My friend fastboot!

Uh? What’s fastboot? Well this has gotten me out of trouble on a few occasions now and I just wanted to share it’s awesomeness with you

My friend fastboot!

This mustn’t be confused with the HTC fastboot which as the name implies lets the phone boot faster

I’m talking about fastboot that has been around since the days of the original granddaddy of android phones the G1, fastboot is a protocol used to update the flash file system in Android devices from a host over USB. It allows flashing of unsigned partition images. It is disabled by default in Nexus devices but can be enabled quickly and easily with one terminal command ‘fastboot oem unlock’

Basically what happened was I was transferring a lot [4GB+] of pictures from my laptop hard drive to my Galaxy Nexus sdcard and something on the sdcard got corrupted. This is where having built in storage on your device can be a bit of a drawback because my phone wouldn’t boot properly just kept showing the Google sign and bootlooping, going into recovery to try revert to a previous nandroid backup didnt help as I couldn’t view anything on the sdcard partition of the device, I had somehow borked it transferring all those pictures to it!

So what next? I couldn’t just put another rom on the phones sdcard as I couldn’t use it!! Argh!!

All there was left to do was a ‘proper’ factory reset, not the reset via recovery a reset via fastboot! You may recall the post from me about the factory images kindly given to us by Google which JBQ shared with us at the start of December last year? Well that was my only option at this point so with my hands shaking at the possibility of having to make an insurance claim for my 1 month old £500 phone I downloaded the files needed, booted my phone into fastboot and run the script provided in the files mentioned by JBQ, ten minutes later I was booting up a fresh install of ICS 4.0.2 nom!

My friend fastboot!

Fastboot is also really helpful when flashing things that have the capability to brick your phone like radios because fastboot checks the file integrity before flashing it to your device if its a corrupt file it won’t flash it for you, you can also test things out with fastboot by using the boot function, so say if you want to just use a recovery to flash something then revert to stock you can use something like ‘fastboot boot recovery C:/location/of/recovery.img’ this will just boot your phone with the recovery image the one time, the next time it boots up it will have the previous .img there

More details here:

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