Amazon blows eFuse on Fire TV Stick to prevent downgrading to old interface

The new Fire TV interface is currently rolling out to most Fire TV models via the latest operating system update. While there has never been an official way to roll back a Fire TV software update, Amazon seems to especially want the new interface update to be a one-way path. It seems as though Amazon has decided to blow an eFuse, at least with the Fire TV Stick 4K, when the software update with the new interface is installed. This makes it impossible to downgrade back to the old interface, even if the device is rooted.

XDA forum member July IGHOR installed Fire OS v6.2.8.0 on their rooted Fire TV Stick 4K, which upgrades the device to the new interface, and found that the device would no longer boot if downgraded. This is unusual because, while a stock Fire TV cannot be downgraded, it’s normally trivial for a rooted Fire TV with a custom recovery installed to downgrade its operating system. Upgrading back up to v6.2.8.0 presumably recovered the Fire TV Stick to working order, but downgrading to an older version was no longer an option.

Rbox, a developer who has been active among the Fire TV modding community for years, has determined that Amazon has chosen to blow an eFuse with Fire OS v6.2.8.0 on the Fire TV Stick 4K to prevent downgrading. He says a script was added in a previous Fire TV software update that did nothing, but that script was activated in the latest software update to blow an eFuse.

An eFuse, or electronic fuse, is a microscopic fuse put into a computer chip that can be triggered to blow in order to permanently change the circuitry of a chip. While eFuses have other uses, they are most commonly used by hardware manufacturers to prevent older software from running on the device. The older software expects a certain number of eFuses to be intact when the device boots, so blowing an eFuse makes older software incompatible with the device.

Amazon has blown eFuses on Fire TV devices in the past as a way to seemingly prevent newer devices from taking advantage of older software exploits that allowed the device to be rooted or allowed the bootloader to be unlocked. This latest blown eFuse seems to be a way to keep devices on the new Fire TV interface, but we’ll likely never know if that’s actually the reason. Regardless of the motivation, the fact is that a Fire TV Stick 4K that updates to the stock version of Fire OS 6.2.8.0 will not be able to downgrade, even if it is later rooted.

The good news for rooted Fire TV Stick 4K owners is that Rbox has already released a pre-rooted version of Fire OS 6.2.8.0 for the Fire TV Stick 4K that does not blow the eFuse. As long as the device has never installed the stock 6.2.8.0 update, you can install the pre-rooted version of 6.2.8.0 and still downgrade if you want. Please be sure to donate to Rbox to support him and thank him for continuing to keep all of our rooted devices updated.

46 comments
  1. Michael Nix says:

    Just like Apple and Sony, Amazon has to be in total control of what you buy.
    Ridiculous. Why are they so worried about anyone downgrading?

    • Jamey Horn says:

      Because, i think they are gonna do an update that stops outside sources and if you can downgrade your system back to the old version, then you would still be able to dowload from outside sources… that’s my thought… to stop jailbroke firesticks

      • Michael Nix says:

        That’s what I meant. Why would they need to care what we do with them? It not affecting them.

        • Bertonumber1 says:

          The reason they are wanting to prevent root/downgrade is just as the above says.
          Ighor who done some excellent work on the launcher… was messing with amazon stock launcher and disabling things like telemetry/sponsored ads within the device.
          Amazon need telemetry because it generates advertising revenue and also plays a major role in the intelligence gathering communities (browser history, keystrokes, uptime, content viewed and home life studies through Alexa)
          This efuse triggering was on the post for some time now

          • Geoffrey Totten says:

            Evidence for the intelligence community or typical paranoia?

          • Geoffrey Titten says:

            @Geoffrey Totten

            Paranoia? Fact more like! Go do your homework on Amazon and SIS, also do some research on telemetry before you go posting nonsensical comments. You Fool!!

            It’s all about money and algorithm

        • KraziJoe says:

          Money. Full stop.

      • Steve says:

        If I ever did that and locked out my ability to put whatever software I wanted I would toss out my fire sticks and my fire cube and go back to using an android box. I prefer for the fire stick into size of an android box anytime I’m probably in the minority what is organized and simple were android can be manipulated to do different things that you’re not expecting. I have gone through dozens of android boxes over the years spent too much money to roll in the garbage and I’m sticking with the Amazon fire stick I am the Amazon fire TV Cube. The fire TV cube is my choice it’s rapidly fast it holds lots of software it doesn’t magnificent job and you could cut your cord who needs TV when you could build your own box with every channel he wants including the latest movies in the theater.

    • Chantal Carnes says:

      This new interface is awful and ramming it down our throats is even worse.

  2. Keith says:

    I don’t bother rooting my devices anymore but this still bothers me a lot. I firmly believe if you buy something it’s yours to do with what you want. Void the warranty. Take responsibility if you break it, but it’s yours to break.

  3. Wes Walraven says:

    I had a update and my toshiba fire tv wouldn’t update. Not it won’t do anything. Says can’t update your Tv.

    • Gayle says:

      Haven’t had that problem but my Toshiba Fire TV says my storage is full and will not work unless I delete some apps. I had to delete everything except Amazon apps.

  4. max says:

    No Fire OS 7 and now blocked from downgrading, too.
    Bravo.

  5. darkheartdawning says:

    Out of curiosity, what is the earliest software update to contain the inactive script?

  6. Alexis says:

    Well can they go ahead and blow my eFuse?? I still don’t have the new interface. How long is this rollout going to take?

    • Jersey Jeff says:

      Right? I’ve got a 2020 device that came with the new interface, and two 4K Sticks. Neither has received the update. I’ll figure out whatever interface they throw at me. As long as I can get the content I came for, I’m good. What I don’t like is the inconsistency within my home. That’s a nuisance to me, and annoys the heck out of my wife. So blow my fuse and update my sticks already.

      • Roy says:

        I have 2 FS 4ks active in the house. One was updated 2 weeks ago and the other one was updated yesterday. My remote control on the one updated yesterday is now acting like the batteries are weak but that is not true. My Samsung tv is slow to respond to fs remote commands and my Vizio 5.1 surround system has stopped responding to the fs remote. The system that was updated 2 weeks ago is also a Samsung tv and has a Vizio 2.1 sound bar and woofer. There has not been a single problem with the operation of this system.

  7. Randall says:

    What are the disadvantages of a rooted 4k stick? Do you not receive updates?

  8. Jerramie Mcgough says:

    Glad I blocked updates on My 4k fire stick, after reading this I’m going to block it on my 2nd gen cube when I get home.

  9. Charlie says:

    Interesting. I had no idea they could do such things. Maybe they could use this tech for something we might want.

  10. aross1976 says:

    so can we still block further updated on the latest FW or have they done something to prevent us from using ADB to disable updates too?

    I mean I’m already stuck with the new POS launcher on one of my sticks
    but as someone posted above they might try and stop side loading in a future update so I’d like to block anymore updates

    I don’t even see the need for this I mean couldn’t they just do something server side to make the old FW not work for certain things

  11. Kk says:

    Amazon sells too many ( and I mean too
    many ) fire sticks knowingly about 3 rd party apps . If they block 3 rd party apps they lose big money on the sale of there products . Directv made millions on their receivers knowing they were being bootlegged . It’s part of the game !

    • aross1976 says:

      From what I understood Amazon sells their hardware like fire TV devices and tablets at a loss or break even price point and depends on people purchasing their content to make a profit
      but I could be wrong, at least for the fire TV devices , but pretty sure it is definitely the case for the fire tablets

  12. Patty says:

    I have this Fire Stick, but haven’t yet installed on my new TV.
    I have no idea what this Message means.
    I’d appreciate, if anyone could explain this information to me, in very simple layperson language.

    • Nate says:

      In short, you have little to nothing to worry about if you are an average, everyday user of a Fire Stick. A new Fire TV software update is bringing a new interface to you, sometime soon.

      The longer answer is: There is a new Amazon Fire TV interface rolling out to devices. The list of devices getting it can be found here: https://www.aftvnews.com/when-will-your-fire-tv-or-firestick-get-the-new-interface-current-and-future-rollout-status/

      How the new interface looks can be found here: https://www.aftvnews.com/first-in-depth-look-at-the-new-amazon-fire-tv-interface-redesign/

      Some people are not fans of this new interface and much prefer the old one. One way some people get around this forced update is to go deep into the software of the Fire Stick and prevent updates, or in some cases, roll the software backward to their preferred version. This article goes into detail about how Amazon has implemented a very difficult to circumvent block on someone’s ability to roll the software backward. This new software update, containing the new interface, once loaded, causes an efuse to “pop” (think of an overloaded circuit breaker in your house) within the Fire Stick, which would prevent aspiring individuals from rolling the software backward.

      If the term ‘rooting’ doesn’t ring a bell with you, then this article shouldn’t be a cause of concern.

  13. Nunya says:

    You don’t have to worry about getting the Fire OS7 on your fire stick, or fire stick 4K. All this hype from these so-called editors/developers, are quick to jump the gun with hype about events that won’t even happen.

    • max says:

      Fewer and fewer devs are gonna stop supporting Android 7, which Fire OS 6 is based on. OS 7 is based on Android 9.
      Hope you’re going to enjoy the lack of apps.

  14. Skel40 says:

    That explains why you’re unable to get passed the initial setup on older firmware. It forces you to update no matter the version unless you edit the build.prop with TWRP and add insecure ADB and by putting adb shell monkey -p com.amazon.tv.oobe -v 500 to actually bypass the “Checking For updates” screen

  15. Tom Wooden says:

    just resell your firesticks and buy tivo4k sticks or an android box. Now you have no more bullshit, no more pre-loaded low storage space. And best of all any apps, and launchers you like. Firesticks are nice but not the only player in the game. Hundreds of really good streaming devices available out there, YOU control, not Amazon

  16. Charlie_ says:

    Oh boy my Fire TV 4K Stick just forced updated when I was using it to the “All-New Fire TV Experience”

    This is the last Amazon device I am buying.

  17. Rik Emmett says:

    I guess the 3rd gen pendant will also blow an efuse, since it has the same OS as the 4K stick.

  18. Gregory says:

    I don’t understand all the tech talk. Can someone help me understand? Do I have to do anything to my two firesticks to prevent something bad from happening? I don’t want to lose any of my apps.

    • KraziJoe says:

      If you don’t do anything to your Firestick, you are fine as there is nothing to do. If you play around with your firestick and like to side load apps non official apps or make changes to the OS then you have something to worry about.

  19. Mi Mi Taylor says:

    So is this why my firestick won’t do anything?. It just displays Fire Stick TV for hours. I unplugged it and just hooked up my Roku tv. So should I just throw it away? I really liked my fire,had it for a few years. But will not be forced to buy another. I’ll stick to my Roku tv,if so. Thanks if someone can answer.

  20. Mary says:

    You can still sideload apps with the new software change,so no worries…but the new interface is horrible,not a fan

    • Charlie says:

      The new interface is still a too busy mess. I am using the Wolf launcher and it’s as easy to use as a Roku.

    • Billie says:

      I agree I’ve changed to a new launcher that way I don’t have to look at the horrible new interface

  21. Bob Grier says:

    The MLB app is toast after the new update on my 4k Stick! I’ve been futzing with it for days with no luck. It still works on an older stick. Plus I really hate the new interface. It’s just way too “busy” and seems to be all about promoting sponsored content. It just sucks.

  22. Frank Nitty says:

    Amazon is on that BS especially w/ the rollout of the new UI. Why can’t they just let us have fun w/ our new toys after we’ve let them take our money…

  23. Victor Schneider says:

    It’s wrong that software updates can change or take away existing features & functions that were in the original device at time of purchase. It’s paramount to false advertising!

    Because my 2004 Prius always gave me close to 50 Mpg, I replaced it in 2015 with a 2007 model for $16,000. It’s been great, it’s Mpg has been around 50 – 55 Mpg.

    Last Oct 2020 I noticed it’s Mpg was barely able to get upto 45 Mpg. I took it for a compete diagnosis at the dealer but found no specific reason for the change.

    After some internet research and phone calls some felt it might have been a software update. Something about the EPA forcing Toyota to make the change for some reason. The dealer tells me there hadn’t been any software updates for the 2007 in years. As I have no way to prove it, I’m stuck with a car that no longer gets great gas mileage.

    I feel very, very cheated. How can this be legal?

    Imagine paying $1,000 for a washing machine that has a special feature that a competing machine lacks. Perhaps after washing the clothes it transforms into a dryer and drys the clothes.

    Then a few years later the company does a software update that removes that feature. You’re not even aware the update was done, and have no way of uninstalling and restoring that feature. Now you have a washer that no longer automatically drys the clothes. Maybe you got rid of your old dryer cause the new machine made it useless. But now after that software update you have no way to dry your clothes. Does it seem this should be legal? No, but that’s what’s happening and us consumers are just rolling over and taking it.

    Again, you’d feel very, very cheated. How can this be legal?

    My Philips TV originally had the Apps down the left hand column and titles under the videos icon. Taking away the ability to jump to an apps home page. They call it an improvement, I ask why change it if it’s bkfst broken. I have no way of restoring the old version.

    Again, I feel very, very cheated. How can this be legal?

    We’re paying top dollar for products, like appliances that lasted 20+ years, to get new ones that cost much more but hardly last 5 years.

    We need to band together to put an end to it!

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