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How to unlock the Sony Ericsson Xperia S bootloader

The Sony Ericsson Xperia S is a powerful smartphone, but in order to take full advantage of its performances you must make some operations on its internal system. The first thing you must do is to learn how to unlock the Xperia S bootloader. It’s not a complicate process, but if you don’t know what tools to use and how to apply the settings, you can wreck your phone. That’s why in this step by step guide you have it all explained; take a look and see if you can handle it.

Also, unlocking the bootloader is the first step to do if you want to improve the performances of your smartphone. After completing this operation its system will be unchained from those annoying factory restrictions and you will gain more control over the OS. Furthermore, you will be able to customize and optimize the Android firmware by your own taste, the device being your new “playground”.

Having an unlocked bootloader will offer you the possibility of installing custom recovery images, flash custom ROMs, or applying OS updates on your Sony Ericsson Xperia S. If you remember, recently, I have brought you news about the first OS update released for the Xperia S; well, you can’t install the firmware unless you first learn how to unlock your phone’s bootstrap loader. This is the purpose of the present tutorial, so let’s get started. The process can be completed in just a couple of minutes, but only if you do all exactly as explained here.

First of all you have to know what a bootloader really is. Each time you buy a device it will be delivered with a locked bootloader, which is something like a carrier restriction. As you can tell, the same is with your Xperia S. Now, the phone bootloader is similar with the one you have on your computer. Each time a smartphone is powered on, it usually does not have an operating system loaded in ROM or RAM. That’s why it must execute a small program stored in ROM and a few data in order to access the nonvolatile devices from which the operating system programs and data are loaded into RAM.

The only way in which you can avoid the up mentioned is when you buy a phone straight from Google. Only then it will be delivered with an unlocked bootloader, but this is happening extremely rarely. The bootstrap loader is not the same for all the platforms out there; therefore the one featured on an Android powered device will be completely different from the one included on iOS, MeeGo and so on. More, each phone comes with different software, meaning that you can apply the method presented in this guide only for an Xperia S handset; else you can wreck your device.

Now, there are some negative aspects you must consider. By completing this operation you will void the Sony Ericsson warranty. If somehow something isn’t working as it should (this is happening rarely and only if you don’t follow a tutorial like the one from here) or if you damage the system, you will be on your own. If you’re not comfortable with this maybe it will be better to stop going any further.

We can finally begin the proper tutorial but first,  you will need to have access to a Windows / Linux / MAC running computer, to your phone and to its US cord. Also, on the computer and smartphone you should make the following:

  • Unlocking the bootloader will wipe the data out from your Xperia S. Backup the data from your device. In this way you can avoid any unpleasant situations, like loosing your personal info.
  • At least 70% battery power should be left in your phone.
  • Enable the USB debugging in your handset. For completing this, just go to “Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging”.
  • Find out the smartphone IMEI and note it down (you will have to use it latter). For achieving this, dial “#06#” in your dialer.
  • On the computer you must have fastboot installed.

Finally you can proceed to the next section of the post. Make sure you read all the lines and do all as explained during the steps. In the end, share your thoughts with us.

How to unlock the Sony Ericsson Xperia S bootloader

  1. For the first step, you must go on this page, from your computer browser.
  2. On the bottom of the page that opens click on “Start Unlocking the Bootloader”.
  3. Open the dialer from your device and dial “*#*#7378423#*#*”.
  4. Then, go to “Service info -> Configuration -> Rooting Status”. If the “Bootloader unlock allowed” option is there is perfect and you can complete the operation. If not, or if the status is missing, your device cannot be unlocked.
  5. Return on the computer and click “continue” on the page accessed on step 1.
  6. Accept the prompt and then enter the IMEI, your name and email address when asked.
  7. Now download the “android_winusb.inf-file” from here to the computer and extract the same. The tool will enable fastboot to support Sony and Sony Ericsson devices.
  8. A unique code will be provided, note it down.
  9. Then, extract the “fastboot_with_Android_USB_file.rar” and open the fastboot folder.
  10. In this folder hold the Shift key from your keyboard and then press right click and choose “Open command window here”.
  11. Turn off the phone.
  12. Reboot it by entering in fastboot mode. This can be achieved by holding the Volume UP button while powering on the smartphone.
  13. Connect the handset with the PC by using the USB cord.
  14. In the command prompt window enter the command: “fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY”; replace key with the code you received above.
  15. Done.

So that was our way that shows you how to unlock the Sony Ericsson Xperia S bootloader. If you have anything to add, or to discuss, share your thoughts with us.

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