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Unlock the V3

First, the ability to unlock a phone is protected in the United States under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As of 2006 the U.S Copyright Office allowed this exception because in their words: "The underlying activity sought to be performed by the owner of the handset is to allow the handset to do what it was manufactured to do - lawfully connect to any carrier. This is a noninfringing activity by the user...The purpose of the software lock appears to be limited to restricting the owner's use of the mobile handset to support a business model, rather than to protect access to a copyrighted work itself."

If interested you can download this document from the U.S. Copyright Office, and begin reading starting at Page 42, Paragraph 5.


There is quite a bit of misunderstanding about what really unlocks a locked phone and why you should even bother to unlock a phone in the first place.   I'm going to get a little long winded here so bare with me...

A locked phone is one that will only operate on one particular network, like Cingular.   A service provider does this to make it harder for people to leave their network for better service with someone else's network like T-Mobile.   They know you love your phone too much to actually buy another one just to go somewhere else for service, so they got you.

Why do you want to unlock your phone in the first place?   Many do it just because they can I guess and have no real use for it being unlocked.   You would unlock a phone to switch networks and keep the same phone, or if you plan to travel out of the country and don't want to pay international roaming charges.

With an unlocked phone you can go to sites like Cellular Abroad or In Touch Smart Cards or Telestial and buy international SIMs.   Or you can just buy them when you arrive in country and make your phone calls at much cheaper, local rates.

There are many monster packs and other files that are labeled as unlocked.   All this means is that if your phone is already unlocked, then flashing it or flexing it with these files won't relock it.





There is no monster pack or any other flashable or flexable file that will unlock a locked phone, period.


How do you determine if your V3 is locked?   A simple test with a SIM on a different network will confirm if your phone is locked.   A locked phone will ask for a password to override the subsidy lock.   Once you unlock a phone the subsidy password screen will go away and the phone will log onto any network it can communicate with (in our case GSM networks).

subsidy lock

This is what a locked V3 displays if you try  
to use a SIM not on your provider's network.



Here's where I take one for the team...

I'm going to take a perfectly good V3 that's unlocked and relock it back to T-Mobile to test this new program called Motorola Unlocker 2005.

I started out with an unlocked V3 which had default Motorola branding on it.   I'm using T-Mobile service.   It has bootloader "08.23" on it.   I flashed bootloader "08.26" on it.

Then I found this file: "R374_G_0E.42.09R_PDS005_LP0003_DRM0001_JPJAVA_G_0E_V3_02_09R_GSMV3xxTMB01NA106_1FF.shx" which would lock my V3 to T-Mobile.

I launched RSD Lite and flexed with the file.   It flexed just fine and I started up the phone with a T-Mobile SIM in it to make sure it worked which it did.   Then I put my Cingular SIM in it and got the subsidy lock screen.   Success, I'd locked my phone again.

A reader of this site sent me a program and said it would unlock my phone and that it had worked for him and it was easy to use.   Cool, I like easy things that work magic.   The program he sent was called "Motorola Unlocker 2005".   I've read it also goes by the vague name "Final.exe".   Click here to download this program.

V3 unlocker





But before I could use this program I needed I to use the Scotty2 downgrader program to change my bootloader to "07.D0".   It did this without a problem (see the example screen on the page labeled "starting out").

I then launched the Motorola Unlocker 2005 program.   It tells you to put the phone in flash mode and just click the button.

V3 unlocker


I clicked the button and got this blank confirmation screen.   Guess I'll click yes at this point. What have I got to lose?

V3 unlocker


My output text will be different from yours.

V3 unlocker





I disconnected my phone and started it up with the Cingular SIM in it.   It registered to the network and it was now unlocked!




Ok, now lets discuss other methods of unlocking a phone.   I would first call my service provider and try to get the unlock code from them for free.   You bought your phone from them and you pay them every month for service, it is the least they can do and should do for you in return.   Some providers make you wait 90 days after starting an account with them before they will do this.   Sometimes they just won't give you the code.

From this point on all I'm going to say is search the Internet and you'll quickly drown in a sea of choices in your quest for an unlocked phone. You could also try local mom and pop type cell phone stores for help. I am going to take a moment here to bash a couple companies whose products I've tried and was unhappy with and felt I'd been completely ripped off by. The "Smart Unlocker" was a very good device when I owned one. It didn't work on the 08.26 bootloader, but worked on the others like a charm. The "Smart Clip" was a piece of shit and the morons who run the company are the most unhelpful people you will ever come across. They just want your money and want you to go away. And it shows! The Ultima Box is the biggest joke of a tool I've ever seen.

Also note, when you buy equipment like this, that there ARE NO REFUNDS.   This is scary considering these devices sell for $200 and up.   BUYER BEWARE!

I would next try to do the test point procedure myself, without the help of an online unlocking site.   There is a thread on the MotoX forums that a reader wrote about their experience unlocking their phone.   It worked for them, it may work for you.   You will need to disassemble your phone though to do this.   Here is a Spanish language video made by someone who demonstrates how to do a test point.   I love the board with the nails he has in it to wedge the phone and battery into to keep a constant connection while performing the work.   Click the image to play the movie.

testpoint


Here is the image that GSMServer.com provides for the test point.

test point






This ends the "unlock" section of this tutorial. cell phone



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flex
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unlock
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troubleshooting
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