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Update Samsung Galaxy Nexus I9250 to Android 4.4.2 via Official CM 11 KitKat Nightlies

The official build of CyanogenMod 11 Nightly is now available for installation on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone. Use this tutorial if you want to learn how to flash the custom ROM build without bricking your device.

CM 11 Nightly is based on Android 4.4.2 AOSP, it packs tons of features and functions that should greatly improve your overall Android experience. Note that this ROM is completely different from a Samsung one, as it doesn’t feature any bloatware and it runs smoother than any other ROM you’ve had installed until now on your Nexus device.

You need to know that the battery life of your Galaxy Nexus might drop after installing such KitKat ROM, which is why it would be best for you to create a full NANDROID Backup of the installed ROM. This ‘restore point’ can be used in case you consider that the battery life with CM 11 Nightly installed on your Galaxy Nexus phone is under par. You’ll find more info in the preparation and tutorial guides.

The CyanogenMod team has worked hard on releasing a full working build of CM 11 Nightly for the Galaxy Nexus device. As you know, Google will not release an official Android 4.4 KitKat Update for Galaxy Nexus, which means that its owners can only rely on custom ROMs in order to get KitKat firmware. Check the info below if you want to learn how to successfully update your device with the CM 11 ROM:

  • use this guide only with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus model number I9250.
    – don’t attempt to update any other smartphones with the files that you find in this post, as you will end up bricking the firmware.
  • your phone has to be rooted and running the latest version of either CWM or TWRP Recovery.
    – check for updates before using the custom Recovery mode to update your device.
    – if your device doesn’t run the latest build of CWM or TWRP, then the installation of this new ROM will fail.
    – use ROM Manager to check for CWM Recovery updates or GooManager to check for new versions.
  • make sure to create a full NANDROID Backup for the installed ROM.
    – this will set a restore point for your device, one that you can use in case the new ROM doesn’t boot in normal mode.
    – this step is found in the tutorial too, so you shouldn’t skip it.
  • before installing the new ROM you will be forced to apply a ‘factory reset’.
    – this means that you will lose all data stored on the system partition.
    > the internal storage will not be affected by the ‘factory reset’.
    > this step is listed in the tutorial, you can skip it only in case your phone already sports a previous build of CM 11 Nightly.
  • backup data from installed applications, SMS text messages and APN Internet Settings using the following tools for Android: Helium.
    – no root is required for this app and it should work with all devices running almost any Android OS edition.
  • sync all your Contacts info with your Gmail account.
    – check the info here if you don’t know how to do it.
  • enable the USB Debugging from Developer Options menu.
  • check your phone’s battery charge level before starting the installation process, as it has to be over 50%.
  • in case you cannot complete the installation, then you should ask for more help in comments.

If you want to learn more about the installation process of this new ROM, then you can read the CyanogenMod blog page here.

How to flash CM 11 Nightlies for Galaxy Nexus:

  1. Download the ROM:
    – download CM 11 Nightly ROM from hereĀ or download CM 11 Snapshot M2 (milestone) from here.
    > choose whatever build you want.
  2. Download Gapps for Android 4.4 ROMs from here.
  3. Connect your phone with your Gmail account.
    > transfer both zip files to your device’s internal storage.
    > when the files are moved successfully you can disconnect your device from computer.
  4. Power off your Galaxy Nexus now.
  5. Boot the phone in CWM / TWRP Recovery mode.
    – both CWM and TWRP will work with this guide, but you need to make sure that these are updated to the latest version possible.
  6. First thing that you need to do is to create a full NANDROID ROM Backup for the installed OS:
    – CWM: select ‘backup and restore’, then name the file and save it on your device’s internal storage.
    – TWRP: press Backup, rename the file, swipe to confirm backup.
  7. Next, apply the ‘factory reset’ for your device:
    – CWM: select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’, confirm.
    – TWRP: press Wipe, then swipe to confirm Factory Reset.
    > do not skip this step unless your phone already sports a previous CM 11 Nightly build.
  8. Now you can flash the brand new ROM files:
    – CWM: select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’, find the CM 11 Nightly zip and confirm the installation.
    – TWRP: press Install, browse for the CM 11 zip, swipe to confirm the installation.
    > do not press any buttons until the process is complete.
  9. When the ROM is installed you need to select once again ‘choose zip from sdcard’. Flash the Gapps zip now.
  10. After you manage to complete the installation of both file you need to return to the main custom Recovery screen.
  11. Reboot your phone now in normal mode.
    – note that the first boot process will take a while before loading all the new files.
  12. Enter your Google Account details when the home screen of your device loads.
    – alternatively you can use the CyanogenMod account.
    – test all the new features and customize the UI so that you will get the best KitKat experience.

These were all the steps that you had to take in order to successfully update your Galaxy Nexus to Android 4.4.2 via CM 11 Nightlies.

In case the first boot process takes more than ten minutes to load, it enters into a boot loop or it displays too many errors while showing the home screen, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial. Make sure that in case you do repeat the guide that you will apply ‘factory reset’ and additionally you will also use the ‘format /system’ feature.

If you don’t like the new ROM, then you can use the NANDROID ROM Backup file created in step 6 and restore your device to its previous ROM. Make sure to use the same CWM Recovery image before starting the restore process.

For more help you should post in comments and I will try to come up with a solution for any problems that you might encounter during the installation.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Articles