One of the greatest advantages of owning a Nexus handset is that it comes with the regular availability of factory images which can be used in returning the handset to its factory state. If you toss on a ROM or root your smartphone a bit too much, you can find yourself looking for a last resort for saving your smartphone. Fortunately, a factory image can easily do that for you. You may also need to clean your smartphone because you are totally done with it or need to resell it. A factory image can also do that.

Google has already released its final version of Android Nougat on its devices that comes with many incredible features including built-in data saver, a redesigned notification panel, multi-window support, and more.

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If Android Marshmallow was more about enhancing the user experience, the Android Nougat beta version is all about great new features. The beta version of Android Nougat is accompanied by factory images for the compatible Nexus and Pixel devices. The company has already started releasing OTA updates on its handset, however, if your handset is yet to get a factory image, you can flash the factory image on your handset yourself.

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Requirements

  • An unlocked bootloader of your handset
  • You must have some knowledge around fastboot and ADB
  • Flashing a factory image wipes your handset and clear your entire data so make sure you create a backup of all your handsets.

Install ADB and Fastboot

To flash a factory image on your Nexus handset, you should have the ADB & Fastboot installed on your computer. There are two ways of doing this. The first is downloading and installing the Android SDK tools from the developer site. This method works for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

If you are Windows users, it is more convenient you download & install ADB and Fastboot instead. This is the easiest method.

Android SDK tools set up

After downloading the Android SDK tools, when prompted what directory to be used in installing the software, we recommend C:android-sdk. After they are installed, launch the tools from the Start Menu. When the SDK Manager opens, uncheck everything except Google USB Driver and Android SDK Platform tools. Hit Install 2 packages and then mark ‘Accept license’ and hit Install.

Minimal ADB and Fastboot set up

After downloading the Minimal ADB & Fastboot, launch minimal_adb_fasboot_v1.3.1_setup.exe file. It is highly recommended you save the file to C:android-sdkplatform-tools.

The downloaded files are supposed to have a .tgz file and you are needed to extract its content before you go any step further.

Now enable USB debugging on your Nexus handset. More so, before connecting your handset to your computer, make sure that you’ve installed the appropriate drivers. You are good to go if you installed the Android SDK files, but if you chose Minimal ADB and Fastboot, get the drivers here.

Now connect your Nexus handset to your desktop PC. You will see a pop-up box on your handset saying what the PC’s RSA key is. Mark the ‘Always Allow From This Computer’ and then hit OK. In case the pop-up does display the pop-up, go to the notification panel and change the mode from USB For Charging Only to Transfer Photos (PTP).

Flash the Factory Image

  • Open Command Prompt and navigate to the folder that the ADB and Fastboot files are installed in. Type ‘cdandroid-sdkplatform-tools in the command prompt if you decided to save the files in our preferred location.
  • Restart your handset in fastboot mode by typing ‘adb reboot bootloader’.
  • Enter fasboot oem unlock. This unlocks your handset. This step erases everything.
  • Enter flash-all to install the operating system, baseband firmware and the bootloader.
  • This process takes several minutes so it’s recommended that you do not turn off your smartphone. Once it’s is done, your handset reboots and the latest version of Android is installed.
Source: Droid Life

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