Nexus One: Gingerbread update


Gingerbread is finally out for Nexus One… And, of course, I could not wait for OTA update… So, after short discussion with myself decision was made to update manually…

Everything is not as easy as it seems…

Unfortunately everything did not go as smoothly as I expected. First of all, trying to update my Nexus One (stock, unrooted and without unlocked boot-loader) running Android 2.2.1 through recovery mode always gave me that annoying “E:failed to verify whole-file signature” error message. Tried maybe 10 times. After googling a bit I found out that I cannot update directly from 2.2.1 to the latest Gingerbread (2.3.3). Then I tried to update to 2.2.2. The same problem… Verification of the whole-file signature failed again.

More googling πŸ™‚

After reading through a lot of tutorials I came to xda-developers forum. They provided some guidelines, but the tutorial was not complete. Every try resulted in “E:failed to verify whole-file signature“. I did not want to unlock the boot-loader, so the search continued…

On the forum there was a link about how to prepare N1 for Gingerbread. And this was the starting bit that was needed to move the process forward.

NOTE: Going through the following steps will delete all you info from the phone! BACK UP FIRST!

The tutorial

Installation process can be followed on the video here

(watch on Youtube in high-quality)

Step One (from androidcentral forum)

Video part: 00:38-03:04

I had to restore Android 2.2 on the phone before moving to 2.3.3. To do that I:

  • Downloaded ROM file from here.
  • Renamed it (must be exact name!)
  • Placed to the root of my SD card on the phone.
  • Turned off the phone.
  • Then I had to turn on the phone while holding VOLUME DOWN button (hold down the button and press power button)
  • Phone found the file and by Accepting the install (click VOLUME UP) I got it installed

Step Two (from xda-dev forum)

Video part: 03:05-10:21 (for some reason the video starts again after 10:21. Please just ignore it πŸ˜‰

  • Downloaded the full 2.3.3 ROM from Google. Link here.
  • Deleted the file from the card. (<–IMPORTANT!!)
  • Renamed the “” to (must be exact name!).
  • Copied it to root folder of my SD card. (SD_card/
  • Turned off the phone.
  • Turned on the phone while pushing the trackball’s button down.
  • Selected BOOTLOADER-> RECOVERY on the screen with the skating Androids.
  • Phone restarted and when Exclamation symbol appeared I pushedΒ  Power and Volume Up buttons. (At the same time!!! Might take several tries)
  • Screen appeared where I, using trackball, selected “apply


I created a “short” video about this update process. It shows update process in real time, so you’d have a reference point to see how long everything takes.

BTW, I guess I over-edited the video a bit too much… The actual error screen is not shown 😦  Please take a look at this video if interested.

Step ONE: 00:3803:04 (installation more or less in real time)
Step TWO: 03:0510:21 (installation in real time)

The End

Please feel free to comment and ask questions.


About Vaidas Sirtautas

Posted on February 28, 2011, in Android and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Thank you!
    Had issues with updating, and this solved it!

  2. Hi SaDia V

    I tried this several times. When I load from bootloader, My phone does recognizes PASSIMG file during the white screen but when it comes to next black screen, it only says ‘ apply’ where as I didnt had any such file. I only had file.
    I also get this signature verification error when I try to update straight to 2.3.3 via update,zip method.

    I am on stock unrooted 2.2.1 FR83D. no OTA yet and cant even update to manually,. This Signature verification failed error is still coming.

    any help would be appreciated


    • Hello Aman,

      did you downgrade to 2.2 successfully? As far as I understand when you copy the file to the SD card it goes to bootlader menu instead of lunching hboot to flash the 2.2 (look at the first part of the video). If you do not get this screen: automatically (when there is only on the card, at least for me, it automatically loaded hboot and asked whether I want to update) maybe the name of the file is incorrect (check whether is not or sth like that).

      Let me know how it goes πŸ˜‰

  3. I got success to Gingerbread update

    Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

  4. It worked, thanks a lot dude! No more waiting on Voda’s stupid roms πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  5. no dice! i’ve done everything exactly as stated above still not working. I was able to get the file to load successfully. Then, I deleted PASSIMG from sd card… then restarted as required… still i get (status 7) Installation aborted. What am I doing wrong??? I have an unlocked and rooted nexus one. any assistance is greatly appreciated. I desperately want gingerbread and can’t find anything that works on my phone. 😦 BTW, automatic update does not work either.

    • Hey,

      did it downgrade without any problems using passimg?
      I’m not sure why it fails to load the new rom.

      I’d suggest trying to do Step one again, just make sure that you start up the phone and let it boot up before doing step two.

      Btw, try formatting you SD card (make a backup copy of all the music/movies/pictures before!).

  6. Hi there – previously followed the update to manually install gingerbread but didn’t work – however your blog guiding me through the roll-back to 2.2 worked and I didn’t even have to install the update manually as once back to 2.2 I immediately got the OTA update to 2.3.3 and now have Gingerbread!
    Thanks so much for sharing this information – you’re a star! **

  7. Hi,

    I really hope that this blog is still active and you can reply to my message. I did the first step and the file is detected. However I get the message”Main Version is Older”. Do you know how to solve this problem. If I get past this, I am sure your method would help me get GB. I got my phone 2 months ago and similar to you I was frustrated with the ol help manuals. I was delighted to see your blog after so much survey. Hope I get a reply soon.


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