This tutorial will guide you on how to unbrick a soft-bricked Redmi Note 4 Snapdragon that works on either locked or unlocked bootloader. You can also follow this guide even if your phone is not bricked and you just want to install / flash MIUI Fastboot ROM on Redmi Note 4 with locked bootloader. However, please proceed with full caution since this involves “flashing” through ADB & Fastboot interface. We hold no responsibility of any damage or any disaster on earth due to this tutorial. We strongly recommend you to read the full article thoroughly before actually implementing all the steps. Firstly grab the big picture of this article and then proceed accordingly.
For your information, Xiaomi has released two variants of Redmi Note 4: the one powered with MediaTek chipset and the other one powered with Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. The MediaTek Helio X20 variant is known as Nikel whereas the Snapdragon 625 variant is known as Mido. Hence, from hereafter we will simply call the device as Mido. On top of that, this guide is for Redmi Note 4 Mido and not for the Nikel one. Implementing the steps on wrong device may result it serious bricked condition.
A glance about Mido’s awesomeness: Redmi Note 4 is powered with Qualcomm MSM8953 having Snapdragon 625 processor that uses two quad-core clusters of Cortex A53 CPU with the power cluster clocking max speeds of 2.0GHz. Thanks to Samsung/Global Foundry’s 14nm FinFet assembly process that leads to 35 per cent lesser power consumption over its previous chipset generations. The phone is also powered with Adreno 506 GPU ready to run hand-on-hand with the Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 CPUs. The 13MP rear camera and its 5MP front-facing camera will fulfill all your photography needs.
You will need:
- A Mido device with either locked or unlocked bootloader.
- A USB cable to connect the phone with a computer. Simply use the one came with your phone.
- A computer (PC/Laptop) with Windows 7/8/8.1/10 64-bit operating system.
- MIUI Flashing Tool for Windows.
- MIUI Fastboot ROM (.tgz) file: MIUI 188.8.131.52 Global Stable or check latest version here. Of course you can also use Global Developer build if you want.
- Minimal Fastboot and ADB installer.
- Qualcomm QDLoader Driver software.
Also, there is one main condition for bricked Redmi Note 4 needs to be met: USB Debugging option should have been enabled / activated previously. Without this enabled, you won’t be able to proceed. On the other hand, those who want to flash or reinstall MIUI on normal phone can simply enable it first.
You might be wondering of this question: “My phone is bricked and I cannot have access to enable USB debugging so this guide is non sense!” However, in many cases an Android phone will not be bricked unless its user has flashed something through ADB and/or Fastboot interface which requires USB debugging enabled. Therefore, you must have activated this option before.
*bricked : this term in this article refers to “soft-bricked” which relates to a broken parts in the system (software). On the other hand, hard-bricked state is a broken condition in the hardware part.
- For normal phone: please enable USB debugging on your phone. Of course you have to firstly enable Developer Options since this option is available there. Follow this sequence: Settings >> About phone >> Tap on MIUI version 7x (or more). That will activate Developer Options. Now go back >> Additional Settings >> Developer Options >> Enable USB Debugging (toggle it on). Moreover, if you see USB Debugging (Security Settings) option then you have to enable it and accept all displayed warning. Again, a bricked phone should have enabled it previously so you can skip this one.
- On your computer, disable driver signature enforcement. Follow our previous guide on how to disable Windows 7, 8, 10 Driver Signature Enforcement mechanism.
- Install Mi Flash tool you have downloaded.
- Install Minimal Fastboot & ADB files.
- Extract the downloaded MIUI Fastboot ROM .tgz file. Winrar or 7zip may come in handy for this task.
- Prepare the USB data cable. Using the original/stock cable – the one shipped with your phone – is strongly recommended.
Step 1 – Turn off your phone completely and then reboot into fastboot mode by pressing Volume Down (-) and Power button simultaneously until the Fastboot Bunny logo appears.
Step 2 – Connect your phone with your computer using its USB cable.
Step 3 – Launch fastboot interface on your computer. Simply click the “Minimal ADB and Fastboot” shortcut icon which you can find it in Desktop.
Step 4 – Now issue following command lines (hit Enter after each line):
adb version adb devices adb reboot bootloader fastboot oem edl
alternatively, you may also want to try these (if above do not work):
adb version adb devices adb reboot edl
Your device shall now reboot into Emergency Download Mode (EDL Mode).
Step 5 – Open Windows Control Panel and launch up Device Manager. Look up at Other devices section and you’ll see something like “QHSUSB_BULK“.
Step 6 – Right-click on it and then choose “Update Driver Software“. A dialog box will then appear. Now choose “Browse my computer for driver software“.
Step 7 – Now locate the Qualcomm USB QDloader driver you have installed / extracted.
Alternatively, you can use included driver package in MiFlash tool folder. Try one of these paths:
C:\XiaoMi\XiaoMiFlash or,.. C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Xiaomi \ MiPhone \ Qualcomm \ Driver
Step 8 – As usual, a notice that you will install unsigned driver will appear. Simply choose “Install this driver software anyway“.
Step 9 – Now you have just installed Qualcomm USB Driver Software.
Step 10 – You can verify whether the driver has been installed correctly or not by accessing Windows Device Manager again. You’ll see something similar to this one:
Displayed as Ports (COM & LPT) : “Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008 (COM3)” or another figure for the COM port (like COM10 in example above).
Step 11 – Now you have installed Qualcomm USB Driver and your device is still in EDL mode. Next, open up Mi Flash Toll you have installed previously. Just double-click on the “XiaomiMiFlash.exe” icon in your Desktop.
Step 12 – Click “Select” button >> locate / browse for the extracted MIUI Fastboot ROM. Do not forget to click the “OK” button.
Step 13 – Now click the “Refresh” button and make sure Mi Flash Tool can detect your device.
Step 14 – Finally, click the “Flash” button to start flashing. Now just sit tight and wait for the tool to complete the MIUI flashing process.
Once done, you will see the result shown as “Success” with green highlight.
Step 15 – Finally, unplug your Redmi Note 4 from PC followed by then pressing and holding the Power button on your phone to turn it on. Please keep in mind that initial system booting after ROM flashing shall take place longer than usual (usually between 20-30 minutes).
Common error: “Reached the end of the file (0x80070026: Receiving hello packet)“.
Troubleshoot: You may need to reboot your computer and try reflashing again. If that does not help you then you may need to try it on another computer.
Images credits: Feds64 and Clayton_WWC.