June 2021
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PostHeaderIcon Restore GingerBread on a Nexus S “bricked” by CyanoGen


After rooting my Nexus S, I tried to flash the ROM, in order to replace the genuine GingerBread with a CyanoGen ehanced version. This worked pretty well, but for a amazing reason I do not know, I missed the so-called “GApps”: GMail, GMaps, etc., this way a Nexus S (or any other Android-driven mobile device) losing any interest. Then, it was the worst catastrophic epiphenomenon I might fear: the Nexus was “bricked”. Indeed, the splash screen, with the Android robot on a skate, did not stop from looping…

Brick, Block and Pitfall

I tried to restore CyanoGen, wipe the memory, etc., but nothing efficient. At last I decided to restore a genuine Gingerbread version.
Here is the puzzling block that stands on the road: a Nexus S does not contain an actual (I mean physical) SD memory card. The “virtual” SD card must be mounted via ADB. But ADB does not recognize the device, since the Nexus is “bricked”. The only access to the Nexus appears to be FastBoot… which does not recognize the /sdcard folder. And the circle is complete.

As you understand, the key is to be able to mount /sdcard, which is sufficient to copy a ROM, and then apply it as a regular update.


Here we assume you have a minimal knownledge on how to use ADB and FastBoot:

  • Download recovery-clockwork-
  • Download GingerBread original ROM:
  • Switch on your Nexus in recovery mode (sound up and on/off buttons at the same time)
  • Select “recovery
  • Connect it to your PC
  • On the PC: fastboot boot ~/recovery-clockwork-
  • Your phone reboots with a yellow on black console.
    • Select “mounts and storage” > “mount usb storage”
  • Now your PC detects the phone as a regular mass storage device.
    • Copy GingerBread ROM to /sdcard folder.
    • Rename it as (optionnal, easier for the next step)
  • On the PC: fastboot boot ~/recovery-clockwork-
  • On the phone,
    • select the option “apply update
    • select
  • Restart the phone
  • If the phone freezes a long time, shut it down and switch it on again
  • Now the regular Nexus splash screen should be OK

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