What’s a ROM?
One of the best things about the openness of the Android platform is that if you’re unhappy with the stock OS, you can install one of many modified versions of Android (called ROMs) on your device. A new ROM can bring you the latest version of Android before your manufacturer does, or it can replace your manufacturer-modded version of Android with a clean, stock version. Or, it can take your existing version and just beef it up with awesome new features—it’s up to you.
If you’re familiar with Linux, it’s sort of similar to installing a different Linux distribution. Each version of the OS has a specific goal in mind, and as such differs quite a bit from the others. Which one you choose is dependent on your priorities and how you use the device. You’ll need to unlock your bootloader and flash a custom recovery (more info on that here), but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too difficult.
Step One: Unlock Your Boot-loader and Flash a Custom Recovery
hese are two of the most important elements when it comes to modding Android. Some guides have you use the full Android SDK, but that is totally unnecessary. You can get a (much) smaller version of the essential stuff by doing this:
1) Download the Minimal ADB and Fastboot Installation tool from here <click.
2) Open file and run it.
3) During installation, select create desktop shortcut (will come in handy very soon) and change the install location to desktop.
4) Once it has finished installing, click on the desktop shortcut marked “Minimal ADB and Fastboot.” A command prompt window should open. Enter the following code:
If it displays “Android Debug Bridge version x.x.xx” it is working. If not, or if it gives the error saying adb is not a recognized command, repeat the steps above carefully. Once you get the right thing, close the command prompt window.
Battery – Make sure that your phone has at least 60% battery left, and that your PC is plugged in, so that it doesn’t die during the process.
Backup (Optional) – Unlocking the bootloader will completely wipe all data from the device. This includes apps, settings and even the contents of the internal sdcard (pictures, music, etc.). Copy all important files off the phone onto a PC or upload them to a cloud.
Driver Installation – Download and install the Univeral ADB Driver <click. When you plug in your phone, there should be a folder containing Robin Drivers. Run the file called Setup. This will install the Robin USB drivers on your computer.
USB Debugging – On your phone go to Settings > About phone > Tap on Build number 7 times. This will enable Developer options. Now go back to Settings > Developer options > Enable USB debugging.
Allow Bootloader Unlock – Go into Settings > Developer Options. Enable the ‘Allow the bootloader to be unlocked’ option.
These include the custom recovery img and the root zip. Place both of these files into the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder on your desktop.
Download the latest file from TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP) <click
Download the latest file from SuperSu <click
Rooting this device is actually quite a simple and easy process. Before you begin, it is recommended that you at least try to understand what each part of the process will do. Although this guide will elongate each step in order to show all of the details, the method used can be broken up into 3 main steps: Unlocking the Bootloader, Installing a Custom Recovery and finally Rooting. Each new step relies on the previous step to have been completed, and a basic summary of each part is:
1) Unlocking Bootloader: Opens the door to the internal memory of the device to be written on to. This allows you to flash images onto the main partitions of the phone.
2) Installing a Custom Recovery: A custom recovery is flashed onto the recovery partition of the device and overwrites the stock recovery that exists by default. Custom recoveries bring lots of functionality and give you the ability to perform wipes, install flashable zips, create full backups of your NAND (Nandroid backup), and various other features. An unlocked bootloader is needed to install a custom recovery.
3) Rooting: You can gain root by either flashing via recovery a pre-rooted custom rom, or flashing a zip containing the SuperSU binaries. A custom recovery is necessary to do this.
Are you ready to start? Make sure you understand everything that has happened so far. If you do, let’s get started!
1. Unlocking The Bootloader
– Turn the phone off. Boot it into fastboot mode by holding volume down + the power button. In the boot menu given, move to fastboot with the volume keys and select it with the power button. The phone will display “fastboot” in the top left corner.
– Plug your phone into your PC, then open the Minimal ADB and Fastboot shortcut on your desktop and type:
If this no devices show up on the list, type this code:
fastboot -i 0x2c3f devices
If this second one works, everytime I say type “fastboot <other text>” type “fastboot -i 0x2c3f <other text>” instead. If neither work, make sure you have installed all the proper drivers and that USB debugging is enabled.
– If the phone has been recognized by the command above, it is now time to unlock the bootloader with the following command:
Remember this step will wipe EVERYTHING off your phone.
fastboot oem unlock
– After this command has finished executing, enter this code:
Step: 2 Installing a Custom Recovery
– Turn the phone off. Then boot it into fastboot mode by holding volume down + power button and selecting fastboot from the boot menu.
– Rename the recovery file that you downloaded to recovery.img. Make sure that you rename it to recovery.img NOT recovery.img.img. This file should be in your Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder on your desktop.
– Open the Minimal ADB and Fastboot shortcut on your desktop and type:
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
(remember if you are using fastboot -i 0x2c3f to use that here)
– Once this command is done, remove your phone from your computer. Hold the power button down until it powers off completely, and then boot into your brand new recovery by holding down volume down and power button and selecting recovery from the boot menu. If you don’t want to remove encryption, move past it to the next step.
To Remove Encryption:
Now in the recovery, TWRP will ask you for the encryption password. If you set an encryption password type it here and hit enter. If you did not (this will be the case for most people) hit the back button in TWRP. You will now be in TWRP, however your data is encrypted, therefore making it impossible to flash anything. To disable this, hit Wipe and then Format Data. This will wipe everything again, however you shouldn’t have anything on your phone. Type, “yes” into the bar and hit the check mark. After the process is complete, hitReboot and reboot back into recovery.
– If you wish to disable encryption once and for all (it can be restored, follow the instructions on the page with the downloads) download the latest file fromhere. Doing this is a good idea if you will be modding your phone often. DO NOT follow the installation instructions, just download. To move this file over to your phone, follow the SuperSu steps, but use this file instead. Flashing is the same. Locate the file in install in TWRP and swipe to flash. Wipe cache and dalvik after. Note that this file must be the last thing flashed, so after the SuperSu file and/or any ROM you flash now.
– Once fully in the recovery, plug your phone back into your PC.
Now it’s time to move onto the FINAL STEP.
confirm that you have placed SuperSu in the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder. Make sure your phone is still in recovery and connected to your computer. There are two ways to do this.
– Open the Mininal ADB and Fastboot shortcut on your desktop and type:
Your device should show up on the list. If it does not, check that your phone is still connected and in recovery.
– Once your device shows up on the list type this command:
adb push UPDATE-SuperSu-vX.XX.X.zip /sdcard/
SuperSu will now copy onto your phone. Once the command has completed continue onto next step (below the second way).
– In TWRP, go to Mount and hit Enable MTP. Now remove your phone and plug it back into your computer. You should now be able to access your phone’s file throught the windows file manager.
– Drag the SuperSu zip into the “sdcard” folder. Proceed onto the next step below.
– In TWRP, hit install and go to the sdcard folder. Find the SuperSu zip and select it.
– Swipe to confirm the installation. Wipe cache and dalvick.
After confirming that everything is done, reboot back into OS.
And that’s it! You’ve done it! Your phone now has an unlocked bootloader, a custom recovery installed and is rooted. Have fun