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Want to manually update your Motorola DROID's software? Here's how.

This article contains unofficial information.

Want to manually update your Motorola DROID's software? Here's how.
*PHONEARENA DOES NOT TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU DAMAGE YOUR PHONE DOING THE MANUAL SOFTWARE UPDATE. IF YOU DO NOT FEEL CONFIDENT IN DOING IT, PLEASE WAIT FOR THE OTA DOWNLOAD*

Yesterday we informed you that the software update (ESD56) for the Motorola DROID was now out and (slowly) making its way to the device via an OTA (over the air) download. The thing that most DROID owners are having a problem with is the waiting....and waiting....for the update notification to magically appear on their phone. It's been two days now, and even our demo unit hasn't been notified as of yet. So that got us thinking...why not have a way to download the Software Update file to your PC, transfer it to the SD card on the phone and install it from there. We'll the Android gods must have been listening, 'cause you are now able to do just that.

Here's what you'll need to do:
1) Download the file update.zip and place it in the main root directory on the DROID's microSD memory card. Do NOT place it in any sub-directory or rename the file to something else.
2) Power the phone off.
3) Slide open the phone so you can see the keyboard.
4) Press-and-hold the letter X on the keyboard and press the Power button until the device powers on.
5) Continue to hold the X button until the screen shows a triangle and exclamation mark.
6) Release the X button and then press the Volume UP *and* Camera buttons at the same time. Be sure to keep the phone open.
7) On the screen you will see several choices, use the d-pad on the keyboard to move down the list and select the "update.zip" file.
8) The update will begin and take a few minutes.
9) Once it is done, select the 1st option on the screen to Reboot the phone - NOT Factory Restore.
10) The phone will turn off and then restart, and the "DROID EYE" will show for about 2-5 minutes.
11) Once the Home Screen loads, everything will be intact, including programs and settings.
12) Turn phone back off, remove battery, wait 1 minute, replace battery and turn phone on.

We preformed this on our demo unit and didn't encounter any problems. So what differences have we noticed besides the new Unlock Screen? First off, moving between the 3 Home Screens is much faster and smoother, without any lag studdering. The camera autofocus works (showing green corners) and there is only about 2.5 seconds between taking picture, instead of 5-6 seconds. The Music Widget on the Home Screen has changed slightly, but nothing significant as it still doesn't show any album art. Call quality is still good, but we've only used it on 2 calls tonight for a few minutes. The overall speed of using the device and apps feel faster as menus open quicker. As far the other "fixes" that are included, such as improved battery life, we'll have to keep using the device to see.

Let us know what you think of the DROID software update in the comment section below.

Motorola DROID Review | Specifications

source: AllDroid via HowardForums

43 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:44

1. vzwtechbill (Posts: 175; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)


and if you're so impatient you can't wait til Saturday, and do this and screw up your phone, don't call Tech Support. Asurion can be reached at 888-881-2622 or atwww.phoneclaim.com/verizon

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 08:52

11. Fan_of_Fanboys (Posts: 101; Member since: 13 Nov 2008)


I agree.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 16:15

23. idiotwind13 (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Dec 2008)


I work for Verizon, and I am definitely that impatient. Dont know how you all figured this out but thank you. I am stoked.

posted on 31 Mar 2010, 11:45

38. jskrenes (Posts: 209; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


Pish posh. It doesn't mess up your phone. I've root hacked my droid a bunch of times, and all these change happen on your SD card, not on the phone. It's also very easy to download another update file and restore your phone to factory defaults, and the techs at VZW won't know the difference.

posted on 08 Dec 2009, 23:00

2. anberlin (Posts: 10; Member since: 21 Oct 2009)


Well just finished installed. I had no problems. Thank you.

posted on 08 Dec 2009, 23:01

3. Trobes05 (Posts: 106; Member since: 01 Aug 2009)


I just did it and it worked fine. Everything seems to move faster and smoother especially the notification bar at the top. Camera is also quicker like you said.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 01:52

4. bigpon (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Some people said they had a hard time transferring music from pc to their motorola droid and that they had no album art. All I did was once i had the droid hooked up to my pc I created a folder called music and copied music to folder and when i disconnected my droid and went to music the songs were right there with album art also. If people look at the downloaded music on their pc if it doesnt have album art if you look at the properties and stuff its not gonna have album art, if it has album art its gonna show album art.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 02:14

5. agp31980 (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


I just did this and it worked exactly the way it was explained except for when the phone rebooted It took 5 minutes to reboot not 90 seconds. After 3 minutes I started getting nervous but the update is done and no more waiting So far so good. Going back and forth through the 3 home screen seems a lot faster. Apps also alot faster so far. Camera auto focus is a lot faster as described. Thank you Phone Arena! I am far too impatient to wait for the OTA update and this was very easy to do.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 02:33

6. MR521 (Posts: 47; Member since: 12 Jun 2009)


Where is the root directory found in the memory card? what folder?

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 02:49

7. agp31980 (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


@ MR521 Root directory is the main folder of the SD card. Mount the SD card and drag the Update onto the card. I've done the update and its great!

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 12:29

18. MR521 (Posts: 47; Member since: 12 Jun 2009)


@ agp31980 Thanks, i realized that after. My update works great...did any of you have problems with emails being delayed and sometimes just staying in your inbox? Did this update help with that? I've only had the update for a few hrs.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 16:21

24. alexdadoof (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


if ur talking about gmail. just hit the settings button and hit refresh. if ur auto sync isn't on (for me to save battery life) ur new emails wont show up immediately. hope that helps!

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 07:43

8. becazican (unregistered)


where do you find the update file??? i am also having problems with my text msg conversations disappearing.

posted on 10 Dec 2009, 21:23

33. DroidMasterK (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Dec 2009)


The update file is the highlighted blue downloadable file toward the top of this page that says: update.zip. Also, the text messages disappearing: This phone (assuming you're using the Droid by Motorola) has a memory optimization function similar to that of the BlackBerry Pearl; it has auto-delete features that are convenient to save space but frustrating if you have no idea what's going on. This feature has you set a limit (defaulted at 200 SMS and 20 MMS messages per conversation), and once the limit is hit, say goodbye to your conversation. This limit is changeable and can support up to 999 of each message. To turn this feature off: Go into "Settings", uncheck

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 08:04

9. ibap (Posts: 700; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


You pREformed this on your demo unit? Must have been interesting.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 08:38

10. je2345 (Posts: 62; Member since: 05 May 2009)


I too was very impatient and couldn't wait for OTA so I did the manual update too. Much easier than manually doing a software update for Blackberry which I loved doing. Fast too..only took about 5 minutes total to download to computer, transfer to SD card and then the few other little steps required also plus the reboot. Must say that the Droid is much faster with pulling the notification bar down and sliding the screen back and forth. I like the new unlock screen better also. If someone screws up trying to do this and bricks their Droid and needs to order a FRU, then they should definitely have to call Asurion or buy another at Full retail.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 13:22

20. WnnaFghtAboutIt (Posts: 149; Member since: 31 Aug 2009)


really think most of the techs are going to know the difference?

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 15:01

21. vzwtechbill (Posts: 175; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)


The techs don't have to. When the warehouse gets the device, if they determine it was tampered with to void the warranty, they will quietly add full retail charge to next bill. Happens all the time.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 09:40

12. ggp (unregistered)


hmmm... error message E: can't open /cache/recovery/command. and below that... -- Install from sdcard... Finding update package... Opening update package... Verifying updage package... E: failed to seek in /sdcard/update.zip (Invalid argument) E: signature verification failed Installation aborted. I tried it a few times, no luck getting past. Who can tell me what this means? No problem though rebooting phone, everything comes back fine.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 11:34

15. vzw fanman (Posts: 1972; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


You have to make sure yhou don't unzip the fil once you download it to your computer, just leave it and then drag and drop.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 10:06

13. ggp (unregistered)


found the problem, every time I put the update file on the card it just put the name on, but no data. I downloaded from a different source, where it was titled something different, and moved it on to my card, and THEN changed the name to update.zip. Update installed successfully!

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 11:31

14. Ryxer (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Jun 2009)


I'm in Canada right now....do you think there would be a problem updating it that way !! Cause if it crashes I can't reactivate it from here....I would have to wait to go back in U.S.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 11:36

16. vzw fanman (Posts: 1972; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


I was able to update successfully...a lot easier and less time consuming than on my storm...

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 12:07

17. Ryxer (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Jun 2009)


Well I couldn't wait.... haha it worked very well :)

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 13:21

19. WnnaFghtAboutIt (Posts: 149; Member since: 31 Aug 2009)


it works....its much faster....wow...

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 15:45

22. Corporatetool (Posts: 15; Member since: 07 Dec 2009)


Just did the update on my droid, went through just fine. Noticed a new change, someone mentioned the music widget being changed, the power control widget is as well. They made it a bit bigger, and black instead of silver. Notification bar, app panel, window scrolling, and app speed all seem greatly improved. Can't wait to see what the January update adds to this!

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 16:25

25. idiotwind13 (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Dec 2008)


Worked awesome. Thanks.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 16:29

26. merc56 (Posts: 18; Member since: 16 Sep 2009)


Just updated my Droid. Worked perfectly. As noted in another forum if you are using a Mac when you download the file use the command and click, download link to get the file. Otherwise I think is unzips the file automatically and that DOES NOT work. Otherwise, easy and great update.

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 21:33

27. seanp2k (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Since that update.zip is hosted on comcast and will surely get taken down soon, I am hosting a mirror of it her:http://ip2k.com/http://ip2k.com/droid_2-0-1.zip md5sum of orig file (and my mirror): 3af35446905040a3123ec09195299596 Tested this and it works, THANKS!

posted on 09 Dec 2009, 22:53

28. seanp2k (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Sorry, that'shttp://ip2k.com/droid_2-0-1.zip if you couldn't tell.

posted on 10 Dec 2009, 10:40

29. emahosky (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Dec 2009)


i have dwl the software put it on my phone, works great and really easy to install. but i have one problem my weather on my docking station is not working now, i cant even locate any citys or zips, could the software have effected this??

posted on 10 Dec 2009, 13:53

30. dmscpu (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Dec 2009)


Good find, mine is the same way. Tried *228 #1 and that did nothing.

posted on 12 Dec 2009, 10:38

36. emahosky (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Dec 2009)


my phone weather finally came back up a day later, i guess it just took a while for the gps to become active for that program

posted on 10 Dec 2009, 16:56

31. zhespelt (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Dec 2009)


Followed instructions. Upgrade was quick and easy. Phone works and seems more responsive. Thanks.

posted on 10 Dec 2009, 18:12

32. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


We have edited the download link for the update.zip file. It is now at:http://www.phonearena.com/ftp_access/upload/News/Motorola%20DROID%20update/update.zip

posted on 11 Dec 2009, 18:54

34. shaggy81 (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Dec 2009)


HELP WANTED hmmm... error message E: can't open /cache/recovery/command. and below that... -- Install from sdcard... Finding update package... Opening update package... Verifying updage package... Installing update.......... Verifying current system...... assert failed: apply_patch_check("/system/app/EnhancedGoogleSearchProvider.apk","d4ac162c4dff6e3eee2c1ce7b6ef960ed f4e7750", "73029ad7f1e34b044e5c7ed209013fb8b4e0b87b") E : Error in /sdcard/update.zip (Status 7) Installation aborted. can anyone tell wassup with this.

posted on 11 Dec 2009, 19:03

35. shaggy81 (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Dec 2009)


wHEN I TRIED TO REBOOT THE PHONE THERE QWAS NO RED EYE AS MENTIONED ONLY MOTOROLA SYMBOL. AND IT STAYS STUCK THERE.

posted on 12 Dec 2009, 20:34

37. brando7 (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Dec 2009)


HI, I was wondering if I did this to my droid would it void my warranty?

posted on 31 Mar 2010, 15:31

39. Cali_E (Posts: 196; Member since: 24 Sep 2008)


Thanks a million!

posted on 11 Aug 2010, 11:31

40. bphillips81 (unregistered)


I clicked on update.zip link to download it and it says this device is unable to download content. What am I doing wrong?

posted on 27 Dec 2010, 12:24

41. buddy769 (unregistered)


I my phone not turn on after the reBoot. What i do next

posted on 23 Apr 2011, 15:14

42. antateohnine (unregistered)


After the little triangle and exclamation mark came up, it won't go away when I hit the volume up and camera button at the same time....oh dear. Have I messed up my phone? Help!!!!!

posted on 06 Dec 2012, 16:33

43. jmartinmaster (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


What do I do if it doesn't work on my phone?

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