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Guide: How to return to stock for a phone you think you bricked
Alright, I had a TERRIBLE time returning to stock on my 4G LTE. RUU didn't work, I lost recovery, USB/ADB didn't work, and I even had a hard time copying files to SD cards offline. EVERYTHING was going wrong. I thought I was hosed. I googled and googled for days, and couldn't find a solution that helped my at all. I tried every version of RUU to no avail.
However, I DID end up finding and EASY fix! I'm a rooting noob, but I have worked in IT for many years. I was very frustrated with how long it took me to do it. (Please don't tell anyone)
I thought I'd post them to help people in the future.
First, an overview of what state I was in:
No ROMs on the device, it wouldn't boot an OS, it did boot the bootloader, but no recovery. I had the S-ON, but it also had the rocked/tampered warning. I had to do this via the "fastboot oem lock" command (Google it, there are plenty of tutorials.
Next, I grabbed the RUU from the ShippedRoms (I don't think I can link to them). Grab one for your phone that is equivalent to what you are running, or newer. (You can older run an older one if you have S-Off).
Run the RUU executable, but don’t proceed by hitting next. In the background, the Exe has extracted all the file in your Temp folder. We want those.
Head over here:
C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local\Temp (replacing ‘user’ with your username). Start>Run: %temp% works too.
Search for a ROM.ZIP
Copy it to your SD via a cord, SD reader, or however you do it.
Rename to PJ75IMG.ZIP (For EVO 4G LTE). Each phone model has a unique filename format you must follow! There is a handy chart somewhere that list these.
Insert SD back into phone and boot to bootloader. It will find this new ZIP file and run it, install the OS, install a recovery, and get you back to stock. Worked like a champ for me first time! After hours and hours wasted trying to RUU via the EXEs (I tried all of them, with different cords, difference PCs, etc).
I imagine this will work for most Androids. Just find the right RUU, and rename the ROM.ZIP to the correct filename.
I couldn't believe how easy it was, and that I couldn't find any instructions anywhere that outlined this said process. So, here it is. I hope it helps.