Motorola Droid is an Internet and multimedia enabled smartphone from Motorola which runs on Google’s Android operating system. By default, the smartphone owner does not have root access to the device. While Android platform has not been as restrictive as iPhone on apps that can be available on the Android App Market, nonetheless, the Droid has also been jailbroke, or rooted, which enable root access, practically allowing user to do anything to the phone.
The rooted Motorola Droid potentially has several advantages, such as possibility to install and enable multi-touch input and gesture support that exists on sibling device, Motorola Milestone, and other features or apps not officially approved or locked by Verizon Wireless or the Android OS platform. Rooted Droid can be customized with custom theme for personalized UI too, and can get Internet tethering working.
The process to root the Motorola Droid is pretty simple. However, one word of caution though. Rooting the Motorola Droid may void the warranty, and can potentially brick the Droid device if not done correctly. For people who decides to root the Droid, here’s a brief guide on procedure to root the Droid, as outlined by Zinx Verituse.
Note: The hack below won’t update the Droid to Android version 2.0.1. User who wants to have a rooted 2.0.1 should update to version 2.0.1 prior to follow below procedure, either by update via OTA (over the air) push or manually upgrade to Android 2.0.1 on Droid by downloading signed-voles-ESD56-from-ESD20.84263456.zip and save as update.zip, then copy it to SD card of Droid to update it in recovery options which similar to steps below. The hack, however, does work on Droid device with both Android v2.0 and v2.0.1.
- Download the exploit ZIP file: droid-super_user.zip
The exploit ZIP already include superuser from CyanogenMod to combine with initial exploit that provides a /system/bin/su from AOSP, allowing user to use root from adb shell). The MD5 for the ZIP is cf653352967253e99d967498ffd9ce69.
- Rename the downloaded ZIP file to update.zip.
- Follow one of the two method below to copy update.zip to the Motorola Droid phone:
Method 1: Plug the Droid into computer via USB. On the Droid go to the Notifications bar, select USB Connected, and then press Mount. Once the device is mounted, the SD memory card will be shown as a removable device on computer. Copy the update.zip into the root (top) directory/folder of the SD card. Unmount the device when copying operation is done, and turn the Droid off.
Method 2: Turn the Droid off, then pull the microSD card from the phone. Insert the microSD card into a card reader, and then copy the update.zip to its root folder. Put back the microSD card into the phone.
- Boot the phone into recovery mode by pressing and holding down the X key on the physical keyboard and the Power, until the Droid screen display a exclamation mark (!) in triangle.
- Apply the update by pressing Volume Up and Camera button, and then select the option (with D-pad on the physical keyboard) to update with update.zip file.
- Once updating is done, select the option to reboot the phone.
Once hacked, the Motorola Droid user now have root access and su on the OS 2.0.1 update.
Update: For Motorola Droid upgraded to Android 2.1 firmware, here’s how to root Motorola Droid with Android 2.1.