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DROID DNA Receives S-OFF Via JTAG, Will Cost You at Least $45

droid dna s-off

The DROID DNA has S-OFF! Throw a party! Pull out your $45 for it! Wait, what? That’s right, there is a method to get S-OFF on your HTC DROID DNA, but it’ll cost you. You also can’t do it yourself and will need to part ways with your phone for a number of days. Phone repair shop MobileTechVideos has the solution, which appears to be nothing short of scary to watch. 

They use a service called JTAG, something that normal devs or tinkerers aren’t going to have, hence the price. The video below shows this service in action and is apparently justification by MTV for their price. Oh, that $45 doesn’t include shipping, which ranges from $10-$45.

Anyone want S-OFF that badly? Didn’t think so.


Via:  XDA | MobileTechVideos

Cheers Max!

  • Tony Allen

    All this hate for HTC and their dodgy history with bootloaders and such… It’s like everyone forgot that Moto hasn’t even remotely budged on this issue, and flat face lied to consumers last year.

  • MobileTechVideos

    This post should be updated to reflect that we are looking into a free script based options to allow rooted devices to achieve the exploit. Also, where on earth would you come up with shipping quotes from $10-$45? We ship anywhere in the USA for around $3-$25 depending on the speed of service and insurance values.


    • MobileTechVideos

      In addition, we do NOT use dangerous eMMC grounding techniques to achieve S-OFF. Although such techniques are proven to work, I see countless cases per month in which eMMC chips are permanently damaged while using such work by our customers. For this reason we only use JTAG or command line based methods to exploit the security. It is always safer to use JTAG or a command line means of achieving the exploit if possible. BTW, return shipping is free on all of our work within the USA, Puerto Rico and other USA provinces. 🙂

  • Sean Bello

    so this is what it’s come to?

  • Ibrick

    S-Off isn’t really needed like it once was. The only thing its preventing currently is flashing a kernel in recovery and with Flash GUI you can flash the boot.img from the UI then the modules in recovery. One extra step..
    My DNA is rooted, ROM, Kernel all with S-On so no point IMO. Actually flashed an updated kernel while in line at Subway a couple hours ago.

    • JoshGroff

      Or you can flash it in Hboot via fastboot flash.

  • cancerous_it

    Interasding. Unless you are a developer, it’s kinda pointless to pay for S-Off unless there is development on custom kernels and ROMs. Otherwise you’ll have S-Off to do nothing with it.

  • fanboy1974

    This just validated my Note 2 purchase over the DNA. My Verizon Note 2 is fully unlocked and I’ve been cracked flashing like a maniac.

  • Not sure why I really need this other than to make flashing roms a little easier. Got me a custom rom and kernel on my DNA. Couldn’t be happier.

  • flosserelli

    Paying money to get a fully unlocked/S-off/etc android device just seems wrong. It’s one thing to pay someone to do it because you are too inept or too scared to do it yourself. But if experienced modders should not be forced to pay a dime to have a completely open device. At least buyers aren’t being forced to pony up $700-800 for a “developer” model.

  • Max Magnussen

    Will this help with getting RIL and possibly fixing the dreaded SIM card/PUK code error that many of us are experiencing?

    • Danrarbc

      No it just allows flashing of all partitions.

      • JoshGroff

        *in recovery*

  • The DNA is a really nice device, but I have to say, ‘fastboot oem unlock’ is amazing on the devices that support it.

  • Butters619

    Even without S-OFF on the One X we were able to get a lot. AT&T did block root and that took a long time to figure out, but anybody pre-rooted was still good. Unless something like that happens I can’t see it to ever be worth it.

  • Man, it just seems more and more like Nexus or nothing. Glad my S3 got unlocked as easily as it did.

    • MrGy

      Same, but I am still disappointed how broken AOSP ROMs for SGS3 are. On AOKP my in-call volume is broken, and teleconferencing is a 1 in 10 chance of nothing going wrong (dropped connection, camera randomly won’t work, cannot initiate calls, etc).

      • Buy This

        Try Eclipse ROM by Nitro

        • Big_EZ

          That’s a touchwiz based rom (or blur depending on your device) he specially said AOSP. I would want AOSP as well if I didn’t have a Note 2 with multi window. Nitro does make a great rom though, it’s just not AOSP, I’m jumping between Jelly Bean’s and Eclipse on my Note 2.

        • guy

          I second that motion. His Roms are solid

      • Manny

        Disappointed is an understatement. I just got rid of my SGS3. I am now the proud owner of an Iphone 4s..The ride was fun while it lasted….Android is like an old girlfriend to me now….”I should’ve dumped that fat bitch years ago”

        • Superguy

          You dumped an LTE phone for a 3G phone? Why?

          • Manny

            I’m on tmobile and their lte is crap. I live in New York and there is free wifi everywhere.. I really don’t see the diffrence. Lte was blazing back on the HTC Thunderbolt but by now it’s all bogged down with every phone on it.

          • Tony Allen

            I’d imagine so, since T-Mobile’s LTE isn’t really ‘on’ yet 😉

          • Manny

            the GS3 shows “4G” but slows to a crawl just trying to open the browser

        • Tim242

          A 4S? You sir have lost all credibility

          • Manny

            Sorry to have let you down Timmy. Maybe if another Nexus phone comes out or even if Motorola got there heads out of their asses and released vanilla android on one of their phones. Blur, touchwiz and sense take all the fun out of android.

          • Tim242

            I just don’t understand why you went with a 4S, and not a 5. That’s the crazy part. But, I’m sure a dream Android phone will come along soon.

          • Manny

            Dude it was on craigslist, I just wanted to get rid of the GS3. Not that the 4s and the 5 are that much diffrent.

        • florious80

          That’s like getting out of a Ferrari and drive a smart car instead….the problem is you dumped a fat bitch, for a really dumb one….

          • Manny

            Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but the only android phone that i was really happy with was a Galaxy nexus when i was with verizon.

        • Sean Bello

          you dumped the fat bitch for a decent looking girl with herpes

          • Manny

            Yeah but her camera works

          • guy


    • Ibrick

      I think you’re confusing unlocked and S-Off.

      an S-On DNA will run custom ROM’s, kernels, recoveries etc.. S-Off is really only a convenience at this point. Certainly not worth $45 IMO.

      • JoshGroff


      • JetBlue

        Think he’s talking about Nexus devices don’t have to deal with these problems.

        • Ibrick

          The S3 comment was more or less what I responding to, and reading a majority of the posts in this thread it seems most don’t understand what S-Off is or that the DNA bootloader was unlocked about a week after release.

  • I love the hardware of my DNA, but this is the first time that I’m actually considering reverting back to my previous phone (GNex). The only thing that really stops me is the battery life. I’m pretty sure I’ll be jumping ship to the GS4 or X Phone at full price (just don’t tell my wife).

  • PC411guy

    Mobiletechvideos repaired a bad power button on my GS2 that no one in my area would touch. Shipping to wasn’t bad ($8) and free shipping back (included with the charged price). Took 3 days to get to them. One day repair turn around and back on my doorstep 3 days later. Excellent service and my GS2 is going strong.

  • mustbepbs

    Eugh..reminds me of the Xperia Play. Had to pay $20 to get the bootloader unlocked.

    • aj210

      Xperia play is now available to be unlocked directly through Sony’s website. Verizon allows it now.

      • mustbepbs

        Good to know.

  • moelsen8

    I mean, it doesn’t look too bad.

  • Joel

    What is S-Off??

    • gorkon

      Yeah…..you should describe what S-Off IS in the post…

    • It means security off. Meaning you have the ability to write to the nand partition, giving you the ability to flash roms and the like.

      • Kevin

        You can flash ROMS just fine while S-on. However, you’re correct in that it lets you write to the NAND partition, which allows you to update the kernel, radios and bootloader.

        • Butters619

          And most of that stuff you can do with S-On as well. Although with S-OFF files don’t have to be signed.

          • Kevin

            Yeah, the kernel you just flash in fastboot instead of it being flashable from recovery. Radios too, I believe? I’m a recently former Rezound owner and never went S-Off. It wasn’t too horrible; just added an extra step.

          • Butters619

            When the One X first came out you could actually flash everything from recovery with S-ON. Unfortunately they updated the firmware (and I did it for a few reasons long story) and it made it so you had to flash kernel through fastboot (no big deal) and couldn’t flash radios at all (kinda sucks)

          • Kevin

            Does HTC stand for Hates The Community? Just wondering.

          • Butters619

            Think the blame goes to AT&T since it was the only phone that had this happen. Even the rogers One X, which is literally the same phone, didn’t have radios/kernel blocked.

            Also that firmware blocked root and it took 4 months for devs to figure out. And even still, there is no way to obtain root without unlocking your bootloader.

    • ramifications

      S-Off is “security off”. Basically with it off, you have no limitations with what you can flash to your device.

    • moelsen8

      Here’s a good write-up I found. I wanted to brush up on my knowledge of it vs. htcdev too:

  • I used their services for my Nexus 4 which bricked and only had a red light when plugged in. No fastboot or anything and these guys fixed it up! I would highly reccommend them

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Yes, if you need a fix from brick the services offered like these are great and worth the money you spend.

      • Oh no doubt! Now would I ever pay for root, rom or any other service other than brick repair?.. No way in hell

    • snowblind64

      How did you manage that? It’s pretty hard to brick a Nexus.

  • Jarred Sutherland

    JTAG is not a service, first off. It is a diagnostics interface that is used during development or flashing a device (unbricking, etc).

    Second off, don’t buy this turd if you want to unlock and root. Stop giving these companies your cash for devices you can’t use in the way you want. Might as well buy an Apple device at that point.

    • MrGy

      Friends don’t let friends buy HTC

      Source: disgruntled Rezound owner

      • Danrarbc

        The Rezound had a relatively easy S-Off method. Used a paper clip IIRC.

        • sc4fpse

          I really hope this was sarcasm. But, on the off chance that it wasn’t, let me say this: S-Off should ***never*** require any physical additions, removals, or modifications to a piece of hardware.

          • Butters619

            That really was the way to get S-OFF on the rezound


          • Jeremy Mullins

            It doesn’t require any hardware modification. You have to use a wire between two contacts to kick it into a special diagnostics mode where the actual work was done. I’ve done the process to 4 Rezound’s and there is no risk as long as you aren’t stupid enough to use a non-insulated wire. You can easily revert the process in fastboot by writing the secureflag back to 3.

      • Mike

        I second this. Previous Thunderbolt owner.

      • JoshGroff

        S-on Rezound running 4.2.1 via CM10.1.

      • Christopher Lantto

        I agree, tell HTC to S-OFF

      • George264

        I would agree with you after my Rezound+Thunderbolt, I went for GSIII, and then I returned and got DNA from HTC
        Life=perfect HTC. I actually have an upgrade at end of this month, so if the M7 good, might good for it.
        It basically fixed everything from the Rezound. Better camera, no lag, battery lasts more than a day, screen is even better, thin, I’m like freaking out over this phone. I got the Rezound last year because they weren’t really any better choices at the time. Moto Blur sucked(at the time) and Galaxy Nexus no go because of the radios.
        thought i was done with HTC, guess not

    • hfoster52

      ~$20 for the cable USB to JTAG.

      • Jarred Sutherland

        Anyone can buy a cable, few are willing or capable of working on delicate electronics.

    • JoshGroff

      Having S-on doesn’t prevent you from flashing ROMs or rooting. It just makes it so you can’t flash boot.img from recovery, not much else hindering anything IIRC. (So you have to either fastboot flash or make a boot zip to flash via Hboot.)

      • I found this out yesterday after months of frustration with my HTC One V. I think I was trying to flash the recovery wrong. I am now happily running the PACman ROM with Jelly Bean 4.1.2 on my S-On HTC One V.

      • Jarred Sutherland

        Been awhile since I had an HTC device so I was not up on this. Thanks!

    • Ken m.

      Well considering DNA is rooted, unlocked, superCID’d and S-off’ed, you’re wrong

  • hahaha, good luck with that one now

  • MrGy

    HTC: bait and switch “unlockable” phones.

    • KleenDroid

      It seems HTC is no longer an option for those of us that require root and unlocked bootloaders. Oh well… HTC, Motorola… No wonder Samsung is the only one making real money.

      • Tony Allen

        It’s not like Verizon didn’t try to put a stop to that with the Note II bootloader though..