Xperia Ray ICS Update
A description of upgrading the Xperia Ray from Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) to Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Last updated: 28 November 2012
Let’s start with the usual disclaimers. This document was written based entirely on my own experiences. I make no guarantees that the procedures outlined in this document will work for you. It is entirely possible that you can damage your phone by following the steps in this document. I accept no liability if you damage your phone or in any way render it unusable or unfit for purpose. Any loss of data, money, or time incurred due to actions taken after reading this document are solely your responsibility. If you perform any (or all) of the steps described in this document, you agree to absolve me of any and all liability with respect to any damages or penalties incurred (including, but not limited to, financial loss, data loss, inability to use your phone, or other damage to your phone). Perform the actions outlined in this document AT YOUR OWN RISK!
In addition to the above, I do not accept responsibility for any of the content that is linked-to from this document.
I would usually put this at the end, but then I fear that people would not read it, and that’s not fair on the people without whom this document would not have been written.
There are no doubt more people to thank than just the people I have listed in this section. It seems like every forum post related to phone flashing links to other people’s forum posts and they link to others etc. It becomes a very large web of information that can be hard to navigate (which was really my main inspiration for trying to bring all the information together into this document). So if I have missed out any credits here, then I apologise. If you are reading this and feel that you ought to be credited, then let me know and I will add your name.
Thanks to uliwooly-wooly for this thread, which was the source of all my information (albeit, information collected from other threads, with thank-yous going out to all the other contributers): http://talk.sonymobile.com/thread/38251?start=0&tstart=0
Thanks to Anicane for this post:
Thanks to zstoichev for this post:
Big thanks go to [W]ar[H]ead for his little nugget of information contained in this post: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1898236. I spent around 1 hour trying to find out why the kernel on my phone had not been downgraded on my phone after I flashed it with Flashtool. I kept checking in the “About phone” section of my phone and the kernel had not changed. Then I stumbled on this post and read; “Even your build number, android version won't change. Everything would remain same. So please don't go to phone settings to check anything” - it turned out that my kernel was flashed and I had wasted an hour chasing my tail!
Thanks, of course, to DooMLoRD for his script and instructions here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1601038
A belated thanks to Nabeel, whose detailed guide is posted here (unfortunately I did not find it until after writing this document):
This document was written based on my experience of updating my Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray from the official Android 2.3.4 (“Gingerbread” - Sony Build Number 4.0.2.A.0.62) to the official Android 4.0.4 release (“Ice Cream Sandwich” - Sony Build Number 4.1.B.0.587). My phone has the notorius (in the UK) SI number of: 1252-368. If you believe everything you read, this will never be updated to ICS officially by Sony.
The update was carried out on a Windows PC running Windows 8 64-bit. Whether it will work using other PCs is, of course, unknown to me. I believe the Americans like to say “your mileage may vary”... ;-)
I always recommend you do the following (unless you don’t really care about your data, or your phone is virgin and you have nothing to lose!)
I have read that it is possible to use the Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore utility from the previous generation Xperia devices on 2011/2012 devices. See here:
And see here for instructions on installing it:
However, I didn’t like the idea of running an APK from an “unknown source” with access to everything on my phone.* This is no reflection on whoever posted the APK as they are quite possibly well known and well respected within “the scene”, but I am not part of the scene, so I decided to play-it-safe and, since I only wanted to backup my SMS messages, I downloaded “SMS Backup & Restore”:
which is also linked to in the thread above.
Read the whole thread for any extra information you might need. I won’t re-invent the wheel by repeating what has already been said here. I assume that if you are not entirely sure how to backup your data and sideload apps, then maybe you should not be reading documents about flashing phones... ;-p
* But I do like installing a complete Android 4.0.4 ROM from an unknown source, yes, life is full of contradictions...
I felt very strongly that I should backup my firmware. If I have any problems, or decide I don’t like the ICS update or for whatever other reason, if I have a backup, I can easily go back to the official firmware that came with my phone. I didn’t like the prospect of having to take the phone to a Sony Service Centre, or use another firmware from the internet somewhere, should I want to revert back to 2.3.x from ICS...
Firstly I downloaded and installed Sony Update Service (SUS) from here:
For a discussion about Flashtool and how to use it, see here:
For information about the program itself and to download, visit here:
Now I downloaded and installed Flashtool following the instructions on the Flashtool website.
I thought it would be best to ensure there was nothing “strange” happening when performing the repair and making a backup of my firmware. I believe the repair operation will wipe your phone clean anyway, so I certainly didn’t see any harm in doing this.
At this point, I performed the following steps.
At this point, I started to see the “point of no return” approaching. This is where things got exciting! :-D
Just for completeness, at this point, I entered the service menu on my phone (dialing *#*#7378423#*#*) and selected “Service info > Software info” from the menu. I took a screenshot of this screen and saved it to my SD card. That way I had a record of my phone’s software as it stood.
Now I needed a firmware file (*.ftf file) from somewhere. There was a nice list of where you can download one here:
Once I had downloaded my chosen firmware file, I copied it to the “C:\Flashtool\firmwares\” folder and did the following:
I spent a great deal of time researching this as I was interested in using link2sd in order to free up internal memory on my phone.
At this point, I was running “stock ICS”. In “Settings > About phone”, the “Build number” was reported as 4.1.B.0.587. In order to root, I learnt that I needed to downgrade the kernel to 4.1.A.0.562, root and then upgrade the kernel back to 4.1.B.0.587.
In retrospect, the process was quite simple, but the challenge (as with upgrading from GB to ICS) was in finding the right information and getting an understanding of what was going on.
I had already backed up my data when upgrading the Android version. Data should not be lost when rooting, but as with everything in life, there is no guarantee and I felt more comfortable rooting my phone knowing that everything was backed up - it’s better to be safe than sorry...
The first step was to flash the 4.1.A.0.562 kernel with Flashtool.
Anicane has kindly made the kernel available here: http://www.mediafire.com/?gbs29dw3tzx765k. I downloaded this file and copied it into the “C:\Flashtool\firmwares\” folder. I already had a copy of my existing (ICS) firmware in the same folder, so I did not need to download the 4.1.B.0.587 kernel which Anicane has provided for download here: http://www.mediafire.com/?1pthkluxcsjkp5k.
Before I started, I downloaded the DooMLoRD rooter script. The link for the download was in the first post here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1601038. I downloaded it to my C:\ drive and extracted the files. Once I’d done that, I was ready, so I got to it:
The kernel was now flashed back to 4.1.B.0.587, or at least, so I hoped! I have no idea how I can verify this. Searching with Google, I can’t find an answer, so this may be a question I have to post in the forums. The important thing was that after doing all that, I had root access, so now I could install and use link2sd! :-)