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How to Install Official Cyanogen Mod 9 ICS Firmware on Sony Xperia Neo

The nightly built of CyanogenMod 9 was officially released not long ago, meaning that from now on you can enjoy the Ice Scream Sandwich experience on your own Android powered device, by simply flashing the ROM into its system. Of course you must wait until the CyanogenMod team comes with a version suitable for your handset, but, usually, this isn’t taking too long.

Luckily for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo users, the official CyanogenMod 9 ICS firmware has just been released for their smartphones. Therefore, you can now start updating your phone with the latest Android version, the ICS. Furthermore, during the following lines I will show you how to install the same, all being explained in the steps from below. Read my directions and don’t skip parts from the present tutorial as you can damage the phone’s system, or worst you can wreck it.

You must learn how to install a custom ROM, such as CyanogenMod 9, on your Sony Xperia Neo if you want to take full advantage of its capabilities. Once you complete this operation you will notice that the performances are improved and your device performs better than it used to. It will gain speed, its system will be unlocked from the annoying factory restrictions, the OS will be open for customization and optimization operations, the battery life will be improved and many other features will be added in the system.

CyanogenMod is a firmware that comes with numerous and different enchantments that will re-organize your Xperia Neo handset. In a few words, it is a free aftermarket distribution of the Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform being based on the Android Open Source Project. As soon as you apply the same on your handset, the CM team will take care of future OS updates for you, so you don’t have to worry about this no more.

Even though we are talking about the official nightly built of CyanogenMod 9, that doesn’t mean it is an official update coming from Sony; furthermore the firmware has nothing to do with the already mentioned company. Also, there are no clues about any ETA on by when an official ICS update will arrive. So, CM 9 is all you get for now. But, if you choose to apply the same, then the Xperia Neo warranty will be void. So, in case if something bad is happening while flashing CyanogenMod 9 (this can occur rarely and only if you do it without consulting an proper tutorial, like the one from here) then you will be on your own. The warranty can be regained only if you decide to re lock the boot loader.

Before starting the proper process, here is what you need to have. A Windows / Linux / MAC running computer is required. Then, of course, you must use the phone and its USB cord. On the PC and on your smartphone there are some things that should be prepared. Do as showed in the list from below:

  • First of all, before adventuring deep into the process, you must backup the data stored on your device. The OS update is erasing the messages, probably the contacts, the apps, so the backup is the perfect solution for you. I recommend you to download SMS backup and restore apps for Android.
  • The phone must have enough battery power left in order to stay “alive” during the installation process. Make sure there is more than 60% power left, or charge your phone before starting the tutorial.
  • Don’t use, or better, uninstall all the security tools installed on the phone and on the computer.
  • The handset must be rooted; if not go and root your Xperia Neo phone first.
  • Enable the USB Debugging from your device. This can be achieved by going to “Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging”. You can enable USB Debugging only when the handset is disconnected from the computer.
  • Sony Xperia Neo must have an unlocked bootloader, or else you can’t update its OS. Also, on the PC Fastboot must be pre-installed.

That being said, you can start the proper operation. Read carefully and do all as explained in the steps.

How to Install Official CyanogenMod 9 ICS Firmware on Sony Xperia Neo

  1. First, you must download the firmware. You can do this by getting the Cyanogen MOD 9 Custom ROM Firmware from here and place it to the PC.
  2. Then, you should download the Google Applications Package from here; place the file to the computer.
  3. Extract the file downloaded in step 1 and copy it on the same folder as fastboot.
  4. Connect the phone with the PC by using its USB cord.
  5. Copy the file extracted in step 3 from the computer to the phone’s SD card.
  6. Disconnect the device from the PC by removing the USB cable.
  7. Turn it off.
  8. Reboot it by entering in recovery mode. This can be achieved by holding down the Menu Button while powering it on.
  9. Connect the smartphone with the computer again.
  10. On the PC open command prompt (Start -> run -> cmd) and enter the following commands: “fastboot -i 0xfce flash boot boot.img” and “fastboot -i 0xfce reboot”.
  11. The Xperia Neo should reboot on its own. While it does you must press the Volume Rocker key so it can enter in ClockWorkmod recovery mode.
  12. In the menu that opens you need to select “Wipe data / factory reset” and “Wipe Cache Partition”.
  13. Then, you must choose “install zip from sd card” followed by “Choose zip from sd card”; the file should be right there, just pick it.
  14. In the end, after the process ends, you will be back on the recovery mode. Now select “+++go back” and “reboot system now”.
  15. That’s it.


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