How to: Manually flash Android Marshmallow on Nexus

Google has started rolling the Marshmallow updates to the Nexus devices. If you haven’t got it already, here is how to manually flash it on your Nexus 5. I have done the same on my Nexus 5, but the steps are same for Nexus 6,7, 9 and the Player. There are many ways to flash a ROM. The most popular way is to flash a zip file using a recovery application like the TWRP. The method below does not need a custom recovery image on the mobile. You can use the command prompt on your computer to execute the commands and flash the ROM. It is pretty simple, but not straight forward.

Android Marshmallow

Before you start the process

  1. Charge your mobile to 100%.
  2. Take a complete back up of your data.
  3. Install USB drivers for your Nexus device on the computer.
  4. Enable USB debugging in your mobile. Go to Settings and open Developer Options to enable USB debugging. If you have not enabled USB debugging, enable it by tapping conitnously on the build number under Device information in Settings.

Files to be downloaded

  1. Download the Android Marshmallow factory images files, appropriate to your device
  2. Download the ADB/Fastboot drivers
  3. Download the Fastboot and ADB files and unzip it to a specific folder in your system. Lets name it <NexusMarsh>. I am using Windows for this exercise. So extract only the contents of the Windows subfolder into <NexusMarsh>.

Lets begin

Step 1:

Unzip the Android Marshmallow Factory image file and extract it to the folder <NexusMarsh>. Connect your Mobile to your computer with the USB cable.

Step 2:

Press Shift button and rightclick from the folder <NexusMarsh> and select “Open Command Window here”. This will open the command prompt from this path. Now type: “fastboot devices”. If you see a device with a random code, you are all set. If you dont, you will need to install the USB drivers for your mobile.

Step 3: Can be skipped if you have already unlocked your bootloader.

Unlocking the bootloader will erase all data. So make sure you have a backup of your data before proceeding. Type in the following commands

adb reboot bootloader
fastboot oem unlock

It will take some time. But the bootloader is now unlocked and you can flash any ROM.

Step 4:

Let now flash the Marshmallow on the device. The factory image file you have extracted will have a file called flash-all.bat. This file is a batch file which has all the required commands to flash the image on the device. So type it on the same command window

Run flash-all.bat

Step 5: Optional

You can choose to lock your bootloader by typing the following commands.

adb reboot bootloader
fastboot oem lock

I keep playing with my mobile and loading new ROMs now and then, so I choose to keep the bootloader unlocked.

After Step 4, your device will reboot and you will see the Marshmallow bootup animation. For the first time, the boot animation may run for long. It ran for 15 min for me. Nothing to panic as it is perfectly normal. Once it is booted up, you have the new version of Android on your mobile. Let me know if you face any challenges.


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