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[International / GSM] Rooted GNex - What will I lose if I OTA update

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  1. GrenW

    GrenW Well-Known Member

    Got my Nexus on Friday, rooted on Saturday - am too attached to the benefits (adblocking, Titanium etc). I've currently left the stock rom in place though as I'm still loving that ICS goodness and want to take my time choosing a rom.

    My question is : will I lose root/recovery/unlock if I do an OTA software upgrade?

    I'm currently on 4.02 and am assuming 4.03 will be out soon with a few changes. I know on my Desire the rule was never to OTA update after rooting but was wondering that if an OTA just broke root then all I needed to do was flash the SU zip from recovery again.

    In case it matters I rooted by running the fastboot unlocking command then fastboot flashed CWM. I then flashed the SU zip from CWM, rebooted, changed the recovery backup filename and then reflashed CWM to make it permanent.

    Edit : Nevermind - searched a little further back and found Scary Alien's post

    scary alien likes this.
  2. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator

    Aw, man! I didn't get a chance to reply! :( :p ;) :)

    No worries and glad you saw that info...there's so many little pieces to the puzzle, its hard to put them all in one place, LOL :).

  3. kylecummins

    kylecummins Well-Known Member

    Maybe you could quote the answer here.

    Im sure others are curious
  4. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator

    Sure, no problem (and I'll make sure the link below gets added to the all-things-root guides--I'm guessing its not in there at the moment).


    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

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

    A: yep

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

    A: yep

    Q: do I lose root access at that point?

    A: yep

    Q: what do I do then?

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


    So yes, an OTA install will break root. No big deal though.

    So, its really no biggie when an OTA comes in or becomes available. If you know about it ahead of time and want to take the OTA, then you just need to make sure you've got a stock recovery installed (How to restore stock recovery), then take the OTA, re-install ClockworkMod and flash the su.zip file (from the ClockworkMod rooting method--very simple).

    If you don't want the OTA to install, just keep your currently installed custom recovery.

    Hope that helps :).

  5. NextNexus

    NextNexus Well-Known Member

    umataro42 and scary alien like this.
  6. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator

    Thanks, NextNexus! :)

    I'm just about to start doing a few more root-related tests re. what happens to the su binary when you get the OTA (does it get deleted or are the SUID (set userid) permission bit just reset? Stay tuned! :)).

    By the way, we're discussing this same topic over here, too, in the VZW root area:


    Cheers! (back soon :))
    NextNexus likes this.
  7. GrenW

    GrenW Well-Known Member

    Just reading up on a similar thread on xda [REF] [HOW-TO] Official Google OTA update URLs - xda-developers

    Seems that you can download the OTAs from Google's servers and flash the zip using CWM (or fastboot methods). You will lose root but getting it back is the work of a couple of minutes.

    Am not sure on the timings of OTAs versus the files being available on the servers but can't imagine there is much in it.

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