1) If i want to flash a stock rom what should I use adb sideload or fastboot. I have seen on youtube people using both of these. Are both of these similar or different. Sorry if this sounds stupid but I'm a noob and I'm very confused.

2) Do i have to unlock bootloader for flashing stock rom.

3) Does fastboot oem lock/unlock command works on every android device.

  1. Folks consider adb sideload <ZIP> when they have a ready to flash .zip file. The command is mostly used when booted into Recovery mode.

    Fastboot on the other hand often deals with per partition flashing at a time. E.g. fastboot flash recovery <IMG> -- only flashes Recovery partition and not all the relevant partitions for ROM installation. ADB sideload <ZIP> usually does full ROM installation in one go.

  2. You unlock the bootloader only if it is locked. Google Nexus devices comes with locked bootloaders while some Chinese Mediatek devices comes unlocked. You've to search web for your model.

  3. No, the command doesn't work on every Android device. The reason is 2.

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  • So can i achieve full rom installation like "adb sideload" with any specific fastboot command. – Anuvicleo Jun 26 '15 at 20:16
  • @ANURAGBHASKAR As long as you have all the related files (must be flashable via fastboot like .img, .bin) you can flash them using fastboot, and Stock or whatsoever ROM to which they belong would be installed. E.g. This zip has files that can only by flashed through fastboot, while this zip can be flashed using adb sideload or via "install zip" of Recovery. Both would achieve the same result (installation of Stock ROM) in this case. – Firelord Jun 26 '15 at 20:46
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    @Firelord "the reason is 2": yes, sometimes. But sometimes it's 4: device is locked, but manufacturer took precautions to disable unlocking. Sad but true. +1 nevertheless :) – Izzy Jul 19 '15 at 11:22

ADB sideloading can be used to push a ROM into you device via you PC. Fastboot can flash a ROM (Most likely stock) by installing each parts one by one.

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