FP3 + TWRP: Phone not recognized anymore via adb command

Dear community,
I am new here (and new to FP3). I somehow made a mistake while installing a new ROM. Somehow I am not able anymore to get into TWRP and I really d o not know what to try next.

The old system is wiped. Adb and fastboot are installed (I use a Debian-kind of Linux). I tried to use a different USB cable - nothing.
On the phone side I do manage to get to the bootloader. But on my computer the device is not recognized anymore (adb devices: list o attached devices is empty), therefore attempting “adb reboot bootloader” or “fastboot boot twrp.img” aren’t successful neither.
So I cannot install neither TWRP nor a new ROM. Anybody out there with a suggestion for a way out of my dilemma?

You usually don’t install TWRP on the Fairphone 3, you just fastboot boot the TWRP image when you need it.
The Fairphone 3 is a so-called A/B device, it has a different partition layout compared to older Android phones. It doesn’t have a recovery partition anymore, so installing TWRP instead alters the boot partition. The implications of that vary by ROM. Fairphone OS for example doesn’t do OTA updates anymore with this, /e/ for another example just restores its own recovery when updating.

Just to be on the same page … What do you mean by that?
Bootloader means Fastboot Mode, it looks like this (displayed data may vary, image borrowed from here) …


ADB doesn’t work in Fastboot Mode, only the fastboot command does.
If you are in Fastboot Mode, fastboot devices should regognize the phone, and you could proceed from there.


Hi, thanks for the quick reply.

  • Yes, I recognize that I have not used a/b devices before. I am just a bit puzzled as I managed to get to twrp before and now not anymore. But if am fine if I could do without.
  • I confirm, I manage to enter the fastboot mode.
  • I was actually trying to install /e/ following the instructions on their website but I got stuck already on the first command: fastboot -w. Not sure what to do with the error message.

This is known to come from partly malfunctioning fastboot commands that were around in Linux for a while (this was prominently discussed in the /e/ forum, perhaps a place you want to check out when you consider /e/).

Make sure you use the current Android SDK Platform Tools instead.
/e/ also added a warning to really do this to the install instructions a while ago … “Please ensure you follow the instructions for adb and Fastboot setup exactly as given in the previous step to avoid unexpected issues during device setup.”