The latest MIUI 13 update to the Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, and Mi 11 Lite 5G devices might have bricked these devices. The Chinese OEM has always focused on quantity over quality. It has adopted the marketing strategy of aggressively launching a slew of new devices every other week instead of polishing and optimizing the already available ones. As a result of which, users occasionally come across a few underlying OS issues every now and then. But just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, Xiaomi is here to surprise you again.
It recently rolled out an official OTA update for its MIUI 13 devices which ended up hard bricking these devices. Yes, you heard that right, it isn’t just a softbrick or bootloop, the devices are completely dead. It’s one thing to get your device bricked by flashing custom ROMs or tinkering with the system partition, however, getting your device dead bricked from installing an official update isn’t something worth justifiable. And it would only go from bad to worse from here.
Xiaomi and EDL: A Great Marketing Strategy
Let’s dive a little bit deep into the technical jargon. Whenever an Android device that has the Qualcomm chipset goes into a bricked state, it is booted to the Emergency Download Mode. From this EDL Mode, you could then flash the firmware using a dedicated tool (such as MSM Download Tool for OnePlus) and bring your device back to life.
However, when it comes to Xiaomi, they have blocked the ability to flash the firmware in an EDL Mode, until you have an authorized account. In other words, a normal user sitting at home wouldn’t be able to repair his or her device, rather they would have to visit the service center, empty their pockets and get their device repaired.
A device usually gets bricked when a user flashes custom binary onto their device. For example, flashing a custom ROM like LineageOS, a custom recovery like TWRP, rooting their device via Magisk, or flashing mods and tweaks are some of the major reasons for the same. However, the percentage of these tech enthusiasts is few and far in between. As a result, blocking the EDL flash and requiring a visit service center wouldn’t lead to any drastic increase in Xiaomi’s revenue as such. So what else could they do?
Well, why not brick the device of the everyday users by sending an official OTA update. The users would obviously install these updates without any second thought as these updates are documented to enhance security and improve the overall performance of the device. But this time around, the end result will be slightly different- a plentitude of bricked devices lying at the tables of the service center executives.
Since the employees would be having an authorized account, they would just flash the unbrick firmware via the Flash Tool, and the device would be up and running in 10 minutes. But the end-users are likely to be charged for the motherboard replacement- perhaps the most costly component of the device.
If it would have been even an iota of mistake from the user (such as unlocking / flashing / rooting), then the company has the right to charge this amount, as they already warn the users of the consequences of stepping into custom development beforehand, However, bricking the device by sending their own buggy update is just not acceptable. So what is the next route that a user could take?
How to Unbrick Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, Mi 11 Lite 5G after installing MIUI 13
First and foremost, try using different hardware key combinations and check if you are able to access the Fastboot or Recovery Mode. If you could then there is a high possibility of the device getting unbricked quite easily. On the other hand, if your device is not responding to any of the key combinations, then it is probably in the EDL Mode, still, let’s verify it once.
- Start off by installing the Qualcomm USB Drivers on your PC.
- Then connect your device to the PC via USB cable.
- After that, right-click on the Start menu and select Device Manager.
- Now expand the Ports or Other Devices section.
- If your device is listed as Qualcomm HS USB QDLoader 9008 or QHUSB_BULK, then it is booted to EDL.
Unfortunately, the confirmation that the device is booted to EDL isn’t a good sign for us. This is because it near about confirms that your device has been hard bricked. Now there are two routes that you could take- official+safe or unofficial+risky. The first approach is quite self-explanatory- head over to the service center and get your device repaired.
The second approach is to get in touch with a person who would carry out this unbrick process for you. You could find many such users on Telegram. They will carry out the unbrick process using a remote desktop software and will of course charge you as well, but you have the comfort to get the job done sitting at the comfort of your home. However, this process could be risky as well as they would be having complete access to your device and the data as well. So think twice before opting for this method.
What if I could access the Fastboot or Recovery Mode? Well, if you are among the few lucky ones who were able to access either of the two modes, then you could easily unbrick your device right by yourself. However, there’s a catch. You should have at least enabled the OEM Unlock toggle (which is present under the Developer Options). Truth be told, hardly any user even enters the Developer Options, let alone keep the OEM unlock toggle enabled (something that Xiaomi knew pretty well).
So if you are also part of this group, then you wouldn’t be able to unlock the device’s bootloader and as a result, you wouldn’t be able to unbrick your bricked Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, or Mi 11 Lite 5G. On the other hand, if you have the OEM toggle enabled or, even better, have your device’s bootloader unlocked, then you could bring your device back to life. All that you need to do is flash the stock firmware via Fastboot Commands. For that, you may refer to our detailed guide on How to Install Android 12 on Mi 11 via Fastboot Commands. Or you could also check out the shorter instructions given below.
For users who have enabled the OEM Unlock toggle but haven’t unlocked the device’s bootloader, check out our guide on How to Unlock the Bootloader on any Xiaomi Device. If you aren’t sure whether you have enabled OEM Unlock or not, then go ahead and try out the unlock process, it will just throw out an error if the OEM Unlock is disabled.
Once the bootloader is unlocked, install the Android SDK Platform Tools on your PC. This is the official ADB and Fastboot binary provided by Google and is the only recommended one. So download it and then extract it to any convenient location on your PC. Doing so will give you the platform-tools folder, which will be used to fix the bricked Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, and Mi 11 Lite 5G devices that resulted from the patchy MIUI 13 update.
Next up, download the Fastboot ROM for your device and extract it inside the platform-tools folder. Now go to this folder’s address bar, type in CMD, and hit Enter. It will launch Command Prompt. Now just execute the below commands in the CMD window to flash the firmware and hence fix the MIUI 13 bricked issue aka unbrick your Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, or Mi 11 Lite 5G
fastboot erase boot_ab fastboot flash xbl_ab xbl.elf fastboot flash xbl_config_ab xbl_config.elf fastboot flash abl_ab abl.elf fastboot flash aop_ab aop.mbn fastboot flash tz_ab tz.mbn fastboot flash featenabler_ab featenabler.mbn fastboot flash hyp_ab hypvm.mbn fastboot flash modem_ab NON-HLOS.bin fastboot flash bluetooth_ab BTFM.bin fastboot flash dsp_ab dspso.bin fastboot flash keymaster_ab km41.mbn fastboot flash devcfg_ab devcfg.mbn fastboot flash qupfw_ab qupv3fw.elf fastboot flash uefisecapp_ab uefi_sec.mbn fastboot erase imagefv_ab fastboot flash imagefv_ab imagefv.elf fastboot flash shrm_ab shrm.elf fastboot flash multiimgoem_ab multi_image.mbn fastboot flash cpucp_ab cpucp.elf fastboot flash qweslicstore_ab qweslicstore.bin fastboot flash logfs logfs_ufs_8mb.bin fastboot flash rescue rescue.img fastboot flash storsec storsec.mbn fastboot flash spunvm spunvm.bin fastboot flash rtice rtice.mbn fastboot flash vendor_boot_ab vendor_boot.img fastboot flash vm-bootsys_ab vm-bootsys.img fastboot flash super super.img fastboot flash cust cust.img fastboot flash dtbo_ab dtbo.img fastboot flash vbmeta_ab vbmeta.img fastboot flash vbmeta_system_ab vbmeta_system.img fastboot erase metadata fastboot flash metadata metadata.img fastboot erase userdata fastboot flash userdata userdata.img fastboot flash boot_ab boot.img fastboot flash logo logo.img fastboot set_active a fastboot reboot
As soon as the last command gets executed, your device will automatically boot to the OS. And so with that, you would have successfully unbricked your Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, or Mi 11 Lite 5G. However, the majority of such people would be on the lower side as for most of the users, the device has been hard-bricked and not just a soft-brick. So all this begs for an important question-
Was this Intentional from Xiaomi?
Well, it could be! While there isn’t and wouldn’t be any official documentation to justify this statement, there are a few points worth taking into consideration. First off, before an OEM rolls out an OTA, it tests it out internally for underlying bugs and issues. If everything is well and good, it then releases that update for the general audience.
Granted there have been a few instances where a buggy update has been that ended up breaking an app’s functionality, but this time around things are completely different. No tester noticing an issue of such large magnitude that would ultimately brick the device is hard to digest. This, when coupled with the fact that Xiaomi’s EDL mode requires an intervention of the service center employees, and it isn’t painting a pretty picture for this Chinese OEM.
The only saving grace that we could recall is the fact that OnePlus did something similar with its 6 series and Pixel did the same as well with its 3 series. So either the OEMs are competing with each other in releasing the most buggy to date or the tech behemoth has invoked their evil genius! It’s up for interpretation and debate- and so the comments section is all yours. Do share your valuable opinions with us regarding this fiasco of bricked Mi 11, Mi 11 Ultra, and Mi 11 Lite 5G after installing MIUI 13 in the comments below.
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