[FAQ] ASUS Transformer Prime TF201 All Things Root

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  1. ylexot

    ylexot Well-Known Member

    This FAQ is geared towards the ASUS Transformer Prime (TF201), but I’m sure parts will be useful for other devices. The thread is not intended to be used for discussion because that could make it unwieldy. If you find errors or items to add, PM me. To use the FAQ, just click on the "Show" button(s) for the appropriate area(s) and read ;)

    Friendly Suggestion: check your MD5! Devs will typically provide an "MD5" number right below their download link. You'll need to run an app (just search for MD5 on the Play Store) to calculate the MD5 for the file that is downloaded. Compare the number that the app produced to the one the Dev provided. If they match, then you got a good download. If not, try to download it again until the numbers do match. Trying to use an incomplete file is the source of many headaches!

    FYI, Scary Alien is a Moderator on these boards and produced the AFV (Android File Verifier) app on the Play Store ;)

    Useful Terms
    In alphabetical order...

    Android Debug Bridge (ADB) - a program that is run on a PC when connected to an Android device and allows commands to be run on the device from the PC.

    Bootloader - a small program that places the operating system into memory. If a bootloader is "locked", then it cannot be modified to load a different operating system.

    Bootloop - an error mode where the device will repeatedly start the boot sequence, but restarts the device before finishing.

    Brick/Bricked - a more severe error mode where the device will not even begin to boot up.

    BusyBox - BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common utilities into a single small executable. It provides minimalist replacements for the most common utilities you would usually find on your desktop system (i.e., ls, cp, mv, mount, tar, etc.).

    ClockWorkMod (CWM) - A recovery program that is often used to apply updates, ROMs, or create a backup or restore a backup file.

    CyanogenMod (i.e. CM7 or CM9) - CyanogenMod (pronounced sigh-AN-oh-jen-mod), is a customized, aftermarket firmware distribution for several Android devices (See above for supported devices & how to install CyanogenMod on said devices). Based on the Android Open Source Project, CyanogenMod is designed to increase performance and reliability over Android-based ROMs released by vendors and carriers such as Google, T-Mobile, HTC, etc. CyanogenMod also offers a variety of features & enhancements that are not currently found in these versions of Android. CyanogenMod | Android Community Rom based on Gingerbread

    Devs/Developers - the folks who make it all possible. Give a big round of applause (and maybe some PayPal donations) to your friendly neighborhood Devs! Seriously, Devs typically do it because they enjoy it and they can, but they also put expensive devices at risk while doing it. You support them, they support us.

    Kang - to use another’s code/work without their permission (not nice). “Open Kang” means that the devs throw their code out for anyone to use.

    Kernel - a program that constitutes the central core of an operating system. It has complete control over everything that occurs in the system.

    MD5 - a calculation performed on a file that results in a unique number that can be used to verify that a file has been downloaded completely and that it hasn't been tampered with. Also known as a checksum.

    Nandroid - a backup created from CWM that includes everything...ROM, settings, data, etc.

    Over/Under-Clock - speeding up (over) or slowing down (under) the frequency that the device processor will operate at. Overclocking can increase performance, but often uses battery power faster and can cause instability. Underclocking can help preserve battery power, but may unacceptably slow down your device.

    ROM - these are typically full operating systems, but can also be modifications to existing operating systems.

    Root/Rooting - making changes to a device so that access is granted to the system’s root file system (superuser access).

    Superuser (SU) - a superuser has full permissions on a device. This allows the user to make changes to system files that are normally locked. It also allows the user to break things, so be careful with it. The Superuser app is used to grant superuser permissions to other applications. Be sure you trust those applications before granting them permission.

    Bootloader Unlocking
    ***WARNING*** Unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty and it cannot be re-locked.

    Now that you know that your warranty will be voided if you unlock it, why might you want to unlock it? The simple answer is so that you can load a different ROM. Different ROMs may have different features or advantages over the stock ROM. For example, a ROM may be stripped down for better performance. It’s up to you to research the various ROMs and decide if it is worth the risk of voiding your warranty. The bootloader must also be unlocked to install CWM which will allow you to make/restore Nandroid backups.

    Still want to unlock? ASUS provides the tool:
    **Note that this only works on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
    UnLock Device App

    Alternatively, the viperMOD PrimeTime tool can also unlock your bootloader (if you choose to). See the Rooting section for the viperMOD PrimeTime tool.

    ***WARNING*** Unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty and it cannot be re-locked.

    Why root your device? Well, there are lots of reasons. Rooting will allow you (or apps) to make changes that you normally can’t. Some of the frequent reasons are: theming, ad blocking, and app backup/restore.

    There are multiple methods to rooting (newest first):

    Dev: sparkym3
    Requirements: A Transformer Prime and the app ;)
    Source: [TOOL][APK ROOT]SparkyRoot apk root method - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: http://androidforums.com/transforme...tool-apk-root-sparkyroot-apk-root-method.html

    viperMOD PrimeTime
    Dev: -viperboy-
    Requirements: Windows or Linux PC and a USB cable
    Source: [TOOL][Updated 2.22.12]viperMOD PrimeTime v4.5 | Auto Root/Unroot/Busybox/CMW Flash! - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: http://androidforums.com/transforme...e-v4-5-autoroot-unroot-busybox-cwm-flash.html

    Dev: jcase
    Requirements: ADB on your computer
    Notes: For Honeycomb, not for the feint of heart
    Source: [ROOT] NachoRoot - Honeycomb - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: http://androidforums.com/transforme...t-supporting-all-firmware-jan-3rd-2-11-a.html

    Also worthy of noting in this section is the Voodoo OTA Root Keeper. This app is free on Google Play and will keep you from losing root (and having to re-root) when updates come out from ASUS.
    Voodoo OTA Root Keeper

    Another source to find tools is Transformer Prime ROM and Kernel Directory - xda-developers

    Without further ado, here are the ROMs!
    Stock for Unlocked Bootloaders
    Notes: Use to take you back to the stock ASUS OS
    [ROM] Stock for Unlocked Bootloaders - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: None

    Official CyanogenMod 9 (CM9) Nightlies
    Notes: None
    CyanogenMod Mirror Network - Powered by TDRevolution
    Local Discussion: Cyanogenmod 9 on transformer prime

    CyanogenMod 9 (CM9) KANG
    [ROM][WIP][KANG] CyanogenMod 9 for TF201 - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: None

    Android Open Kang Project (AOKP)
    Notes: None
    [ROM] Android Open Kang Project - RC1 (3/20/12) - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: [ROM][WIP][AOKP] Android Open Kang Project Beta 26 for TF201[2/29/2012]

    Virtuous Prime

    Notes: None
    [ROM][S Series][06.03.12] Virtuous Prime v2 - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: [ROM][S Series] Virtuous Prime Beta 1

    WabiSabiGeeks (WSG)
    Notes: None
    [ROM] WSG Beta v0.0.3 - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: None

    Prime Icylicious
    Notes: None
    [ROM] [03/13/12] Prime Icylicious Rev Z_1 (New Icon Packs Added) - xda-developers
    Local Discussion: None

    Codename Android
    Notes: Not sure of status since source link does not have a link to the installation file.
    CNA 1.5.0 adds multiple devices and nightly builds | Codename Android
    Local Discussion: Codename Android 1.5.0?

    Another source to find ROMs is
    Transformer Prime ROM and Kernel Directory - xda-developers

    Troubleshooting, Fixing, and Undoing
    At the moment, this is the best guide I’ve seen:
    [HOW-TO] Unbrick your Transformer Prime (or not) - xda-developers

    If that doesn’t help, start a thread and we’ll see what we can do to help.

    Last Update On: 22 March 2012
    Update log:
    22 March 2012 - Added suggestion/information about MD5 checksums.
    21 March 2012 - Added ROMs! Also mentioned CWM in the bootloader section.
    20 March 2012 - Initial release - no ROMs included

    JAy3001 likes this.
  2. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Well-Known Member

    Thanks ylexot, great FAQ. :)
  3. ylexot

    ylexot Well-Known Member

    ROMs have been added. If anyone has used any of these ROMs and wants to provides some notes about them (i.e. what doesn't work), let me know.
  4. Nolam

    Nolam Member

    Thank you for this! I use it as a reference constantly.

    Two questions:

    Do you know if rooting alone breaks warranty? (Not sure if Asus can detect that if you unroot + clear logs, etc)

    Any news on a .21 root coming out? I jumped the gun and updated without root keeper because I really wanted FFC unlock (which didn't even appear on the update >>)
  5. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Well-Known Member

    Rooting alone does not break your warranty.

    There is a root method based on the .21 update called Virtuous:
    [ROM][S Series][30.03.12] Virtuous Prime v1 - xda-developers

    But I am not sure if this method will void your warranty. Roots based on Sparky Root will not void your warranty, but do not currently work with the .21 firmware.
  6. Nolam

    Nolam Member

    Thanks man!
    Where can I find the root based on that ROM?
  7. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Well-Known Member

  8. ylexot

    ylexot Well-Known Member

    Virtuous is a ROM, not a root method. Sure, you end up with root, but that's because you replace the operating system with a different one that is already rooted.

    I think you can download 15 from Asus, install that manually, root, use ota root keeper, and then install 21.

    Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk
  9. Nolam

    Nolam Member

    Does that wipe me?
  10. ylexot

    ylexot Well-Known Member

    Sorry, it looks like that won't work.

    Right now, it looks like the only way is to get root is to unlock the bootloader (thus voiding your warranty), install CWM, and flash a ROM.

    My advice is to just be patient. Somebody will figure out a root method.
    rasdavid likes this.
  11. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

    you should update post 1 to indicate there is as of yet, no way to root the JB update we got for those that were not rooted before or just acquired a TF201. None of those 3 root methods can root JB. Nothing can as of right now.

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