Install Official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on Nexus S And Fully Root It

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean has finally started arriving on Google Nexus S in form of the JRO03E OTA update starting with select regions of the world but if you haven’t received the automated over-the-air update yet but can’t wait to get Jelly Bean on your Nexus S, we’re here to help! In what follows, we will guide you through installing the latest Jelly Bean up and running on your phone in no time. Read on for more details and the complete instructions.

Installing Jelly Bean on Nexus S

Excited about Google’s latest version of Android? After being showcased on the Nexus 7 tablet at Google I/O in late June and released to Galaxy Nexus a week back, the JB update is finally being pushed to the international GSM version of Nexus S. If you are running the latest version of Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich on yours, you should receive the update notification anytime, if you haven’t already. However, those with custom ROMs or those running an earlier version of Android on their devices (even those on 4.0.3 ICS) will not be able to get the Jelly Bean update directly, and must first install the 4.0.4 ROM. That can be a hassle, so we’ll just bypass it and install Jelly Bean directly. So without any further ado, lets proceed and get Jelly Bean on our Nexus S manually.

Jelly-Bean-On-Nexus-S

Requirements:

  1. Make sure you have the International version of Nexus S. You can check this on the sticker on the phone’s inside, under the battery.
  2. Go to Settings > About Phone, scroll down and see the last entry that says ‘Build Number’.
    • If it says IMM76D, you are good to go.
    • If you are not running this latest build but are on an official version of Android (i.e. you haven’t installed a custom ROM), first update to this build by going to Settings > About Phone, clicking ‘System updates’ and clicking ‘Check now’ to check for the latest update, and install it by following the instructions that appear after the phone has downloaded the update.
    • If you are on a custom ROM, download the Official IMM76D Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich ROM from and flash it from recovery (you should know how, if you are on a custom ROM). This should get you on the IMM76D build, and ready for updating to Jelly Bean.
  3. Download the official JRO03E Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean OTA update.

Procedure:


  1. Transfer the Jelly Bean OTA update file i.e. 9ZGgDXDi.zip to your phone’s SD card (internal of course, since Nexus S doesn’t have external SD card slot).
  2. Reboot your phone into recovery:
    1. To do this, first power your phone off, then press and hold the volume-up button and press the power button, not releasing the volume-up button till you see the FASTBOOT MODE screen.
    2. Use the volume-down button to navigate to RECOVERY option and press the power button to enter it. You should now see the image of an Android opened up, with an exclamation mark on top of it.
    3. Now press and hold Power, and press volume-up. You will now see the stock recovery menu. You can navigate the menu using the volume up and down keys, and select an option with the power key.
  3. Select the ‘apply update from /sdcard’ option.
  4. Now use the volume keys to select the file that we had copied earlier i.e. 9ZGgDXDi.zip and press the power button. The update will start installing.
    • In case the update fails for you with error 7, you must install a custom recovery to flash the update. The relevant steps to do that and the required links are provided in the rooting guide below. To put it briefly, you must unlock your bootloader, put the phone into fastboot and flash ClockworkMod recovery. Once it has been installed, you can boot into recovery as described above, and flash the update from the ‘install zip from sdcard’ > ‘choose zip from sdcard’ option.
  5. Once the update has installed completely, select the ‘reboot system now’ option.

There you go – you should now have Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean installed on your Nexus S. If you check your build number now, it should say JRO03E. Enjoy!

Rooting Jelly Bean on Nexus S (Also installs ClockworkMod Recovery)

If you want to go one step ahead and root Jelly Bean on your phone, fret not – we are here to help you with that too!

Requirements:

  • Android SDK installed on your system to use fastboot. See our Android SDK Installation guide.
  • Unlocked bootloader on your Nexus S. If you haven’t unlocked yours already, see our guide on unlocking the Nexus S bootloader.
  • Latest ClockworkMod recovery image. Make sure to download the version for Google Nexus S. We recommend the touch version, but both should work.
  • Simple Root by XDA-Developers forum member kibmcz (Contains su binary, SuperUser.apk and busybox. Also removes the script that always restores stock recovery upon reboot, so that your ClockworkMod recovery stays installed)

Procedure:

  1. Transfer the Simple-Root-1.0.zip file to your SD card.
  2. On your computer, rename the downloaded ClockworkMod recovery image file from recovery-clockwork-X.X.X.X-crespo.img to recovery.img.
  3. Reboot into fastboot mode. To do that, power your phone off, then press and hold the volume-up button and press the power button, not releasing the volume-up button till you see the FASTBOOT MODE screen.
  4. Connect your phone to the computer via USB, if it isn’t already connected.
  5. Launch a command prompt window on your computer and navigate to the folder where you copied your recovery.img.
  6. Enter the following command:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  7. Now navigate to the ‘RECOVERY’ option in the fastboot menu and enter it. You will now be in ClockworkMod recovery.
  8. In ClockworkMod recovery menu, go to ‘install zip from sdcard’ followed by ‘choose zip from sdcard’.
  9. Scroll to select the Simple-Root-1.0.zip file and confirm its installation by tapping Yes.
  10. Once the installation is complete, tap ‘reboot system now’ from the main recovery menu.

Congratulations – your Nexus S is now rooted on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.

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  • varunkb

    I’m seeing in some forums that users who tried to install the jelly bean update on their stock 4.0.4 using the aforementioned zip file, without root, are facing an error- error 7, to be exact. This was the same error that I encountered when I had tried installing the 4.0.4 update on top of 4.0.3 (mine is an unrooted nexus s, btw). Back then ,after rummaging through tons of forums, I came to understand that this particular error comes up when trying to manually install an update that was actually meant to be an ota update. To continue installing it, you’ll have to boot in through clockwork mod or something. Otherwise, you would have to wait till the update hits your phone ota.
    Could you please confirm if you were able to install 9ZGgDXDi.zip on an unrooted nexus s?

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      I was able to install it with ease, but then perhaps it was because I used ClockworkMod. I was assuming it would install fine with the stock recovery, being an officially signed zip file. I’ll try confirming that but it’ll require me to revert back to the old stock ROM with stock recovery, so I’ll be doing that after getting done with the rest of the work for today. Thanks for bringing it up.

    • randy

      Could not install

  • http://twitter.com/Burning_RaF Rafi

    Thanks varunkb, i was unrooted and update was failing. i installed custom recovery as explained and it works :)

  • Alexavier

    If my phone is already rooted, will flashing the old ICS rom first and then updating it lock my bootloader again?

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      No, it will not relock your bootloader; it will just unroot your ROM but we have rooting instructions included, so getting root access back should be no problem. =)

      • Alexavier

        Oh alright. Thanks a lot. I wish the recovery would stick though. I just did the entire process today. Thanks a lot. (:

        • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

          ClockworkMod recovery will stick using our rooting instructions because the rooting file that we’re using will remove those files from Android that are responsible for bringing back the stock recovery.

  • keithkk

    Can this work on galaxy s3?

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      If your Galaxy S3 is a Nexus S, it can.

  • avi

    Installing custom recovey (cwm 6.0.0.6) didn’t solve the problem for me. I’m still getting error status 7 when trying to flash the zip.
    Is there a solution for this?

  • westkayak

    actually we don’t need the Android SDK
    when we are rooting the JB.
    Rooting Jelly Bean On Nexus S (Also Installs ClockworkMod Recovery)
    we just need to Recovery the simply-root
    that OK.

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      We are using fastboot here to flash the custom recovery, which comes with the Android SDK. You can use a standalone version of the tool if you want, but we have one standard SDK installation guide that we link to in all our guides requiring ADB and fastboot access.

  • mitchell goudie

    Can someone please help me, this is what I did. I installed official 4.0.4 over MIUI and did a factory reset and wipe cache. rebooted phone and after a while it told me to update, I did and it just said error status 7 about some patch, it is rooted but in the 4.0.4 it wont let me install ROM manager and superuser isnt there, should I root it again even though when I boot it up it still has the unlocked thing under google, and I dont want to lose my data so anyone please help!!!

  • jiffy

    hay.. i installed cyber gr rom on my nexus s and now i need to install the official JB update ,but when i try it via odin it fails.. plz can you help me…… !

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      Does it say *anywhere* in this post that it is in Odin-flashable format? Did you even bother reading the instructions?

  • mr4v0

    Thanks! I used this on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Works great! Clockwork mod (maguro in my case) + Simple-root FTR(007)

  • http://www.cafepress.com/thebikestop Roy Crisman

    Not having any luck with the rooting instructions. Nexus S device is on 4.1.1, Baseband I9020XXKI1, Build JRO03E.
    Copy Simple-Root-1.0.zip to the root of the device when acting as a usb drive.
    renamed recovery-clockwork-6.0.1.0-crespo.img to recovery.img (whether necessary or not)
    adb reboot bootloader

    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    recovery, select the .zip, it all looks like it’s working. reboot.
    Starts with the unlock icon, but once booted up, a “adb root” command says
    “adbd cannot run as root in production builds”

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      Oh that’s because despite being rooted, the ADB service doesn’t run as root on any Android device if you are using a stock boot image. You have to flash an insecure boot image to get adbd running as root. You can still get root access in adb via ‘adb shell’ followed by ‘su’. You just can’t do ‘adb remount’ and ‘adb root’. Though you still can mount system as read-write while in adb shell as su.

  • Dan Gonzalez

    This worked excellently. Thank you, you are a scholar and a gentleman.

  • Droid User

    i actually installed my 4.1.1 Jelly Bean thingy by just checking system updates and installing it, my phone wasn’t rooted. I just want to root my phone now though, will it still work. the build number and all is still the same. And do i rename the thingy recovery.img. or recovery.img?

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      Yes, just follow the rooting procedure above rather than the full upgrade procedure. And you should rename it to recovery.img

  • Theo

    when i download the file (clockworkmod recovery), i click on it and it says it is invalid. what should i do?

    • http://hqraja.com/ Haroon Q. Raja

      You should read the instructions provided above again, preferably while sober.

  • Noah

    The strange thing is that i downloaded it via the update system…and it did all the installations and all.. but failed to boot. i mean there wasnt no error messages or anything. it got stuck on the boot animation…
    anyway i got out of it thanks to this post :)

  • randy

    I’m using Google nexus s i9020t I have to install 4.1 jelly bean on my phone I was in pics 4.04 but my build no is pixel from 1.70 lite touch now downloaded the ice ota update from this site now I’m in 4.04 now my build no is imm7sd.now clock work mod recovery issued for me now I how to install 4.1 jelly bean manually can any one tell how to plz