New MediaTek rooting method for Fire HD 8 tablet may lead to rooting the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 2, and Fire TV 2

A new rooting method for the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet has been released this week that has the potential sweep across multiple Amazon devices, include the fire TV line. That’s because exploit used to achieve root access, and unlock the tablet’s bootloader, relies on a bug in the MediaTek CPU. The creator of the rooting method says the bug can only be fixed by changing the hardware and that it exists on all MediaTek CPUs. If that’s accurate, all Fire TV Stick 4Ks, Fire TV 2s, Fire TV Stick 2s, which all use MediaTek CPUs, may all technically be rootable.

The rooting method used to root the Fire HD 8, which will likely be used to root many other devices with MediaTek CPUs in the near future, takes advantage of a bug in a deeply rooted “download mode” found on seemingly all MediaTek CPUs. This mode, which is apparently meant to be used by system architects to recover from botched software flashing, cannot be updated or patched without changing the physical hardware of the device, according to the creator of the rooting method.

People are already working on adapting the existing 2018 Fire HD 8 rooting method to other Amazon devices. Other Fire tablets are being worked on first, since that’s a logical first step. The previous generation 2017 Fire HD 8, the current Fire HD 10, and the current Fire 7 tablets seem to be among the devices that will likely first be rooted.

Once other Fire tablet models are rooted, it will hopefully be possible to adapt the rooting method to Fire TV devices. The Fire TV 2 uses nearly the same MediaTek CPU as the current Fire HD 10 tablet and the Fire TV Stick 2 uses nearly the same MediaTek CPU as the current Fire 7 tablet. The only other Fire TV model that uses a MediaTek CPU is the Fire TV Stick 4K. Since it uses a much more modern MediaTek CPU than all other Fire TVs and Fire tablets, it may be the last to be rooted.

For the current Fire HD 8 rooting method to work on other devices, it must be possible to put the device’s bootrom into download mode, so that it accepts the exploit when sent from a PC. This is done on the Fire HD 8 by taking the device apart and temporarily connecting two points of its circuit board while the device initially powers up. For the Fire HD 8 tablet, this is easy as the test points are openly exposed. For other devices, like the Fire 7 tablet, these points are hidden under a metal heat shield that must be desoldered to reach the test points.

It seems as though all MediaTek devices have these test points somewhere, but I have not seen any discussion of finding them on the aforementioned Fire TV devices with MediaTek CPUs. There’s a chance the rooting method will be refined to access download mode without needing to physically connect test points on a circuit board. If done, it will be much easier to adapt the rooting method to other devices, including Fire TVs.

For the time being, here are some high-resolution images of the circuit boards of the Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick 2, that I’ve been sitting on for just this occasion, to get the ball rolling.

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36 comments
  1. OG Charlie says:

    Please please please grant me root so I can add NTFS support to my Fire TV 2.

  2. Al says:

    What does rooting actually mean to the average customer? Does it improve the device in any way?

    • Elisia says:

      I just bought the fire stick 4k what does rooting mean that this was a good device to have purchased. I needs to know in case I need to return before my times is up. I don’t understand nothing in regards to technology.

    • Greg says:

      There is so much info on the pros and cons of rooting. Try google and pick the specific subject that will satisfy your curiosity.

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/gizmodo.com/9-reasons-to-root-your-android-device-5982287/amp

    • Adam says:

      If you need to ask to have it explained to you, then rooting is not for you. You’ve demonstrated that it’s benefits are beyond your technical needs. Please use the device as you purchased it and don’t worry about anything you’re missing.

      If on the other hand you do understand what root is for and you don’t see a benefit in executing it, good on you, you’ve demonstrated that your technical needs are beyond it’s benefits. Again, please use the device as you purchased it and don’t worry about anything you’re missing.

      The rest of us will be here discussing rooting the FireTV.

    • Gary B says:

      Frees up memory and ram from wasting space and speed on force-fed Amazon junk. Less buffering and more options like apks and speeding up the system, even adding a better operating system and launcher. Gives You control of Your Device.

  3. Kryogenik says:

    Root is not for the average person. Especially if your not techie. If you’re just looking to install different apks or kodi. You dont need root.

  4. Allstr2love says:

    Is there an email to get in touch with the DEVELOPER of the ROOT SYSTEM?I have an ALCATEL OneTouch phone that is not allowing me to use the SD CARD that I bought for it. Maybe he can help.

  5. Jeffh says:

    You can change the entire front end interface. All Amazon products run on Android with a slow clunky front end overlay that is “locked down”. With root you could make your launcher screen (home screen) look however you want. You can then delete Amazon bloatware freeing up space. You can install any app Amazon has banned such as certain streaming apps. You could also probably side load G-apps (Google first party apps) like Google search that Google has banned on some Amazon devices. You could change the keyboard interface. The list goes on but obviously it would take a little doing. I am a tech nerd and often root my older devices removing bloatware and clunky slow interfaces and install new ROM’s to make my older devices run much faster. It’s often more work than it’s worth, but I enjoy a challenge and the satisfaction of beating a company that sells a product capable of running software but have decided for their own monetary benefit not to allow it on their devices.

    • Tom says:

      You know you can do almost all of that already without rooting, right?

      • Phil says:

        This is precisely my argument as well, except most people don’t want to admit it. With the advancements that have been made in streaming technologies, there is no actual benefit to rooting anymore. It might be fun to tinker around with, but at the end of the day, you don’t need to root devices in order to have the experience that you are seeking.

        • tech3475 says:

          It depends on what you want, AFAIK it’s still a requirement for NTFS support.

          There are workarounds but all the ones I’m aware require either reformatting or an external device compared to the more simplistic setup I used on my rooted FTV2.

          Streaming is still not an option for everyone, for example, when travelling you may have poor or no internet.

        • Tim says:

          Amazon fire OS takes 3-4gb of space, is running on an older version of Android, doesn’t allow internal SD card to store any Amazon apps, turns the WiFi off if your kids fill up the tiny 16 or 32gb with your “unlimited” Amazon games/apps Prime subscription! I was seriously pulling my hair out over the fact that my kids couldn’t even watch Netflix or prime video because they downloaded too many games… No version of Android ever did this! I was so relieved to just root the tablet and rid myself of Amazon altogether! I installed the newest version of lineage OS, so much faster and more responsive and I still get full system updates on my old unsupported Amazon tablet! That’s the benefits of rooting, an Amazon tablet anyways…Amazon is only one of many companies that takes perfectly good hardware and fudge it up with purposely made frustrating slow OS that they can make worse over time to make you think you have to buy a new one…all lies…the root will set you free.

        • Chongo says:

          I use launcherhijack and it’s still a far cry from being as good as the rooted version. I really miss having root (had it on ftv1). I could use NTFS, I could use samba sharing so I had it running as a low powered nas, and the best thing was that I could disable amazon’s launcher. It freed up memory and allowed my other launcher to work 100%. I get that a lot of things don’t require root, but many things still work better with it.

  6. Manabi says:

    Oh wow, I hope they do get a non-physical-access method going for the HD 10. Being able to _easily_ use my own launcher and disabling updates would be great. (It is doable, since I’ve kept it turned off so it can’t update until I get time to fix it, but it’s convoluted.)

  7. Kim says:

    I have a galaxy 7. Should i jailbreak before rooting?

    • PMiller says:

      Jailbreaking is meant for Apple products mainly I rather said it can be done they sometimes use that terminology for Microsoft Windows RT tablets.
      So rooting is what you’re talking about.

  8. Ben says:

    Good then I can remove their launcher with the roots and be happy!!!

    • AR says:

      you can change the launcher now with launcher hijack
      but it is sort of buggy ,at least it is on my hd8 m not tried it on the 4k stick yet though

      i am guessing it will be much smoother if we don’t need to use the hijack apk and can debloat

  9. Chuck Fessler says:

    I have an RCA Galileo Pro tablet with MediaTek hardware.
    It would be wonderful to have root on this and so far there’s been no way to do it. I really believe companies that do this are hiding tracking software and God knows what else.

  10. Don Grenier says:

    I would like better software control than HD10,Fire OS provides or doesn’t provide. It’s not a bad unit but it could be much better.

  11. Kpsharma says:

    Is it for Amazon fire phone device also? I am desperately wait to get my phone rooted.

    • Goki says:

      Amazon fire phone can be rooted with kingroot/kingoroot. The question you should be asking is :will new bootloader unlock work on this phone

  12. AR says:

    i really hope this will lead to TWRP and custom roms on 2017 HD 10

    i bought my hd10 mainly to try out show mode and use hands free alexa to pull up my camera streams

    so i think i will keep fire OS on it , but good to know we can get xposed on it

    is this like the RCM mode on nvidia x1
    i hope it can be made software only i really hate prying these things open

    i wonder after you get TWRP installed if you need to be jumping clock to ground every time you want to get back into the TWRP menu?

    if so better solder a NO magnetic reed switch between clk and gnd and hope it fits back together

    • Matt says:

      If the same exploit works it’s only needed once to allow unlocked fastboot. There would be no need to short clk beyond the initial flash.

  13. Gary B says:

    Frees up memory and ram from wasting space and speed on force-fed Amazon junk. Less buffering and more options like apks and speeding up the system, even adding a better operating system and launcher. Gives You control of Your Device.

  14. AFTV Fan says:

    Does this mean Fire Stick 2 and 4K Stick user immediately refrain from updating their firmware? Previously it was thought that they were not rootable and there was no reason to not update the firmware. Will users who played it safe by not updating their firmware pay off?

  15. Narvaez says:

    Sir i have a serious problem with my Firestick 4k. I experimented to sideload google play services on my FS 4k and it installed successfully. But when i restart my device it bootloops on and on to Firestick logo. Any solution sir? Damn i must have not do that. Please sir help me. I think i must hard reset the Firestick 4k but how?

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