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Own a Samsung Nexus S and want to upgrade to Android 4.0.4 right now, without waiting for Vodafone? Well it’s your lucky day. The folks over at XDA and Android Central have found the link to the update going out to un-rooted GSM Nexus S so you can flash it now. if you have a rooted Nexus S, there’s a flashable CWM rooted .zip available at the XDA source link.

  • Grab the OTA package here
  • Rename it to update.zip.  This isn't needed for the Nexus S bootloader, but it makes things easy, if that's how you prefer them.
  • Copy it over to the internal storage on your Nexus S.
  • Power off, then hold volume up and power to reboot to the bootloader.
  • Using the volume key to navigate, select recovery, then use the power button to confirm
  • When you see the warning triangle and arrow, hold the power button and tap volume up.  You'll see a menu.
  • From the menu, select "apply update from /sdcard", and choose update.zip from the list.
  • Let it do its thing and update your system, radio, and other partitions.  When finished, choose "reboot system now"
  • Enjoy!

You must be running Android 4.0.3 for this update to work, as it’s not a full ROM, only the needed files to bring you up to 4.0.4. Let us know how it goes!

Source: Android CentralXDA.
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There is a way to force the OTA update notification. Takes a few attempts, but it’s so quick and easy.

Step 1: Got to Settings->Apps->All

Step 2: Scroll down to “Google Services Framework” and tap it.

Step 3: Click “Clear Data” (this doesn’t seem to change anything, except the time at which the phone last checked for an update)

Step 4: Back to Settings->About Phone->System Updates-> Check Now.

It doesn’t work first time. People have reported it taking between 2 – 20 tries. Did it for me on my 6th try.

now running 4.0.4 🙂


after applying update 4.03 the backlight fails when trying to apply this update the same as others have stated below. Flashlight method works to navigate menus and execute the update but it results in “Error 7” Does anyone have a workaround or an idea that might allow us to apply this patch?  I’m with 3 not Vodaphone and even inserting a Vodaphone sim will not bring up the OTA patch but the Vodaphone Nexus S I borrowed the sim from did receive the update today. help please and thank you…!

T Mathews

I upgraded Nexus S from 2.3.6 to 4.0.4. The XDA / Goggle ROM upgrade  fL9fwa99.zip was fine. The only problems were the silly phone selections and menus which work on the 99 clunk system, and need many repetitions.  Thanks   Trevor


You cannot update to this with stock recovery from 4.0.3

ICS broke the cache mounting when doing an update from stock recovery which causes the verification to fail


 Hi Diceman2037, if stock recovery will not work for this update can you tell us what method will work please?


Updated mine to 4.0.4 IMM76D. The only thing I noticed is the battery usage of “Android OS” it used to be around 25% on 4.0.3, now it is only 4%. Battery is great.

Another was wi-fi dropping out for few seconds, and then connects back. Anyone having the same experience?

Will Deasy

I have the black screen error too even when I use sunlight I get the error 7 problem. Last time this happened when updating to ICS was because it was the wrong version for the Vodafone Nexus S. I think we will just have to wait for the right version to become available. 

Zac Spitzer

getting the error 7 problem updating… unlocked unrooted manually updated to 4.0.3

perhaps this? there seems to be two 4.0.3’s


whats the difference between 4.0.3. and this one?


My Nexus S won’t go into recovery? I hit it and an android man pops up for a second then the screen goes blank. And then my phone reboots?

Sean Kavanagh

Same here :/  Very odd.  A brief flash of the droid with his guts flashing blue then a big old wait and then reboot.  So excited for a moment.

Trying to go from 4.03 Build IML74K. 


Same here….


Same here! The phone refuses to go into recovery! 


Same here.
Did a bit of research on the web, it seems that 4.0.3 recovery will turn off the S-LCD (Vodafone version of Nexus S) back lighting when in recovery screen, this bug do not affect other screen type.
Someone mention that you can shine a light to the screen to see the option as the LCD is still on, just the back light is off, I haven’t try it myself.

Sean Kavanagh

Okay, have done the same reading and with sunlight or a bright light I can only just see the Droid and red triangle but can’t see the menus at all so can’t do anything :/

Suppose it is a wait for the OTA unless anyone has a bright idea…


When you see the Droid lying down with the red triangle – hold power and hit volume up – droid will disappear – then you can swear at yourself trying to read the screen to flash the update.

Some people are reporting success – I got the “Error 7” 🙁


I successfully flashed 4.0.4! 
– first I downloaded Android SDK- Second I unlocked the phone (fastboot oem unlock) and voided the warranty- Third I flashed clockworkmod recovery using fastboot flash recovery- Then updated from sdcard (renamed to update.zip) 


I own a Nexus S, purchased online fron expansys shipped from hong kong sim free, gsm and unrooted still running 2.3.6 – I want to upgrade to ICS without rooting my phone. Any light you can shed on that?


Wouldn’t work – signiture not verified :/

Almost French

I don’t have Nexus S. When will GS II get ICS? 🙁


Just download the XXLPQ Euro version. Works like a charm and better battery life. Get 3-4 days standby…mind you on a 2000mah battery

Damon Lewis

 ICS is slowly being pushed to phones in Europe, so add 2-3 months on top of that for us for ‘carrier testing’.

Phil Tann

You can build from source now.
If you want CM9 I’m pretty sure Rootz Wiki have a download you can grab now too.

Dylan Xavier

min SGS2 is already on 4.0.3 You need to root ur phone my friend!

Jamesz Zhang

my galaxy nexus is still running on 4.0.2


Same here…and its not even a carrier device. Bought from Mobicity

Phil Tann

I can hear the Violins playing for you!  🙂
You’re a lot better off already than some of the other phones that are out there, lots of promises getting made but not a lot of action from some manufacturers, but the carriers are the biggest issues.


Wait is over. 4.0.4 is out and it pretty much fixes all my problems.