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Installing the ICS Leak on the Droid Bionic - A Step by Step Guide

Updated on June 19, 2013

Disclaimers and Introduction

Before I even begin this guide, I'm going to start with a huge warning. THIS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR PHONE'S OPERATING SYSTEM. DO NOT ATTEMPT IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF ANY OF THE STEPS. I am not responsible for any damage to your phone as a result of the steps performed here.

Now, with the disclaimers out of the way, let's begin. Motorola recently leaked a brand-new version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 for the Droid Bionic. This update is the latest and greatest of Android technology and showcases tons of new improvements for the Android ecosystem. If you are one of those people who loves to live on the cutting-edge, this guide is for you. But be warned: it involves messing with many serious parts of your phones internal software. Please use caution and follow these steps closely to avoid bricking your phone.

Also, during this process, you may lose your data (a definite 'will' if you have previously installed Safestrap, Bootstrap and custom ROMs). Now is the time to plug it in, back it up, and save everything. Go, I'm not kidding.


Here are some common terms used when talking about installing unofficial leaks and software on your phone.

FXZ - A factory reset/restore using custom software that repairs your phone to its "out-of-box" state.
ROM - essentially an operating system for your phone. There are many ROMs, each with unique features and support.
Flash - the process of adding new software to your phone via a special process
Root - a technique that allows unrestricted access to the inner workings of the phone's software

Here are some screenshots of ICS running on the Bionic so that you know what you're getting from this.

If You're Running Custom ROMs (Or Ever Have)

There are two parts to this guide, this section is written for users who have previously installed Safestrap or Bootstrap on their phones and installed custom ROMs (whether or not you're currently running them is irrelevant). In order for this update to work, you must completely restore your phone to factory settings, then update to the .905 over-the-air update. Unfortunately for you, this process is a bit more involved, but that's the price you pay for living on the bleeding edge.

First, charge your phone. I'm going to say it again: charge your phone to 100% until it can't charge any more. I made this mistake and it is not pretty. I'll just say that if your battery fails mid-flash, you're going to either need to find a Verizon store with an external battery charger, or find a friend with a Bionic to charge your battery because batteries cannot charge while the phone is going through this process. If it dies mid-way, it won't charge any more, leaving you with a useless brick. I know you're excited to get going, but charge your phone first!

Now, you're going to need some programs and files.

Now, plug your Bionic into the USB port and open RSD Lite. It should recognize the device. Click the "..." button at the top and open your .ZIP .902 FXZ file that you downloaded. Choose to "Extract and Flash."

This will take some time. Go make dinner. Take a shower. Perhaps both.

Once it is finished, it should reboot into the original OS on your phone. Everything will be exactly as it was on day one. Do not go through the Google setup or anything else. Just skip all the setup pages and go right to Settings > About Phone > System Updates > Check for Updates.

You should see that an update (.905) is available. Download and install it. It will also take some time.

When your phone reboots, it will be updated to .905. Now, plug it in, mount it as a USB device and copy the ICS Leak image you downloaded to the EXTERNAL SD card.

Now, you can do one of two things. The first method is quicker, but you may run into issues. You can choose to simply reboot into installing the update and hope it works. But when I did this, I got a really bad "AP Flashboot Error" that prevented my phone from doing anything until I re-flashed it via the entire process above again. To avoid this (or fix this error if you had it), reboot into recovery by turning off the phone then holding the power button and BOTH the up and down volume keys. Scroll down to "recovery mode." At the exclamation point, hold both volume keys. Now choose "Factory restore/data wipe."

When that is complete, reboot the phone again by holding the power button and both volume keys at the same time. At the exclamation point, hold both volume keys and select "Apply update from SD card." Choose the file you saved above (the ICS leak image).

This may take a long time. When it is finished, you will hopefully have a booting ICS 4.0.4 Droid Bionic. Congratulations!

If it fails, you can always retry by starting again at the FXZ to .902 point. This can also bring you back to exactly the way your phone was (minus your personal data) if you want.

If You've Never Rooted / Used Safestrap

If you are running the stock Droid Bionic Android software, this section is for you. If you're not sure whether you've rooted before, you haven't; you would know if you did.

Lucky for you, your section is simpler.

First, charge your phone. The whole way. Trust me, you don't want to skip this.

To begin, download the following file:The leaked ICS image: I'm including several links in case one is down. Only download one.

Now, make sure you're on .905 by going to Settings > About Phone > System Updates. If no update is available, you're good. If there is, download and install it.

Now, plug in your phone and mount it as a storage device. Copy the ICS image you downloaded above onto your external SD card. Unplug your phone.

Power down. Once shut off, hold the power button and BOTH volume keys. You should see a screen with white text. Scroll down to "Recovery" and select it. Now, when the exclamation point appears, press both volume keys. Now scroll down to "Apply update from SD card" and select it with the power button. Choose the file you downloaded above (the ICS image).

Your phone will now update. Hopefully, everything works. If it fails, try the steps listed in the previous section, beginning with FXZ back to .902. This essentially restores your phone to stock and lets you start again.


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    • xnotion profile image

      xnotion 5 years ago

      Thanks for the heads up guys, I've fixed the link

    • profile image

      He Man 5 years ago

      Great article.. the link is incorrect as theoAZ stated, but the text part of the link is correct.. You just have to cut/paste it.

    • profile image

      theoAZ 5 years ago

      This is good info. However, please verify the link for the RSD Lite file as it references the 902 fxz file.