How To: Install Android 2.2 Froyo On the Motorola Droid - LAPTOP Magazine: The Pulse of Mobile Technology

How To: Install Android 2.2 Froyo On the Motorola Droid

We shared our experience with Android 2.2 (Froyo) on the the Nexus One not too long ago, and heralded its speed superiority over Android 2.1.  Unfortunately, if you have a Motorola Droid (and many other phones),  you’re still anxiously waiting for your carrier to issue an update. But the good news is, if you’re willing to hack your phone, you can have Froyo on a Droid today.

After Google granted the development community access to Froyo’s official source code (during the announcement of the Droid X), rooted Froyo ROMs have become widely available.  Today we’re going to show you how to root Android 2.1 on the Motorola Droid, and place a custom 2.2 Froyo ROM with Flash 10.1 (beta 3) in its place- Verizon faithful rejoice!

Before you proceed, a word of caution.   The process is very risky- and could result in you bricking the device (ouch), rendering it unusable- so tread carefully.  Our installation process was a breeze however, thanks to the insightful team over at Droid-Life.com.  Their method is precise, and pretty much fail-proof if you follow the directions as instructed.

There are numerous rooted Froyo ROMs out there, but we decided to to go with Onix 2.0 Beta, a basic but stable one, with an official release coming soon.  We’ll also have a part two to this guide, which will showcase the hottest Froyo ROMs we’ve tested, so developers feel free to leave us a  link to your ROM in the comments section, and we’ll give it a run.  In the meantime, here’s everything you’ll need to make Froyo on the Droid a reality:

Checklist

  • Motorola Droid (US phone, not the international Motorola Milestone version) running stock Android 2.1, non-rooted
  • PC running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit supported)
  • The latest Motorola Droid drivers (currently at version 4.5) click here
  • The RSD Lite flashing software click here
  • The SPRecovery SBF image file click here
  • A rooted Android 2.2 Froyo ROM of your choice (we’re using Onix 2.0 Beta which you can find here )
  • Flash 10.1 (beta 3)  .apk file click here
  • Android Mate application (once Froyo is installed, download it from the Android Market)
  • *optional* Droid X wallpapers (they look neat) click here

Installation Process

Part 1

  1. Install the latest Motorola Droid driver. Make sure you install the appropriate 32-bit or 64-bit Motorola Droid driver (click here) that corresponds with your operating system.  Failure to do so will result in the flashing software not being able to recognize your device.
  2. Download the SBF image file. Save the SPRecovery SBF image file (click here) to a place on your hard disk other than your desktop.  Do not rename the file or tamper with the file extension.
  3. Install RSD Lite 4.6. Download the RSD Lite flashing software (click here) and follow the directions to install it to your PC.
  4. Connect the Droid. Connect the Droid to the USB port on the  PC.  Once the Droid is recognized, power it off, but do not disconnect it from the computer.
  5. Run RSD Lite. Run the RSD Lite 4.6 software on your PC.  Once running, slide out the Droid keyboard, holding the phone in the landscape position.  Hold up on the d-pad, then press the power button for five seconds.  A black screen will appear with white letters indicating the Bootloader interface.

  6. Perform the flashing process. Back in RSD Lite, click on the … box (near the filename box), and locate the SPRcovery SBF file you saved earlier.  Double click the file to open it in  RSD Lite.  Once loaded, click “start”, which will begin the flashing process- it should take no more than 30 seconds to a minute.  
  7. Double Check.  Once the flashing process is completed, reboot the Droid, and reopen RSD Lite.  There should be a 100% “completed” status indication, which indicates that the flashing was successful.  On our XP testbed, RSD Lite showed the 100%, but it indicated an “in progress” status.  Should this happen to you, reboot the Droid once more for safe measure, and open RSD Lite again.  If the status says 100%, but  “in progress” (as ours did), you should be fine and now have SPRecovery on the Droid.   You can now close RSD Lite, and disconnect the phone from the computer.

Part 2

From this point, you can install a custom Android 2.2 Froyo ROM.  We’re using Onix2.0 Beta and will walk you through the process.  Follow these next steps:

  1. Backup. Backup any files you want to restore now.  The next couple of steps will wipe the Droid clean, and perform a fresh install.
  2. Download Onix. Download the Onix 2.0 Beta ROM (click here), and rename the file to update.zip.  If you enable the option to view the file extension in Windows, you will see the sholes_onix_beta files name, followed by the .zip extension.  You only need to change the first part.  The file will be renamed as update.zip, not update.zip.zip.
  3. Root the ROM file. Place the update.zip ROM on the root of your sdcard.  The root is the main directory of a drive, and not located in any folder. 
  4. Reboot the Droid. Reboot the Droid into recovery mode by holding the power and “x” button simultaneously.
  5. Finish the installation from recovery mode. From the menu options, select “Wipe data/factory reset”.  Next, select “Wipe cache partition”, then choose “Install”.   Select “Allow update.zip installation”, then choose “Install /sdcard/update.zip (deprecated)”.  This will install the Android 2.2 ROM  onto the device.  Allow the installation process to complete.

  6. Reboot. Reboot the Droid, and shortly the Onix logo followed by the familiar Android start-up phase will appear.  You now officially have android 2.2 on the Droid!  From there, you will perform the usual process of adding your Google account to get to the home screen.
  7. Download Android Mate. Before you can install Flash, download the Android Mate application from the Android Market.    
  8. Download Flash. Download the Flask .apk file. (click here)
  9. Connect the Droid. Connect the Droid to the computer, and enable the USB file transfer mode.  Place the Flash .apk file on the root of the microSD card.
  10. Launch Android Mate. Open Droid Mate, then  locate and launch the “adobeflash3.apk” file.  This will install Flash 10.1 (beta 3) on the Droid! 
  11. Install additional wallpapers. *optional* These Droid wallpapers are the same from the upcoming Motorola Droid X.  While not necessary to install, they’re hot.  you can download the pack by clicking here.

And that’s it!  You should have Android 2.2 fully functional on the Droid.  Check back for part two of this feature, as we will be showcasing some of the hottest Froyo ROMS available.  Please feel free to submit your ROM in our comments section, and we will give it a go.

*Special thanks to Droid-Life.com and Onix Concepts


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  1. austin Says:

    hey it flash 10.1 beta 3

  2. austin Says:

    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/bugless/55598-rom-stable-bugless-beast-v0-4-android-2-2-frf84b-fully-deodexed.html

  3. Austin A Says:

    This didn’t work for me. When I opened the file in RSD Lite it never allowed me to click ‘start’

  4. Wayde Says:

    Can’t get my Beautiful Widgets to work on my phone. No weather when phone is in cradle either. Seems to be working pretty good. I haven’t tested everything yet.

  5. Brian Says:

    Hey Austin,

    Try uninstalling any previous Droid drivers you have on the system, or uninstall, then reinstall the 4.5 driver from Motorola. The drivers have to be installed properly, in order for the RSD Lite software to find the phone. I had the same issue, and it worked when I pinpointed the driver issue.

  6. Brian K. Neal Says:

    Wayde,

    The folks over at Onix are releasing the official Onix ROM, complete with a number of enhancements- we will post it in the update as soon as possible. Glad the install worked and is running good for you!

  7. Devryn Says:

    My Location doesn’t work in Maps or Browser. I assume this is why some widgets aren’t working. Will this be fixed? Also, if I want to try a different rom, can I just name it update.zip and put it in the SD Card main directory and go from there?

  8. Brian K. Neal Says:

    Devryn,

    Yes, you upload the Froyo ROM of your choice, just remember to rename the main file to update, and place it on the root of your microSD card. The total file should read as update.zip. The Onix ROM was just one of many ROMS available. I was notified that a full fledged version of Onix will be available in the coming days, so standby!

  9. Devryn Says:

    I’ll give it a couple of days, unless the GPS doesn’t work.

  10. Danielle Says:

    What are the risks??

  11. timmy lally Says:

    I just followed these instructions but now my facebook contacts wont sinc up with my phone book. is this normal and how do i fix this

  12. Joel Says:

    ahhh having a nexus one is awesome cuz u dont have to do this crap

  13. Devryn Says:

    Timmeh! (or Timmy if you prefer),
    I noticed this same issue. Not a REAL bother, but some of the folks I had joined didn’t sync from my Google account.

    Also, Pandora sounds like butt.

  14. somebody Says:

    i need help i deleted the driver then i re installed it then i hit start and it did not help

  15. stanley eng Says:

    If you don’t want t hack, when can we expect the official upgrade to Android 2.2?

  16. Brian K. Neal Says:

    Somebody,

    Make sure you double click the SPRcovery SBF file instead of pressing the “open” button, to load it into RSD Lite.

  17. Charlie Says:

    Thanks for showcasing our rom! Expect a full release in the coming days.

  18. amd Says:

    after i pushed start on rsd when it finished it rebooted bacck to nrmal as if nothing happened and i was running android 2.1 update 1!!!??? help!!

  19. sox Says:

    for some reason woint let me install the rom when iam in recovery mode i go thru the steps when i get ready to install it says no such file is found what iam i doing wrong

  20. Wayde Says:

    Now that I have gone through all of the steps to root my Motorola Droid to 2.2, is there any way to bring it back to 2.1 or am I forever more “rooted”? Not really happy with some of the quirks in my phone now. I will wait for Onix full release coming soon and give it a fair chance. But, can I or can I not return my phone to stock android 2.1?

  21. ju Says:

    it keeps aborting the rom when im in recovery.

  22. steven Says:

    Will this work on clockwork

  23. Michael Ramirez Says:

    anyone else having issues with Facebook, will no loger let me add this acct to sync with contacts

  24. Brian K. Neal Says:

    Hey everyone, there is a release that will be posted today that will alleviate the issues posted, and the final ROM will be released in 3-4 days. I will keep on it!

  25. Brian K. Neal Says:

    Hey everybody,

    Onix just released Onix 2.0 RC1, which addresses a number of issues. Here’s an official note from the Onix team:

    *Note* Because some of you are coming from the beta and possibly other roms, I suggest you wipe data and cache to avoid any issues, As well there seems to be an issue with my boot animation :/ so if you don’t see a boot after the M logo don’t lose your shorts it IS booting up, fix will come shortly

    We have had the great fortune of stumbling upon an app developer and with the final release will come a new app native to Onix for all scripts, goodies, and our very own OTA update system completely independent from ROM Manager! (Free of course).

    I do suggest WIPING DATA/CACHE for this install because it is built from the source that Google dropped a few weeks ago, which is different from what anyone on the beta is using a this time.

  26. Brian K. Neal Says:

    Here is link! click here

  27. Tiffany Says:

    I gotta say I was looking everywhere for a decent walk through and when I found this and it worked I almost fainted! hah brilliant. Can’t wait to see some of the amazing ROMS :)

  28. Randy Says:

    Man I tried this like ten times and it keeps saying aborted I have no idea what im doing wrong I even redownloaded the drivers and roms and everything multiple times what am i doing wrong please help.

  29. Brian K. Neal Says:

    Hey Randy, which operating system are you using, and where are you receiving the “aborted” error?

  30. Randy Says:

    im using 2.1 update 1 and i receive it when i try to install update.zip

  31. Randy Says:

    if you can help id be very greatful if you wish i can send you an email your instructions are awesome and im sure its just somethin g simple im doing wrong i would love to be able to install roms at will thanks for the help

  32. mike Says:

    i have all the files but i am not able to download the drivers from the motorola site the are no longer able to can anyone help

  33. Doug Says:

    It worked great! Question though … once Motorola does come out with 2.2, will I be able to load it?

  34. justin Says:

    HELP!!! I’m having the same issue as Randy!

  35. Keith Says:

    great instructions, this is awesome. thanks everyone. great job.

  36. Yeps Says:

    Does anyone know where to find the ROM for a Canadian Milestone? The ROM listed above os for the CDMA version of the handheld.

    Thanks

  37. george medlin Says:

    what a load of bs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    promises, promises, promises, just pure unadulterated bs and a waste of time. fu

  38. Steve Says:

    Hi there.

    I used the z4root app which is free from the android market and it automatically rooted my phone.

    Will this tutorial still work or do I have to re-root my phone using your method?

  39. Steve Says:

    Also, I have a Telus Milestone (Canadian)

    so with that being said I am already assuming that I am in the same boat at Yeps

    “Does anyone know where to find the ROM for a Canadian Milestone? The ROM listed above os for the CDMA version of the handheld.

    Thanks”

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