If you’ve not been living under a rock you must surely have heard about the recent announcement of Android O developer preview. This new Android developer preview is available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus Player, Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. Unlike the previous time where Google pushed the beta as an OTA updated to registered beta testers, this time Google has made it a little difficult and they want you to flash the factory image on your device if you want to try out the latest Android developer preview version.

Prerequisites:

  • One of the supported devices.
  • Unlocked bootloader.
  • A USB cable.
  • A computer running either Windows or Linux.
  • ADB and Fastboot installed in the root directory of the device.
  • The fast boot flash images from here

Enable USB debugging:

  • Go the settings app and open the about phone page.
  • Click on the Build number 7 times and a toast should popup notifying you that you’re now a developer.
  • Now go back and select the Developer options page and check the box for USB debugging.
  • This should enable the USB debugging option for you.

Unlocking the bootloader:

The first step towards flashing the Android O developer preview is to unlock the bootloader of the device. Download and install ADB and fast boot systemwide using this link. Then go ahead with the procedure below.

  • Start by putting the device in fast boot mode, to do this turn off the device and then hold the Power button along with the Volume + button together till te device logo shows up.
  • Open the command prompt and connect the device to the computer using USB and type the following in command prompt to ensure the device is securely connected.

fastboot devices

  • This should show you the serial number of the connected devices.
  • Once it shows up, go ahead with the unlocking procedure.
  • Initiate the unlocking procedure by typing the following in the command prompt window
  • fastboot oem unlock

  • Follow the steps on the screen to complete the unlocking procedure.
  • Type the following to reboot the device
  • fastboot reboot

  • The device should now reboot to system.

Flashing the device:

  • Reboot the device to fast boot and connect the device to the computer.
  • Then ensure connectivity of the device by typing the following.
  • fastboot devices

  • This should show the serial number of the connected device.
  • Now go to the folder containing the downloaded ZIP file and extract it.
  • On opening the extracted folder you should find a flash-all.bat file and a flash-all.sh file, open the .bat file if you’re on Windows or the .sh file if you’re on Linux.
  • This file should take you through the entire process and the device should sequentially be flashed with all the required files.

Note:

It was reported that this procedure has failed for many users, in case it fails for you try the procedure below which lets you manually flash the each file using the fast boot commands.

Manually flashing the device:

  • To manually flash the device make sure you have got the correct device first before proceeding. Flashing the wrong image can cause permanent damage to the device.
  • Start by flashing the bootloader file and then proceed to flash the radio file.

fastboot flash bootloader <bootloader file name here>.img
fastboot flash radio <radio file name here>.img
fastboot reboot-bootloader

  • Now after the device boots back to the bootloader mode, flash the new recovery file and proceed with the boot image file once the recovery is updated. After the boot image is updated, install the new system image which contains the entire Android operating system. Finally, flash the Vendor image file.

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash vendor vendor.img

  • It’s not mandatory, however, we recommend you flash the user data and cache file so that those partitions are formatted. This is recommended to avoid any bugs caused by data incompatibility with the update operating system.

fastboot flash cache cache.img
fastboot flash userdata userdata.img

  • Now finally reboot the device and the device should start with the setup screen for the Android O operating system.

fastboot reboot

Note:

It should be noted that this is a hit and miss for a few and can cause problems in case the guide is not followed carefully. Exercise caution while trying the same. Also, the device warranty goes void the moment you unlock the bootloader of the device.

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