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    Default HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    This is a work in progress, and designed with Win 7 in mind, but most of the details will work for all computer OS's and both the GSM and CDMA model.

    READ THIS FIRST
    Warning. Danger Will Robinson. Ahead, there be dragons.
    • This will erase all data on your phone. Everything.
    • It also allows you to break anything you want, so be warned.
    • It's easy, but you have to follow instructions. If the instructions are too hard, maybe you shouldn't be unlocking the bootloader in the first place.


    1. Install the Android SDK

    • Go to the and download the Windows installer version. Choose the installer version to ensure you get the correct drivers installed.
    • Save the SDK to your desktop, right click it and choose to "Run as administrator".
    • Accept all the defaults and let the SDK install


    2. Set your PATH variable
    • Click the Start button, right click Computer and select Properties.
    • In the window that opens, on the left, select "Advanced system settings".
    • In the next window that opens, near the bottom, select "Environment Variables".
    • Another window will open, in the bottom text box select "Path" and click the button labeled "Edit..."
    • You'll see a new dialog where you can enter text. Navigate to the end of the existing text, and enter the following exactly as written:
      Code:
      ;C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools;C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\tools;C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk
    • Click "OK" and the small dialog will close. Click "OK" in the Environment Variables window, and it will close, then click "OK" in the System Properties window and it will close. Also close the Control Panel window.


    3. Download fastboot.exe for Windows

    4. Boot your Galaxy Nexus to fastboot mode
    • Shut off the phone.
    • Press and hold both Volume Up and Volume Down, then press and hold Power.
    • When the phone reboots to fastboot mode. You'll see an Android robot with his front panel open. Check to see that the text below it starts with "FASTBOOT MODE" in red.


    5. Connect to the computer and unlock bootloader
    • Now plug the Galaxy Nexus into your computer with the micro USB cable.
    • Let any drivers install.
    • Once finished, open the Windows command prompt (Start button>All Programs>Accessories) and enter the following:
      Code:
      fastboot oem unlock
    • You will see a screen that asks you if you want to unlock the bootloader, explains the pros and cons of unlocking it, and warns you that ALL DATA WILL BE ERASED. It means it.
    • Choose Yes to erase all data and unlock the bootloader.


    Have fun and try not to break anything
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  2. #2  
    Rickgsx's Avatar

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    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Okay... That's done, all I need now is the PHONE..!!
    mitchstehlin likes this.
  3. #3  
    Hearthatvoiceagain's Avatar

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    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Surprised not to see a linux version Jerry
  4. #4  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    i dont seem to find where im supposed to enter the windows command prompt (Start button>All Programs>Accessories) can you please give me a clear way to go about doing this. im not that good with computers. im trying to unlock my SGN locked to 3 network.

    Would you also give a detailed way on how to lock a bootloader please.
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  5. #5  
    mysterx's Avatar

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    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Noob alert!! I'm thinking of toying with some development on the android platform with the GN. I'm a MS developer by trade, so I'm technical by nature. But all this android/java/linux stuff is a little foreign to me.

    I'm planning to unlock the bootloader per these directions when I get my GN. But isn't this just the first step? Don't you need to root the GN to get all the cool benefits? How is root obtained after the bootloader is unlocked? Sorry for the noob questions, but the whole unlock -vs- root issue has confused me for some time.

    Thanks!

    -me
  6. #6  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Just like with the Nexus One, unlocking the bootloader enables root. At least I am pretty sure it does. I have not done it on my N1 because of the erasing everything factor. But I think I will do it on the GN before I "move in" to it.

    aviduser
    1995-Newton Message Pad 2000 | 1998-Palm V | 1999-Palm V8 (upgrade) | 2000-Palm m505 | 2001-Palm m515 | 2003-Kyocera 7135 | 2004-Treo 600 (woc) | 2006-Treo 700p (wc) | 2007-Treo 680 (wc) | 2008-Another Treo 680 (wc) (unlocked) | 2010-Google Nexus One | 2011-NookColor (hacked) | 2012-Galaxy Nexus | 2012-Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 wifi
  7. #7  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Noob inc:

    I only get the message waiting for device, but nothing happens on my device

    EDIT:got it working with PDAnet
    Last edited by chocobunny; 12-08-2011 at 02:43 PM.
    suprnubr likes this.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Is there a chance that in the future there will be a way WITHOUT losing ALL of your data? If not, I'm gonna unlock right away. If there is, I'm gonna wait, cause I already got my Galaxy Nexus installed.. (I'm in Europe )
    bhawkins8 likes this.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    When you say erases all data, that doesnt mean the OS does it? Im so used to reformatting windows, so when I see wipe all data, I think of even the OS getting wiped out and having to reinstall it. Since there are no directions on what to do after you unlock, Im assuming you just start with a fresh, clean OS without personal data.

    Sorry for the noob question, just dont want to get into a jam with my phone, since its actually more critical than taking my PC out of commission.

    Thanks,
    Aceball
  10. #10  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    When I unlock the bootloader -- will it stop the OTA update from happening? If it allows the update, will it be okay to go ahead and update? Or should the bootloader be locked down to install the OTA update?
  11. #11  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    I'm going to clarify a few things for some people asking some questions about this process.

    • To open a command prompt, hit the Windows Key (it's usually between Ctrl and Alt) + R. Then type in "cmd" without quotes and hit enter. Boom, there you go.
    • This process erases all data on the phone, meaning all apps and user info. After doing this it will be like you just got the phone again.
    • Unlocking the bootloader and rooting are different. Unlocking the bootloader is basically the first step to rooting, it paves the way for the superuser app and root privileges. As far as I know, there is no root method available for this phone yet. The good news is that you shouldn't have to wipe the data to get root after unlocking the bootloader.
    • I believe you will still be able to get OTA updates. OTA updates will disable root but keep the unlocked bootloader intact. Someone correct me if I'm wrong (I usually unlock the bootloader, root, and go to a custom ROM so have little experience with OTA updates)


    I hope this clarifies some things for those people that were a little confused!
    Last edited by csteenbock; 12-15-2011 at 08:23 AM. Reason: answering another question
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    aceball likes this.
  12. #12  
    Mr.Miagi's Avatar

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    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    So if I have a Mac and the exe programs will not run, am I just SOL?
  13. #13  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Quote Originally Posted by mr.miagi View Post
    So if I have a Mac and the exe programs will not run, am I just SOL?
    DITTO....
  14. #14  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    What about doing it with a Mac?
  15. #15  
    Andrew Ruffolo's Avatar

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    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    done! thank Jerry!
  16. #16  
    Andrew Ruffolo's Avatar

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    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Quote Originally Posted by Stang68 View Post
    What about doing it with a Mac?
    Want a video tutorial?
  17. #17  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Ruffolo View Post
    Want a video tutorial?
    Lol written directions are fine, but whatever you like
  18. #18  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Can someone tell me what's the purpose of unlocking the bootloader?

    Sorry, I'm a newbie
  19. #19  
    KarbonKopy's Avatar

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    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Odd when I change the Path to what was posted the SDK won't open anymore...if I change it back it will. Double checking the text now trying to figure it out.
  20. #20  
    fillossofer's Avatar

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    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Followed directions to a tee, but when I enter the code at the command prompt it says "waiting for device" and nothing happens. Any ideas? I hear the sound when I connect the phone, and drivers installed, so not sure where to go from here.
    kichard likes this.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    How? I get the same message...
  22. #22  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    I installed the SDK properly, as well as installed all the dev packs.... However my computer cannot locate/install the "Android 1.0" USB driver. Anyone have this issue?
  23. #23  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Quote Originally Posted by chocobunny View Post
    Noob inc:

    I only get the message waiting for device, but nothing happens on my device

    EDIT:got it working with PDAnet
    How did you get it to work with PDAnet? I am getting the same message......
  24. #24  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    This is the message I get when I plug in my USB while in the bootloader. I followed directions exactly. Any ideas?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus-untitled.jpg  
    Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE - Verizon WIreless
  25. #25  

    Default Re: HOW-TO OEM unlock the Galaxy Nexus

    Regarding unlocking with a Mac, I have a follow up question:

    If I unlock the bootloader using a PC, will I still be able to do things on the phone (install ROMs, etc.) on my Mac? I have a PC for work and a Mac at home, so I use both at different times. Right now, I'm at work but I just got my Nexus and I want to unlock the bootloader, but I don't want to do it on a PC if it will prevent me from using my home Mac to do other things.

    Please pardon my ignorance with this. The GN is my first android phone, so I'm a noob when it comes to unlocking bootloaders and all that stuff.
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