How to Flash a Custom Recovery on the Cricket ZTE Score (X500)

If you have rooted your device, the obvious next step would be to flash a custom recovery.  This will enable your device to flash custom ROMs, root/unroot your phone, wipe data (also available on the stock recovery) and many other functions that a stock recovery won’t have.  Read on to know how to get this on your ZTE Score.

I.  Before You Begin

1.  Your ZTE Score needs to be rooted before continuing.  Use our guide on rooting the X500 before you proceed.

2.  Download the ClockworkMod Recovery file.

3.  Install the Terminal Emulator app from Google Play to your device.

II.  Flashing the ClockworkMod Recovery

1.  Extract the to a folder on your desktop.

2.  Connect your device in USB Mass Storage Mode.

3.  Copy recovery.img to the topmost folder of your SD card (which means it shouldn’t be copied into any folders but be placed in the root of the SD card).

4.  Disconnect the device.

5.  Open up the Terminal Emulator app and run the following commands or follow the screenshot underneath the commands if you want a bit more clarity:

  • Type su, then press enter.
  • Then type flash_image recovery sdcard/recovery.img and press enter.

7.  Once done, turn off your device.

8.  Hold the Volume Down and the Camera buttons, and then hold the power button until you see “Android System Recovery” pop up on the screen.  Then press the menu button to enter your newly flashed ClockworkMod Recovery!!

III.  Flashing a Custom ROM (once ROMs become available)

1.  Download your favorite ROM from our ROMs Section.

2.  Copy the ROM zip file to the topmost folder of your SD card.

3.  Boot into ClockworkMod Recovery.

4.  Select Wipe/Erase Data from the ClockworkMod Menu.

5.  Once the wipe is complete, select “Install zip from SD card.”

6.  Navigate to the ROM file you copied to your SD card and select it to run.

7.  Reboot when done!!

Thanks to amft on the CricketUsers Forum for the providing the CWM file!! Be sure to donate to him if you like his work.

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  • Patrick

    It might be helpful to note that users might have to go into a separate program, enable input of their Android keyboard (not XT9) and go back into terminal emulator.

  • Gavin

    its sayin flash_image not found I type it correct and its in the root folder

  • william

    How do i get the thing to recognize the. Img file i keep getting the flash_image not found

  • KilUma

    I’m getting the same result as Gavin and William. I’ve tried changing some variables(flash_image recovery.img /sdcard/recovery.img; flash_image /sdcard/recovery.img; etc.) I even tried dropping the file extension(as android, or at least this device, seems to recognize .img files without the file extension). But, I keep getting the same result. I’m pondering whether it would be safe to flash from the phones internal memory(ie. /, or /root/, or /sys/), but I’m not sure how safe that is. I’ve also tried rebooting my phone into recovery mode, since linux(some distro’s) have a habit of appearing to fail, but being successful. Still, no-go. Any help or clarification would be appreciated.

    • Dax Krishna

      guys, do this to solve your flash_image problem:
      1. From the zip file you downloaded above, extract; you should end up with a file called flash_image (with no extension)
      2. Copy this to /system/bin using a root explorer app.
      3. Finally, try to flash recovery.img again.
      It should work this time! The problem wasn’t finding the recovery.img but the absence of flash_image to run the command. Use the comments section again if you run into problems

      • gme30

        How do I get that file from my computer to my phone? I’m not sure I understand. Could you just explain step 2. How to copy it to my phone? I feel like I’m missing something.

    • Anonymous

      Kiluma u need to put a space like on the picture

  • william

    i finally got the image to work by putting it in the root of the device and manually via command on my computer but now i did a hard reset on my device and now it will not load at all it will go to the zte screen but no further and the image did not work so well. i cannot get to bootloader screen to restore my recovery how do i fix that or is my device a brick im thinking its a brick

    • Bill

      Ouch, did you try to follow Dax’s instructions on his post? Check under my(KilUma) comments. He posted some new instructions.
      If you can get back into your phone(if it’s not bricked) download this zip:

      This is the flash_image file that we were all missing. Follow Dax’s instructions(it worked perfectly for me). As far as fixing your current problem: if you can’t get into recovery I can see no hope. But I’m probably wrong(usually am). Hey, at least the score is cheap.

      • william

        yeah i cannot get into anything i need to know if there is any way to force flash the recovery on from my sd to the phone via computer link adb shell command when the phone will not load past zte screen.

        • william

          everything including the system files are all backed up there on my sd card and they are all gzip by titanium backup

          • Dax Krishna

            Bill, sorry to hear that but I am afraid you might have bricked your device as Will said. May be a visit to the service center might cure it for now? The procedure should work flawlessly if you follow the instructions to the tee.

  • bill

    im doing everything just as it says but for some reason i can delete files on my phone but i cant copy files the system memory

  • Me

    I didn’t get any results so I used root toolbox pro and opened the recovery i downloaded and it just stayed in the zte screen when I wanted to go to recovery but I did backup the original recovery but how do I go back to it

  • bill

    ok i found my problem i had to use es file explorer and mount the /system as read writable then i had to go to flash image and change the permissions to user execute love it. Roms are hard to find i can only find two exile_kitchen and scorEd. i put them together and added the cynogen mod boot animation my phone looks awesome

  • heath

    I’ve tried both methods to flash cwm to my score, numerous times. I’m very new to the whole rooting thing, but do well at following instructions. I wish i knew someone personally that could do this for me…lol. I’m about to just give up…

    • Kiluma

      You’re probably not rooted. Click on the link in the instructions for rooting your device.

  • Heath

    yeah, its definitely rooted, did root check, and have superuser in app drawer. rooting was rather easy….just cant seem to get cwm flashed on my phone. keep getting flash_image not found….even tried a different way from another source and ended up with flash_image access denied….so i dunno

    • Kiluma

      Read the comments. There is a link to download the flash_image file. After download follow Dax’s instructions for where to save the file. Then follow thecwm flash instructions.

  • I bricked3 phones

    • Clockwork recovery dont work on zte score….

      • Kiluma

        Works fine on my phone. You must be doing something wrong.

  • Brett

    mine wont work on the terminal app when i type su and press go then go to type the name for the flash recovery after i type flash and try to put anything else it erases itself

    • Brett

      ok so i got that far as to where the flash_image issue and i do not see /system/bin

    • Try to uninstall and reinstall the terminal app.

  • brent

    How much space do you need for the recovery mod thing.?

  • Lilium

    For those with the image file not recognizing issue, try using a different memory card. I was rooting and flashing a Droid and had the same issue. After tossing the crappy sd card that came with the phone out and putting in a better, brand name one, the root and flash succeeded.

  • im not sure whats wrong, but it seems like when i try and flash the recovery, it says flash img not found. i put it in the root of the sdcard and even formatted another one and it still does not read it. help?

  • mine says “flash_image ” not found. its like it doesn’t see that particulare command

  • jeanne enriquez

    So i have this stupid phone and i can not root it because i dnt have a pc is there any way i can do it with out a pc