Manually update your DROID to Android 2.1 ESE81

Manually update your DROID to Android 2.1 ESE81
*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*

Motorola DROID owners, your wait is over! After a slight delay, Verizon started to officially deploy the Android 2.1 (ESE81) update yesterday, first to 1000 users at noon and then to 9000 more at midnight. If you were not one of the lucky DROID owners that got the over-the-air update yesterday, and don't feel like waiting around any more, you can now manually update your phone to Android 2.1 (ESE81). We should point out that this is based on our instructions for the manual Android 2.0.1 (ESD56) update that we posted last December, but it still works with the 2.1 update.

*Before you do anything, make sure that your DROID is NOT ROOTED and doesn't have a Custom ROM, and if it is, you must return it to stock Android 2.0.1 (ESD56) status first (follow the steps posted on Droid-Life.com). If you haven't rooted your phone or installed a custom ROM (or not even sure what that is) then you can proceed with the steps below.*

Here's what you'll need to do:
1) Make sure that you don't have any past update.zip file located on your phone's microSD memory card. If there is one, delete it.
2) Download the new update.zip file using your PC and transfer it to 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.
3) Power the phone off.
4) Slide open the phone so you can see the keyboard.
5) Press-and-hold the letter X on the keyboard and press the Power button until the device powers on.
6) Continue to hold the Power and X button until the screen shows a triangle and exclamation mark.
7) Release the Power and X button.
8) Press the Volume UP *and* Camera buttons at the same time. Be sure to keep the phone open.
9) 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.
10) The update process will begin and will take a few minutes to load.
11) Once it is done, select the 1st option on the screen to Reboot the phone - NOT Factory Restore.
12) The phone will turn off and then restart, and the "DROID EYE" will show for about 2-5 minutes.
13) After the Home Screen loads, everything will be intact, including programs and settings.
14) Turn phone back off, remove the battery, wait 1 minute, replace battery and turn phone on.
15) Go into Settings, About Phone and scroll down. It should list Firmware version 2.1-update1, Build number ESE81.

We installed this on our DROID demo unit (which was never rooted) and did not encounter any problems. The PDF file on Verizon's site list what changes are in Android 2.1 (ESE81) for the Motorola DROID. We've tried it out, and there is pinch-and-zoom in the Web Browser, in the updated 3D Gallery, and in Google Maps. There is also a new News and Weather app with widget, voice search in more areas, and 11 Live Wallpapers for the desktop. We were also able to go to the Android Market and download the Google Earth app, which also uses pinch-and-zoom. Unfortunately, this update to Android 2.1 for the DROID does not include the 5 home screens (you are still limited to 3), nor the 3D scrolling programs list that is on the Google Nexus One. We can only hope that both of these features will eventually make its way to the DROID in the next update...whenever that is.

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

Motorola DROID Review | Specifications

source: AllDroid via HowardForums

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52 Comments

1. ecml

Posts: 129; Member since: Mar 23, 2010

It works, does everything but extra home screens, got live wallpaper, pinch to zoom and all the other features.

3. chuck

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 31, 2009

Everytime I try to download the file it keeps saying the content is not supported on my phone. What am I doing wrong?

4. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

Download the update.zip file to your PC, then transfer it to the memory card on the DROID.

5. ben10

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I just saw a video where the guy showed that there was an option in the settings menu to activate up to nine screens. But that was on the EUR version. CouldnĀ“t the option be hidden in the US version as well? Maybe deep in some menu?

6. chuck

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 31, 2009

Thanks for the help. Works great.

21. stix26

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 03, 2010

Go to this site on your phones browser http://www.androidcentral.com/how-manually-update-your-droid-android-21 I did that it only took 6 minutes.

2. ajmoore88

Posts: 25; Member since: Apr 13, 2008

Works good.

7. doitall76

Posts: 17; Member since: Nov 22, 2009

my issue is that Astro isn't allowing me to move the update.zip file to my root directory. Can anyone help me? Doitall76

12. warhed

Posts: 56; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

copy/paste! i didnt w/out pc.

22. stix26

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 03, 2010

use androzip, much better

8. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i have 5 wallpapers.

23. stix26

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 03, 2010

how?

29. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i'm rooted. i have a rom called smoked glass v6. here are some pictures:http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=722895114#!/album.php?aid=194967&id=722895114

32. ecml

Posts: 129; Member since: Mar 23, 2010

I have 7 home screens without rooting

34. chuck

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 31, 2009

I've always had 5 wallpapers. Download openhome from the android market

37. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i don't like open home. it made my phone laggy.

46. PapaJay224

Posts: 866; Member since: Feb 08, 2009

FYI ALL THINKING OF DOING UPDATE **IF YOUR ROOTED THIS WILL PLUG YOU EXPLOITED WORM HOLE ALLOWING ROOTING UNTIL A SPECIFIC ROOT IS CREATED FOR 2.**

9. harpdoc

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Help! After following the instructions, on reboot my phone is stuck bouncing between the Droid eye and the word "Droid." Just keeps going back and forth. I've tried the sequence all over again, several reboots (by removing battery), and keep getting stuck here. Any suggestions?

13. PapaJay224

Posts: 866; Member since: Feb 08, 2009

You stuck in whats called a "bootloop" Reset your phone using (up arrow)(Alt) and Delete, Then hold "X" and Volume up BEFORE THE MOTO Sign Shows up! Choose back up/restore option and choose the last point before you changed files. Note: If that doesnt work: Follow steps again and choose wipe data/factory reset... Apps you bough are saved in the store and contacts are backed up through gmail, so really resetting your homescreen and notification settings is the only set back to a factory wipe. Good Luck hope this helps!

15. harpdoc

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

PapaJay, thanks for your help. I did the reset, then held X and Volume Up. Gets me to the triangle with ! inside. What do I do from here? If I hold Vol Up and Camera key, the screen does not give a Back Up/Restore option. How do I get to that?

26. Cali_E

Posts: 196; Member since: Sep 24, 2008

puss them firmly at the same time and then release and the menu comes up. took me a few times to get it myself but this little blue menu should pop up

30. Trobes05

Posts: 106; Member since: Aug 01, 2009

I pushed volume and held it for a sec before hitting the camera button and then released...that seemed to work well

47. PapaJay224

Posts: 866; Member since: Feb 08, 2009

Hold Volume up and click down the Cam key. It should take you to the recovery screen. My email is papajay224@gmial.com email me if you have questions.

10. warhed

Posts: 56; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

its great! had to unroot 1st, though...

17. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

you were rooted before without having 2.1 on it?

19. warhed

Posts: 56; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

Yeah I was rooted. Had to unroot. Just had it rooted w/just a changed theme... skull theme no other roms or overclocked

28. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

you should have gotten a rom with 2.1 already on it. i have mine overclocked to 800 mhz, sometimes 1 ghz. :-)

11. warhed

Posts: 56; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

copy/paste then!!!!

14. MR521

Posts: 47; Member since: Jun 12, 2009

Does this update allow you to zoon in and out even when viewing an email? how about copying and pasting something from an email? It really bugs me that i cannot zoom in or out when viewing an email and it also bugs me that i cannot copy and paste from an email. I also have it rooted and i dont know if i should do the update since my Droid overclocked at 900mhz.

16. numberonenygfan

Posts: 211; Member since: Oct 19, 2009

you guys should all just wait for the official update youll have it in a day! cool your jets and wait.. its the best thing for your phone and your peace of mind.

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