What is SP Flash Tool?
If you have a Chinese mobile phone, you have probably heard of this application. SP Flash Tool is a program for Windows and Linux that is used to flash any Android phone or tablet equipped with a Mediatek SoC.
This is the tool that we should use if we have a mobile phone with MTxxxx processor. With SP Flash Tool we can read, write or delete any of its partitions, simply by connecting the device to a PC via USB (Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Linux).
In this way, we can install a new ROM, a custom recovery, reinstall or correct possible errors, update the device firmware, etc.
Prerequisites: aspects to consider before starting to flash a mobile device.
In order to use SP Flash Tool, we must perform certain previous actions so that the application works correctly and prevent the loss of information in case the thing does not go as expected:
- Install the Mediatek USB VCOM preloader drivers for the PC to recognize the Android terminal.
- Make a backup of all important data.
Basic usage tutorial for SP Flash Tool
Once we have the controllers activated and all data safe, we can start using the flashing program.
Tools and utilities
SP Flash Tool is a fairly intuitive tool. The application is divided into 5 tabs, each with a very specific and defined purpose.
- Welcome: This is the welcome tab. Here we will find indications of how the application works and each of its sections. Very interesting if it is the first time we launched the program and we want to get some more information.
- Format: From here we can format the NAND flash memory of the smartphone. Allows automatic (including or excluding bootloader) or manual formatting.
- Download: This is the most used tab. From here we can flash the different partitions of our Android phone to install ROMs, recoverys etc.
- Readback: In this tab we can read certain blocks and regions of the phone’s memory.
- Memory Test: Function that allows us to test the RAM and NAND flash of the device.
For more detailed and developed information on each and every one of the tabs, there is nothing better than taking a long look at the “Welcome” tab of the application.
For most users, the most juicy section is “Download.” Place from which we will perform the most powerful action of all: the terminal flashing.
How to flash a terminal from the “Download” tab
When we talk about flashing, we mean overwriting one or more modules of the device with new modules previously selected by us.
For practical purposes, this can mean from replacing the recovery (with a custom one) to installing a completely new image of the operating system.
The “Download” tab, the place from which we perform the flashes, has the following options:
- Download: It is the button that activates the flashing process. We will only press it when we have the rest of the configured sections.
- Download Agent: The download agent is responsible for detecting the flash memory of the terminal and downloading the selected image to the device. By default, it is usually preloaded with the bin agent. Unless we have problems, it is not necessary to change it.
- Scatter-loading File: The Scatter file is a text file that allows the application to know which Mediatek chip it is working with. For example, if our phone has an MT6757 processor, we will have to select the MT6757_Android_scatter.txt scatter.
For example, if we want to replace the serial recovery of the device with a custom one, this is where we will have to specify its location. Normally they are files with “.img” format.
Follow the correct order of actions so that everything goes smoothly
- Select the agent MTK_AllInOne_DA.bin.
- Select the Scatter corresponding to our Mediatek chip.
- Choose in the “Location” of the address table all the modules that we want to flash.
- Press the “Download” button.
Once the “Download” button is pressed, we will connect the phone to the PC using a USB cable.
It is important that the phone is turned off, and if possible, with the battery charged. As soon as the PC recognizes the device, the flashing process will begin.
If everything went correctly, once the flashing is finished, a window will appear with the message “Download OK”.