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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unlocking Bootloader on Xperia phones for loading custom ROM's

  Warning: Unlocking your phone’s bootloader voids its warranty.  You can also  flash certain custom ROM's without  unlocking Bootloader.

 Note : Check for steps to flash CM9 ROM on Xperia Neo V


What is a bootloader?

The bootloader is a code that is executed before any Operating System starts to run. Every Android phone has a bootloader that instructs the operating system kernel to boot normally.

Why is Bootloader Locked ?

A bootloader is usually locked on an Android device because although it’s an open source OS, still the manufacturers want you to stick to their Android OS version specifically designed for the device. In order to apply this concept, manufacturers lock the bootloader. With a locked bootloader on Android devices, it is virtually impossible to flash a Custom ROM and forced attempts void warranty as well as usually end up in bricks. Therefore, the first step is to always unlock the bootloader.

Before unlocking bootloader let me show you how to check the bootloader unlocking permissions of Xperia phones
Step 1: Open the dial pad of your phone and type *#*#SERVICE#*#* or *#*#7378423#*#*
It will show you the Service menu


Click on Service info and then click on configuration on next page, you will find the 'Rooting Status' as Yes. If it is yes, bootloader unlocking is allowed on your phone.

Methods available if the answer is Yes:

Method 1:
Method 2a: SE tool 2
Method 2 b: S1 tool(if available for your device)

If answer is No:

Method 2a: SE tool 2


Method 1 :
It is completely free. But it is available for certain phones only ie: Xperia Play, Xperia Arc, Xperia Arc s, Xperia Neo, Xperia Neo V, Xperia Pro,Xperia mini,  Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Ray, Xperia Active, Sony Live with Walkman, Xperia S
 (Erases all data on phone, Erases DRM and so apps, Track Id many not work ,Over Air updates may fail)

Method 2a : SE tool 2
Maintains all data, DRM keys, Track ID. It also can repair bricked phones But is paid.

Method 2b: S1 tool( available for Neo V)
It is free, maintains all data, DRM keys. But it is available for certain devices.
Go to

If your device is NOT carrier branded, you may be able to use the FREE S1tool to unlock your bootloader. The S1tool ONLY supports the following models: X10 Xperia, E10 Mini, E15 Xperia X8, U20 Mini Pro, LT15 Xperia ARC, MT15 Xperia NEO, R800 Xperia PLAY, ST18 Xperia RAY, ST15 Xperia Mini, SK17 Xperia Mini Pro

Easy Method:

Easiest method would be using SE bootloader unlocker v 1.6, you can also relock with this tool. Try this:

If you have unlocked your bootloader, you are ready to go with custom ROM's......
 There are lite and awesome custom ROMs available.
 Check for awesome custom ROM's

1. I am getting an error (bootloader) Unlock phone requested
FAILED (remote: oem unlock failed!)
finished. total time: 0.109s

Answer: Your unlock key seems to be incorrect... generate another one and try again...

Note: Such errors happens if you enter wrong unlock key or IMEI


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