Share this Story

Video: Flashing SPRecovery SBF to Stock 2.1

Less than a week after the DroidMod team ruffled some feathers with their announcement that a real 2.1 root exploit would likely never be found, they come through with a method that’s almost as easy.  The process involves using RSD Lite and the flashing of an SBF file (which you might be shuttering at), but is only changing the recovery image of your phone and as far as I know, is much less risky than flashing the full 2.0.1 SBF which was previously mentioned.  Let me try to explain this.

If you go through with the process I’ve outlined below and in video, your phone will NOT be rooted, but will have SPRecovery installed instead of the stock Droid recovery.  So why is this good news?  Because SPRecovery will allow you to flash a 2.1 custom ROM which will give you 2.1 root access.  That make sense?

Recap: This process will NOT give you root access to 2.1, but will allow you to get there much easier than previous instructions.  When we are finished, this process will give you the opportunity to flash a custom ROM which will in turn, give you root access.  (Yay!)  Now please read the warning.

*Warning* – The process we are about to layout is extremely risky.  If you choose to do this, we are not liable should you brick your phone or cause any sort of permanent damage.  If you do harm to your phone, please do not email us asking for help as you have already been warned and accept all risk involved. Cheers!

Initial steps…

1.  Download the SPRecovery SBF:  SPRecovery_ESE81.sbf
2.  Place the file somewhere other than your desktop.

Video instructions…

Step-by-step instructions…

1.  Remember this post?  Well we’re back to it only simplifying.
2.  Download your correct Motorola USB drivers and install.  (32-bit)  (64-bit)
3.  Download and install RSD Lite 4.6.  Link to download at this post.
4.  Connect your phone to USB and turn it off.
5.  Open RSD Lite (run as administrator).
6.  Slide open your keyboard, hold up on the d-pad, then the power button for 5 seconds and release.

Your phone should then boot to a black screen which is your bootloader.

7.  Click the … next to the filename box and browse to where you saved the SPRecover_ESE81.sbf file.
8.  Double click and open the file.
9.  Click “start” and allow the SPRecovery SBF to flash.  This should not take long.
10.  Allow for your phone to reboot and for RSD Lite to show that you are 100% and completed.
11.  Close RSD Lite and disconnect your phone.  You are done.

What about root and custom ROMs?

Your phone is now still sitting at official stock 2.1, but has SPRecovery as your recovery image.  This is great news as it will allow us to install a 2.1 custom ROM with root access.  If you are familiar with flashing ROMs manually in SPRecovery, go for it!

For instructions on how to install a custom 2.1 rooted ROM, visit this post.

  • Tangyi

    article is very good, like, you are very great and it was really wonderful

  • teddyearp

    Well, I am just wodering if there is any way you folks could delete this post and the associated video.  This method is so old it should be covered with cobwebs and not only that, but the use of the file SPRecovery_ESE81.sbf WILL give very bad results these days on most all if not all Motorola A855 phone out there.

  • Vimal

    Can this SPRecovery file be used on MIlestone ?

  • Jacob

    Can I do this same process, but from SPrecovery TO Stock Recovery?

  • Undeniablyd

    Excellent Tutorials!

  • Undeniablyd

    Excellent Tutorials!

  • Manorton

    Is there an easy way to remove SP and put it back to default without wiping everything?

  • This Program “RsdLite” Also Worked When A Guy Posted On Here That His BBV0.4 Wasn't Allowing Him To Get Back Into The Recovery Scree. So I Said Read The Directions And Install All Programs And It Got His Phone Back On Instead Of Just Showing The “M” And Restarting. Thanks Kellex For Posting This And Allowing Me To Be Able To Help Get Someone's Phone Back Operational =)

  • Dr_tio

    Using the 4.6 is crucial and running as administarator is too. Also the suggestion to save the file to your c: drive is good. My phone says unknown where my wifes says CDMA

  • i tried to install rsd lite but i couldnt and windows asked me what program i should use to open it. i am only doing this because i cant apply an update.zip file in recovery because i get an error message saying

    –Install from sdcard…
    Finding update package…
    Opening update package…
    Verifying update package…
    E: eocd marker occurs after start of eocd
    E: signature verification failed
    installation aborted.”
    any ideas. help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Mej284

    Great instructions, worked like a dream. It did not reboot my phone after it installed it took me back to the boot loader screen. So I held my breath and shut off my phone, disconntected from the computer and turned it on. Works like a dream. I don't know if it made difference, I had the Motorola 64bit drivers 4.6.0

  • xmguy

    How can I flash the recovery image back to true stock?

    • xmguy

      reason i ask if I need to send the phone off to verizon I want it to be as stock as possible.

  • doc

    I rooted my droid a few weeks back, but never got the superuser permissions like the guide said I would. So I used the nandroid back up I created to go back to stock then did a factory reset again in stock to be sure I was back at the “out of the box” OS. Well I went to re-root my droid again, but when I went to install the update.zip I got and am still getting the error that “No such file/directory exists on /sdcard Install aborted.” I have already tried to the guide root to unroot and I still get the same error. I even tried using and flashing back to 2.0.1 and re-rooting that way and it failed as well. I also went back to 2.0.1 then updated to 2.1 and tried to re-flash this way, and still I get the same error. It seems there might be a problem with the SD card taking all the information and holding. There were quite a few times after moving the right files over to my SD card that I received an error on my computer stating that most of the files were lost in the transfer . When this happened I uninstalled the driver software I had for the phone for each time I did an OS flash to remedy this issue . With all this said is there any way for me to go back to that “out of the box OS” and root without getting this error. I spoke with a guy here at work and he mentioned something about blowing the old OS back on to the phone. Whether he was talking about flashing or whatever. I NEED ME SOME HELP! I would like to overclock my cpu and maybe add a custom rom but this is really hindering my process. I would really appreciate the assistance. This is the post that I have on droidforums but no one has replied or made any statements as what to do. Do you have any ideas?

  • Daveshurman

    wont let me open rsd lite! cant install it or anything. windows doesnt recognize it and doesnt have a program to open it

  • josh

    yoo i cant get the sprecovery file to start on rsd lite do u know how to fix this problem

  • societalmire

    Anyone know if this would work for the HTC Incredible?

  • Raj

    actually i figured it out. i just ended up doing it all on a 32 bit os and worked perfect.

  • Raj

    how is it going guys. I was flashing my android but my flash process failed. i was trying to see if someone had the same issue but didnt see a post. can you guys help me out. thank!

  • rashaad

    please do a video on if your phone came with 2.1 out the box when u root it it will not let u revert back to 2.01 so can anuy one tell me how to go back to stock2.1 because it only allows u to go back to 2.1 with sprecovery

  • rashaad

    now how do i go back to stock 2.1 ?

  • dogdays

    I get to the point where I am ready to flash sprecovery to my phone but rsd lite does see my phone. What can I do?

  • dogdays

    I get to the point where I am ready to flash sprecovery to my phone but rsd lite does see my phone. What can I do?

  • pico

    I followed the steps and when i try to install update.zip which by the way says deprecated it gives me a E:cant open/sdcard/update.zip (bad) message. If anyone can help it would be ausome

  • Mayday

    I'm running Windows 7, 64-bit. I've installed RDS Lite and the 64-bit driver. I re-start my phone to the bootloader menu, bring up the .sbf on RDS Lite and hit start, but it keeps going to “Failed Flashing Process: Phone did not re-enumerate . . .”

    Can anybody help?!


    I did the steps above…and the custom rom aborted…when rebooting the phone, of course all user data was gone…the phone would not reconnect to the google servers…so now I can't get any of my data or apps back…what do I do????

  • murphn

    My phone does not reboot on its own after the 100% completed. Does this mean it did not work?

  • sanjonnny

    I just did this on my 2.1update1droid and it worked with a few problems. Read this, hopefully it will help I have some hints to help. First of all, you have to use at .east 4.6 on RSD lite, if you follow the link in this post, you have to use 7zip to unzip it. For me winzip didn't work to unzip it properly. I tried using an older rsdlite and it would not recognize my phone, I got the same cdma error that others got. So download the RSD file, run 7zip on it to unzip and then install it. Also, most XP and Vista machines will be 32 bit. At win 7 it is a crap shoot, so if you are having problems try downloading the motorola drivers for 32 bit first (if you are on anything but XP)

    Second issue is the SBR, no you will not have root or be able to run roms, you will have SBR and there is where my question comes in. If you want to have rooted 2.1 you need to go to http://www.droid-life.com/2010/04/20/video-inst… and then you will have root, which is exactly what I did. I have some hints I will post there too, but for Nandroid users here is my question, which might apply better there.

    I used the simple backup in nandroid before I went to the next step and rooted the phone. CAn I restore that backup to bring my phone back to how it was before rooting, back to stock 2.1 with the SBR installed? I don't know much about Nandroid but since the next step wipes all your files, I made the simple backup first, or was that just a waste of time.

    Now that I am rooted, I am wondering if I can use SBR and just run the restore on my original simple backup to bring myself back to unrooted 2.1 with SBR. Any Nandroid experts out there?

    • sanjonny

      ooops sorry, that should have said if you are running anything but windows 7, you are most likely using 32 bit drivers.

  • nitro2044

    anyone got a link to rsd lite 4.6 for a mac? or is there another method to flash sprecovery to my phone?

  • dischill

    i finished the flash, but when i place jrummys cyan mod on sd card, and reboot and try to install it says it doesnt exist somebody help

  • Rodeojones000

    Wow!. Just followed these steps (using the video as a guide) and I installed SPRecovery on my phone in about 10 minutes. Not a single issue at all. I'm about to move on to the next step – install a custom 2.1 ROM and thus have root access. I've debated about rooting for two months. I was afraid I'd ruin my phone and void my warranty. But after reading through these steps it seemed like, unless I did the complete opposite of what I was being told to do, there was no way to screw things up. Hats off to you, Kellex. I'm not a computer idiot, but I'm not a hacker either. If you are a newbie reading this, don't be scared. I'll update my progress on installing the custom ROM on the other thread when I do it (in about an hour). Cheers..

  • the sprecovery file is not cdma platform so it says not compatable

  • Towelie

    Kellex, I am ready to root. I waited for the official 2.1 update from Verizon, and I can honestly say that my Droid slowed down dramatically. It's very much slower than before the update. My main concern is that I have a lot of apps. I have not seen anyone mention whether or not you lose your apps after rooting.. If you have to re-download them, how do you do that?

  • techjunkie

    I,m having problems rooting can anyone help me?

  • shiggityx2

    Ugh, ok sorry to be a total noob, I thought I was doing it correctly and read carefully, but I'm having an issue on windows 7 64bit. I got RSD to flash and it says “PASS”, but the phone just reboots back to the bootloader. Suggestions?

  • JA64Flyers

    I'm having trouble after pressing “Start”. RSD keeps giving me this error: “Failed Flashing process. Failed flashing process. (0x7100); phone connected”

    I've checked for updated USB drivers. Resintalling the Motorola ones. Running RSD in different compatibility modes. Running as Admin currently. Any ideas?

    Windows7 64-bit

    • JA64Flyers

      Well, using XP 32bit on another PC worked flawlessly. Oh well, at least its working!

  • kingblood

    Cant get RSD lite 4.6. to run. have a mac and pc runin 7. help !!!

  • HawgFan1979


    If your phone isn't registering on the RSD Lite 4.6, then you probably downloaded the USB driver, but didn't install it. I think I'm a ritard. Anyway, now that I've got SPRecovery as my recovery image, and downloaded a ROM, how do I back up my SD card? I have already sent my pictures to my hard drive on my computer. I'm not sure what else there is? Contacts and Calendar should reload when I add my google account again right? Anything else I need to do before wiping and installing the ROM? Thanks in advance.

  • rjfrank

    I'm having no problem until I double click on the SPRecovery.SBF file then I get an error code that says Platform is not defined for CDMA_TYPE-OMAP_CHIPSET where it once said connected. Anybody have any ideas?

    • Never mind. For some reason the RSD file I downloaded was an older version so I downloaded 4.6 and everything works!

  • leifsawyer

    I Keeping getting a fail error what do i need to do

  • its been ova a week and still cant figure out how come my phone isnt coming up on rds lite thanks again for the help droid-life hope your all haveing fun with the custom roms cuz im not…..