Installing a Custom Recovery Image Manually PDF Print E-mail
Written by Teddy   
Sunday, 20 December 2009 00:00

All the credit for the SPRecovery recovery image file goes to SirPsychoS who is now MIA but used to hang out at the OLD and used to be a member of  All credit for the CMRecovery images goes to 'koush'.  He's everywhere.  I'll also include RaidZero's recovery here as well.  Finally, before you get started, it is assumed that your Droid is rooted and you have busybox installed natively, i.e. so that you don't have to type 'busybox' before the linux commands.  I also highly recommend that you have installed the adb shell on your computer.  It makes it easier to type the terminal commands on your computer rather than using the phones keyboard/terminal emulator.  I have discussed rooting and installing busybox, and using the adb shell in different articles.


I'm in the process (09/21/2011) of editing this article to include all the custom recovery's available for the A855 phone.  In the meantime, most of the main steps should still work, but I'm adding more info.  Thanks.


Let's get started.  You're going to need the following file:

  1. The flash_image command, found here.  This is a .zip file.  Extract the contents and you will have a file called "flash_image" without an extention.

Next, you are going to want to chose which custom recovery you want to run on your phone.  There's three right now, and they all have their merits.  CMRecovery can also be installed via Rom Manager, which for most might be the easiest way to go, however, the instent of my article is to install one of your choosing manually so that it stays installed.  So without further ado, here's your three choices:

  1. The latest Sir PsychoS Recovery (SPR) image (0.99.3b) file, here.
  2. The latest RaidZero Recovery (RZR) image (2.0.3) file, here.
  3. And then which ClockworkMod?  I'll just include the latest default from Rom Manager ( here.

Now all you have to do is plug in your phone to your computer, mount the USB card for storage and copy the flash_image binary and your choice of recovery files to the root of your sd card.  Then unmount your sd card and unplug your phone from your computer.  If you're going to use the adb shell on your computer for this process (recommended), then get your phone ready for it by going using your phone to go to menu (the little button with the lines at the bottom) -> settings -> applications -> development and selecting 'usb debugging'.  Then go ahead and plug your phone back into your computer and enter the adb shell. Again, my guide for the adb shell is here. Otherwise, you can use a Terminal Emulator program that is installed on your phone, there's free ones found in the market, so just open the terminal emulator on your phone.  Now for the commands:

  1. su
  2. mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/null /system
  3. mv /sdcard/flash_image /system/xbin
  4. chmod 755 /system/xbin/flash_image
  5. mount -o remount,ro /dev/block/null /system
  6. sync
  7. reboot

Your phone will reboot and now you have the flash_image command installed correctly.  Now to proceed (the rest of the commands):

  1. su
  2. mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system
  3. mv /system/recovery-from-boot.p /system/recovery-from-boot.p.old
  4. mount -o remount,ro /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system
  5. flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery-0.99.3b.img [or if you chose one of the others, make sure you have the filename correct]
  6. sync
  7. reboot recovery

BAM!  That should do it, your phone will reboot into the recovery screen with SirPsychoS custom recovery (or your other chosen custom recovery) options there.  Use the volume up/down buttons to navigate to the various options, the camera button to select an option and the power button to back out of any sub-menu.  While you're here, go ahead and select the "backup/restore" menu, second from the bottom.  Use the volume down button to get there.  Then use the camera button to enter that menu.  At the top and already selected will be "Simple Nandroid backup".  Go ahead and press the camera button again.  Your phone will create a full backup of it's current state.  This is very much like using the "Sytem Restore" function on a Windows XP machine to set a restore point.  The SPR will give you a message saying, "Attempting Nandroid default backup".  Watch the progress bar as it does it's thing and tells you what it's dumping, don't worry, it's not messing your phone up at all,  Soon it'll say, "done" and you'll be presented with a menu with "Simple Nandroid backup" again at the top.  Press the power button once to back out of that menu.  Then you will be at the 'top' menu of the SPR recovery and have "reboot system now" selected.  Go ahead and press the camera button and your phone will restart.  BAM!  Now you have just been initiated to using the SPR.

Now, I also know that this installation could probably be done quicker, i.e. you 'probably' could jump from step four in the first set to step three in the second step, but the way I wrote this is the way I did it and had no problems whatsoever.  When I was first reading about the SPR's, SirPsychoS hadn't quite gotten his SPR's all fixed up and bugless (is that a word?), so knowing I need to have the flash_image binary on my phone first, I just went ahead and installed it and waited.  After all, I just write this stuff from compiling the info from various screwy threads and posts all over the place.  Also, as I mentioned, the SPR gets updated pretty fast sometimes and I recommend this method over using the "Droid Root Helper" from the market.  Why?  Because now you know the commands that are contained within that app.

This is a work in progress, if you have any problems with one of the commands above, I would suggest stopping and just enter the sync and a reboot (NOT "reboot recovery") command.  If the "mv" commands don't work, you probably don't have busybox installed native, so either just use "busybox mv" instead of the "mv" command by itself, or re-refer to my guide here to get it right.

good luck

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 September 2011 18:47 )