Welcome to the Nexus 5 All-In-One Guide. If you are a new user that is looking for the opportunity to take advantage of your device and do it right the first time, this guide is here to point the way. This thread exists to keep all the necessary methods and material in one common place just for you. As always: Do your homework first.
If followed correctly, this guide can be a useful tool. These steps are listed in the order in which they should be completed. The intent is to seamlessly unlock, root, backup and/or flash, leaving as little room for error as possible. This process will erase and/or reset everything on your device. All steps are assuming you have backed up your contacts, texts, pictures, videos, etc. I do not take credit for any of this material or information. This is all the work of great people that I have simply brought together. Cheers!
Step 1: Read. Read. Succeed.
Your journey down the Android path of rooting and modifying can be smooth, fun and educational, based on your attempt at learning everything you can before you begin. This is entirely up to you, the user. There is some excellent material here on XDA that I highly recommend reading over as part of step 1. Don't skip this information!
A message from the moderators - All users please read
Yep, read it. It's for your own good. Included with some very useful general forum information, it also contains the forum rules which should also be read and understood.
[FAQ][REF]★All you need to know about Android | Read this before you post/root★
This awesome thread by @abaaaabbbb63 is a *noob friendly* collection of information every user that wants to root their phone should know. Many people blindly follow guides without even knowing what "Rooting" means. Hopefully, this will help new users (and old ones, why not?) understand what is happening with their phone, and what they will put up with. Get on over there and read it.
Step 2: Unlocking, Rooting & Custom Recoveries
For those of you who want to get most out of your Nexus 5, you will certainly want to root it. Rooting your device provides you as the user many, many benefits. That's why you're here right now reading this. You want it all. Please note that there is always the chance of error during these processes. Bad or faulty USB cables, USB ports, bad/old device drivers on the computer, an active virus scanner. These are a few of the issues that can cause your device to fail to connect or prohibit a successful root/flash. Use good and original OEM USB cables. Uninstall any drivers you may have installed for Samsung Mobile Devices and disable your virus scanner.
[Nexus 5] CF-Auto-Root
The thread linked here is the work of our beloved @Chainfire. This guide will direct you through the root process. CF-Root is the root for "rooting beginners" and those who want to keep as close to stock as possible. CF-Root is meant to be used in combination with stock firmware and be the quickest and easiest way for your first root.
[GUIDE] Nexus 5 - How to Unlock Bootloader, Install Custom Recovery and Root
This one-stop thread by @Chromium_ will get you setup with the necessary tools like the Android SDK and Nexus 5 drivers while also giving you instructions for unlocking your Nexus 5 bootloader, installing a custom recovery and gaining root access. Don't be afraid of ADB commands. You'll need to begin learning them at some point.
A word on custom recoveries: A recovery image is the system level software for your Android that lets you perform several maintenance and recovery tasks. The stock recovery image is quite limited in what it allows you to do and therefore, flashing a custom recovery image is required to gain full control of your device’s administration. A custom recovery image allows you to perform the following tasks:
- Wipe your phone’s data (Factory reset) and cache
- Make, restore and manage backups of your phone’s operating system and software
- Mount, unmount and format your phone’s internal as well as external storage partitions
- Install a custom ROM or application from a zip file to your phone
- Wipe Dalvik cache and battery statistics
- Make logs for error reporting and debugging
Additionally, you can download the Goo Manager app to install TWRP updates or the Rom Manager app to update your CWM. At this moment, there is no official CWM.
*NOTE: I do not recommend Rom Manager or Goo Manager as a tool to do anything but just install and/or update your recovery Do not flash ROMs from these applications.
STEP 3: Making A Backup
Making a Nandroid will allow you to try out new ROMs while still keeping a safe backup in the event you experience issues during or after a custom OS or kernel installation. Be sure your device is fully charged before proceeding to the backup and flashing procedures.
If you are not already booted into recovery then do so now.
1. Boot into fastboot mode (Volume Down + Power)
2. Browse with the volume keys to Recovery Mode and press the power button
3. You are now in custom recovery.
4. In CWM go to Backup and Restore and select Backup. In TWRP select Backup. Name and select the options you want. Swipe to backup.
5. In TWRP, after the nandroid is finished, select "Name" and create a name for your EFS backup. Deselect everything except for EFS then swipe to backup.
6. After backup is finished, select reboot system now or stay in recovery to continue with this guide.
Optional Step 7: Check out the Modem/EFS thread listed below in Post #2 by @autoprime. Another fast and easy way to back up that EFS.
*NOTE: Be sure to save a copy of these backups to your computer and/or micro sd card. Having a recent backup saved to your computer and micro SD card can be useful if something happens to your phones internal memory.
Step 4A: Wiping Your Device
When flashing any ROM, it is always important to follow the proper wipe procedures in order for everything to function properly. There are various levels of wiping based on what sort of transition you may be making. In this guide, I will list the procedures for a full wipe, presuming that you are coming from the stock firmware and changing your OS completely. This is all assuming you have made the appropriate backups. ALWAYS perform the appropriate wipe before flashing a new ROM or update!
1. If you are not already in recovery, boot in now.
2. Select Wipe data/factory reset
3. Select Wipe Cache
4. Select Advanced and Wipe Dalvik Cache
5. Select Mounts and Storage and format /system
6. If you are transitioning from Android versions (4.4 to 4.x, etc) you must also format /data. You will lose all personal data so back it up first.
2. Select Wipe
3. Select Factory Reset and wipe
4. Select System and wipe
5. If you are transitioning from Android versions (4.4 to 4.x, etc) you must also select Data and wipe. You will lose all personal data so back it up first.
Step 4B: Flashing a Custom ROM
Once you have selected a ROM for your Nexus 5:
1. Download the ROM. Be sure to download the appropriate gapps as well.
2. From your PC, place the ROM/gapps on your internal storage. Remember where they are.
3. Boot into custom recovery.
4. Perform the wipe listed above if you have not already.
5. From the main recovery screen:
>>CWM - Choose the "install .zip from SD Card" and confirm.
>>TWRP - Choose Install and locate the desired ROM on your internal storage.
6. Repeat step 5 and select the gapps package.
7. Reboot system. It will take several minutes to load so be patient and don't worry. Once the phone is booted, let it sit for 5 minutes, reboot and enjoy!