[Updated] Here’s how to downgrade Shield TV to Android 9 (v8.2.3) after buggy Android 11 update

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on January 17, 2022) follows:

Recently, the NVIDIA Shield TV devices started to receive their update to Android 11. This should have been great news for users, but it did not go as well as expected.

After upgrading NVIDIA Shield TV to Android 11, many users began to suffer from issues like broken apps, worst image quality, black screens, erratic frame rate, etc.

You can check the detailed description regarding the above-stated problems in the coverage that we did back in the day. Considering the problems, many users have started asking for a method to downgrade the system.

Shield TV users demand a safe Downgrade method

As mentioned above, the update has made TV boxes unusable for many users. So, they demand a method to revert the update safely.

As of today with the update to Nvidia 9, my Nvidia Shield has become an unusable device. Please give us software that allows us to revert to the previous version so we can continue to use it.

I bought it 15 days ago and now I find that I can’t use Plex, Hyperspin, no access to the external hard drive from the software….

Thank you!
Source

It should be noted that the company omitted Android 10 in the update. That means, the previous NVIDIA Shield TV software version where everything worked correctly is based on Android 9.

Downgrade process to Android 9 on your Shield TV

Having said the above, here’s a method to downgrade the system to Android 9 (v8.2.3). But, there is something important that users should know before doing the process.

The downgrade will require a full factory reset (so backup your important data) and an unlocked bootloader. The files needed to complete the process are as follows:

  • Fastboot drivers for Windows
  • Recovery OS images (Find your Shield model, then find recovery OS of 8.2.3)
  • Unlock the bootloader

    After you have downloaded and installed the necessary files to downgrade the NVIDIA Shield TV to Android 9 (v8.2.3), follow the detailed instructions below:

  • Go to Settings – Device Preferences – About
  • Tap build number 7-8 times (this unlocks developer options)
  • Find the developer options section, then enable ‘USB debugging’
  • Plug in a keyboard or the Shield Controller
  • Input ‘adb reboot bootloader’, unlock bootloader, and factory reset
  • Reboot and unplug the USB, then power for a full unlock
  • Flash the system (v8.2.3, Android 9)

    Open a command window. In it, go to the location where you have the Recovery OS image (it is recommended on the desktop or in the root of the system). Then run the following commands:

    Fastboot commands

    fastboot flash boot boot.img

    fastboot flash staging blob

    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

    fastboot flash dtb mdarcy.dtb.img

    fastboot flash system system.img

    fastboot flash vendor vendor.img

    fastboot flash vbmeta vbmeta.img

  • When the above commands are complete, run the following for a full partition wipe:
  • fastboot wipe boot

    fastboot wipe staging

    fastboot wipe recovery

    fastboot wipe dtb

    fastboot wipe system

    fastboot wipe vendor

    fastboot wipe vbmeta

  • Finally, keep in mind these notes:
  • If you get write failed from flashing, unplug your Shield and hold a and b on your keyboard to continue, then resume flashing the command

    If you however want to relock the bootloader it’s a good idea to relock it due to losing Dolby Audio and AI upscaling.

    Fastboot relock command

    fastboot oem lock
    Source

    In the video below, you can follow the downgrade process in a visual way (it is recommended to activate the subtitles for a better understanding).

    You can also prevent the device from auto-updating

    After successfully completing the process, the Shield TV to Android 9 downgrade should now allow everything to work properly again. Some users confirm the above:

    Thank you very much for finding, and sharing, this mariapicapiedra, Android 11 was a nightmare but thanks to you all back working now – think i’ll wait for the dust to settle before i think of upgrading (??) again.
    Source

    Users who have not yet received the update will probably want to avoid its automatic installation. For that, they should go to Device Preferences – About – System Update, then set it to ‘notify me below Check for updates’.

    At the moment, it remains to wait for NVIDIA to officially rule on this matter. In the meantime, you can apply the downgrade process and configuration to avoid automatic upgrade.

    To finish, you can also check the bugs/issues tracker dedicated to the NVIDIA Shield TV.

    Update 1 (January 18)

    12:02 pm (IST): Nvidia now lists all the known issues with its latest Android 11 update. And you can check all of them in our dedicated tracker (@Update 33).

    Update 2 (January 19)

    12:01 pm (IST): Nvidia has issued a hotfix to address the issues brought by the latest Android 11. And one of our readers confirmed that after having the hotfix image, everything is working smoothly.

    Thanks for the tip: Steen Palm!

    Update 3 (January 21)

    05:59 pm (IST): The second hotfix update for Nvidia Shield TV is now available which brings several bug fixes. So users can download this update instead and see if the issues gets resolved. Check the full changelog here.

    Update 4 (February 17)

    03:12 pm (IST): Nvidia released Shield TV 9.0.1 hotfix update for Shield TV users which fixes bunch of issues that popped up after the recent Android 11 update. More on that here.

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