How I unlock the bootloader of Xperia Arc S

Following the instructions on unlocking my Xperia Arc S:

http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com/instructions

instructions as provided by SonyEricsson, I succeeded in unlocking my Xperia Arc S:

First check the version:

./fastboot-linux -i 0x0fce getvar version
version: 0.3
finished. total time: 0.001s

This is the correct version as the SonyEricsson website said.

And then following the instructions in the URL above, I got my unlock key, which is specific to each handset.

Next download the “fastboot-linux”, or whatever it is renamed as, just search here:

http://www.google.com.sg/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=site%3Axda-developers.com+fastboot+%22xperia+arc+s%22+

Continue to follow the instruction from SE website, eg, specifying in the fastboot-linux commandline (XXXXXXXX below is the unlock key):

./fastboot-linux -i 0x0fce oem unlock XXXXXXXX

(bootloader) Unlock phone requested
(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001300
(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001400
(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001500
(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001600
(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001700
(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001800
(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001900
(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00001a00
(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00001b00
(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00001c00
(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00001d00
(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00001e00
(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00001f00
OKAY [ 4.629s]
finished. total time: 4.629s

Done.

CAVEAT: Not told to us in the website, is that everything on your phone is wipe out. So my contact list, all my installed and downloaded Android program, all disappeared. If it is a purchased item from Android Market, it is always possible to re-download from “My Apps” (Android Market -> Settings), which is supposedly to list all your previously purchased items from Android Market. But if it is free, then it is not listed, and you have to search and download it again.

PS: Whether unlocking the SIM is the same as unlocking the bootloader, I am not sure, more info here:

http://phoneunlockserver.com/forum/index.php?/topic/7-guide-all-xperia-bootloader-unlock-unlock-sim-enable-fastboot/

http://se-board.com/index.php/topic/2023-paid-xperia-2011-bootloader-unlock-here/page__p__8326#entry8326

But essentially unlocking bootloader allow you to flash a new kernel image on it, which subsequently will boot up Android OS, and also implied customizing Android OS to whatever you want to do.

But unlocking the SIM is to free up the link that tied the baseband processor to communicate with a fixed telecom operator (which does not apply to phones from my country – Singapore).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIM_lock

CAVEAT: Not sure why, but I just discovered that the nand partitioning seemed to be missing the “recovery” and “boot” partition:

# cat /proc/mtd
dev: size erasesize name
mtd0: 19000000 00020000 "system"
mtd1: 00600000 00020000 "appslog"
mtd2: 06580000 00020000 "cache"
mtd3: 1a400000 00020000 "userdata"

# cat /proc/partitions
major minor #blocks name

7 0 35375 loop0
31 0 409600 mtdblock0
31 1 6144 mtdblock1
31 2 103936 mtdblock2
31 3 430080 mtdblock3
179 0 7772160 mmcblk0
179 1 7768064 mmcblk0p1
254 0 35374 dm-0
#

Well if you compare this image with other Android NAND partitioning like this:

http://android-dls.com/wiki/index.php?title=HOWTO:_Unpack%2C_Edit%2C_and_Re-Pack_Boot_Images

This is definitely quite different, and so all the different instructions on how to reflash new copy of the boot.img to the NAND really puzzle me:

http://developer.sonyericsson.com/wp/2011/05/06/how-to-build-a-linux-kernel/

http://mobilecon.info/sony-ericsson-xperia-ray-root-and-unsecure-boot-img.html

http://mobilecon.info/change-the-stock-kernel-sony-ericsson-xperia-ray-with-doomkernel.html

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by aubier585 on January 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Hey, I just don’t understand how is it possible to unlock the bootloader under Linux, In one of the steps dexcribed on sony instructions, you must install “Google USB Driver”, but they aren’t available on Linux. You did you do it ? Thank’s

    Reply

  2. Short answer is: Linux kernel has been designed so that a lot of the USB operation can be handled at the userspace as far as possible. Yes, windows USB drivers are also usually needed, but Linux is already built by the kernel – which means no specific drivers are needed.

    Reply

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