Trying to right a custom Android ROM.

In case you were wondering, here’s the current state of my Nexus One. It’s actually even worse than it looks.

And here’s how I got to this point, plus what I learned along the way…

The good news.

You might remember from my last post on this subject that I was a bit iffy on what a recovery image was. Well, now I know.

Ta-da! Here are the home screens for the go-to Android recovery images, ClockworkMod on the left and Amon_RA on the right. Click on either to see them full-size.

So what’s a recovery image? Think of it as a shell environment on your Android device from which you install custom ROMs, restore backups, etc. Stock Android devices have their own recovery images, but these do more. Which brings us to my current predicament…

The bad news.

Everything seemed to be proceeding smoothly with ROM Manager and ClockworkMod until I tried to boot into my install of CyanogenMod for the first time — this is where my N1 got stuck in the boot loop that you see at the top of the post.

Scouring the web for possible causes led me to believe that I also had to install a custom firmware for my phone’s cellular radio, which I found and did. No change.

Then I got the bright idea that installing Cyanogen via the Amon Ra recovery method would fix everything. That was stupid.

Why? Because once I installed Amon_Ra I was no longer able to restore the original backup that I made using ClockworkMod because, wouldn’t you know it, the two recovery methods are incompatible with each other.

Yes yes, I can hear you from here. Thanks so much.

But the madness didn’t stop there. In my growing frustration I somehow got the idea that if I deleted Amon_Ra the stock Android recovery would somehow magically reappear and save the day. Nope.

So here I am, with a Nexus that won’t boot and no recovery image to restore it to its original state.

Neither licked nor bricked.

Now anyone who’s done this before will already be looking down their nose at me, shaking their head at the fact that I didn’t install ADB on my desktop computer in the first place and administer my Nexus remotely from there. Looks like that’s plan B.

Remember, though, I’m of the steadfast opinion that modern-day smartphones should be autonomous, without the need of any life support delivered via USB cable. But I suppose I should be grateful that I can install a community-built OS on my phone at all.

Let’s try this again…


  1. Did you clear all your caches before installing the new rom? I got that boot loop the first time I installed cyanogenmod on a Nexus one because I didn’t clear all the various caches before the install. It installed fine on the second try after I cleared the cache and the dalvik cache.

  2. I do remember installing Cyanogen a few times. Once I get a proper recovery image restored I’ll make sure that Dalvik is wiped along with everything else. Thanks for the tip.

  3. You should be able to reboot into Clockwork Mod Recovery from your phone…wipe the dalvik cache and the data cache from the advanced menu and wipe data menu, then you can perform a full wipe on your phone as well. Anyways, you can install from zip from Clockwork Mod Recovery, if you used ROM Manager to install CM7 then you can locate the ROM Manager folder and the location it downloaded the CM7 ROM.

  4. Most likely, it’s the Dalvik Cache. I had the same problem the first time I tried to install a rom on my Incredible.

    I’m not familiar with Amon-Ra’s features, but here’s what you need to do. Boot back up into recovery. Wipe Data, Wipe Cache, Wipe Dalvik Cache. Re-install Cyanogenmod. Reboot.

    I’m betting you’ll be fine at that point. Don’t forget to install the Gapps as well.

  5. When I got the blue skateboarding Android of death, I went back to square one and followed instructions to restore image back to stock in Then I started over, rooting from Unrevoked and clearing all the caches before before loading up the CM7 image.

Leave a Reply