How to unlock the Nokia 2.1 bootloader

Nokia 2.1 owners now have a way to unlock their bootloaders thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Memberhikari_calyx. This, of course, is a required first step towards opening up a world of possibilities in the way of rooting and flashing custom ROMs, kernels, and other mods. The procedure described in theforum post involves flashing a “service bootloader” file available via a firmware download link and then unlocking it. Of course, the hope is that enough time passes before Nokia-brand manufacturer HMD Global blocks the procedure for a decent development community to, erm, develop. Of course, sinceAndroid Pie isalready available for the Nokia 2.1, any custom ROMs that get built will no doubt be based on Pie.

The procedure is outlined in the forum thread with great detail. Basically, it involves downloading the correct firmware, putting the phone intofastboot mode, and entering several lines of code from your computer.

Expand instructions

Step 1: Download firmware which consists the service bootloader file

You can download it from https://fih-firmware.hikaricalyx.com/hmd_en.html#e2m

Please download E2M-0390-0-00WW-B02 one in this case. If you’re using Android 9, download E2M-108C-0-00WW-B01.

Then, extract E2M-0-0390-00WW-1-2-emmc_appsboot_service.zip to get service bootloader file, and the extract password is “WLBGFIH123”.

Step 2: Boot your phone to Download mode (Fastboot mode)

You can execute following command then connect your phone when powered off, or use any other method you’re familiar with:

Code:

fastboot oem alive

Step 3: Flash service bootloader

Code:

fastboot oem dm-verity (md5_of_serial_number)

Surprised huh? This command is still usable on Nokia 2.1, even on Android 9 basis, not sure why.

For example, if your Serial Number is E2MGAHIKARICALYX, the md5 checksum is 0ab1b1e9f3aacc85849341cd5fb21412, then command will be:

Code:

fastboot oem dm-verity 0ab1b1e9f3aacc85849341cd5fb21412

You can simply Google a website to calculate md5 checksum of a string.

And flash service bootloader:

Code:

fastboot flash aboot /path/to/E2M-0-0390-00WW-1-2-emmc_appsboot_service.mbn
fastboot reboot-bootloader

Step 4: Unlock the bootloader

Your phone will reboot to service bootloader. Then grant unlock permission with following commands:

Code:

fastboot oem dm-verity (md5_of_serial_number)
fastboot oem fih on
fastboot oem devlock allow_unlock

Then unlock the bootloader:

Code:

fastboot oem flashing unlock_critical

When your phone is erasing userdata, then:

Code:

fastboot oem alive
(wait for triggering to download mode)
fastboot oem dm-verity (md5_of_serial_number)
fastboot oem fih on
fastboot oem devlock allow_unlock
fastboot oem unlock-go

All done. Your phone has unlocked bootloader.

Hopefully, the Nokia 2.1’s Snapdragon 425 and 1GB RAM will be able to handle the latest and greatest custom ROMs whenever they may get built for the device. Check out theforum thread for more instructions and information.

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