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Update Motorola Defy to Super Stable Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich Firmware

Motorola Defy Updated To CM9 Android 4.0.4 ICS ROM

Motorola Defy can now be easily updated with a super stable edition of Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich firmware and all the steps you have to take are listed in this post.

Before moving forward you need to know that this firmware build is not an official release by Motorola, but one created by CyanogenMod team and it is an CM9 Android 4.0.4 ICS based on Froyo kernel and it will work only for Motorola Defy running Froyo kernel that is rooted.

There isn’t any official release date set for Android 4.0.4 for Motorola Defy and that’s why you need the CyanogenMod team’s firmware, to benefit and experience the Android 4.0.4 right on your not-that high end device. With the new firwmare you will get support for Chrome browsers, Face Detection, Network Usage Stats, Camera Panorama and multiple other ICS-based features. If you find any other working functions then please let us know in comments.

To successfully install the ICS 4.0.4 Android super stable firmware on your Defy, you will need to read the preparation info listed below. This will help you correctly configure your Defy phone and the computer for the firmware update process. Here’s what you need to know and what actions you have to take:

  • Backup all the video, audio, pictures, pdf, documents and any other important file that you don’t want to lost when updating the firmware. You can move these files on your phone’s internal or external sd card or, you can move them on your computer and then restore all back using the USB connection data cable.
  • Text messages and Call logs can easily be backed up using these two programs for Android: Call Logs Backup & Restore | SMS backup & Restore.
  • Sync your Contacts in your Android Defy device with your Gmail Account. Use this guide if you don’t know how to sync the contacts with Gmail.
  • Backup the internet and MMS Settings. This will help you restore the correct settings after the update.
  • enable USB debugging from your phone’s Android settings.
  • disable all the antivirus apps from your computer and smartphone, so that no other application will interfere with the firmware updating process.
  • charge the phone’s battery until it reaches over 75% power level and you will prevent it from discharging while installing the ICS 4.0.4 ROM super stable.
  • your Defy phone has to be already rooted and have recovery mode installed. Do not attempt to install this new update firmware on any other device as it will work only with Motorola Defy.
  • Users that are using a Motorola Defy Plus and wish to update to Android 4.0.4 ICS then you will need to use this guide HERE.

That’s all the info you need before moving to the installation guide. Note that we cannot be held responsible in case something goes wrong and your phone gets bricked or you lose important files. Make sure to read all the steps as well as the above preparation guide. Use comments field to post all your questions regarding Motorola Defy and the Super Stable CM9 Android 4.0.4 ICS firmware.

How to update Motorola Defy to Android 4.o.4 Ice Cream Sandwich super stable ROM firwmare:

  1. Download the Android 4.0.4 ICS by CM9 zip ROM file from HERE.
  2. Download Google Apps file from HERE. This file is required so that your phone will feature all Google applications for Android after the installation of the ROM. Click that link to learn more and to download the correct Gapps file for your phone. However, if you don’t know which one to choose, then simply download the CM9 Gapps zip as the ROM you’re about to install is CyanogenMod 9 based.
  3. Move the ICS ROM and Gapps zip packages on your phone’s internal sdcard. Do not extract their contents, simply place the files where I’ve told you without the need of creating any subfolders.
  4. Power OFF your smartphone and then boot into recovery mode. Do it by pressing and holding simultaneously the ‘volume down’ and ‘power ON’ keys. When in recovery mode move to the next step.
  5. Now, select ‘ wipe data/ factory reset’ and confirm its action. Return to the recovery mode main screen.
  6. Select ‘install zip from sd card’ and then ‘choose zip from internal sd card’. Find the Android 4.0.4 ICS zip file you moved on your phone at step 3. Confirm the installation and wait until it completes.
  7. Now, you need to install the Google Apps. Repeat the actions at step 6, only that instead of the ROM file, you need to select the gapps.zip file. Confirm the installation.
  8. When the ROM and the Gapps files have been flashed you will need to return to the main recovery screen by selecting ++Go Back++.
  9. Select ‘reboot system now’ and then  wait for the phone to load the home screen after the first boot is complete.

After the first boot is complete you should see the home screen loading and now your Motorola Defy device is running the latest CM9 super stable Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich ROM firmware. Please note that the first boot process will take a while before loading all files and you should give it at least 10 minutes to complete its actions.

In case your phone gets into a boot loop and it cannot load the homescreen of Android 4.0.4 then you might’ve bricked it and now you have to repeat all the steps listed in the tutorial installation guide because you might’ve skipped or forgot to apply one of the steps listed there. Remember that we cannot be held responsible in case something went wrong and your phone has been bricked.

Use the comments field to post any questions you might have regarding Motorola Defy and this Android 4.0.4 ICS updating guide.


Motorola Defy Articles

  • jon

    The link for 4.04 is down. Can you please repost working link. Thanks.

  • how to install recovery mode ???

  • Bogdan Pirvu

    CM9 download link is now updated to the latest version.

    • I can´t use Phone Network. I Can´t do any call!!!

    • edward

      where is it?

  • Chris

    What makes you believe that these releases are “super-stable”, when they are still work in progress? I tried several releases from quarx and epsylon. They had all some bugs. Excellent work, but not for people, who don’t like to pull out the battery of their phone because its OS just crashed.

    I am back on Motorolas latest gingerbread release for the Defy+ (running on a red lens defy) Reliable and snappy perfomance, although I am missing the smooth, well designed ICS surface.

  • promaxron

    How stable is 4.0.4 cm9 and is everything working such as camera and video

  • Saim Selim

    I followed all the step but when I was in recovery mode I couldn’t find any install from sd card option instead there was an update from sd card and when I chose the option the installation got stopped in verfying and later showed it failed any solution for this please.

    • Roy

      hi, i have the same problem as you. can anybody please help us?

      • serge

        Youre supposed to have your phone’s bootloader unlocked. Don’t think that was properly mentioned in the instructions. You can also download a rom install app such as clockwork mod.but it can be a bit problematic. I say stick with unlocking your phones bootloader.

        • Julio C. Rodriguez

          I installed bootmenu and tried to do the same. I get the following message: E:Can´t open /sdcard/CM9-MIGHTLY-120613-Defy.zip(bad). Installation aborted. Any ideas?

          • You will need the drivers of the phone, once installed use the ADB console and type…
            ADB shell you’ll get this outpost…


            then type…

            # cd /dev/block/
            # mknod mmcblk0 b 179 0
            # mknod mmcblk0p1 b 179 1

            Once this done, go to mount your SD card, and then Install zip from SD card…
            That worked for me!
            Don’t forget to wipe all data before and after the install…

  • Anuj Ahuja


    I am about to install CM9 using the methods listed above.Can someone please let me know if internal storage of 713 MB would be enough for me to the CM9 flashing?

  • AHMN48

    failed verify signature , installation aborted ,
    Please help me

  • Naughty

    great dude thanks..its working superb on my defy..it is eye catching..

  • momo mech

    Hi , Ilike the rom its working perfectly on my defy , but sometimes when i make a call , the phone turn off the screen ( even if i use the loudspeaker ) before making the call , i dont know why !!!!
    but i like this rom , really stable thx guys !!

  • Mediter

    I am pulling my hair trying to find a way to move the above files into
    my rooted Motorola Defy. I tried with Astro, File Expert ftp and all.
    Keep getting file errors, including read only. I am on TMobile UK.

    Can I install from SD Card instead?

  • possible with mac???

  • kiwijohn

    I have unlocked the bootloader using superoneclick. A breeze to use, all done in 3 minutes and 2 reboot. Sadly in recovery mode Im only offer to run update.zip from the SD card. How can I get around this and run the icecream zip upgrade file I have on the SD card?

  • fakher

    I sent an email to motorola service to see if there is an update for motorola defy with version 4.0.4 android ice cream sandwich, or if the versions avaible on the net are reliable.
    their aswer is : ” the motorola defy may not be updated to ice cream sandwich, or even gingerbread version (2.3). this model phone will android 2.2.2 froyo version. we strongly advise against trying to modify the software on your phone by forcing updates not suitable for it because, firstly, the manufacterer’s warranty will be canceled and two this can completely damage the unit.”

    are someone try this update. is this version is functional without risk.


  • Ajay Kulkarni

    It is working great for me except camera-panorama 🙁

  • JuanseDefy

    Thank you very much for everything, it really helped me a lot. I already updated my Defy to 4.0.4 ICS, but it’s not getting my Network, since I have the data plan, and neither it’s getting the wifi connection. What am I supposed to do to fix that? Thanks!

    • William Small

      Hi, I had this issue and the solution is to go into Settings under System I think it is, and choose baseband – you have to select the right one for your area. Also I think if it is America as mine is then you might have to choose one of the 3 options – as I recall the default choice for the area may not be the correct one so try until it works.

      • coolDroid

        I am facing network issues after the android update to 4.0.4 using the above procedure.
        As suggested by you(William), I tried to check the option under Settings->System for the baseband but I am not able to find anything.All I can see under Settings->System is Status bar,Notification drawer,Wallpaper and Font Size.No option for baseband available.
        Please help. 🙁

  • Julio C. Rodriguez

    I´m getting the following message : E:Can´t open /sdcard/CM9-MIGHTLY-120613-Defy.zip(bad). Installation aborted. Any ideas?

  • nikhil

    2g network doesnt work what to ?

  • NB99


    I’m very new to this game but tried the above. My problem is I have no option to install zip from sd card. The closest I have is “Apply sdcard:update.zip” but then it doesn’t find it as the file isn’t called update.zip. Is there another menu in recovery mode I’m missing?



  • NB99

    Please ignore my below question….already dealt with…apologies….

  • TR

    This may be useful to others. If you see the green robot with an Exclamation mark. press volumn down and power on/off button. this should now enter the recover screen. when in recover screen use volumn button to navigate and on/off to select.

  • dfsafasd

    everything work but my keyboard dosent pls help

  • Zaeryon

    Hi there. I followed all the steps above, but nothing happened after the reboot. My Defy is running the same Froyo as before. Any ideas? What is wrong?

    • Dampf

      same problem

  • coolDroid

    Thanks for the Super Stable android update.I was able to upgrade android from 2.2 to 4.0.4. To my surprise,after the android upgrade is done.I am facing network issues.The notification says ‘No Service-Selected network(airtel) unavailable’.I am using Airtel connection in India,Haryana.Please help me as I donot want to downgrade back to 2.2 🙁