How to Root Sprint Galaxy Nexus for Dummies [Windows, Mac, Linux]


  1. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Okay so like I said in my Recovery Download thread, I am trying to help jump start this All Things Root Forum. This Guide will cover how to root you Sprint GNex using fastboot on Windows, Mac, or Linux. I will also cover what to do after rooting.

    Disclaimer:
    I am not responsible for your device, only you are. If your device causes World War 3 it falls on your shoulders, not mine.


    Instructions on how to use this Guide

    Read and Follow each step, if you do not understand one feel free to ask.

    If you are having trouble with a certain step please see the Troubleshooting in the Second post.

    Step 1: Backup
    In this rooting process all of your data will be wiped including pictures, music, and contacts. Make sure that you backup everything you need, contacts can be backed up to google, pictures and music can be backed up to the computer.

    Step 2: Getting set up
    First off you need the appropriate ADB and Fastboot files for you operating system. Just download the appropriate file for your OS, it will contain the files needed to unlock, root, and flash recovery.

    Windows

    Mac

    Linux

    Once you download your the zip for your OS go ahead and unzip it to a directory that you will remember.

    Step 3: Command Line CD
    Open your OS's command line, for Mac and Linux it is terminal for Windows I'm not quite sure, I use Mac. Once the command line is open CD to the directory that you unziped the file to.

    Note yours may be different, you are changing the directory to where you unzipped the file to myine happens to be desktop>GalaxyNexusRootMac
    [​IMG]

    Step 4: Boot into Fastboot on your Phone
    To do this power the device off and then hold down volume up, volume down, and power until you feel the phone vibrate. A screen with an Android and a bunch of info will pop up. Look at the bottom and make sure it says locked.

    Step 5: Drivers
    (Windows only if on Mac or Linux skip to step 6)
    Plug in your phone and make sure you have the proper drivers. Go to Device Manager and check that you have “Samsung Android ADB Interface,” if they are not there you will need to download and install them from here.

    This is a command to make sure your phone is recognized by the computer.
    [​IMG]

    Make sure it shows the serial number after you enter it.
    [​IMG]

    Step 6: Unlock Bootloader
    While in fastboot plug your phone into your computer via USB. The rest of step 6 is system independent so just select which one is for you and follow the directions.

    Windows
    Once you are in the proper directory type in this command exactly

    fastboot oem unlock

    Now follow the directions on your phone's screen. This command will unlock your bootloader and make it to where you can install a custom recovery.

    Mac
    Once you are in the proper directory type in this command exactly

    ./fastboot-mac oem unlock

    Now follow the directions on your phone's screen. This command will unlock your bootloader and make it to where you can install a custom recovery.

    Linux
    Once you are in the proper directory type in this command exactly

    ./fastboot-linux oem unlock

    Now follow the directions on your phone's screen. This command will unlock your bootloader and make it to where you can install a custom recovery.

    Make sure to follow the directions in you section, this picture is from a Mac.
    [​IMG]


    Phone screen while unlocking.
    [​IMG]

    Step 7: Flash Recovery
    In this step we will flash a recovery for a guide to recoveries please see this thread. Step 7 is once again system independent so select your OS and follow the directions.

    Windows
    In the same directory you used to unlock the bootloader use the command for the recovery you want.

    Clockwork
    fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-5.8.3.1-toroplus.img

    Clockwork Touch
    fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-5.8.3.1-toroplus.img

    Team Win Recovey Project (TWRP)
    fastboot flash recovery twrp-toroplus-2.1.2.img

    Mac
    In the same directory you used to unlock the bootloader use the command for the recovery you want.

    Clockwork
    ./fastboot-mac flash recovery recovery-clockwork-5.8.3.1-toroplus.img

    Clockwork Touch
    ./fastboot-mac flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-5.8.3.1-toroplus.img

    Team Win Recovey Project (TWRP)
    ./fastboot-mac flash recovery twrp-toroplus-2.1.2.img

    Linux
    In the same directory you used to unlock the bootloader use the command for the recovery you want.

    Clockwork
    ./fastboot-linux flash recovery recovery-clockwork-5.8.3.1-toroplus.img

    Clockwork Touch
    ./fastboot-linux flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-5.8.3.1-toroplus.img

    Team Win Recovey Project (TWRP)
    ./fastboot-linux flash recovery twrp-toroplus-2.1.2.img

    Step 8: Install Super User (SU) Binary
    This step is easy, reboot the phone, set it up if you would like or wait till later. After it is fully rebooted plug your phone into your computer and move the CWM-SuperSU-v0.87.zip to the phone. You can put it anywhere but the root directory (not in any folder) is the easiest in my opinion. Now reboot the phone into bootloader again. Once in bootloader navigate using the volume buttons to recovery mode and select it using power. If you get a red "!" go down to the second post and read the troubleshooting :) Go to the wipe option and wipe cache and dalvik. Now go to the flash zip from SD card and flash the CWM-SuperSU-v0.87.zip. After it is done reboot the phone and you are rooted.

    After Root

    Once you are rooted there are many things you can do with your phone that you previously couldn't. The main one of these being installing third party build of Android called ROMs. You can also install third party kernels that will help with battery life/speed of device. All of this section is being written assuming you are using clockwork mod recovery, Team Win shouldn't be that different.

    After Root Section 1: Backup

    Okay the first thing we want to do before anything is backup your phone. To do this boot into recovery. (Power off>hold power and both volume buttons>navigate to recovery with volume and select with power) Now that we are in recovery go to the section called backup and restore. Select "Backup" and let it run its course. When it is done you will want to save this backup to your computer and I would suggest another place as well such as a external drive or maybe even dropbox.

    Extra note: Make sure to backup before flashing anything. This will ensure that if anything goes goes wrong you have something to fall back on. I usually keep at least 3-5 backups, my original, a set up of my current ROM, other ROMs I like to switch between, and the one I made right before my last flash.

    After Root Section 2: Flashing a ROM
    Some ROMs have different install instructions such as MIUI, be sure to read the entire ROM thread before installing, this is just the general instructions.

    First thing you will need is a ROM. Luckily in the sticky section we have an awesome ROM and Kernel download page.

    Download page for ROMs and Kernels
    Thanks frenchy

    Extra step if using Google Wallet: If you use Google Wallet make sure to go into settings and select "Reset Google Wallet." This will help keep your secure element from committing suicide and ultimately rendering Wallet useless.

    Now that you have the ROM move it to the root of your "SD card" meaning not in a folder. Now boot into recovery and select "wipe cache" now go to the advanced settings and select "wipe dalvik" now go back to the regular settings and select "wipe data/ factory reset" (or something like that). Now that we are done wiping go to "install zip from SD card," find the ROM that you want and select it and hit yes. It will run its couse and give you an all new build of Android to enjoy.

    Extra Note: Many people like to repeat the wipe process another time or two to make sure that nothing remains to mess the new ROM up.

    After Root Section 3: Flashing a Kernel

    Flashing a kernels instructions are the same as a ROM except you don't have to do the factory reset only wipe cache and dalvik.


    Please tell me if you have any problems or questions, I will maybe be able to answer them and if I can't I will try to find the answer.

    This guide will also work for the Verizon and GSM version but you will need to find a proper recovery, also when you flash a ROM make sure that it is a ROM for the Verizon/GSM Galaxy Nexus. Once again I am not responsible for your device, you are the only one who is responsible for what you do.


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  2. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Troubleshooting

    If you have problems with driver, try installing these. They are the drivers for PdaNet and have been known for fixing driver issues when rooting the Gnex.

    Step 8 problems:
    If when you boot into recovery you get a dead android with a red exclamation point, you need to change a file in your system folder. However to do this you have to be rooted which if you are stuck here you aren't rooted yet.

    Fix:
    Reboot into bootloader install the recovery again but this time DO NOT reboot the phone. Now go directly to recovery mode and follow the instructions on how to flash SU binary. Now you need to change the name of a file in your system, to do this download Root Explorer (ES File may work but I'm not sure.) Navigate to the system directory and mount it as R/W. Find the recovery-from-boot.p rename the file to recovery-from-boot.p.bak. Now reboot into bootloader and install the recovery again it should now stick.

    After Root Issues

    If you use Google Wallet pay attention to this. Once rooted you will see that you have a banner saying your device is now unsupported, Wallet still works. This just means that Google will not give you support if something goes wrong with your phone. This just means that you are the only one responsible for what you do with your phone.

    When you flash a ROM, restore a Nandroid, unroot, or wipe data, make sure that you go in to the Google Wallet app go to settings and select Reset Google Wallet. If you don't do this you may permanently lose the function of Google Wallet. This is do to Google trying to protect your credit cards and such by killing the secure element that all of your payment data is kept in. If this does happen to you, the only way to fix it is by getting a new phone.

    Mac Exclusive

    If you happen to own a Mac and happen to use Safari then you may find this info helpful. This tells you how to download something without Safari auto-unzipping it, this comes in handy when downloading almost anything that you need for Android after root.
    Thanks AARONONE

    acedanger, malchyk, AARONONE and 5 others like this.
  3. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Thanks and credits

    Google for giving us the most awesome OS ever

    XDA Developers for giving time cracking the device and making what Google gives even better

    frenchy714 for his ROM and Kernel Download page

    AARONONE for giving me the info on making Safari not unzip things

    MizzouBrent for letting me know about the driver issues and how to fix them.

    Everyone on the original Evo Thread that got me in to Android and in to Rooting


    If you feel like I left you out and you need credit let me know ;)
    frenchy714 and Granite1 like this.
  4. MizzouBrent

    MizzouBrent Well-Known Member

    My fate was sealed for the nexus today. I'll be getting it in august. I can't wait. Hope this forum ends up being as great as the evo forum. Thanks for all the info urge. I have a bunch of reading to do.
    frenchy714 likes this.
  5. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Can't wait to see you here. The phone is awesome it may not be the fastest or greatest but it is pure google and completely root friendly. The developer community over at xda and such is pretty good as well. Hopefully we can make this Root Section as good as the Evo, that is the main thing I miss about my Evo.
  6. MizzouBrent

    MizzouBrent Well-Known Member

    Thanks man! Pure google and root friendly is what I'm looking for. Was thinking about holding out for gsiii but I think I'd rather go nexus for sake of getting upgrades fast. Buddy of mine got the nexus and we always get the same phone.
  7. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Updated to have an After Root Section. Will add more soon.


    I thought about waiting for the GS3 but it wasn't that much of an upgrade from the Nexus if the rumor about it having S4 is right, which it looks like it is. I also figured that the fact the Nexus will be supported until it physically can't be anymore was enough to warrant me buying it. I knew I would root it and flash a ROM but an AOSP ROM is always going to run better on an AOSP phone. Take MIUI and CM9 both are running pretty much flawlessly and the phone has only been out for a month on Sprint.
  8. frenchy714

    frenchy714 Well-Known Member

    Hey Urge!! I caved and used my upgrade to get a Galaxy Nexus! My phone will be here no later than Monday. Can't wait!
  9. frenchy714

    frenchy714 Well-Known Member

    Can't wait to see you here!
  10. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Awesome I hope my guide is helpful, what kind of computer are you using because I was only able to test this on a Mac. It shouldn't mess anything up just want to make sure I got all the right files for windows. Also if you have any questions feel free to ask because I read up on a lot of Galaxy Nexus stuff before I wrote this.
  11. JamrD

    JamrD Member

    The problem in Windows is that the ADB files are there when the phone is not in bootloader mode. But when as per your instructions I put it in BL mode the driver dissapear? Any suggestions?
  12. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Did you install the fastboot drivers? You may have to manually install them from that link I provided. I have never done this on windows because I don't own a windows computer but once you have the fastboot drivers installed they should stay.

    While the phone is plugged in and in bootloader type this command and see if a serial number pops up

    fastboot devices

    Make sure you are in the directory you unzipped all of your files to. If a serial number pops up then your device is recognized and you can proceed with rooting.
  13. JamrD

    JamrD Member

    That worked! I got it rooted last night at 4.
    Now I have to figure out what ROM I like. Do you know of any list of different ROM's and their features?
    Thanks for the help
  14. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Your source for all things ROM and kernel

    Some of my favorites are AOKP, MIUI, and CM9. MIUI is kinda iPhonish if that is something you are looking for or absolutely despise. I don't like the iPhone at all but I use this ROM with Nova Launcher to make it more like Android.
    AARONONE likes this.
  15. gregs887

    gregs887 Well-Known Member

    Excellent writeup, I have always used one-click methods and I have been wanting to learn how to use terminal commands. I was able to unlock the bootloader just fine, but am having trouble when trying to flash recovery. I keep getting this message:
    error: cannot load 'twrp-toroplus-2.1.2.img'

    any ideas?
  16. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    Try one of the Clockwork recoveries built for the Sprint Gnex found here.
    gregs887 likes this.
  17. gregs887

    gregs887 Well-Known Member

    I should have mentioned that I tried both clockwork recoveries and got the same result. Odd because unlocking worked fine :confused:

    EDIT: I should also note that I'm using a mac if that makes any difference...
  18. gregs887

    gregs887 Well-Known Member

    Well I couldn't figure it out so I ended up using Wugs toolkit on a Windows machine to flash recovery. I did the rest by hand and it all seems to be working fine now. Thanks!
  19. Mr.Shaky

    Mr.Shaky New Member

    I rooted my Sprint GN before I found this great guide. Having some trouble with Google Wallet adding my Citi card and wanted to un-root to see whether that could be the problem. Tried removing the superuser binary, but can't find it. (looking in system/xbin, but the only thing there is 'dexdump') Is it possible to be rooted without the binary?
  20. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds

    You can be unlocked but the definition of rooted means you have superuser so I guess no. Some people were saying they were having trouble with Wallet if they allowed it superuser permissions, so if you did that go into the superuser app and revoke its permissions. Aside from this, rooting shouldn't cause any issues with wallet as long as you take precaution while flashing ROMs to make sure you don't make your secure element commit suicide :)
  21. MizzouBrent

    MizzouBrent Well-Known Member

    Is one recovery preferred over the other (TWRP/Clockwork)? Still on the Evo, and it's disappointing that there is no Amon RA for the GNex. Clockwork was always considered inferior and TWRP actually bricked some devices.
  22. frenchy714

    frenchy714 Well-Known Member

    Many prefer TWRP over Clockwork. I currently use (and love) TWRP on my Gnex.
    AARONONE likes this.
  23. FrancineHope

    FrancineHope New Member

    Can anybody please help me...I am stuck at step 3 "Step 3: Command Line CD
    Open your OS's command line, for Mac and Linux it is terminal for Windows I'm not quite sure, I use Mac. Once the command line is open CD to the directory that you unziped the file to." I am using mac and I have opened all the terminal files but I cant type anything in them as it says to do in step 5 as it says the process is complete and I cannot add anything to the command lines. I am stuck and frustrated and feel like throwing my phone at the wall. I have been working on this for hours and cant do anything with it. Any help would be appreciated before I hang myself and throw my MacBook Pro under a bus and my Nexus in the toilet. >:[
  24. frenchy714

    frenchy714 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to AF!!! I know this may sound stupid, but, have you tried restarting your laptop and trying again? (I have Windows btw so my help is very limited)
  25. An UrgeTo Dance

    An UrgeTo Dance The Hero of the Winds


    Welcome to AF! Have you tried opening terminal from your utilities folder, don't try opening it from the root folder you downloaded. The files that are in that folder are kind of like an add on that will allow your computer to communicate with your phone.

    Edit: Sorry for the late reply I have been away and didn't have good phone service where I was.
    AARONONE likes this.
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