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How to Update Sony Ericsson Xperia Play with CyanogenMod 7.2


Published onDecember 19, 2011

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is a cool Android smartphone that does not just accomplish its regular Android duties but runs PlayStation games, too. The dedicated game pad built into the Xperia Play makes this device a mini version of the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

Despite the fact that this smartphone can play PSP games, this one is still a true-blue Android device. And, because of that, we can install the CyanogenMod custom ROM into this machine. We are not talking about those obsolete versions here; instead, we are going to tinker with CyanogenMod 7.2, which is based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

If you are up to some smartphone hacking today, experience the thrill of installing CyanogenMod 7.2 into your Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. Just a disclaimer though: this process will void the warranty of your device. The steps listed below were tested to work, but please carefully proceed at your own risk.


Before proceeding, please go through this pre-installation checklist to ensure a smooth, orderly, and safe hacking experience.

  • Backup your smartphone. You might encounter some issues during the hacking process that may cause data loss, that’s why it is important to have a backup of your data. Your contacts, calendar, and email can easily be backed up if you have a Gmail account. For other stuff like SMS and apps, you can search for some backup methods you can use over the Internet for this.
  • The Xperia Play must have a fully charged battery before you continue with this process. This is a process that will alter the heart of your Android device and you don’t want the process to be interrupted in the middle because you ran out of juice.
  • This installation of CyanogenMod 7.2 will require a PC. It would be easier if your PC is running Vista or Windows 7.
  • You also have to download and install the Android SDK for this.

Steps to Install CyanogenMod 7.2 on the Xperia Play

  1. Unlock the bootloader of your Xperia Play first. This step consists of a series of instructions and substeps. You can follow the instructions by visiting this page.
  2. You can only install CyanogenMod 7.2 after unlocking your phone’s bootloader. Once that’s done, proceed with the rest of the steps below.
  3. Download the Google Apps for CyanogenMod from here. Do not extract the ZIP file.
  4. Download the CyanogenMod 7.2 update files from here. The files are compressed into a ZIP file. You need to extract the ZIP file’s contents into a folder on your desktop.
  5. Inside the folder where you extracted the ZIP file, you will see an APPS folder, a boot.img file, and a ZIP file named
  6. Copy boot.img to the /tools folder in your Android SDK installation directory.
  7. Connect your phone to your PC.
  8. Copy to the main storage of your phone.
  9. Copy to the main storage of your phone.
  10. Disconnect your phone from your PC.
  11. Power off your Xperia Play.
  12. Press and hold the Search button on your phone while at the same time connecting the phone again to your PC through a USB cable.
  13. On your PC, open a command prompt window.
  14. In the command prompt, go to the “tools” folder inside the Android SDK folder.
  15. Type the following commands:

    fastboot -i 0xfce flash boot boot.img

fastboot -i 0xfce reboot

  • The device will not go back to the home screen after it reboots. Instead, it will open a menu screen with several options. You cannot tap on these options, so to navigate you have to use the volume rocker and use the Power button to select.
  • Select “Clock Work Mod Recovery” and from there select “Wipe data/factory reset” and “Wipe cache partition”.
  • Choose “Install zip from sd card”. Then, “Choose zip from sd card” and from the list of files, select Repeat this step, but this time, choose
  • Once the installation completes, choose “++++ Go Back ++++” to return to the main menu.
  • Choose “Reboot System Now”.
  • After a minute or two, the device should reboot and next time it turns on, it should already have CyanogenMod 7.2 installed.
  • Congratulations! CyanogenMod 7.2 is now on your Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. It is true that it is quite tedious to do all these steps. Plus, there’s also the risk of bricking your device. But, as they say, we are doing it because we can–and sometimes we need to. Have you installed CyanogenMod 7.2 on your Xperia Play today?