UPDATE (12/11/2017): This article still gets a ton of views & honestly we’re speechless. This site is barely updated anymore. In any case, the below tutorial should not be followed, as it’s entirely inaccurate these days.

UPDATE (5/17/2015): Most of the links in this article are now broken, as the tutorial is over two years old. Please check out the forums on XDA or Rootzwiki and follow the tutorials there instead.

UPDATE (4/6/2014): Folks, this tutorial is extremely out of date (this website’s been redesigned three times since it was written), it seems to garner a couple new views every day though, so I feel the need to inform you that the steps outlined in this tutorial will probably not work anymore. While it can still be used as a general guideline for upgrading your DX to ICS, you may encounter issues along the way. I would encourage you to peruse the forums over at Rootzwiki and XDA to assist you in any problems you encounter. Also, be sure to check out the comments on this post, they may offer insight into problems that others have come across. As always, thanks for stopping by — Nick.


UPDATE: Since this tutorial seems to keep attracting loyal DX users, I’ve updated a couple dead links and files to reflect what’s currently available out there. The CM9-07152012.zip link should work properly now; I’ve also fixed the bootstrapper request contact form. Enjoy!

It’s been quite a while since the ever-loved Motorola Droid X was brought up in the tech news; we’ve decided to resurrect it and give our readers some help in the form of installing Ice Cream Sandwich onto this extraordinary device.

First off, lets go over the basic requirements for ICS and this tutorial:

  1. You must be coming from a Gingerbread installation (no Froyo)
  2. The installation you have is preferably the stock rom (tested and works)
  3. You aren’t afraid to get dirty (we’re not liable for whatever happens to your phone, even if it launches nuclear missiles at Russia)
The following applies to users on the stock .621 software version only:
  1. You have access to a linux machine, if not, creating a temporary one is perfectly harmless and easy with your existing computer. We’ll be working off of a Live CD (bootable CD)
Secondly, we’ll give you the lowdown on what files are going to be used in this tutorial. You’ll find the download links at the appropriate sections in the tutorial, but here’s the list anyways (don’t let it intimidate you, its not that bad).
  • gapps-ics-20120317.zip
  • CM9-DX-07162012.zip
  • Motorola Droid X Drivers (ADB interface & sd card access)
  • Below files, again, apply only to users on the .621 software version or on a Froyo rom
  • Ubuntu OS (ver. 10.04)
  • CDBurnerXP
  • DooMLoRD_v4_ROOT-zergRush-busybox-su.zip
  • DX.621_root.zip
  • sbf_flash

Now that that’s through, lets talk about where you start this guide. If you have updated your Droid X to the latest bugfix from Motorola (.621), your life is ten times harder than everyone else (no biggie, ICS can still be done) and you should start at step 1. If you do not have the latest version from Motorola, but are still on a Gingerbread rom, then you can skip to step 2.

Step 1:

Since you have the latest bugfix from Motorola, you’ve probably lost root. If you still have root because you were smart and used OTA rootkeeper, then you can move on to step _; if not, continue reading. The root method for the new update is tedious, but if you want Ice Cream Sandwich, worth it. If you are running a Froyo rom, please do some reading on how to update to a gingerbread rom (click here for suggestions). Follow the sub-steps below to root your device on the .621 software version.

  1. You will need a linux machine, if you don’t readily have one at hand, don’t worry there’s a solution; create a Live CD. To create a Live CD (bootable CD), go to the Ubuntu website (www.ubuntu.com) and download the 10.04 release (this is the release we tested on and it is recommended that you use this b/c 11.x has several known differences that may cause issues).
  2. Burn the .iso file onto a CD/DVD, if you’re not sure how to do this, download CDBurnerXP, install it, run it, and choose burn iso disc. It’s pretty straightforward from there.
  3. After the burning process is completed, put the CD in your computer and restart it. This part is a little bit tricky; you need to interrupt your computer’s boot so that it doesn’t just boot into windows. If you get a message right when the computer starts to boot to the CD/DVD, then hit a key to do that; if not, google “how to alternate boot method [computer model/make]”
  4. Once you have booted into Ubuntu, download these files [links deprecated – files removed]
  5. Once downloaded, extract the zip directly into the downloads folder (the archive manager should default to this, so just double click the zip and click extract)
  6. Now connect your Droid X and put it into bootloader mode (turn off, hold volume down button + camera button and power on)
  7. Next, open terminal using the key combination Ctrl + Alt + T
  8. Type cd ~/Downloads
  9. BEFORE YOU CONTINUE (Make sure your device has adequate battery charge, for the computer will not charge it when it is flashing)
  10. Type chmod +x sbf_flash (this makes it executable)
  11. Type sudo ./sbf_flash mb809-2.3.5.sbf
  12. Allow the program to complete, it will take some time. When finished, disconnect your phone (which should be completely rebooted and look the exact same as it was before you started), and reboot the system from the power menu (upper right hand corner of screen).
  13. Before Ubuntu powers off, it will open the CD drive and ask you to remove the CD, make sure you do this and then press enter. If the CD is not automatically ejected, make sure to eject it before the system completely powers off.
  14. When the computer boots back up into Windows, download this file [wpdm_file id=18]
  15. Extract it to some random location (know where it is though), connect your phone in CHARGE ONLY mode (windows should pick up on the ADB interface), and run the tool that you just extracted by clicking on RUNME.bat
  16. If your phone is not recognized, make sure you have the drivers for the ADB interface installed, these can be found here
  17. After the phone is successfully rooted and rebooted, congratulations, you have completed the sub-steps. You may now progress to the next step in the ICS process.

Step 2:

Installing the rom is actually pretty straightforward at this point. Download & Install both Rom Manager and the Droid X Bootstrapper from Google Play (if you cannot afford to pay for the DX bootstrapper, fill out this contact form and i’ll get a copy to you).

Download these files [wpdm_file id=21] & [wpdm_file id=19]

Connect your phone to your computer and copy both files to the root of the sd card (open the sd card in windows explorer and drag/drop the files into any whitespace, do not place them in any folder)

Once those files have copied over, safely disconnect your phone and reboot into recovery (make sure you have run the DX bootstrapper app and boostrapped the recovery as well as installed, if not already present, clockworkmod recovery via Rom Manager)

Step 3:

In recovery mode, it is suggested that you make a backup of your current installation by using backup and restore (navigation in CWM can be achieved using the volume buttons to move up/down, camera to select, and power to go back)

After the backup is complete, choose factory reset (this will wipe your data & cache)

Following the format, go back and choose install zip from sdcard, navigate to CM9-DX-07162012.zip and select it, then select yes

After the install is complete, go back and select install zip again, this time navigate to and install the gapps file

Finally, go back and reboot your phone.

Step 4:

Congratulations, you have completed the tutorial, you can wipe the sweat off your brow and enjoy that Ice Cream Sandwich goodness.

If you have any questions/comments/concerns/problems with nuclear missiles, hit up the comment section below and I’ll see what I can do to help!