down bootloader
Bad news for the root community: it looks as though HTC is taking the same lock-down approach as Motorola with the bootloader check on their new HTC EVO 3D. This means that root access, custom ROMs and custom kernels may never make it to the upcoming Android phone for Sprint.

Normally, when your Android device boots up, it will run a check of the bootloader, kernel, and recovery images to make sure each has the correct signature (authentication key). With a regular signature, it is fairly easy to sign a custom ROM or kernel and trick the device into accepting the custom image. These signatures can be copied from a full RUU (ROM Upgrade Utility) if one is available for the device. 

Unfortunately, HTC is taking a page from Motorola and using cryptographically signed images, which use 256 bit encryption to protect the signatures. This was confirmed by Justin Case of Android Police. Essentially, this means that there is almost no chance of a crack coming through. We say "almost" no chance because there have been cryptographic signatures that have been cracked before, most notably the Sony PS3.

This same security can be found on the HTC Sensation, Motorola DROID 2 and DROID X, so don't expect much in the way of custom ROMs, kernels or recovery on those devices either.

Related phones

EVO 3D
  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, Dual-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 1 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1730 mAh(6.00h talk time)

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30 Comments

1. waks unregistered

FAIL. Way to go HTC.

2. Tre unregistered

SUPER FAIL HTC Your phones are so popular because they can be rooted. You should Thank your lucky stars for Cyanogen and the rest of the Devs out there, Instead you just gave them all a big FAT "F-You"... NO HTC.... F YOU!!

11. pyckvi

Posts: 48; Member since: Dec 19, 2010

I totally agree. F HTC for doing this! i was really looking forward to this device it was my dream phone. i was thinking of all the new cool things that the devs would have cooked up for it. And im not a big fan of htc sense because it eats ALLOT of Ram, so to me Cyans Rom would have made this phone a Beast!. but with no root/bootloader unlock. i think ill stick with my hd2 for T-mobile a bit longer and maybe renew my contract before att merger. this is BULLSHIT HTC & Sprint!!!

12. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Hate to break it to ya....but if the phone is popular, very little has to do with it being rooted and custom ROMs. The root, ROM scene is not the majority.

26. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Unfortunately, the EVO is the phone where it has the most development. It's stronger than any of the Nexus line, a line directly from Google. Even after a year, the development for it is still going stronger than any other Android phone. That says a lot.

28. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

"Its stronger than any of the Nexus line, a line directly from Google"That does say alot... It says being completely open isnt the drawing factor for Android phones for the majority. the general public......and i'm willing to bet its on par with the Droid 1 as far as development for it.

3. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

I was always a big fan of HTC bought alot of thier windows phones but I wont be buying any of these phones Samsung looks better everyday

4. TOdoubleD

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 28, 2011

Not a big deal to the majority of people buying phones. I'm still going to get it. But it sure would be nice if we could get a freakin release date. Sprint is the most ridiculous carrier when it comes to announcing new products.

5. ken unregistered

Well I guess we'll never see what this amazing device can really do. This is total BS. I've never been a fan of Samsung phones but the galaxy s 2 is looking very appealing now. I've had an HTC phone since the ppc6700.

15. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

ooh sure, enjoy getting your update in half a year while everyone else is basking in the glory of the newest update

17. doubler86

Posts: 320; Member since: Jan 26, 2011

umm if you have samsung that can be rooted then you don't need to wait at all really. That's why everyone pissed, no roms for HTC and roms already being released for the Galaxy S II. Like everyone else said Fail HTC

19. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

not everyone can root man.

24. doubler86

Posts: 320; Member since: Jan 26, 2011

Umm that's what this topic is about, not being able to root the phone. That's why people would rather go to a company that will allow rooting than not. People just like having the option. Especially when the phones are close it takes only a few changes to tip the scale. HTC is hopefully learning their lesson, they have already now said they are going to be "reviewing their bootloader policy" after less than 24hrs.

6. lilbranbran

Posts: 21; Member since: Jul 14, 2010

This is where HTC pisses me off. If I am going to spend $199 on a phone, I would expect it to be totally unlocked; especially for those people that are spending $499.99 on the phone!

7. Fail unregistered

HTC. Don't make the same mistake. http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/20/visualized-what -motorola-android-users-want/

13. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Is that the poll where 10,000 - 20,000 ppl wanted an unlocked bootloader for Moto phones? What do you think HTC and Moto think about 10,000 - 20,000users? Especially HTC that sold so many phones last year? The same HTC that has actual dev phones, the ADP 1 and 2, the Nexus One? I hope yall do know the root, ROM community isnt as big as you think it is..

20. pyckvi

Posts: 48; Member since: Dec 19, 2010

if the root community wasnt so big than why bother try locking up the bootloader? the coolest feature about android is the fact that you can do limitless things once the phone is ROOTed and overclocking your phone is probably the most usefull one. the rom community is actually getting a little too big on the evos in my opinion. but the more the better i guess...

8. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Owning an EVO, I wasn't even looking forward to the EVO 3D. I'm waiting for Sprint's next phone that has NFC. Let's hope it won't be a huge dissapointment in NYC, I'd love to use my phone to pay for my stuff.

27. pattypatterson

Posts: 48; Member since: May 28, 2010

nexus s already has NFC buit in

9. duder unregistered

i doubt this is true phone arena is really lacking is the research part of thier articles, i have yet to see anything that confirms this

10. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Lol, so much for the Android system being "open." Get an iPhone

14. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Android is open. The phones? Depends on which phone you get. There is nothing stopping anyone from going tohttp://source.android.com/, downloading and compiling Android and putting on your own hardware.

18. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

I'm not a fan of modifying phones anyway. Kills the stability of the OS. Android is far more balanced if not messed with or just buy a Nexus. People should purchase a phone for what it can do. Not for what it can't and then end up rooting it. I posted awhile back how rooting or jailbreaking a phone is one of the worst things you can do to it. I understand the benefits of doing it, but I have friends that now own very expensive bricks because they didn't listen to this simple advice. Insurance will not cover this. The UI and OS are designed with filters to protect them. Root or jailbreak, and you eliminate this protection. John B.

21. pyckvi

Posts: 48; Member since: Dec 19, 2010

sorry to break it to you, but i think your friends are idiots. Ive successfully rooted/modified plenty of phones (droid1/droidx/g1/g2/mytouch/dash/hd2/etc...) and not a single brick. Reason: i thoroughly read & re-read tutorial instructions until i know exactly what i am suppose to do. than i follow the steps exactly with no shortcuts and no rush. rooting a phone is much easier than you think. the first time seems complicating but if you read enough guidelines and instructions than you will never brick your phone. xda has plenty guides/info's on most of the smart-phones on the market.

25. doubler86

Posts: 320; Member since: Jan 26, 2011

Same here rooted phones before they work great. They run faster and have a MUCH longer battery life. Rooting is great, if you brick it you're doing it wrong. Lastly now a days there are even ways to unroot your phone so there really isn't much of an argument for not rooting if you know how.

29. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

Don't mean to rant, but 3 expensive bricks? WTH? I'm not understanding this for two reasons. 1, how on earth in this day and age in mobile does somebody who wants to root their phone brick it permanently. 2 rooting is the exact opposite of what your describing it as. I've rooted the entire Mytouch line, DX, D2 ,OGD, a captivate and a Evo and seriously I've never broken any of them permanently. All rooting does is give you the same exact experience a developer has with their phone. Also to my knowledge, every android phone with the exception of some new models on the market has SOME way they can be unrooted, unbricked, or returned to normal state with a factory reset.

22. seeds

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 13, 2011

this is happen because htc have big big reasons... i hope 1 of that reason is not marketing

23. V unregistered

DONT LOSE HOPE YET. NEWS IS THEY MIGHT RECONSIDER THAT POLICY THANKS TO ALL THE CRITICS

30. pyckvi

Posts: 48; Member since: Dec 19, 2010

I really hope so

31. Shake Zula unregistered

Meh... I'm not too worried... "This same security can be found on the HTC Sensation, Motorola DROID 2 and DROID X, so don't expect much in the way of custom ROMs, kernels or recovery on those devices either." All three of these phones have already been rooted. It may take awhile, yes, but it is not impossible. All in all, it's up to Sprint whether or not the REALLY want to enforce it altogether.

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