Upgrading Android Nexus S to Jelly Bean 4.1.1

It's been quite a while since I embarked on getting my Nexus S upgrade to ICS early. I blogged that journey here. For the last 1.5 months I am carrying both my Nexus S and an iPhone 4S, and frankly I prefer using iPhone for battery life if not for anything else. My favorite activity on Nexus S is tethering my iPad Wi-Fi during my work commute. Anyway, iPhone 4S vs Android 4.x Nexus S discussion is for another day.

Today, Google released 4.1.1 for Nexus S (T-Mobile) and it's officially available if you want to download the binaries:

I downloaded the zip file and renamed it to (renaming is optional)
Then connected phone to my pc and transferred the to SD Card
Powered off the phone
Pressed Power + Volume Up keys to bring the boot menu
Selected recovery
...and wait for it...

No cigar! I got the infamous red triangle with a black  exclamation mark on a green Android picture.

Apparently, one of the updates from 4.0 to 4.0.4 changed the boot files I had for custom booting before.

Interestingly, I found out that I was able to bypass this screen if I keep on trying to press Power + Volume UP key a couple of times (usually the 3rd was the charm).

I then got into the recovery mode where I was presented with the option I was looking for:
"apply update from /sdcard" (to select the option use Power button. Volume up/down to go up/down)

After selecting, install started and ...

-- Install /sdcard ...
Finding update package...
Opening update package...
Verifying update package...
Installing update...
Verifying current system...
assert failed: apply_patch_space(16570800)
E:Error in /tmp/sideload/
(Status 7)
Installation aborted.

failed :(

At this point, I thought I might be low on sdcard space and perhaps that was causing this issue. I did some clean up and free space jumped up from 700MB to 5GB. Unfortunately, the next attempt did not result in anything different.

So tried a couple of other options, all failed:

  • Wiped cache partition... 
  • Wiped cache partition + Wiped data/factory reset (which means you lose everything on the phone!)...
  • Wiped SDCard...

At this point, I started looking at Nexus S XDA forums. People suggested using ClockWorkMod to patch. I used it before, it's a great tool but instead I chose to use this trick to get official OTA update from Google. Steps (I changed the order a bit) are as follows:

  1. System settings
  2. Apps > All (If "all" is not displayed, pull the top bar that reads "running" to the left)
  3. Google-Service-Framework
  4. Force stop
  5. Clear Data
  6. Go to Homescreen
  7. System settings
  8. About Phone
  9. System updates (last time of update checking should be before 1970)
  10. Check now
  11. if you do not get the update, go to step 1.

After the second try I got offered the update. Rest, as they say, is history:

I am dying to try this trick, which is clearly quite harmless, on my wife's nexus S but she explicitly prohibited me from installing Jelly Bean / 4.1.1 until I confirm that it had been working without any hiccups on my phone for about a week :)

Now it's time check out  Highlights and read what's new?

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