I know you are frustrated with this error too and you also want to know How to fix the data transfer failure (Too many links) error in Fastboot? if yes then follow along.
Someone rightly said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” However, not all can handle these responsibilities like a pro. While the USB 3.0 standard greatly improves the data transfer speeds. It turned out to be a nightmare for Android users relying upon fastboot to root their devices. It broke the bare bone of rooting any Android phone, making it impossible to flash anything on a smartphone via fastboot. And I am writing all this as the very victim of this issue.
The back story – The problem with USB-Gen 3.0/3.1 ports
As an Android enthusiast, the very first thing that I do after getting a new smartphone is to root it right away and play around with some advanced settings. But this time around, I have to do the same task using my new laptop that only has USB-gen 3.0/3.1 ports. As a naive, who didn’t know anything about the existence of this problem, I wasn’t sure what I was about to face. So, a little context on the same.
Recently I felt a need to reset my smartphone, which is a pain in the ass after some random update. The last update might have screwed up with some of the settings, which in return broke the way I get notifications on my phone. I was no longer getting any notifications, hence my sincere apologies to people who aren’t getting replies instantly. That was just my phone messing around with me.
Everything was on the roll. Data backup? check! Drivers installed? Check! Now all that’s left is to connect my phone in fastboot mode and type in some commands to temporarily boot TWRP on my phone. So that I can clean flash the ROM, followed by some modifications. But hard luck was already shadowing me like my guardian angel and as a result, I wasn’t able to flash anything on my phone. I was getting this strange ‘Data transfer failure (too many links)‘ in CMD windows. I re-checked everything, and followed the same procedure again to find out that it’s a known issue with Intel’s USB gen 3.0/3.1 ports with Windows drivers.
But hey no one was going to stop me from getting it done, right? So I went ahead looking for a possible solution from the people of the holy internet. And finally got 2 solutions that worked, allowing me to blow the breath of freshness into my smartphone.
Before going down to find possible solutions, first, let’s address the problem and why the problem exists in the first place. While I was in the middle of this situation, I went to Google to find out if I was the only one facing this problem. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one who was facing this issue. A lot of Windows 10 users were facing a similar problem and getting a ‘Data transfer failure (too many links)‘ error while using fastboot to flash something on their Android smartphone.
The root cause of the problem was a faulty USB driver provided by Microsoft for the Intel-based USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller. Since Windows 10, Microsoft handles all the driver’s updates, it now uses windows modified drivers for the USB 3.0 controller and causing this issue.
Now let us focus on fixing ‘Data transfer failure (too many links) error in fastboot.
Solution 1 – Using a USB 2.0 hub.
As stupid as it sounds, you can fix this error simply by connecting your smartphone to your computer/laptop via a USB 2.0 hub. And run the commands again without any errors. These USB 2.0 hubs are fairly cheap and readily available in the market. Just make sure you are using a good-quality USB 2.0 hub.
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However, if you don’t own a USB 2.0 or can’t wait any longer for your USB 2.0 hub to arrive, you can follow the second fix and get rid of the ‘Data transfer failure (too many links)‘ error.
Solution 2 – Using Registry editor.
1- Before going further, I would recommend either creating a system restore point or backing up your Registry before going with this fix. So in case, something odd happens, you can always revert to the previous state of Windows. Though I can confirm that this method is safe and works as it should be.
2- Once the backup is done, download this file and save it on your desktop. This is a .bat file that will add/modify 3 registry keys to your Windows registry, in the following path,
3- Since you need administrator permissions to install this bat file, make sure you are running Windows as an admin. Now right click on the ‘Usb3fix.bat‘ file and click on ‘Run as administrator‘ to add new entries.
Once done, you can navigate to
again and see the new entries in your windows registry.
4- Now restart your computer, then boot your Android phone again into Fastboot and follow with any fastboot command. You will no longer get the ‘Data transfer failure (too many links)‘ error. And your fastboot command will get successfully executed inside the command prompt.
I hope this should fix the fastboot error for you. If it didn’t try using a different PC for the time being. But more so, I hope Microsoft fixes this issue soon so that we no longer have to go through all these steps, just to use fastboot commands. I am just a normal Android user, who uses fastboot once in a blue moon. But for these Android developers out there using Windows, this is nothing less than a nightmare.