I’m assuming you’re bored of Android v2.3 (Gingerbread), fed up of limited storage memory, and frustrated because of the pre-installed unwanted apps (bloatwares) which can’t be uninstalled? And you want to root your smartphone? Install a new or custom version of Android maybe? Please be advised, unlocking bootloader is the first step you must follow to proceed further to rooting and other stuff. So, if you want to do any of the mentioned things, you need to unlock bootloader on HTC Explorer/Pico (In some countries HTC Explorer is sold as HTC Pico).
Disclaimer: The warranty (partly or wholly) of your device may become void as soon as you unlock the bootloader. Also, you will be solely responsible for any damage done during the process, and we won’t be liable for any damage or harm to anyone or anything. Unlocking bootloader is an irreversible process.
Before you start the process, don’t you want to know what bootloader is exactly? In simple words, bootloader is a set of code which executes before any operating system when you boot your device. So, when the operating system boots, it needs to go through the bootloader. In fact, it is responsible to boot the OS and load system partitions when the device starts. You can now easily understand why it is necessary to unlock bootloader.
You will need:
- Java runtime installed on the computer you’re going to use for the purpose.
- HTC Sync installed.
- A Micro-USB Cable to connect the phone to computer.
- ADB and FASTBOOT files. Download the zip and extract the files in a folder. Alternatively, you can download these files via Google Android SDK (time consuming).
First thing you need to do is, shut-down your phone and remove battery by opening the back panel. Reinsert the battery properly. Now press and hold down the volume down key (second button from top, at the right side) with the power key (at the top) to enter into bootloader mode.
If you see *** LOCKED *** written at the top, it means that bootloader is currently locked. It won’t be the same at the end of this tutorial though. The phone in the image above is already bootloader unlocked.
Once you’re in bootloader mode, use volume up/down buttons to navigate up or down in the list. Highlight “Fastboot” and press power button once to go into fastboot mode. You should now see Fastboot written on the screen. Now connect the phone via USB cable to computer, and proceed to the next step.
Open the folder where you extracted the ZIP file containing adb.exe and fastboot.exe. Press shift key and right-click anywhere in the white-space area of the window. Now select “open command window here”. It will open command prompt at that specific location.
Alternately you can open command prompt by pressing ‘windows key’ + R, and navigate to the folder where the extracted files are located, from the command window itself. To do so, type the drive letter (with colons) in which that particular folder is located, and then type “cd” following the path of the folder. For example, type “D:” (if the folder is located in ‘D’ partition), and then “cd /htc/explorer/adb/” (location of the folder).
The command window should now show the path of the folder where you extracted the ZIP files. If you did everything correct so far, type “fastboot devices” (without quotes) and press enter to check if it’s detecting your phone.
Now type “fastboot oem get_identifier_token” (without quotes) and hit return. You will see a long block of random characters, it is the identifier token of your device which will be used to get unlock code.
Now you need to copy the identifier token (long string of random characters), which is tricky if you’re not familiar with command prompt. To select the text, right-click anywhere in the command window, and choose “Mark”. It will enable text selection.
Select the text, starting from “<<<< Identifier Token Start >>>>” and ending to “<<<<< Identifier Token End >>>>>”. Do not select <bootloader> or INFO at the beginning of the text. The selected text should look like this:
To copy the text, just press right mouse button anywhere on the selected text. Now paste the identifier token in a text file, you will need it later.
Fortunately, HTC has made it really easy to get unlock token via their official website for developers. So, is it official? Yes. And it still voids warranty? Yes.
Register an account on HTCdev website, it’s free obviously. Once done, login using the username and password you registered with.
Once logged in successfully, go to unlock bootloader page to get unlock token. From the dropdown menu on right side, having the list of ‘supported devices’, choose “All other supported models” as HTC Explorer is not listed there. Don’t worry it works (unless you do something stupid). Click “Begin Unlock Bootloader”. Confirm your action after reading the disclaimer.
It will then take you to step 1 of unlocking bootloader for your HTC Explorer (Pico). Now you can either waste your time reading the stuff, or skip to step 10 (on page 3) because you’ve already done the first 9 steps – and that too in less time.
You should now see a text field asking you to enter identifier token of your device. Paste the text we got in step 5 in this field, and hit “Submit”.
You will then receive a mail on the email address you used to register on HTCdev website, with the subject “The key to unlocking your HTC device”. Download the file attachment (unlock_code.bin) you got with the email, and save it in the same folder where fastboot.exe is located.
Switch to command prompt, and type “fastboot flash unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin”; press enter. You will see something like this:
On your phone’s display you will now see a disclaimer to confirm if you want to unlock the bootloader. Read it, think again, and choose “Yes” if you still want to do it.
…And your smartphone’s warranty is now void. Congratulations!
To check if bootloader is unlocked, go to bootloader mode (by pressing volume down + power button). If it shows *** UNLOCKED *** at the top, you did everything right. You may now proceed to root your phone. Yes, I’ll be posting a tutorial for rooting your HTC Explorer really soon.
If you experience any problems or have any questions, post them in comments below.