The Motorola Defy is a small but sturdy Android phone. With its scratch-, water-, and dust-resistant features, you can toss your phone anywhere you want. Although the phone bears a sturdy protective covering, the phone still has a weak point that allows you to root your phone.
The Motorola Defy runs Android 2.1 Eclair which can be upgraded into Android 2.2 Froyo. But for those who seek more power from Android 2.3 Gingerbread or Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, flashing custom ROMs is the only way to enjoy these more recent versions of Android, and you can do that by rooting your phone.
In this guide, we will teach how to break the barriers and root your Motorola Defy so you can make some tweaks and flash custom ROMs.
- Motorola Defy (not the Motorola Defy+)
- A Windows PC
- Android Debug Bridge (ADB) — Get the standalone package here (ADB_Fastboot_Windows.zip, 404.2 kB)
- Motorola 5.4.0 device drivers — Get the installer here (MotoHelper_2.1.32_Driver_5.4.0.exe, 8.2 MB). Install the drivers to your computer and reboot your computer.
- Rage Against the Cage (RATC) exploit for ARM5 — Get it here (rageagainstthecage-arm5.zip, 11.9 kB).
- Superuser package — Get it here (su-126.96.36.199-efgh.zip, 133.4 kB).
- bootmenu 0.6.1 — Get it here (bootmenu.0.6.1.zip, 3.0 MB).
- If you have not yet done so, install the Motorola device drivers using the installer from the download link provided in the Requirements section.
- Extract bootmenu.0.6.1.zip into a folder named bootmenu on your computer.
- Connect your Motorola Defy to your PC via a USB cable.
- Copy the bootmenu folder into the root of your phone’s SD card (i.e., /sdcard). Do not place the folder inside another folder.
- Extract the contents of ADB_Fastboot_Windows.zip into a folder on your computer.
- Extract the contents of rageagainstthecage-arm5.zip into the same folder where you extracted ADB_Fastboot_Windows.zip to.
- Extract the contents of su-188.8.131.52-efgh.zip into the same folder where you extracted ADB_Fastboot_Windows.zip to.
- Open the folder where you extracted the files to. Among the files, you will see one named Start Here.bat. Double-click on that file to open a command prompt.
- Check that ADB detects your phone by entering the following at the command prompt:
- If the command above shows you the serial number of your phone, then you’re okay to proceed.
- Enter the following at the command prompt:
- adb push rageagainstthecage-arm5.bin /data/local/tmp/
- adb shell
- chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/rageagainstthecage-arm5.bin
- The RATC exploit will do its job. Wait for the exploit to finish. Enter the following commands at the command prompt:
- adb kill-server
- adb start-server
- adb shell
- The last command above will cause the prompt to change from the $ symbol to a # symbol. If you still see the $ symbol at the command prompt, RATC didn’t succeed, so you’ll need to repeat step 9.
- Enter the following commands at the command prompt:
- mount -o rw,remount /system
- NOTE: If the command above fails, try this instead (without the quotes): “mount -o remount,rw -t ext3 /dev/block/mmcblk1p21 /system”
- adb push su /system/xbin/
- adb shell chmod 4755 /system/xbin/su
- adb push Superuser.apk /system/app/
- At this point, your Motorola Defy is now rooted. Proceed to the next steps to install bootmenu and ClockworkMod Recovery.
- At the command prompt, enter the following:
- adb shell
- cp -R /sdcard/bootmenu /data/bootmenu
- cd /data/bootmenu
- chmod 755 *
- rm -R /data/bootmenu
- Disconnect your phone from the computer.
- Try verifying whether bootmenu and ClockworkMod Recovery were successfully installed, as follows:
- Turn off your phone completely.
- Press the Power button once.
- The Motorola logo will appear on the phone’s screen. Wait until the blue LED lights up on your phone, at which point press the Volume Down button.
- The bootmenu will appear. Inside the bootmenu, use the Volume keys for navigation and the Power button for selecting options/items.
Congratulations! You have successfully rooted your Motorola Defy and also installed bootmenu and ClockworkMod Recovery on your phone.