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Root What is a "Radio?"

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by npro1464, May 30, 2011.

  1. npro1464

    npro1464 Well-Known Member
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    I just got a TB, and I was reading up how to root and flash rooms/kernals and all that nonsense. Coming from a rooted D1 running CM7, I'm a little experienced in flashing, but the more I read about the TB, I'm seeing a new thing being talked about flashing/changing: radios. I have a dumb question: What is a radio and how do you flash it? Does it help? Does a new radio come with the rom you flash? What radios would you recommend? Thanks!
     

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  2. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Android Expert
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    Radios are part of the firmware of the phone. They do exactly what the name implies, control cell reception, gps etc. They can also be essential for other features of the phone to work, and might be necessary for certain roms to work.
    They are also slightly more dangerous to flash and a phone can be "bricked" if an unusable radio is flashed. Extremely important to check and double check md5 sums before flashing.

    Radios are never included with a rom and are flashed separately in hboot.

    Someone else may be able to chime in on good radios for the TB as I have an Incredible.
     
  3. npro1464

    npro1464 Well-Known Member
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    Do you need to flash a radio after flashing a new ROM, liked Das BAMF? Will the phone not work until you flash a radio? Or is the stock radio usually used after flashing a rom?
     
  4. Ibrick

    Ibrick Android Expert
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    Lots of different radio combo's available, since the Tbolt has 2..

    [RADIO] The Obligatory Thunderbolt Radio Thread - xda-developers

    All of them listed above.

    Newest version is the one at the top. HOWEVER, do not go randomly flashing radio's until you're absolutely sure what you're doing. Easiest way to brick a phone..
     
  5. scotty85

    scotty85 Android Expert
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    youll see alot of talk of radios lately here in the TB forum as we were recently leaked the next OTA update to 2.3.4,wich included a new radio. the leaked rom,along with all other roms that have popped up using it as a base,require the use of the radio that comes with it. while the leak itself and the other roms are recovery flashable,you need to flash the radios in hboot in order to run any of the 2.3.4 based roms. that is if you want to have a phone signal and data ;)

    conversely, to go back to a froyo rom,you will need to flash back to the froyo radios.

    id not really reccomend any of the gingerbread roms at the moment,as there have been some unexplained brickings with the GB leak/radio being a common denominator. speculation at this point is off brand emmc chips in select very few devices that were corrupted by the way the leaked gb radio interfaced with them. the moral majority of phones are probably safe to go ahead and run gingerbread,but at this point there is no way to be 100% certain of whats going on.

    as i said,id reccomend staying on froyo for now,but if you aint skeert,make sure you read all threads here,and the links they have to the xda threads so you can make an informend decision.

    most folks on froyo and the pre-alpha release of cm7 are on the mr1 update radios(the most recent ota update). but you will find a handful of folks on cm7 still on the original shipping radios.

    there is a thread with downloads for the various radio combos on xda.

    for now,id just start trying some froyo roms with the radios you have. if you feel like you may need a chAnge later,we can help you figure out what you have and whay you might should try. but for now dont worry about it. any of the froyo roms and cm7 will work fine with whatever your phone has on it :)

    hope that helps :)
     
  6. Blazdout

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    I'll just ask my question on this thread since its a relate's to the Radio issue. I had my TB for about a month now and just rooted it yesterday using the auto root method. I then flashed the Das BAMF 1.7 Rom. All seems to work fine for now, but was I suppose to flash a specific radio before flashing the rom. If that was the case, what would happen to the TB since the radio was not flashed???
     
  7. scotty85

    scotty85 Android Expert
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    wow a couple replys while i was typin,lol...

    but i cant emphasize enuff the importance of what sdraw said about flashing radios. flashing radios,recoverys,whole RUUs,or anything else via an s-off bootloader is the single-most likely way to brick your phone if you attempt to use an incomplete or corrupt file and you need to use extreme caution.
    -make sure md5 sums match
    -make sure battery is adequately charged(some say 40%,some say 70%. i charge mine to 100%)
     
  8. Ibrick

    Ibrick Android Expert
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    No you dont have to flash a new radio.

    The basic radio will work with any of the ROM's available except CM7 and the Gingerbread ROM's.

    If you want to flash a new radio, try the version at the top of the link I posted. It was the version pushed by VZW recently. It has caused some random reboots for some people. I've been running it since it was leaked probably 6-7 weeks ago and never had a single problem.
     
  9. scotty85

    scotty85 Android Expert
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    what was your firmware version before rooting? if an ota took you to 1.13.605.7 then you allready have the most recent radio,and i wouldnt mess with it.

    if you were at 1.12.605.9,then you had the older radio,and i prolly still wouldnt mess with it yet. give it a few days and see how the rom works out for you.

    you can also tell what you have by looking in "about phone" and matching up the baseband number with the radios in the thread ibrick linked above

    edit: dammit! ibrick beat me to it again,lol
     
  10. Blazdout

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    I did do the ota before rooting, so base on the info that you said and checking my TB, I should be straight. Thanks man.
     
  11. Wargazm

    Wargazm Well-Known Member
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    How does one find out what version of radio you have at the moment? I'm wondering if getting a new radio can help with my GPS locking issues.
     
  12. scotty85

    scotty85 Android Expert
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    look in settings/about phone/software info/more/baseband

    the first string of numbers will be your radio. unless youve flashed a different combo,your lte radio will match the radio for the firware version,i dont know of a way to tell what lte radio you have.

    for example,if you have baseband: 1.16.00.0223r then you have the matching lte radio for the 1.12.605.6 firmware.

    different combinations of radios are here:
    [RADIO] The Obligatory Thunderbolt Radio Thread - xda-developers

    i do not know that any of them are neccessarily any better for getting a GPS lock. the ones that come with the MR1 OTA would be the newest,so if you dont have them,maybe give them a shot :)

    GPS fix is usually more of a rom issue,however,it might be worthwhile to search your rom thread for gps issues,and possibly search for similar threads here.

    hope that helps :)
     
  13. djkeller3

    djkeller3 Android Enthusiast
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    The subject of radios was somewhat confusing to me as well, coming from the OG, which was where most of my rooting experience was obtained. Never flashed a *radio* until I used my Incredible for about 6 months or so.

    Question, though... in my days with the OG, I went through a period where flashing basebands was needed to improve the 3G experience. Are *basebands* and *radios* the same thing essentially, just one being oriented Motorola and the other oriented to HTC?
     
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  14. schmaltzy

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    Another radio question.....

    I also came from the OG where flashing a new ROM was a few steps less than with the TB. My question is what is the procedure for flashing a radio? I know I read that you have to do it through HBOOT, but how do you get there?
     
  15. SecondShot

    SecondShot Android Enthusiast
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    Don't know if this is the right spot for this but:

    I was researching a GB Rom: [ROM] [GB] Th3oryOfGinger B1.6.5 Tweaked/Integrated SWAP (UPDATED) [6/7/2011]

    I noticed the link to the GB Radio in the thread and downloaded. I compared the MD5 sums to that of the GB Radio in the link in the [RADIO] The Obligatory Thunderbolt Radio Thread - xda-developers and they are different. Are there different versions? Is one an updated radio or modded in some way?

    It made me wonder especially given the sensitivity to bricking by installing a bad radio file. Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    EDIT: DOESN'T MATTER NOW: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1115714
     
  16. ska.t73

    ska.t73 Android Expert
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    Hey Keller, how ya been? Didn't see this answered so thought I would help a fellow old OGer out :). You have it right, baseband and radio are the same thing just different names.

    To get into HBOOT you need to power off your phone, then hold down volume down and the power button, this will put you into the bootloader, you then need to hit power to get into the HBOOT section (in the bootloader you use volume keys to move and power to select).

    Some ROMs (most I believe) will have power controls when you long press the power button. When you do that one of the option should be reboot, when you select reboot it will give you several options, one of them is to boot into the bootloader. Again this is dependent on your ROM but it is another way to get into HBOOT.

    The most important thing to remember about flashing a radio in HBOOT (other then to make sure it had the proper file name, and is on the root of your SD card) is to move or delete it right after you re-boot your phone.

    The reason this is important is because when you boot into the bootloader it searches the root of the SD card for any PGIMG.zip files, if it finds one then your only options are to flash it or reboot the phone. This can be a problem if you ever find yourself in a boot loop and need to boot into recovery, since the only way to get into recovery without booting up a ROM is by going into the bootloader.
     
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  17. kramerica

    kramerica Android Enthusiast
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    I'm guessing the ROM needs to be flashed 1st, then the radio?

    EDIT: Nevermind, I am finding the answers like a responsible member should before posting. :) Unless of course, they are wrong. :) Reading to flash radio, then ROM.
     
  18. scotty85

    scotty85 Android Expert
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    when the first gingerbread RUU was leaked, we were instructed to place the rom and radio on the sd card,flash the rom in recovery,and then use adb to reboot into bootloader to flash the radio. this is how i tend to do it when i change radios(i like adb,so its the easiest method for me)

    however,lots of folks have done it differently and not seemed to have any ill effects from it.
    -some have pulled the battery after flashing the rom in recovery,so they can power on into hboot
    -some have flashed the rom,rebooted,then powered off to get to hboot
    -some have flashed the radio,rebooted,then booted to recovery to flash the rom

    until someone has an issue that can be traced to a particular method,it doesnt look like flashing the radio first or second matters much.

    one thing that DOES matter: after flashing anything in hboot,immediately delete or rename(if for some reason youd like to keep it with you) PG05IMG.zip. as long as its there,and named that,your phone will find it and want to update EVERY time you enter hboot. this can be bad if you become stuck in a bootloop,or hang at a splash screen,as it could prevent you from getting to recovery to restore a backup or flash a new rom until you get rid of it.
     
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  19. SecondShot

    SecondShot Android Enthusiast
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    Gotta tell someone and didn't think it was 'threadworthy' but just figured out how to load the bootloader through adb...no battery pull tricks for me anymore!cool.:cool:
     
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  20. scotty85

    scotty85 Android Expert
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    Awsome! :cool: adb is fun,isn't it? When you plug it in,you can also use adb to boot into recovery with: adb reboot recovery :)
     
  21. SecondShot

    SecondShot Android Enthusiast
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    yep, saw that. took a little time (instead of sleeping :D) to read. Figured out to run "adb" command and it lists all the basic options. Played with both recovery and bootloader.

    Funny, my wife took a course on running her company's Apple server/database environment :)-P) and she told me that when they got to the command line executions, the trainer's quote was ... wait for it...wait for it..."with great power comes great responsibiltiy." She said he intimidated everyone -- but bricking a phone aint the same as crashing the company server! :eek: At which point my 13 year old son said, hey, Uncle Ben said that in Spiderman...ahhh, kids.

    All good, learning is fun.
     
  22. SecondShot

    SecondShot Android Enthusiast
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    Life is strange...

    Was messing around with my phone and went to load one of my safe restore files and it locked up on the boot animation screen. Battery pull, nothing.

    Said, hey, time to use my new found skills - went into adb, ran adb devices...yowee, its connected. Ran adb reboot recovery and flashed a different restore file and we are up and running. Timely lesson last night on how to use adb.
     

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