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Old July 21st, 2010, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
cabbie
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Default Quick INTRO TO ROOTING for those new to rooting

Heard about rooting? Have no idea where to even start? This thread is a starting point for YOUR education in how to take control of your phone!

Benefits of rooting:


*Removing bloatware placed on the phone by Sprint (Peep, SprintZone, Sprint NASCAR, etc)
*Overclocking: this will let you use your phone at faster than the 998mhz speeds by default
*Underclocking: huge battery saver because it will throttle your phones processor down when its not in use
*Loading custom bootscreens while the phone is powering up
*Flash ROMs that will let you do a variety of different things. An example is the Cyanogen ROM will let you hook up a bluetooth mouse to your phone to interact with the phone that way.
*Flash Kernels that will increase performance. These are the ROMs that will do things like break the HTC-set 30 FPS (frames per second) cap in addition to allowing over/underclocking.
*Use a variety of apps that require root to work. An example is 'ShootMe', which lets you take screenshots of your phones screen. Another is 'Titanium Backup', which can back up all your apps+data (even protected apps). Yet another is 'CacheMate', which will clear your phones cache to improve performance.
*Create full system image backups (nandroids)
*Need more convincing? Here are some apps only available to root users. (credit to earlymon for the link!)

A few common courtesies/norms exist for this. Rooting requires READING! READ READ READ up on everything you can get your hands on as much as you can! Read the 100 page threads, watch the videos, all of it! People here are more than willing to help but its tacky to ask a question thats already been asked on the first page of this forum! Use the search function, do your due diligence to find an answer, and if you turn up nothing on here or the EVO Development forum on XDA (where the people who make all this possible reside), only then ask. You are big boy (or girl), and hacking your phone is a grown-up task so act accordingly!

What this thread DOESN'T do is explain particular methods of rooting or flashing particular ROMs. This is merely a primer to get you up to speed on the terminology and basics so it doesn't look like quantum physics gobbledygoop that melts your brain.

No matter what method you use, read through it fully till you know it by heart and follow the directions EXACTLY!

1) Rooting gives you superuser access to your phone. Think about your computer at work: the IT guys are in control of it and can limit your actions to what programs can be on it and what you can modify. They can do anything from disable copy/paste to censoring websites. Now, you are in control. Rooting can be done in a variety of ways, I used the SimpleRoot method, a lot of others here use unrevoked.

2) Rooting lets you 'flash' things to the phone. "Flashing" means either replacing or adding to the current operating system:

ROM: Read Only Memory - The ROM is the firmware/software on your phone which act like the operating system (OS) for your phone. Popular ones are BakedSnack, Fresh and Cyanogen. think of ROMs as different 'flavors'. Each has their own pros and cons. Large file (usually over 150 megs)

Radios: is referred to the phone radio portion, for the EVO it is CDMA (Code division multiple access). The Radio is essentially a ROM that controls the phone function part (as oppose to PDA function part) of your phone. In the field of Radio ROM upgrading, may have effect on your phone reception quality, battery life (optimized phone function), signal strength, etc. Small file (usually under 10 megs)

Kernels: is the central component of most computer operating systems; it is a bridge between applications and the actual data processing done at the hardware level. Small file (usually under 10 megs)

RUU: a ROM that will bring your phone back to unrooted, stock condition. As rooting voids your warranty, this is a great ability to get back to out-of-the-box condition. Large file (usually over 150 megs).

Apps: some applications can be flashed to the phone to make them part of the system so they cannot be removed. An example of why you might do this is the 'Mobile Defense' app. It is a phone locating software using GPS, so when this is flashed it will make itself invisible and a thief/etc would not be able to uninstall it. Small file (usually under 10 megs)

bricking: When things go terribly, terribly wrong and your phone becomes a paperweight. This is always possible though if you take the time to read and follow directions EXACTLY can be minimized.

adb: Android Debugging Bridge. Certain things like installing a custom bootscreen require use of ADB to accomplish. Once you download it to your PC, you open a command prompt (for PCs go to Start and enter 'cmd' in the 'run' prompt), then change the directory using DOS commands to the folder ADB is saved in. For simplicities sake, I saved mine to "SDK" on the root of my C: drive. Then I type "cd c:\sdk" to get to the folder I can run the ADB from.

bootloader: A small program that loads the operating system into the computer??s memory when the system is booted and also starts the operating system. The ideal one for the EVO is the 0.76 bootloader, referred to as the 'engineering bootloader', which lets you utilize fastboot commands.

fastboot: This is something you can do when your phone is rebooted into the bootloader while its plugged into your computer via USB, open a command prompt on your PC then execute commands (ive only ever done it to replace my splash screen). Fastboot is protocol used to update the flash filesystem in Android devices from a host over USB. It allows flashing of unsigned partition images

Deodex & Odex: A ROM can have either, a deodex ROM is more customizable than an odex one to allow theming. Themes are customized appearances for things like the notification bar.

3) You flash things by placing the zip into the main directory of your sd card. Then you reboot the phone into whats known as 'recovery', which is like hitting F3 (or whatever your computer requires) while its booting up to get access to system info or boot into safe mode, etc. There are multiple ways to reboot into recovery. The main way is to hold the volume button down, then power up. Programs like ROM Manager and Fresh Updater let you reboot into recovery from your phone while its powered on. Recovery will give you multiple options, like flashing from a zip, creating/restoring a nandroid, etc.

4) Rooting lets you create nandroid backups. These are full system image backups like your computer can make, which let you restore fully to the point where you made it. The first thing you do after rooting is make a nandroid, so you can always go back to ground zero. Its always a good idea to make a nandroid before flashing anything in case something should go wrong. With nandroids, you can go back and forth between any ROM you wish with ease. Also a good idea is to copy the nandroids from your SD card to your computer just in case.

5) Flashing a new full ROM (ie. cyanogen) requires a complete wipe of your phone! (usually factory reset, data, cache and dalvik cache). Since a nandroid backup requires root access, you will have to backup your phone piecemeal to get things back the way you want it once you root and flash a new ROM. Flashing radios/kernels/apps by and large do not require wipes. Backing up usually requires a tandem of apps that can be found in the market. I personally use:

MyBackup Pro: Allows you to backup apps and data (SMS, MMS, call log, system settings, android home, dictionary, etc) to your sdcard or their online server.
Astro File Manager: Lets you backup apps to your sd card. I use both for apps for sake of redundancy should something screwy happen.

For more redundancy on what apps you have, try out the AppBrain Market app and website. Install the app and enter your gmail into it, and choose to 'sync with appbrain'. This will make a list show up on the website you can view on your computer of currently installed apps, which is useful since you aren't going to be able to make backups of protected apps. Be sure to move the list of your apps to a separate list (not default one) so you don't lose it when it resyncs after you root/flash and log in.

An example of how one might proceed with backing up and restoring:

Quote:
*Back up your gmail contacts that are stored in the cloud
*Log into gmail on your PC.
*Select Contacts
*Click the 'More Actions' dropdown bar and select export
*Select the preferred format (which means the google csv format or the outlook/vcard format for your preference)
*It will download to your PC as 'google.csv', you can open it in excel if you wish. Throw it in your backup drive or directory or phone's SD card for safekeeping
*Optional: rename it with a date so you know when this backup was made, I use a date format like 082810Contacts.csv
then...

Quote:
*Use Astro to save all your apps
*Use MyBackup Pro to save other data (SMS, MMS, bookmarks, dictionary, moreiconswidget, system settings, android home). Do NOT use it to backup your contacts/calendar, those are saved up in the cloud safely in gmail, if you try to restore those then you might get duplicate entries for everything. Take notice that if you save contacts as 'phone' contacts and not 'google' contacts, they will not be uploaded to the cloud and therefore you should most certainly back them up. (thx shadow006
*Root & Flash a ROM: once again, this thread is not for explaining that.
*Enter your gmail info into the phone so you can access the market and re-download Astro and MyBackup Pro.
*Reinstall apps (this is the tedious part that takes forever since you have to do them 1 by 1, and you will contemplate suicide)
*Menu->Scenes->Clean Slate. In my experience, if you don't do this then when you try and restore 'home' with mybackup you will get big errors. One time I had a widget that took up parts of 2 homescreens and attempting to remove it would force-close (FC) the phone.
*Use MyBackup Pro to restore data. (NOT CONTACTS OR CALENDAR! UNLESS CONTACTS ARE 'PHONE' CONTACTS, NOT 'GOOGLE' CONTACTS, THEY WILL AUTOMATICALLY RESTORE)
*MyBackup prompts restart, do so, when it reboots you should see your homescreens more or less like they were.
READ READ READ! Have fun, and set aside an entire, full evening before you root! It is possible to go through the complete process of rooting/flashing in less than 20 minutes but something almost always goes wrong. Be patient, and you will prevail having learned a ton and having a badass, unrestrained beast of a phone.
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Last edited by ocnbrze; January 12th, 2012 at 02:01 PM. Reason: edited out tethering as this violates the sites new tethering policy
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