Applying OTA update for Nexus S running on Gingerbread & Getting Back Root 4

Got my hands on the Nexus S recently, and so far I’m loving it. I’m still getting to know the OS better – and with it learning more about the different ROMs, installing them and flashing them (Side note: The speed at which custom kernels & ROMs get flashed is a serious shock especially if you’re used to the slow-as-snails-on-time-machine update process that is iTunes).

Anyhow, I’ll save my thoughts on the Nexus S for a later blog post.

Coming back, I switched to a custom Kernel + ROM + Recovery, and now when the OTA was pushed to my phone, I was apprehensive about how to apply it. A bit of research indicated that the OTA is not possible, and I’d have to flash to stock – which means all my data would be wiped.

So here’s what I did:

  • Install Titanium Backup Pro & take a backup of all my apps, data & system data.
  • Sync the backup to DropBox
  • Download SuperUser to the phone.
  • Updated ClockWork Recovery Mod (“CW”)to by downloading from here and then flash it using
    fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-3.0
  • Download stock 2.3.1 Nandroid from here & update it from within Clockwork Recovery.
  • Reboot phone. 2.3.1 will erase CW and replace it with stock. Install ROM Manager and allow it to install CW.
  • Install superuser by rebooting the phone into CW & choosing to install Zip from the phone.

So, at this stage, you will have a clean, stock phone with root privileges available. Complete the process by

  • Installing BusyBox and TitaniumBackup
  • Restore all your apps & data by using TitaniumBackup
  • Also: note that 2.3.1 features a change which will replace CW with stock recovery on every reboot. To avoid this, use Root Explorer, find /etc/install-recovery and rename it to /etc/install-recovery.never ( or whatever) to prevent CW to be overwritten by stock recovery.

    Compiled from my experiments after getting confused over various threads in XDA.

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