Motorola Droid 2.1 rooted
Last Updated: August 1st, 2012

A day barely passed since the over-the-air (OTA) Android 2.1 update for the Motorola Droid was converted into a simple download installable without having to wait your turn in Verizon's rollout line, and we're already getting word on the 2.1 firmware getting rooted.

Speeddymon over at AllDroid.org forums, together with one Zinx Verituse have figured out a way to root the new version of the OS (2.1) by slightly tweaking the update.zip file that is used to upgrade the Droid from 2.0.1. to 2.1.

Note that this root method only works when updating from an unrooted 2.0.1.

If you already upgraded to 2.1, you have to revert back to stock 2.0.1 first and then apply the update below.

Rooting Steps

The rooting process involves

  • downloading a small patch
  • patching the official 2.1 update.zip file with it (see this for more info on update.zip)
  • using the patched update.zip for the upgrade to 2.1 where you will have root!

Again, this root method requires upgrading from a stock 2.0.1 version.

Oops, I already updated to 2.1 stock

If you've already installed the default 2.1 or have a rooted 2.0.1, the only way to use this hack would be to revert back to stock 2.0.1 first.

Instructions on how to do this can be found here but be warned about 2 things:

  • we shall not be held responsible for any damage to your phone
  • this process wipes everything on your phone and resets it back to stock 2.0.1 - you will lose everything unless you back up first

Here It Is: Upgrade 2.0.1 Stock to 2.1 Rooted

Credit to this post at AllDroid.org for the hack.

  1. Download the signed update file, just like we described it in the 2.1 update post yesterday.
  2. Download the patch (working link as of 00:05am 4/2/10; if it expires, visit the link in the credit above).
  3. Put both files in the same directory.
  4. Apply the patch by running:
    copy /b signed-voles-ESE81-from-ESD56.fa406da6.zip+droid-ESE81-update-2.zip update.zip
  5. Now install update.zip onto your phone, exactly as we described yesterday, starting from step 4 there
  6. That's all folks! You should now have a rooted Droid 2.1!
  • Travis

    I don't understand step 4. You say to "run" that command. Run it with what? (Forum trolls, please don't comment) Thanks.

    Update: Found the answer. (Start -> Run -> cmd) I'm a Mac guy and only run Windows when ABSOLUTELY necessary, so please don't take for granted that we know these things. But thank you for the great tutorial.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Travis, no problem - you won't find anyone superficial here.

      These instructions were mostly taken from the forum post right above them - if anyone has any further questions, that forum post probably has all the answers already but don't hesitate to ask.

  • Ali

    Is this really 2.1 rooted or just rooting 2.0.1 to rooted base band ese 81? I'm curious because this should be big news everywhere. Maybe that's yet the catch but I was not sure. Btw nice site Artem way to be responsive to people on here.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii


      This is stock 2.0.1 that gets upgraded to rooted 2.1 based off the update Verizon was rolling out to the Droid.