If you have recently purchased a Droid Razr and have Droid Razr Problems with it concerning rooting, I’m about to save you a bunch of time. I came to the Droid Razr from a Droid Charge. The Droid Charge is extremely easy to root, has many available roms and a wonderful development community. The Droid Razr is a different monster. Because of the many different flavors of the Droid Razr, there are many options that can easily confuse even the most talented android experts.
If you go to your android system settings, you can find which type of Droid Razr you have. I have a Verizon XT912 Droid Razr that came stock with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. The first thing I did as soon as I got my new phone was set up my google account and give it a quick overview to test functionality. After that, I knew it was time to being rooting the device. Here’s where the problems began.
The Droid Razr community knows, but doesn’t spell out to newcomers very well about the issues with this phone. Motorola has locked the bootloader of this device and therefore rooting and installing roms is a bit different. Although I have done a few days of research, I haven’t dug into the low level specifics. The theory goes like this: Since we can’t hack the bootloader to install a custom rom, we bypass it and install our bootloader and rom on a different part of the system. After our new rom is loaded, our “man in the middle” tells the system to boot from our new rom. I call it the “man in the middle” because it isn’t technically the bootloader since the stock bootloader is locked.
This locked bootloader prevents would be hackers from installing Droid Razr Clockwork Mod tools. However, there are many options that will give you clockwork-like features. The option I sprung for was a piece of software called SafeStrap 2.0. Unlike other phones where you would normally flash this software to your device, it is installed into the system via a downloadable apk (droid app). After installation, a user can simply press the menu button at boot time to enter the Clockwork Mod sub-system and install roms.
However, the large problem I had was getting the Droid Razr 4.0 rooted. The theory behind the root is simple: Use adb to push the correct files and scripts to your device to access root and then install the superuser.apk. However, Adb did not recognize my device. This must be an extremely common occurance, because the internet is littered with people who have this same issue. I found a lot of people with the same problem by googling “adb doesn’t find droid razr” Typically the device can’t be found because your computer doesn’t have the drivers for your computer. I downloaded the official drivers from motorola and ensured there were no other phone drivers on my computer. I plugged the phone into every different usb port on my computer. I uninstalled the drivers / restarted my computer / tried all the usb ports again with no luck! For some reason, the phone was being installed as a motorola networking device when I the drivers should have installed it as a “Mot Composite ADB Interface”
Finally I was at my wit’s end, ready to throw the computer through a wall. I uninstalled motorola’s drivers and found an old version of the driver to install. I then did a factory reset of my phone and did NOT set up my google account on the phone. I enabled USB Debugging and set the USB option to PTP (do not use mass storage). I restarted my computer and BAM! The device was discovered and I was able to root the device. Below is a screenshot of what the Motorola Droid Razr should show in Windows Device Manager.
The moral of this story is that Motorola’s drivers SUCK. Do not download the official motorola drivers, they’re horrible! Instead of downloading the official drivers, download the older drivers. In case some idiot wants you to register for his website in order to download them, I’ve made them available: Droid Razr Drivers. Motorola is also stained in my mind because they have locked the bootloader of this device, preventing consumers from getting full enjoyment out of the phone. The droid razr community is still in it’s infancy, but information is hard to find. The droidrzr forums are a cluttered mess. The XDA forums are in better shape, but the damn developers force people to download files from their personal off-site webpages that require seperate usernames and registrations. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate their work, but their marketing skills are lacking. My next few posts will outline how to root, safestrap, and install a ROM onto this device. I will not force you to register for my site, and for christ’s sake you can leave a comment for free (WITHOUT registering).
Droid Razr Problems Overview:
- Uninstall previous phone drivers from your computer (In my case I had to uninstall droid charge drivers)
- Don’t install Motorola’s official drivers. Install the older drivers that I have made available here: Download Motorola Droid Drivers
- Do a factory reset of your phone
- After the factory reset does it’s thing, do not set up your google account on the phone.
- Set the phone to USB debugging
- Set the phone USB mode to PTP (Not mass storage).
- Restart your computer after installing the correct Motorola Drivers
- Plug your phone in and your device manager should install an ADB device.
If you have any issues, leave a comment and I’ll address them to my best ability. If you read this post in it’s entirety, it probably solved a problem that would’ve taken you a long time to fix or you’ve already been researching this problem for a long time and appreciate the answer (especially if you were on the brink of throwing your phone through a wall like I was).
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