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[How To] Update Nexus S to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.x)

Posted By Ashraf On December 17, 2011 @ 1:22 PM In Android | 44 Comments

[1]You may have heard Google is rolling out Ice Cream Sandwich to GSM/UMTS Nexus S devices over the next month. If you are impatient and don’t want to or cannot wait for ICS to hit your Nexus S, there is way to manually update/install Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.x) right now. This guide tells you how.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended as a helpful “how to”. Ashraf and dotTech are not responsible for any gain or loss (including but not limited to bricked devices) incurred as a result of following this guide. Manually update Nexus S to Ice Cream Sandwich at your own risk.

Before we begin

At this moment ICS has only been released for the GSM/UMTS version of Nexus S. It has not been released for the CDMA version of Nexus S (i.e. Nexus S 4G on Sprint). If you try to update your CDMA Nexus S to ICS you will brick it.

Also take note the manual update package is for Nexus S i9020T — the T-Mobile USA version of Nexus S. There are unofficial reports that the update works for i9023 (the Super LCD version of Nexus S); and can work for i9020A (the AT&T/Telus/Koodo Nexus S) by flashing compatible radio files. If you are a brazen fellow you can attempt to update your i9023/i9020A with the T-Mobile ICS package but be warned: You might get a brick.

Note: To flash radio files you need to have an unlocked bootloader. If you don’t have an unlocked bootloader and you don’t want to unlock your bootloader, then don’t flash this update if you have a i9020A. Unlocking your bootloader wipes all data on your phone and may void your warranty.

This guide uses the i9020T manual update package. If you have a i9023 the process is the exact same as the i9020T. If you have a i9020A there is an extra step you need to take which will be mentioned at the end of the guide.

You Might Lose Root

Installing Android updates sometimes leads to loss of root access. This holds true with the ICS update.

Typically root access can be re-gained after Android update. However, the Nexus S ICS update is very new. There isn’t a concrete method to root (yet). So expect to lose root access by manually updating to ICS; and don’t expect to get it back for a few days until Android hackers can figure out a way to reliably get root access for Android 4.x on Nexus S.

I will post a guide on rooting when there is a reliable way to gain root on ICS Nexus S.

Update: Click here [2] to learn how to root Nexus S on Ice Cream Sandwich!

Be Sure You Are On Stock

If you have been modding or installing custom ROMs on your phone, you need to ensure you are on stock Android 2.3.6 before attempting to update to Android 4.x. (Having a rooted Android 2.3.6 is okay.)

If you are unsure, you can check by tapping the Menu button on your homescreen, going to Settings -> About phone, and looking at the “Android version”. If it says 2.3.6 you are most likely on stock and you can skip to the next section of this guide. If it doesn’t say 2.3.6 then you may or may not be on stock. For this latter situation I suggest you flash stock just to avoid issues. Also if you are unsure if you are on stock you should flash stock anyway to avoid issues.

To flash your Nexus S to stock, do the following:

Update: Anyone that has “signature not verified” issue should read comment #12 [3] for directions on how to get around that issue.

  • Download Nexus S i9020T Android 2.3.6 package [4].
    • You can download this directly to your phone or to your computer.
  • [Optional] Rename the package to “i9020T_2_3_6_Stock”. Make sure the file is named i9020T_2_3_6_Stock.zip — it must be a ZIP file.
    • Renaming is optional but it helps keep track of update packages.
  • If you downloaded the package on your computer, connect your Nexus S to your computer and transfer the update package to Nexus S’ internal storage.
  • [Optional] Make sure the Nexus S is fully charged.
    • This step is optional but highly recommended. If your Nexus S runs out of battery during the update you will be short on luck.
  • Disconnect the Nexus S from your computer.
  • Turn off the Nexus S.
  • While the Nexus S is turned off hold the Volume Up and Power buttons simultaneously until the Nexus S turns on and is in Fastboot Mode. You will know your device is in Fastboot Mode when it says FASTBOOT MODE in red text at the top. Also the screen will list a bunch of information such as HW VERSION, BOOTLOADER VERSION, BASEBAND VERSION, etc.
  • While in Fastboot Mode look for where it says RECOVERY. Press the Volume Down button until RECOVERY is highlighted in green (you should only have to press it twice). Then press the Power button.
  • Your phone will reboot after which you will be in Recovery Mode, which shows a little green Android buddy and a white triangle with a yellow exclamation mark inside. Hold the Power button while pressing the Volume Up button.
  • You should now see blue text at the top of your device’s screen, with the first line saying Android system recover <3e>. Press the Volume Down button once until apply update from /sdcard is highlighted; then press the Power button.
  • Now a bunch of files and folders will be listed in blue text. Use the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons to scroll the list and find the 2.3.6 package you downloaded earlier. If you renamed it like I suggested, look for i9020T_2_3_6_Stock.zip. If you didn’t rename it, look for 1ada25375426.signed-soju-ota-189904.1ada2537.zip. Once you find it, make sure it is highlighted and press the Power button.
  • Your device will now automatically install stock Android 2.3.6. Wait for it to do its thing.
  • When the install has finished, you will get a message at the bottom of your screen that says Install from sdcard complete. At this time you need to reboot your device — select reboot system now from the top and press the Power button.
  • Once the Nexus S has rebooted and you are at the homescreen, double check to make sure you are on Android 2.3.6 (Settings -> About phone). If you are, then you are ready to proceed with the update to Ice Cream Sandwich.

How To Install Ice Cream Sandwich On Nexus S

Update: Anyone that has “signature not verified” issue should read comment #12 [3] for directions on how to get around that issue.

At the time of this writing Google has released Android 4.0.3 for Nexus S. To install Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.x) on your Nexus S, do the following:

  • Download Nexus S i9020T Android 4.0.3 package [5]. Update: Now you can get the Nexus S i9020T Android 4.0.4 package [6] which will save you on an incremental upgrade from 4.0.3 -> 4.04.
    • You can download this directly to your phone or to your computer.
  • [Optional] Rename the package to “i9020T_4_0_3_Stock”. Make sure the file is named i9020T_4_0_3_Stock.zip — it must be a ZIP file.
    • Renaming is optional but it helps keep track of update packages.
  • If you downloaded the package on your computer, connect your Nexus S to your computer and transfer the update package to Nexus S’ internal storage.
  • [Optional] Make sure the Nexus S is fully charged.
    • This step is optional but highly recommended. If your Nexus S runs out of battery during the update you will be short on luck.
  • Disconnect the Nexus S from your computer.
  • Turn off the Nexus S.
  • While the Nexus S is turned off hold the Volume Up and Power buttons simultaneously until the Nexus S turns on and is in Fastboot Mode. You will know your device is in Fastboot Mode when it says FASTBOOT MODE in red text at the top. Also the screen will list a bunch of information such as HW VERSION, BOOTLOADER VERSION, BASEBAND VERSION, etc.
  • While in Fastboot Mode look for where it says RECOVERY. Press the Volume Down button until RECOVERY is highlighted in green (you should only have to press it twice.) Then press the Power button.
  • Your phone will reboot after which you will be in Recovery Mode, which shows a little green Android buddy and a white triangle with a yellow exclamation mark inside. Hold the Power button while pressing the Volume Up button.
  • You should now see blue text at the top of your device’s screen, with the first line saying Android system recover <3e>. Press the Volume Down button once until apply update from /sdcard is highlighted; then press the Power button.
  • Now a bunch of files and folders will be listed in blue text. Use the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons to scroll the list and find the 4.0.3 package you downloaded earlier. If you renamed it like I suggested, look for i9020T_4_0_3_Stock.zip. If you didn’t rename it, look for VQ8PQk_V.zip. Once you find it, make sure it is highlighted and press the Power button.
  • Your device will now automatically install stock Android 4.0.3. Wait for it to do its thing.
  • When the install has finished, you will get a message at the bottom of your screen that says Install from sdcard complete. At this time you need to reboot your device — select reboot system now from the top and press the Power button.
  • Once the Nexus S has rebooted you should be at your new homescreen.
  • Done.

Extra Steps For i9020A (AT&T/Telus/Koodo Nexus S)

As mentioned earlier i9020A Nexus S devices need to flash radio files after updating to Ice Cream Sandwich using i9020T’s package because i9020A uses different network frequencies.

If you own a i9020A (AT&T/Telus/Koodo Nexus S), after you have updated to ICS using the directions listed above, do the following:

Unlocking Bootloader

  • Make sure Nexus S drivers [7] are installed on your computer.
  • Install Fastboot and ADB [8] on your computer.
  • Shutdown your phone.
  • While the Nexus S is turned off hold the Volume Up and Power buttons simultaneously until the Nexus S turns on and is in Fastboot Mode. You will know your device is in Fastboot Mode when it says FASTBOOT MODE in red text at the top. Also the screen will list a bunch of information such as HW VERSION, BOOTLOADER VERSION, BASEBAND VERSION, etc.
  • Connect your Nexus S to your computer.
  • Open command prompt on your computer and type “fastboot oem unlock” without the quotes.
  • Accept the caution on your Nexus S’s screen.
  • Let the device work.
  • When it is done boot back into Nexus S until you see the home screen.

Flashing ICS

  • Make sure Nexus S drivers [7] are installed on your computer.
  • Install Fastboot and ADB [8] on your computer, if you haven’t already.
  • Download i9020A radio file [9] and place it on your Nexus S’ internal storage.
  • Download custom recovery img [10] on your computer and place it in the same C:\Android folder you placed Fastboot and ADB in.
  • Shutdown your phone.
  • While the Nexus S is turned off hold the Volume Up and Power buttons simultaneously until the Nexus S turns on and is in Fastboot Mode. You will know your device is in Fastboot Mode when it says FASTBOOT MODE in red text at the top. Also the screen will list a bunch of information such as HW VERSION, BOOTLOADER VERSION, BASEBAND VERSION, etc.
  • Connect your Nexus S from your computer.
  • Open command prompt on your computer and type “fastboot flash recovery C:\Android\recovery-clockwork-5.0.2.0-crespo.img” without the quotes.
  • Wait for it to do its thing.
  • Unplug your Nexus S from your computer.
  • Now turn off your Nexus S (select “Power Off” from Fastboot Mode screen).
  • Hold the Volume Up and Power buttons to boot into Fastboot Mode.
  • Scroll to RECOVERY and press the Power button to select it.
  • At the next screen scroll to install zip from sdcard and press the Power button.
  • Find the UCKE1-GRJ22-radio-nexuss-unsigned.zip radio file you placed in your Nexus S internal storage. Make sure it is highlighted and press the Power button.
  • Confirm you want to do it.
  • Let the Nexus S do its thing.
  • Once it is done reboot the device and you will be back at your homescreen.
  • Done.

If You Have Issues

If you have issues while or after updating to ICS, one of the easiest way to solve issues is to wipe your device clean then try applying the update again. (That means deleting all your data.)

To wipe your device do the following:

  • Turn off the Nexus S.
  • While the Nexus S is turned off hold the Volume Up and Power buttons simultaneously until the Nexus S turns on and is in Fastboot Mode. You will know your device is in Fastboot Mode when it says FASTBOOT MODE in red text at the top. Also the screen will list a bunch of information such as HW VERSION, BOOTLOADER VERSION, BASEBAND VERSION, etc.
  • While in Fastboot Mode look for where it says RECOVERY. Press the Volume Down button until RECOVERY is highlighted in green (you should only have to press it twice.) Then press the Power button.
  • Your phone will reboot after which you will be in Recovery Mode, which shows a little green Android buddy and a white triangle with a yellow exclamation mark inside. Hold the Power button while pressing the Volume Up button.
  • You should now see blue text at the top of your device’s screen, with the first line saying Android system recover <3e>. Press the Volume Down button once until wipe data/factory reset is highlighted; then press the Power button.
  • Confirm you want to do it.
  • Let Nexus S wipe itself.
  • Repeat the same process but this time do it with wipe cache partition.
  • Now go back to the top of this guide and re-install Ice Cream Sandwich.

Conclusion

Enjoy Ice Cream Sandwich! There are advantages of owning a Nexus device. :-)

[via XDA-Developers [11]]


Article printed from dotTech: http://dottech.org

URL to article: http://dottech.org/25324/how-to-update-nexus-s-to-ice-cream-sandwich-android-4-x/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/2011-12-17_130012.png

[2] Click here: http://dottech.org/mobile/android/25412/how-to-root-nexus-s-on-ice-cream-sandwich-android-4-x/

[3] comment #12: http://dottech.org/mobile/android/25324/how-to-update-nexus-s-to-ice-cream-sandwich-android-4-x/comment-page-1/#comment-261387

[4] Nexus S i9020T Android 2.3.6 package: http://android.clients.google.com/packages/ota/google_crespo/1ada25375426.signed-soju-ota-189904.1ada2537.zip

[5] Nexus S i9020T Android 4.0.3 package: http://android.clients.google.com/packages/ota/google_crespo/VQ8PQk_V.zip

[6] Nexus S i9020T Android 4.0.4 package: http://android.clients.google.com/packages/ota/google_crespo/fL9fwa99.zip

[7] Nexus S drivers: http://developer.android.com/sdk/win-usb.html

[8] Install Fastboot and ADB: http://dottech.org/tipsntricks/21534/how-to-install-adb-and-fastboot-on-your-windows-computer-for-use-with-your-android-phone/

[9] i9020A radio file: http://attachments.xda-developers.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=687157&d=1313224429

[10] custom recovery img: http://download.clockworkmod.com/recoveries/recovery-clockwork-5.0.2.0-crespo.img

[11] XDA-Developers: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=880

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