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[Guide] Step by step guide to rooting your Nexus S (works with NS4G, I9020T, I9023/A)

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By Rimmir, Senior Member on 10th April 2012, 08:25 AM
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This guide is a slightly modified step-by-step write-up of m.sabra’s one click root guide found at http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1589251, so please head over to his thread and thank him! I thought making a step-by-step guide would be helpful in case anyone wanted to see how exactly rooting this phone happens.

This guide is for rooting your Nexus S [works with NS4G, I9020T, I9023, and I9020A variants]. By the end of this guide, your device will have an unlocked bootloader, a custom recovery, root access and Superuser app, and the ability to flash ROMs and kernels.

[Disclaimer! Your warranty is now void. I am not responsible for bricked or damaged devices! You are choosing to follow this guide]


Step 0: Download and extract the file found here http://devhost.xda-developers.com/gcZ to your C:/ drive (for simplicity’s sake).
Plug in your phone and put it into USB Debugging Mode, found by going to Settings>Applications>Development (in Gingerbread) or Settings >Developer Options (in Ice Cream Sandwich).
Extract and install the drivers included if you don’t already have them installed.

Step 1: Turn your phone off.
Then, press both the volume up and power button.
You should now be in the Android Bootloader Interface (with a green Android and the options for Reboot, Recovery, Reboot Recovery, and Power off)

Step 2: Now, we have to open a command prompt and change the directory to the location where we have extracted the files (which, if you followed step 0, should be in the C:/ drive).
Open a command prompt and type “cd C:\Nexus S One Click Root.”
We should now be in the correct directory for using fastboot commands.

Step 3: Type the command “fastboot oem unlock” and press enter.
A screen should pop up on your Nexus S.
Use the volume buttons to scroll and the power button to select “Yes” (as the screen says, picking yes WILL wipe everything on your device).

Step 4: Type the command “fastboot flash recovery cwm.img”.
Press enter.
Then type “fastboot boot cwm.img”.
Press enter.

Step 5: Now we have to mount USB storage to copy over the Su.zip file and install it.
Tap or use the volume keys to scroll and select “Mounts and Storage” > “Mount USB Storage” [you have to scroll down to get to it].
Copy the su.zip file to your Nexus S.
Press “Go Back” twice to return to the main menu.

Step 6: Press “install zip from SD card” [you can also use the volume buttons to scroll and the power/lock button to select].
Press “choose zip from SD”.
Press the “su.zip” file you placed on the SD card earlier.
Press “Yes.”

Congratulations! Your phone is now rooted! Select “Reboot System Now” and enjoy!
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29th May 2012, 08:24 PM |#2  
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Thanks for this, the other guide was a bit out of date and hard to follow.

However, is there any way to root without erasing everything? I know there is a method to root without unlocking the bootloader and saving the SD card contents, but will that also keep all the apps and settings? Don't really want to redownload the programs and set the phone up again.
29th May 2012, 08:44 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashhong

Thanks for this, the other guide was a bit out of date and hard to follow.

However, is there any way to root without erasing everything? I know there is a method to root without unlocking the bootloader and saving the SD card contents, but will that also keep all the apps and settings? Don't really want to redownload the programs and set the phone up again.

Sorry, if there is a way to this without wiping the device I don't know it. Google backs up your contacts and wireless networks and keys and the Play Store remembers your apps (not their data), but that's it. :(
1st June 2012, 07:46 PM |#4  
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I'm already unlocked from rooting 2.3.7. I then did an OTA update to ICS. I checked that bootloader still says lock status is unlocked. Can I just start with step 4? I don't want to wipe anything as some data still needs to be backed up and I need superuser installed to do that.
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3rd June 2012, 03:01 AM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moritzio

I'm already unlocked from rooting 2.3.7. I then did an OTA update to ICS. I checked that bootloader still says lock status is unlocked. Can I just start with step 4? I don't want to wipe anything as some data still needs to be backed up and I need superuser installed to do that.

Sorry for the late reply.
Yeah you should be able to do that with no problem.


Sent from my Nexus S 4G
17th June 2012, 08:27 AM |#6  
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When I type in "fastbook oem unlock" , the command window stops at "< waiting for device >" and it's been a couple of hours and nothing has popped up on the phone screen, how can I get past this? I'm on stock ics 4.0.4
17th June 2012, 09:34 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danshuynh

When I type in "fastbook oem unlock" , the command window stops at "< waiting for device >" and it's been a couple of hours and nothing has popped up on the phone screen, how can I get past this? I'm on stock ics 4.0.4

Make sure you have the phone drivers installed properly.
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16th October 2012, 12:00 PM |#8  
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Does this work on Jelly Bean??

Can I replace the SU.zip file with the latest chainfire release or is the one included in the download ok?
16th October 2012, 03:23 PM |#9  
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Yes, it should work with Jellybean. Just remember to enable USB Debugging.

You can either use the SU in the download and update it via the play store after you're done rooting or just use the latest one from the start. Whichever one you prefer.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using xda app-developers app
16th October 2012, 03:37 PM |#10  
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Awesome thanks!

Do you think I should wait for the OTA 4.1.2. then unlock and root? I take it that it will boot me back into a factory reset 4.1.2.? Can I then flash a custom kernel??

I'm not really into trying different ROM's, I really just want Voodoo sound on my Nexus S.

What about the clockwork mod in the folder? Will that version be ok?

Cheers.
20th October 2012, 09:40 AM |#11  
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So I got my phone back (see http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1874402 ) and it seemed to have been left unlocked by the guys who fixed it. Anyway, I followed these instructions and it seemed to work except for the fact that I don't actually seem to have root access.

For example, the superuser app sees the su binary installed from su.zip...

Click image for larger version

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... but fails when it tries to update it:

Click image for larger version

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Any suggestions for what to do next?
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