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Google fixes bug that bricked some Pixel 2 devices when flashing Android 8.1

The fix has been put in place five months after it was first reported.

Published onMarch 29, 2018

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
  • Google has addressed a problem that caused some Pixel 2 devices to fail when flashing Android 8.1 Oreo.
  • The issue was first discovered last October and it is said to have bricked some devices.
  • Google discussed the issue and its resolution in a recent AOSP commit.

Google has fixed a bug that caused some Google Pixel 2 devices to fail when flashing Android 8.1 Oreo. The issue first appeared last October with the rollout of the then new software, and was discovered when some users tried to install it via Fastboot.

There were reports that devices had simply failed to install the firmware, while some claimed it had bricked/soft bricked their handsets. Google pulled the Android 8.1 factory images soon after this happened to prevent further problems, but it has taken until now for a proper fix to be put in place.

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As reported by XDA Developers, Google has published a new commit in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) which addresses the issue.

“The Pixel 2 system images release was a bit of a disaster because anyone using an old version of Fastboot would blindly flash too few partitions, potentially bricking their device,” it says in the commit.

“This change lets us add a line to the android-info.txt file for a device with a new partition.”

Redditors are now flinging sh*t at each other discussing whether it was worth trying to flash the firmware in the first place, when Pixel owners could have just waited to get it over-the-air. For what it’s worth, I think if Google publicly posts new firmware, you can’t blame people for flashing them, and I agree a fix should have arrived sooner.

That’s my view, what’s yours? Hit me up in the comments.

Up next: I’m done with 18:9 displays, give me a Pixel 2

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