Custom Recovery is a replacement to the stock android recovery mode.  In Android, recovery refers to the dedicated, bootable partition that has the recovery console installed. This allows you to perform various low level commands like formatting system, data, cache partition, flash new ROM, etc. Custom recoveries are developed by independent developers. There are a few custom recoveries available like CWM(ClockworkMod recovery), TWRP(Team Win Recovery Project), RecoveryX, etc. All these recoveries need to be flashed onto your rooted android device. One of the most generic methods to flash a custom Recovery is described here.

Here is a complete generic guide for using recovery on your device. For this guide I have used CWM v6.0.1.9 based recovery. A few of these options may not be available on other recoveries.

The list of options that are listed when you boot into recovery are as follows:

  1. reboot system now
  2. install zip from sdcard
  3. wipe data/factory reset
  4. wipe cache partition
  5. backup and restore
  6. mounts and storage
  7. advancedClockworkmod Recovery 6


Now we visit each option idividually:

  1. reboot system now: This option does what it says it Reboots the device back into system.
  2. install zip from sd card: when you select this option a list of options expands which is given as follows:
    1. choose zip from sdcard: this option is used to select a flashable zip from the sd card. It is usually used to flash an MOD, an system app, a custom ROM. This function has the maximum utility amongst all other options.
    2. apply /sdcard/ This is a shortcut method to the above option. It directly flashes a zip that’s named as “”. Before going into recovery you can rename the file you wish to flash to “” to make the flashing process easier.
    3. toggle signature verification: This toggle switch enables/disable the requirement of the flashable zip to be signed by the author or not. If while flashing a zip you get error you can troobleshoot it by disabling signature verification.
  3. wipe data/factory reset: this option does a complete wipe of all apps, data, contacts, etc. This brings your phone back to the state it came out of the box, or in case in custom ROM to the state it was by default. All other apps other than system apps will be deleted. This option doesn’t format sdcard whatsoever.
  4. wipe cache partition: This formats the partition that stores the apps cache. This can be done if apps are running slow and to free up space in internal storage.
  5. backup and restore:
    1. backup: this performs a complete nandroid backup of your device state. It captures a system image along with all apps, data, etc.
    2. restore: this option restores your device to a stable state usiing a previously created backup
    3. delete: this option is used to delete a nandroid backup
    4. advanced restore: this option allows you to do a partial restore of boot/system/data/cache/sd-ext.
  6. mounts and storage: these options are used to mount or format the respective partitoins
    1. mount/unmount cache
    2. mount/unmount data
    3. mount/unmount system
    4. mount/unmount sdcard
    5. mount/unmount sd-ext
    6. format cache: app cache will be formatted
    7. format data: all apps will be formatted
    8. format system: perform this with extreme caution as your ROM will be wiped after formatting system partition
    9. format sdcard: all conent in sdcard will be lost
    10. format sd-ext: all apps in sd-ext will be formatted
    11. mount USB storage: this option can be used to connect the device sdcard to your pc
  7. advanced:
    1. reboot recovery: this will reboot into recovery again
    2. wipe dalvik cache: this option deletes the dalvik cache which enables to reindex your apps and repair any errors that apps have caused.
    3. fix permissions: this is used to fix permissions of system apps and to repair any errors that system apps cause
    4. partition sdcard: this is used to partition your sdcard to create the sd-ext partition in ext2/3/4 formats. A deatailed tutorial can be seen here.
    5. clear battery stats: this is used to delete battery stats on the device. a detailed explaination can be seen here.

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