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Friday, October 26, 2012

Upgrading Bionic to Ice Cream Sandwich

English: Picture of the front of the DROID BIO...
English: Picture of the front of the DROID BIONIC by Motorola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For some people, all they need is to wait for the OTA (over the air) updates, and voila, it's done.

Not me.

I had rooted my Bionic, and I have Safestrap installed, but safe mode is not active. I've tried with recovery installed and not installed, nothing there.

I am still on .893 Gingerbread, and I can't update to .902, the official update (there is also .905 update, but that's more of a rare patch). I can "force" an update by going to Settings / About Phone / System Update, and it will download a 60MB .902 update file, but it won't install. It goes in, then it reboots when it's about 40 percent installed, and reverts back to .893, with "update has failed!" message.

So I am now going to FORCE an update... by doing it manually.

There are a ton of instructions, but they essentially say the same thing. I'll use the "House of Bionic" version as it seems to be the easiest to do.

You will need:

  • A Windows PC (I use Win7 Home Premium 64bit)
  • A USB to MicroUSB cable (the original Motorola one is preferred, but any USB to MicroUSB will do)
  • A charged Motorola Bionic (preferably, at least 75% charged, as you'll use a bit of juice in between, and if it runs out of power, the device may be bricked)
  • And Internet connection, so you an download some files.

Got all that? Let's go.

First, download and install the latest Motorola Device Manager 

For Windows, go to

You may also want to visit this URL if that above one doesn't work.

And install the driver. It will probably autolaunch the backup assistant plus thing. Just go to tray icon and turn it off. (i.e. "Do nothing"). If it wants an upgrade, do it. Latest version as of 26-OCT-2012 is .28

Second, test the device driver install. 

When the drivers are finished installing, and reboot if needed, connect the USB cable to your Bionic and see if the device drivers installed properly. It should uninstall and reinstall a bunch of drivers for your Motorola XT875, which is your Bionic.

Make sure it's all done, and you didn't get any odd errors like unknown device, not installed, and such. If you did, go to device manager, remove them, then disconnect and reconnect the Bionic to force reinstall.

When it's all done, continue.

Third, download 4 files

Go to

And download

The House of Bionic Installed (main EXE)
The FXZ file you need
The RSD file you need
The Webtop file you need

They are all EXEs (self-extracting ZIPs) so your security setting may balk, just override them. Download them all into whereever you want, keep them together.

Install them in order you downloaded them. They should all go into DESKTOP, just keep all the default directories. While it says Webtop is optional (and I personally never used the webtop) if you don't install it your update will go into a boot loop (black screen with slight vibrations every minute or so). So install it ANYWAY.

Assuming you are installed .246 (the ICS update) you should have

and inside you should have a /rsd and /246_RXZ among other directories.

When all four have been "installed", continue to next step.

Fourth: Start Installation

Open the DESKTOP/SamuriHL_HouseofBionic subdirectory.
Run the houseofbionic.BAT file in the subdirectory, and follow the instructions.

Generally speaking, the batch file sends over the updates using RSD (on the PC side) and Fastboot (on the phone side), then tells the phone to process them automatically.

Just select the FXZ, then KEEP DATA. If you don't see the FXZ or it gives something about "not found", you didn't install the FXZ file earlier or you changed the default directory. If it says RSD not found, you didn't install the RSD tool!

The script will ask if you want to boot to Fastboot. Say Yes. The phone will then boot and show just a couple white letters that says something FASTBOOT on top. Don't touch it. Motorola RSD Lite program will load on PC side and push the updates over. Just don't do ANYTHING and let it run, even when it seems to be "stuck".

The only time you have to worry is RSD has a message that says "manually power up the phone". That usually means the phone is no longer responding to RSD commands, and that means it's probably stuck in a boot loop, which means you forgot to install the WEBTOP thing. In that case, do the startover below.

Oops, starting over

This is if you goofed up and didn't install the stuff you needed.

First, download and install the WEBTOP thing! (in fact, download and install ALL OF THE ABOVE again)

Second, disconnect the USB cable from the phone, then pull the battery. You have to force the phone into AP Fastboot to start over. Put battery back in, then hold the down volume button while you press the power button. Your phone should boot into AP Fastboot.

Third, close RSD Lite, and accept the warning message about potential damage to the device.

Fourth, Go to the batch script window, then press space bar twice to close the batch script

Fifth, run the HouseofBionic.bat. Pick the same options at what to do (FXZ, keep data). When it asks if you want to boot into AP Fastboot, say N, as your phone is already in Fastboot. Just connect the cable, then press space to continue, and let it go.

After about a few minutes, you should be in Ice Cream Sandwich, with all your apps and settings intact!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi there. Nice blog. You have shared useful information. Keep up the good work! This blog is really interesting and gives good details.

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