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

 

Sony Firmware Restore

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Sony Firmware Restore

Today we will be talking about using FlashTool-0.9.18.4 to restore your Sony android device to stock firmware also to unbrick your device if needed.

Flashing Firmware with Flash Tool Requirements

1. Sony phone or tablet

2. USB cable to connect device to your computer

3. Sony Drivers downloaded and installed

4. Download FlashTool-0.9.18.4 and install

5. Some time. I would plan on 1 hour depending on your internet speeds of course.

Instructions

1. Open FlashTool-0.9.18.4

Flashtool start

2. click on devices then check updates scoll through the options and pick your device family

pick device

3. look thought this next list for your model. If you right click on branding you can check release and it will show you the version

model 2

4. once you have the version you want then click that file and it will download

downloading firmware

5. After downloading and extract the firmware along with some decryption you will see this page

extracted firmware

6. select all files and click arrow moving them all to the other side like the picture below then click create. once the FTF restore file is created you can flash it.

create firmware button

7. click flash button on the tool that looks like a Lightning bolt. then choose Flashmode. pick your newly pulled firmware from the list and click the flash button.

flash firmware

8. the flash tool will tell you to unplug your device and plug it back in while you are holding the volume down button. keep holding volume down until the flash starts. once 100% the device will reboot it self or you can unplug and manually boot it back up and you will be restored and unbricked. NOTE: if you dont want to wipe out your apps and data uncheck the wipe section boxs.

 

Will add to this post as i learn more.

Samsung Firmware Restore

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Samsung Firmware Restore Plus Unbrick

In this tutorial I will be covering two programs that can restore your Samsung phone or tablet. The first program is Odin, a great tool that interfaces with a Samsung device while it is in download mode. The Second program is Kies or Kies 3, another great tool offered by Samsung to help customers manage their tablet or phone. Kies can do a lot more then just restore your device, but in this post I will only be covering the restore and update functions. (NOTE) Odin program is designed only for Windows PC. Samsung Kies works with Windows or mac. Lets start with Odin Instructions, which is my preferred way of unbricking and restoring my devices.

Flashing Firmware with Odin Requirements

1. Samsung phone or tablet

2. USB cable to connect device to your computer

3. Samsung Drivers downloaded and installed

4. Download Odin v3.09

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 don’t know this info and your device is bricked, then start Googling it. You can get your Samsung firmware from my server or SamMobile.com

 

Instructions

(NOTE) Before you start this process, it is a good idea to backup all your data and fully charge your device. Also, this process will wipe all your data off the device and return it to like new. There are some customized firmware out there that removes the wiping data part of the restore, if you can find them. I check XDA developers site if I am looking for the NO WIPE FIRMWARE

1. Extract (unzip) the firmware file to desktop.

2. Extract Odin zip-file to desktop also.

odin folder

4. Open Odin v3.09

odin

5. Reboot phone into Download Mode (press and hold Home + Power + Volume Down buttons) from the powered off state.

6. Connect your device to the PC and wait until your drivers install and you get a blue sign in Odin. You should see a com plus a number.   For example: COM 4 Added in the odin program.

odin connected

7. Add the firmware file by pressing the AP / PDA. After selecting your firmware file, Odin will check the MD5 to make sure you have a good download.

odin AP

8. Make sure re-partition is NOT ticked.

9. Click the start button, sit back and wait a few minutes. (NOTE) most firmware restore will take about 10 minutes to flash and then the device will reboot and you need to give it another 10 minutes to boot up. Once the device is fully booted, you can close Odin and unplug your device. DO NOT unplug the device while flashing firmware as this could hard brick your Samsung device.

 

 

Flashing Firmware with Kies Requirements

1. Samsung phone or tablet

2. USB cable to connect device to your computer

3. Download and install Kies or Kies 3 software whichever your device needs.

4. Find your Device Model number and IMEI number. You can find your device model number in download mode. It will be called Product Name or model. The IMEI number can be found under the back cover; sometimes under the battery on the device. (NOTE) if you have a tablet you will need your Serial Number which should be printed somewhere on the back of the device.

Instructions

(NOTE) Before you start this process it is a good idea to backup all your data and fully charge your device. Also this process will wipe all your data off the device and return it to like new. There are some customized firmware out there that removes the wiping data part of the restore, if you can find them. I check XDA developers site if I am looking for the NO WIPE FIRMWARE

1. Reboot phone into Download Mode (press and hold Home + Power + Volume Down buttons) from the powered off state.

3. Connect your device to the PC and wait until your drivers install. This might take a couple minutes. (NOTE) The Samsung drivers got installed when you installed kies software.

4. Start the Kies program you downloaded and installed on your computer.

Kies recovery

5. Click on Tools on the top bar of kies and select Fimware upgrade and initialization. Then enter your model and IMEI numbers, then click OK.

Kies Download firmware

6. You will now see this screen below and just click start Upgrade to restore the device. Kies will find the right firmware for your device and start to download it. This step will take some time; you may have to come back in a hour if your internet connection is slow. Most new devices have 1.5GB firmware files so this is going to take awhile.

Kies Start upgrade

(NOTE) Do not unplug the usb cable from the device during the Firmware Download or it will freeze and you will have to start the download all over again.

Kies firmware downloading

kies firmware updatekies restored device

Once the firmware is at 100% the device will reboot and it may boot to recovery and install your cell radios or may just reboot. Sit back and wait another 5 to 10 minutes and your device will finish booting up and you will be fully restored and/or unbricked. Go through the setup on the device and enjoy your fixed device 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Check out the rest of my site for tons of great videos on many Samsung devices.

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