I have a Nexus S (on android 4, not rooted) device who's not able to boot. It opens and get stucks to the X screen. I can only access the recovery mode.

I tried to backup data via ADB, but the phone haven't activate USB debugging so I can't connect ADB backup (and it won't show in adb devices). I can only get signal via USB when I go in "update via ADB" option, then the device show, but only the sideload connection is activated.

How can I backup the data on the phone? Or how could I activate the USB debugging mode while in recovery?

  • You can access adb in recovery by way of adb shell?
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 21:51
  • The recovery adb update mode don't seem to allow adb shell; it can't connect via the shell. And in the normal recovery, I just can't access the device. Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 22:02
  • You do have the drivers enabled for the device when in recovery mode? (Windows? Linux?)
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 22:03
  • I'm pretty sure they are as it connected fine in recovery-update mode, but this is really not my domain of expertise (on Windows). Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 22:11
  • android.stackexchange.com/questions/28296/…
    – Akhil
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 10:28

1 Answer 1


You may need to 'upgrade' the driver to the adb version. Open Device Manager, find your phone and right click it. select "update driver software". On the window that appears choose the "let me pick" option. You should then see a couple of different drivers, select the one that includes "adb" and click ok through any further windows. (remember which one was selected before so you can repeat this to return to the 'normal' driver) You should then be able to run the adb backup.

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