August 26, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Android updates released as OTA packages are very easy to apply, but they also cause major headaches to custom ROM lovers. Every time an OTA comes out, we need to revert back to stock recovery, flash the update, and then flash our favorite custom recovery like TWRP or ClockworkMod to get back all of our recovery features like Nandroid backups and the ability to flash SuperSU. I don’t even have to begin to cover how time consuming and frustrating this process is.
If your device gets these updates frequently, you might be interested in testing a tool created by XDA Forum Moderator and Recognized Developer graffixnyc. Simple Recovery Switcher, as the name states, easily switches between stock and custom recovery. The whole process can be done pretty much in no time, which is much faster than using a standard USB cable with the fastboot method.
The application should work as intended on every Qualcomm device that uses the /dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/recovery structure and is rooted with Busybox installed. Recoveries must be named stock.img and custom.img and must be placed in the root folder of your internal SD Card. Before using this tool, double check everything, since messing with recoveries may result in a bricked device.
Android L or Lemon Meringue Pie is on its way, so there might be some OTA updates available in the near (or not so near) future. Prepare yourself for OTAs by visiting the Simple Recovery Switcher application thread.
Team Win Recovery Project, or TWRP for short, is one of the most popular custom recovery options available. It offers support for a wide variety of devices both new and old. It has all the features that you would expect to find in a recovery, as well as a whole lot more. One such not necessarily essential, but nonetheless welcome feature is support for custom themes. While a recovery might not be the first thing on everyone’s list of things to theme, I suspect that a few of you out there spend just as much time looking at recovery as you do actually using your device.
For those of you who do theme your TWRP, XDA Senior Member ScumpinatoS created an application that might be of interest. It’s called simply, TWRP Theme Manager, and in case you haven’t already guessed, it will allow you to download, install, and manage themes for your recovery. You can browse available themes and download them via the app or import your existing themes from SD card to make dressing up TWRP just that little bit easier.
The application does not require root and is compatible with devices running Android 4.0 or above. Please note that the version 2.7 of TWRP is the only version compatible with TWRP Theme Manager. Check out the application thread for more information.
A custom recovery is one of those things that you will undoubtedly need if you wish to modify your device conveniently. While installing the recovery itself is not an overly complicated process, seeking out the appropriate version of your chosen recovery and the actual installation process can definitely be streamlined.
RecoverX is a utility by XDA Recognized Developer LEDelete that we covered here on the XDA Portal many moons ago. Previously used to install recoveries to a device from a PC, the application has since evolved into a much more convenient solution that allows you to easily download and install a custom recovery directly from the device itself. Providing you have a compatible device, root access and (if applicable) an unlocked bootloader, you are only a few clicks away from being able to install your choice of either CWM, TWRP, Amon-Ra recovery or xrecovery—assuming of course that these provide support for your particular device.
The application itself is a simple, clean, and very easy-on-the-eyes interface that leads you through the download and installation process before giving you the option to reboot to your newly installed recovery. The app is currently still in beta, so the usual rules apply when taking this for a spin. LEDelete has even opened a Q&A thread in the forums for anyone with a question that may not be relevant to the actual development of the application itself.
You can learn more about RecoverX Mobile in the application thread.
February 7, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s a well known saying. And in Android, pictures are used to show your home screen, developments in progress, or simply demonstrate an error. The ability to take screenshots was implemented into stock Android a long time ago, but grabbing a screenshot while in recovery is still quite problematic. You can try to use the monitor tool from Android SDK, but it doesn’t always work right.
Luckily, there is a workaround for almost every issue, and XDA is a great place to find the answer. XDA Forum Member makers_mark created a tool to grab snapshots from recovery and Aroma installer. This tool uses FFmpeg for screen capture without frame buffer problems. And except the required ADB and FFmpeg libraries, a batch script takes care of all the magic.
This tool should work with all recoveries, so you can easily show off your TWRP themes or fix problems with your updater-script. The only disadvantage of this tool is that it only works with Windows. And of course, to run it properly, your phone needs to have ADB enabled.
You can find more information about this tool by visiting the original thread. So if you want to make a screenshot while in recovery, give this tool a shot.
February 7, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Team Win Recovery Project, better known as a TWRP, is the custom recovery of choice for quite a few Android users here on XDA. Created by XDA Senior Recognized Developer Dees_Troy and his partner in crime, XDA Recognized Developer bigbiff, TWRP has earned its fair share of fans thanks to many interesting features like scripting used by OpenDelta, as well as themes and other innovative features that make the recovery worthwhile to try.
Installing the TWRP is really easy and can be done through apps like Goo.im Manager. However, there are other ways of getting TWRP installed on your device. XDA Senior Member S.a.M.e.R_d made a handy root-only application to install TWRP for you without hassle.
The application automatically recognizes the make and model of your device, and downloads the newest compatible version of TWRP. Once downloaded, it can also flash the recovery. Before using it, you must keep in mind that this application is still described as being in alpha state, and some bugs might be present. To properly run TWRP Recovery Installer, your device must be rooted and your phone or tablet must be supported by TeamWin.
The application and all the necessary information can be found in the original thread.
IMPORTANT: Before heading over to the link above, please keep in mind that damaging your recovery partition can seriously damage your phone, so double check everything before using this app.
December 18, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
A custom recovery is where most of the aftermarket magic happens in Android. Using one, you can backup your ROM, wipe your data, and of course flash a new ROM. In contrast to fastboot, recoveries can flash ROMs even on locked devices. There are some workarounds required, but it can be done.
Owners of AT&T variant of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 now have a working recovery thanks to XDA Recognized Developer Hashcode, who used a bootstrap method in order to make his fully working recovery. The method used by Hashcode differs from the standard method used in, for example, the Nexus 5. This type of bootstrap recovery preserves the /system partition and creates up to 2 “ROM slots” located on the internal eMMC area: /sdcard. Basically, the custom ROM acts like a second /system partition on the device. Once the second slot is activated, a standard TWRP-based recovery flashes all necessary files.
The size of the second partition is adjustable, but you need to remember that more slots mean less space for other ROMs. The recovery can be installed as an application and doesn’t require messing with the /system partition. The development is still in alpha stage, and some bugs may be present, but it’s still a great start!
[Big thanks to XDA Forum Member dirtydroidx for the news tip!]
August 13, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
We have talked about the Oppo Find 5 before. This relatively unknown phone manufacturer (though well known for their home entertainment equipment) has created a lot of buzz recently. To be honest, this video is going to continue that buzz. And rightfully so, as the Oppo Find 5 is easy to root and install a custom recovery.
In today’s video, XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin talks about the Oppo Find 5’s features. He then talks about how to install a custom recovery. Once you get there, you can flash a SuperSU APK from Recovery and you are rooted. Check this video out.
A custom recovery is an incredibly useful tool for anyone who wants to make the most of his or her (rooted) device. Even if you aren’t a fan of custom ROMs or kernels, you probably still use a custom recovery if for nothing but the ease of backing up and restoring your device. There are of course many other reasons why you might find yourself diving in and out of recovery, and that is a process which can become tedious.
That’s where TWRP Manager by XDA Recognized Developer and Forum Moderator jmz comes in. The application allows the user to initiate recovery functions without rebooting by using OpenRecoveryScript commands. TWRP is one of the most popular options available when it comes to custom recoveries, and with a wealth of features above and beyond the norm as well as support for a lot of the most popular devices available, it’s easy to see why. TWRP Manager mirrors the distinctive recovery UI that you are already familiar with. It allows you to flash, wipe, and restore your device easily without the need to reboot or use a button combination.
It’s important to note that the application is still in beta, so there will be bugs. However, if that’s not something that bothers you and TWRP is your recovery of choice, this is well worth a look. Head over to the original thread for all the details.
We don’t usually cover individual custom kernels here on the Portal for the simple reason that thanks to the development community, there are so many great options available that we wouldn’t have time to cover anything else. However, every once in a while, a kernel developer brings so much awesome to the table that it would be downright rude of us not to sit down and stuff our faces until we are fat and happy. Devil Kernel by XDA Recognized Developer DerTeufel1980 definitely falls into that category.
This is no ordinary Note 2 kernel. It’s a Linux 3.0.80 kernel based on the sources of the popular Perseus kernel that many Note 2 owners will no doubt be familiar with. The crucial (but by no means only) difference though is that Devil (in conjunction with DerTeufel1980’s custom recovery) will allow you to dual boot your device by splitting the system partition and enabling you to have two different ROMs installed at the same time—even a combination of AOSP- and TouchWiz-based ROMs.
This does take a little bit of setting up and there are some things that you will certainly want to be aware of before diving into this, so as always make sure to read through the details thoroughly before just throwing things at your device to see what sticks. Once set up, this is an incredibly beneficial option for those of you (and indeed myself) who are torn between a stock or AOSP firmware for this device. And yes, for those of you with an N7105 or AT&T/T-Mobile variant, you’re not being left out . There is a version of the kernel and recovery for these devices too.
Check out the original development thread for more information.
Some time ago, we gave the Android-powered Ouya game console a place in our forums. Since then, we’ve not heard too much about this curious little non-phone/tablet device other than a guide to help users connect via ADB, sideload apps, and obtain root access and some as of yet fruitless efforts towards UART and Play Store access.
Luckily, this development lull has been interrupted thanks to XDA Forum Member mybook4, with some help from Forum Member sonofskywalker3 and Recognized Developer rayman. Mybook4 managed to port an unofficial CWM build to the device.
To install the CWM port on your own device, you need to first achieve root. To do this, visit Forum Member tcollum‘s root thread linked in the introduction. After you’ve achieved root access, fastboot boot into a recovery image stored on your computer. Once in the temporary recovery, flash a recovery-flashable update.zip for permanent recovery access.
Those interested in getting started should head over to the recovery thread. To learn more about the process, and how sonofskywalker3, mybook4, and rayman achieved this, visit the development project thread.
May 23, 2013 By: Mike Szczys
Those of us who use Linux on a day to day basis don’t think twice about sinking our fingers into the system files that govern how our devices perform. For instance, I use an LG L9 and was quite comfortable playing around with the way my SD card was being mounted in order to improve performance. For those who aren’t at home with the way the OS works, adding a startup script with a few lines of code might as well be witchcraft. That’s why flashable zip files are so handy for simple tasks and indispensable for complex projects. If you do it right, all the end-user needs do is copy a file to his SD card and reboot into recovery to flash the package.
There are some automatic tools out there that can help create these files. In fact, we’ve already covered at least one of them. But there’s really no substitute for knowing exactly what goes into one. XDA Senior Member Denkantor can explain it all, and decided to make an XDA University guide on package for flashing from recovery. Head on over to his original thread to see what he’s up to.
It doesn’t take much to make an update.zip file. Denkantor likes to use 7zip. And if you’re on Windows, he recommends Notepad++. You’ll also need the file(s) you want to flash. The Edify scripting language is what a custom recovery is looking for. You’ll be guided through the basics, but learning more is easy since you can look at any flashable file as an example.
April 18, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
Up until recently, it was possible to take a screenshot of your recovery of choice using DDMS. This option, however, no longer works with some newer HTC devices. Now why is this a problem? Who needs a screenshot of their recovery? Well for a start there are themers who work with the ever popular TWRP. Additionally, it may just end up being useful in a troubleshooting situation. Whatever the reason, it used to be possible but now it’s not. And for XDA Recognized Developer/Themer Whiskey103, that needed to be resolved.
The solution that he devised comes in the form of a script used to take screenshots via ADB using an open source project called android-fb2png by Kyan He. The actual software itself comes in two parts, one for the PC and one for the device. Whiskey’s script will allow you to grab a screenshot in a timely and hassle free manner, upon execution the script will automatically push the relevant files to your device, run the desktop application, and then pull the screenshot into your ADB folder for you. Job done.
We understand that taking screenshots of your recovery environment might not exactly be a priority for many people, but that’s no reason for it not to be possible. If this is something you can make use of then be sure to check out the forum thread for more information.
Muchas gracias to M_T_M for the tip.
April 16, 2013 By: egzthunder1
We have had some rather long running projects on XDA over the years. Some involve simple, yet elegant things like theming engines (UCCW, VR Theme, etc), while others focus a bit more on the functionality side of things. The case for recovery images is one such area that needs to be constantly evolving due to the evolution of the devices and their inner workings. Pushing an insecure recovery into a device is not always easy. Or rather, it is not as simple as some people make it be. Lots of things and information are required even before beginning the process of loading it onto a new device. For XDA Recognized Developer Dees_Troy and other members of Team Win, this has been the case for a while now, but they always tend to come out on top.
TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project) is an open recovery project that has been around for a couple of years now. It is a great alternative to the ever popular CWM if you are looking for something with a bit more flair and functionality. This new version, which stands at 184.108.40.206, is loaded with updates and fixes. These changes make the overall experience smoother and more enjoyable. For instance as of version 220.127.116.11, TWRP was given the ability to turn off the screen to save battery while in recovery. Version 2.5 takes that concept a step further and not only allows the user to select the timeout, but now even the screen brightness can be tweaked as well. On top of that, partition handling and selection has been vastly improved, and it is now easier to use thanks to the implementation of a scrollable list. And as if that weren’t enough, not being in the Android UI should not mean that you cannot enjoy a good looking recovery with our ever-growing-pixel-packed screens. So, a theme for 1080 x 1920 was added for devices like the Xperia Z, HTC One, and others. And speaking of which, the recovery is now available for the new beast from HTC… the One.
Please do keep in mind that the new version is still undergoing somewhat heavy testing and there are some bugs that you may run into. On the other hand, if you manage to get this installed, rooting the One will be as simple as using the built in tool to inject SuperSU. Please take it for a spin and report feedback and bugs that you may run into.
Team Win Recovery Project 2.x, or twrp2 for short, is a custom recovery built with ease of use and customization in mind. It’s a fully touch driven user interface – no more volume rocker or power buttons to mash. The GUI is also fully XML driven and completely theme-able. You can change just about every aspect of the look and feel.
You can find more information in the original thread.
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[Thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the tip!]