Installing Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) on Motorola Xoom

The first thing I did when I got my Motorola Xoom is to upgrade from Honeycomb to ICS. It’s not very easy for a newbie and the information is a bit scattered among forums, but it was very much worth the effort. I don’t take any credit for the information here as I just updated information that I found in forums. I added a few more details that didn’t seem that obvious and simplified this guide.

Installation of ICS depends on 2 main tasks: flashing custom recovery and installation of ICS. Please note that doing this can and probably will void your warranty.

Flash custom recovery & root

Original thread can be found at XDA developers forum.

“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 don’t 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. In fact, read it twice to ensure that you have understood everything.

Just a note before we begin: the different Xoom. Models that are able to use this guide are the following:

  • MZ600 – stingray_cdma – Motorola US 3g Xoom (technically this device is stingray as well, but I will be using stingray_cdma as the two devices have incompatible software)
  • MZ601 – utms_everest – Motorola EU 3g Xoom
  • MZ602 – stingray – Motorola US 4g Xoom
  • MZ604 – wingray – Motorola Wifi Xoom

Overview

1. Install Motorola USB drivers for your computers (for USB connectivity)
2. Install 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)

Steps 1, 2, 4 and 5 require that you download install, image and zip files needed for the flashing.

All this was performed on a Windows PC. Windows 7, Mac and Linux users will probably have to do some steps differently.

1.0 Install the latest Motorola USB drivers

The installation file can be found at: http://developer.motorola.com/docstools/USB_Drivers/

1.1 Install the drivers and ensure that your Xoom is recognized by the computer

2.0 Installation of development software

Download Android SDK Tools from here: http://www.android.net/forum/downloads.php?do=file&id=67

2.1 Extract the contents of the ZIP file to C:\SDKTools

2.2 Test that ADB and FASTBOOT works.

2.2.1 Press Win+R on keyboard

2.2.2 Type in “cmd” without quotes and click Ok

2.2.3 Type in “cd C:\SDKTools” and press Enter

2.2.4 Plug in your Xoom to your computer with your Motorola cable (it may not work with a generic cable)

2.2.3 Make sure that you have USB debugging enabled in Settings/Applications/Development on your Xoom

2.2.6 Type in “adb devices” and press Enter

2.2.7 Here is what you should see:

c:\SDKTools>adb devices
* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
* daemon started successfully *
List of devices attached0a8051c041ff95d7        device

If your windows computer doesn’t see your Xoom, consider this:

When the xoom does not show up on PC it may be the problem of…. windows media player!
Xoom uses drivers of WMP to communicate with PC. If someone does not have the newest WMP drivers it will not show up and you can see xoom device in the devices tab on PC having an exclamation mark.
So the solution is to download and install Windows Media Player 11.

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 secure important data before you start. (It will also void your warranty, so you still have time to go back.)

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 ‘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. Don’t bother to do any setup at this time, just make sure that USB debbuging is checked in settings, and now go on to step 4

4. Install recovery image (CWM)

If you haven’t done it already, download the recovery image file and save it to your computer in the Platform Tools folder.

Download the recovery image from this link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1604014 only the *.img file must be flashed through fastboot.Copy the *.img file to the C:\SDKTools folder.

Warning: Never put any zip files in your Platform Tools folder. Flashing zip files through fastboot will cause very serious problems. Zip files must be flashed from the external micro SD card through CWM recovery on the Xoom…we’ll get to that later.

Important: At this time, make sure you have a working microsd card in your sdcard slot in your Xoom. Reboot the Xoom with the sdcard in the slot to make sure it’s mounted.

4.1 Boot into flash mode with ‘adb reboot bootloader‘.

4.2 Install your downloaded recovery image: ‘fastboot flash recovery eos-recovery-r6.img‘ or whatever is the exact name of the recovery *.img file you are flashing.

4.3 Enter CWM recovery with the procedure below.

4.4 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.

4.5 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 (if you see Starting Fastboot Protocol), experiment with the timing (see below).

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 getting this far!

Problems you may encounter:

  • 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. Just repeat steps 4.1 through 4.6 if that happens.
  • If you accidentally get into a different menu item other than “Android Recovery”, press and hold Power button together with volume down for 10s and the device will reboot.
  • If you reboot the device for such reason, just do the 4.5 step again as soon as you see the Motorola logo so you don’t have to reflash recovery image

UPDATE(12/28/11) Since putting this guide together, Motorola has issued a number of Over-the-Air (OTA) updates that have complicated the process of flashing the Clockwork Mod recovery, so if you have accepted any OTA updates, please read the following:

“The green bot of !

there is one problem that exists with all xoom roots/cwm hacks. I had this problem as well as a bunch of other people when trying to flash CWM. If these files are present after an OTA update, then your xoom when entering recovery will show the green android robot with a exclaimation point instead of CWM.

If you have applied an official ota update.zip then you have a file like this on your xoom that will prevent CWM from working:

/system/recovery-from-boot.p /system/etc/install-recovery.sh

From the command window, type

adb remount adb shell rm /system/recovery-from-boot.p
adb shell rm /system/etc/install-recovery.sh

Or, if you do not already have root on your xoom when you get the green bot of ! then you have to do the following with the stock moto files for your device (from moto dev).

(This Wipes your Xoom )

fastboot oem unlock
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot -w
fastboot reboot

Do not relock! After your Xoom boots back up and goes into the setup screens skip setup and enable usb debugging.
Proceed to Step 4.1, above.

(If you have root and want to remove these files, remove or rename /system/etc/install-recovery.sh with something like root explorer. You can then flash your custom recovery through fastboot again.)

 

 

 

Lesson in all of this–be careful when you install an ota update! –you never know what surprises you will end up with.

For those of you that get stuck with some error like ‘device not recognized’ here is some advice:

1) Be sure that you have your adb folder in the root of C drive directly and be sure that you are in adb folder in command prompt program (CMD in Windows machines) i.e by typing “cd c:\XXX” where XXX is the name of adb folder in your machine.
2) Be sure that you type “adb reboot bootloader” in comand prompt to activate adb program. if the problem persists, try typing “fastboot reboot” then after reboot type “adb reboot bootloader” in command prompt program.
3) Use the USB cable that came with your Xoom (some cables are not good in flashing for unknown reason..!!
4) make sure that you activate USB debugging mode.

5.0. Rooting the Xoom

The Universal Xoom Root zip file from solarnz is located here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/43942134/Xoom-Universal-Root.zip

5.1 You need to transfer the Universal Xoom Root zip file to a working external micro SD card. You can do this on a computer or cell phone, but the Universal Xoom Root zip file must be located in the root directory of the micro SD card. If you are following this guide, please note that it’s safe to take out the micro SD card from Xoom, copy the universal root zip and put it back in the Xoom.

5.2 Insert the now prepared SD card in the Xoom.

5.3 Boot into recovery as described in 4.3 if you are not already in recovery.

5.4 When in recovery navigate using the volume buttons and press the power button to select “install zip from sd card“.

5.5 Next select menu item “choose zip from external sdcard”

5.6 Select “Xoom-Universal-Root.zip” and confirm you want to flash it.

5.7 Once done, navigate to the top menu to reboot the device

After this step your Xoom should be rooted and you should be able to access EOS Recovery every time the device reboots by following step 4.3.

That’s it! Now you are ready to install ICS!

Installing ICS

Original thread can be found at XDA developers forum.

1. Download the correct ROM for your device. You will find the download links on the original thread. For example, I downloaded and installed Eos-wingray-2.0.0.zip, because I have MZ604 model on my Xoom’s box.
2. Download the Google applications package gapps-ics-20120422-signed.zip or newer that you can find on the original thread.
3. Place these two files on the root folder of your sdcard
4. Perform a factory rest within recovery
4.1 Select “wipe data/factory reset” and follow instructions
4.2 Select “wipe cache partition” and follow instructions

5. Install the ROM by selecting the zip file through the menus.

5.1 Select “install zip from sdcard
5.2 Select “choose zip from external sdcard
5.3 Select “Eos-wingray-2.0.0.zip” and confirm you want to flash it
5.4 Go back to root menu

6. Install the google applications package IMMEDIATELY after.

6.1 Select “install zip from sdcard
6.2 Select “choose zip from external sdcard
6.3 Select “gapps-ics-20120422-signed.zip” and confirm you want to flash it
6.4 Go back to root menu

7. Reboot your device and have fun with ICS!

“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 don’t 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. In fact, read it twice to ensure that you have understood everything. If there is weird stuff that you don’t understand, don’t 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 no one (that I could find) that really guides you from start to goal. So enjoy and good luck!

I would like to thank LandMaster and cam30era 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.

Just a note before we begin: the different Xoom. Models that are able to use this guide are the following:
MZ600 – stingray_cdma – Motorola US 3g Xoom (technically this device is stingray as well, but I will be using stingray_cdma as the two devices have incompatible software)
MZ601 – utms_everest – Motorola EU 3g Xoom
MZ602 – stingray – Motorola US 4g Xoom
MZ604 – wingray – Motorola Wifi Xoom
(thanks solarnz!)
___________
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 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 PC. Windows 7, Mac and Linux users will probably have to do some steps differently.

1.0 Install the latest Motorola USB drivers

The installation file can be found at: http://developer.motorola.com/docstools/USB_Drivers/

1.1 Install the drivers and ensure that your Xoom is recognized by the computer

2.0 Installation of development software

Android SDK and Java SDK need to be installed. You can find the installation kits here.

http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html In case you can’t find fastboot.exe, look for it here (thanks to jerrycycle): http://forum.xda-developers.com/show…34&postcount=5

Update: you could also just install the adb fastboot pack here:http://www.android.net/forum/downloa…?do=file&id=67

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/ja…ads/index.html

2.1 Install them as any other software, making an Android SDK folder on C/.

2.2 Make sure that all the files you need are in the Platform Tools folder (fastboot, recovery image file and so on). Copy any files in the Tools folder to the Platform Tools folder if necessary. Note: If the Android SDK complains that the Java Dev Kit can’t be found, just press Back and then Next again. Wierd, but that seems to do the trick … go figure.

(Warning: Never put any zip files in your Platform Tools folder. Flashing zip files through fastboot will cause very serious problems. Zip files must be flashed from the external micro SD card through CWM recovery on the Xoom…we’ll get to that later.)

2.3 Test that ADB and FASTBOOT works. You should open a command window by right clicking in your Platform Tools folder where all of your files are, plug in your Xoom to your computer with your Motorola cable (it may not work with a generic cable) and write ‘adb devices’. Your Xoom should now be listed. Did your device not show up? Make sure that you have USB debugging enabled in Settings/Applications/Development on your Xoom.

Optional: Those that want to be able to access adb from any where on their computer, here’s a tip from scsa20: “For windows, if you go into System Properties and choose Advanced, then Environment Variables…, you’ll be able to edit the Path variable under System variables, just add the path to where adb and fastboot is located (separated with a semi-colon ().

Here’s what my Path variable looks like:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\PhysX\Common;%SystemRoot%\system32;%Sy stemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;%SYSTEMROOT%\ System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Shared;c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\;c:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\;c:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\DTS\Binn\;C:\android-sdk-windows\tools;C:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools;C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Acronis\SnapAPI\

It’s long but do you see the android stuff there at the end?”

Update: xda poster Mandelbrot Benoit suggests an alternate adb setup, here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show…2&postcount=50

If your windows computer doesn’t see your Xoom, consider this (Originally Posted by AngryBulleteyeTruth):

When the xoom does not show up on PC it may be the problem of…. windows media player!
Xoom uses drivers of WMP to communicate with PC. If someone does not have the newest WMP drivers it will not show up and you can see xoom device in the devices tab on PC having an exclamation mark.
So the solution is to download and install Windows Media Player 11. It has worked for me.

——–

OK. Now that you are set up, it’s Showtime! Take a deep breath…

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 secure important data before you start. (It will also void your warranty, so you still have time to go back.)

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 ‘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. Don’t bother to do any setup at this time, just make sure that USB debbuging is checked in settings, and now go on to step 4

4. Install recovery image (CWM) UPDATED 4/19/12

If you haven’t done it already, download the recovery image file and save it to your computer in the Platform Tools folder.

(Download the recovery image from this link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show….php?t=1604014 only the img file flashed through fastboot Remember, never try to flash a zip file through fastboot!)

Important: At this time, make sure you have a good (known to be working) microsd card in your sdcard slot in your Xoom. Reboot the Xoom with the sdcard in the slot to make sure it’s mounted.

4.1 Boot into flash mode with ‘adb reboot bootloader.’

4.2 Install your downloaded recovery image: ‘fastboot flash recovery eos-recovery-r6.img‘ or whatever is the exact name of the recovery img file you are flashing.

4.3 Enter CWM recovery with the procedure below.

4.4 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.

4.5 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 (if you see Starting Fastboot Protocol), experiment with the timing (see below).

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 getting 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. Just repeat steps 4.1 through 4.6 if that happens.

UPDATE(12/28/11) Since putting this guide together, Motorola has issued a number of Over-the-Air (OTA) updates that have complicated the process of flashing the Clockawork Mod recovery, so if you have accepted any OTA updates, please read the following, written by joe ferreira and SICKBOY:

“The green bot of !

there is one problem that exists with all xoom roots/cwm hacks. I had this problem as well as a bunch of other people when trying to flash CWM. If these files are present after an OTA update, then your xoom when entering recovery will show the green android robot with a exclaimation point instead of CWM.

If you have applied an official ota update.zip then you have a file like this on your xoom that will prevent CWM from working:

/system/recovery-from-boot.p /system/etc/install-recovery.sh

From the command window, type

adb remount adb shell rm /system/recovery-from-boot.p
adb shell rm /system/etc/install-recovery.sh

Or, if you do not already have root on your xoom when you get the green bot of ! then you have to do the following with the stock moto files for your device (from moto dev).

(This Wipes your Xoom )

fastboot oem unlock
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot -w
fastboot reboot

Do not relock! After your Xoom boots back up and goes into the setup screens skip setup and enable usb debugging.
Proceed to Step 4.1, above.

(If you have root and want to remove these files, remove or rename /system/etc/install-recovery.sh with something like root explorer. You can then flash your custom recovery through fastboot again.)

Lesson in all of this–be careful when you install an ota update! –you never know what surprises you will end up with.

For those of you that get stuck with some error like ‘device not recognized’ poster Madjinj gives the following advice:

1) Be sure that you have your adb folder in the root of C drive directly and be sure that you are in adb folder in command prompt program (CMD in Windows machines) i.e by typing “cd c:\XXX” where XXX is the name of adb folder in your machine.
2) Be sure that you type “adb reboot bootloader” in comand prompt to activate adb program. if the problem persists, try typing “fastboot reboot” then after reboot type “adb reboot bootloader” in command prompt program.
3) Use the USB cable that came with your Xoom (some cables are not good in flashing for unknown reason..!!
4) make sure that you activate USB debugging mode.

5.0. Rooting the Xoom

The Universal Xoom Root zip file from solarnz is located here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show….php?t=1242241

5.1 You need to transfer the Universal Xoom Root zip file to a working external micro SD card. You can do this on a computer or cell phone, but the Universal Xoom Root zip file must be located in the root directory of the micro 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 any app requiring root and start it. If the rooting was successful, then the app should request superuser permission and you should be able to grant it without any problems.

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16 thoughts on “Installing Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) on Motorola Xoom”

  1. WOW what a tut. Thanks for all the hints, that was so helpful.
    You’re a hero mate. Thank you agian and again.

      1. Hi Arvydas

        Thanks for the reply, I’m ok following the instructions the only problem is the eos-recovery-r6.img file as all the links would appear to be dead.

        I’ve tried google however I can’t seem to get hold of it any more.

        Thanks anyway.

          1. Hi Arvydas

            Thank you for your help it is very much appreciated!

            I just get the android with the yellow triangle each time I try and start the EOS Recovery system.

            If you have any pearls of wisdom then i’d be very grateful but if not, no worries. Thank you very much for your help.

            Cheers,
            Martin.

          2. Sorry, it’s been a while since I did flashing. I would suggest you to follow the new guide and then if you have any questions just post them on the same thread.

  2. Is there any way to do this with out the Micro SD my tablet MZ600 is not detecting the none of my Micro SDs and my computer does so probabley the port is damaged……..

  3. Your best option would be to put the stock ROMs back on – http://www.androidcentral.com/how-unroot-and-re-lock-motorola-xoom

    I used the official files from Motorola. This will put you back onto Honeycomb. Then check for updates, as you will be so far behind – you will get the latest ICS almost straight away.

    Then you can factory reset and/or root if needed. This way you have an “official” ICS version which you then have the choice of rooting if you choose to.

    That was what I did – Thanks again to Arvydas for his original post and additional help.

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