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[International / GSM] OTA updates vs. ClockworkMod and root

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  1. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator This Topic's Starter

    Mar 5, 2010
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    Okay, here's the "TL;DR" (too long--didn't read) version:

    Q: can I get/install an OTA if I have a custom recovery (ClockworkMod) installed?

    A: nope (the OTA will actually download, but the installation will fail unless you have a stock recovery installed)

    Q: can I then just re-flash the stock recovery and then get/install the OTA?

    A: yep (works just fine)

    Q: can I be rooted and get/install an OTA?

    A: yep (you'll lose root afterwards, though)

    Q: do I lose root access at that point?

    A: yep (easy to get back)

    Q: what do I do then?

    A: invoke custom recovery and re-install the su.zip root package


    Here's the particulars of my little testing session tonight:


    - initial phone state: VZW LTE/CDMA Samsung Galaxy Nexus running 4.0.2, rooted, with ClockworkMod installed

    - flashed back to stock 4.0.1 (VZE/LTE/CDMA) [note: I did not lock/relock bootloader]

    - powered back down

    - rebooted in fastboot / bootloader mode

    - flashed ClockworkMod custom recovery

    - restarted phone

    - got OTA notice; accepted and phone restarted,

    - upon reboot, OTA install almost immediately failed (show little, green Android with red triangle and ! mark inside)

    - flashed stock recovery back; rebooted; checked phone status (still 4.0.1);
    checked for system updates--couldn't force update at this time (tested this again later on)

    - flashed back to 4.0.1 stock; left stock recovery intact

    - rebooted, waited for OTA prompts, accepted, rebooted, installed, was now 4.0.2


    - flashed back again to 4.0.1 stock

    - flashed ClockworkMod again over-top of stock recovery

    - rebooted

    - downloaded and accepted OTA

    - OTA install failed (again)

    - flashed stock recovery

    - rebooted; got another system update notification

    - OTA installation successful; again back to 4.0.2


    - power down phone

    - reboot into fastboot / bootloader mode

    - reflash completely back to stock (4.0.1)

    - soft-boot ClockworkMod and install su.zip root package

    - reboot

    - verified root access with Titanium Backup

    - wait for OTA (system update) notification

    - installation worked just fine

    - rebooted

    - checked system version, now back to 4.0.2

    - check root access--root was "gone" (really, just inert)

    - powered-down, flashed ClockworkMod, re-installed su.zip root

    - rebooted, verified root access (yay!)


    AlanK, NextNexus, GrenW and 18 others like this.
  2. trophynuts

    trophynuts Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2010
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    Scary you have been putting in major work since this thing dropped. It is much appreciated.
    VoidedSaint and scary alien like this.
  3. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator This Topic's Starter

    Mar 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Thanks, Trophy, I appreciate that, sir! :)

    I stupidly started that process above at about 11:00 PM last night...of course, it took me a couple of hours to do :p. Then, when I was all done, I still had to restore my Nandroid backup, too ;) [I am a little bleary-eyed this morning, LOL :D].

    Its all good and you guys are all worth it :).

    Cheers everyone!
    bhill, VoidedSaint and trophynuts like this.
  4. litrekid

    litrekid Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2010
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    Thank you sir
  5. tpdtopcop

    tpdtopcop Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
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    Really appreciate your effort on doing this..
  6. Granite1

    Granite1 Zercron Encrusted Tweezer Moderator

    Dec 27, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Man, you gots sum kahunes SA.
    Accepting OTA's on the Sprint OG EVO with a custom recovery does all kinds of weird things. Seen hboots get updated but leave s-off. S-on with out updating hboot. Bad juju on my piece. I take it the GNex is a completely different beast?
  7. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator This Topic's Starter

    Mar 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    You are most welcome! :)

    No problem...happy to help (but I paid for it today at work :p).

    LOL, and thank you very much!

    This stuff is exactly why I wanted this phone ;).

    Well, this is my first Samsung device (I've got an HTC and two Motos), so I'm still learning about what issues / limits it might have (I was also careful to fully re-flash the radios, etc. when I reverted back to keep things in-sync).

    I know about S-OFF from my Eris (rooted, flashed, and even modified Amon_RA's custom recovery for that one) and I know things are a bit different on the newer HTC devices, but I think as long as you don't flash a corrupted bootloader, you're pretty safe (that's my theory, anyway ;)).

    Granite1 likes this.

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