Android devices running on Qualcomm processor have proven to be almost unbrickable. This is so because this guide has been tested and discovered not to be working on some Qualcomm devices, LG G series for instance. So, if you’re currently reading this, have some faith, it might just work for you. But don’t bother trying it on LG G series.
There’s a video guide at the end of this post to help you with unbricking your Qualcomm device.
Unbricking Qualcomm Android Devices
Step One: Analyzing the possible cause of the brick
In newer Qualcomm devices firmware (not the HLOS part, but NON-Hlos, SBL1, TZ, HYP, RPM, and Aboot), especially ARMv8-A, Qualcomm diminished the famous “Qualcomm HS-USB Diagnostics 9006”, and introduced two types of “Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008”.
So, before attempting to unbrick your Qualcomm device you need to figure out which 9008 mode your phone is in. This now brings us to
Step Two: Preparing your Computer
- Disconnect your PC’s internet connections and unplug your mobile device from the computer.
- Download and install the latest .net Framework on your Computer. Download here
- Uninstall all mobile related drivers, as well as any Qualcomm driver (if any). Uninstall from Device Manager first, then Program Manager.
- Alternatively, you can use REVOUninstaller to uninstall all driver related software, then use Device Remover to remove all device drivers.
- Now, run Command Prompt as Administrator and issue the follow commands followed by Enter button
bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON
- Reboot you computer, and it should now boot into test mode as shown in the screenshot below. (bottom-right of your screen)
- Download QualcommDrv.zip, extract to an empty folder, then open the folder according to your Windows type (x64 or x86) and double click dpinst64.exe or dpinst32.exe (depending on your Windows installation) to install the Qualcomm driver.
- Now connect your phone to the computer. It should now be detected as “Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008” and the driver version 188.8.131.52 (you can check in “Device Manager”).
Step Three: Possible cause of brick (brick type)
If you were just messing with system image, boot image, system’s framework or other things that does not relate to Qualcomm’s core files (modem-NON-HLOS.bin, aboot-emmc_appsboot.mbn, sbl1, hyp, tz, rpm partition, for example installing sound patch, etc, your device will enter the new 9008 mode, which is a combination of the old “Qualcomm HS-USB Diagnostics 9006” and “Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008”. Symptoms of this brick mode include:
- The LED charging indicator near the phone speaker will display red.
- Your phone will vibrate endlessly, and this vibration will end only if you disconnect the phone from your PC and remove the battery.
If Device Manager is launched, you’ll see “Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008” under PORTS (COM & LPT) or “QHUSB_BULK” under Other devices, and “Qualcomm MMC Storage USB Device” under Disk drives. See screenshot below
However, if your Mobile’s Qualcomm’s partition is messed up while playing around with NON-HLOS.bin, emmc_appsboot.mbn, sbl1.mbn, hyp.mbn, tz.mbn, rpm.mbn, or by other means, messing the whole Qualcomm’s eMMC partition, your device will most likely go into the OLD “Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008” mode. Symptons:
- The phone charging indicator would not light if you connect your mobile to Computer.
In Device Manager only “Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008” will be listed in PORTS (COM & LPT) or “QHUSB_BULK” in Other devices, but no “Qualcomm MMC Storage USB Device” in Disk drives. See screenshot below
If you are reading this, you need to have followed the procedure above to discover the exact cause of your device brick and the brick mode it is in: whether it is in the OLD ‘9008″ or NEW “9008” mode. This will help you proceed to the unbricking process below.
Step Four: Unbricking your Qualcomm device
For devices in NEW “Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008” MODE
If your device is in this mode, the unbrick process and steps is a whole lot easier. You need someone who has the same phone as you to backup and upload their device’s complete eMMC image for you. The device needs to have root access. Learn how to root here.
To get such image, you or your friend needs to do the following:
- Get an external MicroSD card with “exfat” system file, and the size of this SD card should be larger than 16 GB, which is the size of the whole partition.
- Do a complete factory reset on the phone. If a custom recovery is installed, use it to wipe data, cache, and internal storage.
- While the sdcard is in the phone, run the follow commands via adb
adb shell su dd if=/dev/block/mmcblk0 of=/storage/sdcard1/backup.img bs=512 count=30535646
The size of the backup.img is around 16 GB, However, if compressed would be about 2 GB.
- Download MiniTool Partition Wizard and HDD Raw Copy Tool.
- Copy the backup.img file to Computer
- Connect the Qualcomm device to Computer via USB cable and do not disconnect from here.
- Now launch MiniTool Partition Wizard and you should see a drive with about 29 partitions. See sample screenshot below
- Delete all 29 partitions and click Apply …wait for the process to complete.
- Once the process is complete, launch HDD Raw Copy Tool
- Now, select the backup.img and click Continue
- Select Qualcomm MMC Storage USB Device and click Continue
- Once in the next page, select everything, then click Start
Unfortunately, if you’re unable to get the backup.img file from anyone, you will need to force your device to enter the old Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008 mode. Read below to do this…
- Launch MiniTool Partition
- Delete all 29 partitions
- Click on Create Partition. Select Primary Partition and choose ext4 file system. Do not give this drive a name or label.
- Now click Apply and be patient for the process to complete
- Once complete, disconnect the phone from Computer and remove battery. Insert after a few seconds. Welcome to old Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008 mode.
Unbricking Devices in old Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008 mode
- Download QPST 2.7 build 422 (QFIL) and 8675_W00.zip
- Extract the QPST and double-click on setup.exe to install
- Extract 8675_W00 to a different folder
- Download your phone’s stock firmware. Should not be a zip file, but a flashable single firmware extension.
- It is assumed that you’ve already installed QFIL on your computer before reaching this step.
- Launch QFIL from programs or start menu
- Fill out QFIL options as follows:
The programmer will be prog_emmc_firehose_8936.mbn Use the rawprogram0.xml Use the patch0.xml
Note: all these files are contained in extracted 8675_W00 folder
- Now click on Download button.
The phone should automatically reboot itself once the flashing process is complete and enter into a bootloop.
- Disconnect the device from computer now
- Once it’s about booting up again press Volume up button while reconnecting to computer so as to put the device in Bootloader mode
- Open 8675_W00 folder now and double click FlashAll(AfterQFil).bat.
- Your phone should now reboot to its stock firmware and boot completely to system.
The SaharaDownload Fail related error can be fixed following the instructions below:
If such error keeps showing up, disconnect the device from PC (USB) and remove battery (if detachable) then re-insert and reconnect to PC.
If using non-detachable battery device, disconnect the phone from PC, wait a few seconds and reconnect.
Note: Do not waste too much time when connecting device to PC after clicking the firmware flash button in QPST.
Consider viewing the video tutorial below by Amar Gaikwad about unbricking Qualcomm devices. It’s 15 minutes in length and should help you in this process.