Root checker found in DROID 4 and DROID RAZR/MAXX Ice Cream Sandwich builds


Uh-oh. It looks like Verizon and Motorola have found another way to find out if they can deny you service on a malfunctioning rooted phone. It’s been discovered that the Ice Cream Sandwich builds for the Motorola DROID 4, Motorola DROID RAZR Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX include a root checker.

When booting into the recovery, a three character notation will come up letting prying eyes know what you’ve done to your device. For instance, “qe 0/0” means your device has never been rooted, “qe 1/1” means your device is currently rooted, and “qe 0/1” means it was rooted before, but currently isn’t.

We imagine this check doesn’t come up with custom recoveries, and if you have a custom recovery then they’ll know you’re rooted anyway. We don’t like it and we know you don’t feel very different, but if Galaxy Nexus users are able to get along with the lock icon during boot-up for devices with unlocked bootloaders many people shouldn’t have an issue with this.

The only difference is that you can’t revert to an official factory state and have it all disappear and that just may be what pushes the DROID bunch over the line. What do you think of this “root check?” [via Droid-Life]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Samsung posts internal statement regarding jury’s decision

Previous article

Are these the final Galaxy Note 2 specs?

Next article

You may also like


  1. I was never gonna send a device of mine back to Verizon for service anyway, and I wouldn’t root one before the return period was over anyway, so I don’t really care.
    For those concerned I’m pretty sure there’ll be a work around for it soon enough.

  2. It took one day for people at XDA to develop a way to reset the ROM counter on the GS3 to zero.

  3. Defenitely on the Bionic. Just checked, and I’m on 1/1.

  4. Stop buying Motorola phones. They lied to their customers fucking faces about the whole bootloader unlock for “all future devices” back in May 2011. Did the Bionic, Droid 3, Droid Razr, Droid Razr Maxx and Droid 4 get what they said they would do? No. Now they’re trying to punish you for using your device to its fullest capability (or you know, trying to uninstall that otherwise uninstallable bloatware)

    1. That’s exactly what I did – no more Moto for me

    2. that’s what i did. currently with a international galaxy note and no plans to go back to moto until the evil stops

    3. If you are a corporation, you will want to buy Motorola because of these protections. But Moto’s changed a lot since the original Droid, that’s for sure.

  5. Looks like the Bionic was my first and last DROID device. Nexus or Galaxy for me.

  6. Wow.. You would think this would change when Google bought Motorola Mobile… I’m not even a Motorola owner and I’m pissed off.. lol

  7. Without a doubt this is going to create a hairy situation with insurance claims. I wouldn’t doubt rooted users with ligitimate damage coverable under insurance would not get a replacement because the counter showed that it was rooted…I don’t like this but hopefully devs would be able to work around these measures if other OEMs start doing this

    1. it is stated that if you root your phone, warranties will be voided… an act was passed awhile back, when iOS jail breaking was getting big.

  8. that’s just evil. Wonder if they’ll add this tracker to a nexus phone if they make one.

  9. So far, I haven’t had an issue ever getting service on my HTC phones after they’ve been rooted. If it ever proves to be a problem on my Moto phone, I think I’d smell a class action. I didn’t lease the device, I bought it. Which means I own it. I don’t license the restricted use of it. There is no reason to lock a device owner out of a bootloader.

    1. If you leave the phone stock, there is no way you can screw up the phone. So you can take it back in and have them exchange it. If you root, you have root privileges. You can do whatever you want. Who’s to say you weren’t the one who screwed up your phone after you rooted it? That’s why they don’t want to take those back.

      It has nothing to do with, “oh my gosh, you’re not allowed to root because we say so”.

      1. Computers have warranties, and yet I can have root privileges on Linux and Administrator rights in Windows. Should these be removed as well?

        1. ^ This. Plus there’s all the finger pointing going on, Carriers say it’s the OEM’s locking bootlaoders, and vice versa….

  10. If you know going in that rooting voids your warranty, you’ve really got no basis to be upset that they are checking. Quit trying to cheat the system.

  11. I’m glad I dropped my bionic in favor of my GSM Nexus. but if a carrier or manufacturer is expected to support a device and provide warranty repair/replacement as necessary, it’s not entirely unreasonable for them to have concerns about what users might do to screw up the device. it’s not the rooting by itself that’s the issue – it’s what rooting allows you to do. overclocking a device can result in hardware failure. should the carrier or manufacturer absorb the cost of a replacement device in such a case? I’m sure most of us would say no, but I’m also sure there’s no shortage of people who would have their device replaced under warranty insucha case.

  12. In all honesty, this shouldnt bother anyone.
    It doesnt effect anyone who doesnt root their devices. It only effects those such as myself who has rooted their device.

    If you rooted your device, you knowingly voided your warranty and this shouldnt matter to you UNLESS you plan on filing a warranty replacement claim after youve already knowingly invalidated it….Thats pretty much lying and stealing right there… If they wish to help you after youve voided your warranty, then good on them. They shouldnt have to because you lied to them tho. You invalidated your warranty not them.

    Doesnt bother me, this root checker. Just allow the ability to unlock your bootloaders and im good.

    1. WHAT if you rooted, but your phone has a physical defect within the 1 year warranty? They won’t replace your phone even though it was defective. People modify the crap out of their PC computers, but warranties are not waived……

      1. Well, then it is now in the hands of the carrier/manufacturer to decide whether or not they wish to repair/replace the device under warranty as an act of good faith knowing its warranty status has been voided. HTC and Samsung have both repaired devices with defects for me in the past without me having to lie and hide the fact. Samsung actually just repaired my brothers rooted Galaxy Note running CM10 and made no fuss.

        The difference between our smartphones and PCs is that it does void the warranties on our smartphones. We know it voids our warranties and that’s one of the risks we all knowingly take when rooting/jailbreaking our devices.

        I’m with you, I do not feel that the act of rooting/jailbreaking our devices should invalidate our warranties, but unfortunately it does, we all know it does and we take that risk and willingly do it anyways. Its not like Jim Carrey took your phone and said “Lemme show you something….” Its a risk many of us choose to take. You know what they say. No risk, no reward.

        1. Jim Carrey LOL……

  13. Super Lame……If Motorola wants to live, they need to stop trying to FACK with people who want to buy their phones!

    1. that’s the irony of it all:

      People who know that Motorola build quality is great (minus the screen) —> developers
      People who want root access to their phones —> developers
      OEM that doesn’t want to unlock their bootloader —> Motorola

  14. Haha lame. Someone will make and sell a reset

  15. Explain to me again why there’s even a development community still behind Motorola phones?

    Not trying to sound like an ass or pis ant fan-boy here, but if I were one of said developers trying to keep the phones alive through root, and this was continually thrown in MY face, I’d stop working on it. Move onto a new manufacturer.

  16. Bullshit! This is my device! I own it! And i pay vzw a hefty fee for my service! Chevrolet cant tell you you cant shave every possible ounce to go faster or save gas, or put giant stupid chrome everything autozone has to offer! Wtf vzw/moto?!?! WTF?

  17. Timothy, yes, you can modify your Chevy any way you want because you own it, but just like with your phone, if you are under the warranty period for the car you may have voided it with your modifications. Even driving it outside it’s normal envelope may void the warranty. On my Chevy simply using non-synthetic oil would void the power train warranty. Many after market auto addons explicitly state that use of their product may void your manufacturers warranty. Certainly as you point out there are addons that do not void a warranty, like chrome valve covers or a set of wheels. Same with phones, you can dress it up without fear of voiding the warranty. Fortunately with both phones and Chevys, the rules are spelled out in the fine print and we can choose to follow them, give up warranty coverage or choose another product. And keep in mind that the warranty conditions are just as much ‘yours’ and part of what you ‘own’ as the hood of your car or the power adapter for your phone.

    I tend to like warranties and use them when needed. If I don’t like a product ‘as built’ I keep looking until I find one I do like or can live with. If I need to modify it I wait for the warranty period to pass or live with the consequences of my choice when I do void it.

    As for others who point out they can mod their PC rigs without consequences, that’s simply not true either. If you buy a system from HP or Dell the case is sealed, and simply opening the case may void the warranty. I’m guessing most people are referring to rigs they built themselves. Great, go build your own phone, or car, and let me know how that goes…….

    Cost, quality and customizability. You can pick only 2.

  18. Here’s my 2¢, as an IT professional I can say that there is a place in the world for root/tamper resistant devices. Rooted devices can be used to circumvent corporate IT policies and Motorola frequently markets itself as having the best “business-ready” phones. I do understand their position from a data security standpoint. (That being said, I personally wouldn’t buy another of their devices because I like to tinker, but they have a legitimate business reason for being pricks about rooting)

  19. Why the f don’t Motorola etc stop pissing about and come up with a bullet proof factory state reloader? That way they can let folk root to hell and always recover…

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets