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DROID X Bootloader Locked, Custom ROMs Unlikely?

There has been a lot of behind the scenes chatter over the past few weeks on whether or not the new Droid X would come with a similar signed/locked/encrypted/sucky bootloader that has frustrated the Motorola Milestone crowd for a good 7 months now.  The answer?  It appears to be bad news.

One of our favorite Droid developers (same one that put together our clean FRF84b ROM), Stephen Bird (aka birdman), has had a chance to dig into the DX and is confirming that this beast is indeed on lockdown.

So what does that mean?  There is still a good chance that root access will be gained, but custom ROMs will be a whole other challenge.  Milestone developers have been attacking this encrypted bootloader for so long now and with so little success that it’s tough for our hopes to be set all that high.  At the same time, that’s 7 months worth of research done that can now be used by the U.S. crew of devs.  (Trying to stay positive here.)

Thoughts on the DX now?  Still interested in buying it?

Via: birdmanAndroid Police, AndroidFeens

  • just dropping by i enjoying reading your articles

  • Well I think i am not at all interested in this device for myself. But we have to remember that the Droid line is a mainstream device line, not just aimed at the hacking crowd..thanks for sharing with us…

  • This Is A Discussion On Droid X Bootloader Locked Custom ROMs Unlikely Within The Droid X News Forums Part Of The Droid X News Polls Category Droid Xs Have Been Floating Around For Quite Some Time..

  • Guest

    Well, i'm gonna buy it if it's worth it of course. But i already loved my PSP 😉

  • Guest

    Well, i'm gonna buy it if it's worth it of course. But i already loved my PSP 😉

  • Av1982

    I have always been a moto fan since the startac devices…. I'm so disgusted with moto right now…. They get a second chance at the game with the droid after near bankruptcy and now they are going to F it up cause of greed or whatever other reasons they have for locking the rom down… If they removed the restriction I would buy the phone but their image is still tarnished and I would think twice about buying moto again. It's very easy to lose customer loyalty. Come on MOTO!

  • Eskion3

    Motorola can go to hell, and I'll go to HTC

  • Dapimpx69

    Now i will just wait for the boot loader unlock to be released then purchase the X or wait for then next high end Android phone to be released with a simple boot loader unlock.

  • Camaros_Kill

    After all this hype and excitement, now we've learned that the Droid X is practically worthless…..

    • hardly worthless, mearly not worth much to the root/rom crowd, its still an amazing piece of hardware

      • Camaros_Kill

        A device coming out almost a year later than my Droid that cant do half of what my Droid can do is pretty worthless to me…

  • http://stevenbird.info/2010/07/10/the-droidx-se

    forget it, root is questionable at this point even

  • One aspect I LOVE about custom ROMs is that it has enabled a lot of older/abandoned hardware to get latest/greatest OS revs. The thought that my device is always capable of running the latest OS build that it meets the minimum hardware requirements for, regardless of what Moto or Google plans, is awesome. I don't want to buy a new phone every six months.

    One of the things that attracted me to the Droid was the bone stock UI. I knew this meant the possibility of easier and potentially quicker OS updates and (possibly) a longer period of official support.

  • To be completely honest, I stopped using custom ROMs a while back, and have instead opted for rooted stock images. Even the most stable of custom ROMs (Cyanogen, Bugless) are less stable than stock, and have features that I dislike. I've found that just being able to load rooted apps on a stock ROM meets most of my needs overall.

  • TheGoldenDroid

    I don't care what the argument or how many logical reasons that you give to say otherwise but having a rooted Droid is one of the best technological things that has ever happened to me. Ive read all the comments here and I must say that we all know what this comes down to and its money. They want us running out to buy a new phone every 6 months which is downright greed. And to be quite honest if this is the direction they are going in then Android will be no better than Apple in my eyes!

  • I guess I'll be sticking with my original Droid for quite some time… I generally want “root” on any device I own. The custom ROMs are awesome and will be hard to give up, but some point after my contract is up and Android 4.x units are out sporting quad core CPUs/GPUs, 12M cameras, 500Gb storage, etc, I'm sure I'll “know” it's time to upgrade. I'll at least want something rootable though

    It's kind of a shame, but the lockdown doesn't surprise me in the least, I'm surprised the free for all has gone on for so long. Really, it's been like a dream, IMHO. It's the reason I'm on Android.

    It reminds me of my PSP. I have a Sony PSP and for hacking the 1000 model (the original day one unit) is still the best device, for the most part. Eventually Sony locked that platform down so hard (encryption, entry into the firmware recovery system closed, motherboard revisions to lock things out, etc, the new units still haven't been hacked and they actually suffer for it (bricked devices can't be revived because the firmware recovery system is locked for example).

    It's kind of a shame, when something awesome for hackers and other “self empowered technologists” the megacorps always feel the need to lock it down, but to be honest, we almost always bring it on ourselves (like the dude who used the Linux install capability of the PS3 to do a proof concept that could be leveraged for piracy).

  • Im getting a Droid X on the 15th and I really dont care about rooting it at all. My droid now is rooted running custom roms and all that good stuff. If I really want a droid thats rooted and running roms I would just switch back.

  • We are a small community in regard to how many have sold. I'm willing to bet 98% of Droid buyers now and in the future have not and will never root their phone. Moto/Vzw will not care if they upset a minute percent of the buyers but wouldn't be surprised if they don't already know who is rooted and who is not…

    • which is sad because devs push innovation in the platform, and moto offers no dev phone, but all in all an excellent point.

  • Esper

    u can root but just no custom ROMs…. right? so ill atleast beable to make this phone tether so i dont have to pay that extra 20 bucks,right? and also over clock it,right???? im kinda new to all this so just want to make sure im getting this right….u can root but no ROMs… right????????????

    • that's my understanding… Although I'm a bit unclear on where the line is drawn myself. I'm pretty sure it's the “bootloader” that is locked not allowing custom ROM's, but you are still able to root the device.

    • “…..so ill atleast beable to make this phone tether so i dont have to pay that extra 20 bucks,right?”

      this is why bootloaders are being locked down, and root access is being made harder and harder to find. i wouldn't be surprised to see signed kernals next honestly. While having the option to do so is awesome, and its a huge draw, its logic like this that makes things cost more, and detracts from the real raw power of the dev. community. soon enough VZW and all carriers are gonna be able to differentiate the use of your phones data versus streamed data to another device and then if you arent paying that 20 dollars a month your gonna breach your contract, and that can get you sued, or your contract broken and dropped, this is a silly silly sticking point that we need to get over, it will not last, and we are all gonna suffer for it.

      imo. ofc.

  • Until that bootloader is hacked, I am not at all interested in this device for myself. But we have to remember that the Droid line is a mainstream device line, not just aimed at the hacking crowd. In that regard, I think this phone will be great for the masses of people who really don't mess with their devices much, and think that installing apps is the craziest, coolest thing since sliced bread. Little do they know… haha

  • well im super new to rooting… i watched my friend flash his moto droid… and i was hooked… was suppper pumped to get this droid x… and when i heard i wasnt going to be able root it… i was PISSSED… my question is…. you say its gonna be hard or impossible to root? cause this phone is legit…

  • digitalicecream

    I'm excited about this because after reading the posts below… I'm certain that there will be a few available on launch day for me to upgrade to…. Thanks everyone for changing your mind (and cancelling your orders)… I may get my X on day one after all…

  • digitalicecream

    IMO, If I choose to upgrade from my dInc it wont be because it can be rooted, its because I like the features stock…

    Don't get me wrong… I want it rooted. I guess I'm not as passionate as my fellow droid fanatics. It just means more folks will choose another manufacturers device if they want custom ROMS.

  • cdmoore74

    Yes, it sucks that custom roms are going to be very difficult but at this rate Verizon is releasing new flagship phones on a yearly basis. Towards the year of the year we can start seeing phones with 1280×760 displays and possible 2ghz processors making this phone mid to low end. Not everyone has a family plan but under it I can upgrade the primary line on a yearly basis and give the hand me downs to the wife. My primary plan is to upgrade once a year on Verizon and stay away from Apple/AT&T. I'm just surprised at how quick Google is updating the OS. I do hope for everyone's sake that Motorola updates the X to 3.0 when it comes out or if someone can crack the X. But I will still buy the X on release day. At least I won't burn time flashing roms every 2 to 3 days.

  • Damn… This news has really left me confused. I am a WinMo user who was waiting for the right device to come along to finally make my move to Android, and now I won't be able to customize the ROM? What kinda crap is that? I was totally loving the specs of the DX and couldn't wait to check it out in person to make my final decision. Now I'm not sure I will even bother… Really sucks!

  • 1lionmurrill

    I agree whith Chris Stivanelli 100% I can't wait to get my DX and I don't know the first thing about how to root a phone. This site seems to be taking a turn towards the more technical side. If that happens, they will lose that 90% of the people who couldn't care less about custom ROM. I'm not trying to dog your techies' hoby, I just don't think its a reason to not buy the their phones.

    Hey….just think of it as a techie challange. Dosen't that sound fun?

    • droidaholic

      i get what you're saying but i would say about 40% is unrooted. This site started off as the the best place to learn to root your droid and everything that comes with rooting. obviously the rooted portion of this site started Droid-life.com and all the viewers. theres plenty of other sites that cover just stock droid things.

  • 1lionmurrill

    All this fuss about custom ROM is hard to understand when you're not in to all that. I hope this site dose not become a geek site where all the conversations are about how to fix my custom phone that I just destroyed. I don't even know anyone outside the internet world that does this. Can someone please explain the benifits to rooting and ROM's. Do you get lower cell phone bills, you're apps open a lil faster, prevent dropped calls, what?

    • Banderberg

      The only “custom ROM” worth anything is CyanogenMod as it is built from source. All the others are just themed copies of motorola builds.

      • Mrpicolas

        Not true Sapphire and insane clean rom are completely build from source

  • jo

    i really want the droid 2 but a completely locked bootloader like in the milestone is a no-go for me! please moto, dont f#&! your customers!

    • they arent, they are trying not to [email protected] their pockets.
      sad but true.
      i said it all day, but here goes,have faith in the hack-munity

  • har0

    i refuse to upgrade from in the incredible until the droid x is rooted and custom roms are avail

  • Annoynimous

    I have mentioned this many many times in other forums few months back, the ONLY way to force Moto to unlock Milestone bootloader, which is the long lost distant brother of the beloved Droid, is to HIJACK and BOYCOTT all future Motorola devices (this means forums and blogs shouldn't glorify their devices). You guys must keep up with the news, Motorola reps said “If you want custom ROMS or open Android phones please buy a developer phone like Nexus One, thank you bye”. They practically spat Motorola customers in the face when they released the Milestone, and with such a bold statement, I expected a 150% chance all FUTURE motorola android phones will have a locked bootloader (this is thanks to the MASSIVE sales and support from the Milestone from which the hype created from the Droid has paid off in spades).

    • Great thought but it will never happen. No one ever sticks together for a common goal anymore, its all gimme gimme i want more no matter what.

  • DroidianMax

    GUys whats the point of a custom rom. In my opinion stock android stinks, yes the updates are much faster. but come one people….the guys with stock android have always tried to get SENSE UI on there phones. You can still overclock with root, just no custom rom…..umm who cares. Sense is way better and so is the new moto blur thingy on the droid x….

    • rockymtnhigh

      To me custom roms are not necessarily about themes, I basically use close to a stock theme anyway. Its the fact that you put a rom into the hands of somebody like Pete – and you get an extremely fast rom that is very stable. I run BB.4 and almost always have more than 50MB free memory; that rarely happens with stock.

      But yes, the fact that you can still root and OC makes it easier to take for me. But since verizon isn't supporting the Nexus, and Google does not seem to be pursuing a new version, there really is no option to go to a developer phone. So, I say Boo to Motorola.

  • sheldawg

    I loved my Droid when I first bought it. When I rooted it I wanted to marry it,lol. Imagine not being able to change your clothes (Un-rooted). Rooting is like being able to change your clothes to the style that fits you best. On July 15th a beautiful new Droid will make it's arrival on the scene. Un-rooted or Rooted It is hard to resists it's allure. I'm still under contract until next year, but I'm seriously thinking of buying at retail price. Not being able to root it is going to way a lot on that decision.

  • tom76

    No Custom ROM's = No DX … that's my opinion anyways…I think we should start a petition!!!

  • hickerbocker

    Ok, I just rooted my MotoDroid, should I unroot to get official Froyo? i have the FRF84B on it now . . . will i be able to get the official froyo update while i'm rooted, or will it screw up my phone when i try to update?

    sorry for the mass questioning… i'm new to the whole “root” thing.

    • never unroot, stay with the rom community, they do better that “official” channels lol

      • hickerbocker

        ok, cool. thanks!! 🙂 like i said, i'm really new to this (haven't even been rooted a week yet) and it's kinda confusing right now. hopefully it'll get easier the more i play around with ROMs and such.

        thanks again 🙂

        • your welcome, it will get easier, honestly rom manager premium and a good reading or two a day will help you keep the brick at bay lol

          • hickerbocker

            haha, thanks for the tip

        • Mrpicolas

          just remember to ask questions if your unsure better to be safe than sorry

          • hickerbocker

            yeah, i definitely will! thanks :o)

          • digitalicecream

            And that's exactly how you do it… custom roms = taking full responsibility else = stock OTA updates.

        • I honestly am not sure what more could come from the official Froyo than what you have on that build now, as long as it's a stable ROM. The kang-devs are super on the ball, nothing but love for them. JRummy has been my favorite for a while now. Just read VERY thoroughly and make back ups before changes.

    • rockymtnhigh

      Why? Don't you like running your phone faster than stock? Or having the flexibility room provides? Stay rooted.

    • Banderberg

      No. Wait for CyanogenMod 6.0 and get that.. it will be better than anything from Motorola.

  • Chip Chipperson

    If this phone is as popular everyone is suspecting its only a matter of time until a vulnerability in the bootloader is discovered,

    I say, we need to get together and pull Goerge GEOHOT hotz over to the darkside, im sure he would be up to it, he is always down for a challenge (he cracked PS3) and Im sure is sick and tired of the iPhone now too..

    For me As long as I can ROOT Im good to go for now…

  • I'll Stick With My Motorola Droid 1 Rooted With BBV0.4 =)

  • side note, just clicked on the “via” birdman link, and saw the tweet that informed me of this sad event, so early this morning, and saw my name, man did i feel important! that is all. shameless plug over.

  • Wow…my interest just dropped to zero…here that everyone…we don't want phones that we can't put custom roms on…quit this crap.

    • digitalicecream

      Nice! One less person standing in front of me for a Droid X.

  • Here's the deal: 90% of the people that are pumped to buy the DX (myself included) don't have any clue exactly how to “root” a phone. It was never anything that was of much interest to me. I understand you guys know WAY more about phone operating systems than I do, but for now, I see no problem with the “ordinary Joe” having an “unrootable” phone. But, be ready; once a company starts initiating a way to further protect it's products (from rooting, etc.) it wil NEVER go back. Sooner or later, you're gonna crack and buy an “unrootable” phone…that is unless you want to be sitting on the sidelines using the first Droid when the Droid 14's about to hit the shelves…

    • Balthazar B

      Probably closer to 98%…

    • A bit off topic but it's a lot like EA video games.

    • 1lionmurrill

      I agree whith Chris Stivanelli 100% I can't wait to get my DX and I don't know the first thing about how to root a phone. This site seems to be taking a turn towards the more technical side. If that happens, they will lose that 90% of the people who couldn't care less about custom ROM. I'm not trying to dog your techies' hoby, I just don't think its a reason to not buy the their phones.

      Hey….just think of it as a techie challange. Dosen't that sound fun?

    • EC8CH

      It's actually more likely that a crack will be found for whatever encryption is used. No phone is unrootable.

  • Will only get a Droid X if it has CyanogenMod on it… Seems like that isn't going to happen now, so I'm out. Long live original Droid!

    • moto > samsung imo, all the galaxy class phones are tech beasts, but really really gross looking.

  • With Phones currently in circulation…what if Moto/Verizon decide to start shipping out original Droids with alternate bootloaders. Try not to break ur Droid…don't be surprised when a replacement Droid has that same encrypted bootloader! =O

  • I bet Motorola/Verizon would allow you to load custom ROMs on the DX if you paid them an extra $29.99/mo. =P

    • SHHH they might hear you and my bill is big enough! ^.^, go hack-munity go.

    • Tracy Wilborn

      Just like everything else from big red.

  • 1lionmurrill

    who cares, just give me my DX, keep the upgrades coming, make better phones, and in a year or so I will by another one.

  • scottholstein

    After rooting and customizing my phone, I am no longer interested in owning anything that cannot be rooted. If I were still living stock and didn't know what I was missing, it wouldn't matter. I would buy this device because of the large screen and speed. Now that I know what I would be missing without root access, I would not buy it if I can't install custom Roms. When I get bored of my device, I redo it as I please…that keeps it newer longer to me. No X here. I am still very proud to own the one that started it all….DROOOIIID!

    • droidaholic

      couldnt have said it better

  • Michael_NM

    Is there a risk that the upcoming Froyo OTA update could lock down our Droid classics? Apologies if the answer is obvious…

    • thank god ota is shut down on most custom roms, and further i think the community is smart enough to look before we leap.

      • Michael_NM

        What about folks who haven't yet rooted, and installed a custom rom? Is there potentially enough risk of a locked BL in 2.2 to root now, or risk never being able to do so? Hope that makes sense…

        • i was unaware you could flash custom roms w/o root, so im confused……sorry

          • Michael_NM

            Sorry for the confusion. I'm sure you can't flash custom roms w/o root. Let's see if I can clear up my concerns.

            I'm not rooted. I've been waiting for the 2.2 OTA thinking that I would finally make my rooting decision after that. I am concerned that the update may be locked and that I'll no longer have the option. Should I be worried about this?

          • i thought i got the edit off before anyone read it, lol. Your wording was odd, so i misread it, my edited response reflects my answer, in short, i have no idea.

          • Michael_NM

            Ditto!!! 😛

          • Im going to go with no, as of now there still isnt any real way to root 2.1, so the current work around is to install a alternate recovery, or to downgrade to 2.0.1, I don't imagine installing 2.2 ota is going to change this work around, especially the alternate recovery one.

          • Michael_NM

            Thanks Mike T., that makes sense. BTW, my last initial is also T. 🙂

  • danshipiro

    I think people are really being unreasonable about this. This movement will be happening on most all future phones. The reason is because of the warranty & repair cost they're faced with.

    • Balthazar B


      With all due respect, I'll betcha the development, QA, and maintenance of an encrypted bootloader costs more than any (theoretical) warranty and repair cost. Hell, they almost certainly lost a lot more in shipping mishaps from their factories.

      No, the issue is one of control and preserving the money making machine. If someone tells you otherwise, they're playing you for a chump.

      • digitalicecream

        Balthazar you're right, its about controlling the costs of business. I'm certain you don't know anyone who's bricked their phone… but that doesn't mean it hasnt happened. Moto (or anyone else for that matter) doesn't support the custom ROM scene. They never did, and I highly doubt they ever will. Warranty and repair cost (and frauded warranty claims) are real. And the next time a custom ROM dev replaces your phone I'll buy them a beer (ok but just once.. lets not make this a habit)…

        But lets be honest ok? the phone is yours to use, the software is open source but the hardware wasn't designed to be modified to the extent that it has been. I think its awesome to be a part of this community, but its not a requirement to have the phone. It's all cookie.

        That said, me want cookie.

      • danshipiro

        I will agree with you on preserving the money making machine. The sole reason isn't because of repair costs, my bad for making it sound that way. On Moto's defense here, why would they want to allow this? As a (smart) consumer being able to have custom Roms and whatnot is fun and handy. However as a company its smarter to lock users away from this. The obvious being problems that can occur. In the world of electronics most manufactures do not like the idea of some random guy toying with their software and hardware, its common and smart business practice to allow users to do what is designed and in the limitations of the device at hand.

  • Curtishockey889

    I trust in the community to overcome, and is there anyway to remove/replace a bootloader????

    • digitalicecream

      it can be done, but its not easy and that's what the manu. is counting on.

  • Maizekid

    This is why I will stay with the Droid

  • molivas37

    I will still be picking up the DX. I absolutely love the power of my Droid 1 and have no doubt that DX will exentually have Custom Rom capability!!!

  • This makes me want to buy an extra moto-droid and keep it as a backup…

  • I hope they unlock the boot loader may help us milestone owners. Have any of the other recent motos had the boot loader locked? Is it gonna be standard practice now?

    • moto said it was gonna lock all further BL's, the x is evidence of it, so, sadly, yes…..i believe so.

  • nkhex19


  • The_Other_Ray

    I wouldn't worry too much. There will always be someone smarter out there that will crack it.

  • Kregstrong

    im not buying it now, will maybe wait for the fascinate, sad day

    • digitalicecream

      Woot! that's two people not standing in my line… my day is looking brighter…

  • andrew401

    what these companies should do is come out with two versions. 1. developer version with no warranty ( that will come unlocked and hey if you brick it well that's your problem ) 2. a regular consumer version that can infact come with a warranty but is totally locked down like this device. I don't get why they want to take this away from us? This is basically 75% of the friggin reason i love Android sooo much. I know I speak for A LOT more people then myself also. COMMON MOTOROLA WAKE UP YOUR GOING TO LOOSE A LOT OF CUSTOMERS OVER SOMETHING THIS DUMB!!!!

    • eddieonofre

      I guess they may be keeping the Droid (and hopefully the Droid 2) for rooting since they have anyway the stock android, but since the Droid X has its motoblur I think they wanna keep it that way.

      • andrew401

        nah man totally not true what you just said. first of all the x does not have motoblur. second the droid2 has the same exact software as the droid x does. i have played with both of them since i have a friend who tested all test roms and new phones for verizon well before they come out. it is not blur on them it is just a launcher. i have played with both of them personally and they are basically the same exact phone

        • eddieonofre

          Then it really sucks… I'm gonna stay with with my moto droid til the end
          of his life

    • Balthazar B

      See Josh Wendt's note above explaining why this will never happen. It's silly to think Moto and VzW are doing this to protect the consumer. 🙂

      And if all mfrs and carriers go this route — and I'll be amazed if they're not all on board by the end of the year — there'll be nowhere else for their paying customers to go.

  • It would be nice just to replace their bootlogger and go on if possible

  • My thoughts are if I am not going to be able to do custom roms, I am going to wait either for the Droid X to be hacked, or until a new phone comes out. (possibly 2ghz) I really have all I need on my Droid now. I am writing this post from my laptop using Ubutnu and Azlink tethering now! What more do I need?

  • You should put a poll on your site asking since the Droid X isn't going to be rootable, will you still buy it? I am curious to see how many people won't buy it just for that reason.

  • Droidmanx

    This isnt a game changer for me because part of the reason we use custom roms is to EMULATE the newest software upgrades, and maybe changing the colors around. but when the 2.2 rom comes out there we will all have the best software update out.as long as root access comes eventually we will be fine.

    • digitalicecream

      Well said.

  • AnDroidSepTIX

    Well guess we can go ahead and shut down DROIDX-LIFE.COM there will be no need for that. Just found new appreciation for good ole DROID.

  • Dmarriott93

    as someone who doesnt think they need the physical keyboard and havent switched my rom from the time i rooted it until now (rooted to bugless and haven't downloaded anything new or even updated it since), do i splurge on this and spend the 600? I actually only use root access to overclock to 800 mhz and for 2.2, but the DX is faster than that anyway and will have 2.2 by the end of the summer. i might sell the DX if i get one around holiday time to chip in towards a super droid, but i might not.

    PS it is actually impossible to comment on here from our Droids

    • lakerzz

      Go to diqus.com (from you're Droid) and log in from there….that will work. (I thought the same thing 'til Cris Nimon “schooled” me….thanx aggain Cris)

      • Chris Nimon

        thanks for the shout out man but its not necesary, just keep passing on what you know to the person who needs it. thats what this site is all about. 🙂

  • timarnette

    This really Sucks!!!!

  • DroidFan

    well…….thanks for the bad news kellex!.lol
    I might still get it, but i am not as excited as I was 10 mins ago. I love making the phone preform better than that of stock…..its sad to say but I might just wait now.

  • Lethalprophet

    I don't understand the point of putting out a device with an open source OS, then locking down the ability to take full advantage of it. This has most definitely affected my decision to buy one the day my upgrade comes around (in early September). If there is even a single custom ROM available by then, then I will def still buy it. If not….then I'm not sure at this point what I'll do.
    This is a major blow to the hype around a device that isn't even launched yet but still has a huge following. I'm sorry – how exactly does developing, distributing and installing custom ROMs on devices that we pay for on a service that we pay for affect the bottom line of either Verizon or Motorolla? Not one single ROM I've installed has made either my wireless service or my device cost any less…It's crap like this that makes me remember why I hate Motorolla (though of course, I do love my Droid…)

    • 3 words are the prevailing idea behind it

      free wireless tether. verizon is furious about the mere i dea of it, as they really fear huge huge impact not only to revenue, but data strain, at least thats my understanding.

      • andrew401

        no what you just said is not true what so ever. you do not need a custom ROM to tether. as long as you have root access you can in fact tether for free. this phone WILL get rooted no doubt about it but what they are doubting is if a custom recovery image will be able to get flashed onto it so we can get some custom ROMs.

        • What Motorola and Verizon might have done though, is made the wireless tether app and others like it not work on the kernel that is already on it. Just a thought.

          • So so true! The original Droid kernel doesn't support WiFi tethering, even with root access!

    • Balthazar B

      It's not a matter of logic (or moral purity); the rationale is driven purely by money. Moto and VzW are doing this eyes wide open, and don't be surprised if TMo, ATT, and Sprint (plus HTC and Samsung) follow suit.

      Overseas carriers may be another story, but I fear the temptation will be too strong for them to try the same thing for the same reasons.

    • digitalicecream

      It's because you've been lucky at flashing your rom. what about the hundred of folks who file fraudulent claims to get a replacement phone when they brick it? Or worse…

  • BadPlasmid

    Well, I guess I won't be getting the X any time soon. I hope MOT doesn't continue down this path. I love my Droid, love Motorola hardware, but I will not hesitate to jump to HTC if this is how it's going to be.

    • Balthazar B

      What will you do if HTC does the same thing (for the same reasons)?

  • nkhex19

    The Moto Droid has so many Devs making ROM's I will be sticking with it for awhile. I am really hoping they don't lock down the bootloader on the Droid 2.

  • Just cancelled my order.

    • digitalicecream


  • Zalyia38

    Nope, won't buy it if we can't do what we want with it.

  • .46caliber

    As an ATT customer, switching to Verizon on the 15th, things are still better with Droid X than with any ATT offering. We can speculate all day about why the BL is locked. Big picture, it's still a phenomenal phone. You're not locked to Android Market apps. I think it is a much better piece of hardware than the EVO, so as far as my knowledge of current Android phones, this is the biggest and badest, even with the locked BL that with time and effort can be cracked.

    • Balthazar B

      If you don't mind the GS, you can always root the Captivate, customize it to your heart's content, and get rid of all the ATT bloatware. In my case, I'll be able to keep my nicely discounted unlimited data plan if I go that route (oh, and have an unlocked “world phone” for when I'm in Europe). ATT voice/data service is actually very good where I live/work, better even than Verizon in several local areas.

    • DroidFan

      im sure with time it could be cracked……but im not willing to wait 7+ months like the milestone. But I am glad to see you getting away from I*hone country and coming to Droid nation.

  • T_Droid

    I probably wasn't going to get the X anyway but now I'm saddened by the fact we may never enjoy the raw power of rom's again.

  • Well for the most part of roms is color which in my mind should of been standard without rooting but certain programs and speed and launchers and unlocking the death grip of carriers this is where it will hurt so I'm gonna remain hopeful

  • Drew8603

    I think I will still buy the phone. Where there is a will there is way. I know that people have been working at the Milestone's boot for a while, and they will crack it eventually. The same goes here, and if Motorola has encrypted the bootloader on the X in the same way, then it's a win for us.

  • thedonxr

    That makes me sad 🙁 I hope they don't do the same for the Droid 2, Customizing is awesome and so are all the perks that you can have when you root. I don't think I can ever go back to an un-rooted Droid. So I'll be waiting…

    • andrew401

      sorry to break it to you but the droid x is basically the exact same thing as the droid x. i know this for a fact because i have connections that test out test ROMs and test devices before release and had the chance to play with both of them already and got the low down on them. this really pisses me off tho we pay good money for these and who are they to tell us we can't load another ROM onto it f*ck verizon

      • digitalicecream

        LOL> who are they? they're the ones who MAKE the phone < LOL Hey man.. get yourself a RAZR

  • Lee

    There are many that would not care about such a thing.

    However switching from rom to rom has become a very big part of MY Droid experience. If I were not able to continue doing this it would take away much of the enjoyment that I have with it. And if you take away too much of the enjoyment it will affect future phone purchase decisions.

    I look forward to a new powerhouse Droid in the future, but can without reservation say that I MUST be able to enjoy the freedom that my present Droid offers. Or that purchase will not be made.

    • digitalicecream

      Your solution is to go non-motorola, for now…

  • Epell

    “Droid Does….NOT!” (I have been thinking that ever since I found out that DX bootloader is signed)

    Already looking into already rooted Galaxy S phones.
    I bet the quadrant score for Fanscinate will be a lot higher if it weren't for that TouchWiz nonsense.
    I also bet 1Ghz processors can overclock to 1.2Ghz no problem 😛

    Result: Fascinate+1.2Ghz custom ROM=much faster device than DX.

    Yeah, I can live without LED flash or noise cancellation for next two years 😛 and I like smaller devices anyway.

    • Chris Nimon

      that thing does sound like a beast from hell.

    • Balthazar B

      The locked bootloader is not a game changer for me, but it does have me thinking more seriously about the GS Captivate (I'm an iPhone refugee and can carry over my unlimited data contract with ATT with some discounts). The GS should be rootable, which would give me the option for using prepaid SIMs in Europe instead of ATT's roaming fees during travel there. If I think the SAMOLED screen is equivalent to or better than the DX's, that may well be the clincher.

    • ??

      Yeah…have fun with that. Samsung is well known for their crappy hardware.

  • no expectations of seeing that BL cracked, but i love the phone too much to quit now. do i have some hope it will be, yes, because i really think that the community will never back down, but again, it could just be my optimism in face of this shitty news, and while i understand the impetus to lock these BL's i dont understand why motorola would make it impossible for digitally signing 3rd party roms, why not legitimize a booming lively market? start charing and taxing these devsa amazing work via the market and cash in, everybody wins.

  • Chris Nimon

    hmmm, that may be a game changer for me. I change themes more than i change my skivvies. 😉

  • Diesel

    Nothing is un-hackable. If you believe that then, I have some ocean front property for sale in Idaho.

  • CyberPete

    Not to be a buzz-kill or anything, but complaining that the bootloader is locked on a phone is like complaining that you can't replace the BIOS on your PC. Think of the problems and even potential liability that the manufacturers would have if the basic and fundamental firmware that runs your phone were wide open? Everyone and their grandmothers would be returning to the store every time they loaded a bad image. Imagine what a nightmare OTAs would be! This is a gift that has been given to us by some clever folks that have beaten the system, and we all (should) understand the risks involved with rooting and installing customized firmware and software on our beloved devices. Google has given us an extremely rich set of APIs – they're the first in the industry that have done it right. I too would be hesitant to buy a phone that could not be rooted and customized, but I certainly don't fault them for locking down the basic phone operations. Just my $0.02…

    • RW-1

      Ahh, but you can replace the BIOS on your PC, its called flashing. Not only one's PC, but most wi fi routers as well. So your argument is invalid.

      Those who don't even know about a rom likely wont attempt it. Those of us who do have a wonderful group community that can tackle any issues hat arise, 90% of the time those newb's who believe they have bricked their phone HAVE NOT and have been recovered.

      Furthermore, the arguement is invalid because of history, up to now there have not been locked bootloaders (US, yes I know about the milestone). So the move is motivated by $$$ not necessarily the reasons you have listed.

      • CyberPete

        I like your arguments, however until recently routers were also locked. Linksys was really first to “open” the router to firmware replacement when they decided to flash linux. Most other routers have to be “tricked” into booting telnet when powering on, connected to a PC. Once you get access at that level, you can certainly flash anything you want into the router. The beauty of Linksys is that they have given a complete roadmap to the entire hardware interface. Every other router required disassembling the code and reverse engineering the calls. A PC BIOS is even more difficult. There is very little hardware interface documentation on the huge number of motherboards available.
        I agree that $$ is the motivation, and there are certainly other ways for verizon to ensure that you are not using more data than they think your unlimited data plan should use. 😉 But I disagree with you and think that if it is made really easy to apply custom ROM, then the “normal” people will flash them, and will not have the ability to undo a bad situation.

        • Solar Echo

          The whole issue at hand, though, has more to do with a company feeling like it can control the way a person uses a phone — or anything, be it phone, TV, car, bicycle, toaster, whatever — after they purchase it. If you consider only changing the recovery partition/boot loader, it can be argued that such a thing wouldn't effect your cell reception or the service you get / use from VZW, so I don't feel that even they should have a say in this.

          I don't know that “normal” people would go around flashing ROMs, even if it was easy. It's relatively easy to change various parts of a car — at the very least it can be said that the process by which to modify a car is well documented — but most “normal” people aren't out there customizing their autos.

    • Ignitros

      I'm on the fence at this point. I think I'll hang onto my Moto Droid for awhile longer and see what comes down the pipe…. (maybe that 2ghz monster?)

      I feel that Moto/VZW should make it hard to root/hack bootloader but not impossible. Discourage the people who refuse to read the forums and inform themselves about the correct processes so they are less likely to take the plunge while still rewarding the people who invest the time to inform themselves and are aware of the risks involved while allowing them to customize their phone ie: make it their “own” phone and not some designers idea of what the phone should be.

      I won't buy another phone till I am able to do so with it as I please…. unless there are no other phones available with the abilities provided me by my beloved Moto Droid!

      • i garentuee you its not going to be impossible to Root the phone. The Milestone was locked down, and its been rooted, and 90% of the “Droid” Roms will work on the milestone.

        • Ignitros

          I guess what I meant to say was enable access to the bootloader. I'm sure root will be gained but in order to have custom ROM's you need to be able to unlock the bootloader if I remember correctly. I love the custom ROM's available for my Moto Droid so I would find it VERY hard to relenquish that ability just to get the latest and greatest.

      • I don't think Verizon or Motorola care wether someone is part of the “informed crowd” or not. Ultimately, all they care about is the money they lose when someone returns a “broken” phone. If even one person returns a phone, they're losing money…
        I mean, I DO see their point, as well…if I go spend $40,000 on a new truck (a lot more than the cost of a cell phone) and I mod the engine and throw a rod, the truck manufacturer isn't going to replace my engine. Their engineers designed the engine a specific way, not only for safety, but functionality. When I knowingly altered the design, that was on me. Maybe they're just trying to “protect you from yourselves…”
        I'm not knocking what you guys do. Everyone has their hobbies/passions, but it is a little disappointing knowing a lot of you are going to miss out on an impressive piece of technology simply because it's “tamper proof”…

    • Z__

      No, it's not. It's like buying a Windows PC and finding out you can't run anything but the same copy of Windows that came preinstalled on it.

  • Very bad news!!! I was looking forward to the seeing the numbers on an overclocked DX!!! One cool thing about this is…it proves I still have the best phone!!! OG DROID!!!

  • Getting the phone going to love it for the first three months. Rooting will help, but honestly if we cannot at least get the messy custom rom job HE HE, the milestone has i will definately grow bored with it. Will have to get a new phone again in one year or sooner if cant wait.

  • Guys, unrelated. I live in Western MA, about an hour and a half from Boston. My boy and I were gonna drive there this morning and wait on the clue, but decided to wait and see if they tweeted before we left.

    Then the clue came, I googled “live lobster boston ma” and the only retail shop that came up was James Hook and Company.(Where it ended up being found.)

    We left right away.

    I was 15-20 minutes from the spot when I got the tweet that someone had found it.

    I just got home.


  • ericsorensen

    That's too bad. I'm still getting one on Thursday. I'm fairly sure someone will crack this phone – probably after the big 2.2 update. I wonder what their motivation was in locking it down? Pressure from Verizon, maybe? Warranty costs from cracked Droids?

    It seems like they would want to distance themselves from the Apple walled garden mentality. As long as I can root the phone for full control of their installed operating system – I need free wifi tethering and full use of the HDMI out, for example. I still think this is the phone to get at this moment. Have you seen those quadrant scores w/2.1? And that big-ass screen will be very welcome. I can't wait – and I hope those smarter than myself will take the time to try to fix this bootloader issue.

  • rockymtnhigh

    Serious bummer.

  • Nicknacc

    I'm going to be pissed if the new Droids will be locked as well.

    • Balthazar B

      Count on it.

  • kizzle

    So now my option is… get the Droid Incredible, or wait for the phones in the holiday seasons towards Ocotoberish… any help? The droid2 is not my style.. too.. curvish..

  • Wasn't gunna upgrade, but now if i have to it wont be to this. :-/

  • Picodroid

    Bad news, but custom ROMs aren't a must any more. Tons of customization can be done with apps now.

    • djsbears85

      Im sorry but there is no way that you can customize as much as you can with roms

  • WhereIsTony

    I'd be shocked if the droid 2 was not also locked.

  • I will state this: The phone will be rooted, it will have roms.

    • kellex

      Oh Wade. People have reason to be nervous. Hello Milestone. 😛

    • ericsorensen

      That's the right attitude!

  • Rooting and custom ROM's has built lots of communities online and has built a huge support for these companies. Now, they're trying to alienate us with this garbage. Sad, sad, sad.

    • QFT

    • kellex

      Yeah I'm not sure I totally understand their reasoning for this. We all understand the risks.

      • Even if people don't know the risks and somehow screw up their phones, the communities (D-L!!!) are always here to help! 😉

      • They do it for financial reasons. The carrier doesn't want people using their networks in ways they do not approve of. They also don't want fraudulent insurance claims filed by people who ruin their phones then claim they were lost or stolen. The manufacturer probably doesnt like it because overclocking and custom ROMs allow people to upgrade and go longer in between new phone purchases which would hurt Motorola's bottom line. We have a nice little community but the key word is little. If we made up a majority of the buyers then they would care about us but as of now we are just a vocal minority.

        • BriDav12

          I hate to say it, but you are right. When the DI was in the process of being rooted, numerous people posted that they had bricked their phones and fraudulently ordered (sometimes multiple) replacements through insurance. I am sure that such posts are not lost on the carriers, as well as the manufacturers who don't want their products to appear faulty. I do think that carriers have too much sway in the U.S., though I realize that Motorola may have locked down the X's BL completely on their own. Bummed to hear that Google won't be making an N2

          • Tyler

            So the obvious solution seems to be, make it super easy to root like the moto droid and people won't brick their phones and they have nothing to worry about…

          • digitalicecream

            Wow Tyler way to miss the point. The obvious solution is; don't root the phone and if you do > deal with the consequences of a bricked phone. Don't file fraudulent claims that raise the costs of the device and the insurance for the rest of us. Way to be oblivious.

          • Bob

            the cost of the device is set long before anyone buys it. it's set my manufacturing cost, advertising.. etc etc.. not by future claims.

          • Singularity2030

            Yes, because the cost of dealing with repairs and replacements doesn't come from the revenue from the phones right? Your remark is just silly. Operating budgets and every cost in the company are factored in to the revenue stream.

          • Epell

            how about “sell refurbished phones”? I mean, aren't all bricked phones just working hardware with messed up software? Just flash in the stock ROM and sell them at a bit cheaper price.
            I bet people will buy that. I'll buy it anyway.

      • digitalicecream

        kellex, you also made a very good point. We all understand the risks… but when we brick our phones are we also going out and paying full price for a replacement?

      • true thats why they should make us sign a waiver that states if you choose to root or alter the device and damage it in any way you will be held responsible and have to purchase the next device outright at full price

    • This is highly upsetting we pay hundreds of dollars for these phones and they limit us on what we can do with them I'm stickin with the moto droid. MD 😎 DX. 8-(

      • My Iria

        Hey, it could be worse. Could be an iPhone … 🙂

      • digitalicecream

        You pay hundreds of dollars for the phone that has endless possibilities but was not designed to be hacked…. Are you upset with Microsoft and Sony also because they dont let you hack their machines?

        • Solar Echo

          Yes, actually, I am. I read an article that was related to SNES ROM hacking a few days ago, and there was a quote in there that I'm going to attempt to paraphrase:

          Being able to write code for, and modify a device that you have purchased should be an inalienable right.

          It's this very reason why I hate the iPhone so much; you're effectively just using the device on lease from Apple, even if you've purchased it outright.

          I understand that they might not want to give away the source code of proprietary things — such as Motorola code that they have written, because that can be considered a trade secret — but once you purchase the device you should have the option, without hacks, to be able to remove any and all software that is already on the device.

          • digitalicecream

            Solar Echo you nailed it… once you buy it you should be able to edit it, without hacks. I'm with you 110%. You made my point in a way that I couldn't. Thanks for that!

    • timarnette

      Tim I need some help. My ROM manager is telling me I must up grade to the latest version. I have the latest version. Do you have any idea. Thanks, Tim

      • Mrpicolas

        Just uninstaand reinstall

      • Flyinion

        Is it telling you to upgrade ROM Manager, or is it telling you a new version of Clockwork is available and you just haven't flashed it yet? I've never had it tell me a new ROM Manager is available but it tells me all the time when a new version of clockwork is released.

    • Annoynimous

      Many don't realize and take for granted the freedom we get with custom ROMS, the Milestone has huge bugs like the default android music player bug or bluetooth headset bug which has been plaguing the past 7 months. A simple switch of the ROM would have fix these problems long ago, but no…. we leave Motorola to take their own sweet time to release their own updates which until today, has not happened, because they are spending all their resources to market the Droid X and Droid 2 and will rather sell you a new phone than fix your old one. Motorola doesn't even have a proper support forum for the Milestone, they do not read nor respond in the official forums. Please sit down and think about this situation that will replay itself again in the coming months…

      • digitalicecream

        Or… demand a refund, or… don't buy the product. Be a smart consumer instead.

  • djsbears85

    Well it since I am getting this for my wife I am not too worried she doesnt care about rooting and roms. But it is a shame that they are locking it down like this. I wonder if they are going to do this with the droid 2 also?

  • mate

    Maybe the Samsung Droid Fascinate will be a better alternative…

  • EC8CH

    Why buy a phone you can't own?

    Encrypted bootloader = FAIL

    • digitalicecream

      What? lol. Encrypted bootloader = WIN… just not for you.

      • EC8CH

        You seem to be finding a lot of pleasure out of the fact that the X's bootloader is encrypted. If you don't want to root your own phone and install custom roms that is fine with me, but taking pleasure in the fact that other's won't be able to makes you come across as a dink… have fun with that.

        • digitalicecream

          I actually am… thanks for pointing that out. Whatever you choose to think of me is as irrelevant as the bootloader being locked. I guess I'm hurt, for now.. but give me a minute and I'll get past it.

          • Littlelittle

            Who really cares? Besides, Motorola can detect when a phone has been tampered with and broken because of it. We wouldn't need custom roms if Motorola already built in the features that make people want custom roms. One of the reasons is that they allow you to theme your phone. Another is that allow you to remove apps on your phone that you don't want or need. Why are you so obviously against custom roms? No one is forcing you to get one and it is very difficult to truly brick an android device since there are ways to use an sbf and reset your rom. Custom roms also can allow users to get software updated much quicker. On my Droid, I've had froyo for like a month and Motorola hasn't even updated it yet. As far as wireless tethering and Verizon's stance on it, I doubt they have any issues considering the fact that tethering is already built into android phones. Check out a YouTube video of the nexus running the official update to android 2.2
            Under the settings, USB tethering can be enabled without hacking the device. Anyway, as long as you have the unlimited data plan, why would they care if you tether? Your phone and laptop would both be using the same internet. It makes no difference if you're using your phone to browse full web sites for an hour or if you're using your laptop. Maybe if you stopped trolling this thread and knew just a but more about android then you would be able to see why your ideas as to how custom roms hurts Motorola or Verizon are undoubtedly and severely incorrect.

          • EC8CH

            If it takes you a minute to get over me thinking you sound like a dink, you make want to set a side a few more days to get over how I'm guess the majority of the other Droid-Life readers think of you and your comments.

  • Well the SCREW this phone 😛

  • nick o

    actually this really turns me off a big part of android for me is custom roms and i dont know what i should get now the droid was improved so much for me with some custom roms!

  • That blinding white notification bar is no bueno. It really needs to go.

    (100th comment)

    • Congrats 🙂
      It's good knowing half your comments are “firsties” lol

    • nick o

      dude im lost on what phone to get now ive had droid droid incredible and now what fascinate or x

      • John8880

        You are already the incredible which is still pretty much a new phone…? What a waste. Let me guess, when the X inevitably loses its rank at the top spot in a few months you will trade that in too?

        • John8880

          You are already getting rid of the incredible*

          • nick o

            i ardy did

          • droidaholic

            what r u going with?

        • nick o

          yea actually i might not buy it if i cant install custom roms!

        • I'm doing that. Getting X and then new one in December. Won't be that much more expensive cause the X SHOULD maintain most of its value for ebay purposes and not depreciate too much.

      • Timoh

        I'm pretty sure the Fascinate will not be encrypted and will be unlockable. I'm not so happy with Samsung phones though. I had the original Alias(U710) awesome phone, but a normal dumb phone, then I have the Omnia….

        • Flyinion

          LMAO I had an original Alias too, before they called it an Alias at that. I sat on my upgrade discount for a year until Feb. of this year due to first not knowing what phone I wanted, and then running out of $$ around the time the Droid dropped in November. Alias wasn't too bad of a phone for what it did but I'd never go back to a non-smartphone now.

  • Dennis

    I still plan on getting it. Its my first android phone so I haven't played around with custom roms or anything like that so I guess I don't really know what I'm missing. As long as I can get apps from the app store I think I'll survive.

    It seems a shame if motorola is locking this down because it sounds like the droid so far is pretty durable but if future phones are locked I think a lot of the hard core users might not get them.

    • EC8CH

      Welcome to android. Over here on the good side its called the marketplace or simple market… Only the dark side calls out the app store… Happy Droiding!

  • I'll, wait. My annual is in September so hopefully something is announced for the Holidays.

    • Balthazar B

      Don't be surprised if HTC and Samsung follow suit and do their own heavily encrypted locked bootloaders in the next generation of Android devices. There are too many incentives for the mfrs and carriers to do so, and if they're all on the same page, no penalties. I hope it doesn't happen, but I'm afraid it will.

  • ryanwalter

    more reason to wait for one of the 2 ghz super phones due late '10-early '11. moto please allow rooting and custom roms for the next gen of droids!

    • nick o

      the first droid is fine!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jbarb21

    Considering I have finally gone over to the dark side about an hour ago, (kellex…videos were perfect, I was extremely nervous but went without a hitch! Thank-you) I think they will lose a lot of hard core droiders with this news….Will still get the average user I guess. Any idea what kind of percentage of droid owners are rooted vs non rooted???

    • ryanwalter

      not easy to tell, the majority of this site is, but id say there is still a vast (yet unfortunate) amount of droid users that have no clue about the true power of their phones.

  • mate

    Now off my radar… 🙁

  • kmages

    Way less likely now…

    • Steven Rn

      ewww… Was going with the X but may just keep my Droid and get a Tablet instead

  • AnDroidSepTIX

    damn it too late

    • FrenchToast

      Nice logo. 😀

      • AnDroidSepTIX

        Thanks Thrice is the Shiz

      • What is it?

  • cduce2411

    Extremely bad news. I highly doubt I'll get this phone now 🙁