I have just updated my Motorola Droid documentation available here: https://sflanders.net/handheld/motorola-droid. The biggest addition is information about rooting and flashing the Motorola Droid. Since I think this information will be valuable to others, I am including it in a blog post as well.
DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that rooting your phone WILL VOID THE WARRENTY! I am in no way responsible for what you do to your phone, but you should know you can permanently damage it so please proceed with caution. In addition, I can in no way take credit for this process, but I figured this article would be helpful as I found some of the directions online confusing.
WARNING: It is important to understand the difference between rooting your phone and flashing your phone. Rooting your phone gives you the highest permissions available on the system. For Linux this is equivalent to having root and for Windows it is equivalent of being Administrator. Rooting your phone does not remove any data from your phone. Flashing, on the other hand, changes the operating system the phone is using. In order to flash your phone you must root your phone first. Flashing almost always requires wiping all data off of your phone, but not the SD card. Once your phone has been flashed, it will lose all applications and information stored on it that was not saved on the SD card. One additional thing I would like to add is that flashing your phone takes quite a bit of time. For me, it took about three hours to back up, root, flash, install, and configure my phone, so plan accordingly.
I followed the instructions available at: http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php/Full_Update_Guide_-_Droid_Firmware_to_CyanogenMod and flashed my phone with assistance from my Windows XP laptop. The basic steps are as follows:
- Back up all data except contacts (assuming you have synced them with Google) and /sdcard on your phone
- Install Android SDK and USBDeview
- Install SPrecovery
- Take a full backup of the existing ROM on your phone (optional, but highly recommended)
- Copy backup off of the phone (optional)
- Root your phone
- Take a full backup of the rooted ROM on your phone (optional, but highly recommended)
- Install ROM Manager
- Flash your phone
- Take a full backup of the new ROM on your phone (optional)
- Install and configure new ROM