Tuesday July 16, 2013

E:signature verification failed

Updating an Android OS Manually (With Hiccups)

I recently upgraded my Android mobile device from a Motorola Droid Bionic to a Samsung Galaxy S III. I love the new Galaxy, but the Bionic still works as a "hand-held computer". After all, it has WiFi, telnet, shell access... I decided to check to see if it was possible to update the OS.

  • Good news: yes, there are updates.
  • Bad news: it should not be this difficult to install an update!

The first thing I did was try Verizon's recommended approach.

Settings > About phone > System Updates

There was an update available. I selected Download. Then I waited...
      and waited...
              and waited...

while the Bionic claimed

Download suspended. Will resume shortly...

for several days.

That's right. Days.

There had to be a better way.

Search and Ye Shall Find (Sort of)

I searched the web and found several articles on manual installation. I watched a video. I downloaded multiple zip archives. I copied the archive files to my (external, not internal) SD card. I followed the directions to boot into Recovery mode and select apply update from sdcard.

And then I got stuck again. I kept getting an error

E: signature verification failed

I searched again. I found many forum posts in which other people raised the same issue. Most of the responses required a rooted device (e.g. "disable signature verification" -- only possible with a non-stock recovery application that requires root.)

Finally, I found a slightly different post. It referenced naming the installation archive, update.zip. Surely that wasn't the answer?

I've been programming for long enough to have figured out that if you say "No. That can't be what's causing this problem.", you are likely to have stumbled upon what is causing the problem.

I renamed the first installation archive to update.zip. Rebooted into Recovery. Applied update from sdcard.



The following steps worked for me on a Motorola Droid Bionic. They should be applicable to a wide range of Android devices, but YMMV.
  1. Search the web for the proper update archive (zip file),
    using a general-purpose computer system (eg, Mac, PC).
    • The initial name of the file will be something like

  2. Connect the device to your computer system.
    • Copy the update archive to the external SD card on the device.
    • Name the file update.zip.

  3. Disconnect the device from the computer system.

  4. Power down the device.

  5. Boot into Recovery mode:
    • Press the "Volume Up" and "Volume Down" keys, simultaneously.
      While keeping these keys pressed, press the power button.
    • Navigate down to "Recovery" using the "Volume Down" key.
    • Press the "Volume Up" key to select Recovery.

  6. When you see the triangle with an exclamation point symbol:
    • Press the "Volume Up" and "Volume Down" buttons at the same time.
    • Select "apply update from sdcard" (use "Volume Down" to move;
      "Power" to select).
    • Select update.zip.

E:signature verification failed ( in category SciTech , Show & Tell ) - posted at Tue, 16 Jul, 20:11 Pacific | «e»

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