If you want to flash a custom ROM on your Sony Xperia device, you will always need to unlock the bootloader first. If you try to do it without unlocking bootloader, you might just brick your device. The bootloader of any device is a set of codes that run while device is booting up. If the bootloader is locked, you cannot install a custom kernel on your device. If it is a stock based ROM, using stock kernel, then you can easily use the ROM.
The TA partition of the device contains DRM keys, Bravia Engine code and warranty of your device. If the TA partition is lost once, it can not not be recovered. You cannot claim warranty. The Bravia Engine will not work in Album app. If you backup TA partition before unlocking bootloader, then you can restore it right away after locking it again and get back the DRM keys intact, Bravia Engine working in Album app and warranty can be caimed again. In short, your phone will be back in factory state once again.
Few thing you need to remember:
- This will work only if your device is in the compatibility list (See at the bottom of this page)
- This will only work if your device is properly rooted
- You cannot use someone else’s backup or it will hard brick your device permanently
- If you restore the TA partiton on a non-stock kernel, it will soft brick your device, which can be fixed by flashing a firmware using flashtool (See this Guide)
- Restoring TA partiton and relocking bootloader will put your phone back in factory state with warrant not being void
- There is no specific size for backup of TA partition. It varies with different devices. If you see the message saying Backup successful, then you have correct backup
- You need to backup before TA partition before unlocking the bootloader for the first time
Important: For some Xperia devices, rooting is not poosible without unlocking bootloader in Android 4.3 and later. Therefore, to backup TA partition in such devices, you need to do it in firmware that does not require bootloader unlocking like Android 4.1.x or 4.2.x or downgrade your device to do it.
- TA Backup tool (Download latest one with .zip extension)
- Download and extract TA Backup tool from the link given above
- Inside the folder loacate a file with .bat extension
- Now make sure that your device is normally booted up and rooted
- Connect your device with PC using USB cable
- Now run the .bat file
- Follow on-screen instruction until backup is completed
- If there is a problem in connectivity, try turning USB Debugging on and off
- That’s all! Now just save this backup somewhere safe for future use
Compatibility ListSony Xperia Z1Sony Xperia Z UltraSony Xperia ZSony Xperia ZLSony Xperia ZQSony Xperia ZRSony Xperia IONSony Xperia SSony Xperia SLSony Xperia SPSony Xperia Acro SSony Xperia TSony Xperia TLSony Xperia TXSony Xperia MSony Xperia VSony Xperia PSony Xperia LSony Xperia USony Xperia GoSony Xperia SolaSony Xperia MiroSony Xperia TipoSony Xperia JSony Xperia ESony Xperia Tablet ZAll above mentioned smartphones are confirmed to be working, while it should be working with other 2012 and above Sony Xperia smartphones. It will not work with Sony Ericsson Xperia smartphones.