How To Put Google Ion into Recovery Mode

google-ion-recovery-console-installing-radio-image

Introduction

This document will cover both how to get your Google Ion into Recovery Mode as well as a few other clarifications to HTC’s Google Ion device instructions for installing Android 1.6 that caused me pain during this process.

If you are like me and have an Android device, more specifically the Google Ion Android developer device from the Google I-O conference, then you are likely excited about the Android 1.6 release that is available and want to install it.

I’ve actually been sitting here waiting and rebooting my phone all week thinking that T-Mobile would push that update OTA to me like it did my wife’s phone and all my friend’s Android phones — unfortunately not, if you have a Google Ion phone, you will not get the Android 1.6 update over-the-air from T-Mobile.

So I set out to figure out how to install it myself. Fortunately HTC provides a very specific Google Ion device page showing you how to install different types of platform software on the phone. Unfortunately the page is geared at Android developers and some of the terminology used on the page will be confusing, so I’ll clear it up for us normal folks that just want to update their phone with the new Android OS:

Summary of Page for Normal People

  • Download the “Radio Image” package
  • Download the “Recovery Image” package
  • Read the clarifications below FIRST, so that page and future instructions make more sense.

Once you’ve done that, the rest of the instructions on the page, about installing the Android SDK and using the abd tool all work great except for a few factual omissions that drove me crazy and I’m hoping to save someone their sanity by posting them here.

Don’t Mount as USB Storage

This isn’t specified anywhere, and is self-explanatory for some folks, but not everyone. When you are connecting your device to your computer, ignore the “Mount SD Card as USB storage” prompt on the phone. Leave the phone connected as a normal USB device.

You Probably Need the WinUsb Driver

My install of Windows 7 didn’t see my device when I connected it to my machine. After some digging around online and finding some seriously complicated solutions to getting Windows to load the right Android USB Driver, I found 1 sane users that pointed over to the official “Installing the WinUsb Driver” doc from the Android group — low and behold this worked just fine. I found the Unknown Device in the Windows Device Manager, right-clicked on it, selected Update Driver… and selected the path to the /usb_driver sub-directory under my Android SDK install directory and Windows took care of the rest (found and installed the USB driver).

Booting the Google Ion into Recovery Mode

This was maddening and took me about an hour to figure out. The instructions on HTC’s Google Ion device page specifically say you reboot the phone into Recovery Mode by doing the following:

Reboot the device into recovery mode by holding down the HOME key during reboot. When the device enters recovery mode, it displays a “!” icon.

This is crap — not only is it confusing (e.g. How do I know what phase of startup is considered ‘during reboot‘?), but it’s also wrong.

The correct way to boot your Google Ion into Recovery Mode is as follows:

Thanks to Vladimir Kelman and his insistence that HTC’s instructions made no sense. (Additional Link)

  1. From the desktop, hold down the END/Power-Off button (to bring up the Phone Options menu)
  2. Select the Power off option
  3. Click OK on the Power off confirmation screen
  4. NOW, immediately press the HOME-button and END/Power-Off button together at the same time — the phone’s “Shutting down” screen will continue to show, and you may see your Applications slider pop open in the background, but just keep holding these 2 buttons.
  5. The phone will shutdown like normal, but instead of staying off, it will immediately kick into the that white “Google I-O” boot screen.
  6. After a few more sections, a screen with a “!” inside of a triangle will appear, congratulations, you are in recovery mode. It looks like this:
  7. google-ion-recovery-mode

  8. You can now press HOME-button and END/Power-Off button together to bring up the recovery console — but the rest of the HTC Google Ion device instructions work just fine so you can follow them now.

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About Riyad Kalla

Software development, video games, writing, reading and anything shiny. I ultimately just want to provide a resource that helps people and if I can't do that, then at least make them laugh.

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