I tried to flash the most recent android pie update to my pixel 2 only for it to fail writing partitions even though I followed a recent guide to my best ability. Now, the phone is stuck in the bootloader with no way to boot into android or any way to access the recovery options (throws an error and takes me back to the bootloader info page)

Neither fastboot nor ADB can recognize the phone, I think this is because the USB debugging must have turned off somehow even though I turned it on, as before I WAS able to access it through fastboot. But now I can not, plugging it into the Windows machine, windows doesn't see any change in Device Manager when the phone is plugged in and out.

I reached out to a google supports rep and they told me since there is no way to access the recovery options, the phone needs to go through warranty, but is this really the only way? Is there some driver I am missing?

Thank you.

  • Usb debugging is irrelevant within the bootloader. Adb only works within the system and and recovery. Fastboot protocol is what is used within the bootloader. How did you try to flash the system? Did you try manually or with the flash-all.bat. what part failed to write? Does fastboot devices returns anything? On your devices bootloader screen what is everything it says (in these categories:)? Bootloader: Baseband: Product Revision: Boot-slot: Console: Secure Boot: Device State: ERROR:
    – Bo Lawson
    Jan 18 '19 at 11:09

Disclaimer: this is not necessarily a proper answer because it involves indeterministic and rather sporadic approaches. That said, thought it'd still be worth it to jot it down and share it for informational purpose. :)

What didn't work for me:

✗ Using my newer Mac (2019/Big Sur) whose USB ports are USB-C/3.1.

✗ Trying out various USB 2.0 cables and adapters (USB-C/3.1 <-> USB-A/2.0, USB-A/3.0 <-> USB-A/2.0, etc.). More about that here (https://stackoverflow.com/a/58774581/2013891) and here (https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/7lj50n/apparently_the_pixel_2_nonxl_doesnt_like_usb_3031/).

✗ Installing Linux (Ubuntu) on VirtualBox, or any virtual machines in this case.

✗ Getting RMA since I bought the phone secondhand on eBay [sic.] :D

What made it work for me:

➜ Praying. (yup seriously, this could be the most important pre-step that I forgot to do when failing continuously before ;) )

➜ Using my older Mac (2015/El Capitan) whose USB ports are USB-A/3.0.

➜ Running fastboot getvar all. While it's saying < waiting for any device >, plugging-in and -out again the Pixel 2 (assumed it is booted already to FastBoot mode) until all the vars are printed out in the console. Note that this step is like a game of chance to me. Depending on your luck, you may need to do it 100 times or even 1000 times while wiggling the cable, waiting for a little, and making a sudden plug-in/out over and over again. Your mileage may vary, hence the praying step. 🙏 fastboot getvar all

➜ When the vars got printed, it means the hardware connection has been successfully established in the USB interface. Running fastboot devices will list your Pixel 2 device. From this point on, it's business as usual -- I did the ./flash-all.sh thingy from https://developers.google.com/android/images#walleye. ./flash-all.sh - 1 ./flash-all.sh - 2

Having all these messes, I still strongly believe a few Google phone/tablet hardwares are buggy when they come to establishing USB connection. Now, even after I managed to bring my Pixel 2 back to life, it's still not able create a USB connection to do a wired files transfer unless I do the "game of chance" mentioned above. Well, at least I got it working and it's becoming usable again. alhamdulillah

  • 1
    Your dedication is inspiring. There are few people I know that would go to this length after trying seemingly everything to resurrect a phone. I am very glad you got it working again :)
    – John Warts
    May 31 '21 at 8:46
  • Been a pleasure to write things again, too :) May 31 '21 at 12:36

before we go any further, please make sure your usb cable is working correctly, and try using different ones if it is not the case. If not, please try again as it the most annoying device I've had for getting into recovery. You basically need to hold power and then press volume up and immediately release both of them. It's very picky.


The phone was bricked, had to get an rma unfortunatleyh5rft

  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Andrew T.
    May 31 '21 at 1:43

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