Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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So you got a new phone and you’re wanting to delve into the world of Android rooting. A lot of questions are probably going through your mind. Should I root it? Should I not root it? What could happen if I do? These are all very logical questions that I’m sure the majority of us have asked ourselves at one point or another. So in this article, we’re going to dive head first into the world of Android root, and hopefully make things a little more clear for you.

 

Some of you may be asking, “Well what does root really mean?”

To root your phone basically means to have administrator rights over the system partition on your phone. It can somewhat be compared to having administrator rights on your Windows PC. Basically this means that you can install, and uninstall whatever you want on your phone. Sounds good right? It is. However, there are a couple valid reasons why your phone does not have this access right out of the box. Supposed you’re new to Android and notice that upon turning your phone on, you instantly have access to every system app and system file that is available on your phone. Woah! Careful though, you have no idea what you can or cannot delete without messing something up. You’re smart though, you can use common sense to get you through this. Next thing you know your phone no longer boots up, it won’t even charge! This is one of the many valid reasons that your phone does not come out of the box with superuser access. Believe it or not, it’s disabled to actually protect you!

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’re probably thinking “Well should I or shouldn’t I?” The answer to that question is entirely up to you. So let’s go through the advantages AND the disadvantages of rooting your Android device.

Advantages:

Debloat. Bloatware apps are usually carrier specific apps that come preinstalled on your device. They can be helpful, or they can be a nuisance. Keep the ones you want, get rid of the ones you don’t, permanently. NOTE: permanemtly deleting apps bloatware from your device can some times make ota updates fail.

Install and use those “root required” apps. Such as MyBackup Pro, Root Explorer and many more! These apps can become very useful tools in the rooting world and give you so much more control over your device.

Mods, tweaks and themes. Want to have your clock centered? Well that requires root to be able to install or flash a modified SystemUI.apk.

Custom ROMs. ROMs are basically packages of custom made Android software that you can install on your device to have all the nice little features that custom ROMs come with. Rooting is the first step in being able to flash ROMs.

Control “startup apps.” With root permissions, you can even control what apps start automatically when you turn your device on!

These are just some of the very very many advantages to rooting your Android device. Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages. (Yes those actually exist.)

Disadvantages:

You may soft brick, or perma brick your device. “Bricking” has 2 forms basically. Softbrick, which is where your phone either bootloops or won’t boot at all, but you still have access to Recovery and/or Fastboot. “Permabrick” or “hardbrick” is exactly how it sounds. You’re phone is a paperweight. It will not boot, it will not charge, and you have no access to Recovery and/or Fastboot.

You’re opened up to making a lot more mistakes, such as deleting your phone.apk, your Settings.apk. You’d be surprised at how much it actually happens. (However, this is why we have websites such as Rootjunky.com and XDA!)

Ok so now we got those out of the way as well, let’s get into some rooting myths!

Myths:

“Once you root, you will no longer receive OTA updates.” – This is simply not true at all. You will still receive the OTA update on your phone if you’re still on the stock software, and you can still install that OTA update as well. However, you WILL lose root access. This can be a pain if your bootloader is not unlocked. You will have to wait for someone to verify that root access is still possible on the new software version.

“Rooting voids your warranty.” – No. No. No. Rooting absolutely does not void your warranty. The absolute only way that root voids your warranty, is if it can be proven :-), that rooting was the direct cause of your issue. However, this is also a confusing subject. Some carriers don’t really care what you do, and some do. Those that do, will not hesitate to deny you any service or replacements if your phone is rooted. Some do not check at all and do not care. Then again, this also varies between OEMs (Motorola, LG, HTC, Samsung). Some OEMs follow the rule I posted above, and some will not grant you any repairs if your device is rooted. The main reason that some places do not care is because of one simple thing, rooting, can in now way at all, damage your device. All rooting does, is install 1 app (Superuser app of choice) and install 1 file (usually in /system/xbin). That’s it. It can in no way cause your touchscreen to stop working, cause your wifi to stop working, cause you to lose mobile data, none of that. It simply can’t do it, unless YOU mess with something after the fact. Keep in mind what I said before though. This is exactly why we have websites like Rootjunky.com and XDA. If something happens, you have a very good chance of recovering your device.

So there you have it. Some advantages, disadvantages, and even some myths about Android rooting. The choice is always up to you if you root or not. That being said, let me leave you with some tips!

1.) Always always always do your research first! Find out what Android version your device is on, find out if it has been confirmed to be able to be rooted.

2.) Try to stay away from Toolkits and “one-click” methods. I’m not saying that the people that make such methods don’t know what they’re doing. What I’m saying is, if you’re going to get into this world, learn the way it used to be done! Learn your adb commands, learn your fastboot commands! Don’t take Android modding away from it’s roots.

3.) When you find a guide about rooting your device, FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS TO THE “T!!!” Do not cut corners, do exactly what the guide tells you to do!

4.) Last but not least, always make sure you perform backups before flashing ROMs. Always make sure you have a recovery plan before doing ANYTHING to your phone.

Well hopefully this article helped you learn something, and hopefully it made the decision a little easier on you. The Android community is very amazing community that is just filled with people willing to help others out when they’re in need. We’re a community that you absolutely WILL NOT find anywhere else. On that note, be safe, be smart, read, read some more, and have fun!!

 

BY

Gary H

 

Motorola Firmware Restore

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Motorola Firmware Restore Plus Unbrick

In this tutorial i will be covering restoring and unbricking your motorola device by flashing the stock fimware. We will be using RSD lite (Motorola Program) along with using fastboot and a batch file. This tutorial will be for windows user only since i dont have a mac. First lets cover the older Motorola droid devices that use RSD lite

WARNING Restoring your Motorola firmware will factory reset your device and you will loose all data on the device and have to set it back up like a new phone.

RSD Lite Firmware flash Requirements

1.  Motorola device

2.  USB cable for device

3.  Download the Motorola Drivers and install them your PC

4.  Download RSD lite Program and install it on your PC

5. Download your devices latest firmware. (NOTE) The best way to find out what device and firmware you need is to go into phone settings then about phone. Look at System Version plus build number. Between these you should be able to figure out the firmware you will need. Another good thing to find out is the device code name. Normally a quick Google search can accomplish this task. If you dont know this info and your device is bricked then start Googling it. You can get your motorola firmware from my server or Motofirmware.com

Flashing firmware

(NOTE) It is highly recommended that your device is fully charged before starting this firmware flash. Older devices have small batteries and can die during the restore which would be bad. The only way to fix a dead bricked motorola android device is with this factory cable that can send power to the device even with a dead battery. This cable comes in really handy at times and can be picked up from amazon if needed.

1. Place your phone into AP Fastboot Mode. Turn off the device then press and hold both volume up and down then hold power, now wait 5 seconds and release then buttons. You should now see a screen like this one.

ap fastboot

2. Now connect the USB cable to the device and let the motorola drivers you downloaded and installed on the PC, install for the device. This may take up to 5 minutes.

3. Open the RSD lite program and make sure it sees your device like in the picture below

RSD lite

4. click on the 3 dots where it says file name and select your firmware you downloaded. (NOTE) if the firmware is in a zip then just select it. If you extracted the firmware already, then select the XML file

XML

5. Click start button on RSD lite and sit back and wait for the device to finish the restore. Once the device has finished it will reboot and you will see the setup screen. Now you have unbricked and restored your stock firmware to your Motorola device.

(NOTE) Do not bump or unplug the device while flashing the firmware. This could cause a hard brick and your device will be dead. Also, if  the device gets stuck in a bootloop on reboot, just boot the device into stock android recovery, then wipe data factory reset the device. This will fix the bootloop. Below is a video on this process.

HERE IS A GREAT POST ON XDA THAT COVERS THIS EVEN MORE

 

 

 Fastboot Firmware Flash Requirements

1.  Motorola device

2.  USB cable for device

3.  Download the Motorola Drivers and install them your PC

4.  Download Fastboot and ADB files 

5.   Download your devices latest firmware (Note) best way to find out what device and firmware you need is to go into phone settings then about phone. Look at System Version plus build number between these you should be able to figure out the firmware you will need. Another good thing to find out is the device code name. Normally a quick Google search can accomplish this task. If you dont know this info and your device is bricked then start Googling it. You can get your motorola firmware from my server or Motofirmware.com

Flashing firmware

(NOTE) It is highly recommended that your device is fully charged before starting this firmware flash. Older devices have small batteries and can die during the restore which would be bad. The only way to fix a dead bricked motorola android device is with this factory cable that can send power to the device even with a dead battery. This cable comes in really handy at times and can be picked up from amazon if needed.

1. Place your phone into AP Fastboot Mode. Turn off the device then press and hold both volume up and down then hold power, now wait 5 seconds and release then buttons. You should now see a screen like this one.

bootloader mode

 

2. Now connect the USB cable to the device and let the motorola drivers you downloaded and installed on the PC, install for the device. This may take up to 5 minutes.

3. Extract the firmware and fastboot / adb files you downloaded to the same folder on your desktop like the picture below.

fastboot plus firmware

 

4. Click on the file in the folder ending in .bat This is a batch file that will open and flash all the firmware in this folder. Once the firmware is flashed and if you dont have any errors, then in fastboot mode on the device, select normal power up and the device will power up and be fully restored.

(NOTE) Using a batch file and fastboot to restore your device is the preferred method over RSD lite. RSD lite sometimes hangs on some steps in the XML and can be a real pain. Here is a video of me using a batch file to restore one of my Motorola Android devices.

 

Moto E Super Tool

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Moto E Super Tool

This is a little script tool I made up for the Moto E XT1023 The Firmware restore will only work on the XT1023 but all other options should work on all the variants of the Moto E
It is really simple. But requires a unlocked bootloader video HERE If you need help with bootloader unlock
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Download the Moto E Super Tool
extract the tool to your desktop
Turn on usb debugging mode on the device
install the Motorola drivers
Run the Moto E 1 Moto-E-Restore-XT1023.bat file
then just select what you want to do
1. Root your Moto E
2. Flash TWRP Recovery
3. Flash Stock Android Recovery
4. Flash CWM recovery
5. Remove the unlocked bootloader warning
6. Fully restore the Moto E to stock
7. Fully restore plus Relock the bootloader

Newest release V2
Change Log

Vision 1 first release
Version 2
updated TWRP
Updated Supersu.zip

DOWNLOAD SUPER TOOL

Hope this will help out some noobs

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