How to fix „missing system.img“ when flashing Android 5.0 factory image to Nexus 5

How to fix „missing system.img“ when flashing Android 5.0 factory image to Nexus 5

Google recently released the Android L – Lollipop factory images for the Nexus 5. If you try to flash your device using the flash-all script, you will most likely run into the following error:

target reported max download size of 518205818 bytes
archive does not contain 'boot.sig'
archive does not contain 'recovery.sig'
failed to allocate 1813984020 bytes
error: update package missing system.img
Press any key to exit...

Flash factory image manually

To get around the „missing system.img“ error when trying to flash a factory image, you simply need to flash the .img files manually. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. The following asumes that you already installed adb and fastboot drivers on you computer (Windows) and downloaded the Android 5.0 factory image for your Nexus 5.
  2. Connect the device to your computer via USB)
  3. I you haven’t done it already, you also need to unlock your bootloader. First you need to start the device in fastboot mode by either:
    • Using the adb tool (device powered on)
      adb reboot bootloader or
    • Holding and pressing the volume-down and power button after you turned off your Nexus 5
    • After booting into fastboot mode, using the command prompt excecute fastboot oem unlock. This will erase all data on you device.
  4. Now extract the factory image archive (hammerhead-lrx21o-factory-01315e08.tgz) in a folder on your harddrive. Inside that folder, you will now find an archive called image-hammerhead-lrx21o.zip. Unzip that package inside the folder.
  5. Navigation to the folder using the command prompt you now can start flashing the image files to your device step by step:
    fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-hhz12d.img
    fastboot flash radio radio-hammerhead-m8974a-2.0.50.2.21.img
    fastboot reboot-bootloader
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    fastboot flash boot boot.img
    fastboot flash system system.img
    fastboot flash cache cache.img
    fastboot flash userdata userdata.img
    fastboot reboot
  6. Your Nexus 5 should now reboot and after a couple of minutes you should see the Android 5.0 setup screen.

Low storage after flashing factory image on Nexus 5

If your device’s internal storage has been downgraded to 16GB, check out this post on how to restore storage after flashing Android L factory image to your Nexus 5.

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