Top ways to brick your Fire TV

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For those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the term, bricking means rendering your Fire TV unusable. When you root your Fire TV, you open yourself up to the possibility of making a change which disable the Fire TV. Here are the top ways to accidentally brick your Fire TV. 

Factory Reset with a Modified Hosts File
One of the methods to block OTA updates on the Fire TV is to add lines to your hosts file which block Amazon’s update domains. Some people have found out the hard way that these hosts file changes do not get removed when you perform a factory reset. This is bad because the Fire TV needs to be able to access those blocked domains during its initial setup. If you’ve modified your hosts file, you must remove the modified lines before factory reseting the Fire TV. Otherwise your Fire TV will not be able to register itself with Amazon during the initial setup. We have not found a way around this issue. If you know of one, we’d love to hear about it in the comments and pass it on to our readers.

Modifying an SQLite database with Bad Apps – Updated
Like most Android devices, the Fire TV has SQLite database files which hold many key settings that govern the behavior of the Fire TV. It can be useful to make changes to these databases. There are apps which make it easy to modify these SQLite databases. Unfortunately, we’ve heard that certain apps will change the file permissions of the SQLite database file when saving. This can have dire consequences, making the databases inaccessible to certain functions of the Fire TV. One symptom of this issue is the loss of wired ethernet connection. We’re still learning more about this issue and will update this post as new information comes in.

Update

Several have reported that the app SQLite Editor is safe to use on the Fire TV. We have not been able to narrow down which app has caused issue, other than the fact that it was one of the free ones in the Google Play Store. This issue may, in fact, be non-existent but we’ll keep it here as a cautionary warning that modifying one of the Fire TV’s SQLite databases should not be handled lightly.

Please comment below if you have anything to add which may help others avoid or recover from bricking.

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11 comments
  1. Monica Gupta says:

    I haven’t used above two methods but the ‘pm disable com.amazon.dcp’. What do I need to do to the factory reset?

    thanks
    Monica

    • AFTVnews says:

      I have not verified this myself, but from what I have read you should be able to safely factory reset with com.amazon.dcp disabled. The reset should re-enable it.

      If you want to be on the safe side, run the following commands before resetting to re-enable com.amazon.dcp yourself:
      adb shell
      su
      pm enable com.amazon.dcp

  2. H rodriguez says:

    Oh wow I did both of these. I changed the host files to block updates and also used sqlite app to change settings.db to allow unknown sources. Will the latter have any consequences? All is working correctly so far.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Just changing a value in settings.db will not cause a problem. It is the changing of the file permissions which causes the issue. Not all SQLite editor apps will modify the database file’s permissions. If you haven’t noticed any issues yet, then your method of changing a database value worked fine. If something went wrong, it should be apparent immediately. How did you go about editing the database? Did you use an app or did you use sqlite3?

  3. Squar0L says:

    +1 bricked FTV after updating install_non_market_apps to 1 with SQLEditor 1.4.1. Editor asked for reboot, ssh’d in and executed reboot -F. Never booted again, getting stuck on the Amazon FireTV boot logo since then.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Sorry to here that. Which app specifically were you using to modify the database? Can you provide a link or package name for the app so others know to avoid it?

  4. Tom says:

    Users have reported being able to fix bricked FTV’s by going into recovery mode (when stuck on the splash screen).
    1 – Plug in a USB keyboard. May have to be wired.
    2 – While booting – Press Alt+PrintScreen/SysRq+i
    3 – Repeat 1-3 times. You should get to Update screen.
    4 – Press the HOME button on the keyboard.
    5 – YOU HAVE RECOVERY MODE!
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2799779

  5. JC says:

    Anyone know if its possible yet to reset a modified hosts file? Thx.

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