Most of us avoid modifying or hacking our devices due to fear of bricking them. Also once a device is bricked, which usually occurs due to a hardware of a software hack or mod, it goes out of warranty and service centers will charge or in some cases refuse to repair the device. Here are a few tips on how to avoid bricking your device and how to try and jump start them once them are bricked.
What is a Bricked device?
A Bricked device is nothing but an expensive mobile device that can now only be used as a brick or a paper weight. Once bricked, the device will not power on or boot.
Mobile devices brick due to serious misconfiguration, corrupted firmwares or unauthorized hardware modifications. Devices can also be bricked when their firmware and other low-level system software are re/overwritten.
How can you avoid Bricking?
- Do not try a hack or a jailbreak or any other ROM modifications without the correct know how.
- Do not tweak advance feature sets without knowing what you are doing.
- In case you are confident and want to go ahead with a hack or mod, always follow instructions from a reliable source, word by word (mostly for first timers).
- Always have a fully charged (or at least 75%) charged battery before you attempt any hacks or mods.
- Never ignore the “Do not power the device off” message.
- Always backup ROMs and data before trying anything.
- Always go through forums and websites to see the possibility of a brick for your particular device.
What to do if you Brick?
If your device is new, under warranty and without any warranty voiding modification, contact the manufacturer to have your device fixed or restored.
Notes for iOS devices
- First try and get the phone into the device firmware update (DFU) mode. iOS devices include the “DFU Mode” for recovering from a potentially bricked state.
- To get your device into DFU mode, is the process of getting your iOS device to link with iTunes without iTunes automatically restoring or recovering to the current version of iOS onto it. For jailbroken devices it skips the iBoot bootloader.
Steps to get your iOS device into DFU mode
- Connect your iOS to iTunes via USB.
- Switch off your iOS device. To do this press the power or sleep button at the top of your device, then slide your finger across the “slide to power off” button on your iPhone’s screen.
- Once your device is switched off, hold down both the power/sleep button along with the home button for 10 seconds.
- After 10 seconds, release the power/sleep button while continuing to hold the home button until a message has appeared in iTunes telling you your device has been detected in recovery mode.
- There are some applications for Windows and Mac, that guide you step by step to get your device into DFU mode.
- After following the above step, if the device shows an itunes logo with a connector, you are in recovery mode and nor DFU mode. Repeat the steps again until you get into DFU mode.
- For getting into recovery mode you can follow the steps given in the apple support forum here.
Notes for Android device
- If the device goes into the recovery mode without loading the OS, there would’ve been a problem with installing the ROM previously. You can solve this by reinstalling the ROM. Always remember to Wipe Dalvik Cache, Wipe Cache Partition and Wipe Data/Factory Reset before a fresh ROM install.
- If the ROM or install is not working it might also be due to a corrupted SD card. Try reformatting the card externally using a computer to FAT32 format and copy the files into the SD card and try reinstalling from the newly formatted card again.
- To get the device into recovery mode do a Google search for your particular device, as each device has a different set of key combinations to get into recovery mode.
Myths about bricking
- An Android device stuck in a boot loop is not a bricked device, there is still hope. All you might need to do is Wipe Dalvik Cache, Wipe Cache Partition and Wipe Data/Factory Reset before a reinstalling the ROM again.
- An amateur/botchy jail-breaking procedure may not have bricked your iOS device. A DFU mode recovery might be all you need to recover your device.