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Procedure used for working around Nexus 5X bootloop issue

Just documenting my own experiences in restoring my Nexus 5X back from bootlooping state.

Hopefully this can be helpful to some, but "common sense" caveats apply:

  • Follow at your own risk
  • I'm not responsible for any loss of data, loss of hair, bricked devices, exploding(!) devices, mental / physical injuries, etc. etc. etc.


  • This is only an account of what I did to get my 5X working operational again.
  • YMMV if you decide to try the steps below on your bootlooping device.


I had not enabled OEM unlocking when my 5X started bootlooping.

So here are the steps I took to try and boot long enough to reach Developer Options:

  1. Tried freezing the phone overnight several times

    • This worked ONCE to boot the phone to home screen, but did not last long enough to reach Settings menu.
  2. Blasted the phone with hot air from a hair dryer for 3-4 minutes (Got the idea from:

    • I did not disassemble the phone like in the video though...

    • Just waved the hair dryer over the glass screen for a while

      • (Wasn't really expecting it to work, had pretty much given up after the freeze failures... 😣)
    • The phone felt like a steaming hot cup of tea afterwards

      • (Seriously, this was probably a VERY BAD IDEA - probably should have removed the battery first)
    • Plugged in the USB-C cable and was very surprised when the phone actually started powering up properly

      • Was almost like it was on turbo-mode - it went through the boot sequence much faster than normal.
    • Enabled OEM ASAP (Follow steps in link above, or use Google)

    • While in, took the opportunity to recover any important files, disabled 2FA priority away from this device, etc. It started bootlooping again very shortly afterwards though.

Now that OEM unlocking is enabled, the real fun begins:

Downloads needed: (

  • Boot.img corresponding to your Android version (I used the "Android O DP6" version: 4CoreOreo.img)

  • Modded 4-core TWRP (I used the 3.11 version: TWRP3_1_1_5X.img)

  • Modded 4-core EX Kernel (I used the 5.03 version:

(Steps below assume fastboot & adb are installed, working, and accessible from anywhere in command prompt.)

  1. Reboot the phone into bootloader mode:

Volume-Down + Power

  1. Plug in USB, open command prompt, navigate to directory where the files above were downloaded.

  2. Run:

fastboot devices (To confirm connection is working)

fastboot flashing unlock (Follow on-screen prompts)

fastboot reboot-bootloader (Wait for bootloader menu to come back)

fastboot flash recovery TWRP3_1_1_5X.img

  1. Use volume keys to switch bootloader menu option to Recovery Mode and press Power button

  2. Phone should now reboot into TWRP.

    (If you're lucky, TWRP might have mounted the device to your computer as a USB drive... another chance to recover any files off the device - check Windows Explorer / Mac Finder and see if you can copy the files off)

Keep Read-Only (if prompted) > Advanced > ADB Sideload > Swipe to Start Sideload

  1. At command prompt, enter:

adb sideload

  1. Follow on-screen prompts to install EX Kernel (I just used default options for everything)

  2. Once Kernel is installed, reboot back into bootloader menu:

Reboot > Bootloader

  1. At command prompt, enter:

fastboot flash boot 4CoreOreo.img

fastboot reboot

  1. If all goes well, the Nexus 5X should now successfully reboot with the problematic CPU cores disabled; it is now a quad-core 5X

Hopefully all your user data will still be intact, and you can now recover and backup at a more leisurely pace... (if you didn't manage to get everything out before, when roasting the phone at the very beginning)

Unfortunately in the process of figuring out the steps above - I did manage to inadvertently wipe my own device entirely... =/

In the end, with nothing to lose; here are the steps I used to make a completely factory-reset-quad-core Nexus 5X:

Download latest stock image from:

Extract from the zip:

  • radio.img
  • system.img
  • vendor.img

Full clean wipe and 4-core install:

fastboot erase system -w (EVERYTHING WILL BE WIPED HERE)

fastboot flash radio radio.img

fastboot reboot-bootloader

fastboot flash system system.img

fastboot flash vendor vendor.img

fastboot flash boot 4CoreOreo.img

fastboot flash recovery TWRP3_1_1_5X.img

fastboot reboot-bootloader

(Follow the earlier steps above to install 4-core EX Kernel via TWRP and then reboot)

Device should now boot like it's fresh out of the box, only difference being it's running four out of its six cores.

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