Earlier we had posted a guide on Rooting the Nexus S. While the guide works well on 32-bit Windows systems, the USB drivers for 64-bit OS are flaky and more often than not, putting the device in fastboot mode will result in a cryptic “waiting for device” error message. The information for fixing this is available on the web, but scattered. So here’s a complete guide to help you root your Nexus S.
Before we start, you’ll need the below software
- Android SDK Download the Android SDK From here. Don’t download the drivers, we’ll download them from the SDK
- PDANet drivers these are required to detect the Nexus S in fast boot mode.
- Clockwork Recovery Mod We’ll use this to install Superuser which provides root access
- Superuser application This grants super user access ( aka root access) to the applications which require them.
Enable USB debugging mode in your Nexus S. To do this tap on the grid icon > Settings > Applications > Development. Now ensure checkbox against USB debugging is checked. Now, extract the compressed SDK files to a directory ( say, c:\android). Now, launch SDK Manager.exe from c:\android. Click on Available Packages and install Google USB driver package. Now connect the Nexus S to your computer. When prompted, do not Enable USB storage on your Nexus S. Right click on My computer, then click on Manage & double click on Device Manager. The Nexus S should show up as an unidentified device
Right click on it , then click on Update drivers and Browse My Computer
Now, point to the location of the USB drivers. It should be C:\android\google-usb_driver assuming that the Android SDK is installed at c:\android. Click Next, and proceed with installation of drivers. Now open a command prompt, type the following:
adb devices should show a serial number indicating that the device has been identified.
Now, we’ll install PDANet drivers to ensure that Nexus S gets identified during fastboot mode. Follow along the instructions during PDANet installation. You’ll be warned about unverified drivers, ignore it and choose to install the drivers. Once installation is complete, head back to the command prompt.
Put the device in fastboot mode by typing in
adb reboot bootloader
Your Nexus S is now in fastboot mode. The PDANet drivers should get installed automatically now and Windows should identify the device ( instead of the waiting for deviceprompt).
Next, unlock the bootloader by typing
fastboot oem unlock
You should get feedback similar to the one in the below screenshot.
Next, we’ll install the Custom recovery which will setup up root access. Copy the clockwork image file to c:\android\tools. Flash the recovery mod by typing
fastboot.exe flash recovery <name-of-the-recovery-mod>
Now, move the superuser application to the phone by typing
adb push <path-to-super-userapplication.zip> /sdcard/update.zip
Replace <path-to-super-userapplication.zip> with the actual location of the file.
Now, start your Nexus S in recovery mode by first switching it off, and then holding Volume up+Power key. The device will boot in fastboot mode, and choose the recovery mode. Once in recovery mode, navigate to Mounts & Storage menu & then choose mount /sdcard. Go back now, and choose apply /sdcard/update.zip. Choose Yes Install in the next menu. You should see install from sdcard complete! message. Choose reboot now.
Congratulations, your Nexus S is now rooted.
The steps are little bit verbose since I’m writing this from a Android newbie point-of-view ( I’m an Android newbie). Looking back it really isn’t that complicated I had to look at several sources and pester fellow Techie-Buzz author Rajesh to get it done. I hope this article will help you root your Nexus S without having to hunt & peck for information. Drop a comment if you have any questions.