A few days ago a new utility was release which makes it possible to root devices running Google Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread without modifying your bootloader. I decided to wait a few days for the kinks to be worked out before trying the new GingerBreak tool, but when I noticed that the developer of SuperOneClick had incorporated the exploit into the latest version of his popular one-click rooting tool I figured I’d take it for a spin.
As it turns out, the kinks aren’t all worked out. SuperOneClick froze on me every time I tried it. But after a bit of trial and error, I did find another way to root my Google Nexus One phone running the stock version of Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread today. Here’s how I did it:
- Make sure there’s an SD card inserted in your phone that you’re prepared to erase completely. If you only have one SD card, make sure to backup all your data to a PC before starting. If you have a spare SD card, you might want to insert it now.
- Open your phone’s settings and scroll down to Storage.
- Click the Erase SD card button to format your SD card and follow the prompts.
- Download the latest version of Chainfire’s GingerBreak APK file from xda-developers or rootzwiki. I used v1.1.
- Install the GingerBreak app on your phone. If you downloaded it directly to your phone, just tap the installer from the downloads menu. If you downloaded it on a computer there are several ways to do this, but the simplest is to plug your phone into your PC, mount the SD card as a USB storage device, copy and paste the APK, and then use ES File Explorer, Astro File Manager, or another file manager to locate the file on your device and click on it.
- Once installed, run the GingerBreak app.
- The app will try to extract some files and when it’s done you can click on the Root button to attempt to root your device.
That’s pretty much it. If all goes according to plan, your phone will reboot in a few moments and you’ll notice a new app called SuperUser in the app drawer.
Your results may vary. I had no luck with SuperOneClick or Chainfire’s GingerBreak.apk utility until I inserted a new SD card and erased it. Formatting it first on my Windows machine wasn’t good enough. When I was done, I put my usual SD card back in the phone and everything works the way it did before I rooted the phone. The difference is that now I can run apps that require root access, such as ShootMe for taking screengrabs, Titanium Backup for backing up all your apps and settings, or Hot Rebot for quickly restarting the Android graphical shell.
Update: According to at least one reader you’ll want to make sure disable any screen locking before you start.