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[HOW-TO] The Nexus 6 All-In-One Beginner's Guide

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By xBeerdroiDx, Senior Member on 21st November 2014, 04:36 PM
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Welcome to the Nexus 6 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 guide is a compilation of work from across XDA, most specifically users like @Chainfire and @Chromium, that I have simply brought together.


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. Even though these 2 informational links were written for the Nexus 5, the knowledge still applies so 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.

Be sure to checkout Post #2 below for additional information regarding your Nexus 6


Step 2: Installing The Necessary Desktop Tools

ADB and Fastboot Installation
  1. Download the full Android SDK here (scroll to the bottom of the page>DOWNLOAD FOR OTHER PLATFORMS>SDK Tools Only).
  2. Extract the zip and place the android-sdk-windows folder on your desktop.
    **If you chose to download the slimmed sdk skip to step 5**
  3. Only if you downloaded the full sdk: Go into the android-sdk-windows folder and run SDK Manager.exe. Install the following packages (there are a total of 4 packages):
    - Tools > Android SDK Tools, Android SDK Platform-tools
    - Extras > Android Support Library, Google USB Driver

  4. Only if you downloaded the full sdk: Go back into the android-sdk-windows directory, and you should see a new folder named platform-tools. If you don't see this new folder, repeat the step above.
  5. To confirm that it is indeed working, open a command prompt window and enter the following commands:
    Code:
    cd Desktop/android-sdk-windows/platform-tools
    adb version
    If it displays "Android Debug Bridge version x.x.xx" it is working. If it is gives an error saying that adb is not a recognized command, it has not been successful. Carefully repeat the steps above if this is the case. Close the command prompt window when you are done.

Step 3: Unlock, Root & Custom Recovery

For those of you who want to get most out of your Nexus 6, 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 previous mobile devices and disable your virus scanner.

>>>>>>Before you begin, make sure your N6 has USB Debugging Mode switched on<<<<<<
Before continuing, users must enable Developer Options in the devices settings and select the OEM Unlock option. To do so:


- Go into Settings
- Under About Phone, you'll be able to locate your Build Number
- Tap Build Number until you are notified that you have activated Developer options
- Go into Developer Options, ensure it is enabled and check the Enable OEM Unlock box
- While in Developer Options, ensure the USB Debugging box is checked

Unlock The Bootloader
  • Turn the phone off. Then boot it into the bootloader/fastboot mode by holding volume down + power.

  • Plug the phone into your PC, then open a command prompt window window and type:
    Code:
    cd Desktop/android-sdk-windows/platform-tools
    Code:
    fastboot devices
    This command will list the connected devices. If your phones serial number shows up you are good to go and may continue. If the phone is NOT listed this indicates that your drivers are not installed correctly. In order for you to continue you must fix your drivers so that your phone is listed under fastboot devices.

  • If the phone has been recognized by the command above, proceed to unlocking the bootloader with the following command:
    Remember that this step will wipe EVERYTHING off the phone
    Code:
    fastboot oem unlock
    On the phone a screen should pop up asking whether or not you would like to unlock the bootloader. Use the volume rockers to highlight "Yes" then press power to confirm the action.

  • After the above command has finished executing, run the following (DO NOT skip this step, it is more important than you think):
    Code:
    fastboot reboot
    The phone will reboot. Next you will be presented with a screen containing an android logo and a progress bar (this may take up to ten minutes to complete). Wait until the phone has fully booted up into android, then proceed onto the next section of the guide.

  • Close the command prompt window.

Obtain Root
The instructions below and the zip file are the work of our beloved @Chainfire. 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.

- Download the ZIP file
- Extract the ZIP file
- Boot your device in bootloader/fastboot mode. Usually this can be done by turning your device off, then holding VolUp+VolDown+Power to turn it on.
- Connect your device to your computer using USB

- Windows:
--- Run root-windows.bat

- Linux
--- chmod +x root-linux.sh
--- Run root-linux.sh

- Mac OS X
--- chmod +x root-mac.sh
--- Run root-mac.sh

Follow the on-screen instructions - watch both the computer and the device!

**If you want to have root access only you can stop here.**



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.
*NOTE: I do not recommend Rom Manager as a tool to do anything but just install and/or update your recovery Do not flash ROMs from this application.

Installing A Custom Recovery

Go HERE to download the latest TWRP recovery for the Nexus 6.
  • Turn the phone off. Then boot it into the bootloader/fastboot mode by holding volume down + power.

  • Rename the recovery file that you downloaded above to recovery.img. *Make sure that you rename it to recovery.img NOT recovery.img.img* Remember that you should place the file in the platform-tools folder inside of the android-sdk-windows folder on your desktop.

  • Open command prompt and run the following commands:
    Code:
    cd Desktop/android-sdk-windows/platform-tools
    Code:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  • On the phone, use the volume buttons to scroll onto "Restart Bootloader" and hit power to select it. After the bootloader reloads, use the volume buttons to scroll onto "Recovery Mode" and power to select it. You should then be greeted with your newly installed custom recovery.
  • Close the command prompt window.


STEP 4: 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, go to Backup and proceed to the next step(s).
6. After backup is finished, select reboot system now or stay in recovery to continue with this guide.


*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 5A: 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.

In CWM:
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.

In TWRP:
2. Select Wipe
3. Select Factory Reset and wipe
4. Select System and wipe
5. If you are transitioning from Android versions (5.0 to 5.x, etc) you must also select Wipe Data and wipe. You will lose all personal data so back it up first.


Step 5B: Flashing a Custom ROM

Once you have selected a ROM for your Nexus 6:

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!
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21st November 2014, 04:36 PM |#2  
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>>Additional Information

Want the performance boost available with disabling forced encryption? Check out @bbedward's guide linked below for more information and instructions.
[How-To] Disable Forced Encryption

Running Windows 8.x and having device detection issues? Be sure to grab the Google USB drivers and follow the instructions from the link below.
Nexus 6 Driver (ADB, Fastboot and MTP) for Windows and MAC

Need to return your Nexus 6 to stock for resale, OTA or warranty purposes?
Checkout @Mr hOaX's excellent guide. The procedures require the use of the fastboot tool from the Android SDK. See post #1 above for information on installing this if you have not done so already. In his guide, you have the option of returning completely to stock or select specific portions to flash (radio, recovery, etc).
[Guide][How To] Flash Factory Images For Nexus 6

Looking for stock recovery? If you need to revert to stock to receive an OTA, here's the LRX22C Android recovery:
Unzip the image and flash per the norm in fastboot.
recovery.zip
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21st November 2014, 05:01 PM |#3  
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Maybe I missed it while skimming the guide, but shouldn't there be instructions for people to get Developer Options? Allowing the PC access to your phone on first plug in (ADB won't discover the device without this)? And, most importantly for Nexus 6 (and 9), checking the "OEM Unlock" option in Developer Options?
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21st November 2014, 05:19 PM |#4  
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Added. Thanks for catching that, @Kusanagi Fire
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21st November 2014, 08:01 PM |#5  
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I was just wondering but where are there custom ROMs? Im assuming there are none, but I cant get many things to work
21st November 2014, 08:11 PM |#6  
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Thanks for all the great info! Would it be possible to add information about removing encryption to this guide?
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21st November 2014, 09:40 PM |#7  
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welp,I got the phone in the mail yesterday and had plans to stay completely stock for a couple weeks,but just couldn't help myself,grabbed the chainfire and twrp files with this guide unlocked bootloader/rooted/ installed custom recovery so here we go ...made my first nandroid already
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21st November 2014, 10:13 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogus83

Thanks for all the great info! Would it be possible to add information about removing encryption to this guide?

i'll think about it.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/nexu...-root-t2946715
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22nd November 2014, 06:16 AM |#9  
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So if all I do is unlock the bootloader and root, I can still receive OTAs directly?

Sent from my Moto X using Tapatalk
22nd November 2014, 07:12 AM |#10  
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Are the steps the same for a mac?
22nd November 2014, 04:38 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotsoot

So if all I do is unlock the bootloader and root, I can still receive OTAs directly?

Sent from my Moto X using Tapatalk

yup, but you may lose root and your bootloader may be re-locked if they push a bootloader update with it. just fyi.
the likely (hopefully) worst case is likely that you you have to unlock it again (thus wiping your data) and you have to re-setup the phone and re-root.

i cant guarantee success or failure so you assume all risk when you begin ANY modifications on your device.
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