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The Making of an OMG Droid: Rooting and ROMing the Easy, but Long Way

A couple of months back, the crew here at Droid Life received a special rooting request from one of our readers, whom you all know as Michael_NM.  This request was a little wild and one that we had not received before, but it was also a request worth writing a story about.  Please enjoy the tale of an original Droid on its way into the land of the roots.  Thanks for sharing Mr. NM!


The Making of an OMG Droid: Rooting and ROMing the Easy, but Long Way

To root or not to root, that was my question. After reading Droid-Life for a few months, I decided it was time to live the rooted life, but the SBFs always DNFd. After countless attempts to get my Droid to live free as it was meant to be, I gave up. I went to the Droid Life chat room and asked if someone could help. No problem there, but all of these strangers wanted to access my computer… I didn’t have enough aluminum foil for a cap, so I decided to wait. The next day (9/28) in a thread about 928Droid, I asked Tato if I could send him my Droid to Root, ROM and return… And so began the journey of a one-of-a-kind, special edition OMG Droid-Life Droid!

I don’t think Tato thought I was serious, but the next day my Droid was on its way to the Bay Area while I sat in the desert. After I sent it, I thought it would be cool to have Tato autograph the battery cover. To which he replied, “Let’s get Dr. Droid (Kellex for those unfamiliar with my chosen name for him) and Mr. Picolas in on this too.” Tato dutifully rooted and ROM’d my Droid and sent it off to Dr. Droid. Tato really liked my Droid though because he ensured that he’d see it again by not signing it. So, after brief stop in Portland (no time for Voodoo Doughnuts) to get Dr. Droid’s affirmation, my Droid was going back to Cali, Cali, Cali…Tato’s validation secured, a trip to the Buckeye state was next. I don’t think my Droid hitched a ride on the Goodyear Blimp while there, but it did meet Dr. Root (Mr. Picolas), and after he added his calling-card, he returned my sojourning Droid to the high desert.

I am now the proud owner of what I believe to be the most unique Droid on the planet: a custom Droid-Life bad boy signed by the three pillars of Droid Life.

Prior to this, I wouldn’t let my mom hold my Droid, but I trusted it to the Droid Life crew. I can tell you without hesitation that they are three of the coolest and kindest guys you’ll ever know. I can’t thank them enough for making my OG Droid an OMG Droid!

So there you have it; an easy way to root and ROM your OG Droid. Be warned; however, it takes about two months. 🙂

Lest you think I am a complete loser who can’t root on his own. When my Droid arrived home, it was greeted by two devices I had rooted on my own…Shortly after my Droid departed, I discovered the “root” of my rooting problem. After upgrading to Windows 7, I learned that Vista had been the problem. Add Bill Gates to my list of folks not getting a Christmas card this year…


  • Thatdroidguy

    Cool story…..that only happens in an open and free community like android…..my hats off to you…..makes me wanna send my of droid!

  • rdunseith

    Epic! Boy I miss using my OG Droid.

  • Bigrob60

    I wonder which version of Vista he was running. 32 or 64 bit. Maybe that was the problem. Downloading the wrong “bit” type for program.

    • Michael_NM

      Hey Rob, I was running 64 bit, and I got the bits correct. The best I can tell, I screwed up the .net framework (second guess would be the Moto drivers) somehow. Believe me, I tried everything I could, read and re-read the posts, watched the videos, etc. I'm sure there was some user-error involved, but once I upgraded to Windows 7… problem solved.

      • Bigrob60

        Ahhh the old PICNIC scenario. I hate when I do this. Which is alot I might add.

  • Michael that was totally awesome. I was new to Droids as of August this year and had also applied the Shakesperean paradox to root or not. Since my job description sometimes calls for me to be able to test sites we construct for customers outside of our firewall, I decided to do so. (Mind you, this was back before z4root, so I had to be vewy, vewy caweful.) I never chose to deal with Vista so I didn't run into your problem; but I know that for the Windows community (especially in business), Vista was a pain. Unfortunately, I can't divorce myself from Windows (not after all this work to become an MCSE), but I did divorce myself from WinSlo phones. I'm now learning Linux thanks to Android and I must say that it is an interesting adventure. Droid Life, XDA, and MDW have all been a Godsend to me since I sure as hell didn't know what I was doing. I'm so glad that places such as these exist. Yours is a more extreme story, but a perfect example of the wonderful community that we have here – it was a pleasure to 'meet' you. 🙂

    • Michael_NM

      I am unfortunately betrothed to Windows as well! I'm sure the Vista problem was one of my own making, but it makes me feel better to blame on MS. 🙂

  • Michael

    Proves the Droid-Life community are great folks. Viva el OG Droid! 🙂 Root for everyone!

  • Kingm134

    Dude, I live in the freaking high desert too. I live in Phelan. Where there isnt much 3g. But thats a pretty cool tale.

    • Droid_Dude

      Damn, the high desert is represented quite well here at droid life. I'm in Llano so I'm not too far away from you Kingm134!

  • SjB

    awesome story!

  • Romma1

    “Droid Does” scenic tours.

  • wow…2 months…vista issues…I was thinking what was the big issue with rooting it…and well I remember I used xp when I rooted it…damn vista…time to upgrade at home now.

  • Michael_NM

    The risk in writing this story was being forever known as that guy who couldn't root his Droid. I'll admit that's true, but in the end, I'm happy about it because this was an awesome experience!

    A clumsy Droid-Life Fanboi Extraordinaire!

    • briderx

      Exactly what I was thinking… 😉 jk.. Actually I was wishing I had been on that chat, because I would have helped you root it without accessing your PC.. 🙁 But alas, the idea that patience pays off.. You now have an oddly shaped heart-thing on the battery cover of your phone.. Congrats man.

    • Chris Nimon

      Awesome, but I'd send it back so they could sign the outside with a pink paint pen lol

      • Michael_NM

        Haha! 🙂

    • Waknatious

      Yeah, my OG Droid won't root either… goes back to stock recovery no matter what. I'm sure there's a crowd of us standing behind you saying, “Yeah… me too.” [:::looks down at shoes:::] [:::flips bangs out of face:::]

  • EC8CH

    This story is only possible on Droid-Life:

    Great Staff… Great Readers… Great Community… Great Story!

  • It's a great story, but I can't say I'm surprised. I have found you guys (and most everyone on the site) to be incredibly friendly and helpful all along. I started reading in May or so of last year as I was trying to decide what my next phone would be. I decided on the Droid X as it came up for preorder and I learned to root, ROM, theme, and overclock it here. I still manage most of these things mostly by following directions carefully, rather than understanding what I'm doing very well, but I find it interesting enough that I'm considering taking a couple of programming classes so I can understand it better and play with it a bit more.

    Thank you Kellex, Timotato, MrPicolas, and everyone else who contributes to this community, for everything you do.

    • Kevin Jellison

      That is exactly my story! I follow directions more than actual knowledge of what I'm doing, but it has definitely pointed me into the direction of being more tech savvy and taking some classes as well. I rooted my OG Droid with Easy Root, and lost root when I updated my phone. Easy Root wouldn't work again, so I was forced to root it the old fashioned way.

  • Rizzidy

    Vista wasn't the problem.

    • balthuszar

      i agree, i've rooted 3 different phones from 3 different manufacturers with my dell computer running vista

    • Eric

      True, but it still is the worst OS in history. I'd rather run DOS

      • Bigrob60

        I miss DOS. I run CMD when ever I can just to get the feel of it.

        • Eric

          yeah me to but its just not the same for some reason.

          • Bigrob60

            I have my G-mail set up in Terminal display just so I can still get that old school feeling. Anyone remember hacking that Gorilla wars game to make the banana bomb take upu the whole screen?

          • Eric

            LOL I totally remember doing that. Oh the good old days.

          • Bigrob60

            Yes in deed!

    • Michael_NM

      You're probably right, but it's a lot easier to blame it on Vista than admit I'm a total shmuck! 🙂

  • you really couldn't root the thing yourself?

  • tbaybe

    thats the kick-ass-ing-est story ever 🙂

  • Reading Droid-life is the reason I decided to root my OG. It was right about the time that easy-root came out so I did it that way. After a couple of months of being rooted but still on the stock ROM (FRG22 iirc) I noticed that my phone was really slow, and freezing a LOT, I thought that maybe I had installed Windows 98 on it by mistake but that didn't turn out to be the case. I installed Cyanogenmod 5.whatever was out at the time and I have never looked back. I will never buy another non-android phone and I will never buy one that doesn't allow me to add ,custom ROMs. From the looks of things and for the reasons I just mentioned I will probably never own another Motorola phone, which is sad because I love my OG so much but with all of their new phones coming out locked and blurred it looks like my next phone will probably be an HTC. Who knows though, my contract isn't up for another year so maybe they will come to their senses by then, but I doubt it.

  • The350zWolf

    Great story! It also brings out how just much smaller the world is thanks to the OG Droid.

    ps. Michael_NM, try switching to Linux… I recommend Ubuntu/Kubuntu ;^)

    • tbaybe

      i wouldnt mind bragging about all the ppl who helped me out, its awsome, and its not that he couldnt do it… its the story that counts!

    • + 1000. Nothing in my life has ever been easier or more rewarding than the switch from Windows to Ubuntu (except maybe getting started with Android, thanks to this site). I even have my computer-illiterate father on Linux Mint. He still forgets how to do things, but at least he can't crud up his computer anymore.

      If there are things you simple HAVE to keep Windows for, dual-booting is the way to go, but honestly, there are alternatives to almost everything.

  • b

    What? That story makes no sense, hell i even taught my wife how to root using SBF and she is about a computer literate as a monkey

    • ? Humbug?

      • b

        I mean it was cool of you guys to do that, but there are some many videos and how to's on the Web. This is a come on man moment

        • Well, you know, as a wiser man than me once said. “Ish happens.” And coming from the inability to get it rooted, came this great tale. So I'm glad he couldn't root it.


      • I Think He's Pissed Cuz He Doesn't Have 3 Signatures From Droid-Life On His Battery Cover.

        • Bigrob60

          I know I would be. Maybe when I get my Tegra 2 or the New Texas Instruments CPU phone. Decisions Decisions.

        • Hah. He could always ask for my address 😉
          I got plenty of sharpies laying around!

          • Oh Tim, Honestly I Would Love That!

            Edit: And Then Sell The Signature On Ebay! 😉

  • Jeremy Gentry

    So jealous of the sigs on the back of your droid. that thing will probably end up in a museum some day! or just set it down on a stone tablet in a dark room where there is a hole in the ceiling with the light shining down just right on it 😛

  • DroidFan

    no fair….I want an autograph.:) I can send U my battery cover. (just kidding…unless you will do it)

    • Collin

      I agree completely!!

  • Great to see the ever-amazing Android community at work!

  • Eric

    and the moral of the story is… Windows Vista sux!!!!

    • Bigrob60

      Which is why so many mom’s bought apple ‘puters for the kids for Christmas.

    • Loki4Droid

      So right you are!  And I am a big Windows OS fan.  I even went so far as to ‘upgrade’ my first Sony Vaio by switching from Vista (which came pre-installed) to Windows XP.  My next laptop came with Windows 7 and I have to say that I love that operating system.  I am kinda excited to see what Windows 8 has to offer.

      I also want to add that he should keep that OMG Droid as a collectors item because I can see DL will become (if it isn’t already) the ULTIMATE Droid knowledge base. And Kellex, Picolas and Tato will be in the same league as Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  

  • holyshhhhh

    this is gay

  • Andrew Hewitt

    … Jealous.

  • kellex

    We love ya buddy!

    • Kudos to you and the rest of the Droid-Life team. Great story!

  • Michael_NM

    First! 🙂

    • kellex

      Perfect. 🙂

      • Yes. Agreed. 😛 It was a special occasion.

        Thanks Michael!

        • Anonymous

          All the thanks is on this side of the “table.” 🙂

          • awesome story! again this is why i heart the DL crew and this site

        • Colby629

          tim o tato! after reading this story maybe u can help fix my droid 2 i tried to restore to an older backup that didnt have root so that i could update it and now everytime i turn it on it stays at the moto logo and i tried holding x to boot in recovery but wont let gives me the error triangle what should i do

          • Reflash a recovery. That’s your problem 🙂

          • Colby629

            how do u do that i still kinda a newb i had the og droid and now i have the droid two both rooted but never had this problem i cant really do anything cause its just on the moto logo holding x doesnt work holding camera and volume up doesnt work i appreciate ur help tho ive been reading ur post since i first got a droid ur a very popular man in the android community so i figured might as well ask u lol

        • tbaybe

          u get that best buy gift card too?? lmao j/k