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.
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.
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:
- Download the latest 32-bit version of Ubuntu.
- Plug in a 2GB or larger USB flash drive to your PC.
- Download the PenDriveLinux Universal USB Installer and run it to load Ubuntu on your flash drive.
- Unzip the FireKit tools to the root directory of your USB flash drive.
- Reboot your computer.
- 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.