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FINALLY A WORKING JELLY BEAN ROM!! Public release! Update from ICS!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by sawbones999, Dec 5, 2014.


Do you want more dev for this phone or is it time to let it go?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Well it has been a long time coming but we finally have a working Jelly Bean 4.1.2 ROM that can be flashed onto the ICS phones!

    It started with Shinru2004 and his nandroid dump of a Sprint 4.1.2 Force 4g. SuperR took that nandroid and made a flashable debloated, rooted, de-odexed zip. Unfortunately neither of these would boot on a device which previously had ice cream sandwich installed.

    I was able to get it to boot by modifying that ROM by replacing the updater-script, updater-binary, and zImage with ones from DSF .7. That was with the 3.0.8 kernel and some things did not work (wifi, bluetooth, camera). To be expected when using system image from 3.4 kernel with 3.0.8 kernel, but calling, text and data did work.

    Shortly after, Downgraded286 posted that he had a textnow phone with 4.1.2. I asked him to use online nandroid backup to get a nandroid because I knew that this would include the modem.img and thought that might be the underlying issue.

    I flashed that modem.img and the result was I couldn't get any ROM to boot except my modded JB rom with the old kernel and then there was no network connectivity at all and some other issues.

    So I downloaded the ZTE Boost ROM that is up on ZTE's website and took a deep look at the updater-script and the image files that were included. There were many more than what you would normally see inside a custom rom, so I again asked Downgraded286 if he would be willing to use dd to copy all of the partitions that corresponded to the image files in that ZTE ROM, and here SuperR stepped up again with a script which would do just that.

    Downgraded286 ran that script and uploaded the results and just now, tonight, I renamed those image files to match the files from the ZTE ROM, copied them into the SuperR debloat/deodex, made the corrseponding additions to the updater-script, zipaligned, signed, and built with rom kitchen...and BAM! It works!

    I had just restored my phone to ICS with the ZTE rom so I had to reinstall CWM (which meant rooting, which cannot be done with 1 click root anymore on that rom, but towelroot worked, the newer zte boost rom also has swype included, but not the JB rom. Really different from the first boost rom I had). Anyway I got cwm installed, wipe factory reset, wiped dalvik, installed the zip and it booted! Everything works! Camera! Bluetooth! WIFI! Data! Everything!

    Finally ZTE Force 4g users who had ICS can upgrade to JB! It's only 2 years late, but here it is!
    This ROM should work with Sprint, Virgin Mobile, and Boost! I will be adding another link here later for TextNow users with ICS who want JB.

    Keep in mind this is a very bare, basic ROM (being debloated) but it is small and I would say will make an excellent base ROM for future dev. I believe it's noticeably faster than ICS but haven't benchmarked anything yet. Very responsive.

    If you flash this and decide that you want to go back to an ICS rom you will have to install the ZTE boost rom from the zte site at this link FIRST

    Just making a nandroid and flashing back to it will not work.

    That is because this JB update will update your aboot, modem, tz, and other firmware partitions to the version required for Jelly Bean and a nandroid will not backup these partitions. If you flash an ICS rom right after this without using the zte boost rom to first restore those partitions it will not boot. You have been forewarned. Also you need to use the original recovery which is stickied in the forum to flash the ZTE update.zip (unless you care to modify the updater-script first). If you have CWM you can use that to reboot to bootloader, or adb, and then use fastboot to boot the original recovery image. After you reflash the ZTE boost ROM if you want to reinstall CWM and go back to your nandroid, install CM or DSF, whatever, reroot with towelroot then follow the instructions for installing CWM recovery.

    These instructions apply to downgrading from JB to ICS only, to install JB just download from the link below, reboot into CWM, wipe data/factory reset, wipe dalvik, and then choose install zip from external sd card and select the file from the link below.

    Here is the public link to the Jelly Bean ROM in my dropbox.

    And on Mega

    Here is the MD5 sum for comparison: bc1c0576e3ac925613eb9ec476e6197e



    I did choose to use the sprint source bc it has config for sprint, boost, and virgin mobile included. Why Boost and Virgin Mobile have not released this, and Sprint never made it an OTA update, I have no clue! The textnow rom is very much branded textnow and oriented toward their SIP service and so I will release a textnow update separately in another post in this thread.

    Cheers all and enjoy! Look for me to soon release a ROM with some more features added in (like the swype from the ZTE rom) and some other goodies.


    Oh I almost forgot, shout out to those who were willing to test the earlier versions of this work such as TheFatDemon and Knoober! Tester feedback is important and I hope people will try this. It's really a step up in performace.


    #1 sawbones999, Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
    The-Truth, rskyzx38, rsdk and 8 others like this.
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #172 by Buzbee, Mar 25, 2015 (1 points)

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  3. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter


    I thought it felt much more responsive! I ran antutu and got a score just under 20,000!!!! This way out performs ICS, even matrix kernel! First screenshots attached! This score is about 5000 points higher than I ever averaged with ICS, even using DSF and matrix kernel with overclock. This is a substantial performance improvement!
    Screenshot_2014-12-05-02-13-21[1].png Screenshot_2014-12-05-02-14-53[1].png Screenshot_2014-12-05-02-15-06[1].png Screenshot_2014-12-05-02-15-53[1].png
  4. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    If there are other ZTE Force 4G users out there with different carriers (I know this phone is available on many smaller sprint mvno provider's, mabe even some verizon or other CDMA based ones) who are stuck on ICS and want to move up to JB, dump your ROM first and I can probably use that to make a JB ROM for you as well. I'm not promising anything but I am willing to give it a shot in my free time. I will probably ask you for a nandroid as well to run the script SuperR made which will dump your original partitions so we have a backup in case of some problems and it's necessary to revert to those.

  5. BrickHouse

    BrickHouse Android Enthusiast

    Thank You SB

    I had been waiting for this chance to upgrade and you've finalized the ROM. I also want to thank all the other dev's involved in making this happen.

    The best thing about this upgrade is:
    After running "system reset" and clearing all cache (dalvik too) twice, I then installed the ROM using CWM and rebooted. I was expecting to have to reinstall all my apps and reset all preferences from back-ups as I have with all the other upgrades I've done on other Android devices.

    Not a chance! This ROM recognized all my previous apps, settings ......... EVERYTHING and booted up faster than I'd ever seen it boot before. Then the phone proceeded to "update apps" then loaded the launcher and launcher settings and viola I'm running JB like it was from the factory with all my personal settings.

    I'm stoked!

    BIG shout out to ALL of you!

    #4 BrickHouse, Dec 6, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
    sawbones999 likes this.
  6. bcrichster

    bcrichster ROMinator

    Props Bro!!
    sawbones999 likes this.
  7. knoober

    knoober Android Enthusiast

  8. knoober

    knoober Android Enthusiast

    cant wait to try it. I'm about as excited as a guy can be because I've always wanted Jb for this device. On a side note, I have been hitting 19000+ with its for some time. I even posted about it. Stock kernel, running DSF, and I hit above 19000 every time and I would sure like to know how! rom boots in 33 seconds as well (I have an app the measures bootspeed... Or did before n update /maybe still does) so what I'm really looking to see here is project butter and a snappier ui. Now let's test this puppy out! I'll report back and let you know how awesome it is
  9. BrickHouse

    BrickHouse Android Enthusiast

    I found that in the sound settings ring tones can't be changed. When trying to change ring tones, alert tones or other "tones" the setting used to do that force closes. Another setting that force closes is "Connection Optomiser". I don't use that one but I though it would be good to know.

    Everythingelse works like a charm. Including an improvement of ui and Google Hangouts", with ICS I couldn't load messages directly when I hit the notification. Now I can.

    I can live with not changing "tones" for a while.
  10. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Really? That's awesome. You must be an optimizing fiend bc I was never able to get above 16.5k with stock or matrix kernel and oc.

  11. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    BrickHouse, I don't think you got a proper wipe. I'm sorry to say, but if you followed the instructions above and wiped data/factory reset, then dalvik like above, and then /system should be wiped as well, by the ROM during install, then your apps shouldn't still be there. This is supposed to be like every other ROM where you start fresh and have to use backups to install your apps.

    Somehow or other it sounds as if you got a dirty flash. What version of CWM are you using?

    I use CWM from the all things root forum, do wipe data/factory reset once, wipe dalvik cache once, and I pretty much always do format /system once from the mounts menu in CWM, even though the updater-script should wipe /system.

    Maybe try updating your CWM and retry? Or maybe just retry and add the step format /system and see if that fixes your problem with changing the ring tones. I had a dirty flash once while in this process and connections optimizer was force closing.

    I will double check my ring tones just to be sure it's not a bug, but having your apps still after flash is definitely not normal.

    Hope this helps. Cheers!
  12. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I'm not having any issues with ring tones. There are some interesting new ones here that make me laugh, lol. Check out Beat Plucker and Friendly Ghost.

  13. BrickHouse

    BrickHouse Android Enthusiast

    I had the same thought when I saw the ROM updating the apps. Could have something to do with me having the phone files encripted, though I doubt that. I'll be re-flashing when I have more time this weekend.

    I'll keep to you updated.
  14. knoober

    knoober Android Enthusiast

    Well that's actually why I brought it up. It wasn't just to toot my own horn (though I will if I think I deserve it) it was because this is ouof the box dsf! No kernel no tweaks no nothing. I find it really curious. Once I applied this new rom I'm running nearly 21000 out of the box with antutu.
    Here's the funny part though, can trace it back to when it started, but I still cannot come up with an explanation. Just damn lucky I guess.
  15. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I feel you there, while I was building this and testing the first boot I was like a kid at Christmas. Even while I was typing up the first post in this thread, I had to get it out!

    My wife kept trying to get me to stop and go to bed, but she just doesn't understand it. We've been waiting so long for this!

    Like Knoober, the force is not even the phone I'm using now, and I was still so excited!!

    I'm looking forward to making a little bit more fully featured release with this as a base. Add some features, put some Sawbones touches in ;)

    Sort of like the ROM I started with DSF as the base but never finished bc I started working on this instead. I'll be working on it sooner or later.

  16. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Cool. Thanks for keeping us posted and good luck!

  17. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    That's great! I don't even think JimSmith80 ever posted an antutu score that got to or above 17K. You must really be one with the Force Knoober! Maybe you should go into Jedi training! Don't forget to bring your phone with you, though.

    Seriously though maybe there might be some sort of minor hardware difference with your device which causes it to perform higher. Maybe a different brand of ram inside or something?

    Speaking of Antutu, if everyone else clicks on the N9100 on the first page under where the score is, it brings up phone info. Mine is reporting the wrong processor. I'm pretty sure it did with ICS ROMs as well.

    The proc is reported as an MSM8260A instead of an MSM8960, which while they are nearly identical spec'd, one is snapdragon s3 the other (8960) is snapdragon s4. If you check benchmarks the MSM8960 benchmarks slightly higher.

    When I cat /proc/cpuinfo it clearly states under the heading HARDWARE, ZTE HAYES MSM8960. As does any specs I have seen online.

    Anyone else notice this? Could ZTE have used some msm8260A's faked as an msm8960 and maybe you got a real 8960 knoober?

    Check your phone info in Antutu.

    #16 sawbones999, Dec 6, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  18. BrickHouse

    BrickHouse Android Enthusiast

    Just finished with the usual task of getting this one set up with my preferred apps and settings again. As suspected, "dirty flash" was the culprit. Everything that matters is workng fine. I re-tested all settings again (as usual) and all though I don't use it, "Connection Optomizer" still force closes. If that's the only draw back/bug, I think we could live/deal with it. I certainly can.
    #17 BrickHouse, Dec 6, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  19. BrickHouse

    BrickHouse Android Enthusiast

    Just finished with the usual task of getting this one set up with my preferred apps and settings again. As suspected "dirty flash" was the culprit. Everything that matters is workng fine. I re-tested all settings again. (as usual) and though I don't use it, "Connection Optomizer" still force closes. If that's the only draw back/bug, I think we could live/deal with it. I certainly can.
    #18 BrickHouse, Dec 6, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  20. knoober

    knoober Android Enthusiast

    I'll check it on cpu-z when im around a wireless connection. I cant seem to find what you talking about in antutu. I checked "device info" and it didnt say specifically what proc was in it, just the soc ( i think its the soc, all that ARM7 business right?) But just from memory, I know ive had cpu-z on this thing before and Im nearly certain it reported an msm8960 (but nearly certain is not certain right?) Atleast this qualifies for some sort of explanation. Hoever it is worth saying that for a long time I had the same results as you (13-16k antutu) and then one day I decided to check after reinstalling a clean backup and got that ridiculous score. I checked again just to be sure. The I flashed a different to a different rom (I was using dsf so it must have been your first attempt at jb that I flashed to) and checked again. Still the same. Next came the text now business from downgraded, and I flashed through those fully expecting to lose whatever magic glitch had allowed such fortune. When I restored from either a backup, or even clean dsf , the scores are still hitting the ceiling! Once again I fully expected to lose my magic phone when I flashed to this new jb, but it is still there. I just ran antutu again while I typed this and got 20,821.

    1. Ive been wrong before and probably am now. Theres gotta be something Im missing here.
    2. I always run my benchmarks after a reboot so the full force of the hardware is assigned directly to the benching task.
    3. Benchmarks are studpid and dont matter. I just use them as a way to guage differences in small hardware /software/firmware changes. What really matters is that your device works as you want it to right?
  21. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Yes, the important thing is that your hardware works the way you want it to.

    I checked in cpu-z and it says ZTE HAYES MSM8960. Architecture Krait.

    I can't seem to see where it says the specific processor model in Antutu either. Maybe it was just when I clicked on where it says N9100 before running a test with it? Now it just says the processor is arm v7 and about the VFPv4 NEON extensions. But I really did see it report that MSM8620A proc.

    Oh well, It's not really important.

    #20 sawbones999, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  22. sawbones999

    sawbones999 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I broke 20K! It's still cool when before I always got 13-16K.

    You can definitely tell the system is snappier. The memory usage does seem to be a bit higher with JB.

  23. knoober

    knoober Android Enthusiast

    Who's one with the Force now :) at least your score is the explainable and replicatable. I live in fear of losing my magic phone! :) thanks for all the hard work, I for one really enjoy the upgrade. We certainly waited long enough for it!
  24. knoober

    knoober Android Enthusiast

    Boy do i feel silly. a closer look in the details tab of antutu under "cpu model" shows and 8260A. cpuz must use a data ase for their information because it shows an 8960 hayes! who do i trust!? in this case im beleiving antutu. but i would love to know a way to be sure. you said there was a cat command that would show the proc model?
  25. SuperR

    SuperR Android Expert
    Recognized Developer

    The Force is msm8960
  26. knoober

    knoober Android Enthusiast

    I know you're right cuz of the amount of dev you've done here, but antutu will be mad if I try to correct them on that basis :) any ideas where the discrepancy comes from?
  27. Buzbee

    Buzbee Newbie

    Bootloader is suppose to be blank. I asked that question too. Easy way to go back to ICS is to follow my instructions in post #94 if you remembered to make a backup in recovery. (page 4).

    If not, see post #97 to use the Update.zip. To install the driver, choose install driver after plugging your phone into your computers usb port.
    #172 Buzbee, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    shadowcliffs likes this.

ZTE Force 4G LTE Forum

The ZTE Force 4G LTE release date was October 2017. Features and Specs include a 5.5" inch screen, 8MP camera, 2GB RAM, Snapdragon 427 processor, and 3000mAh battery.

October 2017
Release Date

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