[GUIDE] Unlock and Root a Nexus 7

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cdmackay

Senior Member
Aug 11, 2009
985
273
Cambridge, UK
Latest as of now, is 4.1.2. So there won't be any updates, at least until 4.2 but even that isn't said that Google will roll an official Nexus 7 version. But all custom ROM's here mate are all updated from official sources so no worries from being "outdated" :)
But if you really want to run stock, I suggest this. This will truly roll back to OTA connection. But here's the links to super stock releases from Google, on top.

Thanks! I think there must be a reasonable subset of users who want root, but aren't fussed about running a custom ROM. I know a few such, at least.
 

wojtek_pl

Senior Member
Nov 1, 2009
61
4
Warsaw
Hi,

as a new version of Nexus 7 is available to public (32GB 3G) is this way of rooting going to work with it ? I'm planning to buy such device and root is essential to have.
 

FISKER_Q

Senior Member
Feb 25, 2009
437
115
Hi,

as a new version of Nexus 7 is available to public (32GB 3G) is this way of rooting going to work with it ? I'm planning to buy such device and root is essential to have.

The method will be the same, but the files will probably differ as the hardware differs.

Shouldn't be too long for a dev to come around and provide those files.
 

amp

Senior Member
Nov 6, 2010
99
13
I suppose everything will be the same under everything else except the inclusion of radiobands for the penta band radio.
 

agmar

Member
Oct 16, 2012
16
4
Athens, GA
Awesome guide. First time user of adb, worked like a charm. Side loaded su zip as CWM wouldn't let me select a zip from sd card with error message of " Error loading sdcard".

Thanks again.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using xda app-developers app
 

xavier86

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2011
508
77
Rochester, NY
My ADB fix:

android sdk tools, install platform tools and extras, went into device manager and updated the drivers by searching manually to the folder android/android-sdk/extras folder and adb was fixed.

As for the commands for permanently locking CWM in you dont need to use ADB Shell to do this, once you boot into CWM reboot system and CWM promps you to lock it in. After i locked it with that i booted into the stock rom and did a temp setup with my gmail account and booted back into recovery and that fixed the ERROR with mounting the /Sdcard. Then i was able to flash supersu, booted back into the stock rom, made sure root was functional. Downloaded BAMF and their gapps, went back into recovery, backed up my stock rom, wiped system, data, cache dalvik and flashed bamf and done...
 
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sportscrazed2

Senior Member
May 11, 2011
285
31
getting a nexus 7 soon. i'm new to the whole adb/fastboot stuff manually so i'm playing around with it on my phone. what i have to do now is cd to the directory containing platform-tools and running the command as ./adb command here. is there a way to get it so that i don't have to type the ./adb every time?
 

xavier86

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2011
508
77
Rochester, NY
In cmd all you should need to do is type

32bit windows
Code:
cd c:/program files/android/android-sdk/platform tools

64bit windows
Code:
cd c:/program files (x86)/android/android-sdk/platform tools

That brings you into the directory so you don't have to type out the full path name when trying to run Fastboot and adb.

I find it easier to rename zip and image file to

supersu.zip and cwm.img. it doesn't make a difference what the file names are, just leave the file extensions alone.

Adb reboot bootloader

Fastboot OEM unlock

**made sure supersu and cwm recovery are in the platform tools directory with Fastboot and adb.**

Fastboot flash recovery recoveryname.IMG

Boot into recovery. Assuming you grabbed the latest version (6.0.1.9) from his website all you should have to do is reboot to system. Cwm will prompt about the recovery not being permanent. Select yes to make it permanent and boot normally.

Do a temp setup with your gmail account. Run the updates and then download your chosen ROM and gapps (if required) and transfer them to your SD card.

There's two ways to get the supersu binaries on your nexus sdcard. The easiest is just copying it over using windows.

#2 (in the bootloader)

Adb reboot bootloader
Adb push supersu.zip /sdcard

Boot into recovery, install zip, select supersu. Reboot into the system and make sure you have root. (Get es file manager and enable root I. Settings)

Reboot back into recovery.

!!!!!!!!!!Run a backup!!!!!!!!!!!! It doesn't take long!!!!!!!!

To install a ROM after a backup.

Go into mounts and storage. (DO NOT WIPE /sdcard!!!!)

Format system, data, cache, and dalvik cache (in advanced settings)

Install zip, install the ROM first, then the gapps.

Reboot to system, done :)

Bail outs:
If you by accident wipe your SD card.
You can use Adb push to transfer a ROM & gapps to your SD.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

---------- Post added at 03:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:34 PM ----------

getting a nexus 7 soon. i'm new to the whole adb/fastboot stuff manually so i'm playing around with it on my phone. what i have to do now is cd to the directory containing platform-tools and running the command as ./adb command here. is there a way to get it so that i don't have to type the ./adb every time?
Nope.

Ubuntu or not you need the adb there. Its calling the program


Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
 
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thither

Member
Oct 13, 2009
17
0
Hi all... First off thanks for the clearly-written guide.

I'm running into an issue with this. Once I run adb reboot recovery, my Nexus just shows red triangle with a little open droid and the message "No command." While it's in this state it doesn't respond to adb at all, and when I run "fastboot oem unlock" it just hangs. I tried restarting the adb server and I still don't get any response.

One possible wrinkle, I did let the nexus update itself to Android 4.2 before all this. Is there anything I can do? (I'm pretty experienced with rooting phones but this is my first try with a Nexus 7.) Any advice?

Thanks in advance!
 

veeman

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2012
9,505
1,467
Minnesota
Hi all... First off thanks for the clearly-written guide.

I'm running into an issue with this. Once I run adb reboot recovery, my Nexus just shows red triangle with a little open droid and the message "No command." While it's in this state it doesn't respond to adb at all, and when I run "fastboot oem unlock" it just hangs. I tried restarting the adb server and I still don't get any response.

One possible wrinkle, I did let the nexus update itself to Android 4.2 before all this. Is there anything I can do? (I'm pretty experienced with rooting phones but this is my first try with a Nexus 7.) Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

You should have done "adb reboot bootloader" not "adv reboot recovery"

The image of the red triangle and the droid is the stock recovery.

Hold down the power button until it shuts off then as soon as the Google logo pops up, hold down the power button and both volume buttons at the same time to get to the bootloader. Then you should be able to do "fastboot oem unlock"

Sent from my Nexus 7
Stop... MUFFIN TIME!!!
 

thither

Member
Oct 13, 2009
17
0
You should have done "adb reboot bootloader" not "adv reboot recovery"

The image of the red triangle and the droid is the stock recovery.

Hold down the power button until it shuts off then as soon as the Google logo pops up, hold down the power button and both volume buttons at the same time to get to the bootloader. Then you should be able to do "fastboot oem unlock"

Sent from my Nexus 7
Stop... MUFFIN TIME!!!

Oh, got it. Thanks, I didn't realize the bit about holding down the volume keys to get into fastboot. (I was typing adb, not adv, though - not sure where you got that? :) )

I'm seeing another issue now - I can still get into fastboot ok, but the actual recovery mode doesn't seem to work - I get a dead android with a red triangle (and no error message), whether I go into recovery from fastboot or from "adb reboot recovery". I'm guessing recovery-clockwork-touch-6.0.1.9-manta.img might be incompatible with the android 4.2 OTA update? I'll do some poking around in the CWM thread and report back here in case anyone else has this problem.

Thanks!

---------- Post added at 02:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:36 PM ----------

Aha - I couldn't get the touch version of the CWM recovery image to boot at all, but when I tried the non-touch version it worked like a charm. Everything looks good now and I'm unlocked and rooted. Thanks again!
 

veeman

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2012
9,505
1,467
Minnesota
Oh, got it. Thanks, I didn't realize the bit about holding down the volume keys to get into fastboot. (I was typing adb, not adv, though - not sure where you got that? :) )

I'm seeing another issue now - I can still get into fastboot ok, but the actual recovery mode doesn't seem to work - I get a dead android with a red triangle (and no error message), whether I go into recovery from fastboot or from "adb reboot recovery". I'm guessing recovery-clockwork-touch-6.0.1.9-manta.img might be incompatible with the android 4.2 OTA update? I'll do some poking around in the CWM thread and report back here in case anyone else has this problem.

Thanks!

---------- Post added at 02:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:36 PM ----------

Aha - I couldn't get the touch version of the CWM recovery image to boot at all, but when I tried the non-touch version it worked like a charm. Everything looks good now and I'm unlocked and rooted. Thanks again!

The adv part was just a typo on my part. I was pointing out that you should have done adb reboot bootloader instead of adb reboot recovery. :)

And no problem.
 

xavier86

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2011
508
77
Rochester, NY
Oh, got it. Thanks, I didn't realize the bit about holding down the volume keys to get into fastboot. (I was typing adb, not adv, though - not sure where you got that? :) )

I'm seeing another issue now - I can still get into fastboot ok, but the actual recovery mode doesn't seem to work - I get a dead android with a red triangle (and no error message), whether I go into recovery from fastboot or from "adb reboot recovery". I'm guessing recovery-clockwork-touch-6.0.1.9-manta.img might be incompatible with the android 4.2 OTA update? I'll do some poking around in the CWM thread and report back here in case anyone else has this problem.

Thanks!

---------- Post added at 02:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:36 PM ----------

Aha - I couldn't get the touch version of the CWM recovery image to boot at all, but when I tried the non-touch version it worked like a charm. Everything looks good now and I'm unlocked and rooted. Thanks again!

That's good. I'm running the latest cwm. Weird that it wouldnt boot. Hardware keys is better then not having one at all. Glad you worked it out :)

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 

m2xtreme

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2010
132
33
Great guide. Only issue I ran into involved installing SuperSu. I had to use the sideloading method since my /sdcard/ partition wasn't mounting correctly for some reason. Thanks OP!

Code:
adb sideload /path/to/zip.zip
 

sportscrazed2

Senior Member
May 11, 2011
285
31
so getting mine tommorow and read through entire thread. made a list of stuff to do. i'm on linux btw. does this look accurate or am i missing something?

Code:
make sure usb debugging is enabled
copy supersu.zip and recovery.zip to platform-tools folder
su
cd /opt/android-sdk/platform-tools
./adb push supersu.zip /sdcard/
./adb reboot bootloader
./fastboot oem unlock
./fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
reboot into recovery using menus on device
mounts and storage
mount /system
./adb shell
cd /system
ls to see if recovery-from-boot.p exists
mv recovery-from-boot.p recovery-from-boot.bak
install supersu.zip from sd card (may have to reboot once first)
well your guide wasretty good. Had to reboot before I could flash supersu . Also had to retransfer supersu because I couldn't find it. What was Google thinking removing mass storage capabilities for this?
 
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  • 117
    I found less detailed guide on rootzwiki created by birdman, but i decided to repost it here in more detail.

    * Disclaimer: I do not take any responsibility for anything you do to your phone, whether be brick, break, or somehow mess it up.


    Requirements
    1. You must have the sdk installed and you are able to access, and use adb and fastboot.
    2. You must have debugging enabled on your Nexus 7.
    3. Download Su here (Chainfire's thread for supersu) (Thanks Eric_Eric_Eric)
    4. Download CWM here. Scroll down to Nexus 7 and choose whether touch or regular.

    Pre-Steps
    To make this easier, you should put the su zip on the sdcard for later.

    1. In terminal, cd to the directory you have your sdk in. Then cd into platform-tools.
    2. Type adb push path-to-zip/JB-SuperSU.zip /sdcard


    Unlocking Your Nexus 7

    To unlock your device
    1. cd to platform-tools
    2. Reboot to the bootloader - adb reboot bootloader
    3. Unlock your device* -
    fastboot oem unlock
    *You will have to accept and erase all the user data on the tablet.
    *You must run this as sudo in Linux


    Flash Clockwork Mod Recovery
    (You're still inside the bootloader)

    4. Flash CWM -
    fastboot flash recovery path-to-img/CWM-grouper-recovery.img​
    5. Make CWM Permanent -
    1. Boot into recovery​
    2. Go to Mounts and Storage​
    3. Mount /System​
    4. Type in Terminal*​
    adb shell
    cd /system
    mv recovery-from-boot.p recovery-from-boot.bak

    If your having trouble gaining shell, try "adb kill-server" then "abd start-server". Couple of my friends had this problem, and this should hopefully fix it.
    * For some people, it has been reported that you don't have to replace recovery-from-boot.bak. The flash is enough to make the recovery stick.

    Flash Su

    1. Go back by pressing power button​
    2. Install the zip in the sdcard​

    Reboot and your device is now rooted!!

    For anybody having trouble trying to use fastboot and come up with a no-permissions error or adb ????????? problem, I created a guide to fix the problem here: [GUIDE]Fix Fastboot and USB
    4
    I do not know of a driver right now. I'm using Ubuntu so I guess it just worked for me. If i come across any drivers, I'll post them in the thread, but until then, i'm not too sure :/

    sorry man. :(

    If you find them, please tell me so i can post them to help others with the same problem.

    Though, i would think that windows would pick it up automatically being that it's just adb drivers.

    When I updated the Android SDK it also had an update for the "Google USB Driver". When I look at this driver it now includes the Nexus 7.

    I have attached the new Windows drivers for those who don't have the SDK installed.
    EDIT: It appears there are some problems with XDA uploads lately (at least for me) so I have shared it here
    https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=DC89975E3CE960E5!219
    4
    Is there a way to do this without adb? I'm sort of new to adb....any help would be greatly appreciated. Ty

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-T989 using xda premium
    4
    what would unlocking do? isnt that for phones so you can put other simcards??

    It is technically "unlocking the boot loader" but unlocking was short and sweet for the title.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using xda app-developers app
    3
    Is there a way to do this without adb? I'm sort of new to adb....any help would be greatly appreciated. Ty

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-T989 using xda premium

    Umm, this no way to do this without adb. I'm working on a one click script which i will be posting later. I am currently in IO Sessions and should have it in the next couple of days.

    But an answer, again, no, there isn't. You need to download the sdk, and install the tools. then just cd to platform-tools, and use adb like i said. If your in windows, use adb.exe then the arguments, but if your in linux, just use ./adb. Same thing with fastboot.
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