Friday, December 13, 2013

Unlocking your HP Slate 21

HP started selling few months ago the HP Slate 21, an Android based AIO (All In One) device which is a 21" IPS monitor which got an Android 4.2.2 inside.

The Slate 21 device is quite good, although it's really low on specs. Only 1GB of RAM and only 8GB Space inside (although you can stick a full size SD card inside).

You can read some reviews about the device here, here and few people wrote about it on Amazon and you can read their reviews here.

Technically, this machines IMHO begs to be modified. You don't have the issues of tablet heat, so you might want to overclock it, and maybe do some other software modifications..

In order to modify anything on it (that means: changing firmware, recovery, boot loader etc) you'll need to unlock it first, and here are the instructions how to unlock it. After unlocking it you'll need to root the Slate, and so far I failed to find a way to root it (I tried several methods, including the nVidia Shield way and the TN7 way - it doesn't work), but if you want to try it, go ahead and if you manage to root it, I'll be happy to hear about it and publish it here (with credits to you).

So without further ado, lets get started.

Warning: The following steps WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY! I'm not taking responsibility if your device will brick, explode or anything else, you've been warned!


  • In order to actually get access to the machine, you'll need a Male to Male USB Cable, like this one, which you can order from that page or simply buy from your local tech store such a cable. Connect it from the Slate's side USB port to your PC. Your Windows (or Mac or Linux) will recognize the device as MTP.
  • Make sure you have the latest updates for your Slate. Unlocking the device will not let you receive automatic updates, so click on the Settings, scroll to the bottom, click on the "About tablet" and then click on System updates, and then click on the "Check Now". If your device has updates, you'll see it there.
  • Now we'll un-hide the Developer options. Click on the "About tablet", and then click 7 times on the "Build Number", and after clicking 7 times, you'll see on the left side "Developer options" - click on it, and click on the "USB Debugging". In my Slate, the device rebooting after clicking on it, so if it's rebooting on your slate, let it reboot.
  • Install ADB and fastboot On your Windows machine (instructions are here) and after installing ADB and fastboot, connect your Slate to your Windows/Mac/Linux. In Windows, you'll see a new device, and ADB device. If you get an "unknown device", or don't get anything, then follow the instructions here
  • Open a command line prompt and run the adb devices command. It should show you your slate as a number with the word "device". If not, check the instructions on the link above and make sure you don't have "unknown device" - or else ADB won't know how to talk to your device.
  • The next part is critical if you have any data that is important to you, make a full backup before going any further! unlocking your slate will erase everything you installed or uploaded to your slate. I recommend using the Holo backup app if you're a Windows or Linux user. Later you can restore all your apps and content with a single click :)
  • Run the command: adb reboot bootloader
    This will reboot your slate and will give you a simple menu. don't select anything.
  • Run the command: fastboot oem unlock
    This will show you a simple menu to select if you want to keep it locked or unlock the device. Use the Volume buttons to choose your option (select: unlock) and then press brightness up key (the button below the volume keys).
    Here comes the "scary" part - you won't see anything on the screen after selecting to unlock. Thats OK. Wait for a minute or two (patience, friend) and if your slate still doesn't show anything, then press the power button for 10 seconds (don't let go), and if you still don't see anything, press it again for 10 seconds, your slate will reboot and you'll have to setup everything from scratch (entering your gmail user, pass etc...)
  • Congratulations, your device is unlocked. If you want to re-lock it (and again, this will erase everything on your device!), follow the steps above and select "lock". I don't know if the slate "phones home" to report if it's locked or not, so I don't know if you warranty will be restored (probably not).
The next steps which are still unknown are rooting the slate, and installing a new recovery. While finding a way to permanently root the slate will be a matter of short time, recovery is another thing and requires to create a new image with modifications for the slate.

I'll keep you posted for any progress that I'll make, so subscribe to this post :)

Hetz

28 comments:

  1. awesome knowledge shared.
    Thank you,

    I am tring to root my HP slate 21, any help or link u can provide?

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2568407&page=3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nicely written, I am seriously considering buying one of these to try and run Debian on it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, did you get any luck on installing Debian on the HP Slate 21. If you did, can you please provide the steps that you followed. Thank you

      Delete
  4. Hi,

    I'm stuck at the command: fastboot oem unlock, I just receive the message 'waiting for device'. And the next prompt for unlocking the device doesn't appear

    I also receive a 'failed to install driver failure on windows' , checking device manager there's a 'fastboot' entry on Other devices.

    Any idea what's going on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. Tried everything to get the device to be recognised as something other than "fastboot" in device manager. Frustrating.

      Delete
    2. Never mind my last. I found a solution eventually. Installing PDANet on my PC installed the drivers I needed to allow me to connect fastboot.

      Delete
  5. Run fastboot command as root
    ie. 'sudo fastboot oem unlock'

    further 'sudo fastboot devices' will help you to see if the device is attached to your computer correctly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm stucked on the 'fastboot oem unlock' then
      i typed the 'sudo fastboot oem unlock' it said that 'sudo is not recognized as an internal and external command'. i'm using windows 7. also try to install usb_driver from google, but not work.

      please advise. i have the same problem with apyron.
      when i 'adb devices' it successfuly see the device. thank you please help.

      Delete
    2. Sorry that I may not be of help with Windows related desktops. I use Ubuntu - that is why 'sudo' command. Just a hint - try open the command prompt 'As Administrator' ie. R'click command prompt icon -> Open as administrator. See if that helps.

      Delete
  6. I am tring to search how to root my HP slate 21, any help or link u can provide?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Same thing. I tried to root HP slate 21. still no success. Can any genius help us to root it with simplify instructions. Many many thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. I HAVE ROOTED IT!!!
    TowelRoot - and no problem!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi, does Slate 21 freeze frequently? If yes, what's the solution?

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm stuck on the boot animation on my HP. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cannot get into my hp slate 21, I've forgotten my password. There is never an option to reset my password. Can someone please tell me what my other options are? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. i'm curious about what advantage unlocking the device? and more or less so on a pro, which addresses somewhat most of home device shortcomings, and tfor he same price or less.

    although i like the slate in general, and have learned how to exist in andiron os, i have had a few unpleasant surprises when looking for fave apps, like irfanview and a pop under blocker like opper blocker which allows me to use an ad infested v and movie hub,thedarehub.com/tv . if you haven't run into it. excellent if you don't have a tv anymore. an answers would be welcome...

    ReplyDelete
  14. android, no andiron. damn you spellcheck.

    ReplyDelete
  15. After you unlock hp slate 21 (4.4.2) to get root use kinguser-v3-5-0.apk.(download from Apps2apk.com and install it and close OFF google verification. I get root from first try. If you don't, try till you get it.
    Good lack.
    gpaso

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  16. Is this unlock method good for the last kitkat 4.4.2? Just want to make sure before bricking my hp slate 21

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Marco, I have the same question and also would like to see a video on how to root/over clock this thing its old but good technology

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi I'm using HP slate 21 ... need to connect printer ...which model will work ...please suggest

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hp slate 21 k100 bought nov 2013, android: stuck booting up with logo on the screen. Having trouble gettinng help here in Costa Rica. What can i do?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi!my slate 21 k100 is freezed on the HP logo. I tried to enter the recovery mode using the volume up and on/off keys, but it return to the HP logo... Can you help me? Thanks a lot!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The system reboot I used for mine was actually (from memory) the power volume up and menu button.

      if you hold these on reboot I am pretty sure you'll get it to reboot but all I did was search HP Slate 21 trouble shoot and went from there.

      Delete