Fire TV 3 (needle/stark): TWRP

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retyre

Senior Member
Jan 14, 2011
280
302
Central FL
Disclaimer: If you go through with this and encounter issues, I (or the others here) will try to help you, but the risk is all yours.

I see a few posts mentioning TWRP for the AFTV3, so here it is for the pendant (needle): link. Extract twrp.img from the archive, copy it to /sdcard, and flash as follows:
Code:
adb shell
su
dd if=/sdcard/twrp.img of=/dev/block/recovery

Note: You will need a Y (OTG) cable to connect a mouse and/or a keyboard.

I have tested this on the pendant (needle), but it should also work for the cube (stark).

You can also boot or flash this from fastboot (reboot bootloader or run from aml_reboot in the root thread) if you so desire.

To enter recovery from a terminal running on the AFTV3:
Code:
reboot recovery

To enter recovery from ADB:
Code:
adb reboot recovery

For those interested, here's what I did:
-- Rather than build from scratch, I used an existing TWRP for Amlogic's S905X as the base. Quite a few of them are here.
-- You can't just use a random TWRP and expect it to work on the AFTV3 (due to hardware and partition mismatch). I first replaced (and repacked) the ramdisk with that from needle's boot image (using magiskboot).
-- While TWRP booted up, USB OTG was absent. Without OTG, TWRP is not of much use (w/o OTG, I used openrecoveryscript as a workaround). Turns out the random TWRP images lack the correct USB modules. I extracted the correct modules from the AFTV3, copied them to the TWRP image, and everything works.

If something doesn't work, please post here.
 
Last edited:

Michajin

Senior Member
Oct 23, 2012
1,230
480
Great job, i flashed it from fastboot.
adb reboot bootloader (or install a app that will reboot into bootloader)
fastboot flash recovery C:\(this TWRP version)
Seems to be functional.

the old Firestick 1's you could control the mouse from a adb shell. I dont know how to make that functional for those without a OTG.
 
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puppinoo

Senior Member
Jun 14, 2008
164
30
That's really a great job. As stated here: https://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=78958467&postcount=165 I (hopefully soft) bricked my pendant trying to install Google services. Now it just reboot at the white amazon logo. Ordered a OTG cable to test TWRP but was trying random versions. Now this confirmed woirking version is a life saver to me. Now I just have to find a way to remove the offending google service apk.

Thanks again.
 
Last edited:

puppinoo

Senior Member
Jun 14, 2008
164
30
Sorry to bother again.
I still have my pendant in bootloop (bad google service installation).
Tried OTG cable but using it doesnt let me go in fastboot mode and I dont know how to navigate in recovery without it.
Since now the pendant is rooted and can recover OTA files maybe my next attempt could be to try to find a .bin rom file and flash it using fastboot?
If so does anyone know if there is such a file yet (pre rooted version should be great)?

Thanks.
 

2WhlWzrd

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2016
104
28
Does anyone know where to get the updated firetv3 roms? with TWRP now i would like to attempt updates.

None available yet, but there are a couple of methods by which we may obtain them.
The first one has some risk involved. you would have to re-enable OTA updates and allow the device the check for and download the current version
and then again disable the OTA update apps. Then pull a copy of the update from the device before clearing the cache.
I have noticed that as long as the device is busy, say running a sideloaded app, it will not initiate a downloaded update.
The second is dependent upon if the individual will help us. There is a member on this forum who has modified the DeviceSoftwareOTA.apk for OS 5
that allowed update check and download to stay enabled because the installation procedure was removed from the APK. So you could simply pull the
update from the cache at any time. I will pull a copy from OS 6 and post it today and see if he would be willing to assist.

I'm with you, I'd like to update mine as well after seeing some of the changes that have been posted.
 
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Michajin

Senior Member
Oct 23, 2012
1,230
480
None available yet, but there are a couple of methods by which we may obtain them.
The first one has some risk involved. you would have to re-enable OTA updates and allow the device the check for and download the current version
and then again disable the OTA update apps. Then pull a copy of the update from the device before clearing the cache.
I have noticed that as long as the device is busy, say running a sideloaded app, it will not initiate a downloaded update.
The second is dependent upon if the individual will help us. There is a member on this forum who has modified the DeviceSoftwareOTA.apk for OS 5
that allowed update check and download to stay enabled because the installation procedure was removed from the APK. So you could simply pull the
update from the cache at any time. I will pull a copy from OS 6 and post it today and see if he would be willing to assist.

I'm with you, I'd like to update mine as well after seeing some of the changes that have been posted.

Would the update fail anyway if I replaced Amazon recovery with TWRP?
 

Michajin

Senior Member
Oct 23, 2012
1,230
480
No, TWRP would be over written by an OTA update.

you sure about that? i just screwed up and was rooting my "tanks" and forgot to update one. Then i took the update, it ran the amazon update though open recovery TWRP and updated. Booted without issues, i know its a firestick2, but almost thinking i should test on a pendant...
 

2WhlWzrd

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2016
104
28
you sure about that? i just screwed up and was rooting my "tanks" and forgot to update one. Then i took the update, it ran the amazon update though open recovery TWRP and updated. Booted without issues, i know its a firestick2, but almost thinking i should test on a pendant...

There is a difference between writing outside of TWRP and with TWRP, it's hard to overwrite something that's doing the writing.
If you read in the first post of the tank rooting thread, the author explicitly states: "Only ever flash boot/recovery images using TWRP",
anything outside of that will not be root aware. Better to be safe, than sorry.
 

puppinoo

Senior Member
Jun 14, 2008
164
30
Hi,
I was able to recover my Pendant using a finally working OTG cable and using mouse with your TWRP and finally delete the offending google.gsm app so thanks a lot for that.
The only thing I noticed is that adb doesn't work for me once booted into TWRP (I wanted to use adb backup to backup bigger partitions directly to my PC). Is that just my issue or it's happening for everyone?

Thanks.
Pino.
 
Last edited:

Michajin

Senior Member
Oct 23, 2012
1,230
480
anyone have interest in the update files? If i turn on my update, download the update, but before rebooting copy the .bin file to a different folder, delete from the cache folder then disable updates again. I can share the file if anyone wants it to see if we can modify to keep root and update? I am thinking i might download it, move it and change it to a .zip, then reboot into TWRP. Flash the update and flash magisk before a reboot. Anyone have thoughts about risk of a BRICK?
 

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  • 4
    Disclaimer: If you go through with this and encounter issues, I (or the others here) will try to help you, but the risk is all yours.

    I see a few posts mentioning TWRP for the AFTV3, so here it is for the pendant (needle): link. Extract twrp.img from the archive, copy it to /sdcard, and flash as follows:
    Code:
    adb shell
    su
    dd if=/sdcard/twrp.img of=/dev/block/recovery

    Note: You will need a Y (OTG) cable to connect a mouse and/or a keyboard.

    I have tested this on the pendant (needle), but it should also work for the cube (stark).

    You can also boot or flash this from fastboot (reboot bootloader or run from aml_reboot in the root thread) if you so desire.

    To enter recovery from a terminal running on the AFTV3:
    Code:
    reboot recovery

    To enter recovery from ADB:
    Code:
    adb reboot recovery

    For those interested, here's what I did:
    -- Rather than build from scratch, I used an existing TWRP for Amlogic's S905X as the base. Quite a few of them are here.
    -- You can't just use a random TWRP and expect it to work on the AFTV3 (due to hardware and partition mismatch). I first replaced (and repacked) the ramdisk with that from needle's boot image (using magiskboot).
    -- While TWRP booted up, USB OTG was absent. Without OTG, TWRP is not of much use (w/o OTG, I used openrecoveryscript as a workaround). Turns out the random TWRP images lack the correct USB modules. I extracted the correct modules from the AFTV3, copied them to the TWRP image, and everything works.

    If something doesn't work, please post here.
    3
    Here is the file if anyone wants to look at it. I am considering flashing if from TWRP, then flashing twrp again after it and then magisk. Anyone have thoughts? i am thinking high chance of boot loops!

    Even if TWRP is able to flash it, I would not recommend doing so without editing the update script (read the script to find out what it does).

    I converted your file to a system image. Download this file, extract system.img, copy it to /sdcard or usb-otg, and write it in TWRP:
    -- Boot to TWRP.
    -- Open Terminal in Advanced and:
    Code:
    dd if=/path/to/system.img of=/dev/block/system
    This will take a few minutes (perhaps more if reading from usb-otg).
    -- Once complete, reboot and wait for the system to boot up.
    2
    In the process now, made a good backup external to get the space. Questions though, will it wipe data? Do i immediately need to block updates if it does boot?

    No and no. This is just the system partition (your data and settings will remain the same) that lets you upgrade to 6.2.6.0.
    2
    ... i don't want to not bother people...

    In that case, go ahead.

    You're converting a sparse image. If you are comfortable with command-line tools, use sdat2img.

    If you want a fancier tool, do a Google search for "convert dat img" and look at something called Auto Tool v3.0. Edited out the link thanks to XDA censoring.
    2
    I have been trying to capture the update without success. You should also be able to get the update url from the logcat once it starts to download.
    Code:
    # logcat > ota.txt
    Then examine ota.txt for the download url. I believe it needs to be the full package to flash successfully.
    If you do download it, after disabling com.amazon.device.software.ota and pulling or moving the file, run:
    Code:
    # rm -f /cache/*.bin
    # rm -f /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files/*.bin

    We may want ask retyre to weigh in on flashing through TWRP. Since he provided the recovery image.
    I'm not sure if all versions of TWRP patch boot/recovery on the fly when flashing a update.

    I tried it. It said it was downloaded and would install during idle time, etc... I looked for the .bin files in both locations, nothing was there? i rebooted into TWRP and looked from its file manager, nothing was there? I rebooted system, then disabled updates. You will have to help me with the logcat command, is that from a adb shell?

    I dont understand where it was downloading to?

    *UPDATE* i found it in /data/ota_package/
    update-kindle-needle-NS6260_user_1840_0002047291524.bin
    Saving to offline disk now...

    ---------- Post added at 12:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:34 AM ----------

    I tried it. It said it was downloaded and would install during idle time, etc... I looked for the .bin files in both locations, nothing was there? i rebooted into TWRP and looked from its file manager, nothing was there? I rebooted system, then disabled updates. You will have to help me with the logcat command, is that from a adb shell?

    I dont understand where it was downloading to?

    *UPDATE* i found it in /data/ota_package/
    update-kindle-needle-NS6260_user_1840_0002047291524.bin
    Saving to offline disk now...

    Here is the file if anyone wants to look at it. I am considering flashing if from TWRP, then flashing twrp again after it and then magisk. Anyone have thoughts? i am thinking high chance of boot loops!

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s-7Ybpb70xdGnqTT3FTOmI78l5Nz5F8y
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