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back to article Asus asked to decrypt Eee tablet bootloader

Asus' decision to encrypt the bootloader built into its Eee Pad Transformer Prime has prompted prospective punters to petition for the practice to end. Users recently discovered that the Hasbro hated Prime's bootloader is sealed from prying eyes with 128-bit AES encryption - a move that, intentionally or not, prevents owners …

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That's horrible news. I am on my third Asus Eee already, and very happy with the whole line, but I only ever use them with Ubuntu slapped on them.

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Asus Eeeeeeeee

This is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime being discussed, not Asus Eee netbooks.

While Asus could possibly be applauded for descriptive naming, it's possibly gone a little too far.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll change my name to I ♡ Barry Shitpeas if this comes to fruition

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Enjoy your new name

http://www.bgr.com/2012/01/03/asus-confirms-intent-to-release-transformer-prime-bootloader-unlocking-tool/

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Anonymous Coward

It's not over 'til the fat lady sings..

or Asus releases the unlock tool in this case.

Seen enough lies in this industry.

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http://www.reghardware.com/2012/01/04/asus_promises_optional_eee_pad_transformer_prime_bootloader_unlock/

Congratulations on your new name ...

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FAIL

Voice of reason

How about virtually every other Android manufacturer that also locks their bootloader?

The original Asus Transformer is also bootloader locked with AES 128bit keys too? (so why this is news is anyone's guess....)

The only notable exceptions are HTC and Sony Ericsson who will unlock your bootloader in exchange for you agreeing to void any warranty you have (which seems a fair deal).

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Analysis

Too much of this probing analysis and people will ask you to change your name!

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Anonymous Coward

Not probing enough, just anal

Since he left out the easy to unlock Xoom.

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Archos and Motorola and probably more makes do this,that is allow you to un-lock the boot-loader and void the warranty.

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Unhappy

Locking serves no purpose

On phones carriers demand it, but the Prime doesn't have mobile broadband.

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Linux

unlock tool

Asus France announced on twitter that they will release a tool "to unlock the bootloader".

http://twitter.com/#!/AsusFrance/status/154232413894090754

They also promise an official explanation on their facebook page.

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Anonymous Coward

It's there already on Asus France FB

Essentially they blame the boot loader lock on Google's DRM requirements for HD video.

Just why Google would demand this while not locking their own Nexus range in such a draconian way remains to be explained.

They also mention the GPS problem and blame that on the aluminium unibody interfering with the signal! Truly genius, Asus.

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@Probing Analyst

My Galaxy Nexus came with a locked bootloader. Not encrypted, but it still had to be unlocked (with message informing it *may* void the warranty)

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Anonymous Coward

@miknik

I know that what I meant by "in such a draconian way". Google makes it super easy to lock or unlock and even gives you the tools for it.

Asus on the other hand gives you one locked with a 128 bit key!

My point was, if simple keyless locking is enough for Google and they DRM, why did Asus need more?

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WTF?

They must stop doing this.

If or when I buy something I alone am the sole supporter of that device.

If I am unable to repair something due to proprietary sofware then this lock in feature will just increase the overall cost of owning the device.

Since Locking down the bootloader was done we can only guess that this was not done at all with the customer in mind. Then Asus can charge any phantom rpice they want to come hell or high water.

Is Asus even prepared to support this hardware on such a grandscale?

Just like netflix it seems ASUS management thought its good to lockdown based on over sized ego's.

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What are you babbling about.

ASUS obviously can bypass the encryption when necessary so it's irrelevant to the normal running of the device.

Valid bitches are about the ownership of the device and earlier/better OS installs but your maintenance "issue" is completely spurious and is only worth reading for the comedy value.

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"it is our right to customise our devices in any way we wish"

It is the manufacturer's right to *design* their devices any way *they* wish, too. Freedom is a two-way street.

Customer support is hard enough without having to cater to any number of unofficial, third-party modifications and changes. Apple are raking in the cash precisely *because* they disagree with this repeatedly disproved "the customer is always right" bullshit. Engineers and nerds may like to tinker with their toys, but 99.999% of punters couldn't give a toss how the magic lantern works.

If you believe there's a huge demand for products designed the way *you* want them, you're more than welcome to go into business for yourself. It's just a bunch of bits in a box with some off-the-shelf software, right? Easy peasy! <CLARKSON>How hard can it be?</CLARKSON>

It's a crying shame nobody's invented a foolproof device that automatically euthanises people with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. There's a potentially huge market there.

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Whot you said. every paragraph.

Saved me a lot of typing there.

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FAIL

Installing third party firmware usually voids your warranty

And including a non-locked bootloader is I believe quite a bit simpler than implementing some kind of security policy for it.

So, your point is...?

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WTF?

The point is the trade off between the expected increase in returns and support costs vs. the the time and effort to produce a locked loader.

Different companies decide on different sides of the line, but I'll only buy from the freedom side.

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Anonymous Coward

@pip25

I think the point was that you can just build one yourself from scratch, not install third party stuff. That's what you Linux gimps like, isn't it? From the high opinion you all express of yourselves, I'm sure you can build something even better with a few soup cans and string if you can't be bothered growing your own silicon and all the rest. Don't like it? Don't buy it, And don't whine. It's childish and tiresome. And the warranty difficulties when self-proclaimed rocket scientists have been dicking about with things have already been raised. Don't try to be smart, either. You're not equipped for it.

@Sean : nicely said. I was thinking along the lines of your third paragraph the minute I saw the headline. You said it more eloquently than I would've, though :)

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I'll only buy from the freedom side.

See, /that/ is the correct answer.

Getting all indignant and making out that the manufacturer is doing something wrong by making something you don't like is foolish. Buying something you /do/ like is far more sensible.

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Paris Hilton

It's only whining when its inter-personal

When you tell a company why you aren't buying its products, that's useful feedback and can help the company modify its policies to sell more stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

@Robert E A Harvey - If you'll ever find one.

You still don't seem to get it that your freedom doesn't help the vendor make as much money as he pleases.

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Anonymous Coward

@P. Lee - Yeah, like for example trying to tell that to Sony

Don't be naive!

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FAIL

@Sean

If it were a requirement of non-apple devices that the user install their own OS then what you wrote wouldn't be such BS. Apple: homegrown OS not required, 3rd party ROM not allowed. Others: homegrown OS not required, 3rd party ROM allowed.

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