Locked Bootloader on ZenPad z380m Part-II

So, i had another ASUS z380m laying around and decided to load another version of android on it and to my surprise the steps i took before did not work on this tablet, although both models are exactly the same. i used another method to get the new OS on this time, but it all begins with overwriting the recovery partition - pretty easy if you have your old installation tools from your last encounter! Below are the steps.

Of course, the bootloader was locked and i did not bother attempting to unlock it. i had a fresh install of win10 on my laptop so...no old tools to jump from. When starting from scratch you have to load an 'adb' environment/driver + 'VCOM' drivers. i always start with a minimal 'adb' environment. Once you have it installed, plug your device into your PC and test it to make sure you can see your device. Open a command prompt and type:

adb devices

You should see your device listed. If not you may have to go to your tablet settings and get into developer mode to enable 'USB debugging'. Do this by entering the settings ---> about ---> and tap ' build' about 7 times. Once you enable Dev mode enable 'USB debugging' and try again. On some devices, within this same developer menu will be the option to unlock the bootloader. Of course, this tablet does not have this.

Next you need to grab a copy of 'MTK win10 64 bit VCOM' drivers from the web. This virtual com port driver is needed when the device is connected in fastboot mode. Once you have them, extract the archive. Then reboot windows into recovery mode and select option '7', "Do not enforce digital signatures". Then boot and navigate to the 'Device Manager', select from the top menu 'Install Legacy Driver'. Select 'Show All' and select 'Have Disk'. then select either the x86 or x64 .inf file 'USB VCOM driver'. It will install it but will have an error along the lines of 'Cannot Start'. Disregard the error. Next go back to main 'Device Manager' window and uninstall the Device but DO NOT uninstall the software. Finally turn off the device and remove the micro-usb cable from the device while leaving the other end plugged into your PC USB port.

Here is where it gets different from the last time i rooted this tablet. Open SPTool(same version as last time) and select 'MTKallInone DA.bin' for the Downloader Agent. You will also need a preloader file. So you will have to go the to the ASUS web site and get a copy of the factory firmware image in zip format. Once you have it extact the file called 'preloader_asus8163_ew_380.bin' from the factory image zip. Now, in SPTool, check the 'PREOADER' box and select the file you just extracted. Then check the 'Recovery' box and select the TWRP image. i used 'twrp-3.2.1-0-z380m'.

Now we just have to flash...In SPTool, select 'Download'. On your tablet device, Press and Hold the volume 'UP' button while plugging in the device at the same time. Keep holding the UP button. You should see some status bars in red/purple and finally yellow. Flashing should be complete. Now boot into the recovery menu by holding Vol. UP + PWR to get to the menu. Use the Vol. DOWN to navigate to recovery. You'll still get the errors about a different OS, just Press Vol. UP to confirm. Now you will be at my 2 Months Later step of my previuos rooting instructions.

i also discovered that the locked bootloader can be overridden by formatting the FRP portion of the tablets memory addresses. You can use SPTool to do this also. There's more potential to brick the device, but if done correctly, will get rid of the startup error message. Happy Rooting!

Peace be unto you. Thank you for visiting!