New tools for unbricking a Kindle Fire

Kindle Unbrick Utility

Once you’ve rooted an Amazon Kindle Fire and installed the FireFireFire bootloader and TWRP custom recovery, installing custom software such as CyanogenMod 7 or Android 4.0 is incredibly easy. Unfortunately installing TWRP and FireFireFire can be a little bit of a headache — especially if you’re using a Windows computer.

If I had a nickle for everyone who had sent me a message in the last two months saying their Fire won’t boot past the FireFireFire logo (a yellow triangle with a fire icon), I’d have… a lot of nickels.

For the most part, this happens when your Windows drivers for the Kindle Fire in fastboot mode aren’t installed properly. There are ways to fix the problem, but it sometimes takes a little trial and error.

Fortunately two developers have released new tools designed to take some of the guesswork out of the process.

Kindle Fire Unbrick Utility

This is a Windows application that attempts to help you recover from a few common problems. You can try this tool if:

  • Your Kindle get stuck at the FireFireFire boot logo and doesn’t go any further
  • You can boot into TWRP, but whenever you reboot you end up back in TWRP instead of Android
  • You’ve modified \system\app permissions, wallpapers, themes, or other items

In order to use the utility, you’ll also need to download the Kindle Fire Utility so that you can use some of the included files if necessary.

Update: Starting with version 1.0, there’s a new user-friendly graphical user interface for Kindle Unbrick Utility. It’s a Java-based app, so you’ll need to have Java installed on your Windows PC in order to run the utility.

FireKit LiveUSB repair kit

This tool gets around the Windows driver issue by removing Windows from the equation altogether. Instead, developer pokey9000 has put together a series of tools that work with an Ubuntu Linux LiveUSB so that you can do the following things without even booting into Windows:

  • Install FireFireFire and TWRP when you’re using the default Amazon Kindle Fire 6.2.1 software.
  • If you’re stuck at the boot logo, you can install FireFireFire and TWRP anyway.
  • You can also change the bootmode to normal to reboot into Android when you’re stuck at the boot logo.
  • Restore the stock partition tablet settings.
  • Boot into TWRP even if it’s not installed on your Kindle by using a USB connection to your PC.

You can find more commands at the FireKit LiveUSB repair kit thread in the xda-developers forum.

While this is probably the most powerful solution, it does take a little work to set up properly.

You’ll need to:

  1. Download the latest 32-bit version of Ubuntu.
  2. Plug in a 2GB or larger USB flash drive to your PC.
  3. Download the PenDriveLinux Universal USB Installer and run it to load Ubuntu on your flash drive.
  4. Unzip the FireKit tools to the root directory of your USB flash drive.
  5. Reboot your computer.
  6. Choose to boot from the flash drive instead of your hard drive (by entering the BIOS or boot menu).

Once you’ve done that, you should be running Ubuntu Linux from the USB flash drive and you can follow pokey9000’s instructions for running the Firekit utilities to fix problems with your Kindle Fire.

The nice thing about the LiveUSB method is that you shouldn’t need to install any drivers, and you won’t make any changes to your Windows installation while running Ubuntu — because no data is being written to your hard drive at all.

  • gman

    All these hacking articles? It tells me one thing. Obviously people aren’t satisfied with these devices if they NEED to tweak this, unbrick this, root this. It’s crazy. .05% of the population likely cares or enjoys the perils of rooting or hacking a device. If you get married, it would be like taking your wife to the plastic surgeon the week after. You have to start asking yourself why in the first place.

  • Bdacky

    To some extent that is true, but the whole reason I’m a fan of Android in particular is because I CAN root devices and use different roms.  I think iPhone and WP7 are both good operating systems, but I would get bored using them since they are not hackable.  Any device gets boring after awhile.  Rooting extends that useful life of these devices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Joseph/100000615672314 Paul Joseph

    Wow, so cool.

  • KenInMaine

    So would it be true to say that it would be a safer proposition (though maybe a bit more work) to use Firekit to install FireFireFire and TWRP before trying to root and then use the KFU to root, install the Andriod Market, etc…?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5PHNNLXTCZI43VCUCWDKASC5GI D

    @3314ad1dfcbe8ec3fe9109f1cbb7139d:disqus It’s like having a fast car, but the manufacturer only allows the owner to use 1st gear.  Yeah, it’s a neat car, but I could do so much more with it.  I’m betting you are still a Windows user because you lack imagination of what computing can be.
    And, yes, if I found out that parts of my wife were locked off from our mutual enjoyment, we would be very diligent in finding a solution.

  • AshnWrfre

    I got my kindle fire unbricked after failed rooting. I was stuck at kindle logo. To get windows to install correct driver for kindle, I turned kindle off, restarted windows xp, and just plugged in kindle. Installed driver by selecting android sdk/extras. Once android driver was installed, I ran kindle fire root utilities, selected 1, then 1 again. This is bootmode, and normal. It returned kindle to stock. 1 thing I noticed when root failed was that usb port was not 2.0. I changed it to the back of pc and ran kindle root utilities with option 2 and root worked good. Hope this helps. Turned out I didn’t need unbrick.

  • Anonamus