Rooting Droid X

On November 1, 2011, in Android, by ThinkNEET
My Phone

DX w/ Cyanogenmod 7

So back in April I decided to leave my job for a long extended vacation (in other words I quit). Since then I have been recovering from burn out and I took up learning Android development.

The past three months (For the previous three months I kind of did nothing. Burn out is evil.) has been interesting in learning all the things you can do with rooted devices and Android in general. Even went to the BigAndroidBBQ and attended most of the sessions. As luck would have it though, apparently, the phone I have, Droid X, doesn’t have quite as much support in the root and ROM community. Cyanogenmod recently added Droid X as one of their devices, but it doesn’t rate as stable. For example, it doesn’t appear to enable tethering like it does for other devices. The CM nighly builds also seem to not include the correct software camera so you have to flash a fix for that too. This software camera also doesn’t respond to the hardware camera button. I have never felt the need to try the HDMI out so unsure if that works. Even with these issues, it runs so much faster than the stock Motorola/Verizon Android that it’s still well worth using if only to get rid of the bloatware. Then of course there’s a possible Verizon security issue I heard about on xda developers (around 8 min point in video) that supposedly will allow a malware application free reign to most of your crucial phone information and if app has has internet permissions upload your data to its server of choice. Anyway on to the rooting.

*** NOTE ***

There’s supposed to be a new way to  one click root that does not require you to downgrade first and do all of the following, but I did not try it. The methods below have worked successfully on two devices.


Rooting your phone using the methodology does require the Android SDK to be installed and you can just go to and follow instructions there to get the SDK working. First I started off using CM’s instructions from their wiki for Droid X which you should have open for this article to make sense, :

 Section 1

Okay, so here’s one of the annoyances of the internet. Outdated or incomplete documentation and the community isn’t maintaining it (actually, this reminds me of work too). Well, several of the utilities they list requires your phone to already have been rooted. So the only backup I made was to sync my contacts to my gmail account. Nothing else really mattered since everything else was being stored on my sdcard and all apps can just be downloaded again.

Section 2

I have performed both of the subsections 2.1.1 / 2.1.2 for the Windows and Linux sides. The Linux side was much easier of course as shown with the fewer steps. There’s at least one gotcha in these steps. Steps 11 or 8 (Windows or Linux methods respectively) are a bit unclear. If your phone reacts like mine after doing the initial flash, it gets stuck in a boot loop with the Droid X eye logo. After some Googling I came up with this much clearer set of instructions from here (rewritten again by me):

Turn off phone ( by taking the battery out).  Power on phone. As it is powering on, first hold power button and also the home button. When the Motorola M logo displays, release the power button but don’t release the home button. If you get an android bot with an exclamation point, then press the search button. Do a factory reset and you can boot again.

After that it’s fairly simple to finish the section and gain root. Now there’s instructions for using rageagainstthecage to gain root, but there seems to be a problem with it and it doesn’t quite work. As they do give the source code, I could probably debug it and figure it out why it dies, but instead I installed z4root.1.3.0.apk. Root achieved. You should also install SUperuser.apk at this point. Since I did not write this right away, you may have some additional small issues.

From there on, you can continue to install ClockworkMod Recovery and CyanogenMod, the instructions are straight forward if slightly misnamed here and there. One additional thing if you do plan on using CM is to find and flash it after flashing the latest CM nightly to correct the camera issue.

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