Friday, December 29, 2017

Unbricking the Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet

Bricking a device, particularly on an open platform like Android can happen when even the most seasoned professional makes a slip of the keyboard.

So if you took my advice and bought an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet and you did something horribly wrong to it, causing it not to boot...

Well, here is a way to set it back to factory fresh

01 Download ADB version 1.0.36 or later
I would recommend the clockwork mod code but unbelievably this is at 1.0.35.   So instead

- head to SDK Platform tools
- Download the windows zip file (and I use winrar to extract it)

- I put all the files into 
C:\tofile\20171226 Tablet Root\platform-tools

02 download the Fire OS 5.6 code

750,807,925 update-kindle-

I placed it in the same directory as platform-tools

03 Power off the Tablet

You may need to hold the button for upto 40 seconds

04 Power on in Recovery mode

With the tablet off, now press the power on and volume up button (right part) together, you may then release the power then the volume buttons after the Amazon logo appears and the System recovery Menu is displayed.

Use the Volume buttons to move up and down the menu to select the wipe data/ factory reset and the power button to action

Now power off again and get it back to system recovery once more.

05 Transfer the OS file from PC to Tablet

Use the volume buttons to move to apply update from ADB and then press the power button to action

You get this prompt.  Now time to send the recovery image from the PC

Go into the platform-tools directory which also contains the .bin file

adb sideload update-kindle-

Total xfer: 2.00x

Eventually  (it took me 20 plus minutes)  the tablet reboots

And you are now back.  Personally, I did not select to restore any applications but prefer to start again from scratch.  For this Amazon tablet there is not much to restore, and the Amazon restore option will not restore the Google Play store or the Google Apps anyway, which for me represent the bulk of the configuration.

So there you have it.  
Having this method allows you to be very brave and try out all sorts of potentially OS killing commands

Why Document This?
Android contains 2 other relevant areas apart from the System partition.  These are the bootloader and the recovery partition.

For the Fire Tablet these cannot be changed.  Now if they could be you could install an alternate recovery e.g. TWRP and then you could from that recovery partition backup your whole system (say to a USB key).  Then in the event of a keyboard / brain disaster you could recovery from that backup.

But you can't do this for the Amazon tablet so this above method at least enables you to recover from any catastrophic error albeit at the expense of your time