T-Mobile clears up G2 temporary root questions

A few days ago, we told you about the T-Mobile G2 being rooted here on AndroidGuys. We quickly learned that the root is only temporary, lasting until you reboot the phone. Well, we just received an official statement from T-Mobile regarding this issue.

You can read the press release below, but it basically says that some software components are stored in read-only memory as a security measure. This ensures that key software isn’t corrupted, which would render the G2 inoperable. This prevents any modifications from being saved to memory, which is why the software is restored when rebooting.

I’m sure it won’t take long for some dedicated dev to crack this egg, permanently. But at least now we know why rooting the G2 is only temporary. Check out the official statement below. Thanks to Matt from T-Mobile for sending us this info.

Code-Level Modifications to the G2
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.

  • Nice save T-Mobile… NOT!!!! I love how they just think that by having this whole, “OH that, That’s because we don’t want you to hurt yourself”, mentality they can incorporate fake preventative measures for A WHOLE OS! I feel like this, we are all adults here and everyone knows the risks of rooting an Android device if the end outweighs the means and you feel that this is for you then let the people have what they want instead of undermining the whole foundation that android was BUILT ON!


  • cl_spdhax1

    That would explain the low memory (ROM) on them. It’s confirmed the memory chip is indeed 4GB, but it’s locked or partitioned out of the system view, so we see only/less than 2GB. Still not impossible to root. The boot/bios/(or whatever) needs to just ignore the command to look into the invisible partition, and continue loading the installed files.

  • Josh

    Wow not even Apple does that, so much for “open”

    • bob

      Umm Yes it does, where you been?

  • Ryan

    I don’t know. It sounds more like a “we hid the house keys under the floormat. I hope nobody finds it” kind of statement.

  • opiate46

    This is really the one phone that they shouldn’t have done this to.

  • kurkosdr

    This just confirms that the only REAL Android cellphone is the Nexus. All the other “android phones” are not really running Android, just custom firmware that WAS BASED on Android. The hardware “architecture” is ALSO different, as this example proves (the nexus doesn’t have a locked bootloader).

    In plain english, what android did as to allow carriers to make a new version of their sucky proprietary OSes, and you can’t do anything to change it.

    Do I hear a “Get a Nexus while you still can??”\

    PS: Of course, this doesn’t prevent Oracle from claiming that these third party modifications are part of the Android install base. I cringe when I think that the Backflip counts towards Android’s market share, and as a legitimate android device…

    • Sam Herren

      And the original Verizon Droid. Runs stock Android and can be rooted w/o any issues.

  • kurkosdr

    –> When I said “Oracle”, I meant “Google”. Can’t always tell the difference

  • G1 user

    This is ridiculous and if there is no way around it, I will not be upgrading to the G2. However, it looks like a T-mobile stunt and nothing to reflect on Android. This might be enough to make me leave T-mobile.

  • kevin

    After 9 years with t-mobile I’ve got the G2. I was a G1 CM user for 2 years. I would have waited longer if they had disclosed this up front. Everyone wants the option to paint their house or change the tires on their car. Its called ownership.

    • After the Slide I was concerned about this as well, I kind of wanted to pre-order it but I decided to wait until it was confirmed as rootable and romable before I purchased.

  • James

    Fail. I had just told my brother to look into the G2 last week. He would have been a new T-mo customer too. Now he’ll probably get a Droid 2 on Verizon.

    To be fair the hinge also looked pretty goofy and thin, and they disabled tethering, so this phone might be doomed anyway.

  • Slipped it in

    This is awesome! This will prevent people from ending up with a bricked phone like you do on the newest Motorola Droid phones sold through Verizon. Seriously, the whole reason people starting rooting smartphones in the first place was to get out of Apple’s walled garden. Since the Android marketplace is pretty much a free for all what is the point of rooting on an Android phone?

    A bit off topic here, but if you are having a problem with your phone like the random shut off problem that occurs on all models of Samsung Galaxy S phones then rooting your phone will void your warranty and you will have to pay through the nose to get your phone fixed. What moron would want to through away their money like that?

    • Maciek

      Dear Slipped it in

      For me the reason to root it would be to get WiFi tether that T-Mobile chose to remove from the so called stock android. I still got the phone and love it but at this point I am pissed. I switched from Nokia N900 because I wanted the apps BUT what’s simply beautiful about N900 is the fact that you have root access out of the box (almost…you download an app from N900 market – not a hack… a freely available app that allows you to gain a full root access).

      In G2’s case it’s a fake way of persuading the user that they get a stock Android. If T-Mobile wanted a custom version, they should’ve gone with the same version as Desire Z (with HTC Sense). It would be less painful because we would know that it’s customized but in this case they used the deception tactic. In my opinion it was “either sell one with HTC Sense or the shitty MyTouch UI for the -common folks- or put a stock android without crippling it and allow the more advanced users to have fun”. They left a bad taste in both groups’ mouth…for the -common folk- crowd stock android may not be too appealing and for the “advanced” users it’s too restricted. The ball’s in Cyanogen’s and XDA’s court now.

      • Slipped it in

        T-Mobile previously said the lack of tethering was temporary. Tethering will be available on the G2 once T-Mobile decides how much extra they want to charge you for it.

  • Lulzy Van Trollanpantz

    Actually, it’s probably just T-mobile’s way of keeping G2 network traffic down while they expand their 3G / HDSPA+ infrastructure.

    Because let’s face it, 90% of the people with a G2 want some hot tether action.

  • efense

    I just got myself a G2, can anyone talk me how long this Rooting thing can be resolve because I am about to return the G2 for something that is Rootable like the MYTOUCH 4G.