How to install TWRP custom recovery on a rooted Fire TV 1

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TWRP custom recovery allows rooted Fire TV owners to install custom ROMs and images, as well as allowing them to restore their device to working condition in case the operating system no longer boots up correctly. It is highly recommended for all rooted Fire TVs to have a custom recovery installed. This guide will show 1st-gen Fire TV owners who have ClockworkMod installed how to install TWRP and upgrade to Fire OS 5 without losing root. This guide also shows 1st-gen Fire TV owners on Fire OS 5, that rooted with KingRoot, how to install TWRP.

WARNING – Known Issues

There is currently an issue that is preventing some people from accessing TWRP after installing it. The issue appears to be related to incompatibility with some TVs/displays and is being worked on. If you experience screen blinking or boot looping when trying to access TWRP, try using a different TV/display. The good news is it doesn’t affect the Fire TV OS, so you will still be able to use your Fire TV, but just won’t be able to install the Fire OS 5 ROM until a fix is found. So there’s no real harm in trying. If you run into the issue on Fire OS 3, you can re-install ClockworkMod. Some have had success fixing the issue by re-installing ClockworkMod, using ClockworkMod to wipe all cache and data partitions, and then re-installing TWRP.

Update

A partial fix for the looping/blinking issue is now available. See this post.

The issues have now been fixed in the latest TWRP and pre-rooted ROMs

 

Section 1: Fire TV 1 on 51.1.6.3 or older

REQUIREMENTS – Must read to avoid bricking!
  • Rooted: Your Fire TV must be rooted to install TWRP custom recovery. If your Fire TV is not rooted, check my Rooting Starters Guide to see if your software version is rootable and for instructions on how to root.
  • Fully Unlocked Bootloader: Your Fire TVs bootloader MUST be fully unlocked or your WILL brick your device. You absolutely should follow this guide first to verify that your bootloader is fully unlocked. Do not skip this step. There was a partial unlock released several months before the full unlock was released, so it’s very possible you think your bootloader is fully unlocked when infact it is just partially unlocked. To fully unlock your bootloader, follow this guide.
  • ClockworkMod 6.0.5.1.4a: Your Fire TV must have ClockworkMod version 6.0.5.1.4a installed already. If you don’t have ClockworkMod installed, follow this guide to install it. If you do have ClockworkMod installed, be sure it is on the latest 6.0.5.1.4a. You can check the version you have installed by simply booting into ClockworkMod. The version number will be written at the bottom of the screen. If you need to update ClockworkMod, follow this guide.
  • Pre-Rooted 51.1.6.3 ROM: You must have the pre-rooted 51.1.6.3 ROM installed before proceeding with this guide. Follow this guide for instructions on how to install the ROM using ClockworkMod.
  • 1080p TV/Display: There is a known issue that prevents TWRP from displaying correctly on a 720p or 1080i TV/display.
GUIDE
  1. Download the latest version of rbox’s TWRP custom recovery from here. Be sure to download the one labeled TWRP Image and NOT the one labeled v1.
    twrp-fire-tv-1-download-link
  2. Connect to your Fire TV via ADB.
  3. Transfer the TWRP file you downloaded to your Fire TV’s /sdcard directory by running the command:
    adb push [PATH-TO-TWRP-FILE-ON-PC] /sdcard/
  4. (OPTIONAL) If you plan to transfer a ROM to the /sdcard/ directory, as opposed to using a USB drive to store the ROM, you might as well transfer the ROM now by running the command:
    adb push [PATH-TO-ROM-FILE-ON-PC] /sdcard/
    Download the latest pre-rooted ROM from here.
  5. (OPTIONAL) Verify that the file(s) you just transferred is intact by following this guide.
  6. If you’re not yet in ADB shell, enter it by running th command: adb shell
  7. Assuming the file you transferred was named bueller-twrp_3.0.0-6.img run the command:
    dd if=/data/media/0/bueller-twrp_3.0.0-6.img of=/dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/recovery
    Note: Change the bueller-twrp_3.0.0-6.img part of the above command to match the filename of the file you transferred.
  8. Exit ADB shell by running the command exit
  9. Connect a USB keybaord to your Fire TV and reboot into TWRP custom recovery by running the command adb reboot recovery and follow this guide to install the latest pre-rooted ROM.
  10. Donate to rbox to thank him for continuing to support the Fire TV 1.

Section 2: Fire TV 1 on 5.0.0 or newer

REQUIREMENTS
  • Rooted: Your Fire TV must be rooted to install TWRP custom recovery. If your Fire TV is not rooted, check my Rooting Starters Guide to see if your software version is rootable and for instructions on how to root.
  • 1080p TV/Display: There is a known issue that prevents TWRP from displaying correctly on a 720p or 1080i TV/display.
GUIDE
  1. Download the latest version of rbox’s TWRP custom recovery from here. Be sure to download the one labeled v# and NOT the one labeled TWRP Image.
    twrp-fire-tv-1-download-link-locked
  2. Connect to your Fire TV via ADB.
  3. Transfer the TWRP file you downloaded to your Fire TV’s /sdcard directory by running the command:
    adb push [PATH-TO-TWRP-FILE-ON-PC] /sdcard/
  4. (OPTIONAL) If you plan to transfer a ROM to the /sdcard/ directory, as opposed to using a USB drive to store the ROM, you might as well transfer the ROM now by running the command:
    adb push [PATH-TO-ROM-FILE-ON-PC] /sdcard/
    Download the latest pre-rooted ROM from here.
  5. (OPTIONAL) Verify that the file(s) you just transferred is intact by following this guide.
  6. If you’re not yet in ADB shell, enter it by running th command: adb shell
  7. 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 popup that appears on your Fire TV. Also, if you rooted with KingRoot and see the words “Unknown user” after running this command, launch the Kinguser app on your Fire TV and then run the command again.)
  8. Assuming the file you transferred was named bueller_recovery_v1.zip run the command:
    sh /data/media/0/bueller_recovery_v1.zip
    Note: Change the bueller_recovery_v1.zip part of the above command to match the filename of the file you transferred.
  9. Exit ADB shell by running the command exit
  10. Connect a USB keyboard to your Fire TV then reboot it and use the keyboard to enter TWRP custom recovery. Follow this guide to install the latest pre-rooted ROM.
  11. Donate to rbox to thank him for continuing to support the Fire TV 1.

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62 comments
  1. countersteer says:

    This is awesome, Elias! A great guide and well put together. Thank you for your work on this!

  2. _u2pop_ says:

    I CAN CONFIRM IT! IS TRUE MY TV SCREEN GET BLACK AFTER UPDATING TWRP, FOR FIX IT JUST ROLLBACK TO ClockworkMod 6.0.5.1.4a AND DON’T DON’T AND DON’T UPDATE THE PRE-ROOTED OR YOU GOING TO GET BRICKED! SO JUST LET WAIT RBOX FIX THE ISSUES.

  3. Ihsan says:

    Do i need to install twrp before flashing pre-rooted rom currently my fire tv is not rooted?

    • AFTVnews says:

      Since it doesn’t seem like you know much about this process, you should follow my Rooting Starters Guide at http://www.aftvnews.com/start

      The Fire TV has to first be rooted. The guide above is not a guide for rooting. It is to install a custom recovery which helps you fix issues on a rooted device and allows you to update the OS without losing root.

      • Ihsan says:

        Yes im running software version 5.0.5.1 i will have to wait for rooting method. I even factory resetted the device with ethernet cable out and it starts up at 5.0.5.1. Thanks for the reply.

  4. IrishBiker says:

    You sure your guide for the 5.0.0 and higher is right? From what I read we should be using V1

    • AFTVnews says:

      The 5.0.0 and higher portion does say to download v#. Currently that means download v1. I’m using v# so that when inevitably there is a v2, I don’t have to update the guide.

  5. g4rfs says:

    why can’t you put these files on usb plug into fire tv then transfer to sdcard via es file explorer ?

  6. Orion Reyes says:

    Thank you! Everything worked as posted. I only had a few problems trying to root with KingRoot version 4.1 APK, since it couldn’t root my AFTV (I tried four times). So, I solved this by downloading the latest APK from KingRoot’s official website. After that everything worked great, I flashed TWRP, then the pre-rooted rom (Thanks RBox!) and since the latest rom version was already on 5.0.5.1, I didn’t need to block any updates, until I registered and watched that boring “welcome video,” that’s when I blocked all updates to keep my root. Everything worked, SU access from adb, root access from ES Explorer, and also SuperSU appears in my installed apps! Anyways, Thank You for this great guide!

    • AFTVnews says:

      Awesome. Glad to hear it worked out. For future reference, you can skip the welcome video by repeatedly tapping the forward button on the remote.

    • Ed says:

      Hi, may I know how you run this command to work, when I run this command, sh /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip , I am getting this error

      1|root@bueller:/ # sh /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip
      sh /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip
      /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[1]: PKª¡IΘ¼: not found
      /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[1]: µûÄ╞÷Γ╝╧°ε▒¢ÖsÖ=ß╢5┤╖τc╡2: not found
      /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[1]: can’t open ç∙â²ô4¢æúSd₧d╞┴a7╤0âWhX╥[4,xGαÄç┐┴ÉÇÆ4: No such file or directory
      /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[1]: can’t open ²φ╪╪C╠i∞: No such file or directory
      /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[2]: syntax error: ‘)’ unexpected

      I already adb push my bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip into /sdcard/ and have comfirmed with busybox my md5 checksum are matching.
      I am currently on 5.0.5

      Nobody seems to help out here, I hope you see this message and give a helping hand. thanks in advance

  7. Pekka says:

    Hey guys, I followed this guide on my AFTV1 rooted with Kingroot and everything seemed to work out fine.
    However after installing the latest preerooted Rom I did a factory reset to delete all the Kingroot stuff.

    After booting I wanted to block updates again so I turned on adb Debugging but I can’t run the “su” command because I can’t launch the SU app. It only Shows the “force close” Option.

  8. Gerard Pinzone says:

    You should have included the check for the fully unlocked bootloader.

  9. Peter says:

    I installed twrp and 5.0.5.1 on my firetv which had 5.0.3 0n it,
    after installing new rom and wipping twice , I still had leftovers from
    kingroot and when I installed kodi and ran it , it started as if it was starting for first time but when fully loaded it had the exact same build on it as I had before wiping ?

  10. atone says:

    I will eventually get around to updating to the latest prerooted FireOS5 rom, but I am currently on the July 19,2015 Pre-Rooted 51.1.6.1 ROM. So I just want to confirm that I have to first update to 51.1.6.3 Rom before preceeding with the new guide on installing TWRP and latest prerooted rom.

    New Alexa feature should be fun to start using on our prerooted FTV1s! But I’m still concerned whether there’s any issues with dolby digital spdif passthrough on Netflix & Kodi after FireOS5 is installed, and whether xposed framework modules will continue working like before eg. using Novalauncher, wallpaper enabler, and rboxfiretvmod. If I don’t like it, will it be easy to revert back to FireOs3 prerooted rom again?
    Thanks again for this amazing well made guide!

  11. Tony says:

    Which version I should install 5.0.5 ROM or 5.0.5.1 ROM? I am currently on 5.0.5 with kingroot step.

  12. jon Ryan says:

    Was on rbox prerooted 51.1.1.63 with unlocked bootloader. Flashed the img and got the bootloop. Flashed back to CWM and then wiped the cache and dalvik cache and tried again. No luck. I don’t want to wipe the data partition because it sounds like that might not solve the problem either, so I can just confirm that it looks like just cache and dalvik does not fix the problem.In the instructions to reinstall CWM that is referenced, I did not see anywhere that it says you DO NOT need to do the downgrade if you are already on a pre rooted rbox rom (but I might have missed it) for those that get in my situation where it is not working -basically I was in a bootloop and have to go back to CWM, they can skip the downgrade part of the CWM instructions. Just reboot into normal and then flash CWM back using the instructions Minus the downgrade part.

    Hope RBOX gets this fixed soon. I was so excited to upgrade until TWRP didn’t work, now I guess I have to cry in my beer! Or go get a beer to cry in. If there is something else to try please let us know.

    • Kevin says:

      I had the bootloop, i had to flash back to cwm, wiped / cleared everything ( system and all ) but not my /sdcard/ and then flashed latest 3.0.3 rom back, after it was done ( without rebooting ) I just adb back in ( still in cwm ) and wrote twrp recovery. After reboot back into recovery, twrp finally booted fine and i was able to install v5 of fire prerooted without any issues. There was obviously something left on some of our fire tvs that needs to be wiped or cleared before twrp works for us. I too had bootloop at start with twrp and tried 3 different monitors, all with different results but mainly team win would show up for fraction of second then go away.

      Again, i fixed it by flahing back to cwm, clearing everything but /sdcard/ as it contained my zips but im sure you can clear it all if you want, the within the same session adb in and flash twrp recovery, reboot and twrp should work now. Wonder what old file/s are the culprit?

      • Vin says:

        I am in the same boat. Stuck on TWRP boot screen.
        How do you go back to CWM? Can you provide the steps or link to the guide of what you did to fix this?
        Was able to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete on my keyboard to reboot and launch the kernel.

        • Vin says:

          Ok. I went back to CWM.
          Kevin,
          Is there a way to do what you did without a USB cable? i.e. write twrp recovery without rebooting?

  13. Ianir says:

    Is it possible to use TWRP to downgrade to FireOS3?

    • atone says:

      I was wondering the same thing?… in case we didn’t like prerooted FireOS5 for some reason and desired to revert back to prerooted FireOS3 rom.

  14. Superkoal says:

    I’m still on FireOS 3 and Hardware rooted my ftv1 because of a newer Firmware Version with not unlockable bootloader. Is there a way I can update ti Firefox 5? I don’t really need to update nowe, but to be future proof …

  15. Wayne says:

    OK, plea for help here. Got TWRP custom recovery installed, did the advanced wipe, pushed and installed
    bueller-5.0.5.1-rooted_r1.zip
    but after the Amazon splash screen it hangs at “unable to update your Amazon FireTV.” If I hit return on the remote when it says “searching for updates”, it takes me back to the language selection screen. Any suggestions?

    • Eric W says:

      I had the same issue. I tried again leaving the Internet connection for a few seconds while the fire tv was searching for updates. The fire tv did not update and I was able to proceed to the registration step. Maybe it was perfect timing or dumb luck…but it worked and I completed the restore.

    • Wayne says:

      Never mind, seems like there was a problem between keyboard and chair!

  16. E says:

    First Thank you all for working on this.
    I followed section #1 (I have 51.1.6.3) and installed TWRP.img. When booting to recovery the first screen (with the two arrows) is keep flashing and not moving forward. I disconnected and re booted to regular FireOS and it is all fine but the recovery is still not working.
    I tried to re install TWRP but got the same results.
    Any idea what’s happening here? and what must I do next?

    Thank you

  17. kadafi says:

    Followed the guide for both of my ftv1’s. On one TV the twrp image display briefly and then I get a black screen. On another tv the twrp image just keeps flashing. I can pull the power cord and boot back into the OS without issue. Will wait for the issues with twrp to be worked out.

    • Kevin says:

      There is workaround for this though that is pretty simple. Last I was reading from the dev, he was at a loss on what was causing this, so it maybe sometime before a twrp is released to fix it (or the quickfix) but since you can fix it pretty easy, why not do that?

  18. Eric W says:

    Thanks Elias! Your instructions worked flawlessly for my AFTV 1st gen running 5.0.5.

    • Tony says:

      Which ROM did you install? 5.0.5 or 5.0.5.1 on 5.0.5 firmware?

      • Eric W says:

        I installed 5.0.5.1 custom rom. I put it on a usb drive and plugged it into my hub along with my Logitech keyboard/touch pad combo. I couldn’t push the rom with adb for some reason. This worked like a charm the first time with no issues.

        • Tony says:

          Got it! I installed 5.0.5.1 ROM with TWRP but after perform factory reset -advanced wipe my root was gone. I reinstalled pre-rooted ROM again now it has root. Thanks for the guide Elias and thanks for your hardwork RBox!

  19. Toby says:

    I’ve been following the guide for 5.0.5 and when i get the part ‘sh /data/media/0/bueller_recovery_v1.zip’ it tells me that permission is denied. Not really sure where to go from here?

    • Wayne says:

      Not sure if this applies to you, but I was getting permission denied errors when running ABD either straight from a command line or opening a shell in abdFire2.03. Out of desperation I opened a shell from adbFire 2.00 and it worked like a charm. Go figure.

  20. mGuest says:

    Is it possible to root a FireTV 1 running latest firmware?

  21. Jai says:

    Damn…..didnt check the full unlocked bootloader part and now i am bricked!! Is there anyway to unbrick this?

  22. Dave69 says:

    Has anyone on 51.1.6.3 and a fully unlocked bootloader run into any problems? Really thinking of holding off on this. My Fire TV1 runs really well as it is.

    • Mark says:

      Same as you here. Think I will hold back updating AFTV1 for a little while and check back when the dust settles.

      • Tony says:

        I’m also going to do it later on my rooted os3 device and take it slow. I still have to install the latest os3 root since I stopped at 51.1.6.1, so not ready yet.
        But in the mean time we can study all the guides and write key notes about the hard parts before taking the plunge.

  23. Thomas says:

    I’m not able to get the USB keyboard to work on the boot screen (TWRP) to get into recovery, arrow keys don’t work. I uninstalled FireStarter launcher and turned on and off USB debugging and ADB debugging, still doesn’t work. UBS devices work after fire TV booted up when USB debugging is turned off. Can someone help?

  24. Dave says:

    I re-installed cwm recovery a few times before finally getting twrp up and running. TWRP never worked on my 720p Panasonic plasma. I had to connect my Fire TV to the hdmi port on a computer monitor – and then it immediately was viewable to complete the install. At one point I factory wiped in addition to wiping the cache and dalvik cache. In the end I reinstalled cwm, rbox’s last FireOS 3 pre-rooted rom – then installed the “test 8” version of tarp.

    I’m wondering, are rbox’s roms automatically blocking Amazon’s updates? I have the url’s blocked on my router, but I don’t trust that. Is there anything additional I must do to block automatic updates from Amazon? Thanks!

  25. Jeremy says:

    Now that I am finally on 5.0.5.1 I can’t seem to get past “Unable to update your Amazon Fire TV” screen (with updates blocked through OpenDNS). This is persistant during initial setup. Anyone know what I’m doing wrong? [FTV1 w/unlocked bootloader and twrp recovery]

  26. Dupan says:

    I can´t get into recovery mode. With a USB A to A cable on windows ask for a driver. Is there a normal android fastboot driver?

    The problem is also that if the driver is installed, the device is deactivated and no connection is possible.

    any idea ?

  27. Mistermaker says:

    Will this work on a kingrooted fire tv stick?

  28. JRock says:

    Bummer, looks like I have my first ever brick on my hands. I honestly don’t know where I went wrong. Rebooted after flashing pre-rooted v5 ROM, and now no lights on the unit and a completely black screen.

    Oh well, probably just grab a new one now since they are on sale right now.

    Thanks as always for your work and guides!

  29. Chris says:

    Any experienced an issue with TWRP whereby everything works fine but after a set period of time (I believe of inactivity) the aftv boots into twrp. I am finding that if i dont use the aftv during the day or over night, go to use it in the evening/morning and its in the twrp menu as opposed to kodi/aftv homescreen.

    This requires a manual reboot (unplug power) since i cant control anything within TWRP without hooking up a usb keyboard (ie, the remote doesnt do anything).

    Very annoying

  30. Sascha says:

    Does it work with a Fire TV with FireOS 5.2.1.0?

    Custom to only root? or a unlocket bootloader?

  31. Ed says:

    Hi,my firetv 1st gen is now rooted at 5.0.5. I have confirmed with busybox that my bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip is intact and md5 checksum is matching . However, after I su in Adb shell and ran the command I am getting these errors. Here is the results

    shell@bueller:/ $ su
    su
    root@bueller:/ # sh /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip
    sh /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip
    /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[1]: µûÄ╞÷Γ╝╧°ε▒¢ÖsÖ=ß╢5┤╖τc╡2: not found
    /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[1]: PKª¡IΘ¼: not found
    /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[1]: can’t open ç∙â²ô4¢æúSd₧d╞┴a7╤0âWhX╥[4,xGαÄç┐┴ÉÇÆ4: No such file or directory
    /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[1]: can’t open ²φ╪╪C╠i∞: No such file or directory
    /data/media/0/bueller-5.2.1.1-rooted_r1.zip[2]: syntax error: ‘)’ unexpected
    1|root@bueller:/ #

    Please help, thanks

  32. FrenchSmitty says:

    Hey everyone, everything went well during the process however it now seems my unit may be bricked. I pushed twrp and the latest rooted rom to my device. I upgraded from CWM to TWRP an then proceeded to flash the latest pre-rooted rom and rebooted. Unit booted right up went through the whole “android is updating” process which took 5-10 minutes and got to the home screen. Was able to run Kodi and other apps fine. I rebooted the unit to try and access recovery again to disable updates by mounting the system partition (according the the guide) however after I ran ./adb reboot recovery the unit never rebooted and now i’m stuck with no lights on the unit and black screen on the TV. What happened?

  33. Sam says:

    I flashed TWRP on 5.0.5. I went fine then I used it to install the latest prerooted FireOS I noticed when it booted the screen to boot into twrp is no longer there and its stuck on the second amazon screen and wont boot. I tried the ALT+I+SCREEN PRINT and it does absolutely nothing. Any idea on anything else I can try?

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