Ice Cream Sandwich update on Samsung Galaxy S

My old trusted Samsung Galaxy S with CM 7.1.0 worked very well for a year. At the end part of the year I did encounter more and more force closes and occasional reboots. Then yesterday I could not connect to WiFi anymore. My HTC phone as well as my two laptops could connect, so it was obvious that something was broken. As first aid I tried wiping cache on CM7 with no success. The phone just does not see any WiFi networks. Not mine, nor my neighbours.

In an attempt to try to fix my WiFi issue, I decided to upgrade my CM 7.1.0 (Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread) to CM 9.1.0 (Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich). The latest CyanogenMod 10.1.0 (Android 4.2 Jelly Bean) was released only three months ago and I thought it might still be too buggy for my spoiled perfectionist self.

How to upgrade CM7.1.0 to CM9.1.0

As my Galaxy was already installed with CM 7.1, the update process was much much easier than my still undocumented CM 7.1 update in February 2012 or Gingerbread update in December 2011. As the phone was shipped with Android 2.1-update1 Eclair, this would be my third major update on my soon two year old phone.

Enough chit chat, here’s how I did it in detail.

  1. Download the CyanogenMod file (cm-9.1.0-galaxysmtd.zip) from here.
  2. Download the Google Apps file (gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip) from here.
  3. Make a full system backup including applications and their data using Titanium Backup.
  4. Connect your phone to your computer and transfer the two above mentioned zip files in the root of the internal SD card.
  5. Backup the contents of both the internal and external SD cards onto your computer just in case.
  6. Reboot your phone into Clockwork Mod Recovery mode (is already installed as it’s part of CM7, use volume buttons to move up/down and power/home button to select).
  7. In Recovery mode: backup (this is referred to as making a Nandroid backup on several forums).
  8. In Recovery mode: Wipe data/factory reset.
  9. In Recovery mode: Wipe cache partition.
  10. In Recovery mode: Advanced / Wipe Dalvik cache.
  11. In Recovery mode: Install zip from sd card (navigate to cm-9.1.0-galaxysmtd.zip).
  12. Reboot into Recovery mode again when/if the CM boots.
  13. In Recovery mode: Install zip from sd card (navigate to gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip).
  14. Reboot

How to restore apps and their data

Now my phone was as new, despite the fact that my SD cards were cluttered with old data, but we’ll come back to that later. The way to restore all apps and settings to its previous state was the following. Maybe not the quickest and smartest but got the job done.

  1. Go to contacts and connect to your existing Google Account (or three in my case).
  2. Select to sync calendar and contacts.
  3. Go to Play Store, Install Titanium Backup Pro and license key.
  4. Run Titanium Backup Pro and restore selective the apps you wish to install.
  5. Run all these newly installed apps once to resolve any login or other issues.

These apps made it to my phone again after upgrade

  • Aldiko (It can read graphic pdf files)
  • Amazon Kindle (Complimenting very nicely my hardware kindle)
  • App2SD
  • Astro File manager
  • Barcode Scanner
  • Business Calendar Free (Tried most calendar apps two years ago have been using this ever since)
  • CallTrack (Makes a calendar event of all incoming and outgoing phone calls)
  • Chess Free
  • Color Flashlight
  • Currency Calculator (Tried a few and liked this best. Quite fast to do calculations between favourite currencies)
  • DropSync (Simple, fast, not-bloated DropBox sync tool)
  • Facebook
  • Flick Note (Tried most note-taking apps two years ago and have been using this ever since. Syncs with Simplenote)
  • GJ Tuner
  • Gmail
  • GO Contacts EX
  • GO Dialer EX
  • GO SMS Pro
  • Goodreads
  • HandyBank (Personal Finances app, data synced with Moneydance, my choice of bookkeeping app on Mac)
  • iGo (Rather simple, but functioning GPS navigation software)
  • imo (The best instant messaging app to chat with your Skype, Facebook, gchat etc. contacts)
  • MapDroyd (The best offline maps I know of)
  • Memory Trainer (Multimodal double n-back training)
  • Notational Acceleration (Note taking app I am testing as possible alternative to Flick Note.)
  • Phone Tester (Gives technical information)
  • Pocket (to store offline copies of interesting articles you marked on Pocket browser addon)
  • Posing App (Photographers help)
  • Poweramp + license (The best music player two years ago. Not sure yet if CM Apollo app will replace this)
  • QuickPic (Good and fast picture viewer app)
  • SMS Backup+ (Upload all SMSes into your Gmail account with label “SMS”)
  • SoundHound (Listen to songs and try to identify them from the cloud)
  • Super Manager
  • Swype 3.26.92.38303 (The keyboard app of my choice)
  • Swype Installer (Luckily not needed this time, last upgrade made me to go through all Swype beta registration again)
  • TripIt (Frequent travellers app. Good alternative is Worldmate)
  • Vkontakte (The Facebook for Russian speakers)
  • WhatsApp (Smartphone to smartphone IM app of my choice. Competing with SMS)
  • WifiWidget
  • Wordfeud (The game to help me with my English vocabulary)
  • Wunderlist (The best cross-platform to-do app)
  • Эрудит (The game to help me with my Russian vocabulary)

These were once useful but no longer needed

  • 1Password (I never got it working and am very seldom browsing internet on my phone anyways)
  • aCar (Good app, even bought the full version when my data was held hostage after app update, don’t have a car now though)
  • AdFree (I never got it working as promised, not even on rooted phone)
  • Alarm Clock Plus (Clock app is enough, I never used advanced features very much anyways)
  • AppBrain & FastWebInstall (I am using Play Store for installing and Titanium Backup for reinstalling)
  • aWallet (Simple cc number & pin code manager)
  • Cool Reader (Using only Kindle for my reading)
  • Financisto (For taking note of your expenses, simple and useful if you don’t need to sync to Moneydance)
  • Firefox (Browser app fulfills my internet browsing needs on my phone)
  • Go Launcher (ICS Launcher looks better)
  • LastPass (same as 1Password)
  • No Lock (Widget on home screen to quickly enable/disable screen lock. Obsolete with CM7)
  • Opera (same as Firefox)
  • SMS Backup & Restore (to backup SMSes to SD card. It is enough to sync them to Gmail account with SMS Backup+)

Hope you find my upgrade guide and app list useful.

posted: 13 January 6
under: Tech