When it comes to hack your Android device with some custom mods, ADB & fastboot are essential. You may have seen, most of the mod or Custom ROM / firmware installation guides; these put this tool to be set up on your PC as a basic and an essential requirement. Now, you may be wondering, what these tools actually do & how can you use it with your Android phone.
Well, ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge while Fastboot is special mode on some of the Android devices (like Sony, HTC & Nexus phones). Use of ADB & Fastboot will be better understood when youll actually implement it on your phone.
- In order to use ADB & Fastboot commands, you need to download ADB & Fastboot Package. Download it from the link given below:
- ADB & Fastboot Files
- Once you download the package, extract it to any convenient location on your PC. Now open that extracted folder and hold Shift button of your keyboard. By holding shift button, right click on empty space. From the list, choose Open command window here option. A command window will be opened. Now you can use this command prompt to enter ADB & fasboot commands.
Note: ADB commands can be used only if USB debugging option is enabled in your phone. And Fastboot commands are used when the device is booted in fastboot mode. For more info, refer the topic given below.
Below is a list of basic ADB commands along with their functioning.
- adb devices – Checks whether your device is connected or not. If its connected, some random numbers will appear in command window.
- adb reboot recovery – Device boots in recovery mode.
- adb reboot bootloader – Device boots in bootloader mode (For non-Samsung devices) .
- adb reboot download – Device boots in download mode (For Samsung phones only).
- adb install _____.apk – Installs apk file in your device. Replace dotted space with an actual name of the apk file (Place an apk file in the same folder where ADB & fastboot files are located).
- adb push <local path> <remote path> – Transfers file from PC to your Android device (Change the parameters accordingly).
- adb pull <remote path> <local path> – Transfer file from Android device to PC.
There are two methods by which you can enter into the Fastboot mode. Those are explained below:
Method 1: Manual Method
Manual method is nothing but the use of Key combinations such as Volume down, Volume up, power key, home button etc. Each device has its own way to boot into the fastboot mode. For instance, Key combination for HTC & Sony devices is mentioned below.
For HTC phones:
- Switch off the device, press & hold Volume down + power key simultaneously till you get a special mode. This special mode is nothing but a Bootloader. In bootloader, select fastboot mode option (using Volume keys & power button).
For Sony Phones:
- Switch off the phone and Hold the respective fastboot button while connecting your device to a computer. Refer this list to know the fastboot button of your device:
Method 2: Using ADB Commands
- If you dont the key combinations to boot into fastboot mode then ADB command is a convenient way for you. Just remember to turn on USB debugging option in your phone. Here is an ADB command to boot into bootloader mode (Refer above topic on how to use ADB Commands):
adb reboot bootloader
- Once you get into the bootloader mode, select fastboot option.
Note: This method may or may not work with Sony Phones.
Now, lets see how to use fastboot mode to flash custom kernels, recoveries etc.
Assuming that youve kept your device in fastboot mode (using above topic), well directly proceed to the commands needed for flashing Recoveries & kernels.
Note: If you dont know where to put these commands, please refer the topic on How to use ADB commands (Given above).
For Flashing Kernel:
- Use this command to flash a stock kernel or any custom kernel:
fastboot flash boot _____.img
- Replace the dotted space with an actual name of a kernel file.
For Flashing Reocvery:
- Use this command to flash custom recovery like CWM or TWRP in your phone:
fastboot flash recovery _____.img
- Replace the dotted space with an actual name of a recovery file.
- fastboot flash boot ____.img – Flashes kernel file in your device (Replace dotted space with an actual name of a kernel file).
- fastboot flash recovery ____.img – Flashes recovery file in your device (Replace dotted space with an actual name of a kernel file).
- fastboot devices – Checks whether your device is connected in fastboot mode.
- fastboot reboot – Reboots device normally.
- fastboot reboot-bootloader – Reboots device in bootloader.
Thats how you can use various ADB & Fastboot commands. If youve any doubts or queries, just drop a comment below, well try to sort it out as early as possible. Enjoy!
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Viraj was a former chief editor at Android Legend. He no longer works here. But no worries you can still get in touch with him via his Google+