First: the meat of my problem begins in Paragraph 4 (clearly marked), so if you don't care for introductions, go there now. This post has become entirely too long and if you don't want to read part of it, I completely understand. Second: I'd like to say thanks to anyone reading this. This is one of the best Android sites on the web, and one of the coolest things about the whole Android thing that's happening right now is how quickly and professionally the community has established itself. The Rescue Squad on this site is perhaps the best example of that, and I for one am very glad it exists, especially considering what passes for "help" at large corporations these days. Motorola in particular seems to have a language requirement to staff their tech-support department these days; if you can speak, understand, and write fluently in English, you are ineligible for a job at Motorola's technical support division. I'll leave it at that, lest I lapse into a rant that could get me banned from this site forever, and possibly sent to prison or the Motorola gulags. A friend of a friend told me that he heard about a guy that went there once. Bad news.
Plus, I swear to God: if one of you actually helps me, and my problem is fixed by the direct actions of someone on this forum, you will have my not only my eternal gratitude, but also all the money in my wallet at the time of rooting. Seriously. That's how much I want this done. Not that it will be a lot of money or anything (just checked right now, and I have $1 and a free ticket to a movie at an AMC Theater), but seriously, I will take the time to take it out of my wallet, put it in an envelope with your name on it, and send it to you, with a nice thank-you note, as a token of my gratitude.
NOTE: if it's illegal/bad form/etc to post things involving money on this site, the above paragraph is all moot and should be considered entirely as parody by the admins/mods. Also, up until very recently, I was a (broke) musician, and have only recently, like, in the last two weeks, started working a "real job". I have also just proposed to my (now) fiancée. The point is, if you work at Morgan Stanley or McKinsey or something, it would be very cool if you made a point of this, and just accepted the thank-you note and let me keep this paltry, sad, tiny little amount of money I have accumulated for, you know, food. I promise to use nice paper for the note. Also, I have been told on several nonconsecutive occasions that I have excellent penmanship. ANYWAY... MOVING ON:
PARAGRAPH IV: THE MEAT. I was the proud owner of one of the first Droids released, because it came out on my birthday (Nov. 17) and I'd been waiting for a Verizon Android phone for a long time. Needless to say, I rooted it immediately and was over the moon with the performance and general awesomeness of both the phone and the amazing (and surprising) community that has arisen since the Droid's release. Android is where it's AT, people, and it's getting better every day.
Or at least it was, until my USB port died. It was loose when I bought the phone, which, being literally the first person to buy a Droid from that store EVER, I didn't really think was a problem... maybe it was supposed to be a little loose, I justified to myself. Anyway, the phone died, and my replacement came with FRG22D preinstalled. Needless to say, I was a bit unhappy (especially because I was this close to getting the guy to give me a new Droid 2 because they were out of stock on Droid 1s, but he went and asked his supervisor for approval and the supervisor gave me a "refurbished, as-new!" Droid 1... RRRRRRGH!), but whatever, I figured I'd root it and everything would be fine. I'm on a Mac (with VMFusion emulating Windows, at least for the next 6 days unless I figure out some way to reset it), so that kinda sucks.
To clarify, I mean it sucks for the purposes of rooting this damned Droid. Other than that, I'm pretty much one of those irritating Mac user / enthusiast types, although not necessarily an Apple-Steve-Jobs-Reality-Distortion-Field fanboy, considering my happy Droid usage over the totally inferior (but very pretty) iPhone. Anyway, I've read that people on emulators - Linux people emulating Windows XP, Macs emulating Vista, even a blog entry by a guy running Red Hat, who had emulated Mac OS X 10.6 from inside Linux somehow, and then emulated Windows through Parallels from inside of THAT, and STILL rooted his Droid with the RSD Lite method (!)... if he was running ZSNES inside his Parallels copy of Windows, you'd have to give that guy some sort of emulation medal or something, right?
The point is, you name it, and people have rooted Droids with it, no problem. I've hacked my PS3 with my girlfriend's Blackberry. That Linux emulation guy rooted his Droid through 4 layers of emulation like he was taking a brisk morning constitutional. So the VM Fusion Windows emulation I have here can't be the issue, right? And yet, my Droid remains stubbornly unrooted. I have a MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Intel Core Duo with 2 GB of RAM and Mac OS X 10.5.8 which is not exactly bleeding-edge hardware, but it's pretty fast and suits me pretty well. So far, here's what I've tried:
1) The adb method over at droid-life.net. This was very cool and taught me a lot about how UNIX works, but failed right at the end, because for some reason, everything worked except the command:
adb push c:\droid2root\su /system/bin
... which, for those of you in the know, is the command that puts SU where it needs to be to enable Superuser access. Strangely, the commands directly before and after, which are structured exactly the same way and install Superuser.apk and busybox.apk, worked FINE, but this one returned something like, "Can't install here, drive is read-only" or something similar. Made no sense at the time, makes no sense now. I was installing three things to the same place. The first and last installed fine, while the one in the middle told me that the drive I was trying to install to was read-only. Computers are so dumb sometimes I want to put my head through a wall. YOU JUST PUT A FILE THERE, AND THEN, TO MAKE IT EVEN WORSE, YOU PUT ANOTHER ONE THERE TWO SECONDS AFTER TELLING ME YOU COULDN'T PUT FILES THERE. YOU ARE DUMB AND I HATE YOU.
2) Then, I tried the RSD Lite method. First, I downloaded and installed VM Fusion and the corresponding trial version of Windows 2003 R2 Administrative Server (both good for 30 days... pretty sweet deal, actually)... this was like 10 gigs of downloads but I figured it was worth it. I followed all the instructions to a T, and I got my Droid to the Bootloader (by holding "up" on the Dpad, although "up" is sort of a subjective adjective on a device like the Droid, which is designed to be held at a variety of angles, but we won't get into that right now), everything is gravy, the Droid is telling me it's connected via USB and ready to rock, and all my Moto USB drivers are up to date in Windows, and RSD Lite sees my phone connected via USB, and I load up the correct .sbf file into RSD Lite. Here we go. I hit "Start", the progress percentage ticks up to 100%, finishes, waiting, waiting, waiting for re-enumeration (?), waiting, and... BOOM. Nothing. FAIL. ""Failed flashing process. Phone did not re-enumerate after RAM-downloader was sent." I've tried changing the USB port several times because some site said that was the issue, nothing. Can't get it to work.
3) Then, yesterday, I read RDKamikaze's "One-Click" rooting method, which is basically just a Windows shell for the adb method I tried before, but I figured, what the hell, it was worth a shot. Obviously, you can guess the outcome. Tried every single version from 0.6 to the new 2.03 with no luck. Each and every time, it TELLS me that it worked, and my phone is rooted. RDKamikaze's way of "telling" whether or not the phone is rooted is to check your apps for the Superuser app, which I had already installed with the adb method weeks before, so I even went so far as to remove everything that had ever been associated with ANY previous rooting attempt (including the Superuser app) and try again. Success? But no, no success. ROM Manager still tells me, "Hey, thanks for being a paying customer, but you need to be rooted to use this program! Google "Root Droid" for more info!". It also attempts to put a new SU zip file in the root folder of my SD card, which I've renamed update.zip and tried to run (I've also tried to just run it, and tried to flash it in recovery without renaming it "update.zip", but then it just doesn't get recognized at all), just to see if I could somehow fool my phone into completing the rooting process by adding SU to the system/xbin directory, but no luck... the installer quits and tells me that the zip file is bad.
4) I finally went all the way this evening. I booted up holding X and erased everything. Back to stock for me. Even erased the cache and whatever the third option is. I figured that a completely virgin build of FRG22D would HAVE TO respond to one of the rooting methods. Right? They seem to work for other people, and I even sorta know what I'm doing and how computers work and stuff! Why are dummies all across America who can barely turn their toaster on in the morning getting to install Pete's new Bugless Beast, or play with the ULV Chevy 1.2 GHz kernel, while I, an early-adopting, code-writing, Photo-shopping, certifiable Android and computer nerd (which I mean in the way that I hope everyone here will understand) CANNOT ROOT THIS DAMNED DROID TO SAVE MY LIFE??!?!
Guys, this is really starting to have a negative impact on my self-esteem and my life in general. You don't know what it's like to go from rooted and happy to unrooted, unhappy, confused, and generally BAFFLED. I still use the phone, yes, but I don't ENJOY it. It's slow. It's stupid. I can't do things I want to do. And frankly, it's TICKING ME OFF TO NO END! Plus, now I have all this garbage strewn all over my hard drive, I have Windows constantly crashing my computer, my SD card is full of update.zips and all sorts of garbage from failed root attempts, my phone is slow and bogged down (although now that I've wiped it, that should present less of a problem), etc. Please help me. I don't know what else to do and I don't know how much longer I can take this. I'm honestly going to just save up and blow another $300 and buy a new phone if I can't get this happening soon. I could be happy with a Droid X, or a Droid 2, or something...
Anyway, if ANYONE has ANY ideas, no matter how dumb or potentially repetitive you think they might be, please post either in here or via PM. I can post more details on my system (Mac OS X 10.5.8 running Windows via VM Fusion) or on my Droid if needed, but I just wiped everything, so to be honest, there isn't much on there to discuss. It's currently sitting at FRG22D, dead stock. And it sucks.
Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope. Sorry this post is so long. I swear, I'm using this forum as therapy.