Amazon Fire TV Update Bricking Rooted Devices

Amazon's Fire TV set-top box aims to drive consumers toward Amazon's own services, and it does that by locking users down to the company's own ecosystem. Not everyone is satisfied with that, however, and so there is a strong community of DIYers who have rooted their devices to enable functions otherwise kept outside the curated wall, so to speak. Those users had an unfortunate surprise when updating to the latest firmware, discovering that it bricked rooted consoles upon rebooting.

The issue was first surfaced by TechDirt, which points to the XDA forum where Fire TV owners began reporting bricked devices after updating to the latest firmware released in late November. After digging around, it was discovered reversing the process had also been nuked.

Rubbing some salt in the wound, the firmware prevents users from downgrading the set-top box via the use of an eFuse. According to AFTVnews' notes on firmware version 51.1.4.1_user_514013920:

Self destruct' eFuse added to kernel which gets triggered if an older bootloader is used. This means Fire TVs that update to stock 51.1.4.1_user_514013920 can never be downgraded, even if a method to root them is discovered.

This means owners with rooted devices will need to avoid updating henceforth, and those who have updated devices are limited in what tweaks they can make to the Fire TV console.

SOURCE: TechDirt