Now that Asus has provided a way to unlock the bootloader on the Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet, we’re starting to see independent developers replacing the official Android software with custom versions of Android and other operating systems for the tablet.

But there’s a down side to unlocking your device: once you do it, you won’t be able to install official ROMs from Asus.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

Actually, it’s a little worse than that. You can try to install the latest official version of Android from Asus — but if you do, you run the risk of turning your Transformer Prime tablet into a $500 paperweight.

Basically, Asus initially released the Eee Pad Transformer Prime with Android 3.2 Honeycomb installed and then released an Android 4.0 software update. After unlocking their bootloaders, some folks decided to try using that software update to restore their systems — and wound up locking their devices.

When that happens, your tablet will start to boot when you hit the power button, but get stuck at the splash screen with a message saying there’s an unrecoverable bootloader error.

At the moment there’s no way to recover from this situation.

If you want to be able to restore your system to the default version of Android that ships with it, the best thing you can do after unlocking the bootloader is to install ClockworkMod Recovery and make a backup of your device. That way you can always restore from this backup if you run into trouble or just want to return to the official software.

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