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HELP! I bricked my HTC Desire using the over-the-air update!

That was what a friend of me told me via ICQ some days ago. He used the OTA update feature that proclaimed a new android version found and accepted the update. What his phone did was updating the bootloader and the android system and got stuck within an infinite bootup loop. So he came over and we have spent some hours of research to fix this issue.

The major problem was that he owns a phone that has been branded by t-mobile. Some month ago he decided to remove the branding by installing an original HTC image. For this he flashed a HBOOT version with signature checking disabled to be able to flash an image that has no valid t-mobile signature. By using the OTA update, the phone pulled a new firmware image directly from the HTC servers that was signed by HTC and not by t-mobile. This version contained a new HBOOT version with signature checking enabled, so after flashing the image, the phone tries to check the signature of the image before unpacking the files. As the bootloader expected a t-mobile image but found a HTC image it just rejected the image and performed a reboot.

As in this stage the device did not even boot a basic android image, creating a goldcard has been impossible. Finally we found a solution to reflash the device. So my only idea has been to find an original t-mobile image as signed .zip to flash it manually onto the device. Thanks to the blog post on this page (german) we were able to obtain the current t-mobile image as offline image. After installing it directly from SD card onto the device, we were able to boot the device again.

So, if you run into the same problem, just try to find an original image delivered by your branded phones supplier. This should do the job for you.