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How to Root Motorola Milestone

Motorola Milestone – the GSM version of Motorola Droid – came with Android 2.1 Éclair, which could be easily rooted using an application that used an exploit to fool the OS into enabling SuperUser rights for many applications. However, if you are looking to customize your device to the fullest and get access to Android features like tethering, screenshots, overclocking or if you need to install Custom ROMs on it, you’ll need to get full root access on your device by using the Vulnerable Recovery Flash method. Below mentioned are the instructions that help you do so:

Disclaimer: Please follow this guide at your own risk. AddictiveTips will not be liable if your device gets damaged or bricked during the process.



  1. Install the USB Drivers on the your PC.
  2. Plug your phone into the PC via USB Cable, let windows install and detect any internal devices on the Milestone.
  3. Rename ‘milestone_root.zip’ to ‘update.zip’ and copy it on the root of your SD card.
  4. Disconnect the phone, run RSDLite 4.6 on your PC , and connect the phone again. If you pull down the status bar and tap on ‘Select to manage your USB Connection’, you will see that the Milestone is now connected on Portals & Tools. If any other Motorola applications start off, ignore and exit them.
  5. RDSLite will show your phone model number ‘A853’ and the status should be ‘Connected’.
  6. Press ‘…’ button to browse for the ‘vulnerable_recovery_only_RAMDLD90_78.sbf’ and load it.
  7. The ‘Start’ button would now be enabled. Please ensure the USB connection is secure and start the flash.
  8. Keep an eye on the status bar, the Milestone will reboot into bootloader, flash the recovery firmware and start back up into RSD Lite showing a ‘Finished’ or ‘PASS’ status.
  9. Exit RSDLite and Remove the USB Connection
  10. Power off your phone. Press and Hold the ‘X’ button on the device and press the Power button, keep them help until the phone boots into recovery.(screen will show an exclamation mark inside a triangle)
  11. Press and hold the Volume Up button and now press the Camera button to go into Android System Recovery.
  12. You would be presented with four menu options. Scroll down to ‘Apply Update:update.zip’ using the D-pad and the golden key to enter.
  13. Wait for the process to complete and select ‘Reboot System’ to let the phone boot back into Android.

Congratulations! Your Motorola Milestone is now rooted.

There are two methods to confirm your root access, firstly there should be an application newly installed in your app drawer called ‘Superuser Whitelist’, indicating that you have root access. Alternatively, you can download any terminal emulator and enter ‘su’ on it. A popup should appear, asking you to grant superuser right. Once permission is given, the $ sign should change to # confirming the application now has superuser rights on the device.


  1. Hi, on rooting and applying the update.zip, I am getting the below error
    E:Can’t open /cache/recovery/command” If anybody has solution then email it to me at islam[dot]najmul[at]gmail[dot]com

  2. Hi I followed all the steps which is given above and already i have android 2.2.1 in my milestone but finally i got the error msg like ”
    E:Can’t open /cache/recovery/command” pla help me.. 

    • Hi Mohan, can you please tell me if your issue was solved as I am also getting the same thing. If you have the solution then pls email at islam[dot]najmul[at]gmail[dot]com

  3. Hi! I followed all the steps ang got problem after rebooting the phone after installing the update.zip..please help what should i do..? 

    —Installing from SD Card—
    finding update package…
    opening update package…
    verifying update package…
    installing update…
    cannot find update_binary
    rooting your phone..

    Install from sdcard complete..

    But after rebooting my phone got stuck at MOTOROLA LOGO when loading..

  4. I already rooted my Milestone using a one click method. I want to root it again using rsdlite method so I can flash cm6. Is it okay to just root over the existing root or will this cause problems? sorry for the noob question.

  5. Hi,
    When I try to apply sdcard:update.zip, 
    I have this message :”E:signature verification failedinstallation aborted”

    What’s wrong with my manipullation ?

  6. Everytime I go through this process, I get a ‘Critical Error 1337 510B’ and RSD Lite says it failed. My milestone reports it’s model number as A854 and not A853. I’m wanting to get this completed so I can use your instructions on the loading of Froyo based CyanogenMod 6 on my phone

  7. I renamed the file to update.zip and copied to root sdcard

    From recovery mode I chose “apply sdcard:update.zip”

    But this is what happpened

    E:Can’t open /cache/recovery/command

  8. Hey .. i have the same problem as Prabhu .. could u please help me ..? i need to know how to root my device and what to do now ?


  9. hey, i tried exactly what you said, but i received a error message saying update.zip not applied or aborted, why is that. the RSD lit gave me a pass after rebooting, executing 100% etc PASS. Now i booted my device back. Let me know how should i start over now ?


    • Hi i also tried same steps.. but after pressing start on RSD lite

      phone goes into a dos like mode. Progress on RSD lite reaches 100%
      then it suddenly stops and gives the following error

      Failed flashing process. Failed flashing process. Phone[0000]; error sending JUMP command Device API Error:0xE0020047 Address: 0x82000000 Command: JUMP (0x0522047); Phone connected

      status- FAIL.

      How do i resolve this?

      i am stuck at this process.. please help

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