Manually Update WiFi only Motorola Xoom to Honeycomb 3.1!!

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At the exciting Google I/O yesterday, the update of Honeycomb to version 3.1 was announced. It was to hit the Motorola Xoom same day but a later clarification sets it only for the 3G models first and then the update rolling out to the wifi only versions in few days and rest of honeycomb tablets in few weeks. Well, if like me you have the wifi version of the tablet and are impatient to feast on the updated desert, wait no more!! People at xda developers have successfully updated the WiFi Xooms to 3.1 WITHOUT the need of rooting or jailbreaking your system. Here I am running through the process that I read at the forum with some added noted where I though some clarification would have helped the novice users (like me!).

Note: You will need a FAT32 files system USB drive and a micro USB B to a USB A OTG (On-The-Go) cable/adapter to connect it to the Xoom. People have pointed out that it needs to be a OTG cable/adapter and not just a converter. There is a difference in the two as in the converter doesn’t work and the adapter/cable works! I had bought one from mertiline for a couple of dollars without knowing what I was buying and luckily when I plugged it in, it worked! I will post the link to the item I had bought.

Update: I have added an amazon link for the adapter at the bottom of the post.

What we are trying to do here is to flash the Xoom running Honeycomb 3.0.1 with 3.1 version. For the 3G versions, there is an option to reboot the xoom in the recovery mode and apply the update from the usb drive. But for wifi versions, that option is strangely missing. We have to force the Xoom into recovery mode using Android SDK tools and from there on install the update from the USB drive. It might sound complicated but its very very straightforward if you follow the steps carefully. With this lets go over the steps to update your Xoom….

(Link to all the files to be downloaded and the source post is at the bottom of the post)

Step1: We need to first download and install a few things. I have done it on a PC but my understanding is that people have sucessfully done it on a mac as well. Begin by downloading the Android SDK for Windows and installing it on the PC. This is needed to have the access to ADB (Android Debug Bridge) tool that comes bundled with the sdk. For the SDK you might need to install Java Development Kit (jdk). The android sdk installation would guide you, don’t worry about that.

Step2: Now download and install the Motorola Xoom Drivers for windows. This is needed to let the sdk talk to the hardware.

Step3: Finally download the WiFi update zip file. Rename the file to update.zip. Format the pendrive to FAT32 (My Computer>Right click on drive>Format>Fat32>Quick Format). Copy the update.zip file to the pendrive.

Step4: Connect the Motorola Xoom to the PC using the USB cable that came with the tablet. The PC would recognize the hardware and install the necessary drivers. Then to to the start menu, and open the command prompt. Navigate to the folder that contains the adb tool. For example:

cd C:/Program Files(x86)/Android/android-sdk/platform-tools

Step5: Now we will issue the reboot command to the device. Make sure there is a small icon on the tablet right by the clock on the bottom right that says connected via usb in debug mode. If not navigate to Settings>Applications>Developement and check the USB debug option. If needed, disconnect the USB cable and reattach it. Now, you should see that option.

Step6: In the command prompt on the PC, enter the following to make sure your device is connected and the adb tool can communicate with it.

cd C:/Program Files(x86)/Android/android-sdk/platform-tools

adb devices

This should show an id that corresponds to your motorola Xoom. Now enter the following command to reboot the device in recovery mode:

adb reboot recovery

This will force the device to reboot. Once it reboots, it will come to a screen with a Green Android boy with ! mark on its belly. This is your device in recovery mode.

Step7: Now remove the USB cable and plug in your pen drive (via adapter) to the device. No need to rush, take your time. Press the up arrow volume key on the Xoom to enter the recovery menu (blue in color).

Step8: Select update from USB option and choose the update.zip file. (Selection is by pressing the power button ONCE.)

You are all set! It will take its own sweet time to install the new OS and reboot once after that. If your adapter doesn’t work you will not be able to proceed beyond step6.

This will not erase any of your data (unrooted Xoom only). Enjoy your Honeycomb 3.1 (check in the about tablet section of the settings).

Leave comments if you have issues or corrections. Stay tuned for a short review of the Honeycomb 3.1 on Motrola Xoom.

Also people at XDA developers rock! Encourage you to join that group if you are interested in this sort of stuff. I just added few details here and there to their good work!

Sources: XDA(1), XDA(2), Android SDK for Windows, Motorola Xoom drivers for windows, WiFi Update file, ADB documentation,



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10 Comments on “Manually Update WiFi only Motorola Xoom to Honeycomb 3.1!!”

  • Mat wrote on 18 May, 2011, 10:15

    I don’t think there is any need to install the Android SDK, you can just download adb 

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

  • Zach Clarke wrote on 28 May, 2011, 23:58

    Hi so I tried to root my android 3.1 Xoom tablet, but it failed and then I relocked the device to try and restore it to it’s factory settings, but it still will not boot up into the Honeycomb OS. Any idea what I can do? Other than typing in commands from the command prompt or on the adb program, so that I can restore my tablet to working order. And get out of the boot loop?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

    babyhacker Reply:

    @Zach Clarke,
    Hi Zach
    Just so that I understand it properly, when the rooting failed, you went to the ‘settings’, and under ‘Privacy’, selected ‘Factory Data Reset’. Now when it reboots, you get in booting loop? Is that right? 
    To get out of the booting loop, press the volume up key and power botton together for few seconds. That should break the reboot loop and take you to recovery. If it doesn’t help,you will have to flash your device with a new image, there is no shortcut for that, but the process is not complicated. 
    You might have already searched for it, but this seems to be similar to your case:

    http://www.atrixforums.com/forum/motorola-atrix-hacks/2007-root-update-stuck-boot-loop-2.html

    Give it a try, hopefully all works out. Feel free to reply with some details (like wifi/3g version and a screenshot of where you are stuck and what image/procedure/url you used to root the device), and we will try and figure it out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

    Zach Clarke Reply:

    , Hi babyhacker so I have already tried going into recovery mode and flashing a ROM system img from my usb thumb drive. However, the Xoom doesn`t find it. Does that mean that I have to use a mini sd card to flash the system image in order to reload the OS on my Xoom?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

    babyhacker Reply:

    @Zach Clarke,
    Are you sure that cable you used was a micro USB B to a USB A OTG (On-The-Go) cable/adapter? 9/10 times that could be the reason for xoom not seeing the pen drive. Also, the pen drive should be formated as FAT32. 
    people over at XDA have reported that following adapter works fine:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00474OYLG

    Let me know if you need help finding right place for instructions to flash your device. I usually look at xda-developers site. Good luck

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

    Zach Clarke Reply:

    Hi, so I just used the micro usb to usb 2.0 cable connector that was provided with my Xoom tablet. However, I guess since I need to gain access to the thumb drive from my Xoom, I will need to buy one of those micro usb B to usb A OTG cable adapters, right? And then from there I just should try and flash the ROM? 

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    babyhacker Reply:

    @babyhacker,
    Ya you will need that usb adapter to connect USB drives. Here is another helpful link:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1098431

    Let me know how it goes or you have any other queries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Braydon wrote on 7 June, 2011, 13:50

    So i did this and it was working great until  I got this error:
    E:failed to verify whole-file signatureE:signature verification failed

    any ideas?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

    babyhacker Reply:

    @Braydon,
    Try this if it works. I have never had an error like one you mentioned

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=925102

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

    Braydon Reply:

    @babyhacker,

    Will following this procedure root my xoom ?

    Guys,
    I have resolved this many many times… Just follow these steps - 
    Pre-requisite – Enable USB debugging on your phone and connect it to your pc.
    1. Root your phone using SuperOneClickv1.6.5-ShortFuse. You can get it at ‘http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=803682′
    2. Go to this thread and download the two files ‘http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=833423′ – ’3e_recovery_installer.zip’ and ‘update.zip (1.34 mb)’
    2. Run install.bat from 3e_recovery_installer folder to rectify the the recovery signature checking.
    3. Keep the just downloaded update.zip (1.34 mb) in your internal sdcard and boot under recovery. Select reinstall package option. Update.zip will get installed and phone will reboot.
    Its not done yet.
    4. Now get the actual clockwork mod recovery update.zip (1.72 mb). You can get this using ROM manager. Now put this update.zip (1.72 mb) in your internal sdcard and boot under recovery. Select reinstall package option. Update.zip will get installed and phone will reboot and will be back in samsung recovery mode. Select reinstall package again and bang… You should now be at cwm recovery :-)

    I was not keen on rooting it because I dont want to void my warranty. 

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

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