NVidia Shield TV (2017) FAQ

Note: This post will be updated regularly. Got a question? Send it here.

We’re ready for your questions.

  • 1. Rooting
  • 2. SD Card & External Storage
  • 3. Shield Android TV (2017)
  • 4. New Shield Controller
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  • 1. Where can I get adb/fastboot drivers for my Shield device?
     

    All Shield devices use the latest Shield Family Drivers.


    Shield Family Drivers (57684 downloads)

    Or ...

    Get them from here (Official NVidia).

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  • 2. Do I have to download the whole Android SDK to get ADB set up and working?
     

    No.  You only need a small subset of files.


    Minimal ADB and Fastboot (48517 downloads)

    ... or from here.  (Courtesy of XDA)

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  • 3. How to get to "fastboot"/bootloader on Shield Android TV?
     

    Pre-OTA 3.2:

    1. Unplug power from the Shield Android TV.  Wait a few seconds.
    2. Hold down the power button.
    3. Plug in power
    4. Count to three
    5. Release the power button momentarily then immediately hold it again
    6. You should see the bootloader screen after a few seconds.

    If you don’t, repeat steps 1-6.  If you hold it down too long or not long enough, it simply doesn’t work.

    Post-OTA 3.2:

    1. Unplug power from the Shield Android TV.  Wait a few seconds.
    2. Plug in the power.
    3. Wait for about 1/2 second.
    4. HOLD power button for 5-6 seconds.
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  • 4. Will unlocking the bootloader wipe my tablet?
     

    Yes it will.   Do your best to backup everything you can.

    On the Shield Android TV Pro (500GB) this process can take a LONG time.  Be patient.

    This will also render all adopted storage unreadable (Android Marshmallow).

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  • 5. Can I root with a locked bootloader?
     

    No.  The bootloader is there to protect the system files from an outside "attack".  To get the permissions and access you need to root,  you have to unlock the device.

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  • 6. Is there a version of TowelRoot that still works?
     

    No.  You may be able to use KingRoot, but it is a risky endeavor as no one knows what sort of malware or spyware may be involved with this application.  I wouldn't risk it.

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  • 7. Can I still root if I updated to Lollipop with a locked bootloader?
     

    Yes.  The unfortunate part of this is that you lost root and your backup tools like Titanium Backup will no longer work properly allowing you to make a backup before wiping the tablet with the bootloader unlocking proces

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  • 8. Is it possible to sideload Android apps without rooting, etc?
     

    Yes.  You’ll need to enable UNKNOWN SOURCES (and probably disable VERIFY APPS) and you’ll need some way of getting to the APK files to the box.

    To download APKs from the store, try this website.  Drop the APK files onto a microSD or flash drive and plug them into the Shield.

    You’ll need a file manager to access the APKs.  AnExplorer File Manager can be downloaded on the Shield from the Google Play store (or do it from the web).

    Here is a video showing how to do it using Google Drive.

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  • 9. How hard is it to root?
     

    You will need a computer, drivers for Shield Tablet, ADB, command line experience and some basic common sense.  There is no real "root on device" or "Towel Root" solution anymore.

    We have root tutorials for all Shield devices that walk you through everything.  Check the menu items above.

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  • 10. I can't write/delete on external drives on Shield TV.
     

    With Android 6 (aka Marshmallow) for Shield TV, you may adopt your external device as internal storage.  Read my article here.

    Android locks down write access to external drives and samba mounts.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (0) / No (14)
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  • 11. TWRP boots to a black screen! Help!
     

    Apparently Shield TV's TWRP build will not show up on 4K displays.  Try plugging the Shield TV into a 1080p display and trying again.

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  • 12. I'm rooted, but AdAway isn't able to update my HOSTS file?
     

    One of our users, Adam says:

    In order to get it to copy correctly, I had to install Busybox and Material Terminal, then mount the System as Read Write and was able to get Adaway to copy the hosts file.

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  • 13. Some games won't install to the SD card. Anything I can do about this?
     

    Many games support installing to the SD card already.  For those that do not have built-in support, you can use Folder Mount or Link2SD.  These  applications require root access.

    Upgrading to Android 6.0 (aka Marshmallow) on K1 (soon on Shield Android TV) will allow you to adopt your SD card as internal memory.  See my article on the subject.

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  • 14. Can I "unroot" and do I have to in order to get OTA updates?
     

    You don't have to unroot or wipe to apply OTA updates (at least so far; if you perform modifications beyond root, you are on your own), but OTA will wipe root and you'll have to re-establish it.

    Remember, when changing version of the OS (like Lollipop to Marshmallow) the exploits/methods of rooting will likely change.  If the OS that the OTA advances you to doesn't have a root method yet, it could be hours, days or even weeks before the ability to root will be available.  If root is super important, don't do OTAs to a new OS until the root method/tutorial is released.

    Easiest way to "unroot" is to simply restore to stock by using the steps at the bottom of my tutorials or: TV | Tablet | Portable.

    If your device won't update over OTA, back up your data and perform a restore to stock.  Don't panic - it is almost impossible to brick a Shield device.

    Technical Answer:

    You may also be able to simply flash the system partition to remove root.

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  • 15. When trying to root/flash/stock recover, I get “FAILED (command write failed (Unknown error))”
     

    Every time I've helped someone with this issue - it has been the USB cable.

    All USB cables are not created equal.  Cables that come with your phone are typically for both CHARGING and for DATA.  These are usually higher quality and should do the job of performing rooting/flashing on your Shield device.

    Cables that come with external batteries/powerbanks, etc. are usually cheap and designed for CHARGING only.  They may work "ok" for data, but these may fail when trying to write low level to the Shield device.

    Along with quality, LENGTH of the cable can make a difference.  I helped one person with a FIFTY foot USB cable - another with 6 cables daisy-chained together.  Both received this error message when trying to flash.

    Short, high quality built-for-data USB cables are the solution.

    Finally, make sure you're using a high-quality USB port; avoid hubs and the front ports on the PC unless you've used them successfully before.  Use the back "motherboard" ports.

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  • 16. How do I enter Fastboot on the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    Via XDA:

    There are two ways to access fast boot. The first way to access fast boot mode,

    1. Buy a male to male USB 3 cable, & plug it into the USB port furthest away from the hdmi port.
    2. In settings of the shield, go to storage.
    3. Enable USB transfer
    4. In settings go to about, then build version.
    5. Click on build version 5 times.
    6. Under settings, go to developer options.
    7. Enable USB debugging.
    8. Make sure you have the latest drivers installed from Nvidias website.
    9. Download ADB Command prompt/fastboot
    10. Type "adb devices"
    11. You may get a prompt on your shield about allowing debugging, if so make sure you allow it.
    12. Type "adb devices" again if a device shows up then great! move on to the next step.
    13. Type "adb reboot bootloader"

    The second way of getting into fastboot mode, is the following

    1. Unplug your power cable from the device.
    2. Plug in your Shield game controller in the usb closest to the hdmi port.
    3. Hold down buttons A & B.
    4. While holding down the two buttons, put in your power cable.
    5. Keep holding down the buttons.
    6. If all done correctly you should see the fast boot menu now on your screen.

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  • 17. What cable do I need for ADB/PC access to the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    With the microUSB female plug gone, you will need a rather special cable; a USB3.0 Type A Male to USB3.0 Type A Male cable.  You'll use this in the USB port farthest from the HDMI port.  The USB port also has to be toggled to support ADB/USB operations within the SETTINGS/Storage and Reset section of the Android TV OS.

    Here are a couple of cable choices from Amazon: 3 Feet6 Feet | 10 Feet (all support Prime shipping)

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  • 1. What is Folder Mount, why do I need it and how does it work?
     

    Note: Adoptive Storage in Android 6.0 sort of removes the need for this.  Check out my article on Adoptive Storage to better understand.

    Some games will not allow you to move them to your external SD card.  This takes its toll on the free space on your internal memory and with huge games weighing in at 2GB or more, those of us with mere 16GB tablets need the ability to move games (at least their big bulky data files) to our SD card.

    Folder Mount is an app (requires root) that allows you to "move" anything in your internal memory to your SD card.

    It works by creating a "link" between your internal memory and your SD card known as a symbolic link.  This "tricks" the operating system into routing all its calls for a folder internally to an SD card directory.

    Let's say you install A Really Cool Game that downloads 800MB of data to your internal storage located at:

    <internal memory>Androidobbcom.company.reallycoolgame

    Folder Mount will allow you to create a "mount" point between <internal memory>Androidobbcom.company.reallycoolgame and <external SD Card>Androidobbcom.company.reallycoolgame

    From that point forward, all calls (load, save, whatever) that are made to <internal memory>Androidobbcom.company.reallycoolgame will automatically jump to the SD card's location.

    Part of this process is moving the contents of the internal folder to the SD card equivalent.  Fortunately, Folder Mount will do that for you - and even move the content back if you decide you don't want that link anymore.  If you do not allow Folder Mount to do this for you, you will have to move the files yourself - while the mount point is NOT active.  If this isn't done, you can easily end up with TWO copies of the same game data (even if you can't see it - remember, the OS is completely fooled while the mount point is active - even file managers won't know the difference) and that doesn't solve your storage problem.

    The app does require purchase if you have more than a few links.  I do NOT recommend creating top level links like Androidobb or Androiddata to the SD card.  While it is a little more work to do it one folder at a time, you will run into a lot less trouble.

    Remember, your SD card is slower than internal memory (in some cases many times slower) and games may take longer to load, stutter during play or have other undesired results.  You'll want the fastest, best SD card you can afford if you plan to use this process for these types of games.

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  • 2. Why can't I write to my SD card with {insert application here}
     

    Note: Android 6.0 (aka Android Marshmallow) can affect how SD card is accessed.  Read my article on Adoptive Storage for more information.

    Since Android Kit Kat, Google has locked down security on the SD card.  In Kit Kat, a program could only WRITE to a folder within the /Android/Data/ folder named the same as the package name of the app (i.e. com.foo.packagename).  This ensures that an app cannot get to or modify other data on the SD Card.  To get around this, root users could use a tool like SDFix to remove this restriction and make the SD Card read/write for all apps.  Read access was available across the entire SD card.

    The same holds true with Lollipop.  All apps can access the SD card for reading, but only the designated folder for writing.

    Lollipop, however, allows for "elevated privileges" to apps that are code-compliant with Lollipop and are granted this access by the end user.  This does not require root access.  When an app is compliant, it will ask the user to select a folder for access.  If you choose the root folder of the SD card, the app will have full privileges to read and write.  One such file manager is ES File Explorer.  You can educate yourself more here.

    MOST apps do not include Lollipop support for this level of access.  If your favorite application cannot access the SD card to your liking, I recommend rooting and using SDFix.  Your only other choice is to write the developer and ask for Lollipop support.

    With Android Marshmallow, SDFix no longer works.

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  • 3. Only two of my {x} number of external drives are showing up on Shield Android TV.
     

    This is a known issue on Shield TV.  A fix is promised.  For more information, check out this thread.

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  • 4. I can't write/delete on external drives on Shield TV.
     

    With Android 6 (aka Marshmallow) for Shield TV, you may adopt your external device as internal storage.  Read my article here.

    Android locks down write access to external drives and samba mounts.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (0) / No (14)
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  • 5. Where is the microSD slot on the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    The microSD card slot was removed.  You can use fast USB flash drives for adoptive storage or more removable storage.

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  • 6. I’m having general issues accessing my SD card/external storage. What else could be wrong?
     

    Note: Android 6.0 (aka Android Marshmallow) can affect how SD card is accessed.  Read my article on Adoptive Storage for more information.

    There are reports that if your SD card is formatted with ExFAT that you can have issues with it on the Shield Tablet.  Using a computer, copy the files off the SD card, reformat it using NTFS, then restore your files.

    There is also word out there that if the SD card partition isn't named (i.e. it is blank), Lollipop will deny access to it.  Naming it may also solve your problem.

    Your other option is to get another SD card, format it with the Shield Tablet - then use a computer to copy the files off your old SD card to your new one.

    If you have a large external drive, it may have been made with a GPT partition instead of an MBR partition.  Visit this site to better understand the differences.  If you have 2TB or less, you can use MBR in a single partition.  If you have a bigger drive, you may have to use multiple MBR partitions.

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  • 7. Some games won't install to the SD card. Anything I can do about this?
     

    Many games support installing to the SD card already.  For those that do not have built-in support, you can use Folder Mount or Link2SD.  These  applications require root access.

    Upgrading to Android 6.0 (aka Marshmallow) on K1 (soon on Shield Android TV) will allow you to adopt your SD card as internal memory.  See my article on the subject.

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  • 1. What is different about the Shield TV 2015 vs 2017 edition?
     

    The new Shield TV is 40% smaller than the original 2015 version.  It is missing the microSD card slot and the microUSB female plug (OTG, ADB).  It no longer has a power button on the front.  It comes packed with the New Shield Controller and a new variant of the Shield Remote.

    The new Shield TV does not include an HDMI cable.

    Internal components and specs are the same.

    ADB access requires a male to male USB cable (that is uncommon for most users) in the right most USB port.  This is toggled between standard USB mode and "USB ADB" mode within the settings.

    The new Shield TV ships with Android 7.0 (Nougat) while the original Shield TV is running Marshmallow (OTA update forthcoming will bring OS parity between both units).

    The New Shield Remote differs from the original Shield Remote (which is also the only one sold separately).  The new Remote runs on 2 CR 2032 "coin" batteries (rated for one year of operation) instead of the lithium rechargable battery battery on the original one (charged by microUSB cable).  The New Remote does not have a private listening headphone jack but does feature an IR Blaster for operating a TV.  The New Remote does not feature a lit "microphone" button.  Both remotes feel and look nearly identical with the exception of the bottom - the original Remote being a bit thicker.

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  • 2. How can I root the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    At the time of writing, root is not possible.

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  • 3. How do I pair devices? There is no power button to hold!
     

    You'll need to use the Shield Accessories option within the UI to pair your controllers and remotes.

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  • 4. How do I turn off the new Shield TV 2017?
     

    There is no longer a power switch.  You must activate SLEEP mode within the UI.

    NVidia tells us that if you leave the unit idle for more than a few minutes, it will sleep on its own.

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  • 5. Where is the microSD slot on the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    The microSD card slot was removed.  You can use fast USB flash drives for adoptive storage or more removable storage.

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  • 6. I cannot get the original Shield Remote to update on the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    We experienced this also.  NVidia was notified.

    However, if you keep trying, it eventually appears to work, but sometimes it says it worked when it didn't.  After MANY attempts, it finally worked.

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  • 7. The New Shield Controller supports rumble/force feedback - but nothing seems to use it?
     

    We have tested dozens of Android games, GeForce NOW streaming games and Gamestream PC streamed games.

    Currently, the only support we found was in playing PC games (that support it of course) via Gamestream.  Even NVidia's own PC ports on Google Play don't seem to currently support rumble.

    We'll let you know when we find something to play using your new rumble feature.

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  • 8. How do I enter Fastboot on the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    Via XDA:

    There are two ways to access fast boot. The first way to access fast boot mode,

    1. Buy a male to male USB 3 cable, & plug it into the USB port furthest away from the hdmi port.
    2. In settings of the shield, go to storage.
    3. Enable USB transfer
    4. In settings go to about, then build version.
    5. Click on build version 5 times.
    6. Under settings, go to developer options.
    7. Enable USB debugging.
    8. Make sure you have the latest drivers installed from Nvidias website.
    9. Download ADB Command prompt/fastboot
    10. Type "adb devices"
    11. You may get a prompt on your shield about allowing debugging, if so make sure you allow it.
    12. Type "adb devices" again if a device shows up then great! move on to the next step.
    13. Type "adb reboot bootloader"

    The second way of getting into fastboot mode, is the following

    1. Unplug your power cable from the device.
    2. Plug in your Shield game controller in the usb closest to the hdmi port.
    3. Hold down buttons A & B.
    4. While holding down the two buttons, put in your power cable.
    5. Keep holding down the buttons.
    6. If all done correctly you should see the fast boot menu now on your screen.

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  • 9. Where do I set up the IR Blaster functionality of the New Shield TV?
     

    First, make sure you are actively using one of the NEW devices; New Shield Remote or New Shield Controller.  If you are actively using an older controller or remote, the settings will not appear when you get there.

    Go to Settings->Display & Sound->Volume Control-> Setup IR

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  • 10. What is a good, inexpensive high speed USB Flash drive for use with Shield TV?
     

    Currently this seems to be the popular choice.  Amazon Prime and under $30

    SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ43-128G-GAM46) [Newest Version]

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  • 11. Swap HOME and PLAY button on controller
     

    For some reason, NVidia decided to changed the HOME and PLAY button order. You can change it back here:

    Shield accessories -> (choose your Shield Controller) -> Swap Start and Home buttons

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  • 12. What cable do I need for ADB/PC access to the New Shield TV 2017?
     

    With the microUSB female plug gone, you will need a rather special cable; a USB3.0 Type A Male to USB3.0 Type A Male cable.  You'll use this in the USB port farthest from the HDMI port.  The USB port also has to be toggled to support ADB/USB operations within the SETTINGS/Storage and Reset section of the Android TV OS.

    Here are a couple of cable choices from Amazon: 3 Feet6 Feet | 10 Feet (all support Prime shipping)

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (1) / No (0)
    Viewed 733 Times
  • 13. I'm rooted, but AdAway isn't able to update my HOSTS file?
     

    One of our users, Adam says:

    In order to get it to copy correctly, I had to install Busybox and Material Terminal, then mount the System as Read Write and was able to get Adaway to copy the hosts file.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (0) / No (0)
    Viewed 652 Times
  • 1. The New Shield Controller supports rumble/force feedback - but nothing seems to use it?
     

    We have tested dozens of Android games, GeForce NOW streaming games and Gamestream PC streamed games.

    Currently, the only support we found was in playing PC games (that support it of course) via Gamestream.  Even NVidia's own PC ports on Google Play don't seem to currently support rumble.

    We'll let you know when we find something to play using your new rumble feature.

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (3) / No (0)
    Viewed 326 Times
  • 2. Where do I set up the IR Blaster functionality of the New Shield TV?
     

    First, make sure you are actively using one of the NEW devices; New Shield Remote or New Shield Controller.  If you are actively using an older controller or remote, the settings will not appear when you get there.

    Go to Settings->Display & Sound->Volume Control-> Setup IR

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  • 3. Swap HOME and PLAY button on controller
     

    For some reason, NVidia decided to changed the HOME and PLAY button order. You can change it back here:

    Shield accessories -> (choose your Shield Controller) -> Swap Start and Home buttons

    Was this answer helpful ? Yes (1) / No (0)
    Viewed 285 Times

Ask your question now!

10 Responses to NVidia Shield TV (2017) FAQ

  1. Hi there! excellent web. Is the root tutorial named “nvidia shield pro 500gb” is for the two versions? I mean the 2015 and 2017. Thank you!

  2. tseaa ss says:

    Shield has Android TV 2017

    I am following this process and the shield is not working.
    —–
    fastboot oem unlock

    twrp boot (fail)

    Infinite reboot

    (controller a,b key pushing
    power cable in)
    hw mode bootloader connect to pc
    (pc recovery img “fastboot-all.bat” Execution)
    error devices not connect after install 2 things finished


    shield tv Does not wake from sleep mode

    pc to connect (pc devices manager display others-apx)

    hw mode is not working

    How can I recover it?

  3. Nikola says:

    OK, I managed to solve the problem. Posting the update on XDA developers…

  4. Maneesh T K says:

    Can i load full android OS on Shield TV – 2017.

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