If you are an Android user who have already done rooting, or planning to root, you have definitely met the word Fastboot. This comes with Android Debug Bridge or ADB when installed. What people know in general is, both of them are set of codes that run through the same command line. Because of this, people get confused with them. They cannot determine the distinction between the two.
Also, another confusion is that the ‘Fastboot mode on an any Android device is often mistaken as the bootloader menu. That’s why this article is going to clear your confusion about the former, and inform you about its uses.
What Is Fastboot?
Fastboot is a protocol on android that allows the user to re-flash partitions. It comes with the Android SDK (Software Development Kit) and is used as an alternative for the recovery mode when doing updates and installations. Some Independent developers are known to enable this mode in a number of their products but some do not allow its users this direct access.
When you have access to this regulated mode, it becomes simple to modify the images of your file system using a computer with a USB connection. It can also be activated on a device prior to Android loading or even in cases, when there is no installation of Android. This is the reason while it is useful for fast-pace updating of the desired firmware by bypassing the recovery mode. In fact, this remains the definitive method of recovery image initial installation.
The process is ready to begin with set up and for CWM flashing, this is the commonest procedure. Any image you end up flashing will not require a specific key and this should prompt you to exercise due care during the process. It is also possible to override kernels and have partitions erased. This explains the need it serves with development of software and hardware solutions in diverse circumstances.
They are generally the same, but its distinct feature from ADB is, its commands take effect when device is only booted in ‘Fasboot mode’ over the bootloader menu. The latter’s take effect in normal boot.
‘Fastboot mode’ (Download Mode) is the state that is intentionally made for the purpose of flashing images and files through commands via PC. Hence, the bootloader is responsible for chain-booting partitions of your device including the said mode. This should be unlocked in able to flash to other partitions.
In conclusion, Fastboot is a tool or set of commands that is used on PC. This set lets you give orders to your device like flashing custom firmware or kernel and recovery images (when bootloader is unlocked), erase cache and data, etc. To be able to take actions from it, you should be booted on ‘Fasboot mode’ and be plugged in to PC.
How To Use Fastboot
So if you are in need of it, especially for rooting, do the process below on how to navigate and use it.
Reminder: This works for all Android versions.
On your PC, install the correct USB Drivers and run it. This will let you update specific drivers for your PC and connect properly without encountering any problems.
Read and follow How to Enable USB Debugging. This is important because without doing this, your device will just be read as a storage drive and not something that can be controlled.
Enter ‘Fastboot mode’:
a. For the duration, hold down the buttons Volume Down and Power.
b. Wait for the screen to turn black. When already shut down, release the Power button only. Keep on holding the Volume Down button.
c. The screen will turn on and you will see that you are now in the bootloader menu. It has white background and white texts on screen. Listed below are different partitions or modes. Use Volume keys to choose ‘Fastboot’ and select it using Power button.
Connect to PC. Download this Fastboot zip file and install it. Go to the installation folder in My Computer > Program Files (x86) or Program Files > Minimal ADB and Fastboot. Inside, press Shift while right clicking. A command option will appear on the pop up selection. Select it and a command window will show.
After doing so, copy and paste this command so that you can backup the Download mode (laf) and be able to restore it if necessary.
“adbshell-su dd if=/dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/laf of=/sdcard/laf.img”
Then, run this command, remove laf and reboot.
You will be rebooted after this and will boot again into fastboot mode.
There you go! Check the video below for more fastboot commands which you need and enter it there. Your warranty will not be void unless you use it to flash custom kernel and root.