1

The problem

After trying to flash a factory image of Android to my (previously working) Pixel 3, I can now no longer exit the bootloader, nor can I boot into the system. The bootloader simply reads no valid slot to boot.

I was trying to downgrade my phone to Android 11 in preparation for installing /e/OS. I attempted to flash a factory image from Oct 2021 to my Pixel 3 Android phone using ADB but after completing the process, I received the following message in the terminal:

Erase successful, but not automatically formatting.
File system type raw not supported.
Rebooting                                          OKAY [  0.000s]
Finished. Total time: 235.583s

and then after my phone finished rebooting, it showed the following screen:

Fastboot Mode

Product revision: blueline MP1.0(ROW)
Bootloader version: b1c1-0.4-7617406
Baseband version: g845-00194-210812-B-7635520
Serial number: XXXXXXXXX
Secure boot: PRODUCTION
NOS production: yes
DRAM: 4GB Micron LPDDR4XUFS: 64GB Micron
Device state: unlocked
Boot slot: b
Enter reason: no valid slot to boot

Current Phone State

If I attempt to reboot my phone, it simply returns to the fastboot screen.

From the fastboot screen, I have the following options: Start, Power Off, BarCode, Rescue Mode, Recovery Mode, and Restart Bootloader.

  • Clicking "Start" immediately returns me back to the fastboot screen.
  • Clicking "Power Off" powers off the phone if unplugged, or just returns to the fastboot screen if plugged in.
  • Clicking "BarCode" brings up the expected screen.
  • Clicking "Rescue Mode" or "Recovery Mode" brings up the android icon with "No command". Holding the power button and clicking the volume up button brings up the expected screen of commands.

I can also still run the fastboot reboot fastboot command from the terminal and enter the fastbootd screen successfully.

What I've tried so far

Here are the following things I have tried to recover from this:

  • Running the flash-all.sh script again.
  • Flashing each image (boot, bootloader, radio, system, vendor) individually.
  • Flashing different factory image versions of Android, both of Android 11 and 12, and both using the flash-all.sh script and flashing each image individually.
  • Switch to using a USB 2.0 cable (USB-A to USB-C). I had first tried all the above steps using a USB 3.0 (USB-C to USB-C) cable.

Prior to doing this, my phone was in working order and running the latest version of Android 12 available for my phone.

Have I simply bricked my phone? The fact that I can get to so many different screens and still access the phone from my computer makes me think this is recoverable but I've so far been able to fix it.


Additional Information

I've included the results of running the flash-all.sh script below:

chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ ./flash-all.sh
Sending 'bootloader_b' (8521 KB)                   OKAY [  0.440s]
Writing 'bootloader_b'                             (bootloader) Flashing Pack version b1c1-0.4-7617406
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 0
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 1
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 2
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 4
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 5
(bootloader) Flashing partition msadp_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition xbl_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition xbl_config_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition aop_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition tz_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition hyp_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition abl_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition keymaster_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition cmnlib_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition cmnlib64_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition devcfg_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition qupfw_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition storsec_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition logfs
OKAY [  0.269s]
Finished. Total time: 0.902s
Rebooting into bootloader                          OKAY [  0.018s]
Finished. Total time: 0.119s
Sending 'radio_b' (71468 KB)                       OKAY [  2.780s]
Writing 'radio_b'                                  (bootloader) Flashing Pack version SSD:g845-00194-210812-B-7635520
(bootloader) Flashing partition modem_b
OKAY [  0.423s]
Finished. Total time: 3.394s
Rebooting into bootloader                          OKAY [  0.019s]
Finished. Total time: 0.270s
--------------------------------------------
Bootloader Version...: b1c1-0.4-7617406
Baseband Version.....: g845-00194-210812-B-7635520
Serial Number........: XXXXXXXXX
--------------------------------------------
extracting android-info.txt (0 MB) to RAM...
Checking 'product'                                 OKAY [  0.059s]
Checking 'version-bootloader'                      OKAY [  0.059s]
Checking 'version-baseband'                        OKAY [  0.059s]
Setting current slot to 'b'                        OKAY [  0.078s]
extracting boot.img (64 MB) to disk... took 0.677s
archive does not contain 'boot.sig'
Sending 'boot_b' (65536 KB)                        OKAY [  2.490s]
Writing 'boot_b'                                   OKAY [  0.321s]
extracting dtbo.img (8 MB) to disk... took 0.056s
archive does not contain 'dtbo.sig'
Sending 'dtbo_b' (8192 KB)                         OKAY [  0.400s]
Writing 'dtbo_b'                                   OKAY [  0.102s]
archive does not contain 'dt.img'
archive does not contain 'recovery.img'
extracting vbmeta.img (0 MB) to disk... took 0.000s
archive does not contain 'vbmeta.sig'
Sending 'vbmeta_b' (8 KB)                          OKAY [  0.120s]
Writing 'vbmeta_b'                                 OKAY [  0.067s]
archive does not contain 'vbmeta_system.img'
extracting super_empty.img (0 MB) to disk... took 0.000s
Rebooting into fastboot                            OKAY [  0.060s]
< waiting for any device >
Sending 'system_b' (4 KB)                          OKAY [  0.001s]
Updating super partition                           OKAY [  0.019s]
Resizing 'product_b'                               OKAY [  0.005s]
Resizing 'system_b'                                OKAY [  0.006s]
Resizing 'vendor_b'                                OKAY [  0.006s]
archive does not contain 'boot_other.img'
archive does not contain 'odm.img'
extracting product.img (2148 MB) to disk... took 26.647s
archive does not contain 'product.sig'
Resizing 'product_b'                               OKAY [  0.006s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 1/9 (262140 KB)         OKAY [  9.263s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  1.304s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 2/9 (262140 KB)         OKAY [ 10.195s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  1.289s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 3/9 (262140 KB)         OKAY [ 10.014s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  1.269s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 4/9 (262140 KB)         OKAY [ 10.325s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  2.340s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 5/9 (262140 KB)         OKAY [ 10.254s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  1.289s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 6/9 (262140 KB)         OKAY [ 10.050s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  1.320s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 7/9 (262140 KB)         OKAY [ 10.353s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  1.294s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 8/9 (262140 KB)         OKAY [ 10.516s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  1.277s]
Sending sparse 'product_b' 9/9 (102612 KB)         OKAY [  3.970s]
Writing 'product_b'                                OKAY [  0.544s]
archive does not contain 'product_services.img'
extracting system.img (845 MB) to disk... took 13.288s
archive does not contain 'system.sig'
Resizing 'system_b'                                OKAY [  0.006s]
Sending sparse 'system_b' 1/4 (262140 KB)          OKAY [  9.876s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 OKAY [  1.271s]
Sending sparse 'system_b' 2/4 (262140 KB)          OKAY [ 10.578s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 OKAY [  1.289s]
Sending sparse 'system_b' 3/4 (262140 KB)          OKAY [ 10.270s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 OKAY [  1.274s]
Sending sparse 'system_b' 4/4 (79656 KB)           OKAY [  3.154s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 OKAY [  0.422s]
extracting system_other.img (67 MB) to disk... took 0.737s
archive does not contain 'system.sig'
Sending 'system_a' (69440 KB)                      OKAY [  2.707s]
Writing 'system_a'                                 OKAY [  0.344s]
extracting vendor.img (442 MB) to disk... took 5.910s
archive does not contain 'vendor.sig'
Resizing 'vendor_b'                                OKAY [  0.006s]
Sending sparse 'vendor_b' 1/2 (262140 KB)          OKAY [ 10.532s]
Writing 'vendor_b'                                 OKAY [  1.289s]
Sending sparse 'vendor_b' 2/2 (191236 KB)          OKAY [  7.695s]
Writing 'vendor_b'                                 OKAY [  1.008s]
archive does not contain 'vendor_other.img'
Erasing 'userdata'                                 OKAY [  8.253s]
Erase successful, but not automatically formatting.
File system type raw not supported.
Erasing 'metadata'                                 OKAY [  0.009s]
Erase successful, but not automatically formatting.
File system type raw not supported.
Rebooting                                          OKAY [  0.000s]
Finished. Total time: 235.583s

Flashing each image individually results in the following:

chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot flash boot boot
boot.img                                  bootloader-blueline-b1c1-0.4-7617406.img  
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot flash boot boot.img
Sending 'boot_b' (65536 KB)                        OKAY [  2.700s]
Writing 'boot_b'                                   OKAY [  0.392s]
Finished. Total time: 3.291s
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-blueline-b1c1-0.4-7617406.img 
Sending 'bootloader_b' (8521 KB)                   OKAY [  0.440s]
Writing 'bootloader_b'                             (bootloader) Flashing Pack version b1c1-0.4-7617406
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 0
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 1
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 2
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 4
(bootloader) Flashing partition table for Lun = 5
(bootloader) Flashing partition msadp_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition xbl_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition xbl_config_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition aop_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition tz_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition hyp_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition abl_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition keymaster_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition cmnlib_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition cmnlib64_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition devcfg_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition qupfw_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition storsec_b
(bootloader) Flashing partition logfs
OKAY [  0.272s]
Finished. Total time: 0.909s
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot reboot-bootloader
Rebooting into bootloader                          OKAY [  0.019s]
Finished. Total time: 0.119s
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot flash radio radio-blueline-g845-00194-210812-b-7635520.img 
Sending 'radio_b' (71468 KB)                       OKAY [  2.930s]
Writing 'radio_b'                                  (bootloader) Flashing Pack version SSD:g845-00194-210812-B-7635520
(bootloader) Flashing partition modem_b
OKAY [  0.414s]
Finished. Total time: 3.536s
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot flash system system.img
Sending sparse 'system_b' 1/4 (262140 KB)          OKAY [ 10.840s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 FAILED (remote: 'Partition should be flashed in fastbootd')
fastboot: error: Command failed
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot reboot fastboot
Rebooting into fastboot                            OKAY [  0.011s]
< waiting for any device >
Finished. Total time: 16.212s
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot flash system system.img
Resizing 'system_b'                                OKAY [  0.007s]
Sending sparse 'system_b' 1/4 (262140 KB)          OKAY [ 10.777s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 OKAY [  1.297s]
Sending sparse 'system_b' 2/4 (262140 KB)          OKAY [ 10.784s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 OKAY [  1.306s]
Sending sparse 'system_b' 3/4 (262140 KB)          OKAY [ 10.676s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 OKAY [  1.294s]
Sending sparse 'system_b' 4/4 (79672 KB)           OKAY [  3.095s]
Writing 'system_b'                                 OKAY [  0.468s]
Finished. Total time: 39.727s
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot flash vendor vendor.img 
Resizing 'vendor_b'                                OKAY [  0.006s]
Sending sparse 'vendor_b' 1/2 (262140 KB)          OKAY [ 10.659s]
Writing 'vendor_b'                                 OKAY [  1.275s]
Sending sparse 'vendor_b' 2/2 (191236 KB)          OKAY [  7.817s]
Writing 'vendor_b'                                 OKAY [  0.977s]
Finished. Total time: 20.757s
chris@chris-XPS-13-9300:~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools$ fastboot reboot
Rebooting                                          OKAY [  0.000s]
Finished. Total time: 0.201s
5
  • Have you tried to manually select slot A or B using fastboot --set-active=a
    – Robert
    Jun 23 at 12:37
  • @Robert no I haven't tried that yet. Would it make a difference if I'm writing to slot A or B? I had noticed that it was writing to slot B but wasn't sure if that was significant. Jun 23 at 17:55
  • It should not make a difference which slot to use. But at the moment neither slot A nor B is selected which makes booting impossible.
    – Robert
    Jun 23 at 18:19
  • I just ran fastboot --set-active=a and rebooted and I get the same fastboot message as above but with Boot slot: a instead of Boot slot: b. Jun 23 at 18:40
  • I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your suggestion, but I tried flashing a factory image to the phone again on slot A but am still experiencing the same situation described above. Jun 23 at 19:17

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