[Advanced] Installing an Android image w/ SP Flash

** Warning ** : This is for advanced users only. Can lead to corruption of your storage which might not be fixable locally and may require a paid replacement of your phone. You have been warned.

There are a few situations, like downgrading to an older Android version or reverting to factory image from a custom rom, that may require flashing Android to your Teracube using a PC. The steps below will help you to use SP Flash to write a system image to a phone.

Note: Flashing a system image will completely erase all data on the phone. Back up all important data before performing these steps.

Note: Leave your phone unplugged form the PC until instructed to plug it in.

Prepare the PC

  1. Download SP Flash here

  2. Unzip SP Flash, then navigate inside the unzipped directory and run flash_tool.exe

  3. Download and extract the system image you want to flash to your phone. The currently available images are (download the image based on your phone model)

  1. In SP Flash, select the Download tab.

  2. Click the “Choose” button beside the option named “Scatter-loading file”.

  3. In the file selection dialog, navigate to the extracted system image directory and select the scatter file. It should be a .txt file with the word “scatter” in its name. For example, the scatter file in the SW6 archive is named MT6771_Android_scatter.txt.

  4. After selecting a scatter file, the table at the bottom of the SP Flash panel should be filled with a list of partitions, and files to flash to the partitions. Make sure the drop-down menu above this table is set to “Download Only”, and make sure all of the rows are checked for flashing.

Shut down your phone

Your phone must be powered off to be flashed by SP Flash.

Flash the Image

When the phone and PC are both prepared, follow the steps below to flash the image:

  1. Click the Download button in SP Flash. The button has a green arrow icon. SP Flash will begin waiting for your phone to become visible.

  2. Make sure your phone is powered off. Plug in the phone, then wait. SP Flash will display a series of progress bars as the image is flashed to your phone. When the process is complete, a small window with a checkmark will appear to let you know the process was successful.

Note: If your phone is boot-looping, then replace steps 8-9 with the following:
8. Click the “Download” button on SP Flash.
9. Then insert the USB cable into the phone precisely when its screen is dark. You may have to repeat this to get the timing right.

Note: Windows 10 should have the drivers needed to use SP Flash by default. If SP Flash fails to detect your Teracube, you may need to install the drivers below, then reboot your PC, before flashing.
Driver Link

System Setup

Because all data is erased by flashing an image, the phone will need to be configured as if it were brand new.

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Thank you for providing this! As a sustainable phone, it is great to know that we can fix it ourselves from both a hardware and software perspective. As someone who likes to experiment with alternative kernels and OSes to find my optimal performance/battery life ratio, I’ve messed up a phone or two which had no software recovery option, leaving the device a brick. So thank you very much for providing all of the necessary tools to the public!

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I’m having issues with my ThinkPad detecting my powered down Teracube 2e when connecting. The laptop detects the device just fine when powered on, but nothing happens in SP Flash when I get to Step 9 in the above tutorial. Could someone provide direction on how I would install the drivers mentioned in the Note… what driver do these files relate to and should update? Thank you!

I hit up YouTube and found this incredibly helpful tutorial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbJCbdfPlF8

Device successfully flashed!

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Thanks for this but I don’t have Windows.
How can I do under Linux ?

EDIT :
I found by myself:

  1. Download linux version from here https://spflashtool.com/download/
  2. Unzip it
  3. chmod +x *
  4. run as root flash_tool.sh
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The driver bundle provided doesn’t include a digital signature (*.cat) file, so it can’t be installed on any modern version of Windows; all 64-bit versions of Windows require a digital signature for the driver bundle (which has been a real PITA for anyone that needs to make .inf files to describe hardware that works with existing signed .sys drivers). Windows 10 also doesn’t recognize the device - the tool doesn’t move or show any signs of life, and for a brief period, all I see is “MT65xx Preloader” as an unknown device in Device Manager.

Kinda getting super frustrated trying to do this super easy process :thinking: Has anyone tried this on a clean PC to see if it’s as easy as quoted, without any pre-existing development tools/drivers installed?

update: Here is a signed driver bundle: Download MediaTek Preloader USB VCOM Drivers (for MT65xx, MT67xx and MT68xx Chipest) and installation guide - TechReen - probably a good idea to replace that link with one that doesn’t ask someone to change their Windows configuration to allow unsigned drivers (very, very inadvisable practice!) and use a bodged driver like that. Just get a signed version :wink: which isn’t available automatically in Windows by default.

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Thanks - link updated to signed drivers.

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