How to install TWRP 2.0 touch-based recovery on the Kindle Fire (backup, restore, flash custom firmware)

The folks at Team Win have released a new recovery tool for Android devices called Team Win Recovery Project 2.0. It’s an alternative to the popular ClockworkMod Recovery utility, and lets you backup or restore your device, install custom ROMs, or make other changes.

Update: Note that this article was written in 2011 and refers to the original, first generation Amazon Kindle Fire. Do not try to use this method to install TWRP on a Kindle Fire 2, Kindle Fire HD, or Kindle Fire HDX tablet. 

The biggest difference between TWRP 2.0 and ClockworkMod is that is that you can navigate TWRP 2.0 using a touchscreen. That means you don’t need to use volume buttons, home buttons, or power buttons to move through the options.

While that may be a nice feature for many smartphone and tablet users, it’s a must-have for anyone that wants to be able to flash custom firmware on an Amazon Kindle Fire, because that 7 inch tablet doesn’t have volume buttons or a home button. It only has a single button for turning the device on and off.

Xda-developers forum members JackpotClavin and Whistlestop have done some pretty nifty things with that one button, allowing users to install a version of CyanogenMod 7 based on Android 2.3 on the tablet or restore the standard Amazon software. But since those tools rely on a modified version of ClockworkMod, up until now there was no simple way to create a complete backup of your system or quickly switch between different firmware.

I’ve been playing around with TWRP 2.0 for a few hours and I’ve managed to use it to create backups of my Kindle Fire running CyanogenMod 7 and running the stock Amazon software. This allows me to switch between operating systems relatively quickly and easily. I also wiped my system and re-installed CyanogenMod from scratch.

Installing TWRP 2.0 can be a bit of a pain and while it’s difficult to actually leave your tablet in a complete unbootable state, it is easy to make the tablet appear unbootable. If you don’t know your way around adb, fastboot, and other Android developer tools you may want to hold off on installing TWRP for now.

But if that doesn’t scare you, here’s how to install TWRP 2.0 on a Kindle Fire if you’re using a computer running Windows.

Update 12/19/2011 The steps listed below are the original method for installing TWRP…. the hard way. It’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with them in case anything goes wrong. But you can find another recommended method at RootzWiki or better yet, just follow the steps from the TWRP website for installing the latest version of the team’s custom recovery. As of April, 2013, that would be TWRP 2.5.

There’s also now a much easier way to install TWRP. Just download and run  the Kindle Fire Utility on a Windows PC and use the option to download and install TWRP 2.0 automatically. 

Also note that this article was written in 2011 and pertains only to the first-generation Kindle Fire. If you have a Kindle Fire 2 or a Kindle Fire HD, you’ll need to find appropriate software for installing a custom ROM on those devices. 

Now on to the original, long-form instructions.

————————————————————————-

If you follow the steps you’ll end up replacing the bootloader and the recovery on the tablet.

1. Root your Kindle Fire using SuperOneClick and make sure adb is enabled.

2. Download the latest version of FireFireFire, a custom recovery tool for the Kindle Fire.

3. Unzip the utility and copy the u-boot.bin file to the directory where you have adb installed. For instance, c:\androidsdk\

4. Download the twrp-blaze.2.0.0RC0.img, which is the version of TWRP 2.0 for the Kindle Fire.

5. Copy that file to the same directory (such as :\androidsdk\)

6. Open a command prompt by opening the Start Menu and typing “cmd” and pressing enter.

7. Navigate to c:\androidsdk\ or whatever directory you’ve placed your files in by entering “cd c:\androidsdk\” or the appropriate directory.

8a. Make sure your tablet is connected to your computer with a USB cable.

8b. Optional: type “adb devices” to make sure your Kindle Fire is connected and adb is functioning properly. If this works, you should see a listing for your device.

9. Copy the two files to your Kindle SD card by entering the following commands and pressing enter after each:

  • adb push u-boot.bin /sdcard/
  • adb push twrp-blaze-2.0.0RC0.img /sdcard/

10. Open an ADB shell and then install the bootloader and recovery by entering the following commands one at a time. Note that if you get a message saying “permission denied,” it means that your tablet hasn’t been rooted properly. Try running SuperOneClick again.

  • adb shell
  • su
  • dd if=/sdcard/twrp-blaze-2.0.0RC0.img of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p5
  • dd if=/sdcard/u-boot.bin of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p2

11. Reboot your device with the following commands.

  • exit
  • adb reboot

That is pretty much it. You should now have FireFireFire installed and TWRP 2.0 will finish installing the first time you enter recovery.

What this means is that when your device reboots, instead of the Kindle Fire logo you should see a yellow triangle with a fire icon in the center. If you do nothing your Kindle should reboot into whatever operating system was running when you started.

If you press and hold the power button for a few seconds when the yellow triangle shows up you should be able to enter TWRP 2.0.

From there you can tap the various options to backup your device, restore your device from a previous backup, flash a new ROM, or flash a different update. For instance, you can install the gApps.zip for CyanogenMod 7 from this menu in order to add support for the Google Android Market and other Google apps.

If you follow a different set of instructions and accidentally get stuck in Fastboot mode (not that this happened to me or anything), meaning you can’t get past the boot logo, I found a set of instructions at xda-developers that could help get past the boot screen.

Warning: If you install TWRP 2.0 and FireFireFire and then try to reboot directly to recovery from CyanogenMod 7 you’ll get stuck in recovery and won’t be able to boot Android. You can avoid this by powering down the tablet instead and just entering recovery by pressing-and-holding the power button for a few seconds when FireFireFire runs.

If you do get stuck in recovery, connect your tablet to your computer, open an adb shell and type

  • idme bootmode 4000
  • reboot

This should get you back to your operating system. If that doesn’t work or adb doesn’t recognize your device, try the xda-developers forum link above which explains how to perform the same action using fastboot rather than adb.

TWRP 2.0 also supports the HP TouchPad, Barnes & Noble NOOK Color, and a number of other phones and tablets.

via xda-developers

Latest Amazon Kindle Fire news and tips:

  • David

    I can verify these directions work perfectly.

    Thanks!

  • http://friendfeed.com/johanhorak johan horak

    Yes. I did my ADB install RootKindleFire.com http://goo.gl/4Etky and I had to use ./adb-mac. At the end I could not reboot from shell. But TWRP pick this up when I repowered my Kindle. Thanks a million. Now to install CyanogenMod 7

    I am not sure where my apks are for those apps I bought. I would like to re-install them.

    • Zacpac2020

      have you tried /data/app/ ?

  • http://friendfeed.com/johanhorak johan horak

    Hi I wonder if you can help? I tried to re-install Titanium Back up via file explorer and then when I reboot the system goes back into TWRP without me pressing the button. Meaning that I cannot get out of TWRP.

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Sounds like you’re stuck booting into recovery mode. Try firing up the Kindle Fire Utility from the link above and using it to change the bootmode to 4000, normal. 

      • http://friendfeed.com/johanhorak johan horak

        Hi Brad that’s it. I did a few searches and found the fix you mentioned here http://rootzwiki.com/topic/12363-how-to-windows-install-twrp-20-on-your-kindle-fire/page__pid__314602__st__30#entry314602

  • Doug Mason

    So it seems plenty of people have trouble getting OUT of TWRP, but I can’t get IN to TWRP. I followed the instructions at the link in the OP, and I assume they worked because when I boot up my Fire I know see a yellow triangle with a flam telling me to hit the power button to boot into recovery. But when I hit the power button it turns amber and then nothing happens…it just sits there for a while but never goes into TWRP. Eventually, when I get tired of waiting I hold the power button for 10 seconds or so to power it off and then turn it back on, and so long as I don’t hold the power button in, it boots up into the main OS just fine, but no TWRP…help?

    • Ajaykrish 56

      I am having the same problem can u help…..??

    • Jass Seljamaa

      Same here.

  • shannon anthony

    FYI, I am total noob at this kind of thing. 

    Two things I discovered. 

    1) I could not make step 9 work with the command prompt.  It’s a lot easier to just drag/drop from the computer hard drive to the Kindle (via usb cable with Windows).  Just saying.

    2). It is probably important for everyone to know that the “dd” command line is not available in some Windows systems (I am running Windows 7).  Discussed here:

    http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/dell-mini-10v-mac-os-x-discussion/17940-help-dd-command-not-recognized.html

    You can download .exe here: http://www.chrysocome.net/downloads/dd-0.5.zip

    I found that it only worked when I had the dd .exe cmd window open while I was cutting/pasting the command prompts in step 10.

    Other than that, THANK YOU. I was not able to get the Kindle Utility to do anything productive and have been working on this for about 24 hours.  Just need to flash Cyanogen now.  Wish me luck.

  • Zacpac2020

    EVERYONE WHO IS HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE DD COMMANDS!!!!!!!!!!!

    make sure you have market installed
    search terminal emulator
    download the app
    run all of the commands here!!!!

    IT WORKS!!!

    • Aaron Aarons

      The dd commands run on the Kindle itself, as part of the built-in linux on the Kindle that includes the dd command.  When you type ‘adb shell’ on the computer, you’re just using your other computer as a terminal for the Kindle computer. You need to be careful, though, that you are typing in response to the Kindle shell’s prompt, rather than your computer’s command-line prompt, which gets confusing if both use the ‘#’ and/or ‘$’ symbols as the prompt.

  • Bencox1

    command prompt cannot find my kindle any ideas

  • Khanh Hoang
  • ugh

    Before anyone does this who has a HD or 2:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1928866

    First you have to unlock the bootloader before proceeding. I would but my device is hard bricked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1720227949 Albert Ponic Ninyeh

    I tried the manual procedures, but after i entered the below commands, My kindle does not power on anymore. I tried pushing the power button for sometime but it did not work, i tried a different charger and a cable but still no success.And also as at the time i tried to install which was yesterday the img file which you did say we should download (twrp-blaze.2.0.0RC0.img) has a different file name on the site which is (openrecovery-twrp-2.3.1.1-blaze.img)

    adb shell

    su

    dd if=/sdcard/twrp-blaze-2.0.0RC0.img of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p5

    dd if=/sdcard/u-boot.bin of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p2

    11. Reboot your device with the following commands.

    exit

    adb reboot

    Your Help is mush appreciated. Thank You

  • icke46

    My kindle does not power on anymore. Can you help me?

    • Daniele

      I have the same problem. I copied the two files in sdcard and then when I left the two commands, restart the kindle no longer lights. Do you have any suggestion?.

    • mojo

      same please help him

  • http://www.facebook.com/Funkyguy189 Marcus LAlivel

    this shit didnt work it broke my device !! dont do this everyone it does not work it will break your device! you have been warned!

  • Chris

    Bricked my device. Not cool.

  • Chris

    Thanks for breaking my Kindle asshole

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      I’m pretty sure I haven’t touched your Kindle, so I’m not sure how I could have bricked it.

      Did you read the whole article? It was written about 18 months ago, and if you follow the links in the updates, you’ll note that I actually don’t recommend following the steps outlined in this post. I recommend using Kindle Fire Utility.

      If you do end up with a tablet that doesn’t boot, you can try the steps at the bottom of the post to jumpstart things… or you can try the Kindle Fire Utility.

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1428428

      It’s also worth noting that since this article was written in 2011, it assumes you’re using a 1st-generation Kindle Fire with its original firmware, since that’s all that was available at the time I wrote this.

      If you have a newer device or newer software, these steps may not work — which is why you may be better off using Kindle Fire Utility or another app that’s more up to date.

  • Rothschild

    ok, so i did this, and my kindle hdx is now bricked, was this not for my kindle?

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      It was not. This was for the first generation Kindle only.