Galaxy Nexus factory image reset – How to Guide

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a great phone but like any new phone it has a few bugs.  The 4.01 version of the phone has a few issues and for me it was namely a huge issue with data drop outs (the usual blue bars go grey showing full signal but internet or email doesn’t work – a reboot of the phone was the only fix for me on T-Mobile UK network).  I had heard that the 4.02 update can potentially fix this issue so I wanted to find out if the Nexus can be flashed with a new version – rather than wait for the ‘over-the-air’ updates.

Google placed the factory reset images of the OS for the Galaxy Nexus on their site, but unfortunately no information was given of how actually to put these images back on the phone.  I couldn’t for the life of me find a guide so after a lot of reading and forum trawling I’m putting the guide here (mainly for my own reference, but if it helps, let me know).  I can offer no advice other than these steps I took so if you aren’t confident with what you are doing, please do NOT try this.

Note : All data on the phone will be erased.

Downloads

4.02 factory image – Download here

– Java SE7 JDK – Download here (pre-req for Android SDK)

– Fastboot for Windows – Download here (the tool that does updates the image on your phone)

– Android SDK – Download here (this is needed to download the AdbWinApi.dll that fastboot needs to operate)

– PDANet drivers – Download here (needed for drivers to allow PC to talk to the Galaxy Nexus)

Pre-Requirements

  1. Install Java SE7 SDK
  2. Install Android SDK
  3. Install PDANet – use default settings.
  4. Run the Android SDK Manager > ensure that ‘Android SDK Platform Tools’ are installed (if not check them and install)
  5. For Windows 7 x64 you may need to add in the path to the Android platform tools to allow Fastboot to work.  Add in ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools’ into the path system variable (separate with a ; ).
  6. Reboot for path to take effect.
  7. Create a temporary folder to hold the image/flash e.g. I used c:\androidflash.
  8. Extract fastboot and the factory image to your newly created folder.
Installation
Note : Command line text to enter is highlighted in bold.
  • Open a command prompt (run as administrator if using Vista/Win 7).
  • Navigate to the newly created folder.
  • Restart the phone in ‘fastboot’ mode.  Shutdown the Galaxy Nexus then whilst holding volume-up AND volume-down, press power until the phone vibrates.  You should then see a little android lying on its back with its front panel open.
  • Unlock the bootloader (this will show a little open padlock on the Google screen upon bootup after doing this).
fastboot oem unlock
... OKAY [ 12.051s]
finished. total time: 12.051s
  • Flash the bootloader (wait a few seconds after ‘finished’ message appears before continuing)
fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-maguro-primekk15.img
sending 'bootloader' (2308 KB)... OKAY [ 0.421s]
writing 'bootloader'... OKAY [ 0.374s]
finished. total time: 0.796s
  • Reboot the bootloader (wait a few seconds after ‘finished’ message appears before continuing)
fastboot reboot-bootloader
rebooting into bootloader... OKAY [ 0.016s]
finished. total time: 0.016s
  • Flash the radio image (wait a few seconds after ‘finished’ message appears before continuing)
fastboot flash radio radio-maguro-i9250xxkk6.img
sending 'radio' (12288 KB)... OKAY [ 2.278s]
writing 'radio'... OKAY [ 1.388s]
finished. total time: 3.666s
  • Reboot the bootloader a second time (wait a few seconds after ‘finished’ message appears before continuing)
fastboot reboot-bootloader
rebooting into bootloader... OKAY [ 0.016s]
finished. total time: 0.016s
  • Flash the Android 4.02 image (ICL53F) (the phone will reboot and restart on itself so be patient at this point)
fastboot -w update image-yakju-icl53f.zip
archive does not contain 'boot.sig'
archive does not contain 'recovery.sig'
archive does not contain 'system.sig'
--------------------------------------------
Bootloader Version...: PRIMEKK15
Baseband Version.....: I9250XXKK6
Serial Number........: 0xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
--------------------------------------------
 checking product... OKAY [ -0.000s]
 checking version-bootloader... OKAY [ 0.016s]
 checking version-baseband... OKAY [ 0.000s]
 sending 'boot' (4074 KB)... OKAY [ 0.749s]
 writing 'boot'... OKAY [ 0.250s]
 sending 'recovery' (4406 KB)... OKAY [ 0.796s]
 writing 'recovery'... OKAY [ 0.296s]
 sending 'system' (317594 KB)... OKAY [ 57.013s]
 writing 'system'... OKAY [ 32.994s]
 erasing 'userdata'... OKAY [ 0.203s]
 erasing 'cache'... OKAY [ 0.016s]
 rebooting...
finished. total time: 92.394s
  • As the phone has now been erased it will run through the ‘first-time’ settings again so fill in your details and wait until everything (apps, email, contacts etc) has fully synchronised.  This can take some time (10 minutes in my case).
  • Restart the phone again back to ‘fastboot’ mode.  Shutdown the Galaxy Nexus then whilst holding volume-up AND volume-down, press power until the phone vibrates.
  • Lock the bootloader once again
fastboot oem lock
... OKAY [ 0.156s]
finished. total time: 0.156s
  • Reboot the bootloader once again
fastboot reboot
rebooting...
finished. total time: 0.000s

As the phone reboots the little open padlock should no longer show.
Voila! One Galaxy Nexus flashed to 4.02.

Update : For me the update to 4.02 has fixed the issues with data drop outs (no issues over the past few days – was guaranteed once a day); battery life is a LOT better – 80% battery life left after 18 hours, and the phone is even more responsive than it was.  One issue that still remains in Icecream Sandwich is that ‘auto-rotate the screen’ needs to be left disabled or the battery life drops significantly even if the screen is off.

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