There might finally be some hope for Nexus owners who have had their Nexus 5X or 6P instantly turn into paperweight through no fault of its own. While Google, LG, and Huawei take their time figuring this out and fighting off class action lawsuits, some more zealous users have taken matters into their own hands to fix their “bootloop of death”, or BLOD, problems. After the Nexus 6P got its fix, it is the Nexus 5X’s turn. Curiously, it uses the exact same fix as the Nexus 6P.
Despite made by different manufacturers, both the Nexus 6P by Huawei and the Nexus 5X by LG experienced the fatal bootloops that practically made the smartphones unusable. In LG’s case, however, a few of its non-Nexus phones have also been hit by the same bug, complicating matters even more.
Although a full explanation still isn’t available, an unofficial and working fix is. The trick was to apparently disable the “big” cores in the octa-core setup of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 running inside the Nexus 6P. Apparently, that same trick works for the Nexus 5X, despite the smartphone running on a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 only.
Fortunately, that also means that the steps are similar as well, but so are the drawbacks. All that has changed are some of the files that you need to download. To recap, you will need these files to get started:
• ADB and Fastboot tools
• (Only for Windows users) USB drivers
• Modified boot image (N2G47Z_4Cores.img)
• (Optional) Modified TWRP image (TWRP3_1_1_5X.img)
• (Optional) Modified kernel (EX4_10_5X.zip)
The steps are as follows:
1. Extract the ADB and Fastboot tools in a directory and place the boot image in the same directory
2. Plug the Nexus 5X to the computer
3. Open a Command Prompt/Terminal in that directory and run
fastboot devices to check if the phone is detected. If not, reinstall the USB drivers (on Windows)
4. Unlock the Nexus 5X bootloader. This will wipe the phone’s internal storage. Run the command
fastboot flashing unlock
5. Once unlocked, flash the boot image with
fastboot flash boot N2G47Z_4Cores.img
(Optional) Install TWRP with
fastboot flash recovery TWRP3_1_1_5X.img
6. Reboot with
fastboot reboot and enjoy your Nexus 5X’s second life.
Like with the Nexus 6P, the Nexus 5X will run noticeably slower since it will be running on only four slower Cortex-A53 cores. You can opt to overclock the Snapdragon 808 by flashing the modified kernel using TWRP. And like the Nexus 6P, this process wipes your internal storage, so you have to choose between trying to preserve your data, which is nearly impossible since you can’t boot into the phone in the first place, or getting to use the Nexus 5X again. For some, there isn’t really a choice.
Google has responded to questions and complaints by pointing affected users to its repair and replacement options, but soon that won’t be available anymore as the Nexus 5X and 6P approach their end of life. It is also interesting that the same fix applies to two smartphones from different OEMs, using different processors. Even more mysterious when you consider that the bootloops extends to other LG devices as well. While we await more definitive answers to these questions, Nexus 6P and, now, 5X owners can at least enjoy use of their smartphones again.