T-Mobile Responds To G2 “Self-Repairing” Problem

The last few days have seen a flurry of activity regarding the T-Mobile G2 and the revelation that the phone itself, won’t stay “rooted.” As it turns out, as discovered by the experts at XDA Forums, the phone will self-repair per a built-in lock that ensures the handset will find itself back to a stock state.

Now of course, we have to play devils advocate for a second and say that while hacking and rooting and all that good stuff is perfectly legal, T-Mobile and HTC have a right to protect their property. It’s possible that those unfamiliar with the tenants of rooting can find themselves in a position where they need to take their phones to a T-Mobile retail store and present it to a befuddled sales rep who is clueless to help. This will just aggravate everyone involved making for a bad customer experience that will ultimately get blamed on T-Mobile and leave the customer with a bad taste in their mouth.

On the flip side, the entire concept of Android is supposed to be open, it’s a term championed by Android proponents everywhere. Customization is one of the major selling points of Android and the ability to root, opens up further possibilities with the Android platform to go even further on the customization level. There is no way this ends well.

With all that in mind though, T-Mobile has released a statement:

As pioneers in Android-powered mobile devices, T-Mobile and HTC strive to support innovation.  The T-Mobile G2 is a powerful and highly customizable Android-powered smartphone, which customers can personalize and make their own, from the look of their home screen to adding their favorite applications and more.

The HTC software implementation on the G2 stores some components in read-only memory as a security measure to prevent key operating system software from becoming corrupted and rendering the device inoperable. There is a small subset of highly technical users who may want to modify and re-engineer their devices at the code level, known as “rooting,” but a side effect of HTC’s security measure is that these modifications are temporary and cannot be saved to permanent memory.  As a result the original code is restored.


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  • TT

    All I have to say, exchange your phones like a Vibrant or probably any new phone that may be coming out. You do that exchange because your phone goes out. Then you come to find out that you cannot not root your phone, just like the G2. Exchanged phones are becoming unrootable. Just a heads up. The HTC and Samsung’s of the world are starting to change their hardware right in front of you. Don’t believe me, exchange your vibrant at this point. Things have changed!!!!!!

    But for T-mobile it makes sense. The G2 with 4G can get up to 14Mbs speeds. Phones with this kind of speed can bottle neck a network. If I own T-Mobile I wouldn’t want people tethering and using up that bandwidth. Using the phone on the network does not bottle neck the network but the tethering eats at it all day long. Glad they are not charging us for tethering!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bobsuruncle

    I wish T-Mobile would respond to the G2 “self-shutting down” Problem”

    • Ed

      Yeah, I could care less about the rooting (although I do think it is dirty of them since it’s violating some GPL’s) but having my phone reboot on me 3-9 times a day is unacceptable… So I returned mine and told them come December, I was shopping for a new carrier.

  • Foxeh


    Now modders are saying the G2 does no such self restoration. The rumor that got started was untrue and T-Mobile going along with said rumor is allegedly misleading if not outright subterfuge.

    When I re-read the statement above:
    “The HTC software implementation on the G2 stores some components in read-only memory as a security measure to prevent key operating system software from becoming corrupted and rendering the device inoperable.”

    That doesn’t sound like a “self repair” to me, like everyone described it as. That sounds like it prevents writes from happening in the first place. That sounds just like the behavior described in that Android Central article.

    I am not a hacker, but they are describing it as the usual NAND lock with a bug that makes it harder for root to stick, but if T-Mo’s statement was accurate, that bug is a feature. I don’t exactly have my head wrapped around the issue, but in the very least, that ‘bug’ seems to be working exactly how T-Mobile described.

    There’s so much emotion surrounding this device, I don’t even know what’s going on anymore.

  • Krakenbound

    While a bit of a let down, I am way past the stage in my life where I want or need to root every system I own. I choose reliability over the ability to tweak everything. I’m very happy with my G2 the way it is.

  • frayo

    what do you mean tmobile and htc have a right to protect their property once the phone is sold it is the property of the buyer

    • Mac

      Bloggers playing lawyer…