Updating Lenovo Ideapad A1 from Android Gingerbread 2.3 to ICS 4.0.4

 

(Updated Jan 2013)  As far as I know, the method below is the easiest to convert your Lenovo A1 from 2.3 Gingerbread to 4.0.4, without any need to use the ClockworkMod Recovery solution. I bought a new Lenovo Ideapad A1 (the model is A1-07 model (not the A1-107) at the recent PC show, and found that the home, back and menu button were lit only for a short while before turning off. This is a pretty annoying design “bug”, and I am resolved to tackle this. After search on the web for a while, found that there are no straight-forward solutions, so I decided that if I could move it to ICS, then I would have a on-screen, lit, home and back softkey.

Searching online for a solution I came across a possible solution in the form of a zip file called ICS1.2.zip. I had tried the original “leaked” lenovo OTA_ICS ROM, but it failed for some reasons. So I tried this ICS1.2.zip solution from the Internet, and it worked very well for me.

Remember, I am using the stock ROM that came with the original device before I did the updating.

****************************************************** Note ********************************************************************

If your Lenovo Ideapad should hang or become unoperational during the flashing (which should not),
you can follow my post:  25 Steps guide to restore the broken Ideapad to nurse it back to life again :)

********************************************************************************************************************************

Steps to flashing the Lenovo Ideapad A1 from Gingerbread 2.3 to ICS 4.0.4

Gentle reminder: Please ensure your data and information are backed up before attempting this update.

BEFORE BEGINNING, make sure:

(i) Your Lenovo Ideapad model is  the A1-07 model. Mine is 16GB model.

(ii) Your tablet is already flashed with stock ROM that came with the original device. For me, it’s the ROM Version 2643.

(iii) Ensure that your write down the existing ROM number on a piece of paper before you attempting any kind of flashing your tablet. 

READY?

1.  Download the ICS1.2.zip file from the links below.  Due to the extreme popularity of this Lenovo A1 upgrade post, I have had “download limit exceeded issues” at some of my file download sources. Kindly bear with all those “wait for regular download” messages, as few mass download sites will allow me to post 250MB+ files without download limit issues.  Please use main download link first, if you can due to the limit on other alternate links.

Main Download Link  (No download limit).
Alternate Download Link 1  (Dropbox with 10GB daily download limit).
While you are at it, why not get some online free transfer storage at Dropbox :)
Alternate Download Link 2 - (SugarSync with 10GB daily download limit).
And also, why not take a look at SugarSync for their excellent sharing features?


Ensure the downloaded zip file is working properly i.e. you are able to extract zip file properly/test it and it pass integrity checks. From my experience, l
arge Internet downloads could mess up from time to time. :)

2. Rename the file from ICS1.2.zip to update.zip. Check that your file name is update.zip, and not update.zip.zip (as some of the users have feedback that they have unknowingly added additional “.zip” to an already “.zip” extension file, especially if you have enable “hide extension for known file types” in Windows Explorer’s option.)

3. Copy the update.zip file to a micro-SD card.  The recommended way is to use a good USB card reader that supports micro-SD slot and copy the update.zip file over. Turn off your Ideapad A1. Push your micro-SD card into your Lenovo Ideapad A1. Ensure the card seats nicely into the slot.

4. Hold the Volume down button and at the same time, press the Power button. Hold until the white Lenovo logo appears, then release both buttons. (See pictures below)

5. The Ideapad A1 will turn on, and going into the update mode with a progress bar. (See pictures below)

   
                   Step 4 – White Lenovo Logo                                                 Step 5 – Progress Bar
   
                     Step 5: Completing soon…                       Step 6: The green triangle with a tick

6. Wait for it to complete. You should see a green triange at the end with a tick (to signify a successful update) – see pictures above.

7. Following the instruction on the screen to reboot to move on to second stage.

8. When the updating is completed, turn on the device using the power button, and go boot into the ice-cream sandwich-based OS! Easy isn’t it?

9. You now have an ICS-based tablet on a cheap and nice Lenovo IdeaPad A1! =D

Warning (31 July 2012):
The latest OTA update (Jul 2012, likely to be A107I0_A404_001_014_0116_US) from Lenovo apparently is apparently not a production quality OTA update. Some users have reported that their Home, Back and Task Switch Soft buttons had disappeared altogether.  Hence, you should hold back updating until the 3 soft buttons are put back into the latest firmware. In the mean time, you can still use the original Android ICS 4.0.4 (i.e. the ICS1.2.zip above is still the way to go – A107I0_A404_001_004_0080_US) for flashing. It should still work pretty ok; except for the media related error upon each reboot. Just don’t do the system update (i.e. skip Step 10-12)

Update (08 Aug 2012):
The explanation from Lenovo (Mark) is this: “The A1-07 model was sold in multiple regions, and shipped with Gingerbread (2.3) while the A1-107 (Type 2228-C1U) model that is shipping with ICS preloaded is sold through Best Buy is a US only model and the OTAs that you are seeing are for that system and not the prior. As there are no present plans to release multiple images, there won’t be an OTA push of ICS for the existing A1-07 models. I know that skillful people are able to load the image for the A1-107 model, and I expect that the ICS source files for the new A1 are in the process of being made available. Perhaps something else may develop in the future, but that is where things stand today….”

****************** WARNING ******************

Only attempt the step below if and only if you are ready to lose ALL your HOME, MENU and BACK soft buttons. As of Sep 2012, there are no further updates for ICS, which means you will likely lose the soft buttons if you proceed to do the Over-the-Air (OTA) update below:

10. Ensure you have a good and stable Wireless network connection for the Over-The-Air update.

11. Go to Settings -> About Tablet -> System Update.

12. This will trigger the Lenovo Ideapad update OTA. It will tell you there is an update for this device. Choose to update.

13. Follow the instruction as per the update. This will be the original update from Lenovo, which is good thing.

************* END OF WARNING **************

 

Lenovo Ideapad A1 on ICS 4 (Login screen)

You should see Android 4.0.4 as the version from Lenovo (as of this post, of course).

This was my own personal sharing on the updating of the tablet. So please, proceed with caution and at your own risk! Your experience may vary, but I wish you well in your updating.

If you like this post, please feel free to share with others, or like it using the buttons provided :)

The following is a short clip on the final Android 4.0.4 ROM that I am running on now:

I am not sure whether the Lenovo Ideapad A1 will have a JellyBean Android 4.1 update, but I am not hopeful that Lenovo would provide such as an upgrade, unless they plan to introduce a new model e.g. Ideapad A1J,  justifying a higher price tag and with the Jellybean 4.1 as default. I hope the hardware for A1J (if there is even such a thing!) would be compatible/similar enough for existing A1-07 model users like us to move up to Jelly Bean 4.1 :)

Until then, enjoy this 4.0.4 update! For those who had problems, you can flash back to the original ROM here: http://download.lenovo.com/slates/a1/OTA/A107W0_A234_001_015_2643_ROW.zip - that is, if your ROM was 2643 version like mine was…


 
Updating Lenovo Ideapad A1 from Android Gingerbread 2.3 to ICS 4.0.4

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Gleeful Gleescaper

Gleeful Gleescaper is passionate about technology and shares interesting and useful stuff that come his way daily. He loves to travel to interesting places and keeps himself updated on technology & gadgets. When relaxing, he loves to sip on a freshly brewed cup of Espresso coffee to the tunes of Bossa Nova and easy Jazz.

 
  • Pieter Mare

    I would like to update my A1_07 tablet. The Android version is 2.3.4 and the Build number is A107W0_A234_001_010_2375_US
    Can I use the above described procedure to update the tablet?

  • Ziyadh Moidunny

    friends, i cudnt find out the ROM number?? is it necessarily needed to upgrade?
    pls help
    thank you

    • Jose Loeza

      The Stock Rom (number0 is also the Kernel Version. You can find itunder settings–>about tablet and look to see where it says kernel version. Just write them down, thi is importanat because if you dont like your new custom rom you can always go back to the original.

  • Eugene Kreymerman

    I did it and it’s not booting up.
    It keeps on saying LENOVO and a colorful line in the middle.

  • disqus_s5CslBBy7U

    This works great, but it now no longer recognizes my 32GB SD card – any help on this please?

  • Xerum525

    i followed all the steps but it goes to recovery mode instead of upgrading…..please help with this issue

  • HASAN KHORASANY

    The file works fine. I used on 7 Ideapad A1 the only issue people have is to connect with PC. Here is the solution for that Go to SETTING then STORAGE then select the 3 dots on the top right side (menu) then select USB COMPUTER CONNECTION Select MTP(or turn off/back on if it’s already on – this is what I had to do) then plug the tablet to PC now you can see your tablet in File Explorer.

    • Eugene Kreymerman

      I don’t see the 3 dots HELP!!!!

  • jhonz1001

    thanks to this site. mine works perfectly.

  • mshomauni

    i update my Lenovo A1-07 by your order but my tablet dead and the logo of lenovo frozen on the screen and it does not boot up what should i do ? please help me

  • http://www.facebook.com/bodo.maixner Bodo Maixner

    I am happy that you offer a possibility to upgrade my Lenovo Tab-PC. But it would be wonderful if it would be as easy to download that ICS2.1.zip file as it is to download the original rom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/12hikari Hikari Shinomogawa

    Can you please help me? …. because when i download this A107I0_A404_001_013_0116_US.zip, there was an error or failed to update and it was written that the error is package_extract_file(“mbr2GB.img”, “/tmp/mbr2GB.img” which is part of 2. fuse mbr.img

    i am looking forward that you could actually help me please. im begging you please …

  • BNW

    I installed android 4.0 fine on my son’s Lenovo, but it won’t let me download apps from google play. It keeps saying “couldn’t install on USB storage or SD card.” Is there something else I need to do?

  • BNW

    I updated my son’s tablet to 4.0, and it loaded fine. But it won’t download any apps. It keeps stating that it “could not install on usb or sd card.” Is there a step that I missed?

  • omair

    hi. I tried to update my ideapad, but it wouldn’t work. I tried to extract it several time but it didn’t work. help me please.

  • vix

    Erm… how do I calibrate the touchscreen after I’ve updated to.ICS? When I do the using press volume button n start button to calibrate it goes to re-update ICS again. Can I remove the update.zip. file from the sdcard?

  • Mark
  • Sam

    any idea if we can get onto Jelly Bean now? If not, is there any other resources for A1 Custom ROMS?

  • Sam

    Can we update to Jelly Bean now?

  • pauete

    Hello! :) I have a Lenovo A1-07 Lepad 2GB version with this hardware: MFG Date: 12/04/24
    It came from China with an old firmware, only english and chinese languages and no Google services (Play Store, etc).

    I tried to update the last firmware, with Android 4.0 ICS and multilanguage, but suddenly the tablet stopped recognizing the memories (internal of 2GB, neither the external microSD). Then I can not use the camera and some applications that need an storage.

    I have installed lots of firmwares from this site (customs ROMs of Lenovo): http://download.lenovo.com/slates/a1/OTA/
    But the problem continues and with some of the firmwares the screen does not works.
    The same problems with modified ROMs from Xda-developers.

    I am sure that I need an old firmware to solve the problem, maybe one like this: A107W0_A234_001_2644_ROW
    Surely a previous firmware, before November 2011
    But Lenovo upload only the new versions :(
    They produce the new pieces of the same device with little differences of hardware. In this case I have not backups or firmwares to return the tablet to its original state

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1898018

  • egami

    A friend of mine asked me if I could update his Lenovo A1-07. By searching for a mod I found your page. Now I don’t want to mess up his Tablet and pay for it. As here aren’t that much feedbacks, I’m wondering if I can take the risk? – Do you had any negative feedbacks?

    • gleescape

      So far, there are no systematic issues. In any case, I believe you can still unbrick (it’s in one of my post) it if anything bad occurs. Then again, I cannot guarantee (see the usual disclaimer); eventually, you have to make the decision :)

  • Norbert Berenyi

    I downloaded zip, renamed it to update.zip, it started going thru the update process, got the check mark at step 6 & then the tablet just shut itself down. There were no screen instructions on how to reboot into 2nd stage. Any ideas?

    • gleescape

      Try to turn it on normally again, and see if it goes automatically into the 2nd stage.

  • Jerry

    Hi there,

    I’ve successfully done the update but noticed that when I plug the USB lead into the tablet it does not get picked up by my pc or my 2 laptops. What can I do to get around this?

    Thanks!

    • gleescape

      Does the tablet charge when the USB is plugged in?

    • Jose Loeza

      All you have to do is go under Settings–>Applications–>Development and Enable the optoin thats says USB Debugging.

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  • taysay

    Thank you for the detailed instruction. Though I have a couple of questions:

    1- My devices stock ROM is 2702. Do you think this ICS update will work fine for me as apparently most people’s here had 2643? shall I try it?

    2- After upgrading to ICS, is there any hardware on your device that does not work properly? (i.e. SD card, etc.) Have you had any report about such problem after installing ICS?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • sbunsure

      Make sure you have a 2702 ROM just in case. SD works, but I cannot move my app to the SD Card, I did not check whether it was possible in the 2.3 though, so I cannot be sure.

  • Andres

    I’ve updated from 2.3 to ICS and dont read the warning that said DO NOT DO THE SYSTEM UPDATE, now I have problems with the hardware buttons. Is there a way to do a downgrade? or how can I fix that problem?? heeelp!! thanks

    • josh

      Re-flash 2.3 and try again :)

  • max

    Thanks!

  • xiix

    Hi there,

    Is it possible to reload the zip file on another location? I’ve tried for weeks to get it via Dropbox but it is always unavailable. The Depositfiles link requires a mobile to sign up and pay. Can any other reader who have the zip files help please????

    thanks!

    • gleescape

      Hi there, I will try to make available another link to SugarSync for you. Please wait for 5 mins. You will need to download in the beginning of the day (depends what is the beginning of a day in Sugarsync server), when the download limit of 10GB is reset.

    • gleescape

      There you are. Done. Hope you have better luck with the download. I have asked others to use the main links first. Hope it helps. :)

  • Joseph

    His file and instruction are really work. My A1 has ICS fInally! Thanks!

    • gleeful

      Yup! I’ve tried it myself :)

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  • Mike

    I followed the instructions to a T but after I hold the volume down and at the same time press the Power button I got these messages:
    Android system recovery
    CL system
    Recovery utility

    Reboot system
    Wipe data (factory reset)
    Wipe cache
    Touch calibration

    I did it the drill several times and always getting the same messages. There is also a grey triangle with an exclamation point inside and the green android outside. Help I need to upgrade to ice cream os.

    • Eduardo

      I had the same issue but realized that when I renamed the file to “update.zip” it looked like this: update.zip.zip. Just rename it to update, the zip is added by the system.
      view the file properties with the included file viewer and remove the extra .zip. It worked for me and the installation was successful.

      • murugan

        Hi – Have the same issue. i check several times, same error like above said. Make files as update.zip….

        Any other hope..

        Thanks in advance. Murugan

    • murugan

      Hi – Got any solution! let me know

  • ewca

    Meanwhile, apps ‘ couldn’t install on USB storage or SD card ‘ shows . Can someone advise ?

  • ewca

    I can update the OS to 4.04 after download the ICS and update via wireless. So far I have the nice operating os, but i have 2 problem, the first problem is the on sceen icon size, which is very small. I browse from other site and heard that there will be screen resolution setting, can someone advise how to change the resolution. Second problem is the USB connection to PC, it seems there is administrato setup, my PC can not detach A1.

  • noteable

    In the ICS, you will find the SD Card as /removable_sdcard.

  • bkuukmr

    I also have A1-07 and I want to upgrade Ginger Bread to ICS. I will try best. Thanks all.

  • Bobby

    Hi the download Link no longer works can you reupload please?

  • moka

    i did wrong move. do not run stock rom when i flash ics. after power on, just shown android flashing, nothing else. SOS! how to resolve this? many thanks.

  • Matt

    Can you make the ICS1.2.zip file available somewhere other than DropBox? When I follow the file link, it says the account is disabled.

    Thanks!

    • worldroma

      I just clicked the link above is working; I don’t see why you cannot download it. You may want to try again?

      • Matt

        I got the download to work, it must have just been heavy traffic that day! Thank you!

  • Alberto

    After i installed the update, since rebooting, my A1 still after appear lenovo logo on Android words like charging the system, ¿what’s happened? will end soon? how long will take charge the system, or my tablet died :(, i hope you can help me.

  • gaurav

    In my lepad a1 I have stock rom.. I downloaded ISC.1.2zip and did as you mention on above steps.. when updating it goes to approx 40% then recovery mode pops up… reboot system, factory reset.. it is not fully installed.. when rebooting system it stuck on lenovo logo.. What is my problem.. I have downloaded ISC1.2.zip 3 times to insure that it is fully downloaded( not corrupted)… is there any other link or any other option to update to ICS..

    • Dero

      can you upload the ics 1.2 zip please…..

      • homenet

        Read the instructions in the post above, and follow the link that points to ICS1.2zip to download it.

  • KR

    Just upgraded my A1 with your instruction. Wifi, Camera, GPS etc. all is working fine. Be careful, the internal SD card IS WIPED out, so make sure you back up your data. I just updated Play Store and installing apps. The OTA update after upgrading to ICS is not available.

    My A1 is 16 GB version and it was running Android 2.3.4 with ROM version 2643.

    By the way, with Andorid 4, I can see my native language Bangla (unicode) with out any error. I didn’t have to make any change. In 2.3.4, I could not see it. So I believe, the rest of the Indic Languages will be fine as well.

    Again, thanks for the step by step guide.

    • KR

      One more thing, my device name became “Samsung Galaxy Nexus” :D I guess the ROM is not the “official” Lenovo update. But as I have said, all are working fine.

  • Ida

    Thanks alot! I have successfully installed ics on my A1. However I don’t really like the resolution and font size in the apps, despite changing it to large and huge. Is there a way where I can downgrade back to 2.3.4?

    • gleescape

      I think you can follow namaewa’s response and give it a try.

  • naveen

    Can any one tell me how to flash the Stock ROM ?

    • namaewa

      My understanding is that you can to Lenovo’s FTP website to get your stock ROM image file, rename to update.zip, do the same process. The ftp website http://download.lenovo.com/slates/a1

      • naveen

        Thanks namaewa, I will try it out.

  • Mikel

    Thanks a lot – It worked for me (A1 16GB)
    1. reset to factory
    2. install ICS1.2.zip
    3. downloaded the Firmware from lenovo with ftp and put the new file as update.zip on an SD, instead of Wifi update.

    • SeriousBlaze

      Where can I download the Firmware you said?? Could you share me the link pls? Coz I cannot get update via Wi-Fi.

  • gaurav

    I did as your steps abhove… now it stuck on lenovo on starting.. what to do?

  • Tfly

    I followed the above steps but when i get to stock recovery no update is triggered. I then reboot and am still on GB 2.3.4. I formatted the micro SD, renamed the zip file, moved it to the card, inserted it into the powered off unit and then booted into recovery. What am I missing? Thanks

    • gleescape

      I am not sure what’s the config at your end, but mine was the 16GB version. I was flashing quite a number of ROMs before I got this ICS1.2 to work. Perhaps you may wish to try to clear the cache/memory using the built-in restore function BEFORE inserting the SD card with the update.zip. Some others have flash the wrong ROM and lost their ability to access the SD card (which is a removable SD card), so that complicated matters. Anyone with such problem before can help?

 
 
 
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