Monday, May 16, 2011

Updating a Stock Japanese WIFI Xoom to 3.1 with root

EDIT: See here for updating the Xoom to 3.2.

[Note from SBS: It is in the best interest of everyone reading this blog to reward hardware makers who provide unlockable boot loaders. There is really no excuse for locking hardware that was purchased at full retail price. At the same time, it is unreasonable for us to demand unlocked and highly subsidized hardware from carriers.]

There is an easier way to do this but it requires:
1. A "USB Host Cable" (I haven't been able to find one in any shops)
2. A FAT32 flash drive with the correct on it

but using this method you will not get the unlocked boot loader, better recovery, or root privileges.

Here is the guide if you have the correct cable. I have not tested it though so your mileage may vary
and the update

and a thread that talks about that procedure:

With that said here is the guide to do how I did with my Xoom. 

Okay this guide is "as is" and you accept all responsibility. This will void your warranty. It is best you read all of the links to understand what you are doing. Also this is replacing your Japanese version of the OS with the US version and there may not be an easy way to go back. Also make sure you backup all of your data because this will wipe your Xoom to a factory state.

Also this procedure is for a Stock Xoom if you have done anything to it this may not work so use at your own risk!

With that said my Xoom is a MZ604 bought from AU KDDI so if you have the same it *"Should"* work for you too.

This is asuming you have all of the Android SDK tools (including the fastboot utility) working and added to your path, plus all of the Xoom drivers on your PC working

For Linux see this Guide here

The Xoom introduced something called MTP. This is Media Transfer Protocal and it has it's pluses and minuses. On the plus side you do not have to unmount the SD Card to access the files on your Xoom. The bad side is for us Linux users the support is not there out of the box. Follow the guide above to get it working in Ubuntu.

Once you have that working procede below.

First: enable USB debugging
  • Connect your Xoom to your PC and enable "USB debuging" under settings -> applications -> development -> "USB Debugging"
Second: unlock the Bootloader
  • adb reboot bootloader
  • fastboot oem unlock
  • adb reboot bootloader
Third: install a custom recovery

Download most recent version of the recovery image that is FLASHED THROUGH FASTBOOT (NOT the zip file flashed with CWM) and check the md5 of the file! The command on a mac is md5. Windows users will need to download a utility.
  • md5sum recovery-solarnz-XXXXXX-XXXX.img
  • adb reboot bootloader
  • fastboot flash recovery recovery-solarnz-XXXXXX-XXXX.img
  • fastboot reboot
Fourth: let the xoom boot and then reboot into recovery and make a backup
  • adb reboot recovery
insert the Micro SD Card

use the hardware volume buttons to navigate up and down, and the power button to select.

go into the"Mounts and Storage Menu" mount the SD card and go back and select backup.

Fifth: install the US Stock 3.1 WIFI image using this guide

follow these commands for step 1 make sure you flash the user data or you will get stuck in a boot loop.

Step 1:
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash userdata userdata.img
fastboot reboot

Step 2:

Note that in recovery, you use the hardware volume buttons to navigate up and down, and the power button to select.
  1. In ClockworkMod Recovery, select "mounts and storage"
  2. Ensure your Xoom is connected to your PC via USB, then select "mount USB storage"
  3. On your PC, copy to the root of the Xoom's SDCard ("Removable Disk" in Windows)
  4. In ClockworkModRecovery (still on the "USB Mass Storage device" screen) select "Unmount"
  5. In the "Mounts and Storage Menu" screen, if the option "unmount /sdcard" is present, continue to the next step; if "mount /sdcard" is present, select it then  continue
  6. Select "+++++Go Back+++++"
  7. Select "install zip from sdcard"
  8. Select "choose zip from sdcard"
  9. Select ""
  10. Select "Yes - Install"
"Install from sdcard complete." will indicate that the update is completed.

Select "reboot system now"

New bootloader will install. The message, "Congratulations! Your bootloader was successfully upgraded" will be immediately followed by an automatic reboot.
Enjoy your rooted Xoom WiFi, running on Android 3.1!


  1. Is there any different between au Xoom and US Xoom???

  2. not that i can tell on the wifi ones. they are both mz064 it seems that the japanese version has the japanese keyboard and lacks google books. 

  3. thx, still considering to buy Xoom or importing HTC Flyer....

  4.  the htc flyer looks really nice but doesnt have a dual core processor and with all of the modifications htc added it might be slow to get updates.

    i think the xoom will be first to get updates followed by the new samsung tablets. i love my xoom but the samsung tablets are so thin and look nice.

  5.  Fixed a couple of typos and added a warranty disclaimer and a bit of info here and there. Plus my thoughts in general on unlocked boot loaders at the top.

  6. Thanks :) 

  7. The Japanese Xoom has 802.11a disabled. This is required by Japanese regulations because the "a" protocol in Japan is not approved for outdoor devices, so it's much harder to get.

    This is why a lot of netbooks in Japan do not have 802.11a compared to US devices.

    (Don't ask me how the Japanese iPads got 802.11a approval) 

  8. Also has Japanese fonts. 

  9. Interesting I wonder if that is limited in the chipset or just the ROM. I can't remember a time when I ever had to use an 802.11a access point but I don't typically connect to a corporate AP.  AP. 

  10.  @nicholasvilppu:disqus When back in the US, I discovered that my dad had purchased a dual band n/a router. I had never before seen an off the shelf router with 5.0 GHz, and I still don't quite know what the purpose of it is. Neither the ht-03a or the N1 could see the 5.0 GHz. When back in the US, I discovered that my dad had purchased a dual band n/a router. I had never before seen an off the shelf router with 5.0 GHz, and I still don't quite know what the purpose of it is. Neither the ht-03a or the N1 could see the 5.0 GHz.

  11. And on the same thread, the "b" channel will go all the way to the special extra-separated from interference Channel 14, which is a Japan exclusive channel (Android phones with a Japanese SIM in them will also go to Channel 14).

  12. that must be why my US PSP wouldn't connect to my router until I changed the channel from automatic to a lower one. 

  13. It's a ROM feature. The older developer releases had a submenu in the Wifi Advanced Settings that let you manually change the region, but this has been changed so that it looks at the country-code of the inserted SIM. U.S. SIMs clip the channel range to 11, Japanese SIMs/etc allow you to go to 14/13 for b/g and disable 802.11a, and everywhere else goes to channel 13.

    I use 802.11a in my home. As a 54Mbps protocol, it is up to 20% more efficient the 802.11g. Also, there is less interference in the "a" band, so if you have a lot of neighbors or bluetooth devices using the crowded 2.4Ghz range of "b", you get faster throughput due to less wireless "congestion."

  14. Forgot to mention that the iPad/iPhone may in fact be supporting 802.11j, which basically provides backwards compatibility with 802.11a but is smart enough to move around in frequency so it doesn't butt into public bands in use. Japanese consumer access points, such as mine by Buffalo, usually have an option in the settings for the "a" frequency  to to move around to avoid conflicts to make it 802.11j compliant.

    The "j" in 802.11 and "j" for Japan is purely a coincidence, by the way. The spec was created with Japan in mind, but other countries are adopting it too.

  15. One more difference: the Japanese version makes a shutter sound when you take a photo, even if you're muted. (Just like Japanese carrier versions of Android).

  16. hi. i have an au xoom running on stock 3.1. I want to root my device, so can I use your guide even though I am already on 3.1? It will flash the US version anyway so I thought it would be fine. Please confirm. thanks.

  17. If you are unsure how to proceed, then you should do some more reading and research because if you are successful, the best that that will happen is that you will void your warranty. The worst thing that can happen is you break it.

    What do you want to do that requires root privilege? 

    As a basic framework, this is what must be done: you have to unlock the bootloader so that you can flash a custom recovery image that will then be used to flash the appropriate files needed to give you root privilege. When I did this, to my nexus one, I flashed su, downloader superuser and busybox.

  18. it should work but you might want to wait a couple weeks as i heard that 3.2 will be coming to the xoom and then there will be an updated rom for that too. 

    having said that if you search on xda there is a another custom rom that is supposed to be better it has a number of fixes including connecting to adhoc networks. 

  19. the only app i use that need root is screenshotER but other than that i dont use root. 

  20. Thanks. I wanted to root so i can flash a custom kernel.The xoom is too expensive to risk bricking.
    Maybe ill wait for a little bit, and do some more reading.

  21. the boot loader is unlocked so you dont need root to flash a custom rom if you are using adb in this guide it should be pretty safe but you should do as much reading as you can so you are aware of what you ate doing and not just taking someonrs word for it. the rom in this quide is for the us xoom so it should be fine. 

  22. Yeah I think so too. Still this xoom is too expensive.LOL.
    Im not new to rooting as I have been playing with my desire for a year now.I have been reading a lot and actually I have set up everything already. Is AUgoing to continue updating our Xooms w/ every google update? If they will then maybe there is no reason to root.

  23. so far i would say they ill but i am not patiant so i like to have thr update right away. i would say you dont need to root untill the next update comes out if you cant wait. plus you lose the ability to rent videos in the us if you root.

  24. But we cant rent movies with the japanese version of honeycomb right?
    I dont think it will be available for us , i mean look at google books.
    In the end we have to install the US version to access those apps, eventually rooting our devices.

    Im not sure if I can wait for the AU updates too...

  25. well I took the plunge and unlock my bootloader and flashed the US stock Wifi image.
    After playing with it for a while, I realize I do not need root yet (not using SD) so I skipped flashing the recovery as well as rooting it.
    Good thing now is I will be getting timely updates from Google.  Thanks for the guide!

  26. Are you monetizing your premium file uploads?
    Did you know AdWorkMedia will pay you an average of $500 per 1,000 file downloads?