Upgrade Sony Xperia from ICS to Jelly Bean – Android

Charu Choudhary liked this post

Now when Sony has officially disclosed the absence of further stock OS upgrades to Sony Ericsson (2011) range of Xperia smartphones, humanity cannot help but feel a little betrayed! The criticism Sony had to face after they accidentally confessed to the lack of their plans to provide the Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.x, 4.2.x) to 2011 range of cellphones compelled them to withdraw the statement soon after, their official announcement later confirmed no stock OS upgrades to 2011 (Sony Ericsson) range of cellphones. This doesn’t mean users cannot indulge in the Jelly Bean experience through their older devices. This strategic move by Sony, how effective it’s for their brand profitability, was not welcomed by the Sony patrons with kindness. However, Sony handset users have an extremely active xda-developers force working real hard to get us the important OS and related updates seamlessly.

I changed my Android experience on Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro from 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) to 4.1 Jelly Bean (JB):

Before (4.0 - ICS)

Before (4.0 – ICS)

After (4.1 - JB)

After (4.1 – JB)

This blog would touch all the aspects for a regular user to convert their stock OS from ICS (Android 4.0.4) to custom PACman Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2). This custom ROM packs in the brilliance of 3 independent ROMs, ParanoidAndroid, AOKP and CyanogenMod 10 – a gleaming mashup just for us. The example and urls in this post are specific to Xperia Pro range of smartphones but can easily be used by the other range users as well – an important difference would be the links to the correct ROM build (nightly/stable) repository through which one should the Android version for the exact smartphone. Windows XP and later were used to try out the connections and execute the other utility packages through the entire process.

To begin with, you need to root your device including the bootloader which would effectively void the warranty of your device – Sony would abandon it. Here, I would throw-in a disclaimer to deal with all sorts of fingers which decide to point back at me:

Your device’s warranty would now be voided. You are solely responsible for signing-up to flash Android 4.1.x ROM. I am in no way responsible for bricked devices, SIM card failures, exploded batteries, temple run defeats, annoying neighbors, lonely weekends or birds crashing on your windshields. It’s your choice, your device and you are opting for these changes.

  1. Flashtool to load 4.1.A build

Xperia pro (and other Sony Ericsson 2011 devices) have received their stock updates to ICS 4.0.4. Xperia pro specifically runs ICS 4.0.4 build 4.1.B.0.587. On that assumption (or in any other case as well), we need to first try rooting the cell phone, without which you do not have ample privileges to modify the content on your device – leave aside flashing a fresh-baked-awesomeness-oozing ROM.

We need to flash the stock update build to a preceding version of the kernel to qualify for rooting.

Follow all of these steps:

  • Settings -> Security -> Check “Unknown Sources”
  • Settings -> Developer Options -> Check “USB Debugging”
  • Settings -> Xperia -> Connectivity -> USB connection mode -> Check “MSC Mode”
  • Install Flashtool for Sony Ericsson – here is the link.
  • Download the preceding 4.1.A.0.562 kernel based on your device
Arc & Arc S http://www.4shared.com/file/qNTvdPI6/Lt18i_41A0562_Kernel.html
Ray http://www.4shared.com/file/QSM6uqPU/ST18i_41A0562_kernel.html
Neo/Neo V http://www.4shared.com/file/yte1KEDs/MT11i_41A0562_Kernel.html
SONY LwW/Mini http://www.4shared.com/file/QSM6uqPU/ST18i_41A0562_kernel.html
Active http://www.4shared.com/file/QSM6uqPU/ST18i_41A0562_kernel.html
Others http://www.4shared.com/file/yte1KEDs/MT11i_41A0562_Kernel.html
  • Run Flashtool executable
  • Drag & drop your .ftf file downloaded in the previous step
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge 

  • Switch off your cell phone and disconnect it through the USB (you may leave the micro USB slot connected but disconnect the leading USB from the PC)
  • Firmware content needs to point to kernel.sin and press OK
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge 

  • There are instructions laid out in front of you which are to reconnect the USB to the PC while holding the back button
  • Keep holding it down till you see the log in the Flashtool suggests flash completion
  • At some point of time, this process might prompt you to install a few drivers for your specific device through Flashtool interface; pick the correct version and proceed.

At this time, cell phone is nearly bricked. You wouldn’t get a response other than an occasional flutter and blinky LEDs.

Don’t Panic…YET!

  1. Flashtool & root utility to root the device

We need to now root our device and test it by backsliding our kernel to what it was (4.1.0.B.431 and 4.1.0.B.587).

  • Download DoomLord’s Rooting Toolkit here
  • Unzip the files anywhere on your hard drive
  • Connect your device to PC and do not install PC Companion software. If already installed, exit the application and ensure it doesn’t appear anywhere in your running processes
  • Flashtool should NOT be running in the background
  • Double-click “Runme.bat”
  • Incase it gets stuck trying to connect splashing…WAITING FOR THE DEVICE, your PC Companion or an equivalent interfering process (PCC, Flashtool etc.)
  • Let the toolkit do its THANG!
  • If ALL DONE is flashed, your device is rooted though still non-responsive
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge 

  1. Flashtool to load the latest 587 build

Discarding your cell phone yet may not be good idea, partly because you just rooted your cell phone and, accept it, is an achievement. After patting your back thrice, pat it once more and flash a workable build to validate the root/superuser access.

  • Download a relevant kernel specific to your device:

Xperia 

4.1.B.0.431

4.1.B.0.587

Arc S Kernel Kernel
Arc Kernel Kernel
Ray Kernel Kernel
Neo Kernel Kernel
Neo V Kernel Kernel
Mini Kernel Kernel
Pro Kernel Kernel
Live with walkman Kernel Kernel
Active Kernel Kernel
Mini Pro Kernel Kernel

Follow all the steps in the 1st section (copied below for reference):

  • Run the Flashtool executable
  • Drag & drop your .ftf file downloaded in the previous step
  • Switch off your cell phone and disconnect it through the USB (you may leave the micro USB slot connected but disconnect the leading USB to the PC)
  • Firmware content needs to point to kernel.sin and press OK
  • There are instructions laid out in front of you which are to reconnect the USB to the PC while holding the back button
  • Keep holding it down till you see the log in the Flashtool suggests flash completion
  • At some point of time, this process might prompt you to install a few drivers for your specific device through Flashtool interface; pick the correct version and proceed.

Switch your cellphone on, now it should boot as normal with all your setting intact – with a new superuser application installed.

Congrats your cell phone is now rooted.

  1. ClockworkMod Recovery to load the ROM manager

One of the issues we face as Xperia owners is the lack of compatibility with the standard apps, in this case ROM manager. This application is of prime importance when trying to flash a custom ROM. In other appropriate and meaningful words, if you happen to download ROM manager app from the playstore and execute a bunch of commands, it would barf all over your screen for its failure to list your Xperia device as supported one.

That’s why we have an extremely efficient workaround to it – RecoverX.

  • Download RecoverX to your PC – here
  • Unzip the files anywhere on your hard drive
  • Double click on the executable in the extracted files
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge 

  • Connect your device through USB
  • Choose Sony Ericsson and your device from the second list, choose CWM Android 4.0 option (because ICS!)
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge 

  • Let the next step download the require package
  • Follow the instructions, it would install the package to your cell phone

Now we have all the required permissions, privileges and applications to support us and flash ‘that’ custom ROM.

  1. Fastboot the device & root the bootloader by unlocking it

This is when things get serious and the immediate step is to backup your internal memory. Connect your cell phone as a USB mass storage and blatantly copy whatever you can think of is relevant. Sync up your contacts with gmail and discard those useless texts (or not).

  • Validate your device allows a rooted bootloader by –
    • Dial *#*#7378423#*#* from your phone’s dialpad
    • The service menu opens up, go to Service Info -> Configuration -> Rooting Status
    • If the ‘Bootloader unlock allowed’ option is yes, we’re golden. If not, revert to your old stock OS through the PC Companion and do not proceed to the next steps.
  • Dial *#06*# to check the IMEI number of your cell phone
  • Connect your device to the PC and fire up that Flashtool
  • Click on the Thunder button and change the mode to Fastboot
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge 

  • Reboot your device into the fastboot mode (via ADB) – since you already have those drivers installed while rooting
  • When the Flashtool log shows up a successful device boot in Fastboot, open up the command prompt and go to the Flashtool\x10flasher_lib directory
  • Type ‘fastboot devices’ and this should display your device’s serial number
  • Type ‘fastboot –i 0x0fce getvar version’ and this should display version 0.3, finished. Total time: 0.000s
  • Go to – here
  • Click on ‘Yes, I’m sure’
  • Accept legal terms and click on ‘I accept’
  • Enter your details including the IMEI number you’ve got in the previous steps. Note: IMEI number may exceed the number of applicable digits, hence it’s perfectly OK to truncate the trailing digits and align it to the required length.
  • Hit ‘Submit’
  • You will get your unlock key in an email sent across to the submitted email id in the previous step
  • Once you have the key, type: fastboot –i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY where KEY is the actual key you have received in your email
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge 

  1. Flash the kernel

Once successful with the previous steps, you need to flash the kernel with the latest built ROM you plan to use.

  • Download the version of your ROM, I used this version
  • While your device still connected, browse to the device’s file system and place the package on the SD card, right in the open.
  • Use an unzip tool, preferably WINRAR and separate out the boot.img file
  • While still connected to your PC and Flashtool running in Fastboot mode – and so is your device, click on the option to ‘Select kernel to Flash’
  • Browse for the boot.img file and follow the instructions

You have just flashed the kernel and are all set to conquer.

  1. How to boot your cell in recovery mode & flash the ROM

We need to use all the precluding work to our benefit now. We need to boot into the recovery mode of the device this time – this is similar to your PC’s safe mode but with lesser options.

  • Boot your cell phone by pressing and holding the power button – DUH!
  • Keep pressing the volume up key till the LED turns blue and you get through to the recovery mode
  • Notice the splash screen changes to the custom one – Classy!

8

  • Once in the recovery mode, browse through the options using your volume up/down keys and home key for selection:
    • Take all the internal backup of the device (relevant option)
    • Wipe off all the user data and cache (relevant option)
    • Install update through a zip file (relevant option) where you need to select the .zip file placed right in the open on your storage
  • It should start the package installation

9

  • Once complete, reboot your device

Now, your device boots to awesome Jellybean! You would see a bunch of applications added but older applications would be gone because of the wiping off of the user data, and essential step for any custom ROM installation – straight from the stock OS.

  1. Flash the gapps

To enable Playstore and other essential google apps on Android, you would need to flash gapps

  • Download any earlier version – must be before 20121130 since it’s been reported to mess up the kernel. Get it here
  • Place it on your storage
  • Reboot into the recovery mode
  • Install update through a zip file (here pick the gapps file)

10

  • When looged in, Google option on your homescreen activates Google Now feature which enables your navigation ring to function properly. Just throwing it out here!

And here you have, your own device loaded with the latest & the greatest custom ROM available with more capability than your original stock OS, notwithstanding all the efforts you’ve put-in – calls for a bloated sense of achievement.

If you have any questions, hit me up on twitter @popofibo. Comments on this website get lost in truck loads of spam I receive daily.

38 Responses to Upgrade Sony Xperia from ICS to Jelly Bean – Android

  1.  

    Great Tutorial….now my xperia pro is up and running on custom ROM….many thanks to you Nitin…great job…

  2.  

    upgrade is successful but one thing is not functioning well, the camera, it only shows different bars in colored….no picture…pls help.

    • Nitin

      Hey Jun, I did not face this issue however you can try installing other free alternatives (camera fx zoom and so on) to check if it’s a problem with the stock camera app itself. Right now I am running PACMAN 19.3 on my xperia pro and seems to be the smoothest ROM (to upgrade you just have to copy the new zip to your extended memory and install it as is without any hassles of Kernel installation, your apps and other data would stay intact). Let me know how it goes!

       
  3.  

    if found out that the camera bricked after flashing gapps…any solution?

    • Nitin

      You can try the following:

      1. Copy this ROM (PACMAN 19.3) on your extended memory (micro sd)
      2. Copy this gapps on your extended memory (micro sd)
      3. Boot to CWM recovery and flash PACMAN 19.3 ROM (you don’t have to flash the kernel)
      4. Once flashed, reboot to CWM recovery and flash gapps

      It should fix your problem, either way let me know how it goes.

       
      •  

        I tried this but still camera not working though

  4.  

    I followed all steps and it failed due to zin error. Now I am not able to start my phone. can you please help?

  5.  

    I followed all steps and it failed due to zip error. Now I am not able to start my phone. can you please help?

    • Nitin

      which step of the process do you encounter the error? also, did you wipe the data, cache and dalvik cache before proceeding with flashing the rom?

       
      •  

        I think i didn’t wipe out data, but i am not sure, while installing zip, i got error that zip is corrupted. Please help, only sony screen is flashing when I switch on my phone. Now I am not even able to go to recovery mode.

        • Nitin

          Which device are you trying to upgrade? If it’s anyone of the following then try the following steps:
          For Arc, Arc S, Neo, Neo V, Pro

          1. Switch off your cellphone
          2. Open flashtool on your PC while phone still disconnected
          3. Connect the USB to your PC while micro usb still disconnected from your cellphone
          4. Press and hold menu button while your cellphone is still switched off
          5. While holding the menu button down, connect your micro usb
          6. If a blue LED is flashed, you’re into fastboot mode
          7. Extract the kernel (boot.img) from your version of downloaded ROM to your windows desktop
          8. Use “Select kernel to flash option” on your Flashtool
          9. Select boot.img file from your desktop and wait for it to successfully flash the given kernel
          10. While into recovery, wipe data, cache, dalvik
          11. Flash your ROM but not gapps
          12. Reboot to system normally
          13. Reboot to recovery and flash gapps

           
          •  

            Thanks a lot Nitin , It’s working now. Can you please tell me if I want to get back to ICS again then can I revert by only flashing custom ROM ?

          • Nitin

            You can directly connect to your PCC suite and follow the steps.

             
          •  

            My phone got too slow and camera is not working good, should I insall Gapps again?

          •  

            please tell me which ROM and which Gapps to be used. Thank you.

          • Nitin

            There are various ROMs and kernel combinations which you can try and use. I preferred PACman initially as it was supposed to be the smoothest and now I have gradually moved over to JB 4.2.2 (unofficial Cyanogenmod 10.1 which is a little unstable right now).

             
  6.  

    HI, Is Mini Pro really able to upgrade from ICS to JB. I did no find the 4.1.A.0.562 kernel for it in the list. More ever when I do with the mini kernal and drop it in the Flash tool,it ask to press hold the back button which is just a touch pad in mini pro. Thus nothing moves ahead and I have to get the flashing cancelled. Kindly guide further on this.

    Regards
    Sai

    • Nitin

      Maybe you can try an alternate flashtool version here

       
  7.  

    Hi Nitin:
    Im an idiot, I missed to enable debugging and now im stuck on the DoomLord’s Rooting Toolkit step
    can I somehow recover? Or is it bricked?

    • Nitin

      It’s never 100% bricked, you can restore your factory settings by connecting to your PCC suite. You can try this in power off mode too where it would surely recognize it as a Sony device but not the model. Follow the steps, choose the appropriate model and you should have your stock ICS up and running.

       
  8.  

    when i run the runme.bat it shows
    *daemon started successfully*
    i am waiting for around half hour but nothing is happening except cursor splashing . what should i do,

    • Nitin

      Is Flashtool and/or PCC s/w running in the background? It usually hangs when any of them has a backend process running, you need to make a clean exit of these apps and retry.

       
  9.  

    the site for package installation in recoveryx is not opening .. that is http://www.ledelete.freeiz.com what to do

    • Nitin

      Maybe a temporary problem with the web host. I don’t have access to it right now but would try and test it later.

       
  10.  

    Hi Nitin
    I am trying to root my Xperia Pro but I am stuck here in the 5th step where I have to get into this directory Flashtool\x10flasher_lib directory. Could you please help me get in through.
    Thanks a lot.

  11.  

    Hi Nitin
    I relly liked ur tutorial. It worked well until I found out that my camera is not functioning properly. I also flashed with PACMAN 19.3 and gapps u mentioned to Jun. But still no luck my camera is not working. Please reply as soon as possible.
    Thanking You

    • Nitin

      Hey Adil,

      As far as my experience goes, JB legacy camera is broken for 4.2.2. PAC 19.3 is still 4.1.2 hence the legacy camera should work. However, you may try alternate apps from playstore and let me know if those work on your device. Also ensure you do a clean install of the ROM; you may try other JB versions with exactly the same method of flashing the kernel and the ROM but wiping off your data and cache as well.

       
  12.  

    Thank a lot for the gr8 guide, although i prefer original splash screen ;)

    • Nitin

      Thank you! You can dry different ROMs too; they have different custom logos and boot animations.

       
  13.  

    Thanks bro… for your wonderful tutorial. I’m using Xperia neo V and already i upgrade ICS and now i want to upgrade it from ICS to Jelly Bean.

  14.  

    hi nithin…thanks for your tutorial. i have updated to JB form ICS successfully on my live with Walkman.

  15.  

    hi..nithin, i have updated successfully to jb on sony live with walkman but keyboard is not working. m gettig error msg as “keyboard unfortunately stopped”. whats the solution??

    • Nitin

      Hi Vinay, did you pick English or any other language while configuring your system for the 1st time? This might be a limitation of the specific ROM where language packs are not bundled with them hence trimming their sizes. You can choose an alternate ROM and see if this behavior persists.

      Happy flashing!

       
  16.  

    Hi,
    I have rooted my xperia pro using the eroot toolkit and the phone status shows as rooted, can any one help what needs to be done as im totally unaware what needs to be done now. The phone is working fine and can use the apps which requires root access , and im not able to boot in recovery mode.

  17.  

    Status 7 installation aborted

  18.  

    Hi Nitin,

    Upto step 7 everythig was fine. I tried the power key + vol up for the recovery screen. I am getting the logo and blue led, but after that nothing, still with the keys pressed. The screen remains lit. Please advise.

    I used Cyanogenmod 10.1 boot.img to flash.

    Thanks & Regards
    Ajit

    •  

      It’s ok now…

      • Nitin

        Great! :)

         

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