Rooting and installing Gapps on Coby 1042 tablet from Linux/OSX

Vacation time is great!

I went into Fry’s today and found they have the Coby 1042 (10.1″, Android 4.0.3) on sale. Normally I don’t pay much attention to the lower end tablets because they miss one or more features I think are pretty critical in a tablet:

  • Capacitive display
  • Fast CPUs
  • SD card slots
  • Ice Cream Sandwich
  • The ability to easily mod/root/extend

The Coby device, however, meets all of these requirements!
And it comes with an HDMI port, full USB port to attach a keyboard and mouse, and a nice soft neoprene sleeve too.

Rooting

Requirements
  • Install the Android SDK to get the adb binary
  • Download and decompress coby_root3.zip(I have a backup copy if this link stops working)

Rooting the device is beyond trivial.
In the coby_root3 directory is a data directory, which you need to push to your device and then run a few

adb

commands::

$> cd coby_root3
$> adb push data /data/local/tmp
$> adb shell chmod 0777 /data/local/tmp/mempodroid
$> adb shell /data/local/tmp/mempodroid 0xd7cc 0xad27 sh /data/local/tmp/root.sh

Congratulations! You now have root, and the Superuser app is installed!

Installing Google apps

I tried a variety of things to get Gapps working, most of which just didn’t work. I did manage to get things working with this relatively simple process though.

Go to http://goo.im/gapps/ and download and decompress the gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip file.
Now copy all of the apk files in there to your tablet:

$> cd gapps-ics-20120429-signed
$> adb push system/app /data/local/tmp
$> adb shell 
adb> su -
adb> mount -o remount,rw /system
adb> busybox cp /data/local/tmp/app/* /system/app
adb> exit

Reboot the tablet.

This was enough to get the Google Play store working and I could install Gmail and other apps.

If you have problems, shoot a message and I’ll be happy to try and help.

Root Bionic / Razr with Ice Cream Sandwich from OSX

Dan Rosenberg (@djrbliss), a security researcher, recently published an exploit for Motorola RAZR devices running Ice Cream Sandwich which allows you to gain root access.

Ice Cream Sandwich is about to be released for the Motorola Bionic, and fortunately Dan’s vulnerability exploit works for the Bionic also.
Unfortunately, it only run on MS Windows, so I modified his script into a bash script for running in Linux / OSX, which you can download run.sh, here.

You need to download Dan’s code first and unzip it, and then download this run.sh into the same directory.
The script requires to you have the android-sdk installed locally so you can get the adb binary. Dan packages that up in his code for Windows but I don’t have it available for download here. Once you have it, make sure the path to the adb binary is correct in run.sh

Once those steps are complete, just run: bash run.sh and it should just work!

Installing a leaked ICS build on a Droid Bionic from OSX

I spent quite some time over the last few days getting together the process for installing the latest leaked ICS builds on my Droid Bionic. There’s a lot of information but I was working under some specific constraints:

  • I’m using OSX, and not MS Windows
  • I have a rooted Bionic
  • I didn’t want to lose any of the data on my SD card

The best reference guide I found which got me started was by timmy10shoes at droidforums.net. While it didn’t help me with specific instructions, it did tell me the following:

  1. If you have a rooted system, you *must* revert back to stock (temporarily unrooting is not enough)
  2. The correct path to upgrading is to flash version 5.5.902 of Gingerbread, then flash version 5.5.905 of Gingerbread, and then finally install the ICS leak. At the time of writing the ICS leak version is 6.7.230.

Why do you have to go all the way back to 5.5.902 before upgrading? As near as I can tell, it is the most recent full install of the OS, and not an incremental upgrade.

Warning!

Standard disclaimers apply:

  • You might brick your phone irrecoverably
  • You’re almost certainly voiding your warranty (but if you’re rooted before you’ve probably already done this).
  • This isn’t for the feint of heart. Things can go wrong. There are lots of people on the Android forum sites who may be able to help. But if you’re at all worried, just wait for the official release to come from Motorola and Verizon.
  • I’m not responsible for any negative consequences that might result from you following this guide. It’s possible I missed a step you need to do, or typo’d a command. I apologise, and I would appreciate any feedback.

Things you need to download

The hardest part of this was trying find all of the things to download. There are three firmwares to download, as well as trying to find a copy of fastboot for OSX. fastboot is needed to flash the img files to your phone.
For the first set of files you can find downloads here: http://droidrepo.info/the-repository/viewcategory/10-bionic-stock-files

Download the Droid Bionic .902 Fastboot file, which weighs in at about 667Mb. Additionally download the Bionic .902 to .905 upgrade file which is around 42.5Mb. Once you have those, visit https://www.dropbox.com/s/qtvb3rgi1tokr35/Blur_Version.5.9.905.XT875.Verizon.en.US.zip and download the ICS leak version 6.7.230. Yes, the file name does say “905”, but this is the upgrade *from* 905 to ICS.
Finally, download fastboot-mac.zip. This file used to be available on the HTC website, but they’ve since taken it down, so here it is for you. When I was looking for it, I originally found it on the Wapnet blog, so they deserve the credit for keeping it available 🙂

Doing the install

Once you have the above softwares downloaded, the install process is actually very straight forward, and mostly follows the timmy10shoes method I linked to above. Here’s what you need to do.

Preparation

  1. Copy the 905 firmware, and the new ICS leak over to your SD card.
  2. Unzip the fastboot-mac.zip file
  3. Unzip the 902 firmware on your computer. This should create a folder in your Downloads folder called VRZ_XT875_5.9.902.XT875.Verizon.en.US_CFC_01 (or something like that). Rename this to bionic-902
  4. Open Terminal.app (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal), or your terminal emulator of choice (I use iTerm2, but if you don’t use a terminal a lot, don’t worry about this and just open Terminal.app)
  5. In Terminal, run: chmod 755 ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac

Installation

  1. Power off your phone.
  2. Boot your phone up into recovery mode by holding both volume keys and then pressing and holding the power button until your phone starts to power on.
  3. You should now see a black and white menu. Use the down volume key to navigate to “AP Fastboot”, and then press the up volume key to select it. The menu will change and say “OK to program.”
  4. If your phone is not connect to your computer by a USB cable, now is a good time to connect it. Your phone should say “USB data cable connected” (or something similar).
  5. On your computer, back in your terminal window run the following commands:
    1. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac flash boot ~/Downloads/bionic-902/boot.img
    2. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac flash system ~/Downloads/bionic-902/system.img
    3. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac flash preinstall ~/Downloads/bionic-902/preinstall.img
    4. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac erase cache
    5. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac reboot

    If the first command gives you a “Waiting for device” message, then you may need to try these commands:

    1. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac -i 0x22b8 -p 0x42d1 flash boot ~/Downloads/bionic-902/boot.img
    2. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac -i 0x22b8 -p 0x42d1 flash system ~/Downloads/bionic-902/system.img
    3. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac -i 0x22b8 -p 0x42d1 flash preinstall ~/Downloads/bionic-902/preinstall.img
    4. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac -i 0x22b8 -p 0x42d1 erase cache
    5. ~/Downloads/fastboot-mac -i 0x22b8 -p 0x42d1 reboot

    Here we’re specifying the vendor ID and product ID for the Bionic, so that fastboot-mac can find your phone on the USB port.

  6. Your phone should now be rebooting. Don’t wait for it to finish booting, just pull the battery from the back. I waited 5 minutes before doing this and the phone was still trying to boot. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to. Just turn it off.
  7. Hold the volume keys down again and then press the power button to get back to the black and while recovery menu.
  8. Pretty the down volume button to scroll to the Recovery option, and press the up volume key. You should see a blue menu.
  9. Scroll down to Install zip from sdcard and press the power button.
  10. Scroll down to Choose zip from sdcard and press the power button.
  11. Scroll down to the update from 902 to 905 and press the power button. REMEMBER: This is the *update* to 905. It should be called something like Blur_Version.5.9.902.XT875.Verizon.en.US.zip. Your phone should install the stock 905 OS.
  12. Once that is done, repeat the same process to choose a zip to install, and this time choose the ICS firmware zip. This one should be called something like Blur_Version.5.9.905.XT875.Verizon.en.US.zip. Your phone should install the stock ICS firmware now.
  13. Finally, after all of that, choose the “Reboot phone” option on the menu and press the power button. Your phone will reboot. It can take about 5-10 minutes for it to get booted up, and you will need to confirm a few things on the screen as it does so.

Congratulations, you now have ICS several weeks ahead of everyone else!