-- WHY YOU CAN'T FLASH --
First, let's talk about why it is disabled. Flashing is the process by which you modify a chip's software. Included in that chip's software is the software needed to accept a flash or to boot. This is important stuff, as interrupting a flash actively updating the software in these areas can prevent your phone from ever taking a flash again. As a result, there is a safety check to determine if you have enough battery so that you won't lose power when flashing these critical changes. Preventing you from flashing with low battery is for your protection! This is why it is vital to have as much charge as possible before starting your flashing adventure. While your phone still has some juice, it will reject flashes typically below the 20% mark. Please note that flashing takes a CRAZY amount of power for some reason, so even a couple flashes can sufficiently move a phone below the safety threshold on some non-Maxx Razrs.
-- WHY YOU CAN'T CHARGE --
While it seems intuitive that plugging in a phone should charge it no matter what, this is not the case. This is because the power management system is controlled by software. Ironically, that software is in some of the files you flash when applying a new system to your phone. Should that software have problems installing, the phone might get a power source, but not know what to do with it (i.e. give the power to the battery!) For the most part, you will know if you have enough software to charge when you get a battery icon with the percentage of the charge displayed.
-- WHAT *NOT* TO DO IN THIS SITUATION --
DO NOT TAKE YOUR PHONE TO VERIZON AND SAY IT IS BROKEN! Doing so is very silly, because they will immediately be able to figure out what happened to the phone. Unfortunately, what you did to your phone violated your warranty. This is a quick way to get a new phone at full price, but not very helpful in fixing your problem.
-- WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO CHARGE MY PHONE? --
Valid charging software installed on your phone's firmware. There are some tricks that I will mention later that can trick your phone into running the software, but your primary goal in this situation must be to get a valid software system onto your phone so that you can charge. If you were trying to get to the next leak from stock GB, or whatever... this isn't the time to continue to pursue that mission. Once you have your charging system back online, you can worry about getting that new ROM installed or installing the latest leak.
-- HOW CAN I GET VALID CHARGE SOFTWARE ON MY PHONE? --
I am going to break this section down into different methods based on the risk you assume when attempting the method, and what its consequences might be. Consider these options carefully before attempting.
Method 1 - Attempt to trick your phone into running the charging software.
Risk - Low
Success Rate - Low (Based on results from people trying this method in the DroidRZR.com chatroom)
Risk Description - While these steps will not hurt your phone worse than it already is, navigating these menus may cause inadvertent damage if you select incorrect options. Extremely unlikely that it can't be fixed, but noted anyway.
vel0city on xdadevelopers posted this solution at:
This trick works in some cases, but appears not to work especially if you have gone to an OTA leak. I can only guess that the success rate of this method is based on what you had managed to flash before you got the low battery indication, or what you failed to flash over. Regardless, some swear by this method, and it doesn't involve much risk. This should be your first method in this situation.
Method 2 - Purchase a Factory Style Programming Cable (sometimes referred to as a TBH - Team Black Hat cable)
Risk - Low
Success Rate - High
Risk Description - Removing the cable while flashing will immediately kill your phone, possibly interrupting a critical flash. If you are reading this, it is unlikely you already have this cable handy. So another risk is the time it would take for delivery, and you being without a phone during that time.
Team Black Hat () has two products for sale, a "Factory style programming cable (for Motorola)", and a "Factory Adapter".
Despite the name and look, the "factory style programming cable" is NOT the cable you get with your Razr "from the factory". Yes, it does LOOK like a normal USB data cable, but the inside wiring is different. Internally, this cable applies 5V of power the the normally unused 5th pin on the end connector. THIS CABLE WILL NOT CHARGE YOUR PHONE! Charging your phone still requires the software to be installed. However this cable will, if connected to a PC's USB port, provide a replacement power source to your phone. This bypasses the internal battery, and will trick the phone into thinking it has a fully charged battery. While this doesn't solve your charged battery situation, it DOES resolve your primary mission, which is to get software on your phone so that you can charge your phone normally. Combined with flashing utilities like the DroidRAZRUtility 1.6, this can save you. The "Factory Adapter" is a more versatile solution, as it can take a normal micro-USB to USB cable and perform the rewiring necessary before connecting to the phone; this allows you to carry around a small adapter that will work with any data cable you might have laying around.
Full disclosure: I have not purchased a cable or adapter and confirmed that they work myself, nor do I have any confirmed links to places you can purchase them besides Team Black Hat.
Method 3 - Make a Factory Style Programming Cable (FSPC)
Risk - Medium
Success Rate - Medium (varies based on your ability with a soldering iron)
Risk Description - If the cable is made correctly, it has the same risk as purchasing the factory cable, only without the shipping time. However, an incorrectly made or poorly insulated cable could apply 5V over the USB's data channel, possibly damaging your phone or computer's USB port permanently.
As stated above, the factory style programming cable is just a normal data cable with 5V applied to the unused pin on the connector that plugs into your phone. You can easily modify a standard USB data cable to function as an FSPC, however it will no longer function fully as a normal data cable from that point forward. As a result, it is strongly recommended that you do not use your only data cable to perform this modification. Instead, get a spare cable from your local store and try modifying that.
MotoCache1 at DroidForums.net posted details about this cable hack job at. It gives pretty much the same description I gave above and some additional details. While his pinout information is accurate, I despise the photo he posted of the final result as it is extremely sloppy and invites short circuits due to exposed wires crossing. Also, his picture shows a mini-USB connector on the end, while the Razr uses a micro-USB. The concept still applies however.
When making my cable, I came up with some tips that might help others attempting this process:
- You are only attaching a cable to the unused pin of the connector, so don't expose any of the other pins or wires going into the connector.
- Related to tip 1, use a pocket knife and gently dig into the molding plastic covering so that only the pin you want is exposes while keeping the others sealed in the plastic.
- Despite thinking it might help, don't try to raise the pin from the connector block. It will snap immediately and you cannot salvage this cable for this purpose (However, if this happens, save the cable. Another method can still use it!)
Here is what my cable looked like when complete. Your results may vary.(I might need a more permanent home for this picture... please let me know if you are willing to host it!)
Full disclosure: I have myself used this technique successfully. The image I linked is the actual cable that I made and used to get myself out of a low battery situation.
Method 4 - Trick your phone into thinking it has enough battery to flash
Risk - High
Success Rate - Medium
Risk Description - This is risky in that you are tricking the phone into thinking it has enough battery to flash when it may, in fact, not have enough. You are bypassing the protection outlined in the introduction to this thread, and could interrupt a flash by running out of battery. Additionally, flashing with an extremely low battery can increase the odds of corruption of the flash.
DroidRZR.com member Spirotot posted a method to bypass the low battery check. His original post is:
Keep in mind that for this to work for a multi-reboot process, you must go back to the wall charger between each reboot.
Full disclosure: I have not tried this method personally, but I am assured by multiple sources that it can work.
Method 5 - Open your phone and charge the phone directly. Also known as using a "jumper cable" or "jumping" your phone.
Risk - Very High
Success Rate - Medium
Risk Description - This is risky. You must open your phone (a clear violation of your warranty) and apply live power directly to your battery terminals. Applying the power accidentally to the wrong area inside your phone can damage your phone. Removing the back cover can snap a connector or damage the frame. Motorola doesn't want you to open your phone!
Hopefully, I sufficiently scared you away from this method. However, there are times where you MUST get your phone working, you cannot wait for a factory cable to ship, you are on call, or under some other immediate constraint. If the risk of losing your phone is acceptable, you can proceed.
azdrifter of DroidForums.net posted the following thread: , to link a YouTube video of this method ( ). It leaves out some steps that I will try to describe:
- The back is held on by some very small snaps. Using a pocket knife or something else extremely thin, you will want to separate the front and back covers. This joint is apparent on the bottom of the phone where you can see the two sides meet, but continues along the side around the buttons and around the camera area. The frame can bend easily, so be very gentle and deliberate when separating it.
- The back is also glued onto the battery and internal components directly. This glue is applied to the internal side of the Kevlar backing and covers the battery and other components inside.
- It is necessary to remove enough snaps along the edge so that you can get a soft, non-abrasive tool inside to separate the glue from the battery. I used the back of a plastic spoon. Using a knife or other hard tool may cut or leave creases in the Kevlar backing (making it very apparent that you opened your phone!)
- Once the entire outer edge of your frame has been unsnapped, you will see the battery. There is a tag there that acts as a seal for the battery, determining if it has been removed. Do not sever this tag.
- If you followed my tips and avoided cosmetic damage to the phone indicating that you opened it, you should still be okay for warranty repair (I have NOT confirmed this).
- When putting the phone back together after charging, be sure to replace the tiny pink battery terminal cover. It is easy to lose, so keep an eye on it.
While this will charge your phone, this can also be used to flash your phone. While the jumper cable is connected, your battery will show full. As a result, if you attach a normal data cable to your phone and computer while using the jumper, you will be able to flash. Please note that this brings on the same risks as a factory cable, where you could lose power if the battery terminal connection fails. This is heightened because you will likely have your phone face down so that you can hold the terminal wires in place, but you must move it to see the screen so that you can put the phone in fastboot mode, etc.
Again, this method is highly risky, but may be the only viable option if you are under a time constraint.
Full disclosure: I have used this method myself. Fortunately, I was able to remove the cover without any evidence of my transgressions. This method does work and got me out of a bind, however it is NOT for everyone. Your results may vary!
-- THANKS --
Special thanks to mattlgroff, sidgrafix, VantenKiest, Pinoy_92, and anyone else I might have missed that hipped me to the various methods. You guys saved my hide a few times, and I am glad to have a chance to give back!
Thanks to kjoose for the information on the battery terminal screws for Method 5
-- DISCLAIMER --
Neither myself or DroidRZR.com is responsible for any action taken that damages your phone. I outlined the risks clearly, but anything can happen... and I can't account for acts of God or the nagging of your little sister while holding live wires to your phone. Be careful and don't be stupid.