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Old May 22, 2010   #1
[TUTORIAL] Unlocking your Nexus One

For the last few weeks I've been reading up Android development, and checking out random pieces of information. So I've decided to write up a post about what I've learned.

Unlocking the Nexus One: people say "If your Nexus One was from Google, it's unlocked". It's not, exactly. When your phone is loading up, if there is a small picture of a LOCK at the bottom of the screen - it is unlocked, otherwise it's not!

With the latest Android SDK updates, you'll find that Mac OS X 10.4 is NOT supported (
you'll run into "bus errors").

This tutorial will be for Windows.

How to unlock the Nexus One and Root it:

  • - download the package for Windows and extract to a safe place on your computer.
  • - download Java Development
  • Open the setup file in the Android SDK package that you downloaded and hit 'Installed Packages' then 'Update All' - might want to click 'Yes to all'.
    - If you get an HTTP SSL error or something similar, go to 'Settings' and click 'Force https:// ...'
    - Wait for everything to complete!
  • Right-click on My Computer, and select Properties. Under the Advanced tab, hit the Environment Variables button, and in the dialog that comes up, double-click on Path (under System Variables). Add the full path to the tools/ directory (e.g. C:/SDK/tools/) to the path. If something is already there... just remove it? :-D
  • On your Nexus One, go to the 'Settings' menu and go to 'Applications' then click 'Development' and finally hit 'USB Debugging'.
  • Plug in the USB cable (PC -> Phone)
  • If your computer does not locate install the USB driver for your Nexus One properly, follow these steps:
  • Once properly installed - unplug the USB then plug it back in and see if it works (if it doesn't... reply here)
  • Now, you'll want to check to see if everything is working. Open up command prompt, change your working directory (cd) to your android SDK directory, then into tools/ - type 'adb.exe devices' if something appears - it works! (if nothing appears... reply here)
  • Next, you'll want to get your phones build number: Go to 'Settings' then 'About Phone' and scroll down to 'Build Number' and write this down.
  • Get 'Superboot' from you'll need your 'Build Number' to know which one to download (get it with himem)
  • Extract, and then open the directory with command prompt.
  • Turn your Nexus One off.
  • Hold down the trackball button. Do not let go.
  • Press the power on button. Wait.
  • You'll have a white screen, with some options.
  • Click power button again, to get into 'bootloader' mode.
  • Then simply type: 'fastboot-windows oem unlock' in the command prompt (on your computer of course...)
  • You should get a 'Unlock bootloader?' screen where you can choose yes or no. (choose yes)
  • Phone should reboot and do random stuff (do you see a small picture of a lock when your phone is starting up? if so... it's unlocked now!)
  • Again, turn phone off and then get back into the bootloader.
  • Now we're going to ROOT the phone (give us proper administration rights to everything in the phone)
  • If your command prompt is not open in the superboot directory, open it. Now, simply type: 'install-superboot-windows.bat' - wait a couple of seconds, and you should get a SUCCESS etc. Phone should reboot or do something funky.
  • Go to the Android Market and download "Nexus Torch" - it's an app that only phones with root access can use. Have a play. I personally love the strobe light :-)

If you managed to do all that without a hitch, you could look into installing Cyanogen Mod on your phone: read the thread and you'll see why you should install it! (I think it's great, and currently have it running on my Nexus One.)

* do you know what command prompt is? do you know how to extract the contents of a RAR, a ZIP? do you know how to USE a command prompt? do you know how to use a Nexus One?

Last edited by veb; May 22, 2010 at 11:22 AM..
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Old May 22, 2010   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,372

Oh very useful!

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Old May 23, 2010   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,285

Very good tut veb. +rep.

But shouldnt it be in tutorials?
I love MightyMouse <3

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Old May 23, 2010   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,834

The tuts board is for toribash and related tutorials, and this doesn't have anything related to toribash. It relates to the Mobile Chat forum, though.

Therefore, I will not move it.
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Last edited by Pacman; May 27, 2010 at 04:09 PM..
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Old May 27, 2010   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,408

yea dude with this it could be useful for development of apps that could relate to toribash as rooting gives full access to the phones features that otherwise would be locked. i did this with my phone and it works excellent for broadcasting wireless internet now lol, among other additional features that it unlocks.

also, veb how much of an overclock did you give your phone and how much performance did it actually give?
You don't say?

Last edited by Organ; May 27, 2010 at 07:44 PM..
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