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My Moto G 2013 (XT1033) was working (except for the issue I described here, but the other features all working), I restarted it but it didn't come back.

I was dropped into the 'AP Fastboot Flash Mode' and selected 'Normal Powerup' from the menu, but I get the error message failed to validate boot image.

Choosing 'Recovery' doesn't works, either, I get failed to validate recovery image.

Does that mean my phone is dead for good? What can I attempt?

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This may be a bit late however I think I have found the solution for my Moto e 2nd gen (XT1524).

If you found that you can't boot because 'failed to validate recovery image' read on.

  1. Download drivers + adb + fastboot (Download standalone version to PC)
  2. Ensure fastboot can find device fastboot devices
  3. Download TWRP (https://twrp.me/) place in folder
  4. Use command fastboot boot [path to recovery].img
  5. You should now boot into TWRP (yay!)
  6. Download a rom and move it to the device (with GApps and any other additions) using command adb push [filename].zip /sdcard/ (or to anywhere you want to flash from)
  7. Wait for the files to move over (this will take a while)
  8. Backup files (as your system is pretty much kaput not much need to backup the system)
  9. Select wipe, advanced wipe, and wipe cache, system and data partitions then swipe to wipe
  10. Select install, navigate to /sdcard/ (or wherever else you put the files)
  11. Follow the onscreen prompts to install (INSTALL ROM FIRST THEN GAPPS AND ROOT)
  12. Finally reboot into the system (THIS WILL TAKE 20 MINS + LEAVE YOUR PHONE DON'T TURN IT OFF KEEP IT PLUGGED IN)

You should now have unbricked your device.

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