Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/176284/how-to-upgrade-your-nexus-device-without-waiting-by-flashing-a-factory-image/
Google’s Nexus devices are supposed to receive timely updates, but the staggered rollout means it can take weeks for devices to receive over-the-air updates. Luckily, there’s a geekier way to upgrade to the latest version of Android.
If you just want adb+fastboot and don't care/want to download the whole Android SDK, there's a mini (~2MB) adb and fastboot installer at XDA:
+1 for that. I always use this... doesn't even need JDK.
Also, another thing. If drivers don't work, try downloading and (not completely) installing PDANet (http://pdanet.co) It's for mobile tethering, but installs ADB drivers. After installing the drivers, you can (conveniently) cancel the installation, while keeping the drivers. As for fastboot drivers, Google's your friend.
For drivers there's also this nice package (ymmv):
Hi, I used your guide and flashed android 4.4 on my nexus 7. I had problem with wiping out my data. Fortunately I had a backup. I deleted "-w" as you said in the flash-all.bat and saved it. After I flashed the image. I had to go through the adding user account and so forth and found out all my data is gone. I opened the flash-all.bat file again to make sure if I had removed -w or not then I found something not mentioned on your guide: there are 5 erase command underneath the PATH, and they erase boot, cache, recovery, system and userdata! That means all I think! just wanted to say removing -w in some images might not be sufficient.
But putting this issue aside, thanks for your guide.
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