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XDK: Downgrading explained


Original poster
Feb 13, 2019
Prefacing this by saying: ALWAYS, without exception, make a NAND dump of your XDK in case you F up and corrupt the NAND on the system. There are cases where sometimes, an XDK can be corrupted and a recovery won't save you.

From my experiences with downgrading XDKs, here's what I've been able to extrapolate with regards to downgrading/upgrading:

As a post on this forum has pointed out, there are minimum versions that an XDK can support (motherboard dependent). Remote Recoveries will fail if you run a remote below the minimum, but it won't harrm the system, as nothing has actually been written at that stage when it fails. ISO recoveries fail with an error code, and you'd need to run another ISO recovery (some won't work, others will to recover the system, 21173.1 I know works for unbricking a failed downgrade attempt). If an ISO recovery fails due to minimum version limits, the console will boot with an E79 error until another ISO recovery is attempted.

While it's always a good idea to not go too far down from a flash version, it's not a requirement. In every case scenario i've done, XDKs can handle huge jumps just fine (think 21256.12 to 7776 or something like that)

Downgrading works on an XDK because the fuses are not burned during upgrades or downgrades, so the lockdown counter is irrelevant. Microsoft even puts a message specifically for downgrades saying settings WILL be set to default, so MS almost certainly intentionally allowed this.

If I missed anything, feel free to correct me.

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