Nexus 5 Rooting Guide

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  1. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Welcome to the Nexus Experience! :party:

    This is the manual method....Automated root tools can be found in the 2nd post.

    Warning: unlocking your bootloader will perform a factory reset on your device. Backup everything important before proceeding

    This looks long, buts its just the initial setup :):D

    If you aren't familiar with doing things from fastboot, chances are the first thing you are going to need to do is properly setup the folders to carry out the fastboot commands. This setup is going to take the most time and after you have it all set up its very quick to do after that.

    Setting up ADB & Downloading your files
    1) Download the mini-SDK here and move it to something like C:\Android\platform-tools
    our forums' mini-sdk

    It contains:
    adb.exe - Windows adb utility
    fastboot.exe - Windows fastboot utility
    fastboot-windows.exe - Windows fastboot utility
    AdbWinApi.dll - adb link library for Windows
    AdbWinUsbApi.dll - adb link library for Windows

    2) Download your Recovery
    I would highly suggest twrp. You can get it from here:
    TeamWin Projects - TWRP 2.6 - Nexus 5 | TeamWin

    3) Download Superuser file (don't unzip it!)
    SuperSU Download

    4) Placing files in the correct places
    You'll want to move the recovery image into the folder with your fastboot tools (mine is in C:\Android\platform-tools). To simplify things, I'd also suggest renaming the file to recovery.img
    Unlocking your bootloader
    Now you're ready for the fun to begin! :)
    1) Power off your device.
    2) Hold Power+volume down to reboot your device into fastboot
    3) We need to open up a command prompt in the location where your sdk-tools are (Mine is in C:\Android\platform-tools)
    3a) If you aren't sure how to do this, the easiest way if you're on a recent windows machine is to hold Shift and click somewhere on the open fastboot folder. You'll see a "open command window here" option.
    3b) Or, you can navigate manually by using the command cd to change directory

    4) Once you're in the correct location, we need to verify your computer and phone are communicating correctly. The command to list all connected fastboot devices is
    Code (Text):
    1.  fastboot devices
    You should see a list of connected devices. If nothing shows up, your command prompt is either in the wrong location or you have a driver issue.

    Once everything is communicating properly, the command to unlock your bootloader is
    Code (Text):
    1. fastboot oem unlock
    You will need to confirm on your device that you want to do this. Just press volume Up to confirm.

    Piece of cake eh? :thumbup:
    *Important* Reboot the device completely after this step to prevent issues and/or bootloops later in the process. After rebooting fully into android, reboot back into fastboot either manually or through adb.

    Install recovery
    a) If you aren't already, get back into fastboot mode using the instructions above.

    b) Once again, we need a terminal pointed to the location your fastboot tools

    c) Now that you are in fastboot and have the terminal in the right location, you just use the following command to install recovery.

    Code (Text):
    1.  fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    ***Note: if you did not rename the recovery, you'll have to type in the full name of the file instead of recovery.img

    Congrats, you now how your custom recovery!! You can reboot into it by selecting "recovery" from fastboot using your volume up and down buttons and power to select
    Flash SU file
    With the phone booted normally, place the superuser files on the internal storage of your device. The location isn't important, but you'll need to know where they are and be able to navigate to them later.

    Reboot into recovery mode. In recovery, flash the SU file you've downloaded earlier.
    To do this, select install, then navigate to where you placed the file. Select the first file, then swipe to flash. After the install finishes, its a good idea to do the wipe dalvik cache and cache option, and then reboot into system

    Reboot, and you're all done

    Enjoy the freedom of a rooted device :D

  2. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    CafeKampuchia and zipred like this.
  3. Brian706

    Brian706 Moderator Moderator

    Remember the storage issues I had after rooting?

    Original Post

    Not sure if this issue affects everyone or if others just didn't immediately flash recovery after unlocking the bootloader?

    Even if it affects only some, might be good to add a step to the guide to boot the system and return to the bootloader before flashing recovery.

    It only takes an extra minute to do and might save people some of the headache I went through...
    jhawkkw likes this.
  4. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    I would highly recommend if you're planning on flashing anything to back up your EFS data. It could save you one day to back it up and then store it in the cloud and/or on your computer.
  5. Brian706

    Brian706 Moderator Moderator

    What is contained in that partition? Regardless I backed up all partitions immediately upon installing recovery (before flashing su) and placed safely on the cloud.
  6. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    Your IMEI and/or MEID.
    Brian706 likes this.
  7. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    I know twrp has an option for that. Get it backed up and into the cloud.

    There's also an app that'll create a flashable backup
    Brian706 likes this.
  8. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    Yes, indeed. If for some reason your EFS gets corrupted or deleted and you don't have a backup, then your device will not connect to a carrier ever again and it CANNOT be fixed. With a backup, you can either manually restore it with adb or reflash it using recovery to restore it and all will be good again. Just don't keep backing it up. Make one as soon as possible and keep it in a safe storage location outside of your device.
    Brian706 likes this.
  9. johnnyolivares

    johnnyolivares Well-Known Member

    My first time unlocking and rooting manually and is was easy as pie thanks to your guide. Thanks!
    Rxpert83 likes this.
  10. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Welcome to the wild world of root :D:thumbup:
  11. johnnyolivares

    johnnyolivares Well-Known Member

    Is it safe to use the twrp recovery now? I've always wanted to try it.
  12. Brian706

    Brian706 Moderator Moderator

    I've been using it just fine. If you don't check the option in the twrp settings "use rm -rf instead of format", wiping cache takes a long time. It has cause problems with people thinking it's frozen and interrupting the format. Other than that (user error) I haven't had or heard of any issues.
  13. Schex13

    Schex13 Well-Known Member

    Does CWM have that somewhere, too? I never backed up anything like this on my computer on the GNex all those times.

    Also, are the 0/0 etc. duplicate/legacy folder problems fixed? Both my GNex and OG N7 had a terrible time with storage capacity because of it.
  14. Schex13

    Schex13 Well-Known Member

  15. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    I'm not sure if cwm has the option, but there is a zip file that contains a script that will do it for you. The duplicating 0/0 is fixed though
  16. 4ubest

    4ubest Well-Known Member

    Johnny, it is good that I saw your post as I have an LG Motion on MetroPCS and just ordered a white Nexus 5 and was watching Youtube reviews and as a result of hearing such things as a bad speaker and camera was going to return it and go with the MetroPCS Samsung s4. Since you have the Motion 4G, perhaps you can tell me what you think of the Nexus in comparison to it.

    Also I also am not a technical person and I see your comment re "easy as pie" and I am wondering what is your computer experience/technical level?

    Finally, how much did you have to pay MetroPCS to switch from the Motion, or was this a new account? TYVM
  17. johnnyolivares

    johnnyolivares Well-Known Member

    I would say the speaker is better on the motion. Unless you had cm10 on it then its about the same.

    Camera definitely better on the nexus. Still doesn't forget its a phone so don't expect it too much.

    As for my experience, I've only flashed some Roms and used automated root tools.

    I haven't connected my nexus yet. I've been working. Today is my day off so I will go today. You can expect to pay 25 for them to connect it. Or you can just order the Sim card online for 10 and call and activate it over the phone and save yourself 15. I just want it connect and I hate dealing with customer service Representatives.

    I am more than pleased with my Nexus. Besides its $200 cheaper than the s4. The only thing the s4 has that the nexus doesn't is IR blaster and a SD card slot
    4ubest likes this.
  18. 4ubest

    4ubest Well-Known Member

    Johnny, than you for your response.. your comment about the Motion having a better speaker is important to me as i only use speaker mode and I think it is poor on the Motion so now it seems that I need to cancel the Nexus and wait for a faster phone that also has a good speaker. Wow I did not expect this..
  19. johnnyolivares

    johnnyolivares Well-Known Member

    I've been messing with my nexus more and I finally got to put my music on it. Its much louder now, earlier I had only tested on videos. I have yet to make a phone call on speaker, once I do I'll get back to you.
  20. johnnyolivares

    johnnyolivares Well-Known Member

    Made my girlfriend go to the kitchen and call me, didn't sound as good as playing music but its better than what I first thought

    I would suggest you didn't cancel you're order. Once the phone arrives you can see for yourself. If you don't like it, I'm sure it won't be too hard to sell it.
    4ubest likes this.
  21. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Not to mention there are various sound tweaks for increasing volume or tuning it to your liking.
    4ubest likes this.
  22. Essjay22

    Essjay22 Well-Known Member

    Yes, i loaded twrp first, GUI touch, nice but some things are not automagic, the ( the "use rm -rf instead of format" thing ),There's a bug with TWRP that remove/corrupt your baseband during flash. Didnt happen with me but its there still.
    Also I had kernels flash fail with twrp, everytime, never did get it to flash a kernel. Fastboot was fine but then installed CWM and havent looked back.
    It IS touch just not fancy GUI. Swype down to move up/down, swype side to select. I like it and CWM has not failed a flash yet. 4thROM 3rd kernel :p
  23. 4ubest

    4ubest Well-Known Member

    Thank you Johnny.. Google says I have 15 days to try it out and if not good I can return or replace it.
  24. 4ubest

    4ubest Well-Known Member

    By the same token, do you think some of the camera issues can be tweaked with other software?
  25. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    It'll likely be patched by Google in the coming weeks, but there are camera tweaks. Haven't tries them myself personally

    Alternatively, you can just install a different camera app

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