When flashing files through TWRP, ADB, or Fastboot, there is a slight potential for things to go wrong. Whether it's user error or something on the developer side that wasn't quite right with the file you tried to install, you could be facing some real problems with your device. In most cases, you will be dealing with a semi-brick or soft-brick, which can usually be solved by wiping the data of the device using TWRP, but other times it's more severe than that.
If you ask most long-time root users, they probably have at least one story to tell you about a bad file flashing job that resulted in bricking their device in some form. Thankfully, the OnePlus 6T has a recovery method that can bring back the device from just about any number of bricked situations. This is the last resort method and can be a lifesaver — it will even work in situations where recovery and Fastboot won't. I'll show you how to essentially bring your OnePlus 6T back from the dead below.
- OnePlus 6T (recovery tool below is not intended for other OnePlus phones)
- Windows computer
- USB data cable
If you can, boot into TWRP and mount your internal storage with a computer to try and recover any data you might want to save. Once you navigate through TWRP and mount your device to the computer, drag and drop any files or folders you wish to save. The recovery tool will flash a stock system image on your phone, which will wipe the device clean. If you have nothing important on the phone, you can move onto the next steps of the guide.
This recovery method relies solely on a program from the computer without the use of ADB or Fastboot commands, so for it to work, you must shut down your device completely. We usually would boot into TWRP or the bootloader to solve these issues, but the recovery tool is the final solution if all else fails. The easiest way to ensure the device powers off is to boot into the bootloader menu and then select the "Power off" option. Once you power off your phone completely, you can move onto the next step.
As of right now, the tool provided to recover your OnePlus 6T only works on a Windows PC, so do make sure you have access to one to continue. To kick things off, you want to download the MSM recovery tool. This gives you the ability to interact with the phone in its powered off state, which is highly critical since this is a unique recovery environment. The download includes the recovery tool and the system image for the OnePlus 6T, which is why the initial download is nearly 2 GB.
If you have connected your phone to your computer before, you most likely will not need the drivers installed again. You can manually download the drivers if Windows does not automatically recognize the device in the later steps. For good measure, go ahead and download the drivers so that you can have them on hand in a moment's notice.
Once you have the downloads taken care of, head over to the folder where you saved the files onto the computer. If you know you need the drivers, launch the "OnePlus_USB_Drivers_Setup" file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the drivers onto your computer. Otherwise, you can continue without having to reinstall the drivers for the phone.
Now, unzip the "6T_MsmDownloadTool_v4.0.58_OOS_v9.0.5" file to any location of your choosing, then open the extracted folder after that. You will see a few different files in the folder, but your main focus will be on "MsmDownloadTool V4.0_factory". Locate and then open the application to get started with the next steps.
Before you continue, make sure the MSM recovery tool is open so you can view the status of your connection. Don't worry about the other options and information the program shows; you won't need to mess with any additional settings for the recovery process.
Now you will need to connect your phone to the computer with a USB cable, but the process is slightly different than what you might expect. To interact with the recovery tool, you must hold the volume up and volume down keys on the phone at the same time while plugging the USB cable into the computer.
I know — it's a little different and awkward, but it's required for the program to work. The easiest way I've found is to hold down both volume buttons with your thumb and then plug in the USB cable from the computer after that. You need to keep holding the volume buttons at the same time before plugging in the cable or it won't work correctly.
Now check back with the recovery program on the computer, and if all went well, your "Status of Connection" should say "Connected." Your COM number might be different than mine, but it all depends on which USB port you are using for the connection.
Note: If your connection status still shows N/A, make sure the phone is completely off, then try the volume buttons connection method again. You might even need to install/reinstall the provided drivers for the phone from Step 3.
Now that the connection between the program and your phone is successful, this means you can finally move onto the recovery process. The next thing you want to do is click the "Start" button. You should see some download activity occurring as it will begin transferring the system image to your device, so it might take some time to complete. Once the download process finishes, you will notice your phone automatically reboots and will sit at the OnePlus boot animation for a minute or two, which is normal!
Once your phone boots up at the main start screen, you can click the "Stop" button in the recovery program and then "Exit" to end the session. Your OnePlus 6T has just been un-bricked and is ready to be used once again as usual — no shiny paperweight for you! From here, you can complete the initial device setup and then proceed with your normal daily routine. The recovery tool flashes Oxygen OS version 9.0.5, which means you will need to perform a system update once you get back up and running.
The recovery process does relock the bootloader, so you must start fresh like day one if you plan on rooting and modding like before. It would be important to figure out if you want root access now or not, that way you can save yourself from another data wipe if you change your mind. Enjoy having a usable OnePlus 6T again!