Idiot's guide to flashing the Xoom (for fun and profit)
This guide is for you that have a new Xoom (WiFi only
, US model) with Android 3.1
and want to
- get root access
- enable the external SD card unit
Please note that Android 3.2, which now is available for the US Wifi models, make this guide more or less obsolete. If your aim is to have root access, then there are probably simpler methods.
What you need to do can be encompassed in these following short steps (will be detailed later on) in the following order. Each step is required before you can proceed to the next one. However, make sure that you are very very careful and dont try to take any shortcuts. That may
soft-brick your device, and you may have a difficult time to explain that to your wife ... You have been warned!
I strongly recommend you to read the entire guide before trying this. In fact, read it twice to ensure that you have understood everything. If there is wierd stuff that you dont understand, dont hesitate to ask. The reason for me writing this down is that I like to document what I have learned. This is to me an excellent way to ensure that I will remember what I just did. Another reason was that I could not find a single thread that encompassed all steps required. There are many different threads, but noone (that I could find) that really guides you from start to goal. So enjoy and good luck!
I would like to thank LandMaster
for helping out with advice during my initial trail-and-error session. I soft-bricked my device once and had big problems to get by point 4.3 (avoid overwriting of CWM), but with their encouragement I finally succeeded.
If someone else adapts this guide for the EU model or the 3G model, feel free to drop me an IM and I will update the guide for these devices too. Until then, this has only been tested on a WiFi only, 32 GB device bought in the US
. If you brick your 3G or EU bought model, dont call me ...
0. Overview of the 6 required steps
1. Install Motorola USB drivers for your computers (for USB connectivity)
2. Install Java SDK and Android SDK tools (for adb and fastboot commands)
3. Unlock the device for flashing (allowing replacement of recovery and boot images)
4. Install a modified recovery image (ClockWorkMod recovery for Android)
5. Root the device (Allow r/w access to the device filesystem)
6. Flash a kernel that supports the SD card (SD card access, overclocking etc.)
Steps 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 require that you download install, image and zip files needed for the flashing.
All this was performed on a Windows XP x86 SP3. Windows 7, Mac and Linux users will probably have to do some steps differently.
Update July 7: I have tested the procedure on Windows 7 x86 now and the procedure is identical to Windows XP.
1. Install the latest Motorola USB drivers
The installation file can be found here
1.1 Install the drivers and ensure that your Xoom is recognized by the computer
2. Installation of development software
Java SDK 6 and Android SDK (for Honeycomb at least) need to be installed. You can find the installation kits here.
2.1 Install them as any other software.
2.2 What I had to do was to manually modify the PATH environment variable. I use Windows XP so I did that by right clicking on My Computer, choose Properties and select Advanced. Here I added the path to platform-tools and Tools
%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\Sy stem32\Wbem;C:\Program Files\Intel\WiFi\bin\;C:\Program Files\QuickTime\QTSystem\;D:\Java\Android-sdk\platform-tools;D:\Java\Android-sdk\tools
Note: If the Android SDK complains that the Java Dev Kit cant be found, just press Back and then Next again. Wierd, but that seems to do the trick ... go figure.
2.3 Test that ADB and FASTBOOT works. You should open a command window and go to your Android installation directory. Plug in your Xoom to your computer and write 'adb devices
'. Your Xoom should now be listed like this
C:\Documents and Settings\Anders>adb devicesDid your device not show up?
List of devices attached
Make sure that you have USB debugging enabled in Settings / Applications / Development
3. Unlocking the device for flashing
This step will effectively erase the internal storage, including all your apps and settings. Use whatever backup you want to rescure important data before you start.
3.1 Power up and start the Xoom
3.2 Ensure that your device is fully recognized by the computer. A good sign is that the 'Portable device' dialog is activated on Windows when your Xoom has booted. The Xoom should also be seen in 'My Computer'. If not, go back to step 2 and double check your USB drivers.
3.3 Use the command 'adb reboot bootloader' to go into Flash mode
3.4 Use the command 'fastboot oem unlock'. This will trigger a dialog on your Xoom. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the unlocking. I repeat, this *will* do a factory reset and all data will be lost!
3.5 Once unlocked, the Xoom will restart and work as normal, but now ready for step 4
4. Install recovery image (CWM)
Download the recovery image file
and save it to your computer
4.1 Boot into flash mode with 'adb reboot bootloader'
4.2 Install your downloaded recovery image
C:\Documents and Settings\Anders> fastboot flash recovery recovery-Tiamat-R4c-100611-1150-cwm.img
4.3 Restart the device with 'fastboot reboot'. Timing is essential here, so be alert when the device restarts, or you will have to redo section 4.
4.4 Enter CWM with the following procedure
4.5 Once the Motorola logotype is shown, start counting to 3. At 3, press the Volume Down button. This should result in the text 'Android Recovery' in the top left corner. If it does not work, experiment with the timing ...
4.6 When 'Android Recovery' is shown press the Volume Up button. This should invoke the CWM recovery menu. If that works, then congratulations for reaching this far
Here is a potential pitfall.
If you are unable to enter CWM *before* the device boots into Honeycomb, then the newly installed recovery image will be overwritten by the system default recovery. There are ways to prevent this (see posts below), but I recommend you to redo step 4 instead of messing with removal of system files. But both methods would probably work. Experiment!
5. Rooting the Xoom
The root zip file is located here
5.1 You need to transfer the ROOT zip file to a working micro SD card. You can do this on a computer or cell phone, but the ROOT zip must be located in the root directory of the SD card.
5.2 Insert the now prepared SD card in the Xoom
5.3 Boot into recovery (as described in 4.3). Navigate using the volume buttons and press the power button to select the active option
5.4 Select 'Install ZIP from sd card'
5.5 Select 'Choose ZIP'
5.6 Navigate to the ROOT zip file with the Volume buttons and select it with the Power button. Confirm that you want to install it.
5.7 Everything should indicate success, so back out to the main CWM menu and reboot the device.
5.8 From Android Market, install the ROM Manager app and start it. If the rooting was successful, then ROM Manager should start without any complaints.
6. Flashing a new kernel that supports SD cards (and maybe more ...)
The kernel that I used is described here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=978013
The kernel zip file is located here
6.1 This step is identical to 5, but swap the ROOT zip towards the KERNEL zip. For simplicity, you may want to prepare the SD card with both zip files at the same time in step 5.1 ...