There is not many applications on Android platform which requires root access on the phone, but nonetheless, ability to fully customize the Android operating system continues to appeal to advanced phone users. Rooting an Android phone device grants full access to the system files, effectively allowing user to modify the every aspect of the phone, including firmware, system functionality such as firewall, and able to install third party apps, themes and custom ROMs.

Motorola Droid, one of the popular smartphone based on Android OS, was initially released with stock Android 2.0. Android 2.1 is available as over-the-air (OTA) update for the Motorola Droid. The new firmware upgrade will remove and disable the root (unroot) of already rooted (jailbreak) phone. But, the Motorola Droid on Android 2.1 has also been rooted successfully, with the following simple steps to give user root access on the Droid 2.1.

Unlike previous hack, the following rooting guide of Motorola Droid on stock non-rooted 2.1 Android makes use of a SBF file to flash to the stock 2.1 OTA update to add SPRecovery, which allow rooting without having to downgrade flash back to Android 2.0 or 2.0.1.

Prerequisite to Root Motorola Droid on Android 2.1

Step-by-Step Guide to Root Motorola Droid 2.1

  1. Plug in the phone into the PC using the USB connection cable. On the notification bar of the Android phone, a “USB Connection” icon should be shown. Open the notifications page, and click on USB Connection option with “Select to manager your USB connection” note.
  2. Select Memory Card Access and click OK to access the phone like a external USB mass storage drive.
  3. Rename the 20100429h_update.zip downloaded from link above to update.zip.
  4. Copy the update.zip to the root directory (folder) of the SD card on the phone.
  5. Ensure that the file is copied over on the phone, and the file is not corrupted by using any file manager on the phone.
  6. Run RSD Lite on the computer.
  7. Ensure that the USB cable is connecting the phone to the computer.
  8. Power off the phone by pressing and holding the Power button for a while, and select Power off.
  9. Press and hold the Up key on the D-pad (Up as in towards the screen), and then turn on the phone by pressing the Power button to let Droid starts in bootloader mode.
  10. A screen looks like below should be displayed on screen:

    Battery ok
    OK to program
    Transfer Mode:
    USB

  11. In RSD Lite, the phone should be listed as “Connected”. Select the SPRecovery SBF file downloaded from link above, and click Start button.

    The Motorola Droid 2.1 phone will reboot automatically to bootloader mode, and start flashing the vulnerable recovery firmware. The process may take a while, and once the process is completed, the phone should start back up with RSD Lite showing a “Finished” and/or “PASS” status.

  12. Power off the phone by pressing and holding the Power button for a while, and select Power off.
  13. Start Motorola Droid in recovery mode by pressing and holding the X key on the hardware QWERTY keyboard, and pressing the Power button to switch on the phone.
  14. Use the D-pad to choose Install.
  15. Use the D-pad to choose Allow update.zip Installation.
  16. Use the D-pad to choose Install SDCard update.zip (deprecated). Wait the process to complete
  17. Use the D-pad to choose ‘Reboot phone’. Wait for phone to start up.
  18. The Motorola Droid on Android 2.1 has been rooted.

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