HiKey960 Board Recovery

This page outlines steps needed to recover your HiKey960 board from a bricked software state. This instruction set is suggested to those who are experiences boot issues due to a corrution in the file system and/or other software components.

Installing a Bootloader

For most users a board can be “recovered” from a software failure by reloading the operating system. However, if the primary bootloader has been corrupted then the bootloader will need to be re-installed. This section describes how to reinstall the primary bootloader.

Download the bootloader binaries

The bootloader binaries for HiKey960 can be downloaded here.

Make sure fastboot is set up on host computer

  • Android SDK “Tools only” for Linux can be downloaded here
  • The Linux “Tools Only” SDK download does not come with fastboot, you will need to use the Android SDK Manager to install platform-tools.
  • To do this follow the “SDK Readme.txt” instructions included in your SDK “Tools Only” download.

If you are still having trouble setting up fastboot, click here for a short tutorial video

Connect a standard Type C cable between the HiKey960 and your Linux PC.

Note: HiKey960 should NOT be power on at this stage

There are two versions of HiKey960: v1 and v2. One important difference you should know is: v1 is using Jumper (J2001), while v2 is using DIP switch (SW2201). Both are located in the bottom side of board.

There are two versions of HiKey960
v1 uses Jumpers (J2001)
v2 uses DIP Switches (SW2201)

Note: Both version of switches are located on the bottom of the board.

Jumper / DIP Switch comparison
Jumper Pin 1-2 = DIP switch 1
Jumper Pin 3-4 = DIP switch 2
Jumper Pin 5-6 = DIP switch 3
  • To boot into fastboot mode everytime set switch 1 & 3 to ON state and switch 2 to OFF state.
  • To boot into fastboot mode at every alternate rebooot set switch 1 to ON and switch 2 & 3 to OFF state.
  • To boot into recovery mode set switch 1 & 2 to ON state and switch 3 to OFF state

Since we are going to flash the bootloader binaries, we need to boot into recovery mode as mentioned above.

Connect the HiKey960 power supply to the board.

Since USB does NOT power the HiKey960 board, you must use an external power supply.

After powering up the HiKey960, wait about 5 seconds and then check that the HiKey960 board has been recognized by your Linux PC as follows:

$ ls /dev/ttyUSB*
$ dmesg

Flash the recovery binaries

Make sure the modem interface is in the right ttyUSB as previously suggested. In this example, ttyUSB0 is used:

$ sudo ./hikey_idt -c config -p /dev/ttyUSB0

You should be able to see the following output after executing the tool:

Config name: config
Port name: /dev/ttyUSB0
0: Image: hisi-sec_usb_xloader.img Downalod Address: 0x20000
1: Image: hisi-sec_uce_boot.img Downalod Address: 0x6a908000
2: Image: recovery.bin Downalod Address: 0x1ac00000
Serial port open successfully!
Start downloading hisi-sec_usb_xloader.img@0x20000...
file total size 99584
downlaod address 0x20000
Finish downloading
Start downloading hisi-sec_uce_boot.img@0x6a908000...
file total size 23680
downlaod address 0x6a908000
Finish downloading
Start downloading recovery.bin@0x1ac00000...
file total size 1179648
downlaod address 0x1ac00000
Finish downloading

The bootloader has now been installed. Now move to the Hikey960 console and press f during UEFI boot. This will allow the board to boot into fastboot mode. Once the board is in fastboot mode, you should see the ID of the HiKey960 board using the following command

$ sudo fastboot devices
1ED3822A018E3372	fastboot

The following fastboot commands loads the partition table, bootloader, and other necessary files into the HiKey960 UFS memory.

$ sudo fastboot flash ptable prm_ptable.img
$ sudo fastboot flash xloader hisi-sec_xloader.img
$ sudo fastboot flash fastboot l-loader.bin
$ sudo fastboot flash fip fip.bin

Your bootloader has been successfully installed and you are now ready to install the operating system files into the UFS memory, for this go to the (HiKey960 Installation) page.


This bootloader is based on UEFI and includes:

  • ARM Trusted Firmware
  • UEFI with DeviceTree
  • GRUB
  • fastboot support
  • OP-TEE support