ClockworkMod recovery

Shiny Top asks in the Android Central forums,

I have two Galaxy Nexus phones, bought 3 weeks apart. I have uninstalled Rom Manager from both.

One, when I reboot into recovery, has CWM Recovery version and the other has The 5 version has larger letters and can be controlled by touch or volume and power button. The 6 version can only be controlled by the volume and power buttons. I don't know how to change the version and wonder if anybody can enlighten me. I prefer the 5 version if that matters.

We're glad you asked. There's two ways to install ClockworkMod recovery on your G Nex -- an easy way and a less-easy way. Let's hit the break and have a look at the methods.

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The not-as-easy way, where you learn something

I like to call this the good way. Visit the device specific section of the forums for your particular phone, where you'll find information on how to flash recovery images to your phone. In this case (Galaxy Nexus), you use fastboot. You'll find plenty of information about getting fastboot up and running on your computer, whether it be Windows, Mac, or Linux. This sounds like a chore, but fastboot is an extremely powerful tool, and well worth the "trouble" of setting it up. Read through a bit, then download the appropriate files and follow directions. If you hit a snag, remember two things:

  • It's OK to get stuck. None of us were born with this knowledge, and we all had to learn
  • There are people in the forums who love to help. Let them help you.

Once you have fastboot up and running, head over to the ClockworkMod recovery download page. Decide which version you would like to flash, and download it from the list. Drop the image file you downloaded into the same folder you have fastboot set up in, boot your phone into fastboot, and flash recovery thusly:

fastboot flash recovery [name of recovery file].img

​Use the correct file name, and don't enclose it in brackets. That was done just to make the instructions more clear and universal. You can now reboot into your new recovery.

The easy way

Maybe you don't want to go through setting up fastboot, or are in a hurry and don't have time. As long as you're rooted, this method is perfect. Install, or re-install Rom Manager from Google Play. Open the app, and near the bottom of the page displayed you'll see this.

Rom Manager

Rom Manager uses a utility to flash recovery images while your phone (or tablet) is booted and running. In this section of the app you can choose to flash any older version of ClockworkMod recovery, ClockworkMod Touch recovery, or an alternate recovery. ClockworkMod touch requires an in-app purchase and most folks feel it's worth a few bucks, but for our purposes the last entry is the one you'll need. Tap it, choose a version, and it will flash it for you. When it's finished, you can safely uninstall Rom Manager and your recovery will stay intact.

A word about Rom Manager is in order here. It's a great app, and a really easy way to manage backups and recovery images. But it may not be the best way for your device. Be sure to check and see that Rom Manager and ClockworkMod are working well with your hardware and version before you use it. The forums is a great place to verify that, as well as investigate alternative recovery options, which vary from device to device.


Reader comments

From the Android Forums: Managing recovery versions


rom manager has always managed to mess up recoveries on my nexus s. Its not the most reliable method. Using fastboot is relatively simple and guaranteed to work.

Once you have a recovery you can also flash others using it.

And the difference between interfaces is because the CWM5 version installed on one is the touch version, the CWM6 version isn't. The best thing would be to install CWM6 Touch on both of them. And touch is free as long as you don't use ROM Manager to do it.

For what's it's worth, there's a post going on in the Verizon Galaxy Nexus forums regarding CWM recovery vs TWRP recovery. TWPR is getting a lot more votes as people's prefered recovery. Especially since you have no plan to use ROM Manager, I'd recommend giving TWRP a try.

The "not-as-easy" way instruction are exactly the same except you go to the TWPR site and download the appropriate recovery to flash.

The "easy way" instructions can be accomplished for TWRP using a app called GooManager. It's does basically the same thing as ROM manager, but has a lot less ROMs to choose from. But it will install TWRP automatically for you.

One important point is that any nandroid backups that you've made with CWM work work with TWRP.

The link to the forum discussion is here:

I actually prefer TWPR over CMW. The interface is much easier and I like that you can name your backups and other files while in recovery.

Yeah TWPR has a lot of good features:

Naming backups before you create them
Queuing up multiple zips to flash in succession with 1 press (e.g. ROM, gapps, TitaniumBackup zip)
Touch input on the free version
Automatically showing you common "next" commands

But my favorite thing about TWRP is that is shows you your battery percentage on the top of every screen. It just makes me more comfortable that I'm not going to accidentally let my battery die while in recovery.

And to correct my earlier typo, nandroids made in CWM won't work with TWRP.

Jerry's not "advertising" CWM. The question specifically referenced CWM, not TWRP. It would be kind of dumb to throw in yet another option when the questioner is obviously already confused.

really i didnt like twrp. i dont need all that fancy mumbo jumbo that is in twrp. and dont forget if it wasnt for koush we wouldnt have a recovery to work with or modify. ive had cwm since original droid and havent had any issues.

For certain phones, there is one more way, using the Flash Image GUI app available at the Play Store. Only works on specific models of Samsung and HTC phones though.

I was spoiled by the AmonRA recovery that was available on the Evo 4G. When I switched to the Evo Shift 4G, I was disappointed when I was "stuck" with CWM. I never really had any problems with CWM, but I didn't like how there were 10 "No" options, and only one "Yes" option whenever you wanted to confirm to do something. TWRP gave me back the AmonRA like recovery I missed on my Evo 4G. It's only gotten better from there.

I know for a while, the Epic 4G Touch guys said to not use the CWM Touch recovery, as it was causing bricks on devices.

Koush is an amazing dev, but my money will go to TWRP, until something better comes along, which will probably be awhile.

How do you change from say CWM to TWRP on a AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3, I have installed CWM on my phone and would like to change to TWRP.