Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Motorola Defy - Upgrade to Android Jelly Bean

This is a quick guide to help you upgrade your old Motorola Defy to the newer generation of Android mobile OS. There are tutorials out there that are just too long and tedious to follow, but the following steps should save you a lot of time.

** There are 4 major steps that need to be done to the phone

Download the Motorola device drivers for Windows. Connect your phone to your computer and make sure the drivers install properly and it is recognized.

1) Now you must Root the phone:
  • On your phone, go to Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging. This box should be clicked
  • SuperOneClick is probably the easiest root tool to automate this process. Download here. Once installed, plug in your phone to your computer and from the computer program interface, click 'Root'. Once this process is done, click 'Allow Non Market Apps' from the program. Close the program when all is done
  • If you had trouble using SuperOneClick, you can always try to root your phone manually. Cyanogenmod wiki has a tutorial. I tried following this at first with no avail. 
2) Once your phone is rooted, it needs a Bootmenu:
  • Download 2ndInit. Scroll down the first post until you reach the Attached Files section. Firstly, you will need an QR Code reading app on your Android phone. There are a couple of free ones on the Google Play Store. Once you have installed the QR reader, on your computer, click the newest SndInitDefy file (I downloaded 2.3). Use the QR reader on your phone to scan the code that appears your computer screen. Once downloaded, open and install it. 
3) Now that the bootmenu is installed, it's time to download the new Jelly Bean update and Google Apps.
  • Jelly Bean: Quarx is a developer that has been working hard to get the new Jelly Bean OS to work. Find the newest cm10 nightly build for your Defy here. Save the .zip file to your computer. There is no need to extract it.
  • Google Apps: Download the newest gapps here. The link should be on the first post. Save the file to your computer. 
  • Now that you have downloaded both files, you must move them to the root folder of your SD card
    • Plug in your phone. It should appear as a drive. Move the cm10 and gapps file to the root. 
** Make sure your personal information is backed up. If you have your phone synced to your Google account, you won't need to worry about backing up your contacts, e-mail etc.

4) It's time to install the new updates.

First, open the bootmenu you downloaded earlier on your phone and make sure it's working. The version I have tells the user it's ready when the green led is on. Now, shut down your phone. When you turn it back on, you will see the Motorola icon. Once it disappears and the blue led on the top of your phone blinks, press the volume down button. This should get you in the bootmenu.
  • Go to Recovery > Custom Recovery > Wipe Data/Factory Reset > Yes. You can make a backup your previous installation before your wipe everything away.
  • From the same Custom Recovery menu, go to Advanced > Wipe Dalvic Cache > Yes
  • Time to install the 2 files we downloaded earlier
    • Custom Recovery > Install zip from sdcard. Find the cm10 file and install. Do the same for the gapps.
    • Once both are installed, find the 'Reboot system now' option in the Custom Recovery menu of the bootmenu.
    • Done!
The phone should reboot into the new Cyanogen Jelly Bean update.


  1. Can I update from CM9 to CM10 nightly without a full-wipe?

  2. Yup. Look into Titanium Backup in the google store