Redmi Note 5 (Pro) Android Pie 9.0 update reportedly bricks Chinese units running global MIUI

Remember when OnePlus ‘accidentally’ bricked some of their phones by providing a faulty OTA update? Believe me, that’s the worst nightmare for anyone having a smartphone – one moment your phone is working fine, you choose to install an update for new features and fixes and boom!

nike_shoe_firmware_update_brick_tweet
Even your shoes can be bricked! (Source)

The lack of proper QA, not considering the edge cases, totally external factors (like someone pulled out the battery in the middle of the update process) – there can be a number of factors behind these bricking incidents.

Time to welcome the newest candidate in this hall of shame, as the recent most Android Pie based MIUI V10.3.1.0 update for Redmi Note 5/Note 5 Pro (codename: whyred) reportedly bricked several phones.

I can’t unlock if it’s locked because I can’t go to settings – developer. I’ve tried EDL, Recovery Method and Flashboot, nothing works. Bought it from Aliexpress.

I’m using Mi Flash Pro
V10.3.1.0.PEIMIXM Device installed Version

Recovery Method
miui_HMNote5_V10.3.1.0.PEICNXM_38eb804e2b_9.0 — can’t go back to older versions
miui_HMNote5Global_V10.3.1.0.PEIMIXM_d4d2c9f2aa_9.0 — [3/3] Tranfer completed. Waiting for result… — phone rebooted bricked again same screen with options “Reboot, Wipe Data, Connect with MIAssistant” and This MIUI version can’t be installed on this device.

(Source)

redmi_note_5_pro_pie_ota_brick_tweet
Source

My Redmi Note 5 Pro chinese version was using the global rom (flash by the seller on aliexpress) and was working flawlessly for about a year.

There was a prompt to update to the latest MIUI with Android 9.

When I installed the update, at the middle of the installation, the phone rebooted to recovery with the message “This version of MIUI can’t be installed” – Reboot system, Wipe Data, MiAssistant.

(Source)

The classic “This version of MIUI can’t be installed” error is actually known to us. Xiaomi officially prohibits to cross-flash global firmware on Chinese units (and vice-versa) with locked bootloader. However, the current situation is allegedly happening on phones with unlocked bootloader as well.

Due to the exponential growth of such reports in last few days, Xiaomi Spanish community has created a knowledge base thread for end users.

These days we are seeing several Bricks in the Redmi Note 5 (Chinese model with global ROM), after updating by OTA V10.3.1.0.PEIMIXM

All those who have that Chinese model with global ROM and have not yet updated, you are on time to not update under any concept. It does not matter if you have the bootloader unlocked, since this ROM seems to close it apart from leaving it unusable even by EDL.

Remove automatic updates from the updater settings to avoid major upsets.

(Source)

FYI, these are model numbers of various regional variants of Redmi Note 5/Note 5 Pro/Note 5 AI Dual Camera:

  • M1803E7SG, M1803E7SH: Redmi Note 5 Global
  • MEI7S: Redmi Note 5 Pro India
  • MEE7S: Redmi Note 5 China
  • MET7S: Redmi Note 5 China Mobile
  • MEC7S: Redmi Note 5 China Unicom / China Telecom

Before installing the OTA, do check your model and update accordingly. Imported phones from shady retailers are the mostly affected one, as they tend to rebrand Chinese units by flashing global MIUI ROM.

redmi_note_5_pro_red_front_back
Redmi Note 5 (China)/Redmi Note 5 Pro (India)

One user successfully revived their bricked phone using the EDL flashing method, but keep that as a last resort. Considering the age of the phone, you may not even get official warranty in case of a bricking.

Thanks yshalsager for the tip!

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.