Android 4.2: errors when trying to upgrade Galaxy Nexus
November 17, 2012 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to update my rooted Galaxy Nexus to Android 4.2 and I keep getting errors: "failed to verify whole-file signature", "signature verification failed". I have Googled the errors and ended up at XDA and similar sites but do not understand the solutions offered in the slightest. Can you help me by explaining the steps to me like I'm an idiot?

First off, a few things: I only get offered the 4.2 update when I've used the "erase data and reset" option. If I don't do that, I don't get offered the update.

As far as I know, I am not running a custom ROM. The phone is just rooted. I do own Rom Manager, however.

I thought maybe I could turn off the sig verification option (something that can be done in Recovery Mode), however, to do that I think I need Rom Manager installed so after I blank the phone and install Rom Manager and turn off the sig verification, I never get offered the update.
posted by dobbs to Technology (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You need to be able to boot into ClockworkMod recovery, it replaces the stock boot manager with one that doesn't care about sigs and offers a bunch more features. Can you do this currently?

Replacing the stock boot manager with clockworkmod recovery is one of the tasks within Rom Manager.
posted by Cosine at 10:41 AM on November 17, 2012

I suspect this is because you have removed/renamed the file that re-flashes the stock recovery on boot and it can't find it, making the update fail. If you have CWM Recovery installed, you can try to flash the update from there and it'll tell you which files it can't verify.

This happens because Android updates are distributed as patches to reduce the size of the download. If the original file doesn't exist, it blows up. If the original file has been changed, it blows up.
posted by wierdo at 10:42 AM on November 17, 2012

Also you need the phone to be unlocked, is it?
posted by Cosine at 10:42 AM on November 17, 2012

The phone is unlocked. It's the GSM Nexus from Google.

Cosine and wierdo, I appreciate your answers but I do not understand them. Can you give me steps to follow?

I have Flashed ClockworkMod Recovery without issue and ClockWork Mod Touch is installed (whatever that means).

When I reboot into Clockworkmod recovery and try and install update from SD Card (/sdcard/ it tells me no such file.
posted by dobbs at 10:49 AM on November 17, 2012

You said first that the phone is rooted, are you certain it is also unlocked, when you boot up does the very first GOOGLE screen show an unlocked padlock just before the boot screen comes up?

Did you put the file in the root of your sd card?
posted by Cosine at 10:51 AM on November 17, 2012

when you boot up does the very first GOOGLE screen show an unlocked padlock just before the boot screen comes up?


Did you put the file in the root of your sd card?

No. I didn't put it there. I just assumed that's where it went when the software update function downloaded it. CWM says "Apply /sdcard/" and I click yes and it tells me there is no such file.
posted by dobbs at 10:54 AM on November 17, 2012

If you want to update from a zip file you will need to download that zip file on your computer and copy it to your phone.
posted by Cosine at 10:55 AM on November 17, 2012

I don't necessarily want to do that.

I want to update the phone via the "system updates" option as I imagine it's supposed to be easier. I only mention the CWM update thing because it shows on the screen when the update fails and I thought it was seeing the file in the SDcard directory and offering to run it. Obviously not.
posted by dobbs at 10:57 AM on November 17, 2012

This is the file you want. Put it in the root of your sd card and try flashing it with CWM. If it throws an error regarding a specific file, make a note of that and we can go from there.
posted by wierdo at 11:07 AM on November 17, 2012

I should note that is the file you want if you have a takju (google play store) GSM Galaxy Nexus, not if you have a CDMA Galaxy Nexus.
posted by wierdo at 11:08 AM on November 17, 2012

I don't know of any way to do that with a rooted and unlocked phone. My understanding has always been that that is the trade-off.

The only step you didn't do is to actually download the rom and place it on your phone, the rest you already tried. The system updates method has nothing to do with clockwork or rom manager or anything else, it is for OTA system updates for stock phones.

Basically you have bought all the ingredients to make a cake, mixed them all together, put them in a pan in the oven for 25 minutes but are now not going to take the cake out because you imagine it's supposed to be easier.

Find an file to go from your current to 4.2 nicely and get going. Easy peasy.
posted by Cosine at 11:09 AM on November 17, 2012

Okay, I had no idea auto updates weren't supposed to work. I don't recall ever doing an update manually and yet I'm at 4.1.2 so am rather surprised.

Now, I am downloading the file weirdo linked to but when I look plug my phone into my computer, I do not see an SD Card folder. However, I'm assuming it's a root or base folder. Am I mistaken? Is it a subfolder of something? I have looked in the data and download folders as well as the Android folder and its data subfolder...
posted by dobbs at 11:16 AM on November 17, 2012

When you connect the cable the phone asks if you want to go into usb storage mode, say yes, the phone will then appear as a drive in your computer.
posted by Cosine at 11:29 AM on November 17, 2012

Yeah, I see that, but there is no SD card directory.
posted by dobbs at 11:30 AM on November 17, 2012

You lost me, if you don't see the sd card as a drive what are you referring to when you say you see that?
posted by Cosine at 11:38 AM on November 17, 2012

I plug the phone and it appears on the computer screen with folders like this:



None of them are labeled SD Card, which I assume on the Nexus is a sort of partition so I was looking for a folder. Should I just drop the zip file into the base/root directory?
posted by dobbs at 11:41 AM on November 17, 2012

That is the SD card.

Please be sure you do your homework before going further, no offense meant at all but it sounds like you may not technically be quite ready for what you're tinkering with.

I am fine bricking my phone, and have done so many times, helping a newb brick their's... not so much.
posted by Cosine at 11:55 AM on November 17, 2012

I had already run the file with CWM before reading your post, Cosine.

It didn't work. It tells me "error in.." and then the name of the file I downloaded. Then "(status 7)" and in the error report it says "installation aborted result was NULL, message is: assert failed: of file I downloaded) I:using /data/media for /sdcard"

So, next question... is it possible to unroot the phone and just get it back to factory default so that I can update to 4.2 and future versions? The phone was rooted so that I could use Tasker, but I'd rather have the base functionality of the phone than Tasker, which I rarely use.

posted by dobbs at 12:14 PM on November 17, 2012

Yup, unroot is really simple, Google.
posted by Cosine at 12:18 PM on November 17, 2012

Okay, so I unrooted and... nothing has changed. I get exactly the same errors when I try to install the update.
posted by dobbs at 12:52 PM on November 17, 2012

I'll update my phone here in an hour or so and see if I can figure out what's going wrong. If you prefer, and I'm assuming you run Windows here, you can download the Galaxy Nexus Toolkit and use that (option 8 from the menu) to flash this full image. Do note that it will blow away literally everything on your phone and make it just like you got it from the factory, but with 4.2 instead of 4.1.

Or, if you feel up to it, you can extract the boot.img, system.img, and radio-maguro-i9250xxlh1.img from that file and flash those using option 12 in Galaxy Nexus Toolkit, which should get you to 4.2 without overwriting your data.

It's really hard to brick the Gnex, thankfully. Even if you did manage to "kill" it, you can use omapflash to load working firmware.

Just to double check, if you go into settings -> about phone, all the way at the bottom it does say your build number is "JZO54K", correct? If not, you're not on 4.1.2, which would explain why the update zip didn't work...
posted by wierdo at 1:35 PM on November 17, 2012

I just restored the phone to a backup so it appears to be rooted again.

wierdo, yes that is correct. JZ054K and version says 4.1.2. Baseband version says I9250XXLF1.
posted by dobbs at 1:43 PM on November 17, 2012

Blah, apparently the one time I used the franco kernel for a bit has my phone all weird. And now I see that the option numbers in Galaxy Nexus Toolkit have changed since the version I had. Those earlier numbers are option 9 and option 11 in the latest version.
posted by wierdo at 1:59 PM on November 17, 2012

This is probably the easiest way to do it. You will lose root and CWM until you re-root your phone and reinstall CWM.

Install the Galaxy Nexus Toolkit. Remember where you install it. By default it goes in C:\Galaxy Nexus Toolkit.

Download the full image file I linked above.

Using 7 zip or whatever you've got that will handle tgz files, copy radio-maguro-i9250xxlh1.img, bootloader-maguro-primelc03.img, boot.img, recovery.img, and system.img to C:\Galaxy Nexus Toolkit\put_img_files_to_flash_here\ (The last three are in the inside the tgz file)

With that done, reboot your phone into fastboot, plug it in, and launch Galaxy Nexus Toolkit. If you've just downloaded it, there's no need to check for updates. It'll ask you what kind of Gnex you have, pick the corresponding option.

Once you're at the main menu, you can flash all the files, one at a time. Choose option 11, type the filename, type 2 to tell it to flash rather than boot the image, pick the appropriate option for the given file, and answer the question. If you're already in fastboot, yes is the correct answer.

I flashed in the following order and it worked fine for me: radio, bootloader, boot, recovery, system. After each file, the phone will reboot into fastboot again and you'll be taken to the Galaxy Nexus Toolkit main menu. Just keep repeating the process until you have all five files flashed.

If you like, you can then have Toolkit install CWM and root your phone for you using the appropriate options from the main menu. Or if you already have a particular version of the CWM and root zips you like on your phone, you can pick the option to boot CWM without flashing it and then use that CWM to flash whatever zip files you like.

Otherwise, boot your phone and enjoy 4.2!
posted by wierdo at 2:25 PM on November 17, 2012

Oh, I'm not actually on Windows. OS X.
posted by dobbs at 2:27 PM on November 17, 2012

That'll make it a little harder, but it can still be done. You'll need the Android SDK. There are instructions on how to install it here.

Just don't download image files linked from there or follow the flashing instructions, just the part about installing the SDK, including the chmod bit. Make a note of the part where it tells you where the SDK gets installed, though since you'll need to know that to put the img files in the right place.

Put the IMG files in the platform-tools directory and run these commands once you have it installed and have a command prompt open in the platform-tools directory:
  1. ./fastboot-mac flash radio radio-maguro-i9250xxlh1.img
  2. ./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader
  3. ./fastboot-mac flash bootloader bootloader-maguro-primelc03.img
  4. ./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader
  5. ./fastboot-mac flash boot boot.img
  6. ./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader
  7. ./fastboot-mac flash recovery recovery.img
  8. ./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader
  9. ./fastboot-mac flash system system.img
  10. ./fastboot-mac reboot-bootloader
You can re-root and/or re-cwm using whatever method you previously used. There may be something like the Galaxy Nexus Toolkit for OSX that you could use if the command line isn't your thing.
posted by wierdo at 2:42 PM on November 17, 2012

I Am Not Your Android Wizard. Here's what I do. Use a 'bixie' ROM from here. As far as I know, bixie takes the Over The Air (OTA) updates as they come out and does some very simple things: remove signature checks, pre-root, unpack some odex files for theme-ability (I don't even know what that does). It's a ROM that's just OTA minus the strict checking stuff, not a ROM that does all sorts of kernel changes, tweaks, etc.

I started (way back when) with a Galaxy Nexus GSM from the Play Store, unlocked and rooted it. And then when Google announced JB, I flashed the bixie JB build, ever since then, as soon as some new OTA comes out I check a day or two later for a bixie build and flash that. As far as I can tell it's plain 'ole stock Google Android. I've been running 4.2 on my Gnex for a few days now (it's cool).

Once you root, you've changed some of the system files. Once you've flashed CWM so that it stays there permanently (i.e. it isn't replaced by the stock bootloader on the first boot), you've changed some of the system files. Once system files are changed, you can't do automatic OTA updates or flash the unmodified OTA update yourself. The OTA will check and discover that your phone is not stock and will not finish the update.

I used to go from 4.1.2 to 4.2

There's a 'goo manager' or '' or 'goo something' app that will let you browse ROMs from and download them directly to the phone. They end up in '/sdcard/goomanager', this just makes it easy to get the ROM on the phone without using the computer + USB. Also, may be better to use the non-touch version of CWM. I don't know how true it is now, but in the past I've seen instructions that specifically state 'use this version' and 'not the touch version' for some ROMS. Maybe the non-touch gets updated more quickly than the touch version, I'm not sure. I just always use the non-touch. I also don't flash CWM permanently.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:43 PM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Zengargoyle has it.
1. Download Bigxie's version from here to somewhere on your phone. This is just stock 4.2 pre-rooted and flashable.
2. Reboot in to clockworkmod recovery and flash it.
3. There is no step 3.

You can't use the built in upgrade stuff on anything except a completely stock phone.
posted by markr at 3:01 PM on November 17, 2012

I used zengargoyle's solution and it worked like a charm. Thanks!

Also, thanks to wierdo for time spent. I appreciate it even though I didn't go that route.
posted by dobbs at 3:44 PM on November 17, 2012

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