Credits and Notes

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Installing a new ROM (operating system) onto an Android smart phone

Credits and Notes

* The basic process of installing a new or different rom onto an android smartphone will be identical for all phones. The only difference will be the software that you use to do it, and the rom that you put on it.

* The rest of this paper is a walkthrough the process of installing a jellybean 4.1 rom onto the Droid 1 phone.

* I’d like to give credit to xXAndroidGuruXx for the video he posted and the materials and links he provided explaining how to root this particular model. The video can be found here:

* I’d also like to give credit to kfazz at XDAdevelopers for posting the jellybean 4.1 rom and various other items needed to make this work. You can find the post here:

* This is not a super detailed walkthrough. I’ll do my best to explain what I can in a manner that’s not difficult for anyone to comprehend.

Basic Method

  1. The first thing you will always have to do is root the phone (unless you purchase a phone that is already unlocked; i.e.: a developer phone from google such as the google nexus).

    1. There are several ways to do this. The easiest way is to do a google search for your specific phone model and find a “one-step” program that will install the applications necessary to grant you root permissions on your phone.

    2. Since android phones run off of linux, you will hear a lot of linuxy terms when you start searching for ways to modify an android device. Root is one of them. This just means granting yourself or any other application superuser or root priveleges on the phone.

    3. You will need several things to be able to root a phone.

      1. Superuser priveleges (known as rooting)

      2. Busybox (this installs some common linux commands that programs with root access may need to run properly, that don’t already come preinstalled on the current system).

    4. Typically these “one-step” root programs will install the programs called SuperUser and Busybox for you, as well as altering whatever needs to be altered to grant you root privileges in the first place.

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    1. Two programs that I have used to root phones with are:

      1. Odin (mainly for Samsung models)

      2. RSD Lite (for Motorola models)

    2. We will be using RSD Lite to root the Motorola Droid 1 in this walkthrough. For a more detailed explanation and for a video walkthrough see the youtube video at the link posted at the top.

  1. Once the phone has been rooted, the method I like to use to install the ROM is to install clockwork mod (its free, and you can get it from the google play store), and use it to clear and format everything on the phone, and then to install the actual rom. To do this:

    1. Download and install clockwork mod from the playstore

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    1. Run the program (you will get a pop-up asking to grant it superuser permissions. You need to accept.)

    2. Now it may seem redundant but you will need to flash clockwork mod recovery to your system. Your phone will have several different boot modes. One of the boot modes is called recovery mode. What you are basically doing is flashing a different utility that your phone will use as the boot recovery utility. You will know that you have successfully flashed the clockwork recovery mod because

      1. You will get a pop up telling you that you flashed it

      2. When you “reboot into recovery mode” the text will be green on a black background.

      3. To flash the clockwork mod to your phone, you want to select the Recovery Setup option from the menu

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      1. Select the first Clockwork Mod Recovery option under Install or Update Recovery

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      1. Select your phone from the list

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    1. Once you have this program installed you will want to copy the rom onto your phone. You can do this beforehand if you’d like. There are different ways to do this. You can either connect your phone as a usb transfer device and just move it onto the base folder, or do it through eclipse, or various other ways. We’ll cover this later in this paper.

    2. Next you would simply boot into “recovery mode” either through the clockwork mod recovery program (it will be a menu option), or manually by turning the phone off and using the model’s default manual method of booting into recovery mode.

    3. Next you will want to go through the various menus and make sure to:

      1. Clear all user data/factory reset (this will clear all previous user data) as well as format the data/cache/and sd-ext folders

      2. Select the rest of the format options to format the various partitions of the phone; specifically the system option.

      3. Clear the dalvik cache

      4. This should ensure that you have a clean install and should avoid problems later with the install process.

    4. After you have done that, you will want to select the “install zip from sdcard” option or “apply” option from the menu, depending on what you named the file or which model you’re installing the rom on.

      1. If you have not previously installed the zip files on your phone, you can go to mount options, mount your phone as USB and transfer the files to your phone from your computer that you will be installing.

    5. If you select the first option, you will need to find the zip file on your phone and select it to install it.

    6. Once the install is complete, reboot the phone.

    7. Then you’re finished. You should let the phone run for at least 10-15 minutes before you install anything else or try to change anything to let the dalvik cache settle and all that good stuff.

    8. If you need to install other items (different kernel, google apps, etc) you would simply repeat steps d, e and g.

Installing Jellybean 4.1.1 (cyanogen mod) on the Motorola Droid 1

* For a visual walkthrough see the youtube link at the top

* The following is taken from the text file that accompanied the video and must be completed before you can proceed.

Part I – preparation for root

Download RSD Lite 4.9 here:

If you're running a 32-bit Windows Installation, install these Motorola drivers:

If you're running a 64-bit Windows Installation, install these Motorola drivers:

Download MotoCache1's Recovery Only SBF file:

Download MotoCache1's Complete Root v1.1:

Extract MC1_A855_1282081087_Recovery-Only_SPRecovery_0.99.3b.sbf from

Copy to your phone's SD card (in the root directory) and rename it to "" without the quotes. You MUST rename it!

**To do this on the droid 1, simply mount the phone as a USB transfer device (while it is plugged into your computer via usb cable) and drag and drop the file into the base directory (this is the very top folder, as soon as you open it via the computer menu)

Part II – installing root programs and successfully rooting phone

  1. Start the RSD Lite application.

  2. Plug in the phone.

  3. Reboot the phone into boot loader mode

    1. Power off phone

    2. Open the phone so you can access the physical keyboard

    3. Press the “direction up” on the keypad and hold it while you press and hold the powerbutton. (if the phone doesn’t boot into boot loader mode after a few seconds, simply let the power button go and it should).

    4. RSD Lite should detect the phone now

    5. Click the … to the right of the text file and browse to wherever you stored the MC1_A855_1282081087_Recovery-Only_SPRecovery_0.99.3b.sbf file to select it.

    6. Click start.

    7. While it is installing the files, you will see status updates in the bottom text box area. IMPORTANT: As soon as you see the status “phone rebooting” or something to that effect, you will need to press and hold the “up direction” on the physical keypad again so that the phone goes back into bootloader mode.

      1. You should see the message PASS after completing this.

      2. The whole process should not take more than 15-20 seconds.

      3. This process is simply flashing a new recovery mode utility onto your phone.

    8. Now you will need to boot into recovery mode (we don’t have clockwork mod yet so we’ll use the recovery mod that the gentleman who created the file already flashed onto the phone for us during the previous few steps).

      1. To do this power off the phone again

      2. Hold x and the power button down. The phone will boot into recovery mode this time, instead of bootloader mode, and it will boot into the new recovery mode program that was just flashed onto it.

      3. The file is not signed, so you will need to select the menu option to allow you to install the unsigned file.

      4. Then you simply select the apply update option to complete rooting your phone.

Part III – preparing to install custom rom

  1. Go to the second link above at XDAdevelopers and download:

    1. The actual rom (should be first link in post)

    2. The “safe kernel” (its labeled. these phones are old. This one worked the best for me)

    3. The google apps zip file (should be the last link in the post. You will need this for gmail, play store, etc, since they are not included in the rom.

    4. Move all three onto the phone just like you moved the previous file onto the phone.

    5. You do not need to rename these since we’ll be using clockwork mod to install them.

Installing the new Rom and other additional features (gapps, kernels, etc…)

To complete the final steps of installing the new rom onto the device, goto the section in this document titled “Basic Method” and start from Number 2. This will take you the rest of the way through the procedure.

Author: Rodrigo Sardinas

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