Google Nexus S

How To Update Google Nexus S with Official ICS Android 4.0.3 Firmware

Nexus S LogoIf you are having a Google Nexus S device and wondered when you too will receive an OTA of ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 version, in fact the latest Android 4.0.3 version of ICS. This update comes just after reports came in about an update of ICS Android 4.0.2 for Galaxy Nexus. This update for Google Nexus S users is no less than an Xmas Gift or say a New Year Gift. But hey, if you are still wondered on how you can apply this update manually then we will see in the due course of the article on how you can Manually Update Google Nexus S with Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0.3 firmware. This update is the latest in the history of Android and Nexus S becomes the first handset to get a taste of this firmware.

This update works perfectly on the GSM version and to sum it up this works for all the users on I9023T as well as on I9020 Models as per different sources.

Disclaimer: Please note that we should not be held responsible in any manner in whole or in parts if any damage is done to your device caused by updating the firmware which is a very unlikely event if you follow the instructions as mentioned in the article including the pre requisites and the procedure to update the phone.

Before proceeding you need to first go through the list of pre Requisites which are mentioned below.

Quick Pre Requisites:

  • Backup all the data present in your phone memory so as to ensure that just in case if any data is lost or corrupted, you can easily restore back the same. With the help of below mentioned tips, you can backup and restore the data.

Notes – Backup in the mail so that you can then restore manually
SMS Messages – Use “SMS Backup & Restore app”,
Contacts Stored in Phone Memory – Sync with the Gmail application,
Call Log – Call Log and Restore
Videos, Images, Videos & Files etc.– Copy to internal / External SD Card,
Internet & MMS Settings – Backup all the settings from “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names

  • Ensure that the USB Debugging is enabled from the path Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging as shown in the below image. Also if any Antivirus suites are installed in your phone, then remove or disable the same.


  • The phone should be on the Stock Firmware / official Firmware, if it’s on the Rooted or Custom ROM firmware then we can’t guarantee about the phone’s condition after this official update application. Also, phone should be left with the charge of a minimum of 50% so as to ensure that the phone doesn’t get turned Off in the process of firmware update.

Now, let’s proceed to the detailed procedure on how to apply this update in your Galaxy Nexus S which are mentioned in the next page.

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  1. Jay Shank

    May 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    will this work for Samsung Captivate??

  2. saddam sayyad

    April 17, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Upgrade 2.3

  3. Vlad

    April 12, 2012 at 1:20 am


    I followed the steps and I’m getting the following error:

    Opening update package…
    Installing update…
    assert failed: file_getprop(“/system/build.prop”. “”) == “google/soju/crespo:2.3.6/GRK39F/189904:user/release-keys” || …
    (Status 7)
    Installation aborted.

    I’ve seen someone with a similar error and you said it won’t work for T Mobile devices, however I didn’t buy my phone from T Mobile.

    Any ideas?

    • guest

      July 6, 2012 at 10:10 am

      how do you root the nexus s so the verification fail doesnt happen?

  4. Poojan Joshi

    April 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    hi. i have been trying to update my google nexus s 2.3.6 to 4.o but somehow the update file is displaying an error like…

    E: failed to verify whole-file signature
    E: signature verification failed
    installation aborted.

    could you please help me with this error….

    • Neela Pradeep

      April 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      you need to root the device before applying this update!

  5. steven m

    April 4, 2012 at 4:54 am

    i seem to be having a problem finding the boot from sd card
    what it says as reads.

    Reboot Bootloader. when i click this just comes back to the fastboot mode.
    Power off.

    Please help!

    sprint google nexus S SPH0720

  6. Green Stickman

    March 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Can I use this on Samsung Galaxy Nexus as well? It’s i9250 model. Please reply. thanks!

  7. Varma

    March 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Neal,

    I am using Samsung Nexus S and followed the above given process but nothing happened.

    While Boot loader screen is displayed (Bootloader version: I9020XXKA3)
    Lock State – LOCKED

    When I am selecting Recovery mode it goingin to recovery mode and nothing is happening.
    I have placed the file well above the folders and still it doesn’t work.

    Can you please help me out.


  8. MK

    March 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Device: Google Nexus S
    Country: India
    Carrier: Vodafone

    I upgraded from gingerbread 2.3.3 to ICS 4.0.3 thru the method mentioned above. Since then:
    1. the battery has been draining very fast
    2. the GPRS/EDGE issue that was there in 2.3.3 is still there
    3. when i restart my phone, the ringtone resets itself to any random tone (sometimes low battery tone becomes ringtone)
    4. some times when i get a call, an android system process crashes and i can either not pick the call or the phone hangs
    5. the little feature that made the phone screen switch off like a CRT monitor has now stopped working
    6. the inbuilt document reader for pdf does not render pdf properly – it sometimes does not show spaces between words
    7. the SMS app, document reader and some other apps have become painfully slow.

    I want to switch back to good old Gingerbread. Can you please, please tell me how to do it?

  9. YK

    February 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I’m on a rooted device getting:
    E:Error in /tmp/sideload/
    (Status 7)
    Installation aborted

    any ideas?

    • Pradeep Neela

      February 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

      the device is not rooted! root the device first! as sideloading in this needs root access!

  10. Zia

    February 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Hi Pradeep,

    My Nexus S I9023 is stuck at 2.3.3. Baseband is I9023XXKB3 and build # is GRI54. I have tried to install 4.0.3 as mentioned but the installation failed. Is 2.3.6 a pre requisite to install 4.0.3? If so can you provide a link for 2.3.6? Thanks for your help.

    • Pradeep Neela

      February 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

      we will come up with the same at the earliest!

  11. Zeeshan

    January 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    hello… i update my mexus s to ics. after this update i cant find \My Files\ Folder.
    any 1 help me plzzz

  12. Jon

    January 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I have so many problems with 4.0.3 no wi-fii no internet surfing, no mms, sometimes I cant ring out, sometimes the sound form incommig call dont work.

    When comes an update, I cant use factory setting, its again 4.0.3 and not 2.6.3.

    Im not happy with Samsung Nexus S phone yet!!!

  13. Roy Ismail

    January 15, 2012 at 1:44 am

    finally i have updated my Google Nexus S from Gingerbread 2.3.6 to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3
    so far so good……, i live in Indonesia, i didn’t see problem with thw wifi connection, all worked well
    thanks for the tutorial, i really love this….!!

    • Rich

      April 3, 2012 at 5:24 am

      Hi, can you explain to me how you did this as i have the same phone but can’t see the “update from sd card” to start the update process?
      Do i need to be rooted before i start the update.

  14. abhi

    January 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    how to root ics v 4.0.3 of nexus i9023

    • Pradeep Neela

      January 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

      we will come up with the rooting procedure for your device too!

      • abhi

        January 29, 2012 at 10:18 am

        hello plz help how to root my device nexus i9023

        • Pradeep Neela

          January 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

          we will come up with an article v soon!

  15. abhi

    January 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    i upadate to ics 4.0.3 successfully. but how to root ics 4.0.3?..

    • Pradeep Neela

      January 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      we have covered the article, you need to refer the same in nexus S section!

  16. abhi

    January 7, 2012 at 9:06 am

    i have download driver for nexus but not detecting on computer
    what i must do? help me….

  17. abhi

    January 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    how to root plzzzzzzzz

  18. abhi

    January 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    how to root??:( to install ics update im new to phone in correct process plz help …

    • Pradeep Neela

      January 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      yes you can follow the process to update!

  19. abhi

    January 6, 2012 at 7:47 am

    pleeeeeez tell how to intall ics im using 2.3.3 i have rooted but
    – Install / sdcard …
    Finding update package …
    Opening update package …
    Verifyng update package …
    E: signature failed to verify wholefile
    E: signature verification failed
    Installation aborted.
    plz………… :(:(

    • Pradeep Neela

      January 6, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Phone needs to be rooted before you proceed!

      • abhi

        January 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

        i have rooted my phone with super one click and also galay nexus root toolkit and again this
        – Install / sdcard …
        Finding update package …
        Opening update package …
        Verifyng update package …
        E: signature failed to verify wholefile
        E: signature verification failed
        Installation aborted.
        what i must do plz:( :(…with clear instruction
        thank in advance…..

        • Pradeep Neela

          January 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

          you need to root the firmware before you update this!

  20. Michael Lauridsen

    December 29, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    When will the fix be released ?

    • Pradeep Neela

      December 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      it will be pushed automatically officially!

      • michael Lauridsen

        December 30, 2011 at 12:11 am

        but when ? sorry I dont understand you

  21. Nadim

    December 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    i had the following error while applying the update and it also says Error Status 7

    assert failed: file_getprop(\/system/build.prop\, \\) == \google.crespo:2.3.6/GRK39F/189904:user/release-keys\

    Anyone can help

    • Pradeep Neela

      December 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      it won’t for for T Mobile devices!

      • chandu watkar

        June 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

        so we cant upgrade for ICS…is there any other way to go for it,,,As i also have the same problem as above,,plzz help

  22. afra

    December 25, 2011 at 2:15 am

    amd sry another question is this true that on this update phone record 720 p video ? plz if u have phone answer me … appreciate person that helps

    • Pradeep Neela

      December 25, 2011 at 10:01 am

      yes it will, there are no issues with video recording!

      • afra

        December 28, 2011 at 1:56 am

        thank u so much for all your support ,, but i guess it will record at 480 as the same

        thanks 4 your quick answers

      • afra

        December 28, 2011 at 1:58 am

        thank u man

  23. afra

    December 25, 2011 at 1:04 am

    and any one using nexus s plase can u tell me that nfc ( imean sending file between two nfc support phone is working now ? ) have any one tested this ?

    and i heard that nfc is on battery ! is this true ? thanks in advance 4 anyone can help cuz im going to buy this phone

  24. afra

    December 25, 2011 at 1:01 am

    hey neal i guess didint send my comment ?

    is this update for all kind of nexus : i9020 i9023 ?

    and root the phone on ics not came yet ? (cuz im goign to buy this phone just for ics update 😀 )

  25. Mayk

    December 22, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Hi I have followed step by step process but when you start showing error that appears is the following:
    – Install / sdcard …
    Finding update package …
    Opening update package …
    Verifyng update package …
    E: signature failed to verify wholefile
    E: signature verification failed
    Installation aborted.

    The data from my smartphone are:
    Model number: Nexus S
    Android Version: 2.3.6
    Baseband version: I9020AUCKF1
    Kernel version: @ gf5f63ef apa28 # 1
    Build number: GRK39F

    please help me …..

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm


      • abhi

        January 6, 2012 at 12:51 am

        me also same problem i have rooted but same error
        very thanks in advance plz…………………………………

  26. Roger

    December 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

    E: signature verification failed

    What’s this mean? That’s all it says after I select “apply update from sd card”

    It’s not installing on my phone… I’m on Mobilicity in Canada using a i9020.

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

      it wont work on your carrier as it needs to be boot loader unlocked!

  27. slovas

    December 20, 2011 at 4:02 am

    i don’t have \apply update from sd card\ in bootloader mode. what should i do?

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 20, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      you need to create the same!

      • Rich

        April 3, 2012 at 5:12 am

        How do you create the same? please explain, as i’m having this exact same problem, can’t apply update as have no “apply update from sd card”

        Please help.

    • Rich

      April 3, 2012 at 5:47 am

      Ok i figured it out:

      Switch off the device and then reboot into bootloader mode. (To get into the Bootloader mode, hold Volume up button and the Power button together.)
      Use the Volume key to navigate and select Recovery from the menu to boot into recovery, press the Power button to confirm.
      When you see the warning triangle and arrow, hold the power button and tap volume up. You’ll see a menu.
      Select “Apply update from /sdcard” and select the file from the list.
      Once the update is flashed, select “reboot system now” to reboot your device.
      Enjoy the cool Ice Cream Sandwich treat…=]

  28. fahimmuchi

    December 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    What if someone flash this firmware on Galaxy i9000,will it brick the phone?Both phone uses same CPU and RAM so i don’t think its gonna be a problem

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      yes it will brick the phone!

      • Ido

        April 1, 2012 at 4:02 am

        Let’s say someone did it, will it be possible to then re-flash it with gingerbread for I9000 in order to fix the bricked phone?


  29. rezapo

    December 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    my Wifi dont work and some contacts dont displkay with name and its casue (-) between numbers.
    it seems this issu is in number of countries!

  30. rezapo

    December 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    i have the same seems this issu is in number of countries!

  31. David

    December 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Hey guys,

    This worked for me

  32. A

    December 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I successfully did the upgrade. However I have two problems since then:
    1. I cannot download anything from Android Market. It says fails to download due to an error. I can download through WiFi though.
    2. The emails do not update automatically as they used to before.

  33. Xaroc

    December 19, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Fix the first line. “Procedure to Update Galaxy Nexus S with Android 4.0.3 ICS Firmware” Take the word “Galaxy” out of the sentence as this is not instructions for the Galaxy Nexus. It shows up on Google search and is very misleading ^_~

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 19, 2011 at 9:36 am

      we really apologize for the same! we can’t change the same as of now as article is published!

  34. Mircea Raducan

    December 19, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Samsung Nexus S I 9023 in Romania updated to ICS 4.0.3 version IML74K. Until now works perfect. I haven’t loose any data or program during the update. WIFI works well. Enjoy!

    • Alin Mocioi

      December 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Hi, Mircea Raducan! Where can i find this IML74K version? It is the same as the one from the above article?
      The update of emails is working?
      If it will not work, It is possible to reinstall the original Android?
      Thank you!

  35. farbod

    December 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I have updated my nexus s to android 4.0.3 . but the wifi does not work at all. it cant find any networks and wont even scan. is there anything I could do to make it work ?

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      have you updated VZW one?

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      wait for the fix, it will be fixed v soon!

      • Michael

        December 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm

        Hii Neal

        Have same problem – is it pssible get wifi working

        I live in Greenland and have updated to 4.0.3 – since that wifi doesnt work.

        Any upgrade or what ?

        Im not very technic so please help me what to do

        Will google come with an update ?

        • Pradeep Neela

          December 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm

          Wi Fi should work properly, there is a minor issue for which Google will release the OTA!

      • Michael

        December 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm

        Is it a fix from Google and will I receive it automatically ? and when

        • NeaL Pradeep

          December 24, 2011 at 12:52 am

          yes the fix will be automatically pushed!

  36. Marvin

    December 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Please I will like to know how this procedure, type of update works. I mean if I factory reset this phone, if I clears its catch will the 4.0.3 still be there like in the other process using odin.
    Is this something that goes with the memory once its formatted.
    I hope my question is clear. Thanks

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 18, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      no, its called as the recovery mode!

  37. Marvin

    December 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Please I will like to know how this procedure, type of update works… I mean if I factory reset this phone, if I clears its catch will the 4.0.3 still be there like in the other process using odin…
    Is this something that goes with the memory once its formatted.
    I hope my question is clear. Thanks

    • NeaL Pradeep

      December 18, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      its called as the recovery mode. its different from odin!

  38. mdvrdrmn

    December 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Installed this yesterday on my i9023 in NL. Works great.. no issues whatsoever.

  39. Jean-Jack

    December 18, 2011 at 2:55 am

    software update works like charm on my nexus s 9023 😀 Thank you so much!! 🙂

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