The Motorola Droid X Could Brick Itself If Tampered With

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We learned yesterday that the Motorola Droid X could potentially be un-rootable due to Motorola’s locked bootloader, and what we are now learning is that if you try and tamper with your device, it could brick itself. The Droid X is fitted with this eFuse chip, and what this chip does is identifies the software for this device. If the eFuse chip detects a different kernel, firmware, or the bootloader is different, the eFuse chip causes the phone to become useless, much like Steve Jobs after the iPhone 4 antenna issues started rolling in.

Motorola is the only ones with the software to fix this problem. So, unless your wealthy, I would not attempt hacking into your Droid X and if you are, then please let us know what you find out.

Source: MyDroidWorld

*UPDATE* According to BGR, the eFuze chip might not be as bad as originally reported.

What are your thoughts about this? Is this true or a Motorola scare tactic? Leave your comments below.

About the Author

Alex Smith
I once served in the USMC from 02'-08' I purchased the G1 in 2008 and then watched the Android OS turn the mobile world upside down. I then got the Nexus One followed by the Samsung Vibrant. I also have the HD2 running Shubcraft CM6. I've been following the Android community for a while now and couldn't be happier doing anything else. "Go Green, get -C}[\][D[R[-][][D-"

  • zerofeel

    That’s smart of them. The ability to hack the original Moto was one of the reasons why the phone was so popular to many. They are going to lose a lot of sales if that is the case or someone will leak a fix to unbrick the device. Only time will tell.

    • Kenny

      Completely agree.

  • Not Stuart

    “the eFuse chip causes the phone to become useless, much like Steve Jobs after the iPhone 4 antenna issues started rolling in.”

    Ha!

    Yeah I’m definitely not buying a Motorola now. I wonder if the Droid 2 has the same eFuse, but frankly it doesn’t matter. If I buy something, I should be allowed to do whatever I want with it, barring illegal and unethical activity. Samsung you’re my current most likely purchase. HTC, I challenge you to come up with something better than the Galaxy S by November 5.

  • Not Stuart

    “the eFuse chip causes the phone to become useless, much like Steve Jobs after the iPhone 4 antenna issues started rolling in.”

    Ha!

    Yeah I’m definitely not buying a Motorola now. I wonder if the Droid 2 has the same eFuse, but frankly it doesn’t matter. If I buy something, I should be allowed to do whatever I want with it, barring illegal and unethical activity. Samsung you’re my current most likely purchase. HTC, I challenge you to come up with something better than the Galaxy S by November 5.

  • Not Stuart

    “the eFuse chip causes the phone to become useless, much like Steve Jobs after the iPhone 4 antenna issues started rolling in.”

    Ha!

    Yeah I’m definitely not buying a Motorola now. I wonder if the Droid 2 has the same eFuse, but frankly it doesn’t matter. If I buy something, I should be allowed to do whatever I want with it, barring illegal and unethical activity. Samsung you’re my current most likely purchase. HTC, I challenge you to come up with something better than the Galaxy S by November 5.

  • TeddyB

    The smartphone expert crowd…impossible to please…but never the less, not being able to be messed with is hardly a deal breaker. I a buy a phone for the features, not so i can mod it up like it’s an import and i pretend im vin diesel from fast and the furious. the phone alone is worthy to be top android device of all time (so far) with the specs. the only downside i see is the video quality compared to the captivate which obviously the difference is the lense.

  • TeddyB

    The smartphone expert crowd…impossible to please…but never the less, not being able to be messed with is hardly a deal breaker. I a buy a phone for the features, not so i can mod it up like it’s an import and i pretend im vin diesel from fast and the furious. the phone alone is worthy to be top android device of all time (so far) with the specs. the only downside i see is the video quality compared to the captivate which obviously the difference is the lense.

  • TeddyB

    The smartphone expert crowd…impossible to please…but never the less, not being able to be messed with is hardly a deal breaker. I a buy a phone for the features, not so i can mod it up like it’s an import and i pretend im vin diesel from fast and the furious. the phone alone is worthy to be top android device of all time (so far) with the specs. the only downside i see is the video quality compared to the captivate which obviously the difference is the lense.

  • Jeff Chappell

    this sounds a lot like the “chip smashers” the xbox 360 was rumored to contain. we’ll see what the rocket scientists at xda have to say once some of them get a hold of a droid x.

    it does make sense though with carriers increasingly trying to sell expensive tethering add-ons that they would want tighter security to keep us from obtaining it for free.

  • Jeff Chappell

    this sounds a lot like the “chip smashers” the xbox 360 was rumored to contain. we’ll see what the rocket scientists at xda have to say once some of them get a hold of a droid x.

    it does make sense though with carriers increasingly trying to sell expensive tethering add-ons that they would want tighter security to keep us from obtaining it for free.

  • Jeff Chappell

    this sounds a lot like the “chip smashers” the xbox 360 was rumored to contain. we’ll see what the rocket scientists at xda have to say once some of them get a hold of a droid x.

    it does make sense though with carriers increasingly trying to sell expensive tethering add-ons that they would want tighter security to keep us from obtaining it for free.

  • Mikhail

    Moto should be happy theu are not bankrupt and telling me what i cant do with my phone is Closed headset allience

  • Mikhail

    Moto should be happy theu are not bankrupt and telling me what i cant do with my phone is Closed headset allience

  • Mikhail

    Moto should be happy theu are not bankrupt and telling me what i cant do with my phone is Closed headset allience

  • PJE

    Amazing! For all of the attacks the iPhone has taken over the past 3 years, this is one thing Apple has never resorted to… BRICKING your phone to the point that it has to be returned to the manufacturer for repair. Well, for all of those Verizon fanboys out there, I hope this wakes you up to the realization that “the grass is not always greener…”

    • RockTripod

      You’re right. They didn’t do that. They did make a phone that can’t be unlocked through normal means, has to be hacked to install apps that Apple doesn’t approve, and re-locks and un-jailbreaks the device if the phone’s OS is updated. But you’re right, they didn’t make the phone into a brick. ALL HAIL APPLE!!

    • RockTripod

      You’re right. They didn’t do that. They did make a phone that can’t be unlocked through normal means, has to be hacked to install apps that Apple doesn’t approve, and re-locks and un-jailbreaks the device if the phone’s OS is updated. But you’re right, they didn’t make the phone into a brick. ALL HAIL APPLE!!

  • PJE

    Amazing! For all of the attacks the iPhone has taken over the past 3 years, this is one thing Apple has never resorted to… BRICKING your phone to the point that it has to be returned to the manufacturer for repair. Well, for all of those Verizon fanboys out there, I hope this wakes you up to the realization that “the grass is not always greener…”

  • PJE

    Amazing! For all of the attacks the iPhone has taken over the past 3 years, this is one thing Apple has never resorted to… BRICKING your phone to the point that it has to be returned to the manufacturer for repair. Well, for all of those Verizon fanboys out there, I hope this wakes you up to the realization that “the grass is not always greener…”

    • RockTripod

      You’re right. They didn’t do that. They did make a phone that can’t be unlocked through normal means, has to be hacked to install apps that Apple doesn’t approve, and re-locks and un-jailbreaks the device if the phone’s OS is updated. But you’re right, they didn’t make the phone into a brick. ALL HAIL APPLE!!

  • inow

    BOO YOU MOTOROLA.
    NO MONEY 4 YOU

  • inow

    BOO YOU MOTOROLA.
    NO MONEY 4 YOU

  • inow

    BOO YOU MOTOROLA.
    NO MONEY 4 YOU

  • Azon21

    Obviously people are not paying attention to the Samsung device enough. The Galaxy S series of phones are better, hands down. Looks at all the benchmark tests to prove it. Heck, look at the demos of Quake 2 and 3 running on the hummingbird versus the other processors. The Samsung is the one to buy, barring you pick a version that actually has an LED for the camera, why some don’t have them I am at a loss. Before you go jumping on the Droid bandwagon take a look at the hardware and take a look at the OS version and when Froyo will be on the device. Samsung is saying August for ALL Galaxy S series phones. Not to mention the fact that it has 16 GB BUILT-IN storage and a MicroSD slot, what are you getting on the Droid side. Not to mention HTC is rumored to have a 1.5 Ghz phone coming out with a better GPU and better battery life in their leaked line up for the fall. To all who are DroidFanBoys, you are almost just as bad as the iPhoneFanBoys, get over it and look at the real performance data and specs of a phone and buy based on the facts not so you can be the next groupy.

  • Azon21

    Obviously people are not paying attention to the Samsung device enough. The Galaxy S series of phones are better, hands down. Looks at all the benchmark tests to prove it. Heck, look at the demos of Quake 2 and 3 running on the hummingbird versus the other processors. The Samsung is the one to buy, barring you pick a version that actually has an LED for the camera, why some don’t have them I am at a loss. Before you go jumping on the Droid bandwagon take a look at the hardware and take a look at the OS version and when Froyo will be on the device. Samsung is saying August for ALL Galaxy S series phones. Not to mention the fact that it has 16 GB BUILT-IN storage and a MicroSD slot, what are you getting on the Droid side. Not to mention HTC is rumored to have a 1.5 Ghz phone coming out with a better GPU and better battery life in their leaked line up for the fall. To all who are DroidFanBoys, you are almost just as bad as the iPhoneFanBoys, get over it and look at the real performance data and specs of a phone and buy based on the facts not so you can be the next groupy.

  • Azon21

    Obviously people are not paying attention to the Samsung device enough. The Galaxy S series of phones are better, hands down. Looks at all the benchmark tests to prove it. Heck, look at the demos of Quake 2 and 3 running on the hummingbird versus the other processors. The Samsung is the one to buy, barring you pick a version that actually has an LED for the camera, why some don’t have them I am at a loss. Before you go jumping on the Droid bandwagon take a look at the hardware and take a look at the OS version and when Froyo will be on the device. Samsung is saying August for ALL Galaxy S series phones. Not to mention the fact that it has 16 GB BUILT-IN storage and a MicroSD slot, what are you getting on the Droid side. Not to mention HTC is rumored to have a 1.5 Ghz phone coming out with a better GPU and better battery life in their leaked line up for the fall. To all who are DroidFanBoys, you are almost just as bad as the iPhoneFanBoys, get over it and look at the real performance data and specs of a phone and buy based on the facts not so you can be the next groupy.

  • zerofeel

    That’s smart of them. The ability to hack the original Moto was one of the reasons why the phone was so popular to many. They are going to lose a lot of sales if that is the case or someone will leak a fix to unbrick the device. Only time will tell.

  • zerofeel

    That’s smart of them. The ability to hack the original Moto was one of the reasons why the phone was so popular to many. They are going to lose a lot of sales if that is the case or someone will leak a fix to unbrick the device. Only time will tell.

    • Kenny

      Completely agree.

    • Kenny

      Completely agree.

  • lou

    Motorola phones flat out suck, the droid was popular cause thats all verizon had at the time in its android device line up, had there been a varitey I doubt its popularity would be the same. Yea the specs on the Droid X are great but how is the quality of the manufactured product. I’ve seen motorola phones defect right out of the box. I would never…….ever buy a motorola android device no matter how many ghz its running. Galaxy S has already been rooted and it is the better device in my opinion. You guys that are considering the droid x might want to take a look at samsung’s product before you make a buying decision.

  • lou

    Motorola phones flat out suck, the droid was popular cause thats all verizon had at the time in its android device line up, had there been a varitey I doubt its popularity would be the same. Yea the specs on the Droid X are great but how is the quality of the manufactured product. I’ve seen motorola phones defect right out of the box. I would never…….ever buy a motorola android device no matter how many ghz its running. Galaxy S has already been rooted and it is the better device in my opinion. You guys that are considering the droid x might want to take a look at samsung’s product before you make a buying decision.

  • lou

    Motorola phones flat out suck, the droid was popular cause thats all verizon had at the time in its android device line up, had there been a varitey I doubt its popularity would be the same. Yea the specs on the Droid X are great but how is the quality of the manufactured product. I’ve seen motorola phones defect right out of the box. I would never…….ever buy a motorola android device no matter how many ghz its running. Galaxy S has already been rooted and it is the better device in my opinion. You guys that are considering the droid x might want to take a look at samsung’s product before you make a buying decision.

  • Linuxluver

    I won’t be buying a phone – any phone – with this technology in it.

    The vendors have a proven track record of leaving phone owners in the dust with respect to software updates. If it weren’t for the ability to continue to enhance our devices after vendors lose interest, I wouldn’t bother with Android at all. I may as well buy an iPhone.

  • Linuxluver

    I won’t be buying a phone – any phone – with this technology in it.

    The vendors have a proven track record of leaving phone owners in the dust with respect to software updates. If it weren’t for the ability to continue to enhance our devices after vendors lose interest, I wouldn’t bother with Android at all. I may as well buy an iPhone.

  • Linuxluver

    I won’t be buying a phone – any phone – with this technology in it.

    The vendors have a proven track record of leaving phone owners in the dust with respect to software updates. If it weren’t for the ability to continue to enhance our devices after vendors lose interest, I wouldn’t bother with Android at all. I may as well buy an iPhone.

  • Elitebattlefield

    Wow. So this is what it’s coming to. Where is your sense of adventure Motorola? This is more worse of an idea than two old people fucking (sorry for the language, but it comes across better that way). I think they are making a bad move. All you manufacturers should understand that the developing community keeps your devices afloat and maintained while you all work feverishly to bring us the next device. Not to mention the consumer. Look at the G1. Most T-mobile customers waited around to get the next gen Android device.

  • Elitebattlefield

    Wow. So this is what it’s coming to. Where is your sense of adventure Motorola? This is more worse of an idea than two old people fucking (sorry for the language, but it comes across better that way). I think they are making a bad move. All you manufacturers should understand that the developing community keeps your devices afloat and maintained while you all work feverishly to bring us the next device. Not to mention the consumer. Look at the G1. Most T-mobile customers waited around to get the next gen Android device.

  • Elitebattlefield

    Wow. So this is what it’s coming to. Where is your sense of adventure Motorola? This is more worse of an idea than two old people fucking (sorry for the language, but it comes across better that way). I think they are making a bad move. All you manufacturers should understand that the developing community keeps your devices afloat and maintained while you all work feverishly to bring us the next device. Not to mention the consumer. Look at the G1. Most T-mobile customers waited around to get the next gen Android device.

  • M C Ertem

    if Google had licensed Android under GPL and not Apache this would not have happened. And the Droid would not have been Tivoized!

    http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/11/why-google-chose-the-apache-software-license-over-gplv2.ars

    Sufficient reason for us not to order any Droid X’es.

    mce

  • M C Ertem

    if Google had licensed Android under GPL and not Apache this would not have happened. And the Droid would not have been Tivoized!

    http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/11/why-google-chose-the-apache-software-license-over-gplv2.ars

    Sufficient reason for us not to order any Droid X’es.

    mce

  • M C Ertem

    if Google had licensed Android under GPL and not Apache this would not have happened. And the Droid would not have been Tivoized!

    http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/11/why-google-chose-the-apache-software-license-over-gplv2.ars

    Sufficient reason for us not to order any Droid X’es.

    mce

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mykalaikontilai/ Mykalai Kontilai

    I would never…….ever buy a motorola android device no matter how many ghz its running. Galaxy S has already been rooted and it is the better device in my opinion.

  • http://odyssey-tours.com/ Italy Tours

    The eFuse chip causes the phone to become useless,I think this will be the minus point for the phone.

  • http://riflery1.php0h.com/mykalai-kontilai.html Mykalai Kontilai

    Obviously people are not paying attention to the Samsung device enough. The Galaxy S series of phones are better, hands down.

  • http://riflery1.php0h.com/mykalai-kontilai.html Mykalai Kontilai

    Obviously people are not paying attention to the Samsung device enough. The Galaxy S series of phones are better, hands down.

  • http://weblogs.jomc.unc.edu/talkingbiznews/?p=17690 Nightly Business Report

    Well my moto droid is the last motorola phone I will buy. Too bad, motorola has always been my favorite.Thanks

  • http://www.blindandshutterpro.net/wood-shutters.html Blind and Shutter

    Be careful, Motorola. The Droid was a hit, the Milestone was a flop. The difference (apart from the type of network supported, obviously)? A locked bootloader.

  • http://www.buymeprivate.com Buy Me Private

    interesting. although a big set back, i feel pretty optimistic in saying that it’s only a matter of time before we see a workaround. doing this only makes people work harder trying to deal get around it

  • http://odyssey-tours.com/rome-all-tours Rome Walking Tours

    interesting. although a big set back, i feel pretty optimistic in saying that it’s only a matter of time before we see a workaround. doing this only makes people work harder trying to deal get around it

  • http://www.debtmediators.com.au/ Debt

    The Motorola Droid X Could Brick Itself If Tampered With – can anyone please tell me,what does this really mean?

  • http://www.lead411.com/Harry_Direen_2036959.html Harry Direen

    The Samsung is the one to buy, barring you pick a version that actually has an LED for the camera, why some don’t have them I am at a loss. Before you go jumping on the Droid bandwagon take a look at the hardware..thanks for this nice post…

  • http://www.lead411.com/Joe_Eardley_3143292.html Joe Eardley

    Its was nice article, The Galaxy S series of phones are better, hands down. Looks at all the benchmark tests to prove it.thanks for sharing with us..

  • http://toyotapartshub.com/ toyota parts

    Well its nice The Droid X is fitted with this eFuse chip, and what this chip does is identifies the software for this device.thanks for shared this with us.

  • http://www.lead411.com/Peter_Stuart_2344317.html Peter Stuart

    The ability to hack the original Moto was one of the reasons why the phone was so popular to many…Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.gaiasaunas.com/about_infrared_energy.html GaiaSaunas.com

    Well its not attempt hacking into your Droid X and if you are, then please let us know what you find out…Thanks

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