Have you accidentally hard bricked your OnePlus 6 or OnePlus 6T? Then don’t worry, we are here to help you recover it. We will guide you on how to unbrick OnePlus 6/6T using the MSMDownload Tool and restore the stock OxygenOS firmware on the phone. The process involves putting your phone in EDL mode and then flashing the stock firmware using MSMDownload Tool.

If you have been into the Android modding scene, you might have used tools like TWRP, ADB, and Fastboot for flashing custom ROMs, recoveries, mods, and even the stock firmware. While flashing your phone using these tools is mostly safe, there still are chances of bricking your OnePlus 6/6T. This could either be caused by a user-error, for example, you might have missed an important step. Or, it could be something wrong with the file (Custom ROM, recovery, etc).

In most cases, these semi-bricks (more commonly known as ‘soft bricks’), which are caused by a software error, can easily be fixed by re-flashing the file or by performing a simple factory reset. However, the same is not the case when dealing with hard-bricks.

Also Read: How to Install MIUI12 on Redmi Note 5 Pro

Signs of a Hard-bricked OnePlus 6/6T

In either of the brick states (i.e. Soft-brick or Hard-brick), your OnePlus 6/6T may bootloop or stay stuck at the OnePlus boot screen. So how do you differentiate if your phone has been soft-bricked or hard-bricked? Below are some of the signs that could help you figure this out.

  • Your phone shows the ‘Your Device is corrupt‘ message while booting.
  • Your phone shows a black screen and might just vibrate when connected to the wall charger. That’s because the secondary bootloader is inaccessible.
  • Your phone doesn’t boot into Fastboot and Recovery modes even after pressing the proper button combination. A simple way to check this is by holding the Volume Up and Power buttons together while the phone is switched off.
  • When connected to a Windows PC using a USB, the phone is detected as a ‘QUSB_BULK‘ interface under Windows Device Manager.

If your OnePlus 6/6T ticks any of the signs listed above, then it’s probably hard-bricked. And if you cannot boot into Fastboot/Recovery mode either, it means that you cannot install the stock firmware using Fastboot or Recovery Mode to unbrick it easily.

Unbricking a Hard-bricked OnePlus 6/6T

How to Unbrick OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T

Now, if you have found yourself landed in this ordeal, you can easily unbrick your OnePlus 6/6T using the MSMDownload tool. It is a low-level flashing utility that is used by OnePlus (and its parent company Oppo) to carry out flashing on their devices internally. However, the tool was leaked for every OnePlus device in the past and is now available for the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T as well.

MSMDownload Tool basically communicates with your phone over Qualcomm’s EDL mode (Emergency Download Mode) to flash the stock OxygenOS firmware. This special boot-mode is a feature available only for devices equipped with Qualcomm SoCs and is controlled by the primary bootloader. So, even if your phone’s secondary bootloader (the one that is normally responsible for booting) is inaccessible, you can boot your OnePlus 6/6T into EDL mode, connect it to the PC, and use the MSMDownload tool to unbrick the phone.

The best part about using this tool and this method is that it also works even if your phone has a locked bootloader. The tool will automatically unlock the phone’s bootloader before flashing the firmware and relock it later after the unbricking process finishes.

The MSMDownload tool and required decrypted stock OxygenOS firmware for OnePlus 6 and 6T was shared by XDA Senior Member Some_Random_Username on this and this XDA thread, respectively. His contribution is the reason why this unbrick method is possible.

Now without any further ado, let us get straight to the instructions.

Instructions to Unbrick OnePlus 6/6T

Unbricking your OnePlus 6 or 6T is quite easy. The first step is to download the decrypted OxygenOS firmware that you wish to install on your phone. The second step is to launch the MSMDownload Tool and connect your phone to the PC while it is in EDL mode. The third step is to install the appropriate USB drivers on your PC for the tool to detect your phone. And the fourth and the final step is to flash the stock OxygenOS firmware using the tool.

I have split the complete process into 4 major steps so that it is easy for you to understand it and perform it.

Step 1: Download Decrypted Stock OxygenOS Firmware

Below, you will find the links to download decrypted OxygenOS firmware for your OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T. The package also includes the MSMDownload tool, so you don’t have to download it separately. Using the latest decrypted OxygenOS firmware is recommended, but not mandatory, so you can choose the OxygenOS version of your choice.

OnePlus 6 (enchilada)

OnePlus 6T (fajita)

And again, a huge thanks to Some_Random_Username for these!

Step 2: Launch MSMDownload Tool and Boot OnePlus 6/6T into EDL Mode

Now, extract the downloaded firmware package on your PC. Like I mentioned before, the package contains the tool as well. Once extracted, launch the MSMDownload Tool on your Windows PC by double-clicking on the ‘MsmDownloadTool V4.0.exe‘ executable file. The tool window will open up on your PC’s screen.

Launch OnePlus 6/6T MSMDownload Tool on your Windows PC

In order for the tool to detect your OnePlus 6/6T, you must boot it into EDL mode. If your phone shows nothing but a black screen, it is already probably in EDL mode. But if it isn’t, then there are a couple of ways to do this depending upon the state your phone’s in. All of these have been listed below.

  1. Using TWRP: Beginning with v3.3, TWRP offers a one-press button boot supported devices into EDL mode. So, if your OnePlus 6/6T can enter TWRP recovery, you can simply go to the ‘Reboot‘ menu from the TWRP main screen and press the ‘EDL‘ button.
    Boot OnePlus 6/6T into EDL Mode using TWRP Recovery
    Image Courtesy: GadgetHacks
  2. Using ADB: If you didn’t know, you can communicate with your device over ADB even if it’s not fully booted into the OS. So, with your phone connected to the PC via a USB cable, execute the following ADB command:
    adb reboot edl
  3. Manually: Power off your OnePlus device completely. Then while holding the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons together, connect the phone to the PC using a USB cable.

Once your OnePlus 6/6T is in EDL Mode, connect it to the PC using a USB cable.

Step 3: Install Qualcomm USB Drivers on the PC

In order for the MSMDownload Tool to recognize your OnePlus 6/6T and flash the stock firmware, it must be detected as ‘Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008‘.  To check this, go to ‘Control Panel‘ on your Windows PC and launch the ‘Device Manager‘. If the proper drivers aren’t installed, your phone will be detected as ‘QUSB_BULK‘ (Qualcomm USB Bulk Download). This is a special interface that is opened by the primary bootloader when the device is bricked.

OnePlus 6/6T QUSB_BULK in Windows Device Manager

To fix this, just head over to this post to download the drivers and follow the instructions within to properly install them. Once you have done that, your OnePlus 6/6T should be detected as ‘Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008’ in Windows Device Manager. Also, the MSMDownload Tool should show the device status as ‘Connected‘ with the corresponding COM port.

OnePlus 6/6T Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008 in Windows Device Manager

Step 4: Flash Decrypted OxygenOS Firmware on OnePlus 6/6T using MSMDownload Tool

Now, with everything in place, your phone is now ready to be flashed via the tool. This is extremely simple as well. Just click on the ‘Start‘ button on the top-left of the tool’s GUI to begin the flashing process. The MSMDownload tool will unlock the bootloader if it’s not already unlocked and then flash the decrypted OxygenOS firmware to your OnePlus 6/6T.

Flash Decrypted OxygenOS Firmware on OnePlus 6/6T using MSMDownload Tool

You will see the flashing progress in the green bar under the ‘Progress of Download’ column. Once the flashing process finishes, your phone will automatically boot into the stock OxygenOS firmware you just installed. Now, simply click ‘Stop’ to end the flashing session, close the tool’s window and disconnect the phone from the PC.

Note: If you see the ‘Sahara Communication Failed. Please try again after power off the phone‘ error message, please disconnect the device and restart your PC. Then retry again. Make sure that you use a USB 2.0 port on your PC to connect your OnePlus 6/6T. USB 3.0/3.1/3.2 are known to cause odd errors while flashing over the EDL interface.

The unbricking process also relocks your phone’s bootloader once the flashing is over. If you want, you can easily unlock the bootloader again and further root your OnePlus 6/6T using Magisk.

That’s it! You have just successfully unbricked your OnePlus 6/6T from a hard-brick using the MSMDownload Tool. That was clearly very easy, wasn’t it? If you have any questions regarding the process or you feel stuck and need help with it, feel free to let me know. I would try my best to help you.

 

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