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[How To] Unlock Bootloader & Root Galaxy Nexus

Discussion in 'Galaxy Nexus Development' started by sbenson, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. sbenson
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    sbenson New Member

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    A quick note about this tutorial. Lots of people are reporting issues with getting the drivers set up. This could occur because of a variety of reason. Since each person has a different home computer set up, I suggest if you run into any problems, please feel free to ask questions but I also urge you to review this thread in its entirety - there are a lot of solutions to the many issues people were encountering. Thanks in advance!

    I have personally tested the method below and can confirm that it worked for me.

    A lot of people are asking about unlocking the bootloader and rooting the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and there's a bit of confusion over the different methods used with the GMS version. I'll try to keep this as simple as possible and noob friendly. No ADB is needed with this tutorial. If anything changes between now and once the device is released, I'll update accordingly. Feel free to submit changes to me.

    Disclaimer: This tutorial is Windows only at this point (I may update for Mac and Linux at a later time). Use the following methods at your own risk. I am not responsible if you brick your phone. I did not develop these methods. This will void your manufacturer warranty. Good luck!

    This entire process is based on Paul O'Brien's Superboot.

    What is Superboot?

    Via Paul:
    What do I need?

    Drivers:
    1. Samsung Driver - this installs general Samsung driver
    2. Pdanet Driver (32 bit or 64 bit) - this installs the Android 1.0 driver (solves the "waiting for device" warning)

    Root file:



    The Process:


    1. Read the directions completely.

    2. Read the directions again. Okay, now you're ready.

    3. Download all (only download the Pdanet file for your type of computer; i.e. 32 or 64 bit) the above files to your home computer.

    4. Install driver 1 from above. Plug your phone it and verify that the drivers are working.

    5. Enable USB Debugging on the Nexus. (This is found by going to Settings > Developer options)

    6. Install driver 2 from above. This will install Pdanet on both your phone and your computer. Follow the install wizard closely and choose the option for a Samsung device. (A quick note about Pdanet; when you unlock the device, it will be wiped from the device - so don't worry about uninstalling; On your computer, feel free to uninstall Pdanet if you want - the drivers will remain installed - so don't worry)

    7. Follow this part of the tutorial exactly. Extract the contents of Superboot and rename the extracted folder "root." This extracted root folder will contain 12 files.

    8. Place the renamed root folder from step 7 onto the root (or base) of your computer's C drive (it should be here: C:\). It has to be renamed and placed in this specific location for this tutorial to work.

    9. Power down the phone.

    10. Connect the phone to your computer via usb.

    11. On your computer, from the control panel, open device manager. With the device manager, we will visually verify that we have correctly installed the Android 1.0 driver.

    12. Boot the phone into the bootloader by simultaneously holding Volume Up + Volume Down + Power. Check the device manager window. You should see something appear that mentions Android 1.0. If you see that, you're good to go.

    13. Open up the command prompt in Windows:
    • Click Start Menu, then in the search bar type: cmd (this will open the command prompt);
    • Type the following: cd C:/
    • Then type the following: cd root
    14. The next step will unlock your bootload - this will wipe all data on your device.
    • In the command prompt, type the followingt: fastboot-windows oem unlock
    15. You will receive a warning about unlocking. Use the volume keys to select an option and use the power button to confirm.

    16. Your bootloader will now say: Lock State - Unlocked (near the bottom) as well as "Fastboot Status - Okay"

    17. Now, to root your device, simply double click: install-superboot-windows.bat that you originally placed in the root folder in steps 7 & 8 above.

    18. You will now see the black Google screen with the lock icon at the bottom.

    19. Your phone should reboot automatically after a couple minutes on the Google screen. If, and only if your phone doesn't reboot automatically after 5 minutes, unplug the usb cable and perform a battery pull. (Mine did not reboot automatically - so I had to pull the battery.)

    20. Put your battery back in and power on your device.

    21. Be patient while it boots up, and don't worry - first boot may take up to 5 minutes. Breath....breath some more.

    22. After phone set up, confirm Superuser app in your app tray.

    23. Open Superuser, go into settings (top right, wrench icon), scroll down and "tap to check for updates." Tap "update anyway." You should get a red warning for busybox, but everything else should be green.

    24. Open up the market and download BusyBox installer.

    25. Run the BusyBox installer.

    26. You are now unlocked and rooted and armed with Superuser privileges. Enjoy your limitless device.

    27. Flip Verizon the bird.


    All credit for this tutorial goes to:

    Evostance and
    Paul O'Brien

    Useful root apps:

    Busybox
    Rom Manager
    Titanium Backup
    Root Explorer

    Questions?
    • The above method unlocks your bootloader AND roots your device.
    • You do not need ADB.
    • This does not put a custom recovery on your phone.
    • This does not put a custom rom on your phone.
    • Yes, your phone is still stock.
    • Yes, you will still receive OTA's from Google/Verizon.
    • This only puts Superuser on your phone, you need to install busybox yourself.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  2. jcardona1
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    jcardona1 New Member

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    NOOB question: so the end result is the as if I were using the Adb/SDK instructions over on Droid Life? This seems much easier. Thanks for the write up!
  3. CJM
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    CJM Developer Relations Staff Member Premium Member

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    Just curious, how is this different from the GSM version. When unlocking the GSM version, it doesnt void the warranty.
  4. sbenson
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    sbenson New Member

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    Yes, Paul O'Brien created an incredibly simple method that removes the need for ADB. Works the same, just simpler, plus this method roots the phone as well.
  5. sbenson
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    sbenson New Member

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    I can't answer that 100%. From what I've read, once you unlock the bootloader the warranty is gone. I haven't found anything yet about restoring the phone to stock to attempt to re-instate your warranty.
  6. CJM
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    CJM Developer Relations Staff Member Premium Member

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    Ok. Just curious. This is what I was talking about. But it says its only for the GSM version: Building for devices | Android Open Source

    The unlocking the bootloader part is near the top. And just under that is the part about the warranty.
  7. sbenson
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    sbenson New Member

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    Take this with a grain of salt, but according to P3Droid, he alluded to the fact that the Nexus may some how keep track whether or not it's been unlocked. I don't know if it's true or even possible...
  8. Cbass057
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    Cbass057 New Member

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    In today's information hungry environment, I would not doubt that they will keep tabs on unlocked devices...
  9. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    For those who use linux paul at modaco has superboot for linux also...same process just fastboot-linux oem unlock.

    The file is on the modaco forums
  10. goosedeath
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    goosedeath New Member

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    I followed the links in the OP, and it does mention OSX, how ever, it also states it's for the GSM model. Do the same commands apply to the LTE on OSX? I'm digging that I can do this w/ easy on my MacbookPro. :biggrin: No need to dig out the crumby netbook I have.
  11. SG181
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    SG181 New Member

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    Does this work for the LTE version as well, or will we need to wait a few days for a new version to be released?

    I rooted my OG and had custom ROMs on it for awhile, but I stopped about a year ago when my phone was having issues and I had to factory reset. Seems like the entire procedure is radically different than it was 2 years ago.
  12. SniperDroid
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    SniperDroid New Member

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    Noob Question #1: Is it necessary to unlock the Bootloader to Root the phone? #2: What advantage is there to Unlocking the Bootloader if I am not going to change the Rom or do any development?

    Thanks in Advance
  13. goosedeath
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    goosedeath New Member

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    Any update on if there is any changes to Unlocking and permanent(yet removable) root for the LTE Unicorn...errr Nexus?
  14. Droidlovinyogi
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    Droidlovinyogi New Member

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    sbenson,

    Thanks for posting this. It appears as if it’s not too complicated, however I was reading through the original thread for this over at Modaco, and I got the impression that this is not a permanent root.

    Could you clarify whether this is a temporary or permanent method to root?
  15. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    No and absolutely nothing :)



    Sent from Droid RAZR
  16. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    Not that it means anything but I've heard grumblings about the boot loader as well. I can tell you that it is/was a big security concern of Verizon's.

    I don't know anything beyond that so nothing will surprise me once its released. I am very curious to see the outcome though. I don't expect it to be locked but I wouldn't be shocked to be perfectly honest.

    Sent from Droid RAZR
  17. winner00
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    winner00 Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    Not saying this is a bad method but someone over on android forums said it caused bootloops on his LTE Galaxy Nexus. I would recommend doing a manual method until it gets fixed. Here's the guide: [HOW TO] Root the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Android Forums

    I am using the (Slightly) Easier Manual Method. This method doesn't require you to have the android sdk installed because everything is in the zip you download. You still have to enter in all the fastboot and adb commands though which isn't hard at all. I would highly recommend doing it this way to avoid problems.

    Also another thing. DON"T flash the GSM CWM Recovery on the LTE Nexus. I don't care what people say just wait till theres one officially released for it.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  18. alucard9114
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    alucard9114 New Member

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    Im confused on this step

    Open up the command prompt in Windows:
    cd C:/
    cd root

    • Click Start Menu, then in the search bar type: cmd (this will open the command prompt);
    • Type the following, pressing enter after each line:
  19. Snow02
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    Snow02 New Member

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    The instructions say to unzip the files to a folder called root. cd root changes the current directory to root - the folder you just made with the files in it.
  20. alucard9114
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    alucard9114 New Member

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    Also here it says to type the following and is blank?


      • Type the following, in the command prompt:
    1. You will receive a warning about unlocking. Use the volume keys to select an option and use the power button to confirm.
    2. Your bootloader will now say it's unlocked at the bottom of the screen.
    3. Now, to root your device, simply double click: install-superboot-windows.bat that you originally placed in the root folder in step 2.
    4. Reboot your phone and enjoy root privileges.
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