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How I rooted and unrooted my Motorola Milestone (Singapore Edition)

I actually liked the android phones coz they make your handphone an expensive toy to play with. Although my motivation to root the milestone was because of a Wi-Fi bug which rendered wireless useless communication medium. It was not there when I bought the phone however one day it suddenly stopped connecting and recognizing the APs. However the problem vanished by itself. This was just a beginning of my nightmare. Few months later Wi-Fi was just a fancy term for my phone as the switch would get stuck in the middle. Neither it was completely close, nor it was completely open.

Luckily, the problem occurred while I was travelling in India where you can get a good data plan on prepaid connection for about 3 USD. I managed to check my mail on the go and download apps too. However, when I landed back in Singapore, I needed the wi-fi as data plans are enormously expensive and my home and office are well connected thru wi-fi. I was waiting for Motorola to fix this problem as they told in one of their issue that there is this problem and will be taken care of in the next release. Already 6 months have passed and they are still silent on the issue. So, Finally I made up my mind to ‘un’screw and root my phone. Now here is what I did,

For rooting-

I read many articles and found this one to be the best one- http://www.mydigitallife.info/2010/05/29/how-to-root-motorola-milestone-on-android-2-1/ . Basically I this following things (although during the whole weekend)-

1. I installed RSDlite 4.6 on my PC (I got it from some source on internet).

2. I downloaded the vulnerability recovery SBF with bootloader which was necessary to unlock the secured bootloader of the phone.

3. Now this step is the most critical one. With my experience and knowledge, this is the where you can ‘brick’ your phone. However I’m confident that you can do something even in case you brick it.

4. Plug in the phone via USB and start the programme RSDlite. It will automatically detect the phone and give info about it. In the file menu select the SBF file and press start. Ensure before starting that the phone and PC remains linked for this whole step. Press start and pray until you get ‘PASS’ in the status. The phone will reboot one time.

Hurray! your phone is ready to be rooted. Now you can either chose a update.zip available at different locations or use this OpenRecovery 3.3 http://code.google.com/p/androidiani-openrecovery/ if you want to taste some custom roms. The benefit of this is that you also get ‘Nandroid’ along with the rooting feature which you can use to backup your phone (which will be needed for unrooting or recovering the phone.) The procedure to use openrecovery is given at – http://modmymobile.com/forums/563-motorola-milestone-roms/531599-open-recovery-v1-46-11-21-2010-a.html . We just need to unzip the files in the root folder of the sdcard. Ensure that you donot unzip the update.zip file. You can copy the desired ROM in the location ‘/Openrecovery/updates’ (where / is sdcard root).

Now, shutdown your phone and restart it by pressing key ‘X’ from the keyboard (in old models camera button) and the power button. Keep on pressing until the welcome screen goes away and you arrive at a screen with an exclamation sign and a phone on it. Now press camera button and volume up button couple and you may get a ‘linux bootloader type’ screen. There you select mount update.zip. this will bring you to a whole new menu if you using openrecovery or to a restart screen if you just rooting the phone. Now on the openrecovery screen, you should goto Nandroid using D-pad and create a backup. After that, wipe the data and cache. And select appropriate baseband for your phone (in my case it was Singapore). Now, goto ‘Apply Update’ and select the ROM you want to have on your phone. After installing, reboot the phone and wait for quite sometime for the new ROM to get active. Once active, you not only rooted the phone, you also got a custom ROM on it.

Now unrooting.

After 2 days work, I had to unroot the phone back. The new custom ROM was just amazing. It was so nice that even my hardcore apple maniac roommate liked it. Speed was great. Battery performance was ok. However wi-fi problem was not fixed yet. So, I realized what I did just jeopardized my chance to get a free replacement as the phone is still under warranty. Logically it made sense to fix the warranty back just by doing reverse of what I did. I already had the Nandroid backup of the original OS and somehow I can flash back the firmware, I can be back in business. To my luck, I found this article talking exactly the same http://www.addictivetips.com/mobile/how-to-unroot-motorola-milestone/ . So, I downloaded the original service SBF from http://and-developers.com/sbf:milestone and got the bootloader mode http://and-developers.com/modes:bootloader_mode by holding the up key on the D-pad and zoom, its unrooted.

Now only thing to do is to remove the trace files which can eventually make the guys at the center suspicious. I already checked whether it is still rooted or not by going into the “Android system Recovery” and applying sdcard:update.zip which gave “E:EOCD marker occurs after start of EOCD E:Signature verification failed; Installation aborted”. Its a clear sign that the phone is locked back.

Let see what happens to my phone.

that I may be in trouble as this could be some hardware problem a


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