How to install firmware on Samsung Galaxy S2 with ClockworkMod Recovery? (Video)

Every custom firmware for Samsung Galaxy S II should be in ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM) zip format. It is easy to install firmware itself (through SD card), update patches, install mod, backup and restore. Note – install a new firmware will replace your existing firmware. Do a full system backup with CWM first if you wish to go back to the previous firmware.


  • ClockworkMod Recovery
  • Firmware

In order to install firmware in CWM zip format, you need to have ClockworkMod Recovery on Samsung Galaxy S2 first. Follow this guide to install CWM ~ How to install ClockworkMod Recovery on Samsung Galaxy S2?

Step by Step Guide

  1. First of all, copy the firmware zip file that you want to install into sdcard (internal).
  2. Press and hold down Volume Up + Home + Power buttons at the same time.
  3. Release all buttons when you see SGS2 Logo.
  4. ClockworkMod Recovery will be loaded then.
  5. Select wipe data/factory reset. (You can skip this step if upgrade from same firmware)
  6. Then select Yes — delete all user data.
  7. Select wipe cache partition. (You can skip this step if upgrade from same firmware)
  8. Then select Yes — Wipe Cache.
  9. Go to install zip from sdcard.
  10. Then select choose zip from sdcard.
  11. Select your zip file ( in my video).
  12. Select Yes – Install your zip file.
  13. Reboot your SGS2.
  14. That’s all.

Enjoy your new installed custom firmware.


  1. Hi jayce,
    I know this would be silly question. but i m really confused.
    whts the difference between a stock/custom firmware and stock/custom rom….

  2. Hey Jayce, and thank you for all the help. I really appreciate your posts! Anyway, how do I get all my contacts and everything back from after installing a new firmware, for example Cyanogenmod7?

  3. hi..tried to install criskelo..follow all instrcutions then when applying update from zip error

    cant’t open /sdcard/

    pls help…

  4. thanx for prompt reply…

    yes..the zip file can be extracted to pc..

    ive super user jz need to install criskelo rom..pls assist..thanx again

  5. hi jayce. if i want to revert the rom back to previous rom (different rom) can i just restore the backup system (CWM) or do i hv to flash the rom again before restore the backup

  6. Hello jayce royal mind you are a teacher for all the post it brings over of this terminal mararillosa.
    A question hacerca of this new firmware on having installed it stays in English or gives the option to her change to the Spanish

  7. Hi Jayce,
    First of all thank you for your wonderful blog. The information is very useful indeed.
    I have just done my first custom rom flash, using your instructions. I first rooted the phone using the appropriate CF-Root file (KH1) then flashed Cognition 1.5.1. I get the yellow triangle, but am fine with that.
    My queries are (aplogies in advance for the long post – I’m a newbie):
    1. When i click on CWM it says “Current Kernel : Unknown” under CWM Manager v2.0. As per About Phone the kernel is Is that a problem ? I had installed ROM Manager after flashing. In ROM manager it says that the Flash ClockworldMod Recovery current version is Has installaing ROM Manger caused this issue.
    2. Suppose I do wish to get rid of the yellow triangle, will it have a negative impact if I flash the original Samsung kernel (Kernel_I9100JPKH1) downloaded from XDA to my phone using Odin ? I plan to follow the instructions on your other post to do this (remove the triangle).

    • 1. Unknown kernel in CWM manager should not be an issue. ROM Manger is not working properly with CF-Root. Use CWM Manager instead.
      2. Basically, the guide ask you to install stock kernel to remove yellow triangle. Then reinstall back CF-Root Kernel. So no negative. 😉

      • Wow, thanks for the quick reply Jayce. Can I just run the below steps by you before proceeding ?

        1. Uninstall ROM Manager.

        2. Use the steps outlined by you at to flash kernel “Kernel_I9100JPKH1” downloaded from XDA (this matches with my original Samsung ROM).

        3. Then again use the steps outlined by you at the above link to flash CF-Root – “CF-Root-SGS2_XX_OXA_KH1-v4.1-CWM4”.

        Would doing the above steps make the yellow traingle go away without affecting anything else ?
        Is this the correct CF-Root for my phone ? Can’t find anything closer.

        Sorry for the many questions…I’m almost there I think 🙂 Can’t thank you enough.


        • Look correct. As long as you are following the steps in remove yellow triangle guide, you should be fine.

          You already installed CF-Root XX_OXA_KH, right? If no problem now == no problem later.

  8. Confused again…:)
    If I flash this CF-Root kernel then the ninphetamine kernel which is part of Cognition 1.5.1 will get overwritten right ? Is that a problem for the new ROM ? Should I flash some ninphetamine kernel instead ?


    • Arr… I missed that you are using custom firmware Cognition. Then this method to remove yellow triangle is not suitable for you. Get a USB jig. Unless you manage to get ninphetamine kernel zImage to install (it should work I believe). 😉

  9. Jayce, how comes i cannot install rom from sd card? it says failed to verify or someting like that? whats the solution please mate? i was playing around and manage to get lightning rom but i wana change to villian but it just wont load.

  10. Hi Jayce,
    I copy the zip file from pc to the sd card via an adaptor
    during installation process the zip is not shown on the sd card
    and there is no error msg. what did i do wrong ? or how can
    i resolve this

  11. hey i jus installed cyanogenmod nd my phone is still reeboting from past 10mins.. i removed the battery nd reinserted it and tried again its d same!! PLZ HELP!!

  12. hi jayce i tried to installthe latest firmware 2.3.5 for s2 nd follwed ya steps…it all went smooth untill whn i clicked the zip starts installin but after 2 steps it displays installation aborted…..

  13. hi jayce, i know that the S2 has two SD part, internal and external. so, when selecting wipe data/factory reset, will it delete the data in internal-SD? i am asking because i do not have a micro-sd card (yet), and all my stuffs are in the internal-SD.

      • Ok. I backed up everything using CWM that i got from CF-Root. Gonna copy it to my PC when i get home. Then will start installing custom ROMs. Hehe.

        I’ll see you in another thread. Thanks man!

  14. Jayce,

    1. Does installing roms, mods, themes..etc, add junk files to your internal sd card?
    2. Are there files and folders that can be deleted to clean it up and maybe make phone run better?

    3. Are there certain folders that SHOULD NOT be touched/messed with?


  15. jayce! its me again.. i have a question again.. on your video it says to wipe the data/factory reset and cache partition…do i have to wipe also the dalvik cache.. ive read a post somewhere to wipe that when installing something via CWM.. what are your thoughts about that? tnx sir.

  16. sir jayce! i have a backup now, use CWM. am i ready to go for checkROM? having a full system backup using CWM is for precautionary measures right, “if” problems arise i can just restore the backup right and its good again? but i believe that there will be no problem..but im just making sure, so i want to know. tnx!

  17. can anyone help me please?

    I copied the rom file into the sd card from my pc… Then i go to recovery mode I clean my cache and data/factory stuff. After that i go to install zip from sd card and then choose from sd card… except I cant locate my ROM file there (it shows up in the sd card when i connect it to pc so its definitely there) instead i get 15 different folders ‘android’, ‘attachments’…. ‘’ etc…

    i have tried reformating my sd card a few times and putting the file back on.. but i still end up in the same position everytime..

    can anyone pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease help me??

  18. I was wondering what custom rom you using right now? Coz I think I found a problem with villainrom 3.0. I can’t use my 3G anymore. I sort of want a rom that is good with battery like villainrom. Doesn’t have to be exactly the same performance. Any recommendations??

  19. First of all, copy the firmware zip file that you want to install into sdcard (internal).


  20. Actually I do have 3G but I can only get it when I’m near the city area, meaning my 3G reception/signal is poorer. 🙁

    By the way, what are the kernels for??

  21. Hi, I did as you laid out, now I got a problem.

    I backup my stuffs with titanium backup pro, after doing all that, I tried to download titanium backup but it says error, i dont have enough sufficient space on my device. why is this?

    Sorry I’m very new to this.

  22. HI

    Is the Leomar 75 and CheckROM RevolutionHD the same?

    cuz in checkROm Rev. the battery icon at the top right has a number and a logo example
    ( 12% “BATTERY icon”)

    can help me how to make the battery icon like in leomar75?


  23. Hi Jayce.

    Love all of your posts. Any way, I installed CWM (followed the procedures) and then Installed villainROM 2.4.2 via CWM. All went smooth and when rebooting, it shows the warning triangle and after that just shows the “VILLAINROM, FREE YOUR ANDROID” and it stays like that until now. Help?

  24. Hey Jayce.
    I just got my s2 and flashed litening rom 6.1 is it safe to flash checkrom revo v4 after flashing litening? Id love a reply. Oh yeah andif you wipe all data doesnt it delete the rom from your sdcard too??

  25. hey jayce..i’ve tried to install miui..but when i go to reboot…it stil can’t ..still have the yellow triangle..and always appear the same..and can’t get through..

  26. Hi,

    Could you tell me the difference between all the custom firmwares listed? Which one should I use? I’m living in Canada… is there some restrictions? I remember reading somewhere firmware were linked to countries… is it right?

  27. Hi,
    I already copy files to my SD card, but why i cant get this files in my CWM based Recovery ?

  28. Hello Jayce. I bought a Samsung S2 GT-I9100G last September and it freezes often. I want to root it but I read that it’s complicated as there are a lot of firmware available. Below are the phone’s specs :

    Android version : GT-I9100G
    Baseband version : I9100GDZKL3
    Kernel Version :
    Build Number : GINGERBREAD.DZKL3

    What firmware should i install into my phone so that it’s stable and speedy?

    Thank you

  29. Dear Jayce,

    installed successfully … now i need to return my contacts and other stuff back , but Kies is not recognizing my mobile !!!

    any advice

  30. sir after i obtaining cyanogen..i don’t have samsung kies or anything left how will i recover my contacts and have google play?

  31. sir i don’t know that to use because after installing cyanogenmod 9…it can’t read the things in my external sd card. please help me :((

  32. Hi Jayce!!! I bough samsung galaxy s 2 for sprint and that guy put icecream rom in and i didnt like it and my friend tried put back to normal firmware and phone just crash. its not turning on when you turn on its says downloading and standing like that until battery die and i press volume up home and power same time its says some error and press volume up to continue or volume down to cancel if you prees up its going back to downloading. Help???

  33. Hi Jayce,

    My name is Andy from India n i have rooted my sgs2 with 4.0.4 and baseband version is now I9100XXLQ5……… Facing problem that videos are not playing and few pics are not getting open…?

    Should i try CBR Android 4.0.4 ? but i am not able to find ClockworkMod for this baseband version.

  34. Okay so there is NO prob if i m moving to lower version from upper version..? But i am not able to find CWR for I9100GXXLPQ ?

  35. Hi Jayce,

    I`ve just installed MIUI 4.0.3 on SGS2. So far, so good – looks nice 🙂
    But, now I want to perform restore of my old settings – accounts, contacts, apps etc. via Titanium Backup Pro. But when I try to install TB it says that needs root permission. Should I root my phone again? Isn`t it the custom kernel already rooted? Any ideas ?

  36. So, apparently the latest MIUI does not have root access. So, would you suggest me which way to use in order to root it ?

  37. It says that my kernel is XXKL1 – there is no such version CF-Root, right ? So now how am I going to root it ? Even if I wanna go back and reverse the upgrade to my previous ( NOT original ) firmware I cannot do it, because I do not have root to use CWM or TB ? So, no what, any ideas ?

  38. hello jayce, before I had a htc hd2 but now I have a samsung galaxy s2, where to begin to change roms. and if used well the CWM. I’m from south america

  39. Hey

    I am tryin to flash Ressurection Remix 3.1.2 on My S2 I9100 using CWM. After following all the steps as mentioned when i try to install zip file from sd card it throws back an error message
    can’t open “name of the zipfile”.zip

    Installation Aborted.

    Please let me know if there are preferences or settings changes that are needed to be made.

    I am currently running on ICS 4.0.4 Kernel Siyah v5.0.1 for S2.

    Thanks in Advance


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