Stuck in Team Win Recovery Project after Android update

OK Its not a virus. However its not obvious what to actually DO when it appears on our phones! We’re not all computer experts - I just bought an ethical phone, which happened to be ‘smart’ - that does things I’ve never seen before - and crashes . End of the day, I want an ethical simple phone. I have a camera that I’ll use in future instead of the FP2 - because the last crash wiped out weeks of vital business photos - and I needed them. Google just seems to hoover up my photos - as I don’t know what’s backing up or where to - and I’m deeply suspicious of how safe their back up actually is. You know?
If its an Open OS recovery programme - why is it on my Android FP2?

It is a recovery program for any Fairphone regardless of the OS. It is present on any FP2 by default, though the default version has limited functionality and users of alternative operating systems often replace it by another version.

What crash are you referring to, your phone suddenly ended up in TWRP and would not boot normally even if you pressed reboot there? Usually pressing reboot in TWRP (and ignoring the warnings about no OS installed) is enough to get a phone working again that ended up in TWRP by accident.

1 Like

Maybe to make it more clear: a recovery is essential for any smartphone. You can’t have a smartphone without a recovery as it is needed to install system updates for example. That would be like asking for a computer/laptop to not have a BIOS. Both are usually not visible to the user but it is impossible to not have them.

1 Like

In short: You are right to be deeply suspicious.

The usual way of operating an Android phone starts with the initial setup, which will ask for your Google account. This is the central part.
If you provide your Google account (that’s really an if, as you don’t need to), and if you don’t immediately afterwards disable syncing for this account in the account settings, Google will start to sync everything it can find on the phone to Google’s servers … contacts, photos, any other user data Google can make sense of, which Apps are installed etc. … and this syncing process will keep on going in the background.

It is worth to note that for a still large majority of Android device users this either is a totally welcome and wanted upside, or they just don’t care or know it any other way.
Local backup you would have to seriously think about and invest time in? Tedious and unnecessary … Google has everything.
Migrate data and Apps to a new phone? No problem … Google has you covered.

The downside … all your stuff is on Google’s servers in US jurisdiction. Not everybody wants this (mildly speaking).

So … how safe is their backup? As safe as they are able to safely operate their “cloud”.
Fun fact you would of course expect now: All the big cloud market leaders that be (Google, Amazon, Microsoft) have already suffered embarassing service outages and even data losses in their cloud infrastructure, but until now this mostly hit the data of businesses who even paid them for cloud services (which makes it worse, but went largely unnoticed by the general public).

5 Likes

Excellent answer Another Elk!
So I might as well back everything up to Google - after working out how - whenever I take vital photos… Seeing as they don’t have my permission to use them (do they?) I can’t be done for unfortunate photos? Whatever - it’s a risk at work - as my festival sauna kit photos often get bombed by passing users - that I have to edit before posting. Tough!
Mostly I want to find out how this TWRP works - so I can recover my phone when it hits. I’ll go hunt for info on that - (which I’ll print for my Filofax… (yep, no battery, so always safe) Meanwhile, still have no idea why the damn thing is being triggered anyway. I will be carrying a camera in future - as I can’t trust the FP2…

This totally saved my day, thank you! :partying_face:

Hi, you wrote that “Normally, once you are in TWRP’s main menu, you can just connect your phone via USB to your PC, and Internal Storage would be available so you could copy files over”, I have tried connecting them via USB over and over but nothing happens. If I understood you correctly the phone should show up like normal when I connect them? Any idea why this does not happen and what I can do?

I don’t usually need that feature, so your comment prompted me to try after a long time … and it didn’t work for me either, but it clearly did in the past. So …

I’m using Windows 10 Pro 1903.
For testing purposes over time I apparently installed different USB/MTP/ADB driver packages like “Minimal ADB and Fastboot” (I think there are even different incarnations with the same name), “Universal ADB Driver” and possibly more, and I either forgot to uninstall them again, or they didn’t uninstall cleanly, or whatever.

To get MTP running again, I did the following …

  • Disconnected the phone from the computer.
  • In Control Panel - Programs and Features:
    Uninstalled everything with “MTP” or “ADB” in its name.
  • Rebooted Windows.
  • In Control Panel - Device Manager:
    Enabled View - Show hidden devices, and then uninstalled every possible ADB, MTP and smartphone device, hidden or not.
  • Rebooted Windows.
  • Connected the phone again with booted TWRP, Windows then needed a moment to set up MTP again automatically and prompted a success message afterwards.

Et voilà … Now the Fairphone 2 with “Internal Storage” and “Micro SD card” shows up again in Explorer as soon as TWRP is booted and the phone is connected via USB. I tried TWRP 3.2.3-0 and 3.3.1-0.

Turns out I deleted my working #dic:adb and #dic:fastboot commands with this endeavour (they were probably from Minimal ADB and Fastboot), so I did the following …

5 Likes

I’ve just crashed again. I charged my phone - without the sim card in - turned it on… Emails still coming in, amazingly (wi-fi available) - and a Fairphone update. So I checked that - it started downloading… Net time I look, its in TWRP again. So I’m trying this… A zip file came in, a partition seems to be updating. Ah, the ‘No OS…’ Rebooted anyway - as mentioned by others. Hmm Fairphone start screen. All seems fine. Oh… an email came in, a current subject despite the sim card having been out for a week. What the … Do I even need a simcard?? This is so weird. See why TWRP needs clear instructions on the screen?

The SIM card is needed to connect to the mobile network, so you need it for calls and SMS/MMS messages as well as internet via mobile network.

E-mail is relying on internet, doesn’t matter whether internet via mobile network or internet via WiFi.
So as long as you have WiFi, you indeed wouldn’t need a SIM card to get e-mails, or access the internet in general.

I guess you will like the next OS update, as it replaces TWRP with the stock Android recovery, which has a lot less options than TWRP.
(This was announced recently in several TWRP-related bugtracker issues.)

2 Likes

I hope that’s going to be an improvement… A recovery programme that doesn’t tell us how to use it - with a risk that if I pick the wrong option wipes all of my data - is not a recovery.
And I have no idea why it keeps coming up. After the first one I have kept firmly away from the volume buttons - and my FP2 has crashed twice more in 3 weeks. Meanwhile my old Samsung button phone works fine (as long as I remember to charge it every 5-6 days) without crashing.
So… I have a FP2 that does email and even surfs - as long as I have wi-fi - and a Samsung that takes photos and takes calls without crashing - and it doesn’t even cancel calls if the screen touches my ear! Sorted.
I’ll keep an eye out to see if the new OS avoids these TWRP crashes - and if it does I may put my SIM back in and see if it’s a phone or not. Not impressed.


It’s not as if the options in question are named confusingly.
You can’t choose something like “Abnoramalzing Some of the Matrices” * and it would wipe your phone.
You can choose to “wipe” or “format” something called “data”. Surprise: That will wipe or format some data.
You can choose a “factory reset”. Surprise: That will reset the phone to the state it was in leaving the factory. Well … not really, but in this case the name is more intrusive than the function it executes, which is no major harm.

(* Fun splash screen message of Discord, one of many.)


You don’t need to be a computer expert, but you don’t get around taking part of the blame when you’re not knowing what you’re dealing with and something goes wrong.

I am not an expert regarding the details of how a car works. But I have a driving license and thus a basic understanding of what a car is, what harm it can do to me and others, and what is what in the car, and how I theoretically operate all that in a safe manner.

1 Like

I have tried to update my fairphone 2 and it came into TWRP mode.
Then, I have tried to update it manually following forum instructions and it appears “could not flash the modem partition on device XXXXXX”
Anyone could help me?
Thanks

1 Like

Welcome to the community forum.
I moved your post here to avoid duplicate topics.

Worth a try when in TWRP …

A little more detail in between …


Which instructions? The official ones are here …

1 Like

Thanks very much for your responses
After Install -> cache -> install zip file ‘/cache/fp_update_gms-fad0fe00.zip’,
E1004: system partition fails to recover
Updater process ended with ERROR: 7

In this case please follow the official instructions for the manual installation.

You what?? I didn’t intend to become a computer expert when I paid, was it 300 squid? for a telephone. Oh, it also takes photos, and emails, even acts as a GPS and Facebook and even recently surfs the web (not much point - screen too small) !! Wow, I never had a phone do all that before, so I’d better read the instruction manual. THERE ISN’T ONE. I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for Fairphone to reply to a question about the TWRP. In the meantime I have a camera (Olympus) a laptop (Panasonic) and a button phone (Samsung) that all work, none of which have crashed into TWRP - and have instruction manuals. My Fairphone2 remains off until I solve how to stop TWRP crashing my life.

We have given you many tips on how to get out of TWRP, but if you refuse to try them and instead insist on ranting about things none of us here have any control over then we can’t help you anymore.

2 Likes

Sorry to you all. Yes, it was a rant and I was annoyed - and a lot more advice has appeared since I posted this provocative subject. I just paniced when that screen appeared

… Clearly several of the options are scary. Restore or reboot seem safer and maybe Settings could give advice - but I still ended up loosing loads of important data. Often being on the road, miles away from wi-fi with only a phone to hand, when I was suddenly cut off by this mystery app. = Melt down.
Thanks for all of your help. I’m putting my sim card back in to my FP2 - and hope it works.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 182 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.