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Enough with the eFuse DROID X Talk Already

For some reason we’re seeing news all over this morning (and 1,000 emails) that there is a mysterious “eFuse” in the Droid X that will “blow up your phone” should you tamper with the encrypted bootloader.  Seriously?  First off, this news was reported 4 days ago as “a bit of conjecture” and has not been confirmed by, well, anyone.  Second, I’ve heard from 2-3 sources already within the dev community that have said this is as far from the truth as possible.  It’s the same bootloader as the Milestone.  Has anyone’s Milestone blown up from an eFuse yet?  Someone find me one.

If this turns out to be true, then this is awful news, but until Motorola or one of their developers comes out and admits that this is the truth, take it for it’s worth people, a “guess.”

And I’m done.

Update 1: Stephen Bird is also shooting down this eFuse blow up rumor…

First we need root, then we need to figure out this boot loader business.

But wait! Birdman! what about the efuse?! Guess what? google “omap3 efuse”

Droid, Milestone, DroidX, Droid2…all these phones have efuse…they just really haven’t been put into use…

Update 2: Boy Genius Report has weighed in…

This breaking news may not be as dire as many are claiming, as a google search of OMAP3 and e-fuse reveals that current OMAP handset already have e-fuse in place as part of the M-Shield hardware security technology built into TI’s OMAP system on a chip. It is on the very hackable DROID and the not-so-hacking-friendly Milestone, but it is not being used by Motorola to lock the bootloader of the handset. The current theory being put forth by the non-alarmists in the Android hacking community suggests that the DROID X is locked in a similar manner to the Milestone. Though it may be difficult to crack, and may lead to many hairs being pulled out, mucking with the bootloader probably won’t brick your phone.

Oh on a side note, the downtown Portland location just turned away their biggest Droid promoter because he wasn’t a new customer or extending a contract and wanted to pay full retail.  Yikes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=641898714 Michael Celeketic

    The Moto “eFuse” is the Y2K bug ten years later. Absolutely ridiculous and completely south of intelligent. Let the hacking commence forward – now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=641898714 Michael Celeketic

    The Moto “eFuse” is the Y2K bug ten years later. Absolutely ridiculous and completely south of intelligent. Let the hacking commence forward – now.

  • phillip

    i have a solution.. buy the phone with contract.. you got the phone that day…. 30 days later early terminate… for what $300.00? then you have the phone for full price or maybe cheaper…

  • matey

    Same thing happened to me.. i wanted to pay full price for the phone and they said i would pay then the phone would be shipped to me. While i was waiting to pay in advance for the droid x that would have to be shipped to me, the manager came out with 10 of them in her hands saying she had to take them to another store. I simply asked why and she told me with a straight face that their “pre-order applicants” had not shown up yet so they were taking thier phones elsewhere…. i was pissed.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/SLMXKW5IFUTQXFT442KZX6TE2A jakem

    To all those so-called hackers whining about eFuse in Droidx: why don't you consider it a challenge and find a way to deactivate it if it bothers you so much. The rest of us are more than happy to see that Android handsets are starting to take security serious.

  • QuantumTheory

    I think we all should just be happy we are not stuck with pagers/beepers like we were back in the early 90`s.
    so what if you cant “screw” with your phone.

  • Harmonic

    It's all about the money. VZW stores take a hit when they don't sell a phone without at least a contract renewal. This practice is NOT supported by corporate though, just some manager/sales team trying to hit their accelerator for the month. :/

  • http://twitter.com/storm34x Daniel Archibald

    I have a friend that just sold a Droid X on Ebay for $2200.00

    Who is dumb enuf to pay that much for a phone?

  • gen_danvs

    Every time I read about the efuse, I think of this quote from Neuromancer:
    “Every AI ever built has an electro-magnetic shotgun wired to its forehead” – The Dixie Flatline

    I decided to write something to this effect.
    http://blog.danielwcellucci.com/?p=3

  • CaneloX

    the sales people dont make any money on selling full retail plus with limited stock for new lines and payable renwals they dont want to sell a non payable full retail thats most retail companies i used work for an electronics store in Chicago we sold sell phones and thats how it was handle those people are looking to make their quotas, keep their jobs and get paid if it was your job you do the same i paid full retail for mine and it arrives tomorrow i already waited this long for the x one more day not going to kill me

  • RW-1

    I've been saying the same thing since the panickers came out with it, the tech is 4 years old, and is in the Droid itself … and has it self destructed?

    In addition is is a SW thing, reversable, most likely thru SBF …

    • http://www.makomk.com/ makomk

      Motorola have publicly stated the Droid is a deliberate exception to their policy of locking out modders, so no, it doesn't use this technology.

      “In addition is is a SW thing, reversable”

      That's very unlikely. The OMAP3 has hardware support for secure booting. So there's physically no way of modifying the first bootloader, and if it enforces an eFuse-based self destruct your phone is dead. Permanently. (Same if it uses one of several other methods.)

  • Kayleeh
  • lakernutz

    You would think there would be legal ramifications for setting a phone, which you own outright, to self destruct if you try to make changes to it. Especially if they are going to charge you to fix it. Quite the racket. I'm no Harvey Levin or Larry Parker…Just sayin.

  • Kayleeh

    I ordered my droid the second it came out. I still have no pending transaction on my credit card, no tracking number, no anything. I even paid the extra cost to overnight the phone which will obviously not be at my house by tomorrow since overnight orders must be shipped by 430pm. I am very upset about this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.lippert Tony Lippert

    just welcomed a new Droid X into our family… wow what a phone… just crossing our fingers that it is rooted and all this talk is just a scare tactic..

  • Willmrk

    I don't believe the Verizon reps are SUPPOSED to deny anyone from buying a Droid at full retail price. What I understand is that the sales rep receive zero commission for retail sales (only receiving a commission for new or extended contracts), so they tell people they aren't supposed to so they don't reduce their supply on “no commission sales”.

    If you get rejected, threaten to all their corporate office and ask their policy on selling new products without a contract. I'm not guaranteeing anything, but if anyone does this, post back and let us know the outcome.

  • timarnette

    I ordered my Droid X at 12:15 am this morning and I still do not have a tracking number. It should come tomorrow. I called Verizon the rep told me it is a new phone and they place the orders as they come in. I told her the time I placed the order. She was very rude and said that is just the way it is. I am on the east coast so there should be no problem. She said there is nothing she can do with out a routing number. Is there a different number I should call to find out about the routing number. I called the 800 number on there web site.

    • Kayleeh

      Exactly the same response here. One of the reps even informed me that “I just called two hours ago and there was still nothing they could do.” I can call every 15 minutes if I want to. Its their job to answer

      • timarnette

        Have you called back? I have not yet. This is what it says online about my order.
        Order Status

        Here is the status of your order.

        Order Date: 07/15/2010
        Order Number: 4000546956
        Order Status: Your order has been processed and will be shipped based on inventory availability and shipping method. You will receive shipment notification and tracking details via email.

        • Rob

          Same here. I ordered online almost 24 hours ago and still have no tracking number. It took 12 hours for the order status to change from “processing” to “processed” but still nothing about shipping.

          I called twice. The first rep was less than helpful, gave no indication as to why it is delayed but insisted it just happens this way. The second was a bit more helpful and I found they have a special number to call the internet orders group (the first rep negelected to bother). She took my order number and confirmed my order would go through, and that my new phone would arrive tomorrow. That was 12 hours ago and still no sign of a tracking number. I will honestly be surprised if I get it before next week. So much for staying up to order just after midnight.

          • Rob

            Update. I received my shipping tracking order email at 7:30am EST, about 31 hours after I ordered. The phone is out for delivery and scheduled to arrive today by 3:00. Still surprised it would take that long for an internet order confirmation but they lived up to their word by getting it out when they said they would.

  • OldNuc

    I think I posted this before. The eFUSE is the programming write line for a EPROM. Its function is to make the ROM read only after programming. Once the ROM is programmed the programming write line is destroyed. It functions like a low current fuse. Its not magic or mysterious. The issue with the bootloader is every step is verified correct by the subsequent step and this checking is done with high level encrypted instructions. The eFUSE is opened after programming by increasing the voltage at the write line and this increases the current to the fail open point. In the good old days you just replaced the offending chip to bypass this problem.

    • Bj70117

      As I am a froyo beta tester with a DROID, you hit the nail on the coffin. Finally, someone with a brain on this forum who knows his sh*t.

  • Chris Nimon

    Even if the eFuse thing turns out to be nothing, can we forgive m*t*r*la? The fact that an Android phone is locked down harder than the iphone is inexcusable. The fact that m*to told us if we don't like it to go Fbomb ourselves and buy someone elses phone is UNFORGIVABLE to me. We Droid users all but save this company and this is how they treat us? I have a new 4 letter word in my vocabulary and it is MOTO.

    • Dash Speeds

      Thank you, you may now step down off your soap box,

      • Chris Nimon

        sorry, but if someone spits in my face im not gonna just sit there and take it. They spit in ALL our faces. When they fire the person who siad this and issue an apology i will think about getting another one of their phones.

  • Kevin

    I could not resist. I planned on not purchasing the Droid X until it is rooted. Also, my 2 years doesn't expire until Feb 2011. I went to the site just to see and completed the upgrade at the 2-year price. Oh brother.

  • Chris Nimon

    Did you tell them who you were? If that didn't change their mind, well, I'd say you have the power to seriously cripple if not destroy them. Go get em Kellex.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ThinkGeeks Hiral Patel

    This is absolutely correct if you are not a new customer or can extend contract you can not purchase the phone retail.

    The cost to build Droid X cant be more than $150

    Average Verizon Smart Phone Contract – $89 x 24 = $2136 – $150 = $1986 Profit

    Retail $598 – $150 = $448

    Motorola I am sure gets a kickback and the fact they are in limited supply means they want to cash in on what stock they have with all the media hype about it.

    Trick I used which cost me an extra 9.99 for 1day prorated is ask them to add a new line with droid x on it and then cancel it the next day and move the droid x to your old line. If they refuse bitch till you cant bitch no more ask for the president, CEO and the dude that does “can you hear me now”

  • skinja

    Kellex,
    If they really did turn you away because you wanted to pay full retail, that is ILLEGAL. It is against numerous consumer laws, including advertising laws, to sell products like that.