When trying to flash a Galaxy S3 (ATT), I get

ERROR: Failed to detect compatible download-mode device.

below is the log,

$ sudo heimdall flash --RECOVERY recovery.img
Heimdall v1.4.0

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Initialising connection...
Detecting device...
ERROR: Failed to detect compatible download-mode device.
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Start off by making sure that you're plugged into a USB 2.0 port. Then,

put the device in download-mode,

$ sudo adb reboot download

continue flashing with heimdall,

$ sudo heimdall flash --RECOVERY recovery.img

That should work,

Initialising connection...
Detecting device...
Claiming interface...
Attempt failed. Detaching driver...
Claiming interface again...
Setting up interface...

Initialising protocol...
Protocol initialisation successful.

Beginning session...

Some devices may take up to 2 minutes to respond.
Please be patient!

Session begun.

Downloading device's PIT file...
PIT file download successful.

Uploading RECOVERY
100%
RECOVERY upload successful

Ending session...
Rebooting device...
Releasing device interface...
Re-attaching kernel driver...
  • 1
    I don't see how the error is related to the answer. Usually when heimdall tells you that there is 'no device in download mode' then it is unable to find a device. This can be caused because the permissions of the device's USB node, which prevent the user running heimdall to access the device node. – Flow Aug 14 '13 at 22:32
  • Oh I just saw the sudo before the heimdall command. Well this would fix the error of course. Maybe you want to point that little fact out in your answer. – Flow Aug 14 '13 at 22:35
  • Or using heimdall with a device in download mode and restrictive device node permissions could cause this error. Then sudo will "fix" it. – Flow Aug 15 '13 at 7:21
  • 2
    What's wrong with USB 3? I tried everything, then noticed the first sentence! – PhilMacKay Nov 15 '14 at 16:18
  • 5
    adb reboot download gives "error: device not found" for me. – Geremia Apr 3 '15 at 8:33

One possible explanation is that you have confused recovery mode and download mode which are (I have just discovered) two different things on some phones, mine included. I had the same error and switching to download-mode fixed it.

Install Teamwin recovery put in recovery mode wipe everything fix system partition reboot from recovery into download mode now flash worked for me

  • The question was asked in 2013, for this to be a valid answer you're going to have to elaborate. Include bullet point instructions, and screenshots. – Aaron Gillion Feb 24 '16 at 0:37

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