How to Recover a Bricked Asus Zenfone 2 Smartphone

Unbrick Zenfone 2A smartphone is called bricked when it turns into an unusable box because its software or hardware is damaged. Software issues generally are in the form of corrupted firmware or key system files which won’t let the device boot up. While hardware issues would require a physical repair, most software issues (soft brick) can be sorted out by flashing the factory image and hence bringing the device back to life. This however requires a device to be bootable into Fastboot and Recovery modes. Here’s how to recover (unbrick) an Asus Zenfone 2 from such a situation.

Recovering (Unbricking) the Asus Zenfone 2

Whether your Zenfone 2 has bricked due to  a failed OTA update because the device is rooted or there’s some other issue, the solution is pretty straightforward – Flash the Full Stock ROM. Read on to find out how to do that and recover your phone from a soft-bricked or malfunctioning state. Your personal data will generally stay right there, but don’t get too surprised if it is all cleaned up.

  1. Download and Install ADB on your PC.
  2. Download and Install the Intel USB/ADB Drivers.
  3. Download the latest Stock ROM from the Asus website by visiting the following links. If your device got bricked after a recent OTA software update, wait a few days while Asus uploads the latest Stock ROM. On the page below, select Android as the OS and then expand the Firmware section. For non WW devices, please check your regional Asus website for the download details.
    Zenfone ZE551ML Stock ROM
    Zenfone ZE550ML Stock ROM
  4. Copy the downloaded Stock ROM to the folder where you installed ADB (Generally C://adb)
  5. In power off state, press and hold the Volume Up key and then press and hold the Power Key till the phone vibrates. Release the power key at vibration, but keep pressing the Volume Up key. Wait for the phone to boot into fastboot mode.
  6. In the fastboot mode, keep pressing the Volume Down key till you see Recovery Mode. Press Power Key to select it.
    If you encounter a dead android icon at this stage, just press and hold the power key and then press the volume up key. Release both and you’ll be into the recovery mode.
  7. In recovery mode, select Apply update from ADB.
  8. Connect your phone to the PC and open the ADB folder. Right click while holding down the shift key and choose Open command window here.
  9. Pass the following command in ADB. Replace with the name of Stock ROM zip (eg: downloaded in step 2.
    adb sideload
  10. Wait for the process to complete as it will take a couple of minutes.

Reboot the phone when it is all done and hopefully your Zenfone 2 will be boot up fine, alive and working again.

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310 Responses to How to Recover a Bricked Asus Zenfone 2 Smartphone

  1. Zenfone_for_me July 13, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    How to start the dead zenfoen 2 and whats the key combination

  2. Timmi K D July 17, 2016 at 6:32 am #

    wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooT finnaly got out of fastboot mode previously deleting my at&t rom and it bootloader. google up for “Unlock & Relock for Zenfone 2 (ZE500CL)” and install the unlock bootloader while install twrp my phone actually goes in twrp by itselfand thanks god

    Unlock & Relock for Zenfone 2 (ZE500CL)

  3. Ayush July 21, 2016 at 1:38 am #

    I did exactly stated above and completed the installation and when I reboot it again prompts the same error as stated below..

    ” ERROR: Can’t load invalid boot image!”.

  4. Velloy July 27, 2016 at 3:48 am #

    Worked like a charm.

    Thank You

  5. Mateus July 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    Thank you so much, your guide brought my zenfone back to life 😀

  6. Yogesh Krishnani July 29, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    Thanks a ton! I rooted my zenfone 2 some months ago and then yesterday I took OTA update. And It got stuck. I followed your tutorial and I was able to unbrick my phone. Thanks once again.

    • Narender Singh July 29, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

      I’m glad that this has helped you! Enjoy 🙂

  7. Anoymous July 30, 2016 at 5:29 am #

    plss help .. cannot read

  8. Pranay July 30, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

    thanks mate!

  9. Asus enthusiast 12 August 2, 2016 at 3:06 am #

    I have a problem where the phone is rooted and stuck in boot loop from xposed framework install and will not accept the firmware. ADB error status 7. I also cannot flash any of the boot images without getting a denied access response. I have already tried formatting user data and the cache. The only parts of the phone that are accessible is the boot menu and recovery mode. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Narender Singh August 2, 2016 at 10:36 am #

      What package are you trying to flash via ADB? Make sure it is newer or current to what is already installed. If it still fails, try booting into an older stock recovery via fastboot boot command.

  10. Amit bera August 7, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

    what comnd ..and what name will enter plz clearly tell

    • Narender Singh August 7, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

      I’ve already written as clearly as I could. Can you tell me what part is unclear?

  11. amit bera August 9, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    sir, it is must to put the rom zip file in c drive adb folder in pc???? I have asus zenfone 2 ze550 ml and after I rooted my phone i took a ota update and phone is not opening stuck on boot logo.I want tried your proces .

    • Narender Singh August 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

      No. It is not. You can point it to the location of the zip file.

      • Warrior September 3, 2016 at 3:57 am #

        When I write fastboot devices in the command window my device doesn’t show up. Is it because I don’t have USB debugging on and is there any way to turn it on?

        • Narender Singh September 3, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

          You should check that ADB drivers for your device are correctly installed. Even if debugging is disabled, the device will be detected.

  12. amit bera August 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    when I type adb sideload its say cant read

    • Narender Singh August 9, 2016 at 11:53 pm #

      Did you replace with the name of downloaded file?

  13. Amit bera August 12, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

    yes sir.I replace the name by copy the zip file name and paste it adb sideload…..the download file name)..but then also it not working plz help me…

  14. Amit bera August 12, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    one thing sir when I install adb it says list of device atach…successfully.demon not shown this type

  15. joao August 13, 2016 at 3:33 am #

    Thank you so much. It saved my phone.

  16. meta September 1, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

    usb debugging off,
    thus, it shows no devices found

  17. warrior September 3, 2016 at 1:25 am #

    How do I turn Usb debugging on when I cant boot up my device?

    • Narender Singh September 3, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

      You do not need debugging on a device that is not starting up. ADB sideload from recovery will still work.

  18. Al Ahmad September 10, 2016 at 2:27 am #

    mine is error too. it message is ‘error: more than one device and emulator’. please help me.

    • Narender Singh September 10, 2016 at 8:04 am #

      You probably have Bluestacks or some other emulator installed on your system. Kindly close all its processes so that it is not detected in ADB.

  19. Jamie September 11, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    Hi, can you please advise on this error message. The installation gets aborted

    * daemon started successfully *
    Total xfer: 0.00x

    • Narender Singh September 11, 2016 at 11:15 am #

      That isn’t an error, can you please check what it displays on the phone’s screen?

      • Jamie September 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm #


        Phone goes to recovery mode menu and says ‘installation aborted’ at then bottom of screen.

        • Narender Singh September 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

          That is strange. There needs to be an error on at least one side. Can you manage to try a different PC?

  20. keshav warad September 11, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    my model number is asus zenfone 2 laser ze550kl i dont know whether it is brick or not? and i cant install any os its showing error 7 for all os which i try to install
    please get me back bro

  21. Pagee Gamer September 11, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

    Hello I would like to get my smartphone after a ASUS update the device restarted and stayed at the ” ASUS in shearch of incredible ” ( Note: I have root)

    I can not install ADB on my computer, is giving access denied. please help me!

    • Narender Singh September 12, 2016 at 1:10 am #

      Do you have Admin account on the PC?

  22. pradeep September 16, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    hi narinder,

    i was updating the zenfone 551ml to marshmallow so manually downloaded the update file and put it in the root of phone. phone detected the file and said to install update. firstly it was installing but after few minutes fastboot mode displayed on phone by itself it has normal boot written on top which on selecting with volume down button goes to power off, recovery mode, restart bootloader. when recovery mode is selected by pressing power button. it reboots again back to fastboot mode withe normal boot written on top and at the bottom it is written ‘continue the fastboot process’.

    pls help i am struck here. waiting for ur reply.

    • Narender Singh September 16, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      YOu should try flashing/booting stock recovery (img file) via fastboot commands and see if you can enter recovery that way. You might be able to flash the older version of stock ROM from there.

  23. pradeep September 16, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    pls let me know in detail where to get the recovery img from and which commands to run as when i connect the phone to computer and run command adb devices none is listed there.

  24. pradeep September 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    thanks for replying

    i am a new bie pls let me know the commands of fastboot also when i connect the phone with adb devices none is listed there. if it does not connect with adb how to run the fastboot command?

    pls help i have gained some knowledge from internet but need help from you.

  25. asma September 16, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

    pradeep, i need ur help actually i rooed my zenfoneselfie afer that only screen appears nothing else, i tried every thing but nothing happen ,now i am going o follow ur pos i downloaded driver and rom from website and adb and boo loader now please tell me how i have to do can u provide me screen shOT or though email.

  26. asma September 17, 2016 at 12:32 am #

    I downloaded all but i am unable to open command windown by hold shift click right then how i can find option help me plz

    • Narender Singh September 18, 2016 at 7:34 am #

      Which Windows are you using on your system?

  27. asma September 17, 2016 at 1:57 am #

    i download all file when i reached in fastboot recovery then i press volume down byt unable to reach recovery, but when i switch off and press power and volume down it open recovery all options, tell me detail steps how to do fuether steps ,what i should type in cmd window abd how tu run all if possible provide screen shot

    • Narender Singh September 18, 2016 at 7:33 am #

      I’m guessing your phone isn’t one of the ZE551ML/ZE550ML for which this article was written?

  28. pradeep September 18, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    hi narinder,
    my ze551ml was struck in fastboot mode after trying to install marshmallow update.
    used xsftk to flash 3 files and it did is sucessfully.
    now able to use the phone but the update is not detected by the phone now also recovery does not open at all (power+ voul down ). if i use power + vol up) it goes to fast boot but on selecting recovery over there it does not go to recovery it just boots back to the andriod.
    otherwise the phone is working fine.
    pls help how to fix this recovery issue.

  29. Juu~ September 21, 2016 at 1:28 am #

    I tried to flash my phone, but now it gets stuck at the “ASUS in search of incredible … powered by android” and I can’t enter the fastboot mode either. Any idea? Or am I screwed?

  30. Anil Meena September 21, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    Hello Sir,

    i have ASUS Zenfone 2 ZE550ML

    Last 3 day ago my phone is running very well with OS 6.0.1 marshmallow. but it doesn’t support VoLTE I look up for method to enable VoLTE and found a tutorial ” Zenfone 2 cyanogenmod 13″ this ROM let enable VoLTE. But because of bad luck  my device is hard bricked.
    My Steps:-
    1. Flash TWRP Recovery (.img) via Fastboot Mode.
    – After flashing it stuck on ASUS Boot
    2. i tried another (.img “stock recovery”)
    – After this i lost my recovery menu when i chose recovery mode it reboot to bootloder screen (fastboot screen)

    3. Then last i use xFSTK tool with these 3 Files
    a. ‘dnx_fwr.bin’
    b. ‘droidboot_dnx.img.POS_sign.bin’
    c. ‘ifwi.bin’

    The Process was stuck on:
    “XFSTK-STATUS–Firmware download completed. Continuing to OS”
    “XFSTK-STATUS–Reconnecting to device – Attempt #1 – Attempt #20”
    “XFSTK-STATUS–Timeout to detect the device, make sure to charge up your phone before flashing”
    – After this step my phone hard bricked
    No vibration, no usb logo, no charging led nothing 🙁

    Only detecting as “MOOREFIELD”.

    Please Help Me  thanks in advance.

  31. albin dave October 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

    How can install cyanogenmod in ASUS ZenFone2 laser kl550..
    Pls give me a solution

  32. Amit November 6, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    My ASUS Zenfone 2 is facing dual problem (1) It is stuck in fastboot and (2) while trying to connext throuch PC, it say USB cannot be recognized. So effectively, I cannot bring my Zenfone out of this. What to do ?

    • Narender Singh November 6, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

      Alright. When you connect to PC in fastboot, did you check the device manager if it shows the Fastboot device or android device or something on the same lines? If so you should be able to push some fastboot commands after installing the fastboot drivers.

  33. Gerard November 11, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551kl International Version Android 5.1 Rooted
    I Interrupted a factory reset. Erased system in error using TWRP but then removed TWRP in error.
    Now only able to get bootloop with logo or fastboot.
    No recovery. fastboot erase cache or user-data works fine.

    ‘H:\asus>fastboot oem device-info
    (bootloader) Device unlocked: true
    (bootloader) Charger screen enabled: false
    (bootloader) Display panel:
    OKAY [0.004s]
    finished. total time: 0.004s’

    unable to flash system, boot or recovery.

    fastboot responds with ‘FAILED (remote: Permission denied, phone is protected)’

    how do I recover from this?

    • Narender Singh November 12, 2016 at 1:11 am #

      Oops.. So many things done in error.
      Anyways, try using the Asus flash tool and it might be able to pick up the device.

  34. vikas November 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    i cannot change in bootloader its just showing bootloader what ever i select, like, if i select recovery mode/normal boot/restart bootloader/power off”” it is showing bootloader and it is in fastboot mode with “continue the fastboot process?” in green colour…whatever i select it is not going forward..stuck here..plz help

  35. rno November 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    is it working with usb debugging not enable? because i have invalid boot.img

    • Narender Singh November 20, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

      USB Debugging is only used when Android is booted. When it is not even booted, USB debugging plays no role. Try this method or use the Asus Flash Tool.

  36. Melvin Magalino November 28, 2016 at 8:33 am #

    While my phone has started downloading the package via ADB, it suddenly stops and says
    E:failed to verify whole-file signature
    E:signature verification failed
    Installation aborted

    What should I do? Would really appreciate your response.

    • Narender Singh November 29, 2016 at 3:09 am #

      Your file seems corrupted (broken download?). Or you’re installing a file not built for your phone model.

  37. Ajay November 30, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    Very easy explaination Sir. Thanks. please tell , Does this metod erases user data.

    • Narender Singh November 30, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

      Ideally, it should not, because only System partition is flashed. But since it is bricked, anything can happen. No guarantees 🙂

  38. Amey December 3, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    Thanks alot! It worked.

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