How to install TWRP custom recovery and an initial ROM on a rooted Fire TV Stick 1

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This guide will walk you through the steps of installing TWRP custom recovery and a pre-rooted ROM on the 1st generation Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Guide

  1. Your Fire TV Stick must already be rooted to follow this guide. To learn how to root your Fire TV Stick, see my rooting starters guide.
  2. Download the latest version of rbox’s TWRP custom recovery from here.
  3. Download the pre-rooted ROM version you want to install, along with its accompanying md5sum file, from here.
  4. If you haven’t done so yet, install ADB on your PC.
  5. Plug your Fire TV Stick’s USB power cable into your PC and wait for the Fire TV Stick to fully boot up. Be sure you have ADB debugging enabled.
  6. Open a command prompt / terminal window and enter:
    adb devices
    You should see your Fire TV Stick’s serial number listed. If you don’t, and are using Windows, you probably need to install these drivers.
  7. Transfer the three files you downloaded earlier to your Fire TV Stick’s /sdcard directory by running these 3 commands:
    adb push [PATH-TO-TWRP-FILE-ON-PC] /sdcard/
    adb push [PATH-TO-ROM-FILE-ON-PC] /sdcard/
    adb push [PATH-TO-MD5-FILE-ON-PC] /sdcard/
  8. Enter your Fire TV Stick’s shell prompt by running the command:
    adb shell
  9. Enter SU mode by running the command:
    su
    (If this is the first time you’ve run this command, be sure to select “Allow” or “Grant” on the pop-up that appears on your Fire TV Stick. Also, if you rooted with KingRoot and see the words “Unknown user” after running this command, launch the Kinguser app on your Fire TV Stick and then run the su command again.)
  10. Install TWRP custom recovery by running the command:
    sh /data/media/0/montoya_recovery_v1.zip
    Note: Be sure the montoya_recovery_v1.zip part of the above command exactly matches the file name that you downloaded earlier.
  11. Exit the shell prompt by running the command exit twice, and then reboot your Fire TV Stick by running the command:
    adb reboot
  12. While the Fire TV Stick boots, it will show a TWRP logo and then a boot menu with two options. You need to connect to adb shell, start a mouse emulator, and use it to select recovery, all before the boot menu’s countdown runs out. It’s perfectly safe to unplug and replug your Fire TV Stick and try again if you don’t perform these steps fast enough. So, while the Fire TV Stick boots, repeatedly run the following command until you see your Fire TV Stick listed again:
    adb devices

    Then, as soon as your Fire TV Stick appears in the list of connected devices, quickly run the command:
    adb shell
    then run the command:
    mouse
    and lastly, press D on your keyboard to select the recovery option and wait for the timer to run out.

  13. Using W, A, S, D on your keyboard to move the on-screen mouse cursor, and E to select items, move the mouse and select the Install button.
  14. Select the ROM file from the /sdcard directory. Be sure not to select the TWRP recovery file.
  15. Select Swipe to confirm Flash. You don’t actually have to swipe. You can just click it like a button.
  16. Wait for the ROM to install.
  17. It is highly recommended that you perform a factory wipe to ensure all the junk left behind by KingRoot or Kingo Root is removed. This will delete all of your apps and settings. If you don’t want to do this, skip to step 23, otherwise, select the house icon in the bottom center of the screen to return to the main menu.
  18. From the main TWRP menu, select the Wipe button.
  19. Select the Advanced Wipe button.
  20. Check the boxes next to Dalvik / ART Cache, Cache, Data, and Internal Storage. Then select the Swipe to Wipe button.
    Be sure you DO NOT CHECK THE SYSTEM BOX.
  21. Wait until the wipe is complete.
  22. Since you just performed a factory wipe, you will need to go through the initial setup when you first boot. This means your Fire TV Stick will try to download software updates which could unroot your device. If the pre-rooted ROM you just installed is the latest software version available for the Fire TV Stick, this is not a concern because there won’t be any updates to install. However, if you installed an older pre-rooted ROM, or you’re not sure if there are any potential updates waiting to be downloaded, then you should follow this guide to block software updates from within TWRP right now. You can easily do everything from the ADB terminal you still have open. After you’ve mounted the system (again, details are in the linked guide) just press CTRL+C to exit the mouse emulator, then enter exit to get out of ADB shell in order to transfer your build.prop file off and on. When you’re done with that, enter shell again with the command adb shell and restart the mouse emulator with the command mouse.
  23. Select the house icon in the bottom center of the screen to return to the main menu. Then select Reboot and select System to boot into Fire OS.
  24. Ignore the TWRP boot menu this time and go through the initial setup if you factory wiped your device earlier. Once you’re on the Fire TV Stick home screen, you should enable ADB debugging and block software updates using method 1 of my guide.
  25. That’s it, you’re all done. If you have the means, please consider donating to rbox for the hard work he put into creating this entire process. If you found this guide helpful, please consider becoming a patron on Patreon.

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39 comments
  1. Mr. Dan the Elias clapping Fan! says:

    That was fast, many thanks Elias!

  2. Some One says:

    Is it possible to run all these adb commands via WiFi? With the exception of step 12 when it’s time to connect to adb via USB at the boot menu?

  3. InFaMouS says:

    I can get to 13 but then once I try and load recovery all i get is a black screen – the mouse emu still says its moving things but I cant see any output. So I can’t actually install the pre-rooted rom. Is this a glitch on my side? Any help??

  4. Some One says:

    Took me a lil while to figure this one out! But I needed this to connect via usb to adb…

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/fire-tv/general/adb-usb-fire-tv-stick-t2952214

  5. Kramar111 says:

    Step 12. Try
    adb wait-for-device && adb shell

  6. Mr. Dan the Elias clapping Fan! says:

    Has there been any Fire TV Sticks updated past 5.2.1.1 as yet?

    I have temporarily blocked updates on my Router but after doing the wipe and rebooting I can’t get past the checking for updates screen unless I go through the whole procedure in TWRP.

    • Mr. Dan the Elias clapping Fan! says:

      The method was much quicker than I first thought so just followed the guide and all is good.

      Thanks again for the guide(s) Elias!

  7. Ian says:

    Hi. I’m having problems on step 12. I’m unable to find windows 7 32 bit drivers while the firestick is in recovery. I just get MTP USB device unplugged.

  8. Firestarter fan says:

    Can an earlier Firestarter compatible ROM be installed via these instructions?

  9. fattso says:

    managed this … bit of driver issue in windows but ok now.
    didnt do the grep number change, hopefully will be a bit easier when rbox brings the wifi keyboard into play.

  10. JAM says:

    Get thru 12 where mouse loads fine, but W A S D do not work on keyboard so cannot prevent the stick from normal booting.

    JAM

  11. Some One says:

    Well for me…I’m stuck at White Amazon Splash Screen!
    Boots to rbox boot menu, waits the 15 seconds then selects boot normally and ends on White Amazon Splash Screen. I cannot find the device via adb when waiting those 15 seconds. Does the builtin adb on the FireTV matter when at the recovery menu? Doesnt the recovery menu have its own adb coded into it?

  12. JAM says:

    Figured it out.

    JAM

  13. Chris says:

    How can I get my Mac to see the fire TV stick? When I run the command adb devices it does not show up. I already installed adb on my Mac and turned off system integrity protection before doing it. I even tried it with windows and it sees it with windows but not before there the TWRP menu has run out and it boots to the fire TV menu. Please help!

  14. gdroid666 says:

    would it be possible to flash the zip for xposed framework ? or can i do that already without
    this?
    all i want is to be able to install a real youtube app,xposed framework and the youtube adaway module so i can stream to my fire stick from my phone or tablet with no ads on my TV making it better than a CC

    i think i saw instructions on how to install xposed before and on how to add play store and google services framework
    but it was for something else ,would i need a prerooted rom to do that or just plain root,? i am already rooted with kingo, if this is possible then would it matter which fe version rom i used , which one would be best?

  15. kot says:

    any idea why the Recovery is failing to extract ?

    sh /data/media/0/montoya_recovery_v1.zip
    Extracting unzip…
    unknown operand msgfmt
    Unable to open /data/local/tmp/unzip: No such file or directory
    Remounting /system read-write…
    Extracting…
    /data/media/0/montoya_recovery_v1.zip[31]: /data/local/tmp/unzip: not found
    failed on ‘/system/bin/e2fsck’ – No such file or directory
    link failed No such file or directory
    Remounting /system read-only…

  16. JJ says:

    I am unable to get adb devices to show before normal boot starts? Also, does the mouse emulator only show up before the normal boot up?
    Anybody solve this a different way from guide?

  17. takeoyasha says:

    I have FW 5.0.5.1 with blocked Updates via adb shell disable otaservice.
    Rooting with Kingo ROOT stuck at 90% then fail. I only would need root for AdAway to block Ads on Opera, so I am thinking about just unblock ota and update…

  18. Lawrence says:

    my AFTV was on a previously rooted 51.1.0.1 with clockworkMod 6.0.5.1.4a. I followed this guide all the way through, first installing 51.1.4.0, then TWRP, then 51.1.6.3, then finally 5.2.1.1. Did an advanced Wipe in TWRP, rebooted and went through the initial setup process. ADB shelled in and disabled updates. Everything seemed fine. I installed Kodi and Netflix. Netflix didn’t want to start up so I figured I’d reboot the AFTV again, but it never came back up. It now seems entirely dead. The white light on the front doesn’t show.

    I’ve plugged it into my PC with a USB A-to-A cable and my PC detects the device, but it seems to come up and be recognized as a flash drive; there is a single folder called image on there and a whole bunch of oddly named files inside like, dxhdcp2.b00, .b01, .b02, q6.b00, .b01, etc etc.

    Anybody recognize what state my device is in and how to kick it back into life? Or should I use as a paperweight?

  19. adam says:

    Anyone ever really figure the adb part out at boot? I have the druvers.. Installed the recovery but I can’t find device before time runs out.. Its like its not connectable during the twrp countdown.. Soon as its finished and moves on tho, device can be found.
    Getting really frustrated at this point. Any help please?

    • adam says:

      OK I think I found the answer. The fire stick has a different ID during boot.
      You have to install a Google fast boot driver to be able to connect at the 15 sec twrp menu in order to access the recovery. Hope that helps someone else that has the issue

  20. Steve f2 says:

    My firetv stick has been rooted with Kingo Root and I have updates blocked.I have downloaded the 3 files and have been trying for ages to copy to sd card. I keep getting “failed to copy c:/ users/..montoya etc. Read-only file system”. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  21. TheRedeemer says:

    I have not tried this, but for anyone having trouble with the countdown running out before USB drivers are installed, the link in Step #2 has this side note:

    To force it to boot in to Recovery, you can create a file
    /cache/bootmenu_recovery

  22. TheRedeemer says:

    I got through the guide OK with a few roadblocks I had to work around.

    1.) In step #7 “adb push” kept freezing trying to get the files over to /sdcard/ only doing partial uploads / corrupting the files, so I used ES File Explorer to copy them to /sdcard/ from a windows share on the LAN.

    2.) On step #12, during the TWRP countown, windows wants a USB driver for “AOSP on ARM Emulator”. I had to keep device manager open on windows and really quickly get the properties on the device and manually specify file “\AmazonFire5thGenSuperTool\usb_driver\android_winusb.inf” and select the first entry, I believe it was called “Android ADB Interface”.

    3.) Finally in step 23 I lost mouse emulator control, I think I was trying to send movement commands too fast. Had to CTRL-C, and reconnect to the mouse emulator:
    adb kill-server
    adb start-server
    adb devices
    adb shell
    mouse

  23. abooodFPS says:

    I accidentally Wipe system on 20 ಠ,ಥ (Big noob right)

    so now i Got amazon logo tried remote back and right not working

    my Question is there a hope?

  24. ND Ilyaz says:

    i can not get the mouse program to work.

    when i enter mouse after adb shell there comes not found?
    do i have to install or insert the mouse emulator in adb?

    secondly is the problem that my Stick will not show up in my terminal since it is completely booted, so it is not possible to connect in the moment the recovery has to be enterd.

    can anybody tell me how to connect fast to the stick and get into the mouse emulator?
    is there a possibility to make a script for entering into the recovery?
    is it possible to use adblink?
    there is the option boot into recovery, can i bind twrp in this app?

    thanks for your replies

    • nDi says:

      Any one a Solution?

      Ist the Emulator Integrated in die Recovery?
      WHy i can Not Start it?

      Is there a Download Page for the Mouse Emulator from RBox?

      Please help.
      Everything was working exakt that Emu, so i can Not navigator in the recovery

  25. jr says:

    I followed this guide everything was working well for months untill about 3 days ago when the stick first powers on it displays to signal for about a minute + then i see twrp screen then no signal again any ideas please help.

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