Get the Moto DROID 2.1 update now! [Manual install]

by Mike
Posted March 31st, 2010 at 6:04 am

Remember the big hubbub last time when upgrading from 2.0 -> 2.01? Everyone wanted it much faster than Verizon was rolling it out. This time with 2.1 it’s not any different. But that’s my job — to make your tech filled life easier. Verizon’s rollout schedule is nice as it is one final test of stability before a “mass” rollout like we’ll see within the next day or so. Even still, some just can’t wait *raises hand* and that’s ok. So without further adieu, the Moto DROID 2.1 update.

Instructions for install

**It’s pretty much dammed near impossible to brick your phone with a manual such as this unless the update package itself were somehow corrupt. Even the less experienced should be able to get this done relatively painlessly.

  1. Download official ESE81 — Moto DROID 2.1 update from here (Official), here, or here.
  2. **rename download to “” (without parenthesis)
  3. Connect DROID to computer and enable mass storage mode.
  4. Copy over to the root of your SD card (don’t move it inside any folders)
  5. Restart phone holding the power button and “x” at the same time, not letting go until you see an /!\ symbol.
  6. Select “apply” by navigating with either the volume buttons on the side of the phone or the D-pad on the slide out keyboard. Use either the camera button or center D-pad button to select menu items.
  7. reboot and enjoy!

**Forgot one thing (Thanks Carlos): If you get stuck at the /x\ screen, click the camera or volume up/down to jump into the screen with the option to install

See, it’s not really that difficult is it? The whole process (sans actual download) takes all of 30-60 seconds so it doesn’t really take that long. Let us know how the update goes for you!

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22 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Peter Halliday
    April 1, 2010 at 1:03 am

    For those of you impatient for the Verizon Droid 2.1 update: Worked well as long as you read all the comments too.

  • eric
    March 31, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    worked fine. thanks.

  • james
    March 31, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    When I try to download the file,it says that its not compatible with the hardware on my phone

  • bone
    March 31, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    This update has the 3d gallery, pinch to zoom, voice to text and yahoo email access. Did it to wife’s phone. It does look like nothing has changed but it has. If u want more then that u need to root your phone. I have all the above and 7 home screens, overclocking ( ability to increase processor speed ) etc…

    • Steve
      March 31, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      So, how does one get it to actually work as all I have is all the original 3 screens and nothing new as what is suppose to be in the actual 2.1 update. Does one have to do something more than just reboot to actually activate this update????

      I’m NOT technically challenged, but there’s something missing in order to actually get this update to function, and I would appreciate the information or I’ll just have to wait like everyone else for the actual Verizon “push”.



      • Mike
        March 31, 2010 at 12:32 pm

        There shouldn’t be anything. Install, make sure it says install finished or completed without error, reboot and enjoy. The cosmetic changes are deeper in the system. Do you have the 3D media gallery? Take a picture and then go searching for it through the gallery.

  • Steve
    March 31, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I redownloaded the file again, changed the name, moved it over, got it to install, did the reboot, and absolutely nothing is different other than under Settings, About Phone it says Firmware version of 2.1-update1 and Build number ESE81.

    There are absolutely NO screen changes or any obvious changes discernible other than some hacking software and/or keylogger system may now be on the phone.

    I wonder if there is a way to uninstall and go back to original firmware until the actual Verizon “push” update is received??? Also, dialing *228, Option 1, does nothing as well

  • Mike
    March 31, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Is anyone else rebooting to a completely unchanged DROID after installing the update?

  • James
    March 31, 2010 at 8:22 am

    It works,THANKS!

    • Mike
      March 31, 2010 at 8:24 am

      Awesome. Thanks! How do you like it so far?

      • Steve
        March 31, 2010 at 11:38 am

        The update did it’s thing, but there’s nothing different about anything; no additional screens or any of what the actual Verizon 2.1 DROID update is suppose to have. What is the actual purpose of this?

        • Mike
          March 31, 2010 at 11:52 am

          I tried downloading the update again and triple checked the link. It’s the correct link for the DROID 2.1 update. Extra home screens aren’t in the official update from Verizon. You’ll have to root the phone for extra homescreens. Live Wallpapers are included now though.

  • Steve
    March 31, 2010 at 7:33 am

    I followed each step, although above it does not say to rename the file to and then proceed.

    I did all this and it did do the update and says I have 2.1 update 1. However, the phone looks no different and/or does nothing different as that was indicated that this update was suppose to do.

    I think people need to wait for the actual “push” from Verizon so as to get exactly what/when one’s phone is suppose to get it. Who knows what virus and/or hacker information may now be on the phone; wonder if there is an undo

    • Mike
      March 31, 2010 at 11:34 am

      Are you sure it completed the update succesfully? I tried on my spare DROID and it worked fine. This is the same exact file that Verizon is pushing out this week.

  • Carlos
    March 31, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Worked great.
    P.s. If you don’t get the menu after the /!\ screen with the camera button or dpad, you might have to press the Camera button and Up Volume at the same time. I had to do that.

  • Dave
    March 31, 2010 at 6:28 am

    When you say the “X” at the same time, Are you talking about sliding out keyboard and using the X button there? Or is there another button your talking about?

    • Mike
      March 31, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Correct. “x” on the slideout keyboard.

  • droid noob
    March 31, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Is there some trick to getting past the /!\ screen? I renamed the file to and put it on the root of SD card. Rebooted, and held power button and “x” on the keyboard. But now I just get stuck on the /!\ screen with no option to choose to update. I just rebooted and it comes back up normal…

  • Droid
    March 31, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Hey Mike is this rooting your phone, will it hinder anything in the future and is this the very same OTA release that is expected?

    • Mike
      March 31, 2010 at 9:05 am

      No, this is not rooting. All this is highlighting is how to manually install the OTA update Verizon is pushing out over the next few days. Its a completely stock update.

  • Evan
    March 31, 2010 at 4:54 am

    In the description, it says download ESE82, but the download file has ESE81 in the name…

    • Mike
      March 31, 2010 at 8:55 am

      Thanks. Its really ESE81. Fixing now.

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