How to Update Galaxy S II to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)

Even though Samsung UK has confirmed on twitter that an official update is in the works to update the company’s superphone Galaxy S2 to latest android version, 4.0, dubbed as Ice Cream Sandwich, we knew we’ll have it way earlier than the official version. We’re true, and we’ve an awesome custom ROM for you below to prove that.

Credits for this custom ROM goes to good team over at XDA, whose elite members are: biohazardious (he started this), gokhanmoral, Pete, Paradoxxx, chadouming, nebkat, Matri ak31, Coentje44, Tegrak, yjwong, Msaraiva, Xplowild and everybody (else).

This custom ROM is a port from the Android 4.0 AOSP code that Google released some days before, and it’s in alpha stage, a bit far from daily life use suitability. But those want to it badly, and have that required dare too, can use this team’s hard work to entertain themselves with ICS goodness by following easy-cheezy guide we’ve produced below.


[error]This guide is applicable only for Samsung’s Galaxy SII international version (GT-i9100). Check your phone’s version in Settings – About Phone. It has to be “GT-i9100” for this Android 4.0 ROM to be compatible with your phone. Otherwise, simply don’t try this ICS port on your android handset — don’t even think about it if you care about your device.

And, to be very very specific, this is not for Galaxy SII handsets at AT&T (both the first one and Skyrocket), T-Mobile and Sprint.[/error]


Warning: Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page. You only are responsible for your device. We won�t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.

Pre-Installation thoughts:

  1. Backup your Apps and important data — bookmarks, contacts, SMS, APNs (internet settings), etc. This Android backup guide would help you.
  2. If you have Samsung’s PC software Kies installed, un-install it first because it may interrupt the flashing process. If you’ve installed it for sake of drivers which otherwise weren’t working, make sure you exit the Kies completely before beginning the procedure below.
  3. Drivers! — it’s important you’ve the proper drivers installed. Download links below:

What Works/Changelog:

  • Touchscreen fix implented!
  • Updated kernel (ty bio)
  • Made rom amazingly smooth and super fast!
  • Updated Android runtime
  • Updated Settings
  • Updated Build.prop
  • Updated libraries
  • Added Music2.apk
  • Added latest Android Market (not really important cuz we have no wifi >.<)
  • New apps from Galaxy Nexus
  • Fixed RIL (CALL and SMS)

What Doesn’t Work:

  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • And everything else that is not under ‘what works’

Guide to Update Galaxy S II to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)

You can watch the video below to get the idea of how to install android 4.0 on your Galaxy S II i9100. It shows the installation procedure from recovery after you’ve downloaded and transferred the android 4.0 file to phone’s internal sdcard. See the guide below for complete info.

[youtube video_id=”1zwsy3pV_mY” width=”620″ height=”400″ /]

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Download the Android 4.0 file (custom rom, that is). The latest version available right now is Alpha7. Download it from here, or here (direct link). (You can check and download the latest version of this ROM here, and then download it and continue the steps given below to flash it successfully, without any worries.)
  2. You need to have clockworkmod recovery installed on your Galaxy SII – i9100. If you don’t have it, do this:
    1. Install XXKH3 using this guide.
    2. Then, root and Install ClockWorkMod recovery on XXKH3 using this guide.
  3. Transfer the Android 4.0 file you downloaded in step 1 above to phone’s internal sdcard. Just remember the location where you transfer it — you’ll need it in step 8 and step 10 below.
  4. Disconnect the phone from computer and power it off. Wait for 6-7 seconds for complete power off.
  5. Boot into recovery mode. For this, press and hold these 3 buttons together until Samsung’s screen shows up: Volume_UP+Home+Power. Phone will boot into CWM recovery. Use volume keys to scroll up and down between options and power/home key to select an option.
  6. Wipe system, data and Cache.
    1. In recovery, go to “mounts and storage”.
    2. To wipe system, select “format /system”. Choose “Yes – Format” on the next screen.
    3. To wipe data, select “format /data”. Choose “Yes – Format” on the next screen.
    4. To wipe cache, select “format /cache”. Choose “Yes – Format” on the next screen.
  7. Select “Go back” at the bottom to return to recovery’s main menu.
  8. Now, select “install zip from sd card”. Then, select “choose zip from sd card”. Now, browse through sd card and select the Android 4.0 file you downloaded in step 1 and transferred in step 3 above.
  9. This will flash the required files on your phone and will reboot your phone into recovery again. This is a slightly different recovery now. You need to flash the Android 4.0 File again.
  10. Select “install zip from sd card” again and then select “choose zip from sd card”. Browse through sd card and select the Android 4.0 file you downloaded in step 1 and transferred in step 3 above, as you did above.
  11. This time, the Android 4.0 custom ROM will be flashed/installed actually.
  12. When the flashing is done, go back and reboot your Galaxy S II by selecting ‘reboot system now’.
  13. The phone should boot up properly, wait for 5-10 mins. [I’ve tried this two times and first time it worked while second time I had to repeat steps 6 to 12 again, after which it booted successfully. So, initially, if after 10 mins the phone doesn’t boot up (it was stuck on the Galaxy S II screen, for me), press and hold Volume_UP+Home+Power keys together to boot into recovery mode. Do this from whatever screen you are on — no need to pull battery out or switch it off or anything. Just boot into recovery from your current screen, whatever it is. Then, follow steps 6 to 12. The phone should boot up properly next time.]
  14. [Optional] Support the development and appreciate the hard work put in by the team by donating to the team. Find link here.
  15. If you’ve any queries, shoot them in comments below. But do read this guide fully before to save both us time.

So, you have the most anticipated version of android, the Ice Cream Sandwich, v4.0, right on your Galaxy S II. This custom ROM will keep updating until it gets perfect, or nearly perfect. So, keep watching this space.

Check the official development page here for latest update and to thnak the devs. And use this discussion page to post your views, read other’s views and discuss the ROM. Keep it cool!

More screenshots:

Android 4.0 Galaxy SII

Ice Cream Sandwich Galaxy SII

ICS Galaxy SII


A die-hard Liverpool FC fan, Kapil is a big fan of Batman, Android and street Cricket. In that order, probably. Email: kapil@theandroidsoul.com