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How to: Root the Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE, Flash a Custom Recovery and Make a Backup [Verizon]

Time to root your Galaxy Nexus now that @Koush has released official Clockworkmod Recovery for the LTE version. We have gone ahead and posted the manual instructions for you, because well, if you have a Nexus you should probably know most of these standard adb and fastboot commands. It’s not hard by any means, especially knowing that you all have the SDK set up after unlocking your bootloader. Should take all of 5 minutes, maybe less.


Rooting and flashing a custom recovery:

*Unlock your bootloader first. [Instructions]

1.  Download ClockworkMod Recovery for the G-Nex. [Download]
2.  Place that file in your SDK/Tools folder (same place as your adb.exe).
3.  Download the superuser file aka the root file. [Download]
4.  Place that file in your SDK/Tools folder.
5.  Open a command prompt from within your Tools folder and type the following:

adb push su.zip /sdcard/

6. Then reboot into the bootloader:

adb reboot bootloader

7.  When the boot menu loads, flash the new recovery image:

fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-

8.  When that finishes, use the volume keys to highlight “Recovery mode,” press power to select it.
9.   From recovery, scroll to “Install zip from sdcard.”
10.  Then “choose zip from sdcard.”
11.  Choose the “su.zip” file and install it.
12.  When that finishes, back out of recovery and reboot the system.
13.  Enjoy being rooted with a temporary recovery. (Permanent instructions below)

Afterwards, you will want to install ROM Manager from the market and have it re-flash recovery for you.

Make your first backup:

1.  Now that you are rooted and have a custom recovery, it’s time to make your first clean backup.
2.  In ROM Manager, flash Clockwork recovery again (it’s the first option up top).
3.  Then tap the option to reboot into recovery just below that.
4.  Once in recovery, scroll down to “backup and restore.”
5.  Choose “backup” and let your phone create a backup.
6.  When finished, back out of recovery and reboot the system.

If you want permanent Clockwork Recovery (via XDA):

1. Install Root Explorer from the market and delete /system/reboot-from-recovery.p – *Mount as R/W first*
2. Reboot into Fastboot Mode: Power off your device and (Power + Volume Up and Down)
3. Flash CWM (fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-
4. Reboot into OS (fastboot reboot)
5. You now have CWM recovery permanently installed

Cheers @davekover!

  • Whytecountry

    I don’t understand. fastboot oem unlock doesn’t work. it says waiting for device and it does nothing. I’ve installed all the drivers, I still don’t know what “AdbWinApi.dll”. The instructions say I may have to put that into platform-tools, except it doesn’t say what it is or where it comes from. And I haven’t gotten any “AdbWinApi.dll” specific errors. But it’s installed all the drivers, so I don’t see what the problem is.

    Can anyone help?

    • guest

      I dunno about missing that .dll file, it was there for me, but I did have the stuck at “waiting for device” and what it turned out to be was i needed to manually find the Samsung driver and add it via my device control panel. 

      See post #24 for the solution that worked for me

    • Chris G

      When you get to the point of waiting on device, it is because your driver needs to be updated.  With your galaxy nexus connected to your computer go into printers and devices (or reverse) and scroll down.  You should see a device with a yellow question mark and says Android 1.0.  Update that driver to a samsung android device (i am doing this from memory here) and once that is done you should get beyond this point and able to unlock the bootloader.   Lots of details in the comments in the unlock the bootloader thread.  Many of us had this issue.

    • Anonymous

      If you aren’t getting the dll file error message then don’t worry about it. My particular developer program was missing it so I had to go find a copy of the file and add it  to my tools file. Then it worked for me. I too was stuck at the point of the phone not being recognized in bootloader mode (waiting for device). 
      You are in the same boat I was. Here is what you have to do:

      1. Get your phone into bootloader mode.
      2. Before entering the second command (fastbook oem unlock) go back to your device manager and the “Android 1.0” with the yellow exclamation icon will be there again.
      3. From there, scroll down and follow Nadeem’s step by step instructions on how to get the driver updates to take. I PROMISE IT WORKS.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry, Nadeems instructions are in the other thread on how to unlock the boot loader. 

  • Anonymous

    After i pushed the .zip file to the SD Card and ADB Reboot Bootloader command, I waited to go into the boot menu then the device disconnects. is this right?

    • Anonymous

      nevermind, i got it.

  • i have a simple question after unlocking the bootloader.

    what IS a custom recovery?

  • Anonymous

    I’m still waiting for mine in the mail and am trying to decide whether to even unlock the bootloader.. I suppose the possibility that I may want to tinker could creep up but really I only ever tinkered with any phone to make it function beyond what Verizon or a manufacturer were limiting.. I rooted my Droid Incredible so I could put plain stock vanilla Android on it, even CM was too modified for me 😛 I can’t get much more stock than a Nexus so I really don’t know if the desire will ever be there. I guess what I’m saying is you guys think I should still go ahead and unlock the boot loader just in case? I can always do it later at a minor inconvenience of having to back anything up on it cause all my data will be wiped. Anyone else in my boat? 🙂

  • Synaptic

    ok so still missing something….

    C:android-sdk-windowsplatform-tools>fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork- cannot load ‘recovery-clockwork-’C:android-sdk-windowsplatform-tools>

    pretty please help;)

    • Synaptic

      Edit: Success!!!!!

      • what did you do to get it to work.? I’m stuck here and I can’t figure out why..

  • abc123

  • Anonymous

    Rock on!! Bootloader unlocked, ROOTED, and ready for the custom ROMs. DANKA Droidlife!!!

  • Synaptic

    This is what I am getting when I try to flash the recovery…???Help please

    C:android-sdk-windowsplatform-tools>fastboot flash recovery-clockwork-
    unknown partition ‘recovery-clockwork-’
    error: cannot determine image filename for ‘recovery-clockwork-’

    C:android-sdk-windowsplatform-tools>adb reboot bootloader

    C:android-sdk-windowsplatform-tools>fastboot flash recovery-clockwork-
    unknown partition ‘recovery-clockwork-’
    error: cannot determine image filename for ‘recovery-clockwork-’


    • Scott Webber

      you are missing the partition to write to.  It’s named “recovery”, so you need two recovery in a row:

      fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-

      • Synaptic

        lol thanks buddy …its always something (aka ME!!)

  • mikewelch5

    I get this::::   error: device offline

  • Anonymous

    Ah this brings back memories of the good ol’ days on Droid Life. It’s nice to be back.

  • Droid

    After I do all this what will happen if there is a OTA? If I update will I have root and an unlocked bootloader still ?

    • Your phone will explode, killing you ALMOST instantly.

      • Anonymous

        I lol’d +1 sir

  • Does this void your warranty
    and when i type in fastboot oem unlock it just says waiting for device and does nothing

    • Litdreams10

      Dont have the SDK installed then.

  • Anonymous

    I noticed that at the store…  but the one I bought has no lag at all…  weird. The VZW guys were like…  yeah but it doesn’t even have an SD card… wtf?…  so I had to explain how syncing to the cloud is the future and micro sd cards will eventually go away in smart phones… 

    • how do you sync with the cloud

    • Granted

      You can disagree now, but I absolutely know you will loathe and bitterly complain the day that everything has gone to the cloud. Everyone will…they.just can not look into what it really means and how it in the end only benefits the companIes supplying cloud service and the other entities connected, i.e. software and hardware vendors and their clients. Cloud only is the end of actually owning anything you buy, and it’s so damn sad and stupid no one recognizes this until after it’s already happened. But I guess that’s the case with most things.

      • Anonymous

        My cloud consists of accessing my home NAS from anywhere…. so not sure what you’re talking about…

        • Marco

          What will you do if you have bad signal (ie. no or very slow data speeds)?

          • Anonymous

            If its that important it will be on the device already or in my laptop if I’m traveling.. 32gb is plenty of internal storage…

      • I agree with your point about the cloud service companies being the ones who will benefit from this move. I disagree with the thought that it will be the end of owning what you buy. If you purchase a CD or DVD or book, you are really only purchasing the rights to view/listen to the content. You don’t actually own the content, only the rights of viewership and a plastic disk/bound book of paper.

    • Laif

      I rather not drain my battery constantly using data. Plus, I frequent areas where the Nexus gets very slow speeds. Cloud storage isn’t practical.

      • Anonymous

        And 32gb isn’t enough? Please.

  • Erick

    When I choose “choose zip from sdcard.” , I don’t see the “su.zip” file. Any help?

    • keep pressing power or the volume buttons again. it should come up. took me a few tries

    • Anonymous

      make sure to add the space in the command between “su.zip” and “/sdcard/”. Went back and did it a second time with the space and viola!

  • Any word on a wireless tether?

  • Kevin Cox

    Got the bootloader unlocked. I assume the SU part went fine but when flashing the recovery it says error: Cannot load ‘recovery-clockwork…..      Any Help?

  • Anonymous


  • Pete

    hey it does not support HBO GO. i wonder when can we have that.

  • That’s so easy…coming from a droid x, it blows from my mind.

    • Happy

      This is why I got this phone, why wait to unlock/root later… this is what we all waited for…

    • Anonymous

      Very true.  It does somewhat lack the sense of well earned accomplishment that I had with the DX, overclocking, undervolting, ROMs, 2nd-Init for CM, etc.  (And all the SBFing- lol.)

  • Anonymous

    how easy is it to unroot? I want to have official updates, but I want to have free wireless tether. do i even have to unroot to update? i know it sometimes causes a loss of root access.

    • Kuboo99

      Don’t take anything I say as absolute truth here, but I am thinking you will have to unroot and/or uninstall clockwork in order to get OTAs.

      • Kuboo99

        I might be wrong about it since it is a nexus, but with my ASUS transformer, the custom recovery blocked OTAs.

        • I’m not sure how the nexus works yet as i’m waiting for mine. (I had to order it the store near me sold out already). Odds are to receive OTA updates right now you would need to be unrooted. Once roms like CM9 start rolling out…you’re probably going to forget all about the updates and start running the source that they have for you.

        • don’t use custom recovery then? super easy to root without loading one. the only thing is, are updates blocked by being rooted like chris says.

      • Anonymous

        really? dang. I hope not 😛

    • Doug

      What wireless tether do you use?

      • Anonymous

        wireless tether… ? the yellow wifi logo thingy

  • Tim242

    I didn’t even get to the rooting part before I decided I’m going to return it. Too many annoyances. The main 2 being camera and battery life. My Thunderbolt gets better battery life. The Nexus went from 100%, tov35% in 3.5 hrs. That was with light usage…10 emais and some browsing. It’s going back!

    • Anonymous

      Did you fully charge it out of the box? You know those things were sitting in the Verizon stores for a while.

      • Tim242

        I fully charged it 3 times today, on its 4th now. That’s just browsing, email, and 2 youtube videos. That HD screen eats that battery. Oh, and I was on 3G all day, as I’m just outside of the 4G coverage for a little while longer. They were testing 4G here today. Funny thing is, I only knew that by looking at my thunderbolt. It never came on, on the Nexus.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah I agree the battery seems to be going fast. I also seem to be getting less 3G signal than on my OG. I wonder if software can fix the signal issues. 

          • Jesus Montoya

            Software can’t fix Samsung.

        • Litdreams10

          I’m coming up on hour 10 with over 15% battery left. Been using 4G all day and using it quite heavily. Your issue is the phone searching for 4G or switching back and forth between the two all day. Turn it to 3G only til your area gets better 4G coverage.

          • Tim242

            It has been on 3G all day. It has not once gone to 4G. The battery is awful. It has used 20% in 15 minutes of browsing…that’s with the brightness around 18%. Screen is dim ugggj

          • John

            What he’s saying is there’s a chance your phone is attempting to continuously connect to 4G, but is unable.  So, the 4G radio is working and eating battery in the background.  Turn off your 4g radio.  

          • Tim242

            If that were the case, everybody in a 3G area withb4G phones would have to disable it. I have never had to do that on my Thunderbolt.

          • Anthony

            But…that’s what everyone does. They turn off their 4g if they have no signal….not sure what was up with your thunderbolt

          • Tim242

            There is no reason to disable 4G, unless you’re in a 4G area and want to save battery. If you are in 3G, your phone is not constantly searching for 4G. It only picks it up upon tower handoff.

          • Anonymous

            Why are you so stubborn?
            Just turn off the 4G, you’re not using it anyway. 
            Second, check your running apps. There might be one unoptimized for ICS that’s killing your battery with a memory leak or something.
            If nothing helps and your life stays this bad, hit up VZW. The device or battery might be defective…it happens. 

          • Tim242

            I live 10 minutes from 4G. I am not toggling it several times per day. I never had to do it on my Thunderbolt. Regardless, the phone is not as great as it has been made out to be. I’m hitting up Verizon…to return the phone and happily pay the restocking fee.

          • BillyT

            You are the first fan of the Thunderbolt I have met! We had 3 of them and they all sucked bad – buggy data connection, bad battery life (unless you put that big ass wart battery on it and even then it would just make it through the day) and no updates. The only thing that made that phone tolerable was CM7.

          • Mikey

            Thunderbolts are the worst phones ever made……

          • Anonymous




          • Guest


          • Brianmcbride99

            The whole point all along Timbo was that fresh out of the box the 4G connection is “on” if you’re not in a 4g area obviously it defaults to 3G however it is STILL searching for a 4G connection, if it didn’t it would NEVER make the pass through connection to 4G when you hit a 4G coverage area. The point was force the flipping radio to 3G while at home and see if that improves your battery life -it should.

          • Tim242

            If that were the case, you would have to turn off 3G, while inn 4G, to keep it from searching for 3G. That is not even possible. Your logic is flawed.

          • Exceter M

            I… there are no words in your lack of comprehension.

            LTE/CDMA Mode = 4G with 3G switching enabled. This means that 4G connection will activate when the signal is available. If it is not, it will switch to 3G WHILE constantly searching for 4G and eating up your battery in the process.

            CDMA Mode= Pure 3G connection. No searching for a 4G signal, no eating battery wastefully. This method will continuously connect to 3G when available or drop to 1x if unavailable. This mode essentially just turns off the 4G radio on the phone. The 3G radio will NEVER be turned off in ANY mode unless Airplane Mode is turned on.

            Simple enough for you?

          • Tim242

            Let’s just see if this is simple enough for you. It is not constantly searching for 4G. It only knows it is available when the 3G tower hands off to 4G tower. That’s why it takes a few minutes for 4G to pop on, after you go from 3G, to 4G coverage. That handoff has been the subject of critism from the media and blogs. I have never disabled the 4G on my Thunderbolt, and the battery is fine. Disabling 4G is just something you OCD nerds do, that doesn’t do a thing. Learn how it works, before you try to insult my intelligence.

          • Miles McQueen


          • Mike

            You really aren’t too bright are you?  The phone defaults to LTE.  It will ALWAYS be searching for LTE.  If you’re in a fringe area, that will kill your battery life.  If you weren’t so god damn stubborn, you could possibly solve your problem.

          • Tim242

            I did solve my problem. Returned it, got the Razr. Battery is much better. 4G radio not disabled.

          • 4G is decided when the tower handoff is made.

          • So in reality, you aren’t at all interested in any potential solutions that this community might offer you.

            Instead, you’ve already made up your mind about what you’re doing and are wasting everyone’s time.

            Glad we cleared that up.

          • Anonymous

            R you kidding me? I my thunderbolt ate battery like Sally Struthers eats donuts

          • If you’re in an area with no 4G, the phone probably tries, then gives up. If you’re at a fringe, it may well be ping-ponging between working 3G and failing 4G. Unlikely from the same tower.. 4G actually propagates a little better than 3G, so this wouldn’t be a problem for most people, most of the time.

          • You have a bad battery, bro. Go exchange it before you ditch the phone. 

          • Maybe you have a bad battery.

            But for any new device, you need to give it a really good first charge. Most manufacturers recommend 10-12 hours. That’s not strictly necessary, but you want that battery as charged as it can get. THEN you need to run the battery down all the way.. let the machine die completely.

            Deal here is that battery life is predicted by measuring tiny voltage level changes. But batteries vary a bit, even over time and temperature. The capacity metering adjusts to this, but it needs a history of battery activity. When the phone’s new, it has some generic guesstimate based on the average battery, not your specific cell. So condition it as I recommended, and it’ll be far more accurate.

        • Christopher riner

          Man you might have wound up with a battery that has a bad cell. Ive been extremely pleased/surprised with the battery life on mine. Ive eaten up over half a gig today downloading my apps and surfing the web and got like 12 hours out of my first charge. I plugged it back up from 8 until about nine and im still at 65% now that its 2 a.m. eastern time. I would definitely look into it before returning that beast…. i couldnt he happier. My signal strength has been great and the lowest speed test ive ran was like 14 down. Most of them were in the 20’s. Havent hit thirty yet but i live in a low populated area and the speeds on 4g are almost always unbelievable compared to what a lot of people say they get.

          On a side note, i cant believe its taken me this long to post today. I guess ive just been like animal on the drums with this phone all day.

          • RonBurgundy

            I’ve also experienced fast battery drain as I had to charge 3 times. From reading what others have posted in various forums that I may have a bad battery…? Anyone know if I can go to Verizon and get a battery exchange?

          • An official Verizon store should do this for you. Or at least, they’ll mail you one and ask for the old one back via mail. 

          • Anonymous

            +1 for animal on the drums

          • Anonymous

            My battery life has been great too. And even with low bars my data and voice is fast as hell. I thibk this phone just guages the reception differently. For those saying samsung has bad radios and youre going to return it, please just get on with it and stop posting about it here. Go back to your thunderbolt or charge. Youre probably not actually gonna return it anyway.

    • My experience is the exact opposite of this.

      My Thunderbolt got 4-6 hours of LTE usage.

      My Nexus has been on battery for 5 hours, 24 minutes, and I have 54% left. I work in a building that kills signal, so I have zero to two bars all day. That’s hard on the battery.

      I should note that I bought the extended battery. I’m absolutely thrilled. This means that even in the worst reception I’m going to experience, I can count on 10 hours of use, and I don’t have to resort to a battery the size of a small brick. 

  • Jamaicawind

    So what exactly do i get out of rooting my nexus? Like i jailbroke my iphone and i kind of got the point of that but what do i gain from jailbreaking a nexus? it already seems like i can do a lot on it as is 

    • Anonymous

      Tethering, Titanium Backup, and a lot more.

    • Granted

      Nobody will ever tell you this haha! And they especially won’t tell you because, duh!, you are dumb for not knowing just like we don’t, minus the shady things that are accomplished. The guy above mentioned some but it’s always hilarious how when nice friendly people ask this simple question, it never gets friendly, or most the time any answers. But you’re not cool if you don’t root, that should be reason enough! You smell my sarcasm with that last sentence?

      • Anonymous

        Not sure what you mean.  The only reason to root would be if you want to run apps that require it or want to load custom roms.  It’s simple…

        You are cool by simply owning a Galaxy Nexus!  

        Unlocked bootloader and root are just one of it’s many benefits which are not for everyone.

        Most people don’t think anyone is stupid by asking a question. It is how new people learn…  Yes there are always a few with their noses in the air, but it’s like that with everything.  

    • There are a number of apps that require root access (free tethering is probably the most popular) 

      Another thing that it does, unlike jailbreaking an iphone, is allow you to install completely new, customized ROM’s (OS’s).   Since Android is open source developers from all over the world take the code and modify it to add tweaks, add-ons, different looks, etc.   

      It’s one of the really cool aspects of Android (for some people – like me)

  • Hsuede7

    How does doing a data wipe work with no sd card? Do you lose everything?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know about from recovery, but when you wipe when unlocking the bootloader, you lose everything, including the sdcard equivalent

  • pete

    My first comment on my nexus! Love the ICS!

    • Anonymous

      That is the only thing going for it ICS 🙂

      • Erkleehoo

        Everybody is enjoying their new nexii and are not paying you no attention.

        • I can’t believe any of these comments. I just got one today and it is amazing, really a beautiful piece of hardware. I think most people would consider this one of the best android devices out there and for $150 on a 2 year contract, the price is right.

        • Anonymous

          I just type facts. I do not know why these geeks gets mad lol. I guess i get on their skin lol.

          • Guest

            all you type are lies and bullchit.  none of the stuff you type is facts NONE OF IT!!!  now run along and suck some more cock!!

          • DeViLFaCe11

            *under their skin* lol

          • Anonymous


      • Znibbor

        You’re the kid that got a Sega Saturn for Christmas when everyone else got a Nintendo 64…

        • Guest

          LMAO!!! GOOD ONE MAN!!!  He’s a loser!!

        • Anonymous

          I just got a ps2 when i was 20. I only played grand theft auto lol. Keep playing those kids games lol. Moto won this battle as usual kudos to them.

          • Guest

            Dudethe only thing you play with is your fathers cock in your mouth.

      • Rolo72

        Funny thing about the fact that u keep mentioning that….is the fact that your precious Razr will only see a meer shadow of ics with your Blurred out POS lol.

        • Guest

          yeah that razor is a stone cold turd of a phone.  now turd razor maxx is coming out.  sad!!!

        • Anonymous

          I love my gingerbread 2.3.5 on the razr. I am more of hardware type of guy. Moto has it all right now period. They give us what we want. You have been complaining to Samsung about their weak radios, gps etc and they have not done nothing about it.

      • Tim242

        I have to agree! Mine is going back!

        • Granted

          Every time you posted in the last month just had it’s conviction shrivel up and die, while screaming “Mommy no!”.

        • Anonymous

          These geeks hyped this crap all year and the device lags like a turtle lol. You will enjoy the rezound and the razr better.

          • Guest

            Mcclane said when you are done sucking your dads dick come on over he wants to have anal sex with you.

          • Guest


      • Pete

        man i m happy with the whole phone coz guess what i have upgraded from? its call piece of ishit.

        • Anonymous

          lol, you would have been happier with the Razr 🙂

          • Guest

            razr is the worse piece of chit mot made so far!! BIG FAIL!!!

      • Marvin de Pano

        You, sir, just won the ignorant post of the month.

        • Guest

          he’s a worthless piece of loser shitt that was raped by his father when he was young that’s why he acts the way he does.

        • Anonymous

          That is the fact whether you want to admit it or not 🙂

      • Diaz32

        Too bad that’s actually true.

        • Anonymous

          I told these geeks to listen to me. I know about technology. They went with the nexus, you will see them crying lol.

          • Guest

            Your dad is worried he drilled your azz yo hard tonight call hime when you get a chance.

      • Life22

        Yep, the GN is POS.  I am returning it tomorrow and get the razr.   BTW, should this site be renamed Nexus-life.com?  Geez.

        • Granted

          Yes, yes it should indeed be named that. Inundation never has received such a sordid name as it has in the past two months.

        • Anonymous

          The nexus = very bad and overrated lol. You will enjoy your experience with the razr and even the rezound is better than this crap aka nexus.

          • Guest


      • Guest

        The only thing you have going for you is sucking cock and slurping up cum faggitt!

      • Guest

        Better screen. Removable battery. Everything is better compared to the turd phone razor. Go suck your fathers cock some more.

      • Guest


  • Znibbor

    Will we still receive OTA updates from Verizon after doing this? It’s not running a custom rom, right? So we should still get them?

  • Geoffrey Brewer

    So wait, if I root, will I need to unroot every time an OTA update comes through the pipeline? That was my experience on my Droid X and I eventually got sick of it, so I’m wondering if I’ll need to do the same here.

  • Mayze23

    Is there any way to root without unlocking the bootloader?

    • Anonymous

      My phone came with the bootloader already unlocked. Dont know how but it was.

      • John

        It was probably returned or opened by employees.

        • Anonymous

          Who knows if an employee was on it or not, but I was the first into the store this morning so it couldn’t have been returned.

  • raphael gray

    so once you do this can you wireless tether for free?

    • Anonymous

      No, there is no workaround for this “yet”

  • I spent all day, very angrily, trying to root my Galaxy Nexus through the “traditional way”, which is fastbooting into a new boot.img that is somehow compromised and then loading the su and Superuser.apk files through adb.   This didn’t work at all, i either had a “fake root” or the fastboot image just wouldn’t work.

    The method above for rooting through Clockwork Recovery, Koush’s method I believe, worked perfectly and ended 2 hours of battery pulling, hard resetting frustration for me.   All of the other methods posted earlier were not tested on a wide variety of devices and were somewhat irresponsibly posted.  This is the way to do it.

    • Anonymous

      Same for me.  No other methods for superuser worked at all.  I assumed it would be as easy as adb rooting my OG droid, but no go.  Above method is the only way I got SU to work.  Now I’m finally rooted.

  • Steve Martin

    Nexus what?!?!? Nexus SUCKS. Galaxy Nexus that is.

  • Anonymous

    this was seriously the craziest day in Android history. A lot was accomplished, thanks Droid-Life!

  • Anonymous

    This is SOOO awesome! I didn’t think this would be ready on day 1.
    Now I just need to get used to the volume rocker on the left side and the power button on the right! Coming from an OG, I have already accidentally reboot twice when in recovery when I meant to go down, lol.

  • Guest

    will this wipe my current settings if i unlocked bootloader already?

  • dschuett

    Didn’t Koush say that we SHOULDN’T flash recovery yet? – or our we good to do so now?

    • Yeah that’s what I thought, just replace flash with “boot” so you can boot into Clockwork, install su.zip, and then lose the custom recovery on the next reboot.   Safer and, at this point, better because there isn’t anything too special you’d want to do with Clockwork at this stage of Galaxy Nexus development (unless you desperately need to make backups or try alpha ROMs).

  • Anonymous

    I am having issues with mac… I have the sdk set up. I have the fastboot file for mac. when I CD to the platform-tools folder and type in ./fastboot-mac oem unlock it tells me
    -bash: ./fastboot-mac: Permission denied

    • try doing it as sudo ./fastboot-mac oem unlock

      That’s what “permission denied normall means”

      If not, it means the permission on the fastboot file is no good.   Try sudo chmod 777 ./fastboot-mac to make the fastboot file executable.   

      A combo of those two tips will work assuming you have a real fastboot file.

      Also warning, the oem unlock command erases your device.

      • Anonymous

        it can’t erase it… i don’t have it yet! 😛
        and thanks

      • Anonymous

        alright, so i did that thing with the chmod and that made it executable. then it says ERROR: could not get pipe properties ERROR: could not get pipe properties ERROR: could not get pipe properties and spams me with more of that… any ideas? is it just because i don’t have a device?

        • Anonymous

          Glad to hear it, I love when one of the few unix commands I know comes in handy.

  • Yep wifi tether for my transformer prime. LETS GOO!!!!

  • Wtf515

    Why are we reflashing the recovery with rom manager?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Kellex, can you post how to do this on the Razr???

    Oh it can’t??? Oh… that sucks.

    • Actually the RAZR can…the DROID RAZR cannot.

    • Anonymous

      who cares about rooting anymore lol.

      • Anonymous

        one reason “wireless tether”

        • Anonymous

          Verizon will block that .

          • Guest

            WRONG AGAIN!!! FUCKKFACE77.

          • WiltonManor

            hasn’t worked so far on my rooted GN. One of the main reasons why I root is for this feature and they haven’t blocked that yet

      • Anonymous

        I’m pretty sure everyone that reads this site does.

      • Little extra salty today i see.

        • Anonymous

          why are you crying?

          • Guest


      • Guest


      • Guest

        Run along fuckkface77 and suck some more cock!

      • Guest


    • Jeff

      Will root make the Nexus have better reception?

      Oh, no software will ever do that? Oh… that sucks.

      • Anonymous

        You having reception problems, bro?

        • HectorG

          I actually am. Stupid Samsung. Stupid Google for choosing Samsung.

          • Anonymous

            You may not want to do that so hastily. I don’t think it shows actual signal strength very well. I have terrible coverage at home, and the phone was showing that I had no signal (opposed to 1 or 2 bars on my T-Bolt) and I was recieveing texts and having conversations with no problems, even though it showed that I had no coverage. I’ve noticed that a couple times over the day. Give it some time.

          • HectorG

            I’m not talking about bars. In weak areas where my OG gets okay 3G speeds, the Nexus gets 1x or no data. If it connects to 3G, it’s not much faster than 1x. Also, calls aren’t as clear in these areas.

          • That sounds like a software problem to me. I’m not a pro, but that’s my best guess. 

          • I have seen different results. Obviously, my OG Droid is off the network now, but it can still show signal strength. I know the places in my house I’ve had problems with the Droid (I’m in a forest, Verizon is the only carrier that regularly makes it here, but there are weak places).

            I can’t find any place where the Nexus holds a signal but the Droid didn’t. But going the other way, the Nexus is holding its own. There’s one room that was always 1x on the Droid; Nexus works there, but also 1x. In my cellar, I sometimes got Droid reception, often not… the Nexus at the moment is “not”, but not enough of a test to be certain.

            I really did expect the OG Droid to be better, simply because it’s the best smartphone I’ve owned, reception wise. Motorola may not build as slick a cellphone as Apple or Samsung (though they’re getting there; the RAZR was close, but I won’t buy a phone with fixed battery), but they know their RF engineering in ways Apple may in 10 or 20 years, if they keep at it.

            I see the Nexus consistently about 5dB lower on RSSI than the Droid. But the Nexus bar graph is totally misleading. In the same room, I’ve got the Nexus just at the “0th” bar, that single-pixel or whatever at the tip, and the Droid on 3 bars. Nexus is doing just dandy on 3G, no problems. Nexus reads about -100dB, Droid reads -95dB. In another room, I got a full bar on the Nexus at -93dB, Droid still at 3 bars.

            So my conclusion is that the Nexus may not be quite as good on antenna/RF front end as the Droid. But the bar graph is totally wack… it has no connection to reality.

          • Anonymous

            The bars are not what you should be going by.

            Check the actual signal reading… it is very poor.

            Mine at home usually sits between -120dBm and -140dBm

            Tech support told me anything higher than -95 is a poor signal.

            If you look under settings, about phone, status you will see it.  The lower the number the better signal (-80 is great, while -120 sucks)

            “I am looking now and of course I am at -120dBm

          • Vance2804ibr

            I’m having very poor signal too. This is the first smartphone I’ve owned so I don’t know what to expect since I live in a rural area.

            I agree with you Kleen Droid but I just wanted to make a correction on what the tech told you. This is my pet peeve. I’m a math person and tech should’ve told you lower than -95 is poor. -80 is actually a larger number.

      • Lamar

        I’m returning my Nexus. I get better signal on my OG. Very noticeable in weaker signal areas luke at woek and various areas in the city.

        The bad Samsung radios stories are actually true.

        • Anonymous

          Android 4.1 is supposed to make night and day improvements

        • Jaime Ramirez

          ur an idiot

          • JDiaz

            Awww, did someone’s feelings get hurt?

          • Anonymous

            Dude, chill out and as far as calling someone an idiot because they’re expressing what’s going on with their device is is wrong.

            That’s what this blog is all about.helping each other and giving sound advice, not calling people names and acting immature.

            Maybe he has a defective device, not all devices are perfect off an assembly line. Maybe he just needs to try using the extended battery. 

            Instead of bashing someone try being helpful and give good advice or suggestions. Thank you and Happy Holidays 🙂

        • SadNexOwner

          The signal is a lot weaker than my OG was. The call quality is okay but i think the weak signal might be why my battery life is terrible. I’m getting about 8 hours before i’m down to 20%. To me that is unexcepetable. For my job i don’t want to be constantly plugging in every chance i get. This is my first LTE phone so i don’t know if the Nexus is really bad compared to other LTE phones or if all of them are this bad with battery life. It sucks because my OG is basically dead now so i want to return the Nexus but have no clue what else i should get. I don’t want the i*hone 4s but i keep hearing how battery life is amazing. I would be willing to sacrifice LTE for any decent Android phone with decent battery life. Oh yeah the camera on this thing isn’t bad but it is about OG level which is kind of disappointing for a phone that is 2 years newer. All in all it is a solid phone but way over hyped. 

          • The Nexus is killing my Thunderbolt in battery life. I work in a building where signal is weak. I’m getting a full day out of the extended battery. I have the regular battery as a backup. 

            I would venture to say that the Nexus is probably the best LTE device on the market with respect to battery life, or at least pretty close. 

          • Admin

            The rezound got great battery life but its running a polished android version (2.3). Radio amd battry can both be improved upon with updates. The Rezound is 3x thicker but lasted feom 8am to midnight with 20% left. The Nexus with extended battery was at 15% at 8pm. First day and a few charges will extend it. Also HTC Sense can be doing some battery saving techniques not found in stock.

            Both phones were using 3G all day with LTE turned off. The Nexus IS new and ive been showing it off all day which could explain less battery life.

          • Anonymous

            Wow… That’s strange. I have the exact opposite experience. My Thunderbolt had great battery life compared to my new Nexus. 

            I am also experiencing poor signal with lost data and dropped calls.

          • AJ

            Of corse there are going to be bugs.  Did you think you were going to get a perfect version of ICS straight out of the box?  This is kinda what happens for early adopters.  I dont think you knew what you were getting yourself into.  

          • I walked around the house with my OG Droid and GN, comparing reported signal strength. It was interesting. The Droid was usually about 5dB higher, around -94 to -97dB, while the Nexus was usually at -100dB. Thing is, at -95dB, the Droid shows three bars. At -100dB, the Nexus shows just that zeroth bar, the very tip of its bar graph. In all cases, the performance on the Nexus wasn’t a problem, so the bar-graph representation was definitely misleading.

            In my experience, the O. G. Droid had excellent reception, better than any smartphone I’ve used. The difference in reception levels could be calibration of the RSSI detector, but it could be signal path and antenna, too… the Nexus does have to squeeze in one more antenna, and more switching for it, so a slightly lower RSSI isn’t a shock. That’s also not the whole story, since this doesn’t take into account positive or negative impacts of filtering and LNA on each device (I used to design digital radio systems, I know a little about this stuff). Fact is, even when it’s on that next-to-nothing position on the bar graph, the Nexus was web surfing, and faster (on 3G here) than my Droid did. Which I assume is mostly the effect of about 5x more CPU power… it’s hard to imagine the 3G link is actually faster when showing next to zero bars.

            Anyway, I predict Samsung/Google will get their act together and at least make the bar graph reflect reality in some soon-to-be-delivered update. The current scale is completely useless… I’m not even sure where you have to go to get more than a bar or two.

        • Kent

          I’m getting subpar signal quality too (very apparent in voice quality and data speeds). I called Verizon tech support and they told me others have been calling with the same problem. According to the tier 2 support, it’s already been logged as priority 1 status. Whatever that means.

          I’m going to give Google till the end of my return period before returning it (they release updates fast, right). Data and voice are the most important features of a smartphone for me. If a smartphone can’t do that well, it’s not worth my time. Unlocked bootloaders, fast updates and no bloat are all secondary features.

          • Brad W.

            I agree, signal is the most important feature. In terms of signal quality in weaker areas, the Nexus is worse than my Thunderbolt which is worse than my OG. That’s pretty bad.  I’m considering returning it within my refund period if things don’t change.

          • Steve Martin

            hasn’t it only been like 2 days? and people are already experiencing problems? lmao. wasn’t this the best phone? It probably is. The best phone that can’t be used as a phone. lol. Anyone ready for the next best device to be announced this week?

          • Joe Zifer

            Do you remember when the iphone 4 came out?

            I really liked you in Father of The Bride btw.

          • Anonymous

            is it for all gnexi?

          • Anonymous

            Consider using SIP or a VOIP app for WiFi and LTE calling.  (Assuming you have unlimited data).

        • Tony Romano

          Yeah, had the Razr for one week. Way better radio and battery, but i’m rooted now so here to stay. first non-moto phone in my life

      • Jack

        @51af49174ee78c38f0f19b2014c9e7a0:disqus  Software can, in fact, give a radio better reception. To a certain point.

        On the Droid X, for instance, there were several radio upgrades that gave the phone better reception.

        • Anonymous

          Same with the DInc.

    • Guest


  • Anonymous

    does this work on mac?

  • I already somehow rooted mine while messing around with it today. I don’t really know how that happened, but I have full su support now. I might have to go through these instructions and see if I missed something.

  • Twekth!! haha  yay!! Im doing this right now…
    My first call on my phone was from a guy at best buy informing me that they were in stock there…


    • Anonymous

      the 2 stores that put my name on “the list” have not even called me. must’ve been an idea individual stores were using just to appease customers with no real intention or corporate guidance.

  • Anonymous

    I posted this on another story, but I’ll post it here as well. We all know this phone is super popular and many who are very unfamiliar with ADB are going to attempt to unlock and root their phone. It’s not hard if you know a little about what you’re doing, but we all know that won’t be the case with everyone. There will be 1000s of questions and people asking for help. I suggested that, as he did when he made a video starting from scratch to root the OG Droid, Kellex make a how-to on doing all of this – unlocking, rooting, installing custom recovery, etc. Start from the beginning (installing the correct files and drivers) and go through everything step-by-step. This way those that might have issues have something to follow along with. I know that when I decided to root my OG that video was great. The write-ups on rooting were nice, but having a video to follow along with was fantastic. It was impossible for me to mess up. I’ve already rooted the Nexus, so this wouldn’t be for me. It would be for those who are worried and/or confused.

    • Matthew Marshall

      I second that, would be very helpful for someone who just hoped on the Android wagon with this phone such as myself.

    • Anonymous


    • I’d say that’s pointless, since I am already rooted… but it would probably help others, and this site can’t always be all about me.

      • Billy

        Kiril, you’re exactly right. This site can’t always be abut you so your response is pointless.

      • Only reason I log on to droid life is to read your posts

    • Interstellarmind

      I agree! This would be extremely helpful. Kellex, please do it… for us!?!?!

    • Anonymous

      Something I am confused about is why I am still unable to use ScreenCast…I have confirmed that I am rooted (able to successfully use wireless tether) but the ScreenCast application will only record black (blank) videos. (within ScreenCast I am able to test a benchmark, don’t know if that helps)

    • Anonymous

      You seem to know whats going on around here…i followed the steps and pushed the su.zip and got into the clockwork recovery, but when I search for the su.zip I cannot locate it. Any idea what is going on?

      • Anonymous

        did you push the su.zip file properly?
        adb push su.zip /sdcard/ 
        there’s a space between zip and file

        • I had the same issue. I tried it with and without the space between zip and /. Finally, using Windows Explorer,  I copy/pasted su.zip onto the root Internal Storage folder of the GNex. After accessing the bootloader I typed 
          fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork- and found su.zip just fine. 

    • Jheim

      I agree my galaxy nex has been unlocked and rooted for 8 months. Honestly I’m afraid to flash a rom. If I mess up and brick my phone I don’t know anyone I can call for help. A detailed video would be nice!

  • Matthew Marshall

    What does this do exactly? I’m new to android, first experience with the Galaxy Nexus, and not sure what exactly comes out of “unlocking the bootloader” and applying roms. 

    Any FAQs or tutorials for a newbie?

    • Anonymous

      Go over to Cyanogenmod’s website and read some of the stuff on the website. We’re not at the official CM9 build yet for ICS, but the test builds are out there. If you have an older Android phone put CM7 on it and play around til you’re comfortable with the steps and understand them.

      • QtDL

        Excellent idea. I’ve wanted to learn how to do all this stuff too. I guess my old OG Droid will still have some use after all. I was going to put him in retirement, but I guess not so soon.

        • Anonymous

          the OG droid is an excellent candidate for overclocking near 1ghz so i would highly recommend giving it a shot. once you get motoblur off there, it’s like having a phone that you would use as a daily driver and will realize the potential it has. You can root with a simple APK, then bootstrap with another APK then install ROM manager / CWM and you’re good to go to install a custom ROM of your choice or download one from the ROM manager tool. It’s the best 5 bux I ever spent on any app/tool.

          • Anonymous

            The OG droid had no motoblur.

          • Anonymous

            hmmm weird….in reality i know you’re right, but mine originally came with it. i was getting screwed before i knew i was getting screwed. i know the D2 did for sure.

          • Anonymous

            No, it never had blur, ever. Not even in the beginning.

          • Yea…OG Droid never had blur. Seems like someone forgot what Android looked like as 2.0.1 (I believe this was original)

          • Anonymous

            2.0 was original, then 2.0.1, then 2.1, then 2.2

          • Bryan

            As an owner and rooter of the OG droid I can say it never had MotoBlur, nor did you need any 5 dollar bootstrap app, just one click root and clockworkmod, done!

          • lostsync

            It seems like a LOT of the people who got the GN were coming from the OG…some of this is timing, i’m sure, but I think a lot of it is also having seen what new kernels and roms can do to extend the life of a phone first hand. I passed on a lot of phones waiting on one that I could treat the way I treated my OG.

  • Bewara2009

    This phone is a joke, why the hell would you want to root it with no SD slot?

    • NEXUS

      Obvious Troll is Obvious

      • Bewara2009

        Obvious its a fact, Obvious.

    • Ok, I’ll bite.  SD Card support doesn’t mean that you can’t move files back and forth, on Windows it is in fact easier.  Swing and a miss.

    • Anonymous

      If you play with this device today. you will see that it lags more than the rezound lol. I found that very hard to believe today but it did lag a lot.

      • Bewara2009

        I did play with it, and it was slower than the rezound. The only think I like its the screen other than that its a fail…

        • Anonymous

          I like ICS, the display on the razr is not hd but it is awesome compare to the bionic’s.

          • Guest

            It sucks worse than the bionic. You have no clue what you are talking about! Lick so more cum faggo!

      • Guest

        sorry loser this phone blows away everything out there even that turd of a phone razor with last year spec.  go suck some more cock faggo!!

      • Guest

        Razor is way slow with moto blur. Its a paper weight that all its good for. Go suck that dick gay boy!

  • Bill Guy

    Why root the GNexus….I forgot

  • Michael Woods

    There is no SDCard

  • Anonymous

    If you’ve already unlocked the bootloader and gained superuser access, you can just open up Rom Manager, choose ‘Flash Clockwork Mod Recovery,’ then just select the option that says CDMA. 

    I rooted earlier today and did this simple step to make sure I had the proper recovery.

  • Anonymous

    Know what? No thanks. I think I’m just gonna leave it nice and sterile for now. Already cleaned up and disabled all the Verizon horseshit. I just want to spend some peaceful time with my baby before I change it.

    • Anonymous

      I feel the same way as you. And since this is a google phone, we will be getting the newest first. Probably will root a couple of months from now just like I did with my OG.

    • Christopher LaPointe

      Maybe if you’re planning on using custom ROMs right after your root in a few months.  For anyone wanting to use anything root-required in the near future, you might as well get it out of the way up front so you don’t have to deal with your phone getting wiped after getting it just the way you like it.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. However, I don’t really see a need for those things right now. My OG Droid had MIUI and it’s sitting right next to the Nexus. I’ll root eventually. 🙂

        • Christopher LaPointe

          We’ll be waiting on the other side for you! 😀

    • Rooting your phone is just rooting your phone. You don’t have to start flashing ROMs to get the other benefits of root…

  • Goatweed

    thank you!

  • guest

    yeah im the first person to read thi

    • Brandon Duckett

      I wonder if I was the first person to read thi.

      • Anonymous

        No way it wa