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Root [International] Is it safe to flash TWRP if you can't boot into recovery through the hardware buttons?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Cerberus666, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Cerberus666

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    I have just got my G2, and it's fantastic! I have rooted it successfully with Towelroot. I'd like to flash a custom recovery, to make a Nandroid back-up and possibly flash a custom ROM.

    I cannot boot into (stock) recovery by holding volume down and power, only through ADB. I hear this is not uncommon with some (newer?) phones. I can't boot into the bootloader at all (AFAIK), nor enter the mode where you see your IMEI (but I have that info safely stored). I can boot into download mode—although nothing ever downloads, but I don't want to do that anyway. I have installed "Minimal ADB and Fastboot" and the drivers, but only ADB works: Fastboot does nothing (e.g. fastboot devices).
    1. Is it safe to flash TWRP through Auto Rec if I cannot boot into recovery except through ADB?

    2. Will a custom recovery make it possible to boot into recovery using the hardware keys? Or do I need to flash a new bootloader for that (yikes!)?
    Thanks!

    LG G2, 32 GB
    D802-20d-EUR-XX
    Android 4.4.2 Kitkat
     

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  2. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #
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    There isn't exactly a "traditional" bootloader on this phone. In other words, no screen where you can select fastboot, recovery, etc.

    The reason fastboot isn't working for you is that it's not enabled by default. It only presents itself when the phone is in a compromised state where other connection methods (recovery, download mode) have been broken. There is a way to force fastboot mode but that's another story entirely.

    You can install a custom recovery. However, since you own a D802, please be careful unless you purchased the phone from a trusted brick and mortar store. There is a HUGE epidemic going on right now where people are supposedly buying d802's, but in reality the internals of the phone are that of d800's and d801's. That will cause a failure (ironically it'll present the fastboot mode previously discussed) because you're flashing a D802 recovery to a phone that doesn't internally support that.

    The only way to verify you own a real D802 is to remove the back cover and look at the model number stamped in the lower left corner inside. Some of the "vendors" cover that up with a phony sticker so that must be removed to reveal the permanent model # stamp underneath. Models can also sometimes be verified by stamping and hand markings (using magic markers) on the 2 ribbon cables that go up either side of the phone.

    Bottom line...my personal advice is to not flash anything onto a D802 without inspecting the inside first. I can't stress how widespread this issue has become. They use new D802 rear covers to make it look legit. They flash the D802 rom so it appears on the inside an outside to be a D802. Yours may actually be one, who knows. But it may not be either. Even people buying phones as "new" on Amazon/ebay have experienced this. Be safe and good luck.
     
  3. Cerberus666

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    Thank you for your wise and detailed advice! I read about some of those unlucky people who got d800's with d802 back covers. I wonder why sellers do that; is an AT&T phone less desirable? I got my G2 from an official LG dealer here in the Netherlands (an on-line shop, but it's mentioned on the LG website). Nevertheless, I followed your advice and removed the back cover, and it says D802, no sticker, yay!

    So you think flashing without being able to access recovery using the hardware buttons is not specifically risky? If not, I will probably try the Auto Rec method and flash TWRP. And I will never accept an update over the air ever! I hear many people are having problems with that after having flashed a custom recovery. It is good to know that being unable to use Fastboot is normal; I wouldn't want to meet Fastboot in an alley as dark as you describe it, when you can't boot normally! It's also good to know that the odd LG bootloader isn't "bootable" as I imagined it.
     
  4. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #
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    That all sounds good so long as your device is on KitKat as Autorec is designed to work with that. I'm assuming it is, but since you said you'd never accepted an OTA, just making sure. If you bought the device somewhat recently, it likely came with KK already installed.

    If so, I would see no problem with using Autorec to install TWRP. I hadn't heard about certain people being unable to access stock recovery though I will say that the methods to enter stock recovery have seemed to change on some models. So it could just be that the external button combo has changed and is making it appear as though it's inaccessible. To be brutally honest, I don't even remember how to get into stock recovery on my own device as I've had a custom recovery on this since 2013. :D

    Bottom line, recovery is a flashable partition. So there's no reason it should not work. FYI, the way to enter a custom recovery using the hard keys is to use power + volume down...again the exact method can vary by model. On some G2's you press and hold both until the LG logo comes up, then release them and quickly repress and hold both keys a second time until the factory reset screen comes up. At that time, act as though you're going to perform said reset and it will instead boot into TWRP. That spooks everyone the first time. Provided TWRP was in fact installed, your device will not reset.

    note: on other G2's, you don't let off power + volume down when the LG logo comes up. Instead, just keep pressing and holding both keys the whole time. There may be even futher iterations yet, not sure.
     
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  5. Cerberus666

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    That's right, I bought my G2 last week, and it came with Kitkat 4.4.2 installed; the battery says April 2014 (see picture above).

    I had tried both methods you describe (holding volume down and power the whole time v. briefly letting go as the LG logo appears then holding down again), but nothing worked; the phone would just turn off again after holding the buttons down for a long time. I also tried with power and volume up. I was just wondering whether it was something they changed in recent kernels, or in the hardware (I hope not: is that likely?). If it's the kernel, Auto Rec should solve that, since it flashes an older kernel. I am proud of you for having had a custom recovery installed since 2013!

    P.S. Is it normal that, when I enter Download Mode, my phone pretends it is going to download an update, but in reality the percentage remains at zero always?

    P.P.S. Oh, and it has said "rooted" from the first time I entered Download Mode, even though I had not rooted it and it simply was not rooted (I tested it). That seemed strange. There was also no seal on the box, but there was no sign of its having been removed either, and the plastic foil thingies were stuck on the phone in the appropriate places. The phone worked well in all respects so it didn't seem important.
     
  6. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #
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    That is indeed normal. It won't change unless you do in fact start an update using additional software to interface the phone.


    The fact is said rooted out of the box is not at all normal. This was likely a refurb and didn't get cleaned entirely. Because that's the case, it may be missing the stock recovery, which is no skin off your back so long as the recovery partition wasn't compromised in some way which would be highly unlikely in my opinion.

    edit: forgot you said you could get to recovery via adb so yeah, i'm not sure why the hard key combo isn't working but it wouldn't concern me personally.

    So if it were my phone, I'd be miffed if you bought it "new" but at the same time, I wouldn't be concerned about moving forward with your plan of flashing TWRP via Autorec.
     
    #6 iowabowtech, Jan 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
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  7. Cerberus666

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    Hmm. Perhaps someone else received my phone, tested it but didn't like it, and returned it within a few days, without removing the plastic protective thingies from screen and back and USB port and camera and volume buttons (since the thingies are still on there). I know they will sell the phone to someone else in such cases, but I figured, as long as it works and is in mint condition...refurbished would be worse, I guess. But I tested everything I could think of, GPS, touch screen, sound, battery, games, etc., all fine. I can always return it under warranty if some kind of hardware problem turns up (rooting normally doesn't void your warranty where I live unless the manufacturer can make a reasonable case that the problem is caused by rooting).

    I do in fact have stock recovery: I can boot into it using ADB or Bender_007's widget just fine, and it seems to work. I just can't boot into it using the hardware keys. I'm sure I have held them down correctly in all possible ways and sequences known on the Internet. Maybe it is LG's latest version of the bootloader? So, as you say, the recovery partition seems fine. I guess I will try it now...
     
  8. Cerberus666

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    I have succeeded! I have flashed TWRP through Auto Rec and all is well. And the regular way to boot into recovery works now! Thank you very much for your technical and mental support. I have to admit, when I posted my question here, I had seen a couple of your detailed replies to other people and hoped you might see my question too...

    Now I will ponder flashing a custom ROM. I am not sure yet what the advantages are over stock for this phone. Nor do I know which ROM to pick yet. CM seems to be less popular than it is for the Galaxy Nexus.
     
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  9. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #
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    Good deal. No advice from me on the rom scene, I've been back on stock, rooted for the better part of a year now. But like you, I wanted TWRP for the nand backup and also an adb connection if I ever lose boot for some reason. Good luck!
     
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  10. bberryhill0

    bberryhill0 Android Expert
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    G2 Xposed provided the tweaks I usually flash a custom ROM for.
     
  11. DanDroid

    DanDroid Well-Known Member
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    I'm running the Resurrection Remix 5.2.9 on my D801 (your variant is also available) for a few days now and its pretty solid build.

    ScreenShots

    If you are new to flashing ROM's, just take your time and read, read, read the install instructions. Mine took about 10 minutes to install. There are also tons of videos you can watch on Youtube first, so you can get an idea of what to expect.
     
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LG G2

The LG G2 has a 5.2-inch display with 1080p resolution. It also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel camera, NFC, and more.
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