From time to time you might end up soft bricking your Android device, whereby your device gets stuck in boot mode. In most instances you can wipe data and cache and flash a new/existing ROM. When this happens we use a solution called Fastboot. Fastboot is a component of Android SDK, which allows you to communicate via USB with your device.
If you own a Nexus (not Samsung Nexus as you would need the Odin tool) or HTC, then Fastboot is an invaluable tool if for example, you experience a device bricking problem with your Android device. For the benefit of my readers, we will be using the Nexus 7 tablet for this article and using a Windows PC. I will also assume you have some basic knowledge of the Android SDK/Studio as well as using the Command line in Windows (CMD).
Warning: This will wipe your device, and you will need to flash either your recovery/new ROM to start using your Nexus 7 again!
- Download and install the Android SDK http://developer.android.com/sdk (Available for Windows, Mac and Linux)
- Alternatively you might like to try the new Android development environment called Android Studio, based on IntelliJ IDEA, is now available as an early access preview. http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/studio.html
- Boot the Nexus 7 into Recovery mode > press the power and volume down buttons – Fastboot is available prior to Recovery mode or available through a separate menu
- On your desktop computer – locate the Android SDK folder and go to > platform-tools sub folder. Now open up command line prompt (CMD)
- On your desktop computer – change the directory to that of the platform-tools folder in Android SDK. You can do this by typing the command cd followed by the full path to the platform-tools folder
- Connect your Nexus 7 (already in Fastboot) via the USB. Type > fastboot devices in the command line and you should now see your Nexus 7 is recognised showing a serial number
- Wiping the Nexus 7 – using the command line type > fastboot -w (all the devices stored data will be deleted)
- Now you are ready to flash a recovery to your Nexus 7 – you can do this by using the following command line > fastboot flash recovery filename of the recovery image
- Next you will need to flash a ROM – download your ROM and place it in the platform-tools folder. Type > fastboot update name of ROM file.zip
- DO NOT TOUCH THE NEXUS 7 UNTIL THE ROM HAS COMPLETED THE INSTALL PROCESS
- *Finally, once the install process has completed the Nexus 7 should REBOOT. If it does not reboot then you can type the following command line > fastboot reboot
*NOTE: Your Nexus 7 will restart after re-flashing, but it might take several minutes, so don’t panic!
Safe surfing folks!