What's rooting and what we need to know about it
Before we start, let us remind you that if you have any questions about your phone, tablet, or anything mobile-related, you can always direct them to us using the following email address for a chance to get an answer from PhoneArena's tech gurus! Please send your questions to this address:
What's rooting and what do I need to know about it?
I really need to understand what is rooting and what dis/advantages it provides. I'm kinda a newbie to Android since I moved to Galaxy S 2 recently from my Nokia N8. I was thinking of exploring new custom ROMS which seem to bring more functions and options to the interface. I was particularly looking at Cyanogenmod Rom for my S2 i777.
I'm conceerned about losing all my data if I root. Please share a safe and esay way to do it and suggest some nice ROMs for that at&t SGS2.
Should I get the iPhone 4S or Galaxy Nexus, or wait for the Galaxy S III or iPhone 5?
galaxy s3 or iphone 5 to launch..
nice move phonearena .. .
Carrier-unlocked vs Factory-unlocked
Thanks for setting up "Phone Arena Knows Best" and helping your readers out! Great idea.
My question is this: I am weighing the pros and cons of getting a carrier unlocked phone versus a unbranded factory unlocked phone. For example Negri sells phones that were locked to T-Mobile that they then unlock (carrier unlocked) versus phones that are unbranded to a carrier and came from the factory unlocked. I know that with carrier unlocked phones, software updates are fairly straightforward as they come from the carrier. However, I am wondering how unbranded factory unlocked phones receive their updates. Do the updates come automatically or does one have to be proactively in seeking out updates? I ask this question because I am interested in the new HTC One X or S and I know that AT&T and T-Mobile will carry them. But some online vendors also sell unbranded international versions.
Apart form software updates, if you have any other thoughts about the pros and cons of buying carrier unlocked versus factory unlocked, please let me know.
Is it OK to buy a dual-core tablet, or should I aim for a quad-core one?
Tevin D. Wilson
If you have any mobile-related questions for us, and would like to see them answered on PhoneArena, don't hesitate to write us here:
1. ardent1 posted on 12 Apr 2012, 06:49 0 1
Before Windows 95, it was common for users to edit their autoexec.bat file in the MS DOS environment. I remember memory was tricky since the x86 processors like 386 and 486 had memory limitations. Quaterdeck was a really good program back then for memory management.
I can see why "rooting" is so special given a generation of computer users never had to edit their autoexec.bat file.
3. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 07:00 3 1
i spent a lot of time in autoexec.bat. constantly messing up DOS and also windows is what made me so good at fixing it! lol I still use my DOS5 book as a chairlift. aah memories.
2. chapizzo posted on 12 Apr 2012, 06:51 3 3
i like this phonearena knows best. Keep up the good work.
4. bobfreking55 posted on 12 Apr 2012, 07:03 1 1
this reminds me of ask the buffalo by technobuffalo.
it's unique cause it's actually written and not in a video kind of way though.
i just have a suggestion though, i wish you had a specific schedule and other means of asking other than email.
5. nyamo posted on 12 Apr 2012, 07:05 0 1
i really feel that PA should advise users asking what and how to root their android mobiles to stay stock or read up. far too many times on xda i've seen users ask for help because they did not know what they were doing or flash a wrong firmware from a different phone, IE skyrocket and I-777
7. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 07:10 4 1
good stuff, i do have something to add though.
Never blindly recommend a ROM because you are familiar with the name. If you are personally familiar with that rom version on the SGS2, then its all good, but even cyanogenmod is not the same on every phone. It really depends on the phone and who is working on it. many Kanged ROMS are made off of cyanogen without credit though (kanged is a fun word for stolen parts basically).
Best thing to do is go directly to the websitewww.cyanogenmod.com, or to forum.xda-developers.com and read. XDA is the largest development community. There you will find dozens to hundreds of roms to choose from. My advice is to start with threads that have a high post count and actually read about the problems other users are having before jumping in. Many roms have bugs to work out. The more developed roms (higher post counts) generally have much less problems or no problems.
read a lot before you touch your phone. Every model unlocks differently and many have different steps to rooting. Make sure you are 100% comfortable with the root and rom procedure before you do anything. One false move could mean a permanent brick.. aka your phone is a door stop. Both XDA and Cyanogen have root wiki's and bibles that detail the procedure step by step.. find them.
That said, samsung is among the easiest to root and the SGS2 and its variants have among the most active mod communities, so you should find lots of help. Also, if you like to root, make sure you stick with the popular phones unless you yourself like to make ROMS for it. And congrats on the SGS2, its an awesome phone.
13. angelrosado posted on 12 Apr 2012, 09:04 0 1
In your opinion do you think i should root my galaxy note and what are the benefits of roms, what exactly do roms do. thanks in advance for your help
14. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 09:09 1 1
you need to decide if you should root or not. you should do the research and follow what ive already written before you decide.
as far as the benefits, they include:
-newer versions of the OS, like 4.0.3 ICS months before official release
-streamlined and power increases
-better battery (or worse depending on the rom)
-the ability to back up your phone and all the apps and data incase the worst happens
-skirting paying for tethering.. at your own risk of course.
- a whole world of mods and tweaks to really make the phone anything you want. from simply adding a feature to changing out icon looks, to changing around the entire phone.
49. angelrosado posted on 13 Apr 2012, 18:12 0 0
Remixfa, thank you. I wil go with rooting. Sounds very benefical. Have a great day
39. vishu9 posted on 12 Apr 2012, 21:03 1 0
Thnx for the info remix.. And thank you PhoneArena for answering my mail, and making my question the title of this thread :)
I'm sure it'll help everyone.
8. phunkinc posted on 12 Apr 2012, 07:30 0 1
I don't think this is "Everything you need to know about rooting"...it's just answering a question about rooting a specific phone. Also, remix is spot on in saying don't recommend a ROM due to its name. I know Cyanogen is a big name and they make great stuff, but there are other great options.
I think PA should do an actual article specifically about rooting and its pros and cons and what its place is in the mobile industry. (PS I applied to be a writer and I wasn't accepted, I coulda done that ;) lol)
10. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 08:09 0 1
its alright, ive offered to write for them before as well. dont feel bad. its not like i dont write a novel in here anyways. lol.
if your responding to the "everything" part to me, the reason I expanded so much (which wasnt a lot if your familiar with rooting), is because its a bad idea to give minimal information to someone who has never done this before and has no background in any sort of coding. its like sending him to war with a knife while everyone is shooting at you with AK47s. Too often, they end up bricking their phone because they didnt know where to look for info or were afraid to ask. As much as newbie questions can be annoying to someone experienced, trying to help them unbrick a phone they messed up is way worse.
So please.. if its your first time. be gentile.. go slow.. and watch some videos to learn about it.
wow... that really just sounded like something else. lol
19. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:28 0 1
gentile and gentle have different meanings :-)
21. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:33 1 1
blame google auto correct. you dont want to see how poorly im actually spelling. lolol. if it wasnt for auto correct, people would probably never know what im saying. :)
9. PAPINYC (limited) 4 days ago posted on 12 Apr 2012, 07:40 0 1
Rooting is a process wherein the end result allows the end-user the ability and freedom to install 3rd-party applications not approved or authorized by either the manufacturer, carrier or operating system. Rooting also allows the end-user the ability to personaliZe and customiZe their phone; something one would think is the buyer's right. I personally never root any of my phones but, I understand it comes in handy if you ever need to 'breAk' out of 'jAil'.
11. protozeloz posted on 12 Apr 2012, 08:35 1 1
oh snap! I had a post about Root I was planing on using to apply for PA, are there still opened position?
12. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 08:58 0 1
Droid Theory on CDMA-LTE DROID RAZR is awesome....gotta use safestrap, though.
15. nitinrana posted on 12 Apr 2012, 11:45 0 1
Hey remixfa... Here's a question for you... I hope I get the right answer from you...
I live in India... I have a Samsung Galaxy S2... So obviously it's an international version... Few days back i visited cyanogen site... There i saw many roms for my phone however I wasn't able to recognize which is the one for mine because there was a stable and some night version... I have never rooted any device... Can you please give me a link so I can look upto it and do it myself in a better way....
And is Odin same like cyanogen or are they different? And which one is the best among them?
16. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 11:51 2 2
ODIN is a samsung rooting program. it is not a rom, its a tool to help when flashing roms. On samsung devices it really is a great tool to be cozy with.
if your not familiar with ROMS and rooting, u want stable versions. Nightlys, alphas, and betas are all bug filled versions. Those are for experienced people who want to play a part in development, dont mind bugs, and know how to properly report them to the devs so they can help fix them.
again, best thing to do is to
1) find the ROM threads with the most posts.. they are generally the best developed and least buggy
2) avoid any threads that say "nightly, alpha, or beta with low numbers (aka Beta version 2)
3) spend time reading.. a lot of time. read user posts as well as dev posts. 9 times out of 10, someone has already had your question and had it answered.
4) dont do anything until your comfortable.
rooting and roming a samsung phone is cake. Samsung is very open with the dev community, more than any other manufacturer. But you can still ruin cake if you dont follow directions.
BTW, im jealous, ive wanted an international samsung for a while. :)
38. TROLL.IS.AHA (banned) posted on 12 Apr 2012, 18:04 0 0
42. thelegend6657 posted on 13 Apr 2012, 02:12 0 0
Hello remixfa you ARe really a rooting expert
Superoneclick or Odin is better ?
43. thelegend6657 posted on 13 Apr 2012, 02:19 0 0
Btw remixfa I like the look of the AT&T version more
45. remixfa posted on 13 Apr 2012, 07:03 0 0
superoneclick is how to gain root. Odin is the best way of flashing roms, or especially flashing back to stock when you break something... which is its main use.
Of course you can easily flash most things through clockwork mod as well.
47. thelegend6657 posted on 13 Apr 2012, 09:58 0 0
I saw most people flash through clockwork mod .
sorry noob is rooting here
41. thelegend6657 posted on 13 Apr 2012, 02:11 0 0
Hello nitinrana . When you boots up it says i9100 or i9100G ?
Do NOT install roms that are made for i9100 onto the i9100g as you will Brick it .(and the opposite too but most roms are made to work with the i9100 )
This is because we in Asia gets 2 version of the unlocked galaxy s2 one with an eynos(i9100) and 1 with ti Omap (i9100G)
17. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:26 0 1
On a samsung phone, if you bork your phone during the ODIN process, you can buy some parts that will revive your phone back to download mode....check out XDA for that. Love the captivate on FUSION ICS 4.0.3.
24. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:35 0 0
if you bork your phone during odin, u just use odin to unbork it. samsung phones are nearly impossible to fully kill. not only are they the best of the best in tech, they are awesome phones to learn to root/rom on since sammy is so friendly with the dev community. The last phones u want to learn on are HTC or Moto bootlocked phones.. unless you want to learn how to command line code at the same time. lol
26. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:37 0 0
Actually, when you bork your phone with ODIN, with a captivate, you are sort of screwed, but at XDA, there is aposter who can advise on the fix. Costs around 2.00 at radio shack or amazon, and I have used the method 3 times now to bring my cappy back from the dead.
28. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:41 1 0
really? on the vibrant there is a trick that will always force it into download mode, where you can ODIN it right back to stock. it takes a miracle (or a sledge hammer) to completely kill it. I figured it would have been pretty much the same since they are both SGS1s. Interesting.
30. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:55 0 0
Well, maybe that is something new. Makes more sense, though. I have sent a phone back to warranty and received another one, so rooting and ROMing does not void your warranty, as we are scared and led to believe.
34. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 13:23 0 0
thats the way its always been with the vibrant. umm.. from memory...
phone off with no sim or memory card... plug in charger, hold up and power then pull battery. it should throw it into download mode no matter what. of course, that was from memory so i might be slightly off somewhere.
it does void your warranty. but the person on the other end has to know and care to check. if you've bricked your phone completely its nearly impossible to check. :) many places are a lot more leniant about ROMS than they used to be since its so common, but when in doubt always return to stock first. You dont want them to notate the account that you tried to warranty it with a ROM on there (if you go in and they send u away since you voided the warranty)
27. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:39 0 0
I learned with an HTC windows phone on changing kernels, radios, and ROMs. Android is a piece of cake compared to what I did with WIN 6/6.5. WIth MOTO, safestrap lets you 'partition' your phone so that if you mess up you can easily return to the original ROM that came with the phone, at the expense of loss of data storage.
29. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:43 1 0
yes.. android is way easier than windows 5xx/6xxx. WP7 is actually suprisinly easy as well, and there is an alternate mod-app store for it as well, like cydia. You can add in just about any feature you feel is missing from the OS. Its much more capable than people want to give it credit for.
31. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:56 0 0
They still have the tri-colored screen?
35. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 13:23 0 0
yep. still does. the rainbow screen. :) it roots kind of similar to android. its really not so bad.
20. bolaG posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:30 0 0
I wish I knew how to root, rom, and kernel properly :( anyone want to give lessons? cough remixfa cough networkdood cough protozeloz :)
22. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:34 0 0
sure....I do it constantly ....not on droid razr due to locked bootloader, but with samsung captivate....most roms and kernels can be flashed via CWM recovery. What phone do you have?
23. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:35 1 0
My advice is to go to xda developers website and start reading up as some phones have their individual quirks with flashing/modding. Rooting is easy in most cases.
25. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 12:36 0 0
the answers you seek are easily found, if you only were to look.
(hint hint XDA hint hint)
32. nitinrana posted on 12 Apr 2012, 13:10 1 0
Thank you so much for the reply remixfa... :-)
And yes you are right, read more and more... Being a lazy bum i just try to find my part of interest and when i don't get i don't visit that page... So i am gonna start reading threads on dev sites...
Don't worry... Your friend has an international version... And if your friend has it means that it's yours... :-)
Thankful to PA that they have people like you around who are ready to help... Else most of the times i see people fighting on who's phone is better... My take on this is that everybody has different taste... People will buy what they like whether it's dumb or smart... Why are you so worried? It's their money and they gonna spend it wherever they like to...
And sometimes the comments turn into a community fight instead of phone related discussion... That's kinda stupid...!!
|| Peace and Love ||
33. theBankRobber posted on 12 Apr 2012, 13:11 0 0
I rooted my OG Evo just to remove the bloatware from my phone. My Photon has let me uninstall apps without the need for rooting, except a few Sprint apps. Never really got into the custom rom thing, BUT knowing the option is there makes it all the best.
37. networkdood posted on 12 Apr 2012, 13:27 0 0
Get OTA RootKeeper, SQLITE EDITOR, Titanium Backup Pro, and Root Explorer...and life will be good.
40. remixfa posted on 12 Apr 2012, 22:11 0 0
Paid Titanium pro, paid clockwork mod,, paid SetCPU, and paid Root Explorer. Tools of the trade that make mod life sooo easy. And yes, pay for it. the extra functionality is more than worth it (especially on titanium, OMG) + rewarding the guys that make the mod community so popular and functional is also well worth it.
44. thelegend6657 posted on 13 Apr 2012, 02:22 0 0
Hey remixfa you tried install android x86 on your pc ?
It comes rooted and I think that's awesome
46. remixfa posted on 13 Apr 2012, 07:04 0 0
no, i need my PC to be stable. If i had an extra one laying around, yea i probably would :)
48. thelegend6657 posted on 13 Apr 2012, 10:00 0 0
you could you easues partition manager creates a small partition (4gb enough) and install it from a USB drive , thats what i do . Now i have a android tablet that i never bought :)
50. remixfa posted on 13 Apr 2012, 19:10 0 0
i haven not thought of that. I might do that once I upgrade my car USB drive.. ill have a spare at that point. :)
I am never buying a car without a hidden USB drive again. MP3 player built into the deck rocks.
51. thelegend6657 posted on 13 Apr 2012, 19:28 0 0
problem is some apps is still not optimised for x86 yet