When you modify the operating system of a rooted Amazon Fire TV, you run into the possibility of making a mistake and “bricking” the device. A “bricked” Fire TV is one which will no longer boot to the home screen. This usually results in the Fire TV getting stuck on the white Amazon boot logo, getting stuck on the colorful Fire TV boot animation, or continuously rebooting at one of those two screens. This guide is separated into three sections. The first section shows you steps you can take now that will help you prevent bricking and ensure you can restore a bricked Fire TV in the event something goes wrong. The second section shows you all the different ways to enter recovery mode. And the third section shows you exactly what to do to reset a bricked Fire TV back to life.
- 1: Prevent Bricking
- 2: Entering Recovery Mode
- 3: Resetting your Fire TV
There are a few things you can do to prevent bricking and greatly increase your chances of recovering from an issue that prevents your Fire TV from booting correctly.
The best way to prevent bricking your Fire TV is to know how to test file integrity on the device itself, and to perform the test on any file that makes changes to the Fire TV’s operating system. The most common way to brick a Fire TV is to make changes to the operating system with a file that has become corrupted. My guide here lays out the simple steps to perform to test file integrity.
Having your Fire TV’s bootloader unlocked before an issue occurs is the best way to ensure that you’ll be able to restore your Fire TV to a functional state in the event that a problem arrises. An unlocked bootloader allows you to restore the Fire TV’s operating system using fastboot, which is a small tool (similar to ADB) that can access a low-level mode on the Fire TV. Fastboot is your last resort if you can’t get into recovery mode. If you haven’t done so yet, follow my guide to unlock your Fire TV’s bootloader and follow this guide to verify that it’s unlocked.
The best way to restore your Fire TV to a functional state is to boot into ClockworkMod custom recovery. If you can get into recovery, you’re almost guaranteed to be able to fix any issues you’re having by simply wiping various partitions and installing a ROM. The problem is that the Fire TV does not have a fool proof way to enter recovery. On Android phones, for example, you usually enter recovery by holding a specific combination of buttons while the device boots. Since the Fire TV has no buttons, this usual method of entering recovery is not an option. That’s why the Boot Menu was created. It gives you the option to enter recovery before your Fire TV begins its usual boot process. If you haven’t done so yet, follow my guide to install the Boot Menu on your Fire TV. It’s also important to ensure it’s functioning correctly by connecting a USB keyboard to your Fire TV and using the boot menu to enter recovery before you need to use it.
In order to reset your Fire TV to a functioning state, you need to enter ClockworkMod recovery mode. Use any of the methods below to enter recovery, then proceed to the “Resetting with Recovery Mode” section below. If you’ve tried all the methods below but can’t enter recovery mode, proceed to the “Repair Recovery with Fastboot Mode” section below.
If you’re having issues with your Fire TV, this method likely will not work, but it’s worth a shot. Turn your Fire TV on and allow it to boot up as far as it can. Next, press and hold the BACK and RIGHT button on the Fire TV remote simultaneously for at least 15 seconds. What this does is cause the Fire TV to perform a factory reset. However, if you have ClockworkMod custom recovery installed, it will simply cause the Fire TV to reboot into recovery mode and will not actually perform a factory reset.
If you can connect to your Fire TV via ADB, simply run the command
If you have a functioning boot menu installed on your Fire TV, then entering recovery is simple. All you need to do is connect a USB keyboard to your Fire TV and then power the device on. One of the first things you should see is the boot menu screen. Simply press the down arrow on your keyboard so that the line is under the “LAUNCH RECOVERY” option and press enter on the keyboard. The Fire TV should boot into ClockworkMod recovery.
If you’ve tried all the methods above and still can’t enter recovery mode, follow my guide to use the “Alt+i+PrntScrn” method. You will need a USB keyboard with a Print Screen button. This method is a bit difficult to execute, so try it several times. If you are using the Logitech K400 keyboard, a favorite among Fire TV owners, be sure you are also pressing the “FN” key. If you still can’t enter recovery, proceed to the “Repair Recovery with Fastboot Mode” option below.
If you can’t enter recover mode, then follow the below steps to repair recovery mode using fastboot mode. You will need an A-to-A USB cable to use fastboot mode. If you can enter recovery mode, then you can skip down to “Resetting with Recovery Mode”.
- Your Fire TV’s bootloader must be fully unlocked to use fastboot mode.
- Install fastboot on your computer.
- Turn off your Fire TV and connect it to your computer using an A-to-A USB cable.
- Turn on your Fire TV while it’s connected to your computer.
- The Fire TV should stop on the screen with the white Amazon logo
- Enter the command:
fastboot devicesIf your computer has correctly detected your Fire TV, you will see a series of numbers followed by the word “fastboot” after entering the above command.
- Download the latest version of ClockworkMod custom recovery from AFTVnews.com/recovery
- Rename the file you just downloaded to “recovery.img”
- Enter the command:
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img(Be sure to replace recovery.imgwith the full path to the file you just renamed)
- Enter the command:
fastboot boot recovery.img(Be sure to replace recovery.imgwith the full path to the file you just renamed)
- Your Fire TV should now boot into ClockworkMod recovery. Proceed to follow the steps in the next section below labeled “Resetting with Recovery Mode”.
If you can successfully enter ClockworkMod recovery, then follow the below steps to reset your Fire TV, regardless of what state it is in and what has been done to it. You can also follow these steps if, for example, you want to update your ROM but aren’t sure if you’ve unlocked your bootloader or aren’t sure if you’ve installed the boot menu.
- [OPTIONAL] From within ClockworkMod, select the option to “wipe data/factory reset”. This will delete all of your settings and user data. It is an optional step, but is recommended.
- From within ClockworkMod, select the option to “wipe cache partition”.
- Follow my guide to install pre-rooted Stock ROM version 188.8.131.52_514006420 updated. Note, you are NOT installing the latest pre-rooted ROM on purpose. Do NOT skip ahead and install the latest pre-rooted ROM.
- Restart your Fire TV. You should be able to boot normally.
- Follow my guide to install BusyBox.
- Follow my guide to unlock your bootloader.
- Follow my guide to install the boot menu.
- Follow my guide to install the latest pre-rooted ROM.