[GUIDE][CTmod] Rooting the Prevail [SPH-M820] for Dummies (written by a dummy)

Last Updated:

  1. Lordvincent 90

    Lordvincent 90 ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ Guide

    Rooting the Prevail for Dummies! (A.K.A. How to make your phone not suck)
    Written by Caeadas, The Retired Dummy. Maintained by LordVincent (and this awesome community)


    WARNING: Doing any of the stuff listed here is inherently dangerous to your phone. We are changing things that Samsung and Boost never intended us to change. While every effort has been made to ensure this stuff works, and lots of people have done this stuff repeatedly with no issues, bad things can happen once in a while. By doing anything to your phone, you accept responsibility for your actions. You break it, you bought it!

    So, you've just bought yourself a Samsung Galaxy Prevail and ripped it out of its annoying plastic packaging, fired it up, and realized it's full of useless crap.(whaaa... two navigation apps?!?!?! Geo-cashing?!?) So after either seconds, or weeks, of google searching, you've made you way here and are wondering if you can do all the confusing and scary things. Well that depends... Do you have:

    1. A Samsung Galaxy Prevail from Boost Mobile (if its not exactly that, go away)

    2. A Windows-based PC (Sorry Mac users, get an iPhone and return to you walled garden)

    3. An internet connection (umm...)

    4. Not a necessity, but I highly recommend a fast SD card. One of the steps in this guide will change the phone so all of your apps and data are run from your sdcard and slower cards can cause some lag. (Phone slow to react or freezing)

    You can determine the class (speed) of your sdcard by removing it from the phone and looking for a small number with a circle around it. The classes go all the way up to 10. The higher the class, the faster the card.

    If there is no number, it's likely a class 4


    If you have all four things, some time, some patience, and the ability to read carefully, I can show you how to do a basic root, install a custom rom and kernel, and perform some basic actions. First things first...

    Chapter zero: Back Up Your Phone

    The majority of the things we are about to do will wipe everything off your phone, so it's important to back up and save often, preferably to your computer. Also, you can save your contacts and calendar directly to Google's servers by going to Settings/ Account and sync settings, clicking on your account, and making sure the respective boxes are checked

    Also, at some point we will reformat the SD card, so make sure you save anything on there you may want, like music, ringtones, pictures, etc.

    And if you have any apps that you want to keep data for, or would break your heart if they got reset, then it's time to do a backup of them. Several people have recommended MyBackup from the Google play store since it works on non-rooted phones.

    Chapter one: All Hail Mighty Odin!

    Odin (Return phone to Stock/Factory)

    Odin is a recovery utility that is the first and last line of defense against making your phone into an expensive paperweight. With it, you can return most broken phones back to it's stock unrooted state. It's also the only reliable way to root your phone, so its important to know how to use Odin.

    Step zero: Go to the Odin thread and read it all. Go now. I'll wait for you.

    Step one: Download one of the Odin packages from Odin (Return phone to Stock/Factory) to your computer and make sure to send some thanks that way. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER ODIN PACKAGES FROM ANY OTHER PLACE OR FOR ANY OTHER PHONE That's a good way of breaking things.

    (if the odin package you downloaded doesn't include Odin Multi_Downloader_v4.43.exe, download THIS
    this zip contains the proper version of odin and the .ops file for the prevail)

    The most recent package is FF19 Gingerbread. (thanks kouma for fixing it's previous issues :thumbup: )

    Click here for the

    Step two: Unzip the rooted image archive into a new folder. Leave the stock one zipped up until you need it

    Step three: Install SAMSUNG_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones_x86.exe to your computer. These are the drivers for your phone. Install it as you would any other program. (click "next" until stuff does stuff)
    Press 'show' for the drivers

    Step four: Power off the phone, then hold the camera, volume down, and power buttons until it says "Downloading..." in yellow text.

    Step five: Connect your phone to your computer with your handy-dandy USB cord. Give it a minute to make sure everything is communicating properly.

    Step six: Open Odin Multi_Downloader_v4.43.exe from your folder. (Again, only use the version of Odin included with the zip) You should see a yellow box with "com port mapping" above it. Also make sure that "one package" is NOT checked.

    Step seven: Click OPS, and select SPHM820.ops. Click Phone and select the Rooted_PHONE.tar. Click PDA and select the Rooted_PDA.tar. Leave the other ones blank. Those extra files are for fixing broken phones and should not be used.

    This is what your window should look like (Click for large version):


    Step eight: Make sure everything is set correctly, and hit Start. Now leave it alone. It will take a couple minutes, you will become concerned and want to mess with it. Resist the urge. Once the phone restarts, and Odin says Reset, the process is complete.

    You have successfully installed a rooted image on your phone. You now have superuser access and a very powerful tool ClockWorkMod Recovery

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2015
  2. Lordvincent 90

    Lordvincent 90 ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ Guide

    Chapter two: Clockworkmod

    ClockWorkMod v5.0.2.7 for Samsung Prevail SPH-M820

    Now after all those minutes of work, we've got ourselves a phone that looks remarkably similar to what we had before. Only real difference is now there's a one-eyed android in our app drawer named Superuser. If we wanted to, we could stop here and delete the stupid stuff boost forced upon us. But we're not. We have yet to play with the other powerful tool in our toolbox, Clockworkmod. This recovery utility allows us to install roms and kernels, make backups, create partitions, all directly on the phone. And the best part is, we've already installed it!

    In this section we will make a backup of the phone, repartition the SD card, and install a custom rom.

    How to do a CWM Backup

    Step zero: Go read the Clockworkmod thread listed above, and send some thanks their way.

    Step one: Power off the phone, then hold the Volume Up and Power buttons to boot into recovery mode. You should see a blue text menu. Use your Volume up and down keys to scroll, camera button to select, and the back softkey to go back.

    Step two: Select "Backup and Restore" and then select "Backup". Now leave the phone alone again for a few minutes and let it finish.

    Step three: Connect the phone to the computer with the usb cable. In Clockworkmod, select, "Mounts and Storage", then "Mount USB Storage". This is the same thing as putting the phone in usb storage mode through the normal phone interface.

    Step four: On your computer, either click on the Autorun prompt that normally accompanies hooking up a removable drive, or go to the new drive in My computer. Go to the clockworkmod/backup folder, and save the folder inside to your computer. It's named in the format of YYYY-MM-DD.HR.MN.SC, or year-month-day.hour.minute.second.

    Once the backup is securely stored away on your computer, feel free to unmount USB storage and return to Clockworkmod's main menu


    How to Partition the SD card

    Our custom kernel/rom we will be using has a handy feature that lets us turn a part of our SD card into internal memory. Since the phone itself barely has 200mb, this allows us to store tons more stuff. But first we must dedicate a piece of the card for that purpose.

    PARTITIONING THE SD CARD WILL ERASE EVERYTHING ON IT! If you listened to me earlier, you will have already backed it up, but just to be safe...

    Step one: Back up your SD card to the computer if you have not done so.

    Step two: Boot into Clockworkmod Recovery using Volume up and power button

    Step three: Go to "Advanced" and "Partition SD card". You will be presented with some choices of different size SD-ext partitions.(these numbers represent the size in MB) Now it's time to make some decisions. If you are the kind of person that has to download every app imaginable, you will probably want to dedicate more space. But for normal people on the included 2gb SD card, 512mb should be enough to install a couple dozen apps.

    Step four: Select 0mb for the swap file size. WARNING: Once you hit select on 0mb, the process will start and your SD card is getting erased. Leave it alone, it will take a minute to finish
  3. Lordvincent 90

    Lordvincent 90 ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ Guide

    Chapter three: CTmod with Koumakernel

    CTmod by Bloodawn Featuring KoumaKernel, by Koumajutsu

    CTmod is only the most recent of a long line of stock based roms for the Prevail. Its updated regularly, uses a lightning fast launcher, fully optimized stock apps, and includes many of the different tweaks and updates available. One of the biggest upgrades is Koumakernel, with its tons of fixes and its integrated Apps to SD support, plus overclocking.

    Update 6/19/12: CTmod 3.68 is now out, basically the same as 3.6 except it works on the new firmware update. Install it as normal, it includes the most recent kernel. Make sure to note the change to the koumamod settings (make sure to check "disable internal data" when using /data mode)
    UPDATE 12/2/12: Ctmod 3.75 is out. Its now based on the ff19 stock rom. Which means the hidden menu and other update features work normally again :thumbup:
    Update 12/21/12 Ctmod 3.75.2 released. Minor bug fixes. Same base as 3.75
    04/06/13 Version 3.80 released

    Installing a Rom and/or kernel with Clockworkmod

    Step zero: Go read through the two threads listed above, and show them some thanks while you make backups as usual.

    Step one: Download the most recent version of CTmod, and Koumakernel if its necessary. Place the zips on the SD card through USB storage.

    Step two: Boot into Clockworkmod Recovery if you are already not there. Select "Install Zip From SD card", then "Choose Zip From SD card", Then select the CTmod.zip, and it will pop up a long list of NO's with a "yes - Install CTmod.zip". WARNING: Installing roms will wipe the phone. Select Yes, and leave it alone until its done.

    Step 2.5: If your rom already contains the kernel you want, skip this step. Otherwise, flash the kernel zip in the same way as the rom. Always make sure to flash kernels after roms.

    Step three: Reboot the phone normally, using the "Reboot system now" option of Recovery. Sometimes the phone will reboot back into recovery mode, just select "reboot system now" again. The initial two bootups will take some time, just be patient. Eventually you will reach a bare home screen with a couple icons and the CTmod logo.

    Step four: The white checkerboard icon in the middle is the app drawer. Go there and open settings, then CTmod settings, then Koumakernel settings, making sure to click "allow" when the superuser prompt pops up. You will have three options: None, Data, and SSM. For our basic setup, we will be clicking Data. This is what turns our SD-ext partition we made earlier into internal storage. Also make sure that "disable internal data" is checked (thanks kouma)

    Step five: Reboot


    Step five B: if the phone gets stuck at the koumakernel screen ( and by stuck i mean for more than 15 min )
    Reboot back to Clockworkmod Recovery (by holding volume up + power until it reboots). Select the "mounts and storage" option and then select "format sdext" NOT SDCARD once it finishes, press the back button and select "reboot system now"

    Once your phone reboots you should be done. Start installing apps just as you would normally, they will automatically go where they need to with no issues. Once you get everything how you like it, that would be a good time to do another clockworkmod backup.

    Chapter four: Extras

    Just to explain a little better, Koumakernel can take a part of the SD card which we made when we partitioned the SD card, and tell the phone it's internal memory. The phone will happily install apps to it without using any extra apps to SD programs. You don't need to do anything extra, its all automatic. To check your internal memory, go to settings/applications/storage use. If it shows a lot more than around 200mb total, you're all good. Since that bit of SD card is being used as something else, your SD card will now show up as being smaller. Its okay, you didn't lose it.

    Koumakernel contains support for overclocking, based on the work of Trenchkato and his Katokernel. Overclocking is outside the depth of this walkthrough. Go there and read if you would like to know more, and show him some thanks.

    Koumakernel also contains what Kouma calls the Super Secret Mod, or SSM. It mounts the data folders to the SDcard differently which can improve performance, but requires a more complicated method of partitioning the SDcard. Go read the koumakernel thread if you want to learn more.

    Update 5/2/12: KoumaKernel 2.5 contains the start of SD-swap support, for turning a portion of the SD card into additional ram. Like overclocking and the SSM, this is far outside the scope of this walkthrough, and is still in active development. Check out this thread if you would like to learn more, and as always be sure to send some thanks.

    Google Play store won't show your purchased apps when you initially log into your account. I find that going through the whole login process, letting the store update and accepting the agreement, loading all the way into the homepage of the store, then rebooting the phone, will fix it.

    If you use Titanium Backup, Do not use it to restore system data between different versions of roms. It tends to mess up the buttons and screw things up in general.

    If you go to Google maps or some other apps, and get strange Permissions issues, check your notifications. There should be three notifications, open each of them and select allow.

    Make sure to go visit the All Things Root Sticky guide if you want to learn more about what you can do with your rooted phone, and Kevinkotts General Guide to the Prevail

    Chapter Five: Updates, Freaking Updates!

    So you just got your fancy new phone all awesome and fast, and whatya know, its got an update notification, annoying you every five minutes! In this chapter, I'll explain what is happening, and outline the options to deal with it.

    Your phone has a secret text file called the Build.Prop that saves info and settings. Most of the different tweaks for the phone change these settings. The one setting we are concerned with is "ro.build.version.incremental=". it will be followed with the current version number of the phones software (FE16, FF19, EJ12, etc.) When the boost network detects that this setting doesn't match the newest update, it starts downloading that update to the phone's cache automatically. Once the update is downloaded, a google service app called "SYSTEMUPDATESERVICE$RECEIVER" will activate and start spamming the notification at you until the update is no longer in the cache.

    The options for stopping the notifications are to: update, kill the google system app, or to change the build.prop. The most direct way is to just update by downloading the new version from the Odin thread and repeating the steps of the guide. Unfortunately this may not be an option if you don't have access to Odin or the new update is bugged.

    The second way is to stop the google update app, using a program called Autostarts. Follow the guide below (Thanks Wetbiker):


    The last way is to change the build.prop. We want to trick the phone into thinking it's already updated, by changing "ro.build.version.incremental=" to whatever the latest version number is. You can either use Build Prop Editor from the market, or the file explorer app already installed on the phone

    How to change Build.prop using file explorer included with CTmod

    Step Zero: Backup....

    Step one: open File explorer and hit menu, then settings. Make sure "Hidden dir", "Root Explorer", and "mount file system" are checked. Allow superuser access if asked. Exit settings

    Step two: Click the button with the arrow pointing up, and select "system" go to the bottom of the list and open Build.prop.

    Step Three: Find the line labeled "ro.build.version.incremental=" and change the end of it from the old version number to the new one. (While testing these steps, I found the most recent version of CTmod changes this value to BDCT, which may be why i haven't getting any updates at all)

    Chapter Six: Thanks!

    This is by no means a comprehensive list, tons of people have put forth their time, effort, and a phone to test on. Thanks for helping forge the path we all stroll down now.

    Interdpth, who discovered the root for the prevail long long ago. (Thanks NR for reminding me)

    hroark13, who brought us Odin and Clockworkmod, along with Cyanogenmod7 and many other roms and kernels that contributed to the development of what we have now.

    Shabbypenguin, who was one of the original devs and worked on the first popular rom and kernel for the Prevail.

    Bloodawn for CTmod, it's awesome.

    Koumajutsu for Koumakernel and HalfAssRom, and for having a proper american muscle car.

    Trenchkato for bringing Overclock support to the prevail.

    Johnny424 for his continuing work on Cyanogenmod 9.

    Mavrikmeercat for finding and collecting many of the performance tweaks we use.

    ron580 for the networking speed tweaks.

    And thanks to everyone else that had something to do with something, but i couldn't find. Just let me know if i missed you, and i'll fix it
  4. Lordvincent 90

    Lordvincent 90 ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ Guide

  5. Caeadas

    Caeadas Well-Known Member

  6. schr9091

    schr9091 Well-Known Member

    Great write up
  7. kristopher5823

    kristopher5823 Well-Known Member

    I'm impressed very nice write up
    JollyRott3n likes this.
  8. williammaltby

    williammaltby Active Member

    Following this step-by-step I was able to root my phone with no problems whatsoever. Fantastic. Thanks!!
  9. Caeadas

    Caeadas Well-Known Member

    Thanks everybody for your kind words, and thanks wetbiker for making this a sticky. I'm glad I can help.
  10. VoltronMaximus

    VoltronMaximus Well-Known Member

    Very nice and simple instructions dude. What I would like to see is a tut about Koumas SSM and how to use adb for dummies. Im now pretty efficient when it comes to CWM, flashing and a few otherm things, but the SSM and adb is what I would like to master next.
    BARBER11 likes this.
  11. BloodBlade

    BloodBlade Well-Known Member

    thanks a ton for explaining this in layman's terms for us newbs. extremely helpful! thanks again pal :)
  12. Caeadas

    Caeadas Well-Known Member

    Yeah, me too, i'm terrible with anything command line. I've attempted to install the android SDK and all that stuff but i keep getting stumped. I'll probably put forth more effort into it soon, due to kouma's work on making SD swap work
    VoltronMaximus likes this.
  13. BARBER11

    BARBER11 Member

    thanks to ll involved
    I have a 16g ad/hc which only reads approx. 13g available. how can I acceshe remainder memory?
  14. Caeadas

    Caeadas Well-Known Member

    Did you partition it, like in the guide? If so, that space isn't lost, its been changed into internal memory. Look under settings/applications/storage use. The bar at the bottom should show the missing memory. to use it, just install apps to your phone like you would normally. Instead of going to the phones crappy 200mb of original storage space, it will go to the SD-ext partition.

    and remember, just like all hard drives, usb drives, flash drives, and basically every other form of computer storage, the amount on the box won't equal the amount you can use. The filesystem stuff will take up a little, so your 16gb card would probably have had between 15 and 16g of available space brand new. same with your partition, my 2gb partition only reads 1.7gb free, with 150mb used
    JollyRott3n likes this.
  15. Lordvincent 90

    Lordvincent 90 ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ Guide

  16. Caeadas

    Caeadas Well-Known Member

    This is also true. I was just trying to make clear that its not gonna be exactly 16gb total

    I remember when the Xbox 360 came out and everyone was mad their 20gb hdd only had around 12gb of storage new. The xbox used the rest to run the games, for loading levels and such, but a lot of people didn't know that.
  17. survival8668

    survival8668 Member

    So i followed this step by step, me and my gf have the same phone, there sitting right next to eachother, i just finished mine,everything is good and dandy except now i have no bars for service just the tiny tiny one. any way to fix that?
  18. inigomontoyasr

    inigomontoyasr Well-Known Member

    go to settings>about phone>status and check signal strength. they're probably very close in number. some sets of bars just get drawn differently.
  19. cwhatever

    cwhatever Life Goes On Guide

    what are ok #'s and what are good or great??????
  20. Koumajutsu

    Koumajutsu Well-Known Member

    yeah, put one phone in each hand. note the number of bard they both have.
    Left_____ Right_____

    swap which phone is in which hand.

    now the phone in your left hand will have the number of bars listed for Right and vice versa.

  21. cwhatever

    cwhatever Life Goes On Guide

    lol!!!! not much going on tonight huh!!!! just a jokester!!!!!
  22. Koumajutsu

    Koumajutsu Well-Known Member

    Nope. My wife dragged me out to take her clothes shopping. So I'm just draining the battery on the good ol prevail
  23. cwhatever

    cwhatever Life Goes On Guide

    lmfao!!!!!!! Gotta do what you gotta do!!!
  24. survival8668

    survival8668 Member

    my 3 g is a lil touchy but thats okay, my only other question
    was when i look at center screen clock, it has the right time 9:59 on the clock in the top right the one you can set custom color too. says its 1:59 is there any way i can fix that?

    oh and how come the network no longer says boostmobile?
  25. Koumajutsu

    Koumajutsu Well-Known Member

    reboot, and don't unlock your screen until both clocks show the correct time
    survival8668 likes this.
  26. Pynki

    Pynki New Member

    I'm having a little problem. Odin 4.43 wont reconize my phone but 1.85 will; and is reading it in two ports
    0:[COM3] 1:[COM4]

    I know my phone is COM4 because device manager told me so. I've re installed all the drivers. Installed samsung kies (because i was told that installs a bunch load of drivers) made sure Kies was not running. Ran as administrator, nothing changed. What do I do?

Share This Page