Gingerbread for DROID X: Official but Silently Limited [Update 7]

motorola droidx gingerbread

A Few Moto DROID X owners Get Android OS 2.3.3 and You can have it Too

Note: This article will be updated as new information arrives.  At this time (6 pm PDT) the source forum is being hit so hard it won’t display anymore.  [Update 5] Site was only down for a bit, it’s working fine now.  Also see the end of the article for larger updates.  [Update 6] Well, I wasn’t going to keep hitting this article today (Apr 13) but all the sites with the code are down, so I have two new ones to add.  Look for a follow up piece later today.  [Update 7, added that link]

There’s a new software update out there, rolling onto a few Motorola DROID Xs, and if you happen to receive it, you’ll find yourself with an Android OS 2.3.3 (Gingerbread, latest version) device.  Remember the rumor of a Gingerbread rollout to DROID X a couple of weeks ago?  Plus there’s already a leaked version of Gingerbread in the wild (no doubt the rumored OTA), and those who have updated to it are quite pleased with the phone’s performance.

Why is this OTA Different than all other OTA?

But this is a silent download of the update [Update 7: no actually it wasn’t], and a very few users found themselves asked to install it starting this morning.  There’s nothing official from Motorola or Verizon about any update.

What’s worse, there’s talk that this update changes the bootloader so that you cannot root your phone anymore.  However, it is not true that you can’t roll back to Android OS 2.2 (Froyo).  You can indeed do so.  There are reports that it will take away root, so be advised of that.

Only two three users on Droid X Forums reported getting the update over the air: HarleyDude and robrowald [Update 4:] and kennydied23. Some have suggested this is Motorola’s “soak phase,” where an update is pushed out to a very few users for feedback.   None of the three have specifically mentioned being in the Motorola feedback program [Update 7 robrowald is in it], and other people who are in the program have said they have not received it (like me, for one).  But this is definitely an “official” build, it is signed by Motorola.  What we don’t know is whether it’s the final build.

Almost all users who try a manual software update (Settings > About Phone > System updates) are being informed that they are currently up to date.  That was certainly the case when I tried a few minutes ago.  [Update 5] The “checkin method” didn’t help in my case, either.

So What Do We Know About this Gingerbread Build 4.5.588?

However, P3Droid of TeamBlackHat has gotten his hands on the update through one of the lucky updated.  Here’s what he and some other power users have discovered about this new update.

  • It’s definitely official and the build number, 4.5.588, is later than the leaked Gingerbread floating out there (4.5.573)
  • You must be running stock Android OS 2.2 (Froyo), Build 340, or the update will fail
  • It will also fail any files from your system are missing, and unfortunately, that includes the bloatware.  However, if you don’t want this update, by all means delete something.
  • You will lose root, if you had it.
  • You can return to Froyo (2.3.340) using SBF file, despite there being a new bootloader [Update 4, added link to SBF file site] [Update 5, link to .SBF instructions]
  • [Update 4] The rumor of a Netflix app was alas, just a rumor. There was a package with “netflix” in its name, but no corresponding app.  Perhaps it’s a placeholder for later?  Remember, as of now, Netflix is only going to work on Android phones with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, and the DROID X has a TI OMAP 3630.

So, if you’ve flashed a new ROM onto your DX, or deleted the useless crap that Verizon insisted on giving you (like that one month trial of City-ID), you’d better undo all that and revert to stock Froyo 340 before trying to install this Gingerbread build.

Gingerbread Links and Install Instructions (Droid X Forums)

These mirror sites contain two files you need to install the new software to your phone.  The files are named Blur_Version.2.3.340.MB810.zip and the same name with a .crc extension.  Yes, despite the Froyo build name, this IS Gingerbread!

[Update 6] Many links no longer work, here are some new ones

All links listed below are no longer working, taken down due to volume of use or TOS violations.  If you aren’t sure whether you want to update your phone or not, I’d suggest grabbing the zip file before these sites disappear on us again.

mirror by MikeinRichmond (4/13): http://db.tt/zvgK4vM (has update.zip file, which is what you need to install)

mirror by leapedyears MEGAUPLOAD – The leading online storage and file delivery service

I can confirm both these links were working as I added them at noon, PDT.  Anything below this is no longer working.

[Update 6] These original links are no longer functioning.  Sorry.

Here are the links

note: These files have exceeded their bandwidth already.

mirror by foo
MIRROR: http://www.mediafire.com/?1u3yjx30df37kyy

mirror by klinc

mirror by snow02

miror by MikeinRichmond

[Update 6] But you need the directions!

Now here’s what you do to install it.  Before doing so, ensure you have backed everything up and know how to roll back an update before proceeding.  After all, you don’t want to end up with an expensive Motorola-logo brick with more than a year to go until your contract is up.

And for Pete’s sake, if you don’t understand these directions then wait until your update comes over the air!


(thx MikeinRichmond)

You need to flash this from stock recovery, not clockwork. Yes, just rename the file to update.zip. Here’s how to get into stock recovery:

Power off, hold the home button then press and hold the power button until the android guy with the triangle shows up. Hit the search key, use the volume buttons to scroll down to apply update from sd card and select it with the camera button, it will start the process, takes about 4 minutes, then reboots. If it Bootloops just pull the battery, do the factory reset procedure again, choose wipe data/factory reset this time, then reboot when it finishes…

What You Have If You Install This

System Version 4.5.588.MB810
Android Version 2.3.3
Baseband Version BP_C_01.09.12P
Build Number 4.5.1_57_DX5-18
Kernel Version

So When Can I See This on My DROID X?

If you wish to follow the directions above, you can see it quite soon.  If you prefer to wait until it’s pushed to your phone, that’s less clear.  Here’s user dard12 on the Motorola Forums speculating on why it’s being done this way:

The update was sent to someone’s phone via OTA this morning.  The phone prompted him to install, but he denied it so he could upload it to the internet to share.  He had to dig through his system files to find the update.zip and found it.

Meaning this is in fact the first batch of releases which tend to be in the 1,000’s.  If all goes well (no bugs, glitches, failed updates) then Verizon will send out the updates in waves (usually 10,000 every day or so).  If all is successful after that then Verizon will start sending out waves of 100,000 every day.

This is the update we are looking for.  Now just play the waiting game, unless you are eager enough you can just download the update.zip (I wouldn’t recommend it till everything is all in check though).

If you do install this, let us know what you think.  We’d especially like to know if it blows root away should you have it enabled.

[Update 2] Hold Your Horses: Verizon Isn’t Updating Anything (Report)

According to Computerworld’s JR Raphael, Verizon says they are not sending any OTA updates out.  Quoting spokeswoman Brenda Raney, “We haven’t pushed a software update to the Droid X.”  In addition, other users are reporting similar statements when calling Verizon and asking about the rollout.

That could mean a couple of things.  Either Motorola is pushing the update, rather than Verizon, or this is a bizarre fluke that Harleydude got this silent update, or maybe Harleydude had it passed to him under the transom but isn’t supposed to say where he really got it.  At least one other user supposedly got it as a update.

In any event, it could mean that what’s going out still isn’t the final Gingerbread build, but we DROID X owners should be seeing something in the near future.

[Update 3] He Haz Ur Root Moto

Oh here’s some good news! P3Droid of Team Black Hat has ROOTED the new OS (see image at right, larger image here).  This breakthrough means that there will eventually be some much easier root procedures for Gingerbread on the DROID X.

It’s hard to read the image, but the white-on-blue says “drocap2 has been granted superuser permissions.”

drocap2 is a screenshot/screen capture utility, and only works on rooted devices.


[Update 4] This is Not a Hoax

This image below is what you would see if you had received the update over the air like the lucky few.  Thanks to kennydied23 for this proof the OTA delivery is not a hoax.

[Update 5] It’s not a fake or hoax but it is an Enigma

@CellZealot from TeamBlackHat has been tweeting away tonight too.  Among other things, he says about this Gingerbread build:

  • it is far to recent a build to have made it through testing already. it is not a fake or a hoax but it is an enigma. 😉
  • all of the files that we have released are real files produced in motorola laboratories. this 1 just came to us from a different route!
  • this release definitely slipped thru the cracks somehow. We don’t know why but it can not be considered official.
  • we have to guess about this stuff like everyone else. we often have a little bit more information to on is all.
  • it is far to recent a build to have made it through testing already. it is not a fake or a hoax but it is an enigma. 😉
  • @NewNate @P3Droid fascinating denial but nobody made this up. It is a signed update of a new build impossible to fake.  this in response to the Computerworld column above in Update 2

Not only is the release a puzzle, the rooting issue is a challenge as well:

  • The OTA release can only be rooted on a dev phone with a true recovery right now. P3droid is hard at work on a solution.

Okay folks, I think I’m going to call it a night.  Any more updates will have to go to a new article tomorrow.  [Update 7 link added]

Source: Droid X Forums (this thread over 800 posts now)

More good info: Android Forums

Top and Center Images: DroidLife