How To Install A ROM To An Android Phone / Device Without SD Card

AndroidWe have featured an extensive guide on how to install a ROM to an Android device but that method requires you to copy the ROM to the SD card before you can flash it. With this method however, you can flash the ROM to your phone even if you don’t have an SD card handy for the purpose.

Disclaimer: Please follow this guide at your own risk. AddictiveTips will not be liable if your device gets damaged or bricked during the process.


This method was shared with us by XDA-Developers forum member kyouko who used it for the HTC Hero CDMA device but it is quite straightforward and will work on any Android device that has an Amon_RA recovery available for it.

This method utilizes ADB to mount the data partition and push the ROM to it before flashing it from recovery. You will need Amon_RA recovery for this procedure as ClockworkMod recovery will not allow you to flash the ROM from the data partition. We can’t list Amon_RA recovery for every Android device over here but doing a quick search on Google or XDA-Developers forums will most likely get you to it, if a version exists for your device. Here is how to proceed with the method:

  1. Download and install Amon_RA recovery on your phone if you don’t have it installed already.
  2. In case you don’t have ADB installed, refer to our guide on what is ADB and how to get it.
  3. Download the ROM that you want to flash and place it on a convenient location on your computer. We will be using C:\ for that location and ROM.zip for the ROM’s filename in this guide.
  4. Reboot your phone into recovery, do a wipe data/factory reset and wipe cache and dalvik cache.
  5. Connect your phone to your computer via USB.
  6. Launch a Command Prompt or Terminal window on your computer and enter these commands:
    adb shell
    mount data
  7. Wait for a few seconds to see if you get the prompt back and then press Ctrl+C. Do it even if you don’t get the prompt back after a few seconds.
  8. Now enter the following command, replacing C:\ROM.zip with the path and filename of the ROM that you are using:
    adb push C:\ROM.zip /data/
  9. Wait patiently while the ROM is pushed to your phone and once it’s done, enter these commands:
    adb shell
    recovery --update_package=DATA:ROM.zip
  10. Reboot your phone from recovery. The ROM is now flashed to your phone.

[via XDA-Developers]

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  • TIM

    Thank you so much!!! I could not mount my sdcard because there were files missing from the other ROM. FIXED!! but you should also say that the ROM must be a signed one :) there must be another command to install ROM without sign check. either way thankyou. I thought I was done for!

  • ReynierPM

    Hi, I try this method in my HTC Magic and I can’t install, why? I really don’t know. I push the ROM wich have 81MB to /cache and then try to flash from there but the process take more than usual, about 15 minutes and nothing happen because when I reboot my phone not new ROM exists. Also I’m getting this error:
    recovery –update_package=CACHE:rom.zip
    sh: /sbin/postrecoveryboot.sh: not found
    Any help? I really need to flash my phone because my SD card because this error appear in recovery Can’t mount /dev/block/mmcblk0p1

    • Gamecon

      Hi!
      Did you solved this problem with your HTC Magic,cause I have the same s**t

  • sam

    I have an HTC Desire Z. There is no Amon_RA recovery for my phone. What do i do?

  • http://www.eufuzz.com/ Asim

    Thanks a lot. My sd card reader is broken and you saved my G1.

  • Greg

    Thanks…is there a way to get Amon Ra on the device without using the sd card? I’ve searched and only found flashable zips, which require the sd care (broken on my Acer a500 tablet).

  • lopp

    /sbin/sh: adb: not found error help!!