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Luckily this phone’s unlocking happened instantaneously, saving me the 168 or 300 hours waiting time.
Yesterday I bought it at 5pm, unlocked at 6pm, started the install at 10pm and was done by midnight, which was a great surprise! So far the phone works fine.
I flashed the vbmeta.img found on MIUI blog. It wasn’t indicated in e’s instructions, but not sure if it was required either.
I must add that I was a bit familiar with the vocabulary and method, having spent beforehand 15-20 hours on an unsuccessful install with another Redmi Note (the 9). I thus started yesterday with a computer already configured for flashing a ROM (adb enabled, Xiami flashtool installed etc.).
As a newbie starting with zero clue about adb, twrp, ROM flashing, etc., I found difficult to get to the TWRP menu step following only /e/'s instructions. From there however the rest was easy to follow.
My suggestion is that I post here, in the next days, the exact set of instructions that I followed for Redmi Note 7, hoping to be helpful for other newbies as myself
Detailed installation steps for Xiaomi Redmi Note 7, codename “lavender“
For the unexperienced user I was, installing eOS turned out to be rather hard – though worth the experience! Here are the detailed steps I followed, intended to make it easier for newbies as myself.
Part 1 and 2 were difficult because I was missing quite some information which I gathered from the Web, Part 3 was easy and well explained in eOS documentation. In Part 1, depending on Xiaomi, you may have to wait for 7 days or so, but maybe not; apart from that the entire install can be done within a couple of hours. Remember to save all personal data on your cloud or computer before you do the following steps, otherwise you will loose it all.
You need: your phone, a PC, a USB cable to connect them together, a Wi-Fi connection, a SIM card with mobile data. Verify that you can access your phone files from your PC – if you cannot then download the appropriate Windows driver.
PART 1: UNLOCKING YOUR PHONE
In call mode, dial *#*#64663#*#* then choose “1 Check version info” and scroll down. Near “Camera information” you will find the codename, which should be “lavender”.
On some devices this will not work. If so, find the model name written at the back of your phone, something like ‘M1901F7G’, and search for it on https://phonedb.net, there you’ll be able to check with the detailed specifications if your phone is indeed called ‘Xiaomi Lavender’.
I recommend using one of these two methods, rather than browsing a list of Xiaomi codenames, which is too imprecise because there are so many phone models. If you find ‘violet’ instead of ‘lavender’, this is Redmi Note 7 Pro, which has a different eOS build.
For any other codename, check if it’s in e’s list of officially or unofficially supported devices. If not, you cannot install eOS for the moment but you can place a request on the forum.
Enable Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on your PC
This software tool enables your PC to communicate with the smartphone. Because only the commands adb and fastboot are needed here, I installed the minimal version found on the first post of this XDA forum discussion (or direct download link)
Run the install file, in the blue command prompt type 3 times ‘y’ (Yes), continue. Install in a directory that is easy to find back, f.ex. C:\adb. I don’t remember if ADB was needed to request the phone‘s unlocking, but to be sure just do it now, you will need it anyway later.
Authorize some options on your phone
- Developer options:
Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘About Phone’ > ‘Build Number’ or ‘MIUI Version’, Tap seven times at this precise place, you will be notified that you are now a developer. This is sort of a magical step, since a new menu ‘Developer Options’ has now appeared in ‘Settings’. This thing is hidden so that standard users don’t mess up with their OS, but you need to enable it to proceed.
- OEM Unlock:
‘Settings’ > ‘Additional Settings’ > ‘Developer Options’ > ‘OEM Unlock’, tap to enable. On some devices the path may be found under ‘Settings’ > ‘System’ > ‘Developer Options’. This allows changes that usually only the phone’s manufacturer can perform.
- Mi Unlock:
You need to link a (Xiao)Mi account to the phone. Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Additional Settings’ > ‘Developer Options’ > ‘Mi Unlock Status’, choose to add an account, deactivate Wi-Fi and activate mobile data as indicated, create or add an account. Note that you need a phone number for that – don’t know if several Mi accounts can be linked to a single phone number.
Request the unlocking of your phone from Xiaomi
CAUTION: it may be – it happened to me – that the unlocking happens instantaneously, in which case all data on your phone will be erased at the very second when you request the unlocking, before you’ve done anything properly related to /e/OS. Be sure to backup important data before requesting the unlocking. In some cases though, you’ll have to wait for some days and nothing will happen until you then actually unlock.
Download the Mi Unlock tool from here.
Extract the .zip file f.ex. in C:/, run the file ‘batch_unlock.exe’. When the Mi software has started, connect to your Mi account with your 10-digit identifier + password, enter the verification code received by SMS.
Then only, turn off your phone. Enter the so-called ‘Fastboot mode’ by pressing simultaneously two buttons for 5 to 10 seconds: ‘Volume Minus’ and ‘Power’. A cartoon with a white rabbit and a green robot appears on a black background: you have successfully entered the Fastboot mode.
Connect the phone to the PC via USB. On the phone, make sure to choose ‘File transfer’ and not ‘USB charging’, otherwise you won’t be able to communicate with the phone.
In the Mi software click on ‘Refresh (F5)’, your phone should show up in the list, with its serial number, its codename (here: ‘lavender’) and status: ‘locked’. If it doesn’t show up, check all ‘Settings’ options listed above, or try from another PC. I was stuck for some time at this step and trying from another PC solved that, not sure why.
Make sure your data is backed up, then click on ‘Unlock (F6)’, which sends the request to Xiaomi.
In my case, the unlocking was instantaneous, all personal data was erased, and I was able to proceed. I don’t know if this is true for all Redmi Note 7. While trying on a Redmi Note 9 (merlin) though, the following message was displayed after some seconds: “Please unlock 168 hours later. And do not add your account in MIUI again, otherwise you will wait from scratch”, meaning that my request had successfully been sent to Xiaomi and I just needed to wait for seven days. I believe this is often the case with Xiaomi phones. See if you are lucky!
Unlock your phone
After the waiting period has elapsed, start the Mi Unlock Tool again, turn off the phone, enter Fastboot mode as described above and connect your phone to the PC. When the phone shows up in the list, click again on ‘Unlock (F6)’, the phone should restart. If you have no waiting period, the phone should restart without further notice the first time you click on Unlock.
The boot takes some time, a small open lock should be displayed at the top of the screen, meaning that the change was successful. One more quick step will finalize the unlocking.
A black screen says “This device is locked”. Before clicking anything, write down the Unlock code displayed in small characters at the bottom – I didn’t need it but one never knows!
Choose “Open Wi-Fi settings”, connect to the Internet and go back, choose “Activate this device”, enter the password of your Xiaomi account, follow the instructions.
Your phone should now be fully unlocked, i.e. devoid of your previous data + you are now authorized to installed a new OS.
Authorize again some options on your phone
You need to re-activate the Developer options by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘About Phone’ > ‘MIUI Version’ and tapping seven times at this precise place.
Then go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Additional Settings’ > ‘Developer Options’ > ‘OEM Unlock’ and check that is says ‘Bootloader already unlocked’.
Check that your phone is indeed unlocked.
Still in the menu ‘Developer Options’, find ‘Mi Unlock Status’: it should say ‘Unlocked’ if your steps were successful. If so, congrats!! the phone is unlocked and Part 1 is accomplished!
PART 2: INSTALLING THE TWRP RECOVERY ON YOUR PHONE
From what I understood, a recovery is a low-level menu that allows to manage data on the phone, update the OS, install a new one, etc. (but more is explained f.ex. here). By default the phone has its “stock” recovery which is called ‘Redmi Recovery’ but here we want to install another, more powerful recovery called ‘TWRP’, which will allow to install /e/OS. I was stuck for a long time at this step and could only ever enter the Redmi recovery, never the TWRP one, so I hope I wrote down in enough details what I did so that you don’t face these difficulties.
Download the TWRP recovery and the vbmeta file
Download the adequate recovery software for lavender (Redmi Note 7). This is referred to as lavender’s recovery ‘image’. I got mine from here, it’s version 3.2.3 and apparently it is unofficial (direct download link).
Please note that this recovery is specific to lavender and that things may not work with a version other than this one that worked for me.
Extract the .rar file (possibly by converting to .zip online) and place the file called ‘recovery-TWRP-3.2.3-0121-REDMI_NOTE7.img’ directly in the folder where you placed ‘adb-setup-1.4.3.exe’ (in my case, C:/). For convenience, rename it as ‘recovery.img’.
Download the vbmeta file (verified boot metadata) specific to lavender from MIUI’s blog.
Do not get confused with the ‘violet’ version (Redmi Note 7 pro), these are different, incompatible files. Extract the .zip file and save the ‘vbmeta.img’ file still at the same place where ‘adb-setup-1.4.3.exe’ is.
Activate USB debugging
Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Additional Settings’ > ‘Developer Options’, active the option ‘USB debugging’. This is required for the adb and fastboot commands to work, i.e. for your computer to be able to send instructions to your phone. Next to it a ‘USB debugging (Security parameters)’ item is found, I don’t remember if that one should be enabled. Maybe remember to come back to that later if you have troubles.
Check the PC-to-phone communication
Connect the phone to the PC via USB, choose ‘File transfer’ and not ‘USB charging’, accept the phone’s warning about USB debugging (it mentions a RSA key).
In the very folder where you placed all files, do Shift+Right click in the window and choose ‘Open command window here’; this trick opens a command window that executes files in the current folder, with no need to specify the path to the files.
Verify that the phone is detected and authorized, by typing in the command prompt:
Something like ‘4c****5e authorized’ should be displayed in the prompt. If ‘unauthorized’ is displayed, check that ‘USB debugging’ is really enabled, check your USB cable, try from another PC, etc.
Enter Fastboot mode
Start the Bootloader:
adb reboot bootloader
Again, the rabbit shows up on the phone. Alternatively, do as you did before by pressing ‘Volume Plus’ and ‘Power’ for 5-10 seconds, which does the same as this command.
Check that the phone is detected:
Something like ‘4c****5e fastboot’ should be displayed in the prompt.
Erase existing data, to avoid being stuck later, when the phone asks for a password that you might have or not have.
fastboot format userdata
fastboot format cache
I found this erasing info here. I’m not sure if it is needed but I did have the password issue during some of my many iterations
Install the recovery on the phone
Transfer the recovery file specific to lavender:
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
(or maybe for some devices fastboot flash boot recovery.img?)
This command – I believe – creates a partition called ‘recovery’ (resp. ‘boot’) in the phone’s memory, this partition is the place where you flash = install the file ‘recovery.img’.
Transfer the specific vbmeta file into a new partition ‘vbmeta’
fastboot flash vbmeta vbmeta.img
On some websites I found a ‘misc.bin’ file together with the recovery and vbmeta files. I don’t know what this is and I didn’t have to use it.
The phone is now ready to enter the TWRP recovery mode.
Enter the TWRP recovery
CAUTION: I was stuck so many times at this point that I thought it would not work. I was systematically entering the stock recovery (Redmi), never the TWRP one. Apparently Xiaomi tends to put some program that can force the Redmi recovery over a custom one, so I read on some forums. I think this may be why not all versions of TWRP will work, so maybe better stick to the one that worked for me: version 3.2.3 for lavender. There may be also compatibility issues depending on your MIUI version. I believe I had MIUI 12.0.5 but sorry I did not write it down. So, not sure what was wrong, in the end my ultimate problem might have been simply not pressing for long enough on the phone’s buttons to enter the TWRP recovery.
Apparently, this command is supposed to launch the recovery software which you’ve just flashed:
fastboot boot recovery.img
But it didn’t work for me.
If so, do the same thing but manually: turn off your phone, then press for a LONG time (20 seconds or more) and simultaneously the two buttons ‘Volume Plus’ and ‘Power’. Note that the previous time, to enter Fastboot mode, you were pressing ‘Volume Minus’ instead of ‘Volume Plus’. Now you want to enter Recovery mode.
Do not release the buttons until a TWRP logo appears. Initially I would release one or both buttons when a Redmi logo would appear (as recommended on some Internet videos or forums) and I would only ever enter the Redmi Recovery, which does not permit the flash a new OS.
In my case, after pressing for a really long time, a TWRP logo finally appeared, then I had an empty screen for one minute or so, then only I saw the TWRP menu.
If you made it until this step, the most difficult part is done!!
PART 3: INSTALLING eOS ON YOUR PHONE
From here onwards, steps were quite easy and well explained in /e/’s documentation. I just recopy them with added precision.
On the phone, in the TWRP main menu, choose ‘Wipe’>’Format Data’ and proceed with data formatting, which will erase all internally stored files. Enter the text ‘yes’ when it is asked for.
Back to TWRP main menu, choose ‘Advanced Wipe’, select the ‘Cache’ and ‘System partitions’ then swipe at the bottom of the screen to confirm data wiping.
Transfer /e/’s .zip package
Download the package from /e/’s website.
The file is called ‘e-0.15-q-20210312105636-dev-lavender.zip’ or a similar name depending on the /e/OS release. It contains the /e/ Operating System you want to install on your phone and is about 800 Mo in size. Don’t do anything to the .zip package except saving it in the same folder as before. Do not unzip it.
The phone now needs to be connected to the PC via USB, with adb command working. As done previously, you can type adb devices to check that the phone is detected. USB debugging needs to be enabled. Then:
on the phone in TWRP main menu, choose ‘Advanced’>’ADB sideload’ and swipe to allow the transfer. The phone’s screen displays a sort of command prompt and the phone is ready for receiving the file from the computer.
on the PC, open a command prompt (Shift + Right click > ‘Open command window here’ in the window where all files are located) and type: adb sideload e-0.15-q-20210312105636-dev-lavender.zip. Again, this file should not have been unzipped.
The OS install on the phone is now starting. For me it took 15-20 minutes. This is where you want your phone charged enough so that it doesn’t turn off midway through!
As indicated in /e/’s documentation, the progress bar displayed on the PC may stop abruptly at around 50% (happened to me) but don’t worry, if the PC’s prompt says ‘Total xfer: 1.00x’ the install did work.
On the phone, go back to TWRP main menu, choose ‘Reboot’>’ System’ then swipe to confirm. The phone now reboots.
A Redmi logo first appears (Dramatic drum rolls……… are you gonna see MIUI’s logo…… or /e/’s logo ??), then an ‘e’ finally appears, which means you made it!! The phone then boots in /e/OS and you can start enjoying your new, degoogled digital life.
Install apps from /e/’s store and remember to check their Exodus confidentiality profile, which indicates permissions granted to the apps as well as all trackers they use (Google Firebase Analytics, Facebook Analytics, etc.)
A big thanks to the /e/ team and community !
Thank you for your explanations, which helped me a lot.
First of all, not to be discouraged.
I experienced the same problems as you did to start the TWRP. Here is what worked for my Redmi Note 7:
Using the POWER & VOLUME UP button combination, I only managed to launch the Xiaomi recovery, never TWRP.
But just using the single POWER button, the Redmi Note 7 asked me for a password: I entered my usual combination of numbers and got to a Xiaomi-specific TWRP, in Chinese and English.
It then asks for a password. This is a trap: don’t enter anything and just escape.
Then the TWRP procedure described on your site works, as does the /e/ installation procedure.
On the other hand, if one has to unlock one’s mobile phone or reinstall a Xiaomi Android, I found that the XiaoMiTool V2 project software (XiaoMiTool V2 - Modding of Xiaomi devices made easy) was much more efficient than Xiaomi’s.
@Charts thanks a lot for your advices and explanations.
I experiment the same behavior than you, to start TWRP
At the end of the game, I think that to keep on the power button for more than 20 seconds is the more helpful advice I found in your post, because after that I successfully boot on TWRP (188.8.131.52-0 release )
Before that, I just have the Xiaomi bootloader, and cherry on the cake, in chinese language…
One of my contact told me that it’s probably linked to “pre-unlocked” devices (like mine and yours). They have a behavior slightly different than “classicaly unlocked” devices (meaning unlocked after the 15 days period). So I suggest to modify the install doc in accordance.
Hello @Manoj ,
I suggest the following add-on at the end of the alinea 2 of " Installing /e/ from recovery" chapter:
- If you have issues to boot in TWRP recovery mode, please try the following:
With the device powered off, hold Volume Down + Volume Up + Power during 20seconds as a minimum and until your device display the TWRP logo.
Refer to the posts hereunder for more explanations
Hi @radprec will check how this can be added to the guide.
hello i just installed /e/ os on my remi note 7 it works fine. Thank you.
I have a trouble for the instalation of e on my redminote7.
I follow the instructions, and your advices but is stuck for now.
Do you have any ideas ?
The windows program don’t reconize my phone when i’m in bootloader.
I send you screenshot, maby it’s better.
Thank a lot.
Hi @Guillaume88 welcome to the /e/ forum. Sadly your images do not display. Sometimes very new users are blocked from certain actions and links. As this is a “Document Suggestions” thread please could you follow this link Topics tagged support and click the link top right + New Topic and try asking your request for support or help again. Thank you.
Thank for your help.