How to flash a Nexus factory image and install Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

As of January 2017, Android 7.1.1 Nougat is finally available for the Motorola made Google Nexus 6 (Shamu). This will be a quick and concise guide on How to flash a Nexus’ factory image and install Android 7.1.1 Nougat, Build number N6F26R with the February 2017 security patch.

Let’s get started!

Requirements:

  1. A PC running Windows or a Mac.
  2. Android Platform Tools
  3. Android Universal USB Drivers for Windows
  4. Known Good Micro USB Cable or USB Type C (depends of which device is being used)
  5. Android 7.1.1 Nexus factory image

Once you have downloaded the required files, lookup the platform-tools zip and extract it to your Desktop.

Open up a Command Prompt or Terminal window and change directories into what is going to be your working directory.

$ cd Desktop/platform-tools/

Next, copy the Nexus Factory Image zip into the platform-tools directory and extract the files into it. Among those files there will be a “image-shamu-n6f26r.zip”. Extract it to the platform-tools directory as well.

Having done so, you should have the following component files at a glance:

  1. bootloader-shamu-moto-apq8084-72.01.img
  2. radio-shamu-d4.01-9625-05.44+fsg-9625-02.115.img
  3. recovery.img
  4. boot.img
  5. userdata.img
  6. system.img
  7. cache.img
  8. adb.exe
  9. fastboot.exe

If you do not see one or any of these, retrace your steps as these are needed in order to proceed.

Go to the Settings menu > About phone > Build number. Tap on the Build number 7 times until it says “You are now a Developer”.

Next, go to the now available Developer Options and Enable:

  1. USB Debugging
  2. OEM Unlocking (very important)

The process requires you to unlock the bootloader.

This will wipe all user data.

Ensure you have a recent backup and copy of all your important data.

Doing this may void your warranty.

Check that your device is properly connected to the Android debug bridge (A.D.B) by running:

$ .\adb devices

1-adb-devices

If you are on a Mac, the commands begin with a dot forward slash ./ instead.

If you see your device, we’re doing good. Otherwise, make sure you have the Android Universal USB Drivers installed correctly.

Reboot to the bootloader menu:

$ .\adb reboot-bootloader

2-adb-reboot-bootloader

Check that your device is properly connected to fastboot:

$ .\fastboot devices

3-fastboot-devices

Unlock the bootloader:

$ .\fastboot oem unlock

A bootloader unlock confirmation page will appear. Tap Volume Up to highlight “Yes,” and Power to select it.

Your phone will then be erased and the bootloader unlocked. Shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.

Once that is done, you should be on the bootloader screen showing “Start.”

Onto the good part…

$ .\fastboot devices

Flash the bootloader image:

$ .\fastboot flash bootloader "path-to/bootloader.img"

4-fastboot-flash-bootloader5-fastboot-flash-bootloader

Reboot bootloader:

$ .\fastboot reboot bootloader

6-fastboot-reboot-bootloader

Flash the radio image:

$ .\fastboot flash radio "path-to/radio.img"

7-fastboot-flash-radio

Reboot bootloader:

$ .\fastboot reboot bootloader

Flash the recovery image:

$ .\fastboot flash recovery "path-to/recovery.img"

9-fastboot-flash-recovery

Reboot bootloader:

$ .\fastboot reboot bootloader

Flash the boot image:

$ .\fastboot flash boot "path-to/boot.img"

11-fastboot-flash-boot

Reboot bootloader:

$ .\fastboot reboot bootloader

Erase user data:

$ .\fastboot erase userdata

12-fastboot-erase-userdata

Wipe and Flash system partition:

$ .\fastboot -w flash system "path-to/system.img"

13-fastboot-flash-system

Reboot bootloader:

$ .\fastboot reboot bootloader

14-reboot-bootloader

Wipe and Flash the cache partition:

$ .\fastboot -w flash cache "path-to/cache.img"

15-fastboot-flash-cache

16-fastboot-flash-cache

Reboot bootloader:

$ .\fastboot reboot bootloader

17-fastboot-reboot-bootloader

Now that we have finished flashing the factory image, reboot the device:

$ .\fastboot reboot

18-fastboot-reboot

This boot will take a while since we just did a clean install of the Operating System (OS).

After the device finishes booting, you will be greeted with the setup menu.

Once you are done setting up, go to Settings menu > About phone…

And you should see Android 7.1.1 (or later, if you use a future image).

android-7-1-1-build-number

Google Nexus 6 running Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Congratulations! You are done.

If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to follow me on Twitter to find out when a new one is available.

Twitter: @giovanni0918
Github: giovanni0918
Website: giovanni-orlando.com

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