How To: Root the Motorola Milestone

I. Before You Begin

1. This ONLY works on the Motorola Milestone, NOT the Motorola Droid (you must have a GSM Motorola Milestone).

II. Setup ADB and ADBRecovery

1. Do our How To Setup ADB

How To Setup ADB

2. Once you have done that, come back to this procedure and download ADBRecovery.

ADBRecovery

3. Extract it’s contents to somewhere on your computer.

4. Plug your phone in normally and mount the SD card (so we can transfer files to it from our computer).

5. Copy the just the update.zip file and the folder named “recovery” from inside the ADBRecovery > in_sd_root folder that we extracted earlier to the root of the SD card in your phone (NOT in any folders on the sd card just on the sd card itself).

6. Turn off your phone.

7. Turn the phone back on while holding the Camera button down until the ! screen comes up.

8. Once the ! comes up, let go of the Camera button and then hold down Volume Up and press the Camera button until a menu appears.

9. Choose apply sdcard:update.zip and wait for it to flash the update.

III. Performing a Nandroid Backup Through ADB

1. Leaving your phone in recovery mode after it flashes the update.zip, plug it in to your computer via USB cable.

2. On your computer, open the command prompt (Start >Type in cmd and hit enter).

3. In the command prompt type the following with hitting enter at the end of each line:

cd\
cd AndroidSDK\tools\
adb shell
nandroid-mobile.sh –backup

*the — in the last line above is actually two hyphens side by side

4. Once it is done with the backup, type the following and hit enter:

reboot

5. Let the phone reboot into normal mode.

IV. Load the Custom Android 2.1 ROM w/ Root via Nandroid

1. Plug your phone into the computer via USB cable and mount the SD card (so we can transfer files to it).

2. Search your SD card for the folder “nandroid” and copy it to somewhere on your computer (this is so you can copy it back to your SD card later to unroot if you want).

3. Download the Android 2.1 Nandroid Backup here and save it to your computer.

Android 2.1 Nandroid Backup (EU version)

4. Extract the contents of the Milestone-Android 2.1 w Root .zip file you downloaded above somewhere on your computer. Then copy all the files from inside the extracted folder (just the files like “system.img” “boot.img” etc. NOT the folder itself) into the nandroid > console=ttyS2,115200n8 > Milestone-BbCcDMRS-20100329-2033 folder (your exact names of the folders may be different) on your SD card.  Then hit yes to Copy and Replace on all the files.

5. Unplug the phone once it has finished transferring the files over.

6. Turn off your phone.

7. Turn the phone back on while holding the Camera button down until the ! screen comes up.

8. Once the ! comes up, let go of the Camera button and then hold down Volume Up and press the Camera button until a menu appears.

9. Choose apply sdcard:update.zip and wait for it to flash the update and then plug the phone in to your computer via USB cable.

10. Open the command prompt again and type the following with hitting enter at the end of each line:

cd\
cd AndroidSDK\tools\
adb shell
nandroid-mobile.sh –restore

*the — in the last line above is actually two hyphens side by side

10. Once it is done with the restore, type the following and hit enter:

reboot

11. DONE!

VII. (Optional) Load a Custom ROM via Nandroid

1. Head to our How To Load a Custom ROM on the Motorola Milestone to load a custom ROM on the phone with the nexus launcher, wifi tethering and other features!

Thanks to Expansys!

If this procedure helped you, please consider donating to the original developer or at least sending them a thank you.

Now that you are rooted, head here to learn some of the fun things you can do!

For all the devices we have rooting procedures for, head here.


Something Wrong? If you notice an issue with the procedure (broken link, steps out of date, etc.), use this form to let us know! Otherwise, if you just are having trouble with the procedure, reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

  • Anonymous

    if this matters but before this step i must manually flash my phone before i start installing it. if i dont i cant update ofcourse soo what is the problem and solution??

  • Anonymous

    if this matters but before this step i must manually flash my phone before i start installing it. if i dont i cant update ofcourse soo what is the problem and solution??

  • Nikko Smith

    there’s something wrong with the update.zip file – can you upload ADBrecovery again – one that works?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IRLQNLYEZF5WROWKS3BETOLK6Q Pinky N

    Im having the same issue as Amir is having. I have downloaded the ADBRecovery zip file and have unzipped it but I continue to face the same issue. Pls help as i really need to root my milestone.

    Thanks in advance

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IRLQNLYEZF5WROWKS3BETOLK6Q Pinky N

    Im having the same issue as Amir is having. I have downloaded the ADBRecovery zip file and have unzipped it but I continue to face the same issue. Pls help as i really need to root my milestone.

    Thanks in advance

  • Wqdsadadcddfddfd

     its rubbish. tried thousands of ways. this phone is a crap, never works.

  • Dale

    Hey, i followed your steps 1 to 6 perfectly but when i switch off my milestone and power it back you whist holding the power and camera button fully down, i am not getting the !screen to save my life. I currently have 2.1 software and want to update to 2.3. Please help

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V4P52IKNQXAAPCAZNGVNZMHUPQ Evan

      you need to hold x on the keypad when you turn on your milestone.. then you’ll get the ! screen and press volume up and the camera button to get to the recovery menu :)

  • Mavchu

    hi, after completing all the above, now my milestone cannot start up and display

    ‘The process android.process.acore has stopped unexpectly. Please try again”

    Please advice the solution. Thanks

  • Anonymous

    UGH Milestone is stuck on M logo rebooting, and comuter wont see usb on it now rsd lite on recovery does not see it. HELP

  • Pingback: Tutorial Milestone - root mit Unlockr