ClockworkMod recovery (CWM) is a custom recovery, which you can install on Android devices, this recovery lets you to perform many advanced recovery, restoration and installation. The most famous benefit of this recovery is installation, once you’ve installed this recovery on your Android device, you can install custom ROMs to upgrade your device. Now I’ll give you complete information about Android recovery, ClockworkMod recovery, features. I’ll also tell you that how you can install it, boot into recovery mode, using ClockworkMod for ROM, kernel, apps, theme or mod installation.
Every Android device ship with recovery console, the stock recovery allows you to use some options such as to factory reset your device, to recovery it OS (operating system) using official ROM in zip format. But the custom recovery replaces the stock recovery, after that you have also a plethora of more options to give you a lot more control on your device. Custom recovery allows you to install official ROMs, unofficial ROMs, apps, themes, kernel and so on. It create partition on your device, wipe Dalvik cache and battery stats, fix permissions, perform, manage and restore backups and more.
Mostly people use ClockworkMod (CWM) recovery, mostly people use this recovery to install every custom ROM, a XDA developer Koushik Dutta (Koush) developed it, so say thanks him for this great effort.
Learn How You Can Install ClockworkMod Recovery
To install his recovery first you need to root your device, once you’ve rooted your device you can install it. It’s much easy to install it, we’ve a guide on Learn How-To Install ClockworkMod Recovery on Your Android Smartphones. But in in certain cases, this ROM Manager method will not work. The following scenarios will require alternative installation methods:
- Your device doesn’t have an official version of ClockworkMod recovery released yet but you have found a custom version built by someone else using the ClockworkMod recovery source code.
- Your device does have an official version of ClockworkMod recovery released but there is either a yet-unreleased official version or an unofficial version that you want or need to install instead.
- Your device has some added protection enabled by the manufacturer preventing the automatic ROM Manager method for installing the recovery, as with some Samsung Galaxy S series devices.
- Your device isn’t a native Android device but Android has been ported to run on it and it therefore requires a specialized method for installing ClockworkMod recovery, as with the HTC HD2.
Boot Into ClockworkMod Recovery
After installing this recovery you can easily boot, just open ROM Manager and tap “Reboot Into Recovery”. If you’ve ADB installed on PC, just enable USB debugging mode on device by going to Settings > Applications > Development. Then connect the device to PC using USB cable, open Command Prompt / Terminal window and enter the command.
adb reboot recovery
The methods will not work in many cases, if you can’t boot into Android in the first place due to some problems, or if you’ve HTC HD2 or any device of this kind that doesn’t natively support an Android recovery. There are many solutions, on some Android devices, to enter in recovery mode, turn the device off and reboot it back on while keeping either the ‘Volume Down’ or the ‘Volume-Up’ button pressed, depending on the device. This will enter the bootloader from where you can select Recovery option by navigating to it with the Volume key and entering it with the ‘Power’ key. On some other device specially on Galaxy S series, must keep both the ‘Volume-Up’ and ‘Home’ keys pressed while powering on the device, to directly enter recovery.On HTC HD2, to enter in recovery mode, just turn the device off, and reboot by holding power key till you see the MAGLDR bootloader’s menu and finally selecting the ‘AD Recovery’ option.
You’ve CWM up and running it on your Android device, now I’ll tell you about its features, we are using Nexus S running ClockworkMod recovery 22.214.171.124 but details should apply on other Android devices and 3+ versions. This is what you see after rebooting deice into recovery mode:
Navigate these options by using the Volume-Up and Volume-Down keys to highlight an option and the ‘Power’ key to enter/launch the highlighted option on most Android devices. On devices equipped with a trackball or an optical track pad such as G1, G2, Nexus One, HTC Desire etc., the trackball or track pad can be used for navigation and clicking it can be used to enter/launch the selected option. Let’s review each of these options and their sub-menu options in detail.
- reboot system now
This one is self-explanatory.
- apply update from sdcard
This can be used for installation of any official or unofficial update, ROM, kernel, theme etc. that is in a zip format installable from recovery, as long as the file is named update.zip and it has been placed on the root of your SD card (i.e. not in any sub-folder). Selecting this option (and most of the options featured below) will bring up a rather annoying confirmation prompt but this has saved us on multiple occasions from a lot of trouble we would have been into due to accidental key presses. This is what we are talking about:
- wipe data/factory reset
This option wipes all user data on the device as well as cache. Doing this will leave your phone in the state it was in when you bought it or when any custom ROM was first installed. It will also wipe any sd-ext partition that you might have setup (more on this later).
- wipe cache partition
Wipes the cache partition of the device to clear all the data accumulated there over use. This is often used before installing a new ROM, app, kernel or any similar mod via recovery.
- install zip from sdcard
This option brings up the following sub-menu:
- apply /sdcard/update.zip
This one is essentially the same as the ‘apply update from sdcard’ option of the main menu.
- choose zip from sdcard
Lets you install any zip file (with any name) from any location on your SD card. The file can be for a ROM, a kernel, an application, a theme or any mod as long as it is in recovery-flashable zip format. This is the most widely used option for installing a ROM that you have downloaded and copied to your SD card. Entering this option will bring up a screen that will allow you to browse your SD card for the zip file and select it for installation.
- toggle signature verification
Turns the signature verification on and off. When signature verification is on, you will not be able to install any custom ROMs that haven’t been signed by the developers (most custom ROMs aren’t signed). Switching it off skips the signature verification check and proceeds with the installation.
- toggle script asserts
Seldom-used option for a vast majority of users. It simply turns script asserts on or off. If you don’t know about these (we don’t), it’s best not to change this option.
- +++++Go Back+++++
Takes you back to the main recovery menu, obviously!
- backup and restore Undoubtedly one of the most important features provided by a custom recovery, the backup and restore feature – also known as Nandroid backup – allows you to take a snapshot of your phone’s entire internal memory including all partitions, and save it on the SD card.
Takes a Nandroid backup, as explained above.
Lets you restore a previously taken backup. Entering this option presents you with a list of existing backups from the SD card that you can choose from for restoration.
- Advanced Restore
This option is similar to the Restore option but once a backup has been selected to be restored, this option allows you to choose what parts of it to restore. You can choose to restore the boot, system, data, cache and sd-ext partitions.
- mounts and storage
Allows you to perform maintenance tasks on all the internal and external partitions of your android device
- mount/unmount /system, /data, /cache, /sdcard or /sd-ext
These options let you toggle between mounting or unmounting these respective partitions. Most users don’t need to change these options.
- format boot, system, data, cache, sdcard or sd-ext
These let you directly format any of these partitions. Take extreme care with this option as formatting any of these partitions will result in losing all data on them, especially the boot and system partitions. Formatting the system partition will remove your ROM and leave your phone without an operating system while wiping the boot partition may brick your phone unless you restore or flash another one before rebooting your device. To learn more about the contents of all these partitions, see our guide to Android partitions.
- mount USB storage
Lets you enable USB mass storage mode for your SD card right from recovery so that you can connect it to your computer via USB and transfer any files to/from it without having to leave recovery.
This section contains a few options most users will not require, though these can come handy quite often, especially wiping Dalvik cache, which is required before most ROM installations. There are the options.
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