February 7, 2018

Android Tools Windows Support for Nitrogen Platforms

Android DeveloperMany topics in our Android Getting Started Guide rely on Android Tools such as ADB for application debugging or Fastboot for image flashing.

Unfortunately, the guide assumed that the user was using a Linux distribution for all the commands involving Android Tools.

This post is to assist all of our customers who are using Windows but still want to utilize those tools.

Android Tools installation

There are 2 steps required to be able to use the Android Tools in Windows:

  1. Download and install the Google Platform Tools
  2. Download and install a modified Google USB driver

Google Platform Tools

First you need to download the latest Platform Tools that Google provides:

Once downloaded, you can extract the archive to the path of your choosing, for this blog it will be located inside C:\android\platform-tools.

At this point, you should be able launch the commands already:

C:\android\platform-tools> adb devices
List of devices attached
 

You can see above that no device is attached and/or recognized by the tool, that is because Windows now needs a driver to recognize the Nitrogen platform as an Android device.

One last note before installing that driver, if you don’t want to enter the full path of each tool in command line, you should add their path to the PATH system variable:

Google USB Driver

This part is the most complicated due to the fact that our platform doesn’t expose itself with a Google PID over USB.

Instead we are using the following IDs; 0x0525:0xA4A5. What it means is that the default Google USB will not recognize our Nitrogen platform as an Android one.

To overcome that issue, we had to modify the driver android_winusb.inf file, which therefore breaks the signature of the driver.

The original and up-to-date Google USB driver can be found here:

The above driver requires the modified inf file is available on our server:

To ease the process, we also provide a driver archive which already includes the modified inf file.

Once you have downloaded the driver, you simply need to extract it.

Then you can connect your board (either when it is in Fastboot or ADB mode), the system should be unable to find a proper driver for it.

At this point you need to go to the Windows Device Manager, click on the unrecognized device and select “Update Driver Software…” followed by “Browse my computer for driver software“.

Select the extracted folder as the driver path which will give you a warning due to the fact our modified inf file breaks the driver signature. Please discard that warning

Then you should have the device properly recognized as an “Android Device“.

             

Using the Android Tools

Fastboot

If not already done, start Fastboot mode from U-Boot by issuing:

=> fastboot 0

Then in Windows you flash any image you want as specified in our Android guide.

We even recently added a flash_fastboot.bat Windows script to ease the flashing process.

ADB

Same goes for ADB, all the commands used in our Android guide still apply here. You can check all the commands available:

As always, let us know your experiences (both good and bad) when you test this out.