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I would like to install Google Play Services for AR (ARCore) on my Moto G5 Plus, running Oreo 8.1 - this device is not on the official Google supported list. I believe this is possible with TWRP and Magisk Manager. I have the Android SDK, and all necessary USB drivers installed. I can load .apk's using adb. However, I'd like to install TWRP without unlocking the bootloader or rooting the phone. First question: is this even possible? or do I need to root the phone?

I tried to follow the instructions to install TWRP withOUT rooting, but when I try to flash the latest version of the Potter image, twrp-3.3.1-0-potter.img, I get a 'Preflash validation failed' error:

\android\Sdk\platform-tools> .\fastboot.exe flash recovery twrp.img
(bootloader) is-logical:recovery: not found
Sending 'recovery' (16342 KB)                      OKAY [  0.710s]
Writing 'recovery'                                 (bootloader) Image recovery failed validation
(bootloader) Preflash validation failed
FAILED (remote: '')
fastboot: error: Command failed

According to this answer, Moto devices do not support downgrading the bootloader. However, I figured the recovery image (3.3.1-0) was the most updated, and suited for Oreo 8.1. Is there any way to check bootloader versions of the image and that on my phone?

Thanks in advance for any insight!

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  • try fastboot oem get_unlock_data androidmtk.com/unlock-bootloader-on-any-motorola-device
    – alecxs
    Apr 3, 2020 at 9:41
  • Thanks for the tip. My end goal is to install a profile that supports ARCore, and I'd like to do that without unlocking the boot loader if possible, because that will wipe my phone.
    – cbannerjee
    Apr 4, 2020 at 2:16
  • i am not sure that works without proper hardware support (camera, sensors) however you can't use TWRP or Magisk with locked bootloader. wiping on unlocking is a security feature. you can partially backup apps in cloud, pictures to pc, some apps allow adb backup
    – alecxs
    Apr 4, 2020 at 9:38
  • You are right. It does not appear to be possible to install TWRP without unlocking the boot loader. @alecxs, If you make that an answer, I will accept it.
    – cbannerjee
    Apr 4, 2020 at 10:40
  • according to this blog it is possible to downgrade bootloader and even install TWRP without data loss for Moto G4 Plus blog.elcomsoft.com/2018/05/…
    – alecxs
    Apr 4, 2020 at 10:49

2 Answers 2

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Answer: it is not possible without unlocking boot loader. Thank you to @alecxs !

Also for anyone interested, rooting has some side effects: cannot load the Netflix app due to safety net checks. Even with the magisk mod for hiding safety net flags. And ultimately, ARCore still doesn't work, even after I flagged the Pixel 2 "image", and installed Google play services for AR.

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This topic is old, but still pertinent. The previous answer is correct and I'd like to assert it:
The locked bootloader won't allow you to install a custom recovery, and that is the reason for the messages:
(bootloader) Image recovery failed validation
and
(bootloader) Preflash validation failed

I also have a Moto G5-Plus, and I've done the tests: the custom recovery (TWRP) will only install if you unlock the bootloader. In addition, in my case, my phone was unlocked since 2015 and lately I started being denied access to my banking app due to security validations provided by Google APIs.

After some searching I've learned that in 2023 the "SafetyNet API" got deprecated in favor of the new "Play Integrity API" and in 2024 all apps that use that API must migrate to the new one. Also I've seen that Google is detecting and blocking Magisk patches very fast...

So the best solution to me was to return to stock ROM (OREO 8.1), and lock again the bootloader.
My G5Plus is now able to pass the two required tests of device and basic integrity:

  • By just unlocking the bootloader it started failing the "MEETS_DEVICE_INTEGRITY"
  • If the API detects a rooted device it will fail also the "MEETS_BASIC_INTEGRITY"

To learn about the new Integrity API: https://developer.android.com/google/play/integrity/overview

Here's a very useful app to check your device Integrity according to Google API: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gr.nikolasspyr.integritycheck&hl=en&gl=US

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