How to Hard Reset a Bricked Nexus 7 With Your PC

Maybe you’ve been rooting your Nexus 7 and putting ROMs on it and messed up, or maybe your Nexus 7 just up and died randomly (happens sometimes). Either way if you can’t get it to turn on, you might think you need to go through the colossal hassle of sending it in for warranty service. Well, think again. Here is a way you can restore the Nexus 7 back to an out of box state without the hassle of shipping the darn thing.

1. Setup ADB drivers by going here (link opens in new window). Once done, come back here to continue.

2. Now, download the stock image files from Google here (all the way down at the bottom click the download link for the 4.1.1 version of the Nexus 7) and save them inside the C:/android-sdk/platform-tools/ folder on your computer (they need to be in the same folder as the fastboot file).

3. Extract the archive you downloaded from Google.

4. Take all of the files from inside the new extracted folder and copy them into the C:/android-sdk/platform-tools/ folder.

5. Power Off the Nexus and turn it back on by holding down Volume Down and Power at the same time until the bootloader screen comes up.

6. Now, plug your device in via USB cable.

7. Open the Platform Tools folder of the SDK, hold down shift and right-click in any blank area of the folder. Select the option to Open a Command Prompt Here.

8. At the command prompt, type the following while hitting enter at the end of each line:

fastboot erase boot

fastboot erase cache

fastboot erase recovery

fastboot erase system

fastboot erase userdata

9. After that is done, type fastboot oem unlock and hit Enter.

10. After that is done, type fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-grouper-3.34.img and hit Enter.

11. Then type fastboot reboot-bootloader and hit Enter.

12. After that is done, type fastboot -w update image-nakasi-jro03d.zip then hit Enter.

13. When the device reboots, power off the Nexus and turn it back on by holding down Volume Down and Power at the same time until the bootloader screen comes up.

14. After that is done, type fastboot oem lock at the command line and hit Enter.

15. Type fastboot reboot at the command line and then hit Enter.

Did it work for you?

 

  • CiDhed

    It’s not bricked if you can get to the bootloader…

    • CoryMac

      My thoughts exactly, can’t even get device to turn on to do any type of flashing

  • GordonEndersby

    Thanks mate, saved me from getting a brick thrown at me by the wife for bricking my birthday present.

    • Mahesh Makvana

      Great!

      We saved you 🙂

      • Frank

        Guys i dont know the first thing about rooting but with enough reading up i think i get the basic concept. Basically i Just got my nexus 7 2012 3g version . drooling with excitement opened the box. it didnt power up so i plugged in the charger. now all i see it the X logo . tried all the forms of factory rebooting it . even the one where i hold all 3 buttons down. no matter how long i hold them down it doesnt power up again. its right out of the box and claiming the warranty will take forever and chances are, i’ll get another with the same problem coz they shoved jellybean into all of them. please help. And will the thing said above help mine is stock right out of the box

  • Ashok

    omg you just saved my life. this was driving me crazy. Thank you so much. Really appreciate the help!

    • Mahesh Makvana

      Glad we could help you!

      Thanks!

  • So basically in order to hard reset something I can’t turn on, I have to turn it on. Good job.

  • chju

    Awesome tutorial. Saved me a lot of headache and shipping! Thanks a lot!

  • You’re the best! Thanks alot

  • N7Tester

    My Nexus 7 could connect with ADB, as camera drive with a 5m extension cable. etc.. under Ubuntu linux Though in fastboot mode, it did not detect the N7 (fastboot device) . After hours wondering finally found out if I plugged the N7 without and USB extension cable fastboot worked fine. My Nexus 4 though worked fine under fastboot with the extension cable! It may be some hardware issues on the N7 using longer USB cables with fastboot. Just a hint.

  • James Atkins

    Great guide, couldnt get past the flashing X before. all works now.

    One thing to add though if you have trouble getting the device to show on your computer, you may have this problem:
    -check your device manager for an unknown device, If you find one that’s supposed to be your phone, update the driver and use the driver in SDK directoryextrasgoogleusb_driver

  • Ritz Tolentino

    How can I extract the archive?

  • Brian

    This solved my issue with my N7 not booting past the colored X. For step 1, even after updating the USB driver from the sdk manager, I couldn’t get “adb devices” to list my device, though “fastboot devices” did. Otherwise I followed everything in this guide step by step, though I used the 4.2.2 factory image and the newer bootloader.

    This is actually the second time this has occurred to me. The first time I sent it back to ASUS, and paid the shipping. This time I wanted to try and see if I could just fix it myself. Thanks for this great guide.

    • WPhhh

      Hi, Brian. Did you flash the ROM when you can’t list your device? My tablet is doing the same thing now, and I can’t flash the ROM.

  • kknowles61

    When I download android sdk I d’ont get a file containing platforms-tools. All I get is an empty platforms and another file called just tools. So i tried putting the stock image file that wont extract after downloading into just tools file. Then proceeded as per instructions on opening a command line. No command line in the box. At a loss. What have i done wrong..

  • J

    Thanks for the tutorial, however I’m a bit confused regarding line 10 and beyond.

    When I downloaded the latest versions from gogole. 4.1.1 wasn’t available. They had

    4.1.2 and 4.2.2, I downloaded both of these files however they only contained a single file in them. there was no bootloaded (my current bootloader version is 3.34 and is the same version as the one in your tutorial so I wasn’t too worried about that)

    However, the only file contained in both the 4.1.2 and 4.2.2 archives from gogole contain a single file that is not labed as a zip or image. so I wasn’t sure how to proceed.

    I was hoping you could give a little insight?

    Thanks,

  • CSharpner

    I followed the instructions to the letter, even extracting the tgz files using 7zip, but there is not fastboot file anywhere to be found.

    • Al Hex

      You have to extract the file twice, tgz extracts to tar which contains the folder which has the loader. This comment is 2 months late, hopefully it will help someone else

  • Nova461

    Awesome, I was getting the eternal boot animation and this took care of it. Took half an hour of my evening but that’s better than a couple days of calling support and dealing with shipping and whatnot.

  • Bill

    Thanks for presenting this tutorial, but I am hoping you can clarify something for me. I can’t get past the multicolored x on my nexus 7 version 2. In the instructions on setting up the sdk you say “on your phone, click settings…” How can I change the settings on my nexus 7 to allow debugging in order to set up the sdk if I can’t get past the multicolored X? What am I missing?

    Thanks

  • Al Hex

    Thanks man, article really helped me out

  • Maxwell

    Mari0 come on SE please

  • disqus_y7Sg2iP9vM

    made me smile again 🙂

    • disqus_y7Sg2iP9vM

      thank you !!!

  • Jeremyhulk

    My nexus won’t flash the bootloader, after erasing all the partitions and trying to flash bootloader…
    “sending ‘bootloader’ (2100 KB)… ” and that is how it sits until you reset it.
    Also, I have re-installed the drivers 3 times but every time after 1 attempt, fastboot breaks and shows no serial, just ?.
    EDIT: Guess I should add that it won’t boot into anything except bootloader now.

    • WPhhh

      Hi, I got the exact situation now. Did you managed to fix that?

      • Jeremyhulk

        Yes, I had to download the previous factory image (4.2 I think) and flash that, then I was able to flash the latest. Rerooted and running fine now.

        • WPhhh

          Just tried and it works! Now I can update it with OTA. Really appreciate!

  • george

    my nexus 7 2013 is broken, i accidentally deleted all system files in twrp, and i can’t connect to adb to fix, please help! email me the solution please, i would be very grateful, i am only 15 and am panicking and the idea of a broken tablet!!!!!!

  • xsaechao

    uh ok…IT DOES NOT TURN ON

    • Then you did something wrong. Noticing that this was 6 months ago (sorry for that) going to assume you fixed it.

  • stigwannabe

    PLEASE HELP
    Hey guys i have a 3g 32 gig 2012 version of the nexus 7 i just bought , unrooted completely stock.

    I am stuck at step no. 12 when i boot the factory image cmd say that my system requires the basement version 1231_0.10.0_1021
    instead of 123108_0409. does anyone know where i can get the correct image file? or what it means ? I also don’t see any instructions specific for the 3G model because i don’t know if i have to do anything with the “radio tilapia'” zip file

    when it arrived the battery was completely flat so i plugged it to the charger and fired it up. all i got was the X logo (bootlooped i think) I ve tried all the combinations of button pressing and resets but but nothing works not even recovery mode ( all i get is the google logo). the only way to turn it off is with the bootloader . ive also tried nexus root toolkit, it keeps asking me to change ADB settings on a tablet i cant booy

  • Francis Kingu

    Hey guys i have a 3g 32 gig 2012 version of the nexus 7 i just bought , unrooted completely stock.

    I am stuck at step no. 12 when i boot the factory image cmd say that my system requires the basement version 1231_0.10.0_1021
    instead of 123108_0409. does anyone know where i can get the correct image file? or what it means ? I also don’t see any instructions specific for the 3G model because i don’t know if i have to do anything with the “radio tilapia'” zip file

    when it arrived the battery was completely flat so i plugged it to the charger and fired it up. all i got was the X logo (bootlooped ) I ve tried all the combinations of button pressing and resets but but nothing works not even recovery mode ( all i get is the google logo). the only way to turn it off is with the bootloader . ive also tried nexus root toolkit, it keeps asking me to change ADB settings on a tablet i cant boot

    • At the link in step 2 where you go to Google to get the image. There is a section that says it’s for …Nexus 7 (Mobile). That’s the section you need. Grab the latest version from there (mobile meaning mobile data, in your case, the 3G version).
      Let me know if that works!

  • Tanos

    I would like to say thank you. This worked like a charm. The only thing I would like to point out is when you get your stock image file make sure you enter the version you have downloaded and not exactly what was posted in the article. IE just swap the version in the tutorial for what ever you have for your device.
    I changed the “bootloader-grouper-3.34.img” to what was in my file and the
    “fastboot -w update image-nakasi-jro03d.zip” to the last 5 digits before the .zip to what I had.

    Thanks again

  • Richard Marens

    David, what’s the expected duration for “erasing ‘boot'” in Step 8? Mine’s past the half hour mark…

    • Takes a while… Did it finally work?

      • Richard Marens

        Left it on to do its thing overnight… no success. On removing the USB, fastboot gave me a FAILED <status read failed > error. I changed USB ports and am trying again (long shot, I know).

  • Jerry

    So I still have my nexus 7 2012 and had it in boot loop…… thanks David for helping out if your still out there props to you

    • I’m still out here 🙂 Glad I could help!

  • Robin Hertz

    Need help. I’ve got a brand-new brick from my grouper charged with autodroid 1.2 and latest kangaroo v.2.

    I had installed kangaroo over Autodroid 1.2 and was testing the
    fast-charge function while connected through a Y-OTG to a D-Link USB hub
    with a stick, easycam and DAC in it. All this time it was playing music
    through DAC. The hub was powered from the tablet as well.

    The tablet was draining continuously. The amp.meter showed ~0.75-0.90A
    supplying from the wall, but if I was opening the battery settings, it
    was falling to ~0.60A. Strange behaviour, isn’t it?

    While testing in that environment, the tablet was warm in the left side
    (I guess the battery is there along with it’s controller).

    At a moment music stopped playing, and the battery is off. It won’t
    charge by OTG neither by normal cable – amp.meter shows 0A going to
    tablet. Of course, ADB doesn’t see it. Any ideas?

    • Have you tried booting it into fastest and following this tutorial?

      • Robin Hertz

        No, I didn’t. Remember? the tablet was completely dead – it wouldn’t show the google lock either!
        On the other hand, I was able to connect another battery and flash it to v.5.1.1. This perhaps is what confused you in my post.
        And, yes – I’m able now to boot it into fastboot mode without issues, but I don’t need to unbrick it OS, just for flashing other mods like Cyanogen or Autodroid. )
        Thanks anyway.

    • Robin Hertz

      Forget, guys! It finally came back to life! After a couple of hours of charging, pushing the buttons, even reflashing to 5.1.1 (have another N7 with other issues).