Tutorial: Update Rooted Shield Tablet (4.x to 4.1)

If you root your Shield Tablet, chances are likely you will not be able to use OTA (Over The Air) updates.  Symptoms of this is an open-chest Android robot with the word ERROR under it after an update reboot.

This tutorial will take you through taking a rooted 4.0.1 Shield Tablet to OTA 4.1 without losing your personal data.

We will be using a non-adopted microSD card for this tutorial instead of trying to work around doing ADB pushes and dealing with people using Adoptive Storage.

Pre-Requisites

  • Files on a fresh microSD card, inserted in your Shield Tablet (never been adopted, not encrypted – recommend you don’t use the one you regularly use in your Shield; freshly formatted is best)
  • Shield Tablet in Fastboot, plugged into PC
  • Fastboot drivers installed on PC
  • Shield Tablet shows up in “fastboot devices” under Minimal ADB and Fastboot DOS box.
  • The Bootloader must be unlocked (but it should already be unlocked from your previous root).
  • TWRP already installed or the ability to boot to TWRP via Minimal ADB and Fastboot.

Update Procedure

  1. Turn off your Shield.  Make sure you insert the microSD card with the two files listed above.
  2. Hold VOLUME DOWN and press POWER.  Keep holding the VOLUME DOWN for a few seconds until you see the Bootloader (black screen with some fine text on top)
  3. Verify the Shield Tablet is in Fastboot by typing “fastboot devices” and hitting enter.  If you see the Tablet show up, continue.
  4. If you have TWRP installed, select Recovery Mode from the Bootloader menu and skip the next step.
  5. Make sure you have our TWRP unzipped in your Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder.  In Minimal ADB and Fastboot DOS box, type: fastboot boot twrp-20151227-EXPERIMENTAL-shieldtablet-m.img Note: It takes 10-20 seconds to get to TWRP; be patient.  TWRP on Tablet is extremely flakey with UI refreshes.  Your actions may not immediately show up.  You often have to tap another location on the screen that is a valid control.  This can be very frustrating.  However, once you get used to it, it is almost an art form.
  6. Tap MOUNT and mount everything you need.  After tapping the check boxes, use the “refresh” icon in the upper right to make sure your selections work.
  7. Tap INSTALL, then SELECT STORAGE.
  8. Choose MicroSD card (if it says 0 bytes, the mount didn’t work).
  9. Tap productionBL-droid-signed-wx_na_wf-full_ota-40827_700.6895.zip – you should see INSTALL ZIP on the top with a swipe to install on the bottom.
  10. Slide the “Swipe to Install”.  This installs the OTA 4.1 Full update.  Takes several minutes.
  11. Do not reboot – hit BACK.
  12. Tap BETA-SUperSU-v2.71-20160331103524.zip
  13. Slide the “Swipe to Install”.  This installs SuperSU for root.
  14. After SuperSU, hit the REBOOT SYSTEM button (do not install SuperSU if asked by TWRP).  Note: If you are using a recalled tablet, install nomoreota.zip before rebooting.
  15. The first boot will take awhile.  Don’t panic.
  16. When Android comes up, it will do an application update on your apps.  This can take a long time, but you can at least see progress.
  17. If you get a notification you still need to update, tap it and it will recheck and tell you that you’re updated already.  Verify your root and version.

What Could Go Wrong?

Fighting with TWRP’s flakey interface is likely to be the worst issue you face.  There is always a chance your freshly formatted microSD card with the files won’t be seen by TWRP or you went against “medical advice” and tried to reuse your existing card.

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  • 2016-05-14: Initial Tutorial.

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