How to fix the “stuck on loading screen” bug after OTA update to 4.4 Android Kit Kat

nexus4

It seems like a lot of people are having issues with their phone after doing OTA patch to Android 4.4 Kit Kat.  I think I read somewhere that these issues are partially due to the fact that I have a rooted phone.  However, it is extremely annoying to have your phone soft brick on you, especially due to the fact that I wasn’t doing anything with untested roms or kernels.  Anyway, on to the guide:

Preface 1: Use this guide at your own risk, I am not responsible for your phone bricking.  I’m only explaining what I did to fix this issue.  Also, I am using official Google factory images and I do not know if this will work on custom roms.

Preface 2: This guide is for PC users, however I’m sure that most people will be able to figure out the OSX equivalent of these steps through googling.

 

Step 1: Download the Android SDK – you must have the latest SDK

Click here to download the Android SDK.  It will have the files that we will need in order send files to our phone through Fastboot.  According to the articles that I’ve read, even if you have a previous version of the Android SDK installed, you will need to have the latest version in order to make this work.  Proceed with an old version at your own risk.

When your download is complete, please use this fantastic guide from Redmond Pie to set up the SDK so you can use it in the command prompt.

Step 2: Download the latest Android 4.4 file from Google

Click here to download the latest Android image for your phone.  I have only tested this using official Android images on my Nexus 4.  Open the Android 4.4 .tgz file using your file extractor of choice (I used WinRAR). Inside, you’ll find something like this:

inside android image

 

Unzip the zip file that’s inside the .tgz file.  For my Nexus 4, this file is titled “image-occam-krt16s.zip” but this can vary.  Inside this zip file, you’ll see something like this:

boot recovery system

 

You’ll need to copy the following files on to your desktop:

  • boot.img
  • recovery.img
  • system.img

 

Step 3: Get your phone into the Bootloader

We are now ready to flash some files to your phone using Fastboot.  You’ll need to get your phone into the bootloader.  For the Nexus 4 (and a lot of other phones) you first have to turn the phone off.  Then, plug your phone into your computer’s USB port.  Next, hold down the volume down button and the power button at the same time.  You’ll see a screen with a giant arrow that says “Start”.  Congrats! You’ve completed step 3.

Step 4: Fastboot your files

In order to flash the boot, recovery and system images to your phone, we’ll have to use a feature called Fastboot, which is a part of the Android SDK.

Open the command prompt (Start -> Run -> CMD) and type in the following command:

adb devices

At this point, it should list your phone.  If it says that adb isn’t a valid function, please go back to Step 1 and properly configure the Android SDK.  If it runs but it doesn’t list any devices, you’ll have to Google around to find out why your phone isn’t showing up.  There’s just too many variables for me to know why your phone isn’t showing up.

Next, you’ll have to run the following commands ([location of ____.img] is where the file is located. If the file is on your Desktop, replace [location of ____.img] with C:\Users\USERNAME\Desktop\____.img):

fastboot flash boot [location of boot.img]

When it says it’s complete, you’ll type in:

fastboot flash recovery [location of recovery.img]

When that’s complete, you’ll type in:

fastboot flash system [location of system.img]
Note: if you get an error at this point, please try plugging your phone into another USB port.

When that’s complete, type in:
fastboot reboot

At this point your phone should reboot.

Step 5: Setting up your phone

At this point, your phone should actually boot into Android.  After Android configures your system files there will be some issues with the notification screen and the home button.  To fix this, you’ll type the following code into command prompt:

adb shell am start -n com.google.android.setupwizard/.SetupWizardTestActivity

This should launch the standard setup wizard that you’ve gone through when you first used the device.

Step 6: Rejoice!

That’s it! You’re done.  Most of your data should be completely intact.  I use Handcent for my SMS and unfortunately, I lost all of them for some reason.

 

Shoutouts to the following people for providing me the information to fix my phone:

Android Police – Home Button Fix info

Redmond Pie – How to Set up ADB and Fastboot

Akbar’s Blog – How to use Fastboot commands

/u/rp_guy on Reddit – Explaining which files to flash

 

16 Comments

  1. Don’t you need to unlock the bootloader with “fastboot oem unlock” before do any “fastboot flash” command ?

    Reply

    1. @Morthanveld
      In general, on a virgin phone, yes. But I think as this guide refers to “partially due to the fact that I have a rooted phone” it’s save to assume this step already happened some time in the past…

      Reply

    1. Hi Sandeep,

      this will not wipe files or photos stored on your SD card. However, your texts, call logs and contacts may be gone.

      Reply

  2. hi,
    thanks for the guid but unfortunately i am stuck in “fastboot reboot”. it starts booting with the four color balls but nothing happens. please help!!!

    Reply

  3. Worked great for me! Thank you! The one correction I’d make is that you want to be in the bootloader, not in recovery. Fastboot doesn’t work in recovery. Once I figured that out, this was a breeze!

    Reply

  4. My Note 2 wont boot into recovery and is stuck at the “Galaxy Note II” loading screen even after flash with Odin. I have removed battery, restart, re-flash, and everything I can think of TIME and TIME AGAIN!!!!! I need help with this one… bad.

    Reply

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