Amazon Fire TV Hardware Root Demonstrated

amazon-fire-tv-hardware-emmc-root
Earlier this week I posted about the Fire TV Stick being rooted via direct hardware manipulation. The GTVHacker guys have now demonstrated using the same method to root a Fire TV. This rooting method involves soldering leads to various points on the Fire TV’s circuit board in order to directly access the device’s 8GB eMMC storage. Therefore, it is unlikely many people will attempt this rooting method as it involves intricate soldering skills. Because this method directly interfaces with the Fire TV’s file system, it can be used to root any Fire TV, regardless of software version.

This hardware rooting method was revealed by the GTVHacker guys several months ago, but nobody had been able to replicate it due to missing details. The procedure for this method have now been updated to include details that were missing when it was first revealed. Notably, the method now outlines the need to temporarily remove one of the Fire TV’s resistors.

Regardless of how unlikely it is this method will be replicated, it’s great to see advancements made toward rooting the currently unrootable Fire TVs.

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20 comments
  1. matt says:

    if the emmc can be directly accessed this may be interesting for those blacklisted AFTV’s that can’t be activated or can’t get past the activation screen.

    • Bula1ca says:

      My stiffer board will be delivered next week and I will do this mod on a Fire Stick. I am very good with hard mods however I do not understand exactly what is going on after that (I know I need to copy the Su binary in the SD card bin folder but unfortunately I can not follow the video on how to). If someone here with more knowledge can help I will gladly sacrifice my stick to try to prove this modification. A small guide with all commends will help tremendously.

  2. CG says:

    First I’ve heard of blacklisted FireTVs.

  3. Daniel says:

    I hope this helps to find any other method to root with a software :D

  4. zonykel says:

    I’m trying to figure out the parts used in this video, but there is one that I don’t know what it’s called.
    1. Transcend Information USB 3.0 Card Reader (TS-RDF5K)
    2. GTVHacker Low Voltage e-MMC Adapter

    I see the wires that were soldered to the AFTV, and then to something that connects to the e-MMC adapter. Anybody know what that part is called?

  5. XYZ says:

    Does anyone know if I can use the SD sniffer board from sparkfun instead of the GTVHacker’s Low Voltage e-MMC Adapter?

    Product Link: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11468

    • Brainbug says:

      Nope, tried it and viewed with a DSO. The clock speed is too fast.

      If you look at the adapter above, it actually uses an SDIO chip to get around this limitation.

  6. Rampart says:

    @XYZ

    I also want to know if the SD sniffer board can be used. The video does not show the sniffer board it shows only a Low Voltage e-MMC Adapter being used. The Low Voltage e-MMC Adapter is a prototype board made by GTVHacker. If VccQ is at any other voltage level than 3.3V logic, you will need a logic level conversion circuit to convert the signal for all data lines and clock from your SD reader to that of the e-MMC device. So, if VccQ is 3.3v you should be able to use the SD sniffer. If the SD sniffer can be used DAT0 would be the line used to communicate with the Fire TV.

  7. Brodon says:

    So no further information on this? I have 3 Fire TVs that were updated to the current software and was hoping I could root them and get XBMC on them. No updates or anything on this process?

    • Alejandro says:

      you dont need to root to get xbmc!!! just side load apk and that all!

    • J says:

      Just get kodi or tvmc from Amazon on your android device that has same Amazon account as your firetv box. Then click the sinc button on firetv. Valla! You get icon as well on home screen in recent list. You also can get showbox, esfile explorer this way too. Easy

  8. Maxi says:

    I am in uk and tried everywhere to get e-MMC adapter. No success! Does anyone know where to find adapter in Uk?

  9. highskewlkewl says:

    Thanks for the link on soldering it. I gave it a shot and it worked like a charm. First time doing something like that, I used my dads tools. Careful when you remove the resistor if you try it, bridging it with soldering material was a hassle.

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