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Upgrade Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 to Ice Cream Sandwich Via CyanogenMod 9

March 18, 2012

Everyone likes Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich running on his/her Android phone.  However, not all phones are given the opportunity to be sweetened by the latest Android OS. For the search for the latest Android OS for our phones, we turn our heads to custom ROMs, which give us hope that the latest Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich could run on our old, forgotten Android phones.

Custom ROM developers are vigilant to the requests of Android phone users. In the case of the Sony Ericsson X8, XDA Developers member paul-xxx created a CyanogenMod 9 ROM for the device.  The ROM is based on Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. Flashing this ROM will allow you to enjoy the latest and sweetest Android OS right on your Sony Ericsson Xperia X8.

The following features doesn’t work with this ROM:

  • Camera
  • FM Radio
  • Hardware/Software video decoder
  • DHCP in Wi-Fi

If these missing features are not a big problem for you, you can upgrade your Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 to Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich via CyanogenMod 9.


You’ll need the following to be able to perform the upgrade:

  • A rooted Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 with unlocked bootloader and running MiniCM7 or any recent source-based Gingerbread custom ROM
  • A computer running Windows
  • FlashTool — Get the latest version for Windows here.  Set it up on your computer.
  • Install the appropriate USB drivers for your phone.  Try the drivers provided by the FlashTool package.  The installer is inside the “drivers” folder inside the “Flashtool” folder.
  • s1tool — This is used for determining whether your Xperia X8’s bootloader can be safely unlocked.  Get s1tool from here and unzip it to your computer.
  • nAa kernel — You’ll be flashing this kernel using FlashTool.  Get the kernel (FTF file) from here.
  • CyanogenMod 9 for the Xperia X8 — Get the flashable ROM file here or here. DO NOT extract the ZIP file.
  • GApps (Google Apps) package — Get the archive here or here.  DO NOT extract the ZIP file.
  • Back up your personal phone data.
  • Charge your phone to at least 70% battery power (full charge recommended).
  • Disable system utilities such as antivirus and firewall programs so they won’t interfere with the procedure.


You alone will be held responsible for any damage arising from your use of this guide. Make sure you know what you are doing before flashing the ROM.


  1. Run FlashTool on your computer.
  2. Plug in your phone to your computer via USB cable.  Wait for FlashTool to recognize your phone.
  3. Click the padlock icon.  This will set off the rooting process, at the end of which, your phone will reboot.
  4. After successful rebooting, FlashTool’s message log will say “Root Access Allowed.”  To verify, check for the Superuser app on your phone.  If it’s installed, the phone’s rooted.
  5. Turn off your Sony Ericsson Xperia X8.
  6. Run s1tool.exe.
  7. Hold down the Back button on your phone as you plug in your phone into the computer using a USB cable.
  8. Click the “Identify” button in s1tool.
  9. The message window (left pane) in s1tool will either show “SEMC SIMLOCK CERTIFICATE” or “SETOOL2 SIMLOCK SERTIFICATE”.  That means you can safely unlock the bootloader.  If the message says “NOT RECOGNIZED SIMLOCK CERTIFICATE”, style=”text-decoration: underline;”>do not proceed with the rest of this guide.
  10. Close s1tool.
  11. Run FlashTool on your computer.  It will automatically detect your phone.
  12. Click on Plugins > X10 Unlock > run on the FlashTool menu.
  13. You will be asked to put the device in flash mode.  Follow the onscreen instructions.
  14. Towards the end of the bootloader unlocking, the phone will automatically reboot.  Once it reboots, FlashTool will try to detect it.  If FlashTool detects it successfully, the bootloader unlocking has been successful.
  15. Close FlashTool.
  16. Copy the nAa kernel file (E15_nAa-11_2.6.29.6-nAa-11.ftf) into the “firmwares” folder inside the “Flashtool” folder.
  17. Run FlashTool.
  18. Click the lightning icon in FlashTool.
  19. You will see a list of available flashable firmware files.  Select the kernel file.  Press the OK button.
  20. An instruction screen will appear.  Follow the instructions onscreen.
  21. FlashTool will begin flashing the nAa kernel to your phone, at the end of which you will receive instructions to unplug your phone and turn it on.
  22. On your phone, go to Settings > Applications and enable “Unknown sources.”  Go to Settings > Applications > Development and enable “USB debugging.”
  23. The nAa kernel is now installed.  It also includes ClockworkMod Recovery
  24. Copy the CyanogenMod 9 ROM update package and the GApps update package to the /sdcard directory (root directory) of your phone.
  25. Turn off your phone.
  26. As soon as you see the Sony Ericsson logo during bootup, press the Back button several times.  This will bring the phone into ClockworkMod Recovery mode.
  27. In recovery mode, go to Backup and Restore > Backup and create a Nandroid backup of your existing ROM.
  28. Go back to the main recovery menu.
  29. Perform a full wipe of your phone from the following menus:
    1. Wipe data/factory reset
    2. Wipe cache
    3. Advanced > Wipe Dalvik cache
  30. Select Install ZIP from SDcard > Choose ZIP from SDcard.  Choose the CyanogenMod 9 package that you copied to the phone.  Confirm that you want to flash the file.
  31. Repeat the previous step for the GApps update package.
  32. Go back to the main recovery menu.
  33. Select “Reboot system now”.

If you followed the steps correctly, your Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 should now be running Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich via the CyanogenMod 9 ROM.