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Old October 11th, 2012, 08:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY: How To Decompile An Apk

Decided to make this thread for people like me who do not know how to decompile an apk. This is totally a step by step guide. Following this exactly will produce the results you were looking for. This is how I changed the system background thanks to katracho for the instructions after you decompiled the apk:
Code:
PLEASE FOLLOW THE STEPS EXACTLY: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR
UNDESIRED RESULTS OR YOU MAKING YOUR PHONE INTO A DOOR
STOP.
Again, this is how I did it:

First you need 4 things.
  1. Latest Java installed -> Java
    Make sure if you are using a 64 bit Windows 7 OS that you install the same version for JAVA.
  2. Download Apk Manager - Link ->Apk Manager
  3. Download Apk Tools - Link ->Apk Tools
  4. Download Apk Tools Installer - Link ->Apk Tools Installer
Once files are downloaded:
  1. Open the C:\ directory on your computer and make a folder called apk_manager
  2. Extract Apk Manger to that folder.
  3. Open apk_manager folder. Inside you will find a folder called "other". Take note of that.
  4. Extract Apk Tools to "other" in apk_manager folder
  5. Extract Apk Installer to same.
As you do step 4 and 5 it will ask when you move the files into folder if you want to replace existing files, choose Yes. (Thank you Ralkkai as I forgot about that).

You need to set a path for ADB so the computer can modify the path statement that will enable an MS-DOS window opened in Microsoft Windows as well as older programs to locate files that may be required to run the program.
  1. Navigate to My Computer
  2. Right click
  3. Properties
  4. Advanced System Settings
  5. Advanced
  6. Environment Variables
  7. System variables
  8. Scroll down and highlight Path
  9. Edit
  10. Type C:\AndroidSDK\tools;C:\AndroidSDK\platform-tools
  11. Click OK 3 times to exit
There has been a few issues with Java not being recognized on some computers. Below are the steps that should be taken to ensure Java is recognized:






Now time for the fun stuff:
  1. Plug phone into computer.
  2. Open the apk_manager folder and find a file called Script. Double click to run.
    Again, this is how to decompile an apk. Will also show how to recompile in this post.
  3. Read through ALL the options apk_manager provides. Then read them again.
  4. Type 0 for adb pull. (This option will actually pull the file from where ever it is on phone).
  5. Once you selected that option, you will see:
    Where do you want adb to pull the apk from?
    Example of input : /system/app/launcher.apk
    Type input:
    YOU HAVE TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT FILE AND WHERE THE FILE IS LOCATED AT!!!!
  6. Once selected you will see:
    Pulling apk
    What filename would you like this app to stored as ?
    Eg (launcher.apk)
    Type input:
  7. Name the file whatever you want. I would suggest the same name it already has.
  8. Next you will see:
    Would you like to set this as your current project (y/n)?
    Type input:
  9. Type y then hit enter
    After that is done you will see the "Please make your decision:" line again.
  10. Type 9 to Decompile apk (again, this is how I did it)
    You will see: Decompiling apk

To view the file you just decompiled:
  1. Goto apk_manager on your C:\ directory
  2. Open apk_mananger
  3. Open "Projects" folder (no quotes). Inside you will find the file you just decompiled.
    To view the xml files you are modifying, you need to right click on the xml file and choose notepad. Also notepad++ works on just about any code available.

After you have modified the file and are ready to compile and finish your project:
  1. Type 11 to compile apk - You will see:
    Building Apk
    Is this a system apk (y/n)
    Type input:
  2. For the sake of argument, this will be a system apk. Type y - hit enter
    You will see:

    Aside from the signatures, would you like to copy over any additional files that you didn't modify from the original apk in order to ensure least # of errors (y/n)
    Type input:
  3. Type y - hit enter. (Again, this is what I did)
    You will see the program extracting then:

    Everything is OK
    Folders: (# of folders it made)
    Files: (# of files it extracted)
    Size: (size of the files)
    Compressed (size of compressed files)
    In the apk manager folder u'll find a keep folder. Within it, delete everything you have modified and leave files that you haven't. If you have modified any xml, then delete resources.arsc from that folder as well. Once done then press enter on this script.
    Press any key to continue...
  4. Press any key to continue
    You will see the program compressing the files.


And that is it. If you read all the selections in Apk Manager then you will see the selections for how to put the files back into you phone.

Sorry this is so long but I wanted to make sure that even people like me know exactly how to decompile apks.

Anything you want me to add or delete, please let me know.

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Old October 11th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ive been wanting to find something like this so i could poke around DSP Manager to see if i could find anything that could be done about the EQ not working on the TU. great work and thanks a ton! i might start hacking and cracking at it this weekend when i get the time.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 10:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralkkai View Post
ive been wanting to find something like this so i could poke around DSP Manager to see if i could find anything that could be done about the EQ not working on the TU. great work and thanks a ton! i might start hacking and cracking at it this weekend when i get the time.
DSP Manager? Is that the one that shows an EQ type screen when headphones are plugged in?
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Old October 12th, 2012, 10:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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its not when you plug in headphones. its got individual settings for headphones, speakers and blue tooth for EQ and whatnot but for some reason it crashed whenever i mess with the EQ when headphones are plugged in. you can find the apk from searching google since its not in the store.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not doubting you but are you sure its not in the play store? Was this one where you had to flash, like with the Beats Audio?
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Old October 12th, 2012, 10:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i think the beats one is a mod of dsp manager. idk but i do know the one i have isnt available from the store
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Old October 12th, 2012, 10:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If that is the one you have to flash, then you have to mount storage then flash for it to work right. I had to do that. When I did have it.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 11:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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well its on my internal storage so id assume that means its mounted already. all i really know is that i think Loota had said taht it might not work right since it was made for cyanogenmod
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Old October 12th, 2012, 11:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It will be in your internal storage anyways but for some reason if you mount the storage first then flash it seems to work. But Loota knows more than I.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 11:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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im gonna try mounting and then installing from zip and see what we get. sry for jacking the thread lol
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Old October 12th, 2012, 11:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Your cool. This is how we all learn. Make sure to mount storage first.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 11:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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still the same issue lol
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Old October 12th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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lol so maybe it is what loota stated then.

EDIT: Where did the apk come from?
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Old October 12th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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the apk came from cyanogenmod. i know for starters that that is an issue. it was built around ics framework and whatnot i believe and im running it inside a gingerbread built rom. from what i read you shoudl be able to run it on any ics rom and alot of ppl say they got it working on gingerbread with some force close issue. im on my tablet right now so i cant link the website but xda has a thread on it. you should find it if you search for dsp manager zip or apk
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Old October 12th, 2012, 11:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Check the permissions. owner, group, others should be checked under read and just the owner under write should be checked. All others unchecked.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Done and done. I think its just something in the app not playing right with the rom. Bass and room effects work fine though and other eq apps work fine so idk
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Old October 13th, 2012, 12:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hmmmm. Well, now you can decompile the apk and maybe find a solution to this. Good luck.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 12:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Lol that's the plan
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Old October 13th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #19 (permalink)
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when i extract the second 2 zips to the "others" folder it pops up with a "do you want to replace this file" screen? i click yes right? basically same file?

EDIT: i dont know what im doing wrong but i have java and the SDK installed but its telling me that adb is not found. so i havent even gotten off the ground yet lol
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Old October 13th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralkkai View Post
when i extract the second 2 zips to the "others" folder it pops up with a "do you want to replace this file" screen? i click yes right? basically same file?

EDIT: i dont know what im doing wrong but i have java and the SDK installed but its telling me that adb is not found. so i havent even gotten off the ground yet lol
Sorry was out of city in a dead zone.

Yes. Replace the two files. If you haven't done so.

My computer was acting weird too. I had Java installed but it was telling me it wasnt. Have you entered the path into the variable screen with adb?
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Old October 13th, 2012, 01:28 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Sorry was out of city in a dead zone.

Yes. Replace the two files. If you haven't done so.

My computer was acting weird too. I had Java installed but it was telling me it wasnt. Have you entered the path into the variable screen with adb?

I haven't and that's probably where I'm getting hung up. Did u need to set a path for Java and the adb both or just the adb? And I was having an issue with having an old version of Java so once I got rid of the old and just had the new that part is working but I get stuck in cmd with it not recognizing the adb
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Old October 13th, 2012, 01:44 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah that's why I didn't include the link for Java as they are always doing updates.

Set path for adb and apk manager.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 01:50 PM   #23 (permalink)
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ok how do i set a path? lol
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Old October 13th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Let me get on computer so I can type faster. 10 mins
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Old October 13th, 2012, 02:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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For adb -

1. Navigate to My Computer
2. Right click
3. Properties
4. Advanced System Settings
5. Advanced
6. Environment Variables
7. System variables
8. Scroll down and highlight Path
9. Edit
10.
Type C:\AndroidSDK\tools and C:\AndroidSDK\platform-tools

EDIT: Also amended the steps in thread to reflect how to set the path.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Okie I just didn't understand what to name the path. I need to pick up a computer for repair but I'll try after that and then we can go from there. Thanks for the guide and the help!
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Old October 13th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralkkai View Post
Okie I just didn't understand what to name the path. I need to pick up a computer for repair but I'll try after that and then we can go from there. Thanks for the guide and the help!
Amended steps in above post and thread. Sorry. Just wanted you to be able to get started while I type it up.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Its all good. I'm not gonna be able to get back to it til either late tonight or tomorrow afternoon
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Old October 13th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #29 (permalink)
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so still having an issue with getting it to recognize that java is installed and getting the adb to work....i dont know what im missing. when oyu set the path is it 2 seperate paths or is it "C:\AndroidSDK\tools and C:\AndroidSDK\platform-tools" exactly?
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Old October 13th, 2012, 09:40 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralkkai View Post
so still having an issue with getting it to recognize that java is installed and getting the adb to work....i dont know what im missing. when oyu set the path is it 2 seperate paths or is it "C:\AndroidSDK\tools and C:\AndroidSDK\platform-tools" exactly?
Two separate paths.
And I had issues with Java as well. I had to redownload.
With adb, really all you have to do is plug phone into computer as though you were charging it.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 09:42 PM   #31 (permalink)
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ive redownloaded java like 4 times and reinstalled etc. i dont get it
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Old October 13th, 2012, 09:48 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Neither did I. I had to do the same thing before it finally worked.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 09:50 PM   #33 (permalink)
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so still having an issue with getting it to recognize that java is installed and getting the adb to work....i dont know what im missing. when oyu set the path is it 2 seperate paths or is it "C:\AndroidSDK\tools and C:\AndroidSDK\platform-tools" exactly?
Edited thread #1
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Old October 13th, 2012, 10:22 PM   #34 (permalink)
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i managed to mess around with it enough and i think i got it to work but im gonna wait til im more awake before i really check it out. when you set the paths you seperate them with a semi colon and then restart the computer. or at least thats what worked for me. also, even tho it wasnt recognizing java, i ran "adb devices" in cmd and it showed my phone, so i ran the script and it worked. thanks for sticking with me and helping me figure it out. when im more awake ill really check it out
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Old October 13th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Not a problem. I have edited post #1 to reflect the changes needed to do this properly.

That's what I am here for. Thank you for allowing me to assist you.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #36 (permalink)
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ok so we have successfully decompiled, poked around a little bit and recompiled our first apk. i figured out what the issue with java was. basically if you are running a 64bit OS then you need to install the 64bit version of java. the apk manager looks in /Program Files/ regardless of the computer being 32 or 64 bit so that is where java needs to be. im kicking myself since it was such a simple thing.

next on the menu would be where i would need to go to figure out how exactly to edit. what language is it all in etc. i know that andorid is written in java and i need to learn a bit of xml but i guess im asking what direction to head to get it all to quit looking like greek?

EDIT: also, i set a variable path for java. idk if that helped or not but its there lol
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Old October 14th, 2012, 06:05 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Sorry I can't help you there. It looks Greek to me as well. In order to edit, xml, I know the default is windows explorer but you need to right click on the xml and pick open with - notepad. Then you will be able to edit. But the rest I am unfamiliar with.

EDIT: Java has its own path already but nothing wrong with having it twice.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 08:01 PM   #38 (permalink)
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i was just adding that i made a path. i didnt think it helped. the plus side is im hopefully going to venture into writing java which means that ill be able to do more then a few tweaks here and there when it comes to decompiling. so it wont look like greek for long XD. also notepad++ works great for looking at just about any code you can think of, but im sure ya already know that :P
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Old October 14th, 2012, 08:07 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Just was saying that adding another path doesn't hurt...lol

I myself, am just starting in the wonderful world of Java. So, I'm right there with you.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Just was saying that adding another path doesn't hurt...lol

I myself, am just starting in the wonderful world of Java. So, I'm right there with you.
i still have a semester or 2 and a few other languages to learn like C# and Javascript but i cant wait to get my hands dirty with some android coding.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 09:22 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I keep getting "mode" is not recognized as a operable batch program. Same as "java" and "adb".
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 09:34 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I keep getting "mode" is not recognized as a operable batch program. Same as "java" and "adb".
Not a problem.

Make sure if you are running a 64 bit windows 7 OS that you download the Java version of 64 bit. That does seem to be the issue with most. Was my issue and Ralkkai issue too.

EDIT: edited OP to reflect lastest version of JAVA.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 10:25 PM   #43 (permalink)
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basically you have to make sure you have whatever version of Java that will install in your Program Files folder so if you are on Windows 7 64 bit per say and you have Program Files and Program Files(x86) you need to install Java to the Program Files. most other cases of 32 and 64 bit versions of software really doesnt matter with Windows but this is a case where it does. then if you follow his directions you should get your apk to decompile
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 07:12 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Will the download from here work?----> Java Runtime Environment (JRE) (64-Bit) - CNET Download.com
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 07:32 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Probably. Just sometimes CNET it doesn't work for me.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 07:37 AM   #46 (permalink)
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make sure old versions are uninstalled and if the runtime environment doesnt work try http://javadl.sun.com/webapps/download/AutoDL?BundleId=69474
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 07:42 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Installed it to Program Files checked and it was there but still getting: 'mode' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
'java' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
'adb' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 07:43 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Just saw the post i'll try now
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 12:30 PM   #49 (permalink)
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From command line u should able to the adb and itll tell u of its installed and if it recognizes ur phone. I wish they made it easier for us to figure this stuff out lol
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 01:46 PM   #50 (permalink)
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From command line u should able to the adb and itll tell u of its installed and if it recognizes ur phone. I wish they made it easier for us to figure this stuff out lol
I know right!! Lol!
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