A custom recovery image is an important tool that must be installed on every Android based smartphone, especially for the users who are looking forward in performing complex operations with their devices like gaining root access or installing a custom ROM firmware. Therefore, we will be checking in how to flash the ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM) on your Sony Xperia S, all being explained during the following step by step guide. This tutorial will be very useful for you as we have recently showed you how to update the Xperia S to stable CM 9, an operation which cannot be completed unless you perform the present one first.

There are a few things that you must take notice of, so before starting the steps from below ensure that you are reading all the lines from this tutorial. You need to do a lot of things so you must pay attention and try not to mess things up. Just follow my directions, don’t perform things by yourselves and everything should be just fine. As you will see, this operation is considered risky, meaning that you can even brick your smartphone, so it is important to read twice before applying something on your phone. Anyway, don’t worry as everything will be fine; let’s get started.

First of all, a custom recovery image, like ClockworkMod Recovery, must be installed on your Xperia S if you want to flash a custom ROM into its system. This tool will be used for the flashing process as you will apply the update from your phone’s SD card. Also, you can use the CWM for backing up the data or for wiping it out, so its capabilities are numerous. Anyway, it will be a good idea to flash CWM on your Xperia S only if you are about to get a custom or beta ROM because once you complete this operation your device will always boot into recovery instead of the current OS; of course this will change once a custom ROM is being updated.

But, for being able to complete the present tutorial, you should first unlock the bootloader of your Xperia S. The bootloader is a small program that runs each time you boot your smartphone. You can easily compare it with the one that is charging when you are starting your computer. Now, you must unlock this program or else you cannot install CWM. By unlocking the bootloader you will remove the factory restrictions out from the system so the warranty will get void. If you somehow brick your device, then you will be by yourselves. Don’t worry though as similar with the root procedure, you can restore the warranty by downgrading to the stock ROM or by applying an official update released by Sony and suitable with your handset. Now, if you own a phone with a looked bootloader, go here follow the prompts and unlock the same.

Also, as you are about to make changes in your phone’s system, it’s important to take care of your data. The personal info as all of the data which is stored on your Xperia S might get corrupted or wiped out. Therefore you must complete a backup first. A backup is an easy to handle operation; all you need to do is to get some free distributed tools from Google Play and use them for saving and then restoring the data. You can save messages, contacts, call logs, market apps, internet settings and even the current ROM, so don’t think twice and perform this. If you don’t know how just search for suitable tutorials through our how to section.

Finally, we are almost done with the pre requisites. The list from below is the last one that must be checked before the proper steps. This is the most relevant part of this guide, so don’t skip it. Just read and complete the next tasks and then you will be ready for the installation procedure. Else, you can brick your phone while trying to apply the CMW and I know that you don’t want to damage your Xperia S.

  • Remember to backup the data.
  • Also, don’t forget to unlock the bootloader as mentioned above.
  • Then, make sure you have access to a Windows running computer and to your phone’s USB cord.
  • On both, PC and handset deactivate the antivirus and Firewall protection as these tools can interfere with the installation operation.
  • Next, on your device enable the USB debugging option.
  • And on your computer you must install ADB.

Those were the preparation tasks. Now you can safely head to the steps. Make sure that you are not applying this how to guide for similar devices with the Sony Xperia S model number LT26i. CWM was first installed on such a device by those of xda-developers so we have them to thanks for this opportunity.

How to Install ClockworkMod Recovery on Sony Xperia S

  1. Use the computer for downloading the CWM file from here.
  2. Then, on the same computer download fastboot from here.
  3. Extract fastboot on C:\ drive.
  4. Then, copy the downloaded “ecovery-nozomi.img” file to the Fastboot folder from your computer.
  5. Now you must connect the phone in fastboot mode with the computer.
  6. In order to do so you must plug the USB cord to the PC, then on your phone press and hold the Volume Up button and while doing this connect the USB cable to your Xperia S.
  7. Up next, on the PC click on “Start -> Accessories -> on Command prompt right click -> Run as administrator".
  8. The command prompt window will now be displayed.
  9. Now, enter the following commands (press enter after each one): “cd c:\Fastboot” and “fastboot flash boot recovery-nozomi.img”.
  10. CWM will now be flashed.
  11. In the end the “finished / OKAY” message should be displayed.
  12. In command prompt enter “fastboot reboot”.
  13. Your handset should now reboot into ClockworkMod recovery.
  14. Remove the USB cord and disconnect the Xperia S from the computer.

That was all; your Sony Xperia S can now be updated with a custom ROM firmware as the ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM) has just been installed into its system. Run the tool and see which its options are. You will use most of it when you will apply the mentioned update so get used with the same. Remember that you have on Android.gs how to guides from which you can learn how to flash a custom or beta ROM like CM 9 on your Xperia S so don’t hesitate and follow the same.

Kenny Tan · 3 years ago

I am posting for people who face the same problem with humayon and arjun. In order to get out of recovery boot loop, you must press power button + vol up and wait the phone to vibrate 3 time to turn off the phone. after that press vol down and plug in the USB cable to go into flash mode. in the flash mode use sony flash tool (EMMA) to download and install stock rom.

Vitor Leite Martins · 4 years ago


graecc · 4 years ago

humayon and others then your device is bricked

humayon · 6 years ago

im now in recovery mode but when i try to reboot system it again gets into recvery mode help to get it in normal

arjun · 6 years ago

same thing happened to me too...pls help!

anon · 6 years ago

if you dont flash a rom and run it this will keep happening!

Heang Litoris · 6 years ago

how to enter to CWM?

Bogs Rivera · 6 years ago

both links are the same!

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