DELL Streak : Rooting and updating firmware to ver 2.1

Posted on October 3, 2010


If you have a Dell Streak, you will most probably be ” confused” by the various options/methods available to root and upgrade its firmware. The popular forums at XDA, Modaco and has well written and thorough guides on how to do all these. A newbie reading through these forums will most probably get jittery and nervous attempting the upgrades. I had scoured all these forums and others, studied all its methods and had came up with this SIMPLE and STRAIGHTFORWARD guide.

This guide is applicable to a UNLOCKED Dell Streak . My Dell Streak is directly from Dell Retail, UK.


Before you start, make sure the following are installed on your computer:

1. Android SDK , download HERE

2. DELL PC Suite : Download HERE or HERE

Before you can upgrade the firmware, you have to ROOT the phone first. When you root your phone, you gain “superuser” privileges to the Android operating system. When you are using a stock device, you have the equivalent of “guest” privileges. This level of access gets you down to the nitty gritty of the OS with no restrictions, lets you make changes to the system, and run scripts that would normally be blocked with a standard user account. With superuser privileges on an Android phone, you can install programs that need complete access to the OS – such as ROM installers (like ROM Manager), theme modifiers (such as Metamorph), and simple apps like DroCap2, which takes screenshots from the device without having to plug it in to your computer. Learn more about rooting HERE.

This is the SIMPLEST way to root the Dell Streak .

Use an app called Universal Androot. It lets you root and unroot the Streak with a simple tap of a button. Download the freeware app Barcode Scanner from Market. Scan the barcode  image using it and it will link you to the website to download and install the app. This app  can ROOT and UNROOT for both Android firmware 1.6 till 2.1. After install,  locate the app in menu, and select accordingly. If you are on ver 1.6, you need to do it twice as first attempt will fail. If you have problem downloading this app, just email me and I can send to you the APK file.



The more difficult way is to use SUPERBOOT. You need to download the software, put your phone into bootloader mode and connect the phone to the computer and execute the commands. These are the links to do it :

Some TIPS if you have problem with your computer ( on Windows ) detecting your Dell Streak:

Put your Streak into Fastboot mode by powering on while holding the camera button. It will show a screen that says ‘Touch Calibration’ and ‘Fastboot’. Tap Fastboot. You will now see ‘Wait for USB FastBoot detect….’. Connect your phone to computer using the  USB cable. The screen should display ‘FASTBOOT_MODE’.

If the phone screen is stuck at ” Wait for fastboot…” :  then try this – On computer, Go to Device Manager. You should see an errored item called Android 1.0. Right click Android 1.0, select Update Driver Software, select Browse my computer, select Let me pick, select All Hardware, scroll down to Android Phone , select Android  Bootloader and click OK.

UPGRADING Firmware to ver 2.1 :

FIRST STEP : Install Stock Recovery

Before download, you should check your device’s ‘about’ screen to determine which build number you are running. Example if it is build 4399, Download Stock Recovery 4399 : Download link and guide  HERE

  • Download the pkg file above and copy it to your microSD card and renamed it  ‘update.pkg’ ( without the apostrophe )
  • ONLY if you have flashed a custom recovery image OR if you are using a non O2 supplied device (e.g. from Dell directly), you need to revert to a stock recovery image by carrying out the following steps:
    • Download the stock recovery image above and extract to a directory
    • Put your device in bootloader mode – Unplug the device from your PC, remove the device battery, then replace it and turn device on with the camera button pressed. Select the ‘fastboot’ text on the top right, wait around 10 seconds then plug the device into your PC. The screen display should change to ‘FASTBOOT MODE’. If it doesn’t, repeat and retry . If you have problems connecting, see the TIPS I outlined above.
    • WINDOWS – double click ‘install-recovery-windows.bat’
    • MAC – Open a terminal window to the directory containing the files, and type ‘chmod +x’ followed by ‘./’
    • LINUX – Open a terminal window to the directory containing the files, and type ‘chmod +x’ followed by ‘./’
  • Power on your device with the ‘volume up’ and ‘volume down’ buttons pressed. This will give you a menu, where the second option is ‘Apply update.pkg from SD card’ Select this option (using volume keys and camera button to select).
  • When this process completes, your upgrade is done!

NEXT STEP : Upgrade Firmware

Download your ROM choice. I recommend Build 6941. Download link and guide  HERE

  1. Rename it Update.pkg and move it to the Streak’s microSD card. There’s already an Update.pkg from above, so you need to replace it with the new Update.pkg you just renamed.
  2. Turn the Streak off.
  3. Hold the volume up and down buttons down while pressing the power button and choose option 2 from the menu that will appear.

Allow the process to continue and within 10 minutes, your phone will reboot into the new firmware

Install STOCK RECOVERY IMAGE for build 6941 : The custom recovery allows you to do all sorts of lovely things such as installing ROM update zips (for custom ROMs), wiping various parts of the device, backing up, restoring and much more. Guide HERE

LINKS to read and understand more :

This is a very good guide covering all possible options:


My earlier posts on Dell Streak: