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Thanks to New Root Method, Bootloaders on RAZR HD and RAZR M can be Unlocked Again

Thanks to this weekend’s new root exploit/method/pile-of-awesomeness from geohot, we are hearing from a number of readers who own older Motorola phones (like the RAZR HD and RAZR M), that once rooted using towelroot, the previous bootloader unlock tool from djrbliss is working again. You may remember “Motopocalypse” from April of last year, an .apk file that really did finally end Motorola’s run at keeping their bootloaders locked. It was a glorious time, that’s for sure.Β 

But since then, if you failed to unlock theΒ bootloader on your RAZR HD (MAXX HD too) or RAZR M and have taken updates, you have been stuck with a locked bootloader. While we aren’t recommending that you run to towelroot and Motopocalypse to unlock before it’s too late, we had to make sure that you at least knew that your chance has arrived once again.

I have not tested this myself, but if you head over to XDA, there are dozens of success stories from users who own this line of phones.

The method looks something like this – install towelroot and Motopocalypse, run towelroot, verify root, run Motopocalypse, profit.

Again, we are not recommending that you run out and unlock your bootloader, since this is something you cannot come back from and it voids your warranty and all that fun stuff, but if you were pissed at yourself from missing out the first time around, you may have struck gold twice. Or won the lottery twice. Or…you get the point.

Full instructions at the thread below, along with support should you run into issues.

Motorola Unlock Thread

Cheers Tim!
  • Patrick Craig

    So I got this to root my S5, but now I’m looking for a way to bypass the entitlement check for VZW tethering. I’ve been poking around but haven’t had much success, I know FoxFi works now but would rather not have it open a VPN (as this is a work phone). Any suggestions? Cant find anything using sqlite editor either. Any help is appreciated. Thanks Guys!

  • Mark

    Didn’t comment at the time because i immediately jumped over to XDA and droidrzr to get myself rooted and UNLOCKED baby!!! This is one of the biggest news events to hit DL in a long time. Thanks for the heads up! I think this has just given my HD MAXX all sorts of new life. Instantly changed my need to upgrade for a while.

  • Kayonesoft

    Thank you so much.

  • rodney11ride

    F#$% yeah

  • Well, s#%$!!! This worked!!!

  • fhdsifo

    Will this work on stock JB?

    • SamuriHL

      No. The unlock only works on kitkat build 183. Once you update, you can root and unlock all on the phone quite easily and quickly. After that, you can move to whatever version you want using a UNIVERSAL script to downgrade as you like.

  • Suman Gandham

    Any poor souls trapped on a locked bootloader need to take advantage of this ASAP. CM and other custom ROMs make this phone far more usable πŸ™‚

    • rodney11ride

      THIS ^^^^^^^

      I was unlocked and phone broke the replacement came updated to non unlocking bootloader…. thought i was doomed forever..

    • Jeremy Gross

      where can we get a custom recovery and roms working with this, are there any usable? i dont wanna screw up my phone. im new to this mainly because i couldnt do anything before with my razr hd

  • ddh819

    this can help get around foxfi issues with kitkat right? is it better to update to kitkat, then try this? or the other way around?

    • You have to update to KitKat for this to even work. It’s the KitKat update itself that made this possible.

  • DJ SPY

    So, if I unlock the bootlader and I take an OTA update, I don’t have to worry because the bootloader will still be unlocked I can just regain root right?

    • Suman Gandham

      As I understand, unlocking bootloader blows the Q fuse, which is irreversible (I.e. Permanent unlock). I’m not sure if that guarantees you’ll be able to regain root after an update.

      • SamuriHL

        Yes, once unlocked you’ll stay unlocked. Root is achieved on unlocked devices by flashing custom recovery (TWRP, CWM, etc) and flashing SuperSU zip. No exploit needed.

    • SamuriHL

      You can only unlock by going to kitkat. Once there and unlocked, you could downgrade using my RSD Script Generator to create a UNIVERSAL script that you flash with RSD. That way if you don’t like KK or need to downgrade for whatever reason, you have the option by being unlocked.

  • BoFiS

    Yes, my wife’s new, locked Razr M with 4.4.2 was able to root with Towelroot and then use the old unlock method πŸ˜€

  • SamuriHL

    It’s working for both the M and HD. I’ve helped a few people who were having some issues get it working for them. There’s a new soak email that went out for both the HD and M last night so it’s likely this opportunity will be nuked soon. If you care about keeping root and being able to take the latest updates, unlocking is the way to go. I mean, seriously, these are 18 month old phones….at this point it’s clear (given that the TZ partition was reverted to the vulnerable one in build 183 cough cough) that Moto doesn’t even care. LOL If anyone needs help with this process, hit me up on droidrzr or xda and I’ll be glad to assist.

  • Tomek G

    Am I the only one still waiting for Droid 4 bootloader? Just kidding, gave up long time ago

  • I actually just flashed the newest kk build from verizon to my old droid hd i gave my pops…running like a champ and god i love that moto widget…ill be honest i miss that phone now that i got my x sometimes i liked the industrial design…and it was a great phone…and its fullly unlocked with decent dev support moreso then the x…solid phone

  • coolsilver

    I love the fact everyone worries about Warranty. After a year you no longer have any Warranty. Insurance however may have an issue with it, but if it was covered for being “lost” or “Accidental damages” …. πŸ™‚

    • if you pay for the insurance through VZ that automatically extends the warranty to 2 years.

  • bolski

    Your warranty is already voided once you root, and there have been many stories of people turning in their rooted and/or unlocked devices and not getting charged, so who cares? Unlocking your phone gives you SO much more control but it isn’t any less secure.

    • Suman Gandham

      Actually, it is definitely less secure.

      Unlocked bootloader means a stolen phone can have its entire memory dumped (Nandroid dump via a flashed custom recovery). Unless you’re using encryption this is literally “opening the kimono”. And even then default Android encryption with 4 digit pin is pretty crappy.

      But it’s the risk we take πŸ˜‰

  • chrisLE

    What about droid maxx?

    • terrorist96

      I think you can unlock the bootloader via the Chinaman method I mentioned to Ray above. Then you can root.

  • Ray

    Moto X?

    • hoosiercub88

      Nope, write protection on /system is preventing towelroot from working.

      • chris kilps

        does any other tool work with 4.4.2 on moto x verizon?

      • dang! got my hopes up for a second… πŸ™

      • beng8686

        Not with motowpnomo

        • hoosiercub88

          Well you let me know when you can one-click an app install to root with pwnmymoto..

      • regkilla

        Remember when Motorola was okay with rooting?

        • hoosiercub88

          A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

    • grumpyfuzz

      want root on moto x?
      step 1. Sell moto x you currently have
      step 2. buy moto x dev edition
      step 3. achieve root in less than 5 minutes

      • Ray

        It’s not for me I’m too big for that phone 6’3 220lbs.It’s for my girlfriend hers comes in the mail today.

    • terrorist96

      Pay $45 to the Chinaman to get an unlock code for the bootloader. Then you can easily root.

      • Ray

        WTF you have no clue what your talking about.

        • terrorist96

          Lol, okay. Stay locked. πŸ™‚
          Just trying to help you out.

          • Ray

            haha gotcha the way you said it made it seem fake as heck. But i would never pay $45 to get a phone unlocked its not even mine its my GF.

          • terrorist96

            Then you’d have to have a dev edition or have T-Mobile or Sprint which allow unlock codes. The reason you pay $45 is that it’s stolen codes from the Motorola database – and thieves don’t give away their loot for free.

  • needa

    i am still keeping this email (12/19/13) in case i ever decide to root and then need repairs done on my x.


    My name is Punit Soni and I am the VP of SW Product here at Motorola. Just wanted to respond to your email to Dennis.

    We have fixed the warranty situation a few weeks ago. We no longer void your warranty if you unlock your bootloader.



    • Scott

      He seriously emailed you?

      • needa

        i emailed dennis woodside a while back because i wanted to roll back to 4.2.2 after kit kat destroyed the experience. this was the response i got.

        • 640k

          I’m 99% sure this only applies to phone that have been granted an official path to unlock their bootloaders and not some hack method. I have accepted that the Chinese method used for unlocking the x is not under moto’s terms and conditions.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      If only their customer support wasn’t so useless in most situations. Their CS alone turned me off of the phone I already owned.

    • JZ

      This only applies to the Developer Editions, not the regular consumer models.

      • needa

        i know this. hence the reason i am keeping all of the correspondence back and forth. doesnt really matter… as this root apparently will not work on the x.

        • terrorist96

          You can root. See my reply above.

  • Jason Purp

    Droid Life REALLY needs to go back to doing more articles about root-related things.

    • WAldenIV

      Kit Kat is nice enough that rooting isn’t really necessary anymore for the average user.

      • Jason Purp

        There will always be an incentive to root and there will always be Droid Life users who are interested in doing it or just interested in what’s going on in the scene of it.

    • JZ

      There’s just less root news overall than there used to be. Fewer new devices, coupled with the fact that achieving root is getting more and more difficult means fewer stories. I think DL has done a good job of keeping people apprised to root-related news when there is any.

    • I agree, but i get it. Root related articles dont pay the bills.

      • grumpyfuzz

        why not both :]?

    • morgan boyle

      i think its important that they keep us aware of big changes but rooting isnt as needed as it once was. i would still want it for tethering purpose but most people are on tiered data now and wouldnt be able to crush it like they would want anyway.

      • Good point. I just go to XDA for all the latest on rooting my current phone these days.

  • This might be the first root related article I’ve read in months. I thought you guys stopped caring πŸ™‚

    • Ralph Bretz

      That’s cause there’s fewer root exploits left out there. The S4 was just rooted and it’s been out for over a year. There was an article on the M8 getting root and S-Off but with how hard it is to achieve root there’s going to be less and less mention of it. That;s probably why cell makers starting making Developer Editions. At this point with the phones if you want to be guarenteed root you have to go Developer Edition.

      • Uhm, I’ve had the S4 for over a year and I’ve been rooted for over a year on 3 different builds. I’m not following.

        • Ralph Bretz

          Well then I guess that proves your point. I don’t remember hearing about the S4’s getting root.

          Edit: Oh poop. Now I remember. Djrbliss posted it. Motochopper
          just looked it up

          • You didn’t hear about it because DL deals almost exclusively in new hardware and accessory stories these days. πŸ˜‰