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Model ZTE N9500 Carrier: Sprint

Messing around with various button combinations I found this one and up popped a very interesting menu my question is. What are the respective purposes / consequences of each choice .

1 ) reboot( self explanitory)

  1. apply update from external storage.

3 wipe data/factory reset.

4 wipe cache partition

5 apply update from cache

6 md5 check

7 wipe carrier/data/factory reset.

Thanks in advance, Chris

  • That's the so-called recovery-menu. You can find out a little more via our recovery-mode tag-wiki (especially it also lists some custom-recoveries and their tags here). Via that page you can also check out other related questions. – Izzy Oct 30 '14 at 12:31
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What you have found is the recovery mode (or recovery in short) which is useful for manipulating the OS of your phone.

  • Options 2 and 5 take a .zip file of a specific format and update the OS of your phone with it. This is called "flashing". Stock recoveries (most likely you have a stock recovery if you don't know what this is) usually verify if the .zip was signed by the vendor of your phone - so you can't flash homemade .zips using this and so this option is pretty useless for you.
  • Options 3, 4 and 7 erase various pieces of storage in your phone. 3 erases all of your data but preserves the OS, which is useful if you want to sell your phone or it has become unusable and unfixable from inside Android. It essentially resets your phone to the state it came from the factory in. 4 does no harm, it erases temporary files which help speed up Android. These will be regenerated at the next boot, and the phone will be a little slower for a while. It can help in some cases when apps crash. I do not know what 7 does, but the "wipe carrier" part seems dangerous enough for me to not try it ever. Best case, it does a factory reset, like 3. Worst case, it makes your phone unable to connect to the carrier and make or receive phone calls.
  • 6 seems harmless enough, it seems to do an integrity check of some sort, maybe on update packages, maybe on the phone. You may as well try it, I don't think it does anything harmful or interesting whatsoever.

If you're interested, you can search for and install a custom recovery which will replace this menu with a much better one. This will allow you to install custom OSes to your phone, make and restore backups and much more.

  • Any suggestions on a custom recovery? Esp one that will let me get rid of the damned google apps I don't use. – Chris Oct 28 '14 at 14:06
  • Clockworkmod and TWRP recoveries are great; although I'm not sure if they are available for your phone, you will have to search for it. However, if you only want to remove Google apps, you can do it by rooting the phone and removing the corresponding .apk files from /system/app. This is dangerous! You can brick your phone if you remove wrong files! Do NOT do this if you aren't totally absolutely sure about what you're doing or you have an original ROM you can restore! also, I think you can click 'disable' in Settings/Apps if your Android version is recent enough, that is much safer. – matega Oct 28 '14 at 15:59
  • No custom recovery rids you of the Google-Apps. But you can flash a custom ROM (which usually comes without them). See my article series on Android without Google, especially Part 5: Free your Droid! on this topic (though the other parts fill other gaps on that road as well). – Izzy Oct 30 '14 at 12:24

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