Ultimate Guide to Manually Updating Your Nexus S


Last Updated: 2013-09-25 18:17:43
  1. quantumrand

    quantumrand Well-Known Member

    As some of you have noticed, I've recently upgraded from my trusty Nexus S to a new Galaxy Nexus, so I'll be spending a lot less time in the Nexus S forum; however, I've been getting a lot of people asking me for a guide on manually updating their Nexus S, so as a parting gift, I'm leaving behind this thread, a (hopefully) 100% complete guide to manually updating.

    Disclaimer: While manually updating with official files as presented in this thread will not void your warranty, there is always the chance of bricking your device any time you mess around in recovery mode. As long as you follow the directions closely and accurately, odds of this are EXTREMELY low; however, should something go wrong, neither I, nor AndroidForums, nor anyone else other than yourself, can be held responsible.

    Preamble
    Even though I'll be spending less time on the Nexus S forum, I will do my best to keep this thread updated with current links and information. Mods, please feel free to edit this guide should I be too slow in updating it.

    Latest Version: 4.1.1, build JRO03E
    Preferred order to update: Because the 4.0.3 update sometimes causes problems with the recovery installer, there is a preferred order to install updates when coming from pre-4.0.3 version.

    If there is a 4.0.4 incremental update from your current version, use that. Otherwise, use the full 2.3.6 ROM update to flash to 2.3.6, then use the 2.3.6 to 4.0.4 incremental update.

    It is possible to flash all of the updates (in order of course) from the recovery menu without rebooting the device; however, it is recommended that you reboot between each update and let the device go through the optimization process during the first boot.

    How-To Flash an Official OTA Manually
    Below is a video showing you how to flash the update files linked lower down in this post.
    Manually Updating Your Nexus S - YouTube
    For those who prefer reading over watching, here is are the textualized instructions:
    1. Download the appropriate file for your device from one of the links below.
    2. Copy that file to the root directory of your Nexus S (rename it or make note of the file name so that you can find it later).
    3. Reboot into Recovery Mode (make sure your battery is fully charged before this step).*
    4. (Optional but recommended step) Select "Wipe cache partition."
    5. Select "Apply update from /sdcard" and select the update file you copied to your phone. Select Yes and let it install.
    6. Select "Reboot system now."
    7. Let the device boot. It may take several minutes to optimize your applications.

    *How-To access recovery mode:
    • Turn off your phone
    • While holding Volume Up, press and hold the Power button to turn on your phone.
    • Use the Volume buttons to highlight "Recovery" and select it using the power button.
    • At the tiangle exlamation point screen, press and hold the Power button and press Volume Up to bring up the recovery menu options.



    Official Update Links
    Use these links to download the official update file for your device.

    Full ROMs
    Full ROMs are OTA updates that are not incremental. You can flash them on top of any version prior to, up to, and including the version your device is currently running. Unfortunately, they do not work for downgrading to a previous version (that requires unlocking your bootloader and using a custom recovery image). Generally speaking, full ROMs are the preferred method of updating since they take the guess work out of choosing the right file.

    I9020T and I9023
    This is for the I9020T and I9023 model versions only.

    Android 2.3.3/GRI40/XXKB1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader
    Android 2.3.4/GRJ22/XXKD1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader
    Android 2.3.6/GRK39F/XXKF1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader
    Android 4.0.3/IML74K/XXKI1 Radio/KL1 Bootloader
    Android 4.0.4/IMM76D/XXKI1 Radio is an incremental update (see below).
    Android 4.1.1/JRO03E/XXKI1 Radio/KL1 Bootloader is only an incremental update so far (see below).


    I9020A
    This is for the I9020A (aka AT&T version) models only.

    Android 2.3.6/GRK39C/UCKF1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader
    Android 2.3.6/GRK39F/UCKF1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader
    Android 4.0.4/IMM76D/UCKJ1 Radio is an incremental update (see below).



    Incremental ROMs
    Incremental updates can be flashed only on top of the versions they are meant to be flashed from.

    I9020T
    This is for the I9020T model version only.

    From Android 2.3 (Build GRH55/XXJK8 Radio/JK1 Bootloader)
    2.3 to 2.3.1

    From Android 2.3.1 (Build GRH78/XXJK8 Radio/JK1 Bootloader)
    2.3.1 to 2.3.2
    2.3.1 to 2.3.3 (GRI40)
    2.3.1 to 4.0.4

    From Android 2.3.2 (Build GRH78C/XXJK8 Radio/JK1 Bootloader)
    2.3.2 to 2.3.3 (GRI40)
    2.3.2 to 2.3.4

    From Android 2.3.3 (Build GRI40/XXKB1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.3 (GRI40) to 2.3.4

    From Android 2.3.4 (Build GRJ22/XXKD1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.4 to 2.3.6
    2.3.4 to 4.0.4

    From Android 2.3.6 (Build GRK39F/XXKF1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.6 to 4.0.3
    2.3.6 to 4.0.4

    From Android 4.0.3 (Build IML74K/XXKI1 Radio/KL1 Bootloader)
    4.0.3 to 4.0.4

    From Android 4.0.4 (Build IMM76D/XXKI1/KL1 Bootloader)
    4.0.4 to 4.1.1 (JRO03E)


    I9023
    This is for the I9023 model version only.

    From Android 2.3.3 (Build GRI40/XXKB1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.3 (GRI40) to 2.3.4

    From Android 2.3.4 (Build GRJ22/XXKD1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.4 to 2.3.6
    2.3.4 to 4.0.4

    From Android 2.3.6 (Build GRK39F/XXKF1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.6 to 4.0.3
    2.3.6 to 4.0.4

    From Android 4.0.3 (Build IML74K/XXKI1 Radio/KL1 Bootloader)
    4.0.3 to 4.0.4

    From Android 4.0.4 (Build IMM76D/XXKI1/KL1 Bootloader)
    4.0.4 to 4.1.1 (JRO03E)


    I9020A
    This is for the I9020A (aka AT&T version) model version only.

    From Android 2.3.3 (Build GRI54/UCKB2 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.3 to 2.3.4 (GRJ22)

    From Android 2.3.4 (Build GRJ22/UCKD1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.4 (GRJ22) to 2.3.6 (GRK39C)
    2.3.4 (GRJ22) to 2.3.6 (GRK39F)

    From Android 2.3.6 (Build GRK39C/UCKF1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.6 (GRK39C) to 2.3.6 (GRK39F)

    From Android 2.3.6 (Build GRK39F/UCKF1 Radio/KA3 Bootloader)
    2.3.6 (GRK39F) to 4.0.4 (IMM76D)

    From Android 4.0.4 (Build IMM76D/UCKJ1/KL1 Bootloader)
    4.0.4 (IMM76D) to 4.0.4 (IMM76M)
    4.0.4 (IMM76D) to 4.1.1 (JRO03E)

    From Android 4.0.4 (Build IMM76M/UCKJ1/KL1 Bootloader)
    4.0.4 (IMM76M) to 4.1.1 (JRO03E)

    Special thanks to: XDA Developers Forum for maintaining a catalog of official update links.

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  2. pcarabasu

    pcarabasu New Member

    I have a Nexus S I9023 with Android ver. 2.3.4. I tryed to update to 2.3.6, 4.0.3 and 4.0.4 and each time I get the same error
    "E:failed to verify whole-file signature
    E:signature verification failed\
    Instalation aborted."

    Any ideas?
  3. quantumrand

    quantumrand Well-Known Member

    Are you trying it with the Full ROMs or the Incremental ROMs?

    If the incremental ROMs aren't working, I'd recommend using the 2.3.6 Full ROM to upgrade to 2.3.6. Link: http://android.clients.google.com/p...a25375426.signed-soju-ota-189904.1ada2537.zip

    Then use the 2.3.6 to 4.0.4 update. Link: http://android.clients.google.com/packages/ota/google_crespo/fL9fwa99.zip
  4. pcarabasu

    pcarabasu New Member

    I tried what you said and I am getting the same error.
  5. quantumrand

    quantumrand Well-Known Member

    Are you sure you have the I9023? It sounds like you either have a different model, or you're running some sort of unusual version of Android. What Baseband and Build number is listed under Menu>Settings>About Phone?
  6. bfksc

    bfksc Well-Known Member

    Just to let you know that Google has pushed a new update v4.0.4 build IMM76M with baseband UCKL1. Don't know all the details yet but I can't find anything on the net about it. Weird...
  7. Crimson13

    Crimson13 Well-Known Member


    Was just coming to post this same thing. It was only a 1MB update.
  8. CocodaMonkey

    CocodaMonkey Member

    Does anyone know where to get a link for the one from Android 4.0.4 (Build IMM76M/UCKJ1/KL1 Bootloader)? I know it's out there as a friend has it on his but he got it OTA.

    There's one listed as IMM76M under I9020A but it's with UCKL1 and I need IMM76M with UCKJ1.
  9. quantumrand

    quantumrand Well-Known Member

    Sorry. That was just a typo on my part. The link listed above is for the UCKJ1 baseband. I don't think UCKL1 exists, at least not at the time of this post.
  10. Bootsock

    Bootsock Well-Known Member

    I've updated perfectly 2x Nexus S GT-I9020 which were running 4.0.4 from OTA updates in the UK.

    Both had previously had the same 'update 7' issues with all of the above .zip updates when trying it manually however what ultimately resolved both devices was the 'workaround' but done in a consistent manner.

    Make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection configured and in range / contactable before trying this.

    1. Menu > Manage Apps > All > Google Services Framework.
    2. Clear Data.
    3. Force Stop.
    4. Shut down phone immediately.
    5. Boot phone.
    6. Immediately run Menu > System Settings > About Phone > System Updates > Check Now. (You should notice the date of last check was 01/01/1970, if not do steps 1-4 again.)

    You should get the update notification.

    Both phones worked using this method and are unmodified, non-rooted UK retail purchased devices which started life on Android 2.3.
  11. miningold

    miningold New Member

    I have a 2.3.4 phone with I9020A UCKE1 radio. Should I flash my radio or can I use the UCKF1 radio ROM provided here.
  12. marnor

    marnor New Member

    I have been having problems updating an old Nexus S (I9020A). Successfully reverted back to 2.3.6 / GRK39F using the linked file (0b9c8148de0d.signed-sojua-ota-189904.0b9c8148.zip). Then successfully moved to 4.0.4 (IMM76D) using the linked file (IEzMw3FU.zip). However, the last step trying to move to to 4.1.1 (JRO03E) using the linked file (P2lZDQWb.zip) fails with this:

    Verifying current system ...
    assert failed: apply_patch_space (16570800)
    E: Error in /tmp/sideload/package.zip
    (Status 71)
    Installation aborted

    I have also tried to force an OTA update, but no success either.

    Can anyone help?
  13. marnor

    marnor New Member

    I have been having problems updating an old Nexus S (I9020A). Successfully reverted back to 2.3.6 / GRK39F using the linked file (0b9c8148de0d.signed-sojua-ota-189904.0b9c8148.zip). Then successfully moved to 4.0.4 (IMM76D) using the linked file (IEzMw3FU.zip). However, the last step trying to move to to 4.1.1 (JRO03E) using the linked file (P2lZDQWb.zip) fails with this:

    Verifying current system ...
    assert failed: apply_patch_space (16570800)
    E: Error in /tmp/sideload/package.zip
    (Status 71)
    Installation aborted

    I have also tried to force an OTA update, but no success either.

    Can anyone help?

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