Custom Recovery Image

Discussion in 'Android Hacks and Help' started by Randomocity, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Randomocity
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    Randomocity Member

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    Guys,

    We all owe a big thank you to SpsychoS over at alldroid, who's successfully compiled a custom recovery image for the droid. With this, if you screw up your droid, you should sucessfully be able to repatch your droid with a non-signed update.zip file.

    Word of warning: This recovery image allows for updating the Droid with ANY file named update.zip, so make sure that whatever you do use to recover your brick is legitimate.

    Software:Images - Droid-Devs

    EDIT: Since so many people are confused about how to install the custom recovery image I'm adding the instructions that are correct. Thanks to toka, tdawg and boostdscoob for posting this. I have confirmed that these do in fact work, as I've done it myself.

    YOU CAN BRICK YOUR PHONE WITH THIS. (Sorry Toka)
    PLEASE USE CAUTION WHEN UPLOADING THIS IMAGE


    1 - place the required files (flash_image binary and recovery.img - naming shouldn't matter i kept the version number on it) on your sdcard - you can do this with a microsdcard reader, adb push, or just by connecting your *working* droid to your computer and mounting the SD card.

    2 - Connect your phone to your computer in debugging mode and use ADB shell to start a root session on your phone by typing su

    3 - mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system - this mounts /system as a writable partition

    4 - mkdir /system/xbin - if it already exists you will simply get an error

    5 - cat /sdcard/flash_image > /system/xbin/flash_image

    6 - chmod 700 /system/xbin/flash_image - validate permissions on /system/xbin/flash_image - you are the root user after all, don't need world and group executable or even read =)

    7. mv /system/recovery-from-boot.p /system/recovery-from-boot.old - This will ensure that the custom image will not be overwritten on reboot.

    8 - sync - flush changes to block device

    9 - mount -o remount,r -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system - remount in read-only - you shouldn't need to make any more changes

    10. /system/xbin/flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery.img - will reflash your recovery partion with the custom loader.


    11 - hit power button, select power off

    12 - hold x, hit power button

    13 - you should be greated by the custom recovery firmware
    __________________
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  2. Brian7
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    Brian7 Member

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    thanks, worked great....let the fun begin:icon_ banana:
  3. SwordOfWar
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    SwordOfWar Member

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    Aside from the obvious advantage of not needing to sign updates files (so we can freely re-root in the future)... How does this make the DROID any more safe than the default recovery image?

    Can we not simply re-install a legit update.zip in the event that our DROID becomes corrupted, etc?

    Does this Recovery image support downgrading? Such as installing an older version of the OS than the currently installed one?

    What type of event or task, if any, could potentially render this Recovery image from not functioning?

    I may sound like a noob, but these are all important questions that I think a lot of people would like to know the answers too, so help me out :p
  4. boostdscoob
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    boostdscoob Member

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    Its not restricted like the factory image. This is only a start I'm sure, but a good recovery image makes your phone almost idiotproof
  5. Brian7
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    Brian7 Member

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    lol...almost
  6. SwordOfWar
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    SwordOfWar Member

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    And whats to stop an official update from replacing this recovery image with the stock one?

    How can we ensure in the future that we will be able to use our own update.zip (notably a root update.zip)?
  7. gardobus
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    gardobus Silver Member

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    I know its another noob question but a recovery image doesn't alter the OS and rooted condition of a phone right? All it does is replace the partition that you get to by holding 'X' on the keyboard?
  8. jinx10000
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    jinx10000 Member

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    Here is an example. The current official update will supposedly not install correctly if you have removed any of the applications. You remove the wrong file. Do something unexpected to lose root and then you can't reinstall the official update. It has already happened.

    This recovery has adb root access so you could replace the missing file before attempting to install. Custom roms will most likely not have this restriction anyways.

    As far as OTA updates go, replace the otacerts.zip file as discussed in how to keep root.
  9. Bear in NM
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    Bear in NM Active Member

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    I hope that this is not akin to asking what Root means, but would it be possible for someone to either clarify a few things for me, or perhaps point me in the right direction for self-unraveling.

    Should those of us who are learning this root process go ahead and flash our phones as an emergency precaution? I am assuming that this posted process does no good if you goof up your phone without having done this?

    And in a more general sense, is this sort of a fork in the road where you decide to either stay with VZW and their update process, or commit to a third party path. More specifically, with VZW updates many things get fixed/tweaked, like the recent camera and call quality issues. With the third party path, will these type of issues be addressed? Perhaps it is "simple" as folks working/hacking each new VZW update to include any pertinent system updates with the inclusion of root, SU, and/or the varoius Linux shells.

    I guess I do not understand the concept of Root, custom Roms, and how they either do or possibly don't interface with the meat and potatoes functioning of the basic phone features. As a specific example, I do not need Google to cloud my contacts and apps if I can root my way to backing these things up, but I do like the ability of Google to help with mapping things.

    Thanks, and I do have thick skin if you need to hammer me about asking that which is obvious to those of you who do understand all of this.

    Craig
  10. boostdscoob
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    boostdscoob Member

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    Omg, I'm gonna post this calmly and in lamens terms. Getting this recovery image will make your phone basically idiotproof, basically there's a way out of brick if you screw up. Without this, your screwed. This is the basis for custom roms to work, because now we can attempt to install roms, and not worry about screwing up beyond repair. Yes once you go this route, you will enjoy updates before they are even released most times, and tweaks beyond what the carrier would even dream of. Imagine 5% of droid owners working on something. That's probably more people than verizon employs. Probably close to googles numbers too. The point of all of this is to have the best of the best. Simply put.
  11. SwordOfWar
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    SwordOfWar Member

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    Other than being able to install custom updates, I don't see how this offers anymore protection than the stock recovery image. That's what I'm asking about.

    I've read about the process for blocking ota updates, but it had some risks and I would rather secure root access while keeping my ability to officially update ota if I wanted to do so.
  12. jinx10000
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    jinx10000 Member

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    Sword of War. I explained this on page one.

    It allows you to repair your phone if you screw up something that the official update will not allow you to repair.

    If you are rooted, you need a custom recovery image to protect you from yourself. There have been many times when I have done something that required reflashing on my G1.
  13. bots
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    bots Member

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    Here's an example, taken from some other forum I was reading: Someone had updated to the 2.01 version and noticed the laggyness of the browser, so they took the browser.apk from 2.0 and installed it in 2.01. Reboot- Brick. The official update .zip wouldn't update the file back to 2.01 either because of an md5 mismatch. This phone was bricked. If he had a custom recovery, he could have adb pushed the file onto the phone and would'nt even have to do a wipe. Woulda been a five min fix as opposed to a bricked droid.

    Oh, and that was very well put Boostdscoob. :)
  14. SwordOfWar
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    SwordOfWar Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. My main concern was losing the ability to root my phone after finishing an official update. So I see this offers no protection there. In other words we have to avoid all official updates from here on out if we want to keep root access.

    This is what I really meant by protection, as I dont want to play around with swapping system files anyway.

    Is it possible to prevent official updates from replacing a custom recovery?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  15. Brian7
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    Brian7 Member

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    otacerts.zip ......please read how to keep root
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
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