Root the Motorola Atrix 4G Running 4.5.141


Root the Motorola Atrix 4G Running 4.5.141

After updating your Motorola Atrix 4G to software version 4.5.141 you will lose root access. For those of you want to root your Motorola Atrix 4G after updating to build 4.5.141 this is how you do it.

Keep in mind that when typing in the commands during the rooting process you will leave out the quotes.

Instructions to root Atrix 4G running Gingerbread on 4.5.141:

  1. Download and Extract Fastboot Files to your C: drive (Download Link)
  2. Connect your phone to the computer via USB
  3. Put your phone in fastboot mode (restart phone holding volume down button)
  4. Open a command prompt and navigate to C:/moto-fastboot-win32
  5. type “moto-fastboot.exe flash preinstall preinstall.img” press enter
  6. Press “Vol Up” to initiate fastboot protocol
  7. type “moto-fastboot.exe reboot” press enter
  8. Your phone should reboot, wait for it to come back up
  9. type “adb shell” press enter (to restart the shell)
  10. type “/preinstall/dosu” press enter
  11. If step 10 fails type “/preinstall/su” instead and hit enter
  12. type “/bin/mount -o remount,rw /system” press enter
  13. type “cp /preinstall/su /system/bin/” press enter
  14. type “chmod 6755 /system/bin/su” press enter
  15. type “PATH=/system/bin:$PATH pm install /preinstall/Superuser.apk” press enter
  16. Reboot your phone
  17. Congrats you now have a rooted Atrix running Gingerbread.

Those of you that use this root method for your Atrix running 4.5.141 please let us know any issues you run into.

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I have been interested in Android from the moment the first devices were released. I love the fact that its such a widely accepted mobile OS and that I can be a large part of the community as a whole.


  1. Question:
    you said: “16.Congrats you now have a rooted Atrix running Gingerbread.”

    4.5.141 is named Ice cream sandwich, right? Gingerbread is version 2.3.

    Am I right?

    • 4.5.141 is just the software version of the Atrix. The Atrix 4G is still on Gingerbread after the update. The Atrix will not be receiving Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich until Q3 this year but is on the upgrade list from Motorola.

  2. Seems to work just fine. Two comments –
    1. typo on step 10, should say if step 9 fails.
    2. make sure your phone is in USB Debug mode. for step 7

  3. “If step 10 fails type “/reinstall/su” instead and hit enter”
    Just a quick correction it needs to be “/preinstall/su”
    (Also, it’s step 9, but that’s nitpicky)

  4. This all worked until step 5. After I typed “moto-fastboot.exe flash preinstall preinstall.img” and hit enter, it just sat there saying Waiting For Device in the shell. I had to look on another forum to figure out I had to hit VOLUME UP to initiate the Fastboot protocol. The rest of the steps worked. Thanks! =)

  5. Notes:

    1) If step 8 fails be sure you have USB debugging mode enabled. When I upgraded to 4.5.151 it reset that to disabled (as Hazmatt mentioned).

    2) Since my phone was rooted before the 4.5.151 update I received an error message about superuser.apk already being installed. Nevertheless, the process worked.

    3) After first reboot I had to update the SU binary.

    Thanks for the quick guide – it was just what I needed!

  6. Worked on my Atrix 4.5.141 (2.3.6). Superuser.apk was outdated and would not update, but I downloaded a superuser update fixer from the Market, and then SU could update.

  7. After Step 8.
    make sure that your phone is in ‘USB Debugging Mode’ under: Settings>Applications>Development

    My eye twitched when I realzed I had missed this step.

    Succesfully rooted just now!
    Thanks so much for this post!

  8. On Step 13, I am getting error saying
    “cp: write error: No space left on device”

    Am I doing anything wrong?


  9. sorry for writing in lower case, but i’m in a hurry.

    so my atrix was rooted on 2.3.4 then i performed the 2.3.6 update and lost root. i searched the xda forums for previous root procedures and i accidentally flashed an old version of superuser apk after i upgraded. (basically the instructions above, but for a 2.3.4 version). i performed all the instructions above and kept failing to install superuser.

    here’s what i did, i downloaded superuser from the market and superuser update fixer. (go to the market and search for superuser. they will be the only two superuser matches) after installing superuser i tried to update the binary thru the preferences menu. superuser app did not let me download to the updated binary and the words “legacy” highlighted in red appeared in the dialog. so i ran the superuser update fixer and kept trying to update the binary. and voila! superuser permission notification showed up on my screen! i am once again rooted!

    note: step #4 i think the command should be “cd: C:/moto-fastboot-win32”

    “cd” must be typed at the beginning. also, pay attention to spaces when typing in command prompt. happy rooting!

  10. thanks dude this was very intuitive and helpful the only thing i could ask for is an unroot! since last time with .91 i did it with petes and that was able to easily unroot it with one click!

  11. Awesome! Initially, I did not understand how to get into fastboot (Step 3), din’t know that it is as simple as following steps 2 & 3 literally 😀 – connecting to USB and pressing ‘poweroff’ restarts the device automatically and all you have to do when it shuts down is hold ‘vol down’ and you will see ‘fast boot’ shortly. step 10 did not work but 11 did. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  12. Just used this method after the last week update (4.5.141) that i had lost the ROOT, now it is workinga gain,


  13. Rooting went flawlessly.
    But… trying to unlock, gives the error:
    OEM unlock is not implemented
    OKASY [0.004s]
    finished. total time 0.004s

    (using “fastboot” with:
    fastboot oem unlock

    Any suggestions?

  14. Anyone solved the cp: write error: No space left on device?
    the use of the system folder is 100%

    Only a few people have reported this out of the thousands that have used this method but its still unknown as to why.

  15. I’m having an issue at step 6. After I press the vol up button on my phone the command prompt won’t show anything I’m typing. The phone will say it’s initiating fastboot protocol but that’s it. In the command prompt, suddenly I can scroll way down just to see nothing. Any ideas as to what’s going on? Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

  16. I seem to be getting a problem at step 5 pertaining to:
    “unknown partition for ‘preinstall.img'”
    “cannot determine image file name for ‘preinstall.img'”

    Can anyone offer me insight into this problem? Thanks in advance.

  17. Thanks work fine in atrix Atrix running 4.5.141. but put only the folder moto-fastboot-win32 with the files in C:\.

  18. if you don’t panic when you get an error and have the confidence to try again, you can get this done in one try. at fist deamon started when no phone present then sdb shell failed then commands wouldnt work and so onn…. just hung in the and kept retrying until the errors started to not happen anymore but now it says…success

    now what do i do?
    is there a command to reboot my phone or do i just do it manually and do i leave my phone plugged in????

    i know the easiest parts stumps me the most. now time for the streaming neflix to the big screen via hdmi (after a few trials and errors i suppose…

    good luck folks!

  19. Thanks for the instructions. This is my first attempt of rooting my phone and I have no experience with Linux so when I ask this question please be patient…

    Everything seems to work great until I get to the 12th step.

    “/bin/mount -o /system”

    I recieve an error message saying:

    “mount: cant find /system in /ect/fstab or /ect/mtab”

    could someone explain to a complete noob what is happening and how to correct it.

  20. I followed the directions carefully and get the same error message with Step 5. I even try running “moto-fastboot.exe” by itself by dragging it onto the command prompt then typing “reboot” behind to see if the device will even respond. Nothing. My Atrix stays on with the message “Starting Fastboot protocol support”.

    Any ideas? I have a feeling it’s not even recognizing my device, but when I hit the UP Volume button my computer notifies with a sound that it’s connected. Also, I’m running Windows 7 if that helps.

  21. I too was stuck after step 6, with command prompt waiting for the device. Got it to work by starting the fastboot protocol before the flash preintall. Basically I did step 6 right after step 3. Hope it solves your problem

  22. Hi Eric. I’ve tried both putting it in Fastboot mode and running Fastboot protocol before trying the flash preinstall and I still get the “error: cannot load ‘preinstall.img’. Any ideas?

  23. Before Step 9 make sure USB debugging is enabled. I had sent 1 hr to find issue why i was getting device not found.

    –> Enable USB debugging (Settings >> Applications >> Debugging)

    Rest of it is good. Thanks

  24. Chris, I’m right there with ya. I have no idea what the right drivers are. If anybody could post a link or suggest where they could be found that would be outstanding.

    Keith- For command prompt, type in “CD C:/moto-fastboot-win32” to navigate to the directory in step 4. After that, everything else is verbatim what you see here. Good luck!

  25. Thanks Austin, I can now get past step 4 all the way to step 6, but when I press up to put it in fastboot protocol the command prompt sits and says then nothing happens.

  26. Neal, Chris, and anyone else who can’t get past 6, it’s an issue with the right drivers. (hoping this link goes through) and click on the link that says “Download Motorola 5.5.0 Driver with MotoHelper”. After that, install to your computer and try it again. I now have a perfectly rooted Motorola Atrix 4G running 4.5.141. Thanks, Android Advice, and good luck to the rest of you!

  27. Alright so I’m stuck right after reboot, first of all, should i let it load all the way in the OS or should i hold the volume down and keep it in fastboot mode after restart?
    now when you type adb shell what happens next? just a $ sign shows up? because when it try typing “preinstall/dosu” it says:
    bash: groups: command not found

    appreciate any help you guys can give me.

  28. Kam, it’s right there in the instructions. “If step 10 fails type “/preinstall/su” instead and hit enter.” And if you see the $ you’re on the right path. Just type in everything as written and you’ll be fine 🙂

  29. Okay sorry for commenting MANY times, but I’m new and I need help. So when I type in “moto-fastboot.exe flash preinstall preinstall.img” it just says that “moto-fastboot.exe is not recognized as an internal or external command.” Please respong ASAP to this question, I need help! Thank you!

  30. The guide, finish whitout problems.

    But how do i know ir the phone is rooted?,

    i try with Mobile Hotspot and stil saying “enter to”

    Any suggestion?

  31. Hey so I’m still stuck on step 6 :p, now I got the right drivers installed (Motohelp 5.50 thingy) and since I didn’t get it to work yesterday, I slept and coming back, the phone is turned off, and it keeps switching on again without even showing the big M thing, just keeps switching on and off, on and off and my command prompt still says “Waiting for device”, so I’m pretty sure my phone is screwed over, but any other ideas? Any help would be really appreciative! Thank you!

  32. I was scared to do this at first, I bring one of my Atrix’s before, and it actually worked, i’m so happy 🙂 Thank you so much!!!

  33. P.S. My test for correct rooting was install of Titanium Pro Backup.
    Worked perfectly – many, many thanks once again!

    Poking around in the debugger was pretty interesting too…


  34. I am so new to all of this. How do I navigate to C:/moto-fastboot-win 32? Am I doing that on the pc or on the phone??

  35. Went through the whole process again. It took some patience, but I got it done. My advice for newbies is to have patience especially at step 9. Thanks for the instruction. It was well worth the effort!

  36. running windows 8 on laptop anything i should know before attempting? also is there a way to do this without a pc?

  37. Thank you so much …
    I’ve tried 3 other websites with no luck in obtaining root access.
    The root method shown in this post is the only one that works …
    Honestly I think the files in the moto-fastboot-win32.7z are most up to date from this site.
    Also some other sites showed things like For Step 10. Enter:
    preinstalldosu ————-did not work———
    /preinstall/dos —–this works with my Atrix—-(as shown on this site)
    Also at some point it will say:
    bash: groups: command not found
    ———just keep going and ignore this error———–

  38. Thanks, this was hard, pretty much a noob at command prompt so this took a while and a lot of mistakes, i swear i used ctr F to search practically every step in the comments, rebooting now, hope it worked.

  39. After step 4 is it supposed to say C;/moto-fastboot-win32 is not recognized as an internal or external command, operation program or batch file

  40. Worked great! Before this I failed to get rooted using motofail, zergRush, and even RootICSRAZR and psneuter (out of desperation). Thank you!

  41. My atrix’s sustm version is…now..can i root my phone by following the above procedure??? Plzzz….hellpp!!!! 🙁

  42. I was never able to get my phone successfully rooted. All the steps would seemingly complete successfully but I’d never get root access.

    My problem was USB 3. I was using the front usb ports on my computer. Which are USB 3. I didn’t realize at the time. After connecting the phone to a rear USB 2 port the guide worked successfully!


  43. I was not able to root my Motorola ATRIX 4G with any of the automated tools. Finally I decided to use this manual instructions and it was successful. As a first time for me to root an android mobile, I will like to confirm that when an OTA update is available, will i be able to install that update. OR if I want to unroot IT, WHAT will be the procedure to do it?

    Anyways thanks for this wonderful manual guide for UNROOTING Motorola Atrix 4G (MB860)

  44. After step 7, my phone reboots, am I supposed to hold volume down and re-enter fastboot? Or let it boot into os? Everything I try when I get to step 9 it always says device not found.

  45. Worked great after a few false starts 🙂 As everyone says – the right drivers are absolutely necessary, and a little patience.

  46. haha first time attempt and success.

    do not type comond lines manually..

    copy them exactly and right click on dos commond prompt click edit and past them

    it will take exactly what u do thanks

  47. Thanks very much… Worked like a charm…

    Did not work at first attempt. Then realized that had to type “exit” before trying step 11, in order to get the command prompt back to $ sign.

    Mine was Motorola Atrix running Android 2.3.6 with build

    Thanks again

  48. Mine Is a AT&T Version of atrix which is updated to 2.3.6 and i never rooted it before …. Will This method of rooting work on My atrix …

  49. Just a note, in regards to the newest AT&T update.

    This root method still works after update

    If you were rooted before the update, When you Re-Root, you may get an error at step 15, since superuser is already authorized in your phone.

    Just ignore 15 and proceed normally

  50. Awesome, this is a one stop shop for doing the Atrix right! Now time to fix the radio file and on with new roms to try.
    Thanks guys, you may this too easy …well not too easy!!

  51. Worked perfect with Atrix 4.5.141, ATT.
    Save instructions to a text file, copy and past to the cmd line.
    It works thanks

  52. I updated my Atrix 4G from to recently. Would this process work for the version of software i am having.

  53. I updated my Motorola Atrix 4G to and performed the steps provided and worked perfectly. Since there was no security changes made in the new 4.5.145 version, this root method works the same as if it was still 4.5.141.

  54. Worked Perfectly! No Problems. Just be sure to put in USB debugging mode. Tried allot of other solutions on web, but no worked except for this one.
    Thanks a million Android Advice
    Morotola Atrix 4G Model MB860
    Android Version: 2.3.6
    System Version: 4.5.145.MB860.ATT.en.US
    Build: 4.5.1A-129_OLY-145

  55. Hello
    I was wondering if at this time, the atrix 4G MB860 already has an update to Android 4 (ICS) by the motorola itself…. It not, then this process can help me to update to the ICS Android?
    Please help me to do it.

    David L.

  56. I’m an old time, old school programmer & I’m getting way beyond frustrated. I cant get past step 9. I keep get meesages adb: not found or device not found. I tried to followi the comment & skp to /preinstall/su [enter] but got Permission denied. When I tried /preinstall/dosu [enter], I got not found. Now, I’m a tad confused. I’m a way old DOS person who’s used to using the black screen from the old DOS 1.0 days and I’m not used to using the forward slashes “/ ” but rather the backward slashes ” \ ” and just want to confirm that we’re using the forward slashes because I get a lot of extraneous symbols trash (#, $, %, etc), when I use the forward slashes that I am not used to seeing.

    My attempts to root have been solely because over the short time I’ve had this Atrix 4G, the faceplate digitizer has gone wack and both ATT & Motorola state that the only fix is an expensive face plate replacement, but I’ve read that rooting and digitizer optimization is sufficient.

    I’m ready to just buy a Windows phone. Any ideas?

  57. I finally get thru with success. I get the message that rooting is successful and when I go to download the digitizer that requires rooting, I’m told I cant because I’m not really rooted because I dont have busy box? WTF?