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Learn How-To Root, Custom Recovery, Backup, And De-Bloat Your DROID BIONIC

There’s sufficient info out there at the present to reliably root, backup, and de-bloat your phone – with the ability to unbrick if you screw something up. Therefore, let’s get this party happening. Also, these guidelines only are for Windows.

Note: you have to do all this at your own risk…


This is essentially very relaxed. To root your DROID BIONIC, just do the following:


  1. First of all download the Motorola Drivers (version 5.2.0) (DOWNLOAD HERE(64-bit version here), and install them.
  2. Download Pete’s Motorola Root Tools (DOWNLOAD HERE) and unzip the contents to any new, empty folder.
  3. At the present, go into your phone’s Settings menu, then to “Applications,” then “Development,” and check the box to enable “USB debugging.”
  4. Next, connect your DROID BIONIC to your computer. When the little USB icon in the notification bar seems, pull down and hit it, then select “Charge Only” mode from the list of 4 options.
  5. Next, disconnect your BIONIC from your PC, and then re-connect it. These will un-mount the storage locations, just for safety’s sake.
  6. To conclude, in the folder you created, run “Pete’s Motorola Root Tools.exe” and then hit “Root My Phone“, if all goes as planned, you should get the following screen:

When your BIONIC reboots for the third time, you should have root access. Woohoo. Now, beforeyou start going hog-wild with fantasies of removing Moto-bloat, you actually should get a Nandroid (full system image) backup on your SD card in case you, well, screw something up. First, we’ll need to install the bootstrap recovery.

Bootstrap Recovery and Nandroid Backup

Installing the bootstrap recovery tool is a cinch. Thanks to CVPCS, we have a viable, Clockwork Recovery-based (note: this is not authored by Koush, the creator of CWR) bootstrap recovery tool.


  1. Download the CVPCS BIONIC bootstrap recovery apk. (DOWNLOAD HERE) [md5: 082a6362c386e2660848120b681f42c3]
  2. E-mail by hand a copy of the apk (through Gmail – this is the easiest method), or place the apk on the root of your phone’s SD card.
  3. Go to your phone’s Settings menu, then to “Applications,” and make sure “Unknown sources” is checked.
  4. Be present at Gmail, and on the attachment hit “Install.” If you placed it on your SD card, you’ll need a file organization app like Astro to explore the card. The directory for the external SD card is “sd-ext.”
  5. Be present at your app drawer, and open the Bionic Bootstrapper app.
  6. Hit “Bootstrap Recovery,” and when prompted, hit “Allow” on the superuser permission prompt. So, when it says “Bootstrap Successful,” hit “Reboot Recovery.”

Soon thereafter, you should be greeted by the following screen:

Next, we’ll need to create a backup.


  1. In the salvage menu, navigate to “Backup and Restore” – hit the power button to select it.
  2. “Backup” should be the first item on the menu. Hit the power button to start your system backup. When it finished, you’ll be returned to the recovery main menu.
  3. Hit “Reboot System” and your phone will start up normally. You now have a Nandroid backup of your system as it exists now, on your SD card.

To restore it, simply open the Bootstrapper app, reboot into recovery, and go to the Backup and Restore menu, select Restore, then catch the backup you made (it’s labeled by date and time).

De-Bloat (Remove Crappy Verizon/Motorola Apps And Services)

De-bloating your BIONIC is probably 95% of the reason you’re here. Now that you’ve made it this far, I’ve got some quasi-disappointing news: you’re probably going to have to spend some money. You have two options:

  1. Download Titanium Backup PRO (cost: approximately $7 US, available in the Market)
  2. Use Team BlackHat app (cost: $2.99, but more complicated download process), which comprises a Motorola de-bloat tool.

We prefer Titanium. Why? Because Titanium Backup is an awesome app that does a lot more than de-bloat your phone. It’s full-on app management and backup. Trust us, it’s worth 7 bucks. Also, we won’t be plus instructions for the TBH app.


  1. Install Titanium Backup, and then buy Titanium Backup Pro (Market page).
  2. After this run Titanium Backup. If it doesn’t work, uninstall it and download again and open straight from the Market page (I had this issue). You should get a Superuser prompt, hit “allow.”
  3. Go to the “Backup/Restore” tab. You should have a ginormous list of apps and related things.
  4. If you long-press on any of the apps, you should get a little menu like the one below, notice the “Freeze” option, this essentially tells your phone that app doesn’t exist. When you “freeze” an app, your phone will act like it’s not installed – it won’t runit won’t show up in your app drawer, and it will no longer bug you. But, you need to be careful what you freeze.


NOTICE: When frozen, you cannot use these apps or their related services. You’ll have to unfreeze them.

Backup Assistant 2.3.4
Backup Assistant Client 1.0
Citrix Receiver 2.1.1059
City ID 1.1.7
GoToMeeting 1.0
Guided Tours 2.3.4
Help Center 2.3.4
IM Presence 2.3.4
News 2.3.4
Slacker 3.0.535
Social Location 2.0* [do not disable if you use any of the Social widgets or other Motorola social tools] Social Messaging 2.3.4*
Social Networking 2.3.4*
Social Status 2.3.4*
Sticky note 2.3.4
Tasks 1.0
V CAST Media Manager
V CAST Music 03.72.110
V CAST Tones 4.5.11
V CAST Videos 5.72.008
VideoSurf 1.0.10
VZ Navigator

When you’ve done that, you’re, well, done. Enjoy root access, and the reduced bloat.

Note: on Restoring From Brick

Think of, if you “brick” your BIONIC (as in, it won’t boot to the OS), you’ll have to follow the explicit de-bricking guidelines in the link here. When you do this, you will have to re-root, and re-bootstrap your BIONIC to access the backup you made, and then restore it. 


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