Mar 28 AT 9:05 PM Dustin Earley 40 Comments

How to install Android 4.0.4 on the Samsung Nexus S


Now that Android 4.0.4 for the Nexus S (i9023, i9020-T) is out, you may be wondering how to get your device up and running with the latest version of Android. Allow us to help. If you’re running stock 4.0.3 or any ROM with Clockwork Mod Recovery, the process to update your device couldn’t be easier.

For those of you with Clockwork Mod Recovery flashed, all you have to do is:

  • Download the flashable ROM from this XDA thread
  • Place on the root of your SDcard (plug your device into your computer, mount as USB storage and drag the flashable ROM onto your Nexus S, not in any folders)
  • Reboot your device into recovery
  • Wipe data/factory reset
  • Install .zip from SDcard
  • Choose .zip from SDcard
  • Flash the ROM you put on your Nexus S
  • Enjoy!

If you’re using the stock build of 4.0.3, the steps to flash the update file are just as easy:

  • Grab the update file from Google
  • Place on the root of your SDcard
  • Power off your Nexus S, then once it’s off, hold volume up and power to boot into the bootloader
  • Navigate with the volume buttons to recovery, and use the power button to select it
  • You should see a warning triangle shortly after that, from there, hold down the power button and press volume up
  • Select apply update from /sdcard and choose the update file
  • Reboot your Nexus S with the menu option provided
  • Enjoy!

Of course, using either method to update your Nexus S is your decision. Only you are responsible for what happens to your device. For any additional help, or more information on the update process, you can use the comments or visit the XDA threads for either the rooted ROM or update file.

I’ve been playing around with the rooted but totally stock ROM and so far, and I love it. Everything is very fast and super smooth. No problems yet.

And don’t forget, those of you who don’t want to get their hands messy, this update will be hitting your device before you know it. So just hold on tight.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Galen20K

    can you change the title of this article to “How to install Android 4.0.4 on the HTC Sensation.”?

    • jonathan3579

      I wasn’t going to say anything… but… what?!

      • Galen20K

        you HEARD me!! lol

    • marsha

      4.0.4??? my iphone already is at ios 5!!! android trying to catch up????

      • delinear

        And Windows is on 7, I don’t think you should automatically put your faith in higher numbers :)

        • Dennis Altermann

          Ubuntu is on 11.10, 12.04 soon :)

      • Burnd


        I hope this isn’t a joke so I can continue my laughter. :’D

      • spazby

        you should be on 5.1 by now… do you know how to update? be happy to post directions for you on how…

  • CJ LaFleur

    I’m gonna mess around with this and see if i can change it so it works onf my transformer prime. Hopefully no one beats me to it.

  • kest009

    Running stock 4.0.3 on i9020t and i get a error status 7 and aborts install…not rooted and no mods at all

    • Nexus311

      A lot of us are. I’m beginning to wonder if this is meant for the 9023.

      • josh

        Its weird,a friend of mine at work got the ota last night.He showed me at work this morning and he has tmobile and we both updated manually to 4.0.3 in december with same file.Smh

    • josh

      yep ive been getting error 7 also, its very annoying.Nobody seems to have figured out what the problem is as of yet.

    • Donnieace

      I had to root mine and then use CWM recovery to flash the update. Couldn’t get it to install without it.

    • jonathan3579

      I’ve been following this on XDA. People are getting the update to stick by downgrading to 2.3.6 and then upgrading back to 4.0.3 and then this update loads up just fine.

    • Mista2x

      Same here…really want all those bugs fixed and my battery life back!

  • uzunoff

    I thought Samsung Nexus S did not have an SD card slot?

    Maybe we should revise the directions above?

    • Donnieace

      It doesn’t have an SD card slot. The USB storage acts like one. You would place the update there.

  • SIddharth

    I am unable to update..i manually updated to 4.0.3 and i had no ussues..this time..i see the warning triangle for a short while and then it disappers…

    • oktay

      The same thing happens to me when i go to recovery.

    • nexus-s

      The same here. And holding power and volume up again as suggested doesn’t work either.

  • Dexter

    Can not update from 4.0.3 to 4.0.4 on my Nexus S i9023 :( Did anyone figure out what is the reason ?

    When I selected recovery option from bootloader, it simply did not go to the update from SD card menu. I can only see a black screen for a minute and the phone reboots after that..

  • msgnyc

    Still no ICS update for the i9020a Nexus S…..

    o_O? WTF!?!

    • msgnyc

      or the Nexus S 4G.



  • krYshuT

    Can you please do this for the Galaxy Nexus? I think there are as many Galaxy Nexus users as those with Nexus S, whose want to upgrade. We’re still on 4.0.2, that sux, it’s more than 3 months old and there seem to be a lot of changes in 4.0.4, especially slow screen rotation and poor battery life. No OTA yet :-/

    • delinear

      Ditto, nothing here yet either, let’s hope it shows up sooner rather than later (and issue-free).

  • guyb99

    Seconded for a GNex guide. I’m not a total idiot but I do want to tread carefully with the most valuable posession I own.

  • uberuser

    For anybody who is getting this error when installing the new IMM76D build for ICS 4.0.4:

    “assert failed: getprop(“ro.product.device”) == “crespo” || getprop(“”) == “crespo”

    If it’s not already installed, install ROM Manager then do the following.

    1. Launch the ROM Manager app and allow superuser access.
    2. Press Flash ClockworkMod Recovery (NOTE: ensure WIFI or 3G/4G is enabled)
    3. Choose your phone model and let the update process finish
    4. When the a popup saying the update was successful appears, Choose Install ROM from SD Card
    5. Select Check Wipe Cache and Dalvik cache
    6. Press OK

    That’s it! Your phone will reboot into Clockwork Recovery mode and immediately start to install the zip.

    Originally I tried installing the ROM the traditional way, by loading fastboot and installing it through CW Recovery, but that kept giving me the getprop(“ro.product.device”) error.
    After following these steps, the errors went away and ICS is now installed and working on my Nexus S (not 4G).

    • Ibrahim

      My NS I9023 was 2.3.6 GB updated to official 4.0.3 ICS OTA manually, I wanted to update to 4.0.4 but gives system error 7 and update aborted. Will your way work ? and dose it root in order to work ?

  • Tman Tran

    Nexus S i9020a… u have forsaken it?

  • Prashant

    I have reset my all data and then add the zip file in my nexus s and then When I enter the Boot loader mode and select Recovery, a image is showing on the screen for a second and then screen turns off, the bottom buttons are glowing but I’m unable to access Recovery menu and select update from apply update from /sdcard.
    I’m on Android 4.0.3 IML74K.
    Any tips?

    • Ibrahim

      Same thing happened here, i think you should not follow the other ways that will get you updated like ROM & CWM ! best thing to do is wait right now, so i gave up and been trying checking the OTA every while manully since they announced it but nothing until this moment !!! and i think you’re stuck too, damn it sucks to wait !

  • Frank

    Hi there,

    I recently encrypted my storage for security reasons. But now I learned that the recovery images are not able to mount encrypted storage, so I can’t install the anymore after updating to 4.0.4

    Does anyone have a hint for that?

    Thanks in advance

  • Radu Marian

    Hey Guys! I did that, but the phone is stuck on the Google Welcome Screen! How much I have to wait! And do I need Internet connection to install the update?


  • Sabih Khan

    hi, i m trying to update my Samsung Nexus S. I followed the above steps! but every time it shows an error! my nexus-s is running on 2.3.1 ,, i want to update it on 4.0.4 ICS ,, plz somebody help me!