Google Pixel 6 series phones bricked after factory reset

The Google Pixel 6 series, which includes the Pixel 6, 6a, and 6 Pro, has been experiencing a major issue where devices become inoperable or “bricked” after performing a factory reset. This problem has been reported by multiple users within the past week, causing concern among Pixel 6 series owners.

Factory resets are usually performed to prepare a device for resale, as they wipe all personal data, apps, and settings. However, the Pixel 6 series factory reset process has led to an error about a missing ‘tune2fs’ file during boot up, resulting in a recovery screen reading “Cannot load Android system. Your data may be corrupt.”

This error creates a loop, prompting the user to perform another factory reset, which does not resolve the issue. Furthermore, the inability to configure the bootloader due to OEM locks prevents the use of Android flash tools or other troubleshooting methods. Efforts to sideload updates via ADB also fail midway.

Some users have reported participation in the Android 15 beta program, but this is not a common denominator in all reports, leaving the cause of the “bricking” undetermined. Google’s response to the issue has been mixed, with some users facing high prices for repairs when their devices go out of warranty.

Volunteer mods on Google forums have reported that Google’s engineers are investigating the issue, but no specific instructions on what people should do with their devices have been provided yet. Google has not responded to requests for more information about the problem and its plans to resolve it.

Until the situation is clarified, Pixel 6, 6a, and 6 Pro owners are advised not to perform factory resets and to regularly backup their data on a separate device. This is not the first time that Google Pixel device owners have faced serious software/firmware errors this year. In January 2024, a system update for Pixel phones caused issues such as the inability to access internal storage, launch the camera app, or open any app across a range of Pixel models. The solution to this problem, which came nearly a month later, was a complex and time-consuming multi-step process requiring familiarity with software tools and additional hardware (a computer).

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