Lenovo(R) IdeaPad A1-07 (16GB) + Android(TM) 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)


* This post has been archived and left for reference. Jump to the partially automated new version *

* Notes *

Note01: the information provided here applies only to a 16GB model. The information is provided as is and it is a work in progress. It comes from my experience and applies to it; it could be incomplete and lead to mulfunction in other cases, difficult recovery, difficult roll-back and possible denial of warranty. If you want to use it for your own tests you are free to do at your own risk. If the following instructions did not work for you or caused any problem feedback is welcome.

Note02: before you start reading I really want to underline that I used just 1 zip file, the official one (from a “trusted” source). Cwm, ics1.2 or anything else are not needed in my experience.

Note03: don’t forget the footnotes, rollbacktip and comments 🙂

Welcome researcher!

I successfully installed and run Android 4.0.4 on a  unmodified Lenovo IdeaPad A1-07 (16GB) using a very clean light solution, after modifying a file and  thanks to third party work.

Some of the requirements are these: GNU/Linux environment, a zip archiver, a text editor, a microsd card.

BACKUP the user documents residing in the IdeaPad: they will be all cleared during the install process.

Here are the steps I followed

1 – Download the zip file found here (an official link I suppose): at this time it is named A107I0_A404_001_014_0116_US.zip (Update: the zip file has been renamed into A107I0_A404_001_013_0116_US.zip);

2 – Extract the zip file;

3 – Modify the contents (not the file name!) of the file named “updater-script” (found in the folder “META-INF/com/google/android”)  removing some comment markers (“#”) and adding some instructions so that it look like (or look similar) this one: updater-script.a404

4 – Repackage everything under the name “update.zip”;

5 – Copy “update.zip” into the root of  a microsd card;

6 – Insert the microsd card in Lenovo A1-07 (16GB) that was previously powered off and disconnected from power outlet (battery “well” charged);

7 – Press and hold “vol -” button;

8 – Press and hold I/O button until vibration of the IdeaPad, then release only the I/O button;

9 – Keep holding “vol-” button until a little android mascotte appears: this means the system is updating;

10 – Wait until the upgrade finishes (few minutes) and IdeaTab turns automatically off. A green sign with a V marks a successful upgrade (you will find a log file written/left in the microsd card);

11 – Restart the IdeaTab and the system prepares its first boot in Android 4.0.4;

It works and looks nice so far

* FootNotes *

FootNote01:  About Tablet shows  “Build number A107I0_A404_001_013_0116_US” instead of  “Build number A107I0_A404_001_014_0116_US” (see update)

FootNote02:  Sometimes the standard 3 buttons blink (i.e. unlocking the screen)

FootNote03: I am not able to use PTP protocol because the system keeps switching to MTP

* RollbackTip *

On this device one can rollback the previous firmware (android 2.3….). It’s easy in the end.

1 – Download the old firmware;

2 – Unpack it and Modify its “updater-script” taking as reference the modifications done for the ICS one

3 – Repack everything and apply the “update” as it was explained here before.

* ThanksGiving *

ThanksGiving01: Thanks to the update I found here and “the Web community”.

ThanksGiving02: Really Many thanks to the unknown (individual/group/robots/company) “who” made the really hard work of porting Android so that it could work on the IdeaPad and we can enjoy it. And thanks to any hidden help probably left for us in the code I found.

* …Just for fun… *

Optimism by examples

01  – […] Forget about waiting for Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, this little guy won’t even get 3.2 Honeycomb according to Lenovo […]

02  – […]And most likely that’s how it will stay. Lenovo is not going to spend effort to make an Ice Cream Sandwich update available for this low end device.[…]

* Revisions *




26 Responses to Lenovo(R) IdeaPad A1-07 (16GB) + Android(TM) 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

  1. Frankie Poh says:

    Great Job!!! But….i realized that my internal storage was shrinked to 2GB instaead of 16GB!!!! Any advice??

    • zefiro says:

      HI! Did you make sure to uncomment the section “[…]format partitions[…]” in the script?
      In my Pad I can see 3 sections in android storage: “Internal” , “Usb” and “Removable SD”. The first one is 1.83 GB, the second one is 12.00 GB. The last one is empty.

  2. Im unable to move app to SD card. Any solution?

    • zefiro says:

      Hi! I did not test this, actually. Doing a google search I discovered this is a common question. Let’s see if anyone tells us something…

  3. Andres says:

    My hardware buttons does not work and touchscreen freezes sometimes. When charging everything goes well, but when disconnecting the charger, everything goes wrong 😦 help!

    • Andres says:

      And I can’t unlock the screen!!! I’ve not changed the script I dont know how to, could you please upload a update.zip with that script change please? thanks

      • zefiro says:

        Hello, sorry to hear that. Really, I don’t know how to help. None of these situations happened to me. I don’t have the right to upload any file, sorry.

  4. krash says:

    Great Instructions! Took less than 30min to edit, update and voila.
    So far all functions seems to work except for usb connection to my pc. My pc does not recognize the ISC. With the OS 2.3, I was able to see all my directories.

    The wifi sometimes hangs but killing all tasks and restart seems to make it work. Also fixed the bluetooth keyboard issue that I had on the OS version 2.3.

    Anyone has a solution for the usb connection issue?

  5. zefiro says:

    Good that it worked for you also! Same problem with wifi here. I did not care to investigate about it: it is annoying but I can easily go along fine with this issue as I do not want have very high requirements from that tablet. The usb issue is common too but no solution at present. 🙂

  6. hrl says:

    Hi, I’m nota having any above problemas, but I cannot make the external sdcard work.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Big thanks for your instructions!

  8. Rich Donahue says:

    The update worked but I cannot update the Kindle. It won’t let me uninstall the kindle app and reinstall either. What are my options? I need the latest kindle to view this class book I have. Thanks.

    • zefiro says:

      The kindle app is an apk that belongs to “system.zip”, part of A107I0_…_US.zip. Then, I suppose, the only option we have to “uninstall” it is to not copy that apk during the update process. I need some testing, in few words.

      • Rich Donahue says:

        Thanks for your reply. I did try that and the ideapad would not boot up. It just endlessly cycles with the splash screen. I even tried taking out all references to kindle, but the same thing happened.

      • zefiro says:

        Hello again,
        this is strange. I tried removing the apk from system.zip. Things seem fine here. It updates and later reboots. No kindle app. -Did the update went fine in your case? Probably there was an error rebuilding system.zip or the resulting zip file is not “compatible”. Unfortunately I can not tell you if with this the new kindle app installs fine

      • Rich Donahue says:

        Yep. The 1st (complete) install was good. I’ll try again. Thanks!

      • Rich Donahue says:

        I removed the kindle apk and then tried installing kindle from the ideapad, but I get the error ” incompatible with other apps using the same shared user id” Won’t install ;-(

      • zefiro says:

        Kindle Version installed and launched fine (not used). I did the following. As I told before I removed the original Kindle app. Then I extracted the kindle app from the A107234…zip (previous one) and I installed it. I then tried to update through the play store but failed. From the play store I uninstalled the KIndle app and then installed the new one.

        P.S. I double checked: it _installs_ fine.
        P.P.S. The loops you were talking about happen when one tries to regenerate the whole system.zip archive. They seem not to show up when files are selectively removed from the archive

  9. Rich Donahue says:

    Hey, thank you I’ll try it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Folks, I’m not so sure about this approach. update.zip files usually have to be signed before they are recognized by Android. This approach recommends you change the update.zip file but it does not sign the changed zip file. Has anyone successfully updated update.zip and succeeded witht eh new update.zip file?

  11. kgkg says:

    hi updater-script.a404 link is dead please tell me how to modified the content

  12. V.Chandrasekaran says:

    I have followed the procedure as explained above for upgrade to ICS 4.0.4 and all parameters found ok till the stage upto step 10. On restart the upgrade did not appear. Presently my Lenovo is A1-07 with Build no A107wo_A234_001-15-2643_ROW.

    UPdate.Zip and Update Log is also seen when connected to PC

    Please advise what is to be done

  13. zefiro says:

    Hi, did you make sure the update file has the right name “update.zip” and that it is located into the “root” of an external microsd card?

    • zefiro says:

      By the way, I am thinking that the mascotte should appear every time you rightly press the POWER+VOL combination, being the “update.zip” present or not.

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