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The first recommended step in the installation of CyanogenMod on Samsung Galaxy S is flashing a custom recovery like ClockworkMod or the one from Replicant with a command like:

heimdall flash --kernel path/to/recovery.img

Now I feel that the instructions might be misleading:

I have done the first step wanting just to have a custom recovery mode, without proceeding to replacing the main OS on the device.

It seems I have done that wrong, because the device now always boots into the recovery mode.

What would be the correct heimdall command to just install a custom recovery system without touching the main system?

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It worked for me. But AFAIK it depends on the version of the stock ROM you have: Some custom recoveries are able to boot it, others not. I guess there is no general way. –  Flow Apr 22 '13 at 7:51
    
@Flow So, the recovery mode and the normal mode are supposed to use the same image when booting? I was thinking that perhaps there are two different images for the different boot modes, and I replaced the wrong one by mistake, and that's the source of my problem: booting always into the recovery system (no matter whether other keys are pressed when powering up) after I executed the flashing command from the post, although I would really like to boot the old main system. –  imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev Apr 22 '13 at 8:18
    
No, if the custom kernel/recovery boots always into recovery then it's usually a sign that it is unable to find/boot the normal system. –  Flow Apr 22 '13 at 8:24

2 Answers 2

I do not know the partition mapping of the SGS, so my only suggestion would be to use the GUI (heimdall-frontend) and select the recovery partition only. As of restoration of the original system, my suggestion is to reflash the original ROM without touching /data. But backup it first using an advanced custom recovery like this one if possible: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2201860 (the key feature is custom backup/restore)

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But what if I destroy the original OS when flashing the custom recovery? In my case, I flashed a custom recovery, but the OS doesn't boot after that... swhat could go wrong? That is something I didn't expect: I just wantee to flash a custom recovery, but do not install a new main OS. Now I'm forced to do that. –  imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev Aug 2 '13 at 17:45

the wiki is wrong, i think. the heimdall example shows "--KERNEL" and "zImage" when discussing how to flash the recovery. I'm thinking those options would be for flashing a new kernel, not a recovery image. try either "heimdall --help" or look at a cyanogenmod wiki page for another device to see an appropriate recovery flash command

...this would also explain why the device only bnoots into recovery mode. recovery has been flashed as the kernel! :)

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