Rooting your phone carries great advantages, such as the ability to install root-access-only applications and do other cool things with your Android device! It’s effectively the Android equivelant of jailbreaking an iPhone.
If you want to root your Google Nexus One mobile phone, you should know it does however carry a few risks if you don’t know what you’re doing! Before doing this, please be aware that this WILL void your warranty, and if you go wrong you may brick your phone.
I’m no expert on the topic, and have completed the process a few times on various phones, so if you stick to the instructions you’ll be fine, but before you start, make sure you’ve fully read through the instructions a few times, so you have a decent idea of what you’re doing.
Disclaimer: We cannot be held responsible for anything you do to your Android mobile phone by using these instructions, so you’re proceeding at your own risk!
The first thing you’re going to want to do before rooting your Nexus is backup your data! This will save you from having to re-download all your applications, messages and various other things after completing the rooting process. A very popular application on the Market is MyBackup Pro, available for $4.99. Free alternatives exist, but none are as full featured as MBP, so it’s definitely worth considering.
Next, download all the necessary files for the rooting process. You’re going to need a few, so make sure you know which is which!
- USB Driver for Windows: This is required so that your computer recognises your phone so you can carry out commands during the rooting process.
- Amon_RA Recovery Image: This is needed to flash on to your phone.
- Cyanogen N1 Addon: This adds extra applications to your flashed device.
Once this is done, you can go ahead and unlock the bootloader of the Nexus One and flash the recovery image. To unlock the bootloader, you’ll need to connect the N1 to your computer via USB, with USB debugging enabled.
To do this, go to Settings > Applications > Development, and select the “USB Debugging” option to enable it.
Now turn your phone off, and when you turn it back on, hold down the trackball until you see a simple menu with three skating android’s at the bottom of the screen. This is the fastboot menu, which allows you to send commands to the phone from your machine.
You’re going to need to open a command prompt, and navigate to your Android SDK tools folder. From here, type “fastboot oem unlock”. This step unlocks the bootloader on your Nexus One. A confirmation will appear on the phone – using the volume keys to navigate and the power button to select, make sure you select ‘Yes’ to continue.
Flash Recovery Image
Now the phone’s unlocked, the next step is to install the recovery image that you downloaded earlier. Again, going back to the fastboot menu, flash the new recovery image on to your phone. This is done with another command, by navigating to your Android SDK tools folder again, and typing “fastboot flash recovery recovery-RA-nexus-v1.6.2.img”. The filename at the end of the command depends on what version you downloaded. As I downloaded v1.6.2, this is the file I used in the command prompt.
The next stage is to flash the custom N1 addon image you downloaded earlier to your phone. Make sure your Nexus One still has USB debugging enabled before trying to issue commands, as your phone was just wiped so your settings will have been lost. Going back to the command prompt and navigating to your Android SDK tools folder, type “adb reboot recovery” to reboot your phone in recovery mode.
You’ll be presented with a green text menu which can be navigated with the trackball. Navigate to “Flash zip from sdcard” and then navigate to the file you want to flash. This is the N1 addon we grabbed earlier. When it starts to flash, you’ll see a lot of scrolling white text on the screen. When this is done, reboot the phone again and you’ll be presented with more modifications and applications than before.