NOTE: Look at the new post above if your phone is *at* 2.3.3 and you want to go up to 2.3.4

If you just want the LATEST update: grab the FULL 2.3.3 image (

I decided to contribute back, mention a few vital steps, and provide a few important files now that I solved this — in order for someone to go from 2.3(.0) to 2.3.3
This assumes that you have not rooted your phone. If you have, you need to un-root it and go back to either 2.3.0, 2.3.1, or 2.3.2,

First of all, if you use the built-in “update” method, the updates need to be consecutive. For this, they are very small.

Let’s assume you just bought your Google Nexus S. It came with 2.3 (or 2.3.0 in reality). The first step is to apply the 2.3.1 update. I’ve called this: (md5: a35798d84104c7cb1d26d7946ce843fc)

The general instructions are:

0.) Put the file into the /sdcard directory.
1.) Turn off your phone
2.) Hold Power and Volume-Up until you see the recovery menu (lots of colors and 4 options).
3.) Use the Volume-Down key to scroll down and  select “Recovery” by pushing the Power key.
4.) Wait for the triangle with the exclamation point. Push the Power key and while holding it, tap the Volume-Up key.
5.) Now you can use the  the Volume keys to go to “apply update from /sdcard” and then the Power key to select it.
6.) Select the appropriate ZIP file, and then use the Power key to apply it.
7.) When everything is done, go to the Reboot option with the Volume keys and then use the Power Key to select it.

Now, that said, after you apply the first update, you go from 2.3.0 to 2.3.1. Now, apply the 2.3.2 update. I’ve called this: (md5: 714e1e1126f1a222c10ffce6c83dc6ad)

Same as before. After you go through the steps and reboot, you will be at 2.3.2. Here is where things get interesting. It seems that you need another update. Its for people who get the “Status 7” error.
This is mostly due to a firmware (those who have: GRH78C or GRH78). Here you will need to apply the LAST UPDATE, the same way you applied update1 and update2:

For GRH78C (md5: 3923f98754f756a83b3ecc44e42a2902)


Only for GRH78 (md5: 919d7f2c9e06bb03a2ff74081028bf0a)

At last, reboot, and you are on 2.3.3

Please note that *ALL* of these files have been taken from google and are official. For that exact reason, I have provided the md5 checksums, so that you can verify them before you use them.
Hope this helps.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND FILES (If above did not work — very rare):

Some people (very very rare) might still get an error. This is if you have a different radio version. Check: “Settings -> About Phone -> Baseband Version”. You should have either something that ends in “XXKB1” or something that ends in “XXKB3”. Here are the two radios. Apply this the same way as the items above. You might need this BEFORE the GRH78C (or  GRH78) updates. (md5: 4805c255f10eef8b1bd54aa2d27bc30e)

or (md5: 4e9c9cf4d6470be800e00f8508b9c175)


LAST RESORT (if nothing above worked — extremely rare):

If nothing worked, try the FULL 2.3.3 OS. (md5: 3e8908941043951da5a34bb2043dd1a0)

70 Thoughts on “Google Nexus S – update manually to 2.3.1, 2.3.2, and 2.3.3

  1. This post was excellent and easy to follow! Thanks! My Nexus S is now happily updated!

  2. Happy to hear this! You can upgrade it to 2.3.6 by the wat, and then even 4.0.3 if you are interested.

  3. Dave O on January 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm said:

    I have a nexus s on 2.3.1, baseband ,I9020 xxjk8.kernal,, android-build@apa28#1, build #, soju-userdebug, 2,3,1 . GRH78 85442 ,Test-keys. Have tried all the above and each time comes up with same thing. ( e, failed to verify whole file signature, ) ( signature verifaction fail instaoll aborted,) Anyone any sugestions, Thanks in advance.

  4. That’s very strange. The full download link should definitely work. If it doesn’t for some strange reason, I would advise to go look at the 2.3.6 full OS. At this point honestly, you should either go for that (latest 2.3 branch), or even better, get ICS 4.0.3.

  5. Dave O on January 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm said:

    Have tried everything above except the ICS. That is what i will try next but am waiting for confirmation they have cured the problems and to find a good download link. Thanks.

  6. Dave – you should be able to find both of the full roms from my blog. I linked to the files provided from google. The one I linked to is the one that has had the initial bugs fixed.

    The part that I cannot understand is why the full 2.3.6 image is not working. Was this what you tried:

    The full ICS 4.0.3 one is this:

    One thing to be careful of is that when you download these files, you save them as zips. If you just click them, most systems will try to unzip them, and then you get the signature bit error.

    The Full 2.3.6 install seems to have worked for a lot of people (i think over a few thousand have downloaded it via my website), so I am assuming that one should work for you.

  7. Dave O on January 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm said:

    Just tried 2.3.6 and get same message. Am now going to try ICS.

  8. Dave O on January 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm said:

    Anyone want a paperweight. Have tried everything above and comes back with same message. Also cannot do any updates with google maps or music or streetview. Says package not signed correctly. Then tells me to uninstall previous versions but there is no way to do it. Am getting ready to drive to google location and kicking some butt.Thanks anyway Ventz.

  9. Dave, don’t give up. It’s impossible to brick this phone. I did my research very heavily before I got into this. I really think there’s just some bug with your software or something went screwy while you were using it before. This is the reason none of these are working. Do a factory reset. Try again. If that doesn’t work, try unlocking it, and installing the clockwork mod boot loader, and use it to delete all the caches/format the phone partitions. Is this phone on T-Mobile by the way?

  10. Dave O on January 19, 2012 at 5:45 am said:

    Yes am on t-mobile. I like that comment about it being impossible to brick this phone. On that note im going to go through everything. This phone is unlocked and comes that way. Have deleted the cashes from recovery/reboot mode but not tried a factory reset from there. Did try from settings/Privacy though. Would need info on the unlocking /clockwork mod/format. . Can i not format the phone off the computer, (PC), Thanks again Ventz you have been a great help so far and if ever u r in Ft Lauderdale i owe you a few drinks even if it doesn’t work. This has been one of the best info sites i have read.

  11. Dave O on January 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm said:

    Ok people, Have found somthing interesting for those of you not able to update and having problems with some models of which mine is one of them, Have sent an email to google to see what happens. Heres the link , If i don’t hear anything by next week im going to blow this over every site i find and take care of it myself. BBB here i come,

  12. Wow! This is unbelievable. On a different note, personally, I cannot stand when google does these half-assed things. The thing I am dealing with is that my google voice # got locked in between two accounts (both had the same email, one was a google account and one was an old google apps when they just had email), anyway, when they merged, I lost my cellphone # and I can’t re-add it because it says it is taken. There’s no one to contact for this kind of support (even with a paid google apps domain). Good luck to you. I hope you hear back.

  13. john morris on January 21, 2012 at 10:49 am said:

    Hi Ventz,
    I have a nexus s on 2.3.1, baseband ,I9020 xxjk8.kernal,, android-build@apa28#1, build number GRH78.
    As you can see from the above description, its nearly the same as dave o’s above with the exception of
    my build number being GRH78, while dave o,s was build #, soju-userdebug, 2,3,1 . GRH78 85442.
    Now 2 questions,
    1/ is the problem of upgrading, possibly to do with dave o’s build number.

    2/ Sorry to ask this, but its my first smartphone with android, although no problems with computers, i find your points relating to the following confusing,…. and here they are,…..

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND FILES (If above did not work — very rare):

    Some people (very very rare) might still get an error. This is if you have a different radio version. Check: “Settings -> About Phone -> Baseband Version”. You should have either something that ends in “XXKB1″ or something that ends in “XXKB3″. Here are the two radios. Apply this the same way as the items above. You might need this BEFORE the GRH78C (or GRH78) updates.

    Well looking at my baseband version above, you will see i have xxjk8, are you telling me that i need to download one of the following files listed below, before going for the full ics download. If so can this be downloaded directly onto 2.3.1 (md5: 4805c255f10eef8b1bd54aa2d27bc30e)

    or (md5: 4e9c9cf4d6470be800e00f8508b9c175)

    Anyway sorry for such a long comment, but this ice cream sandwich thing is taking over my life….. and i want it back, lol.
    Many many thanks if you can help.

  14. john morris on January 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm said:

    Right forget about my previous post,
    I’am now running ics 4.0.3, thank you your website rocks.
    I’ll try and write my thoughts later this week, after i had a play.

  15. Glad it worked. Give ICS at least a week before judging it. The first week I thought I was going to go back. There are some “weird” things. Once you accept those, you realize how amazing it is, and how much easier it is.

    I was just writing up a response to your previous post. I guess no need 🙂 Basically the summary for anyone who is curious is that when the Nexus S came out, there were a few different RADIO/firmware options, and there were a few mismatches because google only released one update at first. This caused like 3/4 ths of the people not to be able to update. The best solution honestly is just to use the full rom files. They are very difficult to find, so that’s why whenever I find them, I post them here. I always link to the original from google. So the conclusion — if you want 2.3.6, there’s a full rom. If you want to play with ICS, there’s a full rom.

  16. john morris on January 22, 2012 at 10:51 am said:

    Thanks Ventz,
    Some initial thoughts on ics, battery life as definetly taken a hit, over the day for me between 5-7%, but in saying that, i have used it a bit more than usual, but not 5-7% more.
    Doesn,t seem laggy at the moment, every op seems the same, but not faster, the screen does by default seem less bright, obviously you can change that.
    There’s definetly a learning curve with ice cream sandwich, something i’ll be doing in the next couple of days.
    There,s a bug on the homescreen which shows 2 versions of google startup, one with a black background, one with white, again you can delete one.
    My thoughts would be google android are not completely happy with 4.0.3 and are working on some of the finer points for the nexus s, but i hope its completed soon.

  17. my baseband is M200KRKC1 the 2.3.1 to 2.3.2 update worked now what do i do??????

  18. I would suggest going straight to:–-update-manually-to-2-3-6/ and I think you should use the FULL install. I am on 4.2.1 (stock, but rooted), and I am using the AirKernel, which is unbelievable. It is 2x faster and uses half the battery. Add a governor change to “conservative”, and now you have a snappy phone with a battery life that’s literally 35-40% better than original.

  19. Hello.. I bought a Nexus S last week from a stock clearance and I have a problem installing update to Android ICS 4.0.4, it gives me error : E: Error in /cache/ (status 7) Installation aborted. The phone is unrooted, it cames like this, so I didn’t root it.
    Android version: 2.3.1
    Baseband version I9020XXKB2
    Built number: GRH78
    Now I’m seriously thinking to bring it to Samsung service ’cause I dont know how to solve this problem without any problems that could appear during my attempts to update it. What you recommend me to do?

  20. You want to go in order for the updates.

    Ex: from 2.3.1 to 2.3.2
    After that, the Nexus S should automatically prompt you to update from 2.3.2 to 4.0.4 and then to 4.1.

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