Here’s fix for Mi A3 bootloop issue caused after flashing fastboot firmware

Xiaomi’s Mi A3 is a fantastic phone with a handful of shortcomings. The return of the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the inclusion of a larger battery (4,030 mAh) are welcomed by the community, but the choice of SoC and the subpar low resolution display is killing all the positive vibe.

mi_a3_black_front_back_side
Mi A3

However, one of the major attractions of every Android One phone is the eligibility to get periodic software updates and Mi A3 is certainly following the tradition. The Chinese OEM issued a second set of August update, which was rather surprising.

The phone even received the September patch during the first week of this month. The frequency is quite fast in Xiaomi’s standard, but there is a catch. We still don’t know anything about the arrival of Android 10 on the phone. Moreover, the OEM (deliberately?) blocked the ‘fastboot boot’ feature in Mi A3.

mi_a3_fastboot_boot_unknown_command
The current bootloader does not support the ‘fastboot boot’ command

Yet another anomaly now comes to the light, and this one is quite serious. Xiaomi started publishing the fastboot flashable packages of Mi A3 firmware a few weeks ago. Those can be downloaded from various official threads (example) as the company is still re-building their central download portal.

Well, looks like the included flashing script is erroneous. Many Mi A3 owners are ended with bootlooped phone after flashing those packages.

I tried to install this rom, but my device get a loop. Only start on fastboot mode. Can anyone help me???

(Source)

mi_a3_fastboot_flash_issue_xda
Click/Tap to zoom (Source)

My phone is stuck at erasing after flashing this stock rom

(Source)

Upon further investigation, community members have successfully identified the root cause behind this oddity. Seems that Xiaomi engineers forgot to take care of the A/B partitions in the flashing script, thus it would lead to bootloop under some circumstances.

Attention, the system_other.img file exists. And the scripts are flashing them to system_b (system partition on slot b). Not really sure what is this system_other.img but I guess it could be a dummy system.img just to not leave it blank.

Anyway, there isn’t really a command to change slot to a…one could always perform that manually…but still. This is weird.

The stuck on erasing is not normal, I think.

(Source)

People have already fixed the script and published a mini guide so that other Mi A3 owners can do the same before performing a flashing operation.

mi_a3_fastboot_flash_issue_solution_xda
Click/Tap to zoom

The scripts included on the *.bat and *.sh files assume that your device is currently on slot a. If it really is, they will work with no issues. If it’s not then you have 3 choices:

1. Before executing any of the bat (or sh if you’re using Linux), change your active slot to a through fastboot (fastboot –set-active=a or fastboot set_active a)

2. Open the *.bat (or *.sh) file that you want to run and, before the line where you see fastboot %* reboot, add a line with fastboot %* set_active a (on linux fastboot $* set_active a) and save the file.

3. Open the *.bat (or *.sh) file that you want to run and find “system_other.img”. Replace that with system.img and save the file.

(Source)

Have you encountered the aforementioned issue while trying to update your Mi A3 via fastboot package? Comment below.

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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.