In this guide, we will show you step-by-step on how to install cyanogen mod ROM on your Nexus One with detailed pictures and whatnot. The reason we made this guide is for those of new total newbies who don’t know a thing about Android operating systems but want to really upgrade you Nexus One to Cyanogen Mod ROM.
Cyanogen Mod ROM is basically a modded Android operating system that will enhance many features of your Nexus One phone including better reception, faster UI, ability of overclock the Nexus One, custom keyboards, USB/WiFi tethering, and a whole lot more. Plus, with the Cyanogen Mod ROM, you are no longer limited to just the apps in the Android App Market, you can also install any Android app files ending with .apk.
Of course, installing Cyanogen’s ROM will void your warranty and if you don’t feel comfortable about it, you should stop here.
Are there chances of bricking my Nexus One?
Just make sure you have enough battery power while doing any of these steps and most likely it’s going to hard to brick your phone in my opinion. But, I won’t be responsible if you somehow brick your Nexus One bud.
Will I lose my automatic Nexus One updates?
Yes, you will lose automatic Nexus One updates but once you learn how to flash new ROMs to your Nexus One plus Cyanogen Mod is updated fairly quickly/quicker than stock Nexus One so it shouldn’t be a big deal.
Cyanogen Mod is based on the regular Nexus One stock updates so you do get all the new features whenever it’s updated. You will have to manually update the ROMs but like I said, it’s really easy to do once you go through it once.
Plus, you will have ability to backup your older Nexus One system so you can revert to older Nexus One versions if you wanted to using Nandroid.
Step 1. – Unlock the Bootloader on Your Nexus One
First, you will need to unlock the bootloader on your Nexus One unless you see an unlocked symbol at boot-up. Nexus One phones you buy with mobile services such as T-Mobile will be locked so you need to unlock it first. But don’t worry, it’s not too hard, just follow our step-by-step guide on ow to unlock the bootloader on the Nexus One.
Step 2. Flash the Recovery Image
Once you have unlocked your Nexus One, the rest should be pretty easy.
Get your phone back into Bootloader mode (like shown below) by turning the phone off then pressing the power button while holding down the trackball button and connect it to your computer via USB cable.
Copy the recovery image file you just downloaded and put in in the SDK tools folder. (where you unzipped your SDK such as C:\Users\max\Downloads\android-sdk_r04-windows\android-sdk-windows\tools. in Windows 7.) (The directory is basically where you unzipped the Android SDK file earlier in Step 1. (when you unlocked the Nexus One)
Open up a command prompt on your Windows computer (or unix prompt for Mac/Linux) and browse to your SDK tools folder where you just copied the recovery image file to.
Once you are in the tools directory, simply type the following command:
fastboot flash recovery recovery-RA-nexus-v1.6.2.img
You should verify and see the message that the recovery image has been successfully installed as shown below:
*NOTE: The above step should take like 2 seconds, if the command “hangs” for more than 10 seconds saying it’s “waiting” for connection, you probably might have to make sure your Nexus One is connected properly to your computer via USB cable and USB drivers are working correctly.
Step 3 Flash the Cyanogen Mod
a. Download the latest CyanogenMod here(update-cm-126.96.36.199-N1-signed.zip). (You can check this forum post for the latest version too.)
b. Download the latest Google Add-on(gapps-passion-ERE36B-2-signed.zip) which includes default Google Apps, you need to install this separately for legal reasons.
c. Copy both of these files in the Nexus One’s SD card’s root folder (that’s the home folder or /).
For those of you who don’t know how to access the SD card, it’s simple. Reboot your Nexus One phone into normal mode, connect it to your computer via USB cable. You should see a USB symbol at the top left of your Nexus One. Simply drag it down and choose “Mount”. Now you should be able to access the SD card from your computer. Also, if you can’t get to it for some reason, you can take the micro-SD card out of the back of Nexus One and insert it into a micro-SD reading device too.
d. Get your phone back into bootloader mode again like in Step 2.
(Bootloader should be highlighted in Blue) Hit the power button.
Now you should see a screen like below:
Wait like 5 seconds and you should be able to use your volume up/down buttons to highlight “Recovery” then press the Power Button.
e. Now you should be in recovery mode like this:
f. (Optional) This is optional but this is how you backup a whole OS image by using Nandroid. Nandroid will backup the exact config/image of your current OS. Just try this step for later on when you are going to install other ROMs or updated Cyanogen ROMs. By backuping up using Nandroid, you can potentially bring back a bricked Nexus One in just minutes.
Choose “Backup/Restore” using your trackball and press on the trackball to choose it.
Next, choose “Nand Backup”. *Note: You can always restore by coming back to this menu and choosing “Nand Restore”.
Next, press on the trackball once more and it should start backing up your current Android OS (factory default if you are install Cyanogen ROM for the first time.)
g. Once you are done backing up (which takes like 30 seconds), you are ready to flash the Cyanogen Mod ROM!
Press on the Volume down button to go back to the main menu.
Once back in the main menu of the Android system recovery, choose “Wipe” like shown above and press on the trackball.
Next, choose “Wipe data/factory reset” to wipe your OS.
Once wipe is complete, you are almost done!
Press on the Volume down button to go back to the main System Recovery menu.
Choose “Flash zip from sdcard”.
Choose the “update-cm-188.8.131.52-N1-signed.zip” (or the latest Cyanogen zip file you copied to your SD card) and hit the trackball. Hit it once more to install.
Once that’s installed (which should take like a minute), choose the Google Add-on zip file gapps-passion-ERE36B-2-signed.zip.
Once that’s done, simply reboot your phone and you should see a “cyan” animated splash like this:
Woo Hoo! You finally did it! Pat yourself on the back because now you know how to install new ROMs to your NexusOne.
Of course, make sure your phone boots up, if it does, your Nexus One should be reset to factory so you have to enter your Google account info again.
Cyanogen stuck on splash screen nexus one?
If your screen hangs on the splash screen for more than 2 minutes, something went wrong. You either forgot to WIPE your phone but it’s okay, simply repeat from step g.
Cyanogen booting but no network signals?
Also if you are having trouble getting network signal, you might be on a super old Android 2.1 so you might want to try flashing the Radio image too. (I didn’t have to flash the radio image and most of you shouldn’t have to but if you have trouble, flash the radio image by following the guide below then repeat from step g.
How to Flash the Radio Image!
Copy the radio image file to SDK Tools folder like how you did with the recovery image earlier.
Then flash it by the command:
fastboot flash radio ./fastboot flash radio Radio_20100203_2_Signed_PASSION.img
Nexus One Cyanogen Mod Videos
Here’s a walk-through video after you have flashed the recovery image and copied over the zip files to the SD card: (after step 3d)
Here’s a video overview of the new Cyanogen mod on my Nexus One:
Without these resources, I wouldn’t have been able to update my Nexus One with such cool features, thanks to Cyanogen a bunch for making it happen!