Fastboot flash - where are the .img files?

Hi everyone,

Since the last OTA update, my Pixel XL is unusable in that it’s stuck in a bootloop and there is no way to load a custom recovery (TWRP). Details of that ordeal can be found here.

fastboot is the only command I can use (adb is unusable due to the bootloop). I went to use @Chimpthepimp 's HOW-TO fastboot flash, but when I unzip I don’t see any of the .img that are listed in the HOW-TO.

Does someone know where I can access the .img files?

Thank you so much!

For those of us not familiar with your device would you show us the

ls -l

contents of the unzipped ROM?

I think that you have become aware that you have no accessible working partitions:


Fastboot ought to be able to tell you the exact status of these two areas.

I assume you have a separate

Edit. Ah, yes, the /e/ Recovery is recovery.img

Are you unzipping the zip file before you sideload it through TWRP?

Easiest route would be to restore your phone to stock android 10. Google makes this easy for pixels!
Simply download the last build for marlin from this page and follow the section entitled Flashing Instructions. It’s all done in fastboot mode.

The beauty of it is that the script will flash both slots.

When the script is running it will do all the work, don’t touch anything on the phone until it has finished. The screen may go on and off a couple of times (it does on pixel 5, might be slightly different on marlin), you may be tempted to think it’s finished, just sit tight and it may reboot itself when finished or prompt you to reboot.

Copy and paste the terminal output into a text file when finished, it will act as a log just in case anything needs investigating.

Afterwards you will need to reset usb debugging etc on the phone before installing eos again.

Good luck


The best way to recover your device is to flash the original firmware (from Google) as the other user told you.

And when you have your device working again, if you want you can flash eOS from TWRP.

About your question, where are the .IMG inside the .ZIP of eOS? They are inside the payload.bin file, which you will have to unpack. There is a very simple utility written in PYTHON that is able to extract the content of the payload.bin files (vendor.img, boot.img, system.img).

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Thanks @chrisrg . I’m not ignoring your advice, just trying one last ditch effort to get back into the OS before I wipe everything out. I will implement the stock image as you suggested…soon :wink:

@LEPT yes, I’ll do the stock Android install. Thank you for the utility suggestion. My prior attempts with WinRAR & 7-Zip to crack open the .bin were false starts. Do you recall the name of the utility?

@aibd payload.bin is the only file with any data in it. Just need to crack it open to extract the .img files.

Thank you all!

@Dave1 TWRP will not load into either slot a/b. I’m trying to use the fastboot flash command as an alternative. Thanks.

@LEPT I think you were talking about the Payload Dumper Tool. Thanks again for the suggestion :+1:

Apparently unpacking the .bin is nothing like the .zip file. There is a nice tutorial with all the commands here.

That’s right. Sorry I didn’t provide a link to the payload.bin app earlier, but I answered from my smartphone and didn’t have links handy :wink:

OK, the Python-based Payload Dumper Tool did not work on my PC, but Manoj suggested Payload Dumper Go which DID work. I found instructions here.

Thanks for all your help guys!

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It probably wouldn’t work correctly, because you wouldn’t have all the dependencies:

  • protobuf==3.6.0
  • six==1.11.0
  • bsdiff4>=1.1

Fair point. I downloaded protobuf, but the how-to I was using didn’t mention six or bsdiff4 :face_with_diagonal_mouth: Got there in the end. Thanks!