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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 🙂

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 😉

  • 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 pushed  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.