New Droid3 Owner Rooting Chronicle


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  1. siohwito

    siohwito Member

    Two weeks ago, my wife and I were each equipped with an LG Ally that were rooted and loaded with the Velocity ROM. The process to root and ROM the Ally was not as involved a process as it is with our new phones, the Droid 3. The reason for the upgrade was due to hardware failure (specifically the microphone) on my wife's Ally. She didn't want to get a new phone unless I were to get one as well. Anyhow, I digress...upon receiving the Droid 3 replacements, I was happy to discover the striking difference in performance versus the Ally with only the stock ROM. Not even a day passed and I grew tired of the stock apps included on the Droid 3. Thus, I began my quest to root the Droid 3 and subsequently find a ROM to load that provides the functionality that I seek. Excuse the redundancy of reposted information, but I think it might be helpful to those who find themselves in the same boat or to developers to help provide a more fool proof guide:

    1) Searched for forum with details on rooting Droid 3 and loading a new ROM
    - Found -> [ROM] Steel Droid: 4.5 Gingerbread - 5.7.894 - DEODEXED - 1-3-2012 - xda-developers
    - Point of failure -> 9: Wait for the phone to finish flashing, and booting (it will reboot a couple times, leave it alone, its supposed to!)
    - Result -> Bricked the new Droid 3; straight power-on resulted in the "AP Fastboot" screen, could be bypassed by holding "Vol+ & Vol- at the same time when powering the phone on." :(

    2) Searched for way to return Droid 3 to a normal power up
    - Found -> http://androidforums.com/droid-3-all-things-root/530290-droid3-flash-failure.html
    - Result -> Restored phone to bootable condition :D

    3) Searched for guide to root Droid 3, part two:
    - Found -> http://androidforums.com/droid-3-all-things-root/408712-root-ultimate-droid3-root-rom-thread.html
    - Point of failure -> Step 4) From the new folder on your computer, double-click on Pete's Motorola Root Tools to begin the root process.; specifically the 3rd exploit failed
    - Result -> started new search for working root tool :dong:

    4) Searched for guide to root Droid 3, part three:
    - Found -> http://androidforums.com/droid-3-all-things-root/511127-droid-3-will-not-root.html which lead to -> Security Research by Dan Rosenberg
    - Result -> Droid 3 successfully rooted :D

    5) Installed ROM per instructions from step 1):
    - Result -> Stock ROM reappeared after first reboot of installed ROM
    - Point of failure -> Needs to be answered by someone with more knowledge and/or experience :confused:

    6) Searched for different ROM to install since aspects of sought out functions were missing (namely Google Talk) from Steel Droid noticed before reboot aka Point of Failure in Step 5)
    - Found -> [Rom] Liberty3 V2.0 For The D3 11/28 - Sunday Bloody Sunday! - xda-developers
    - Result -> Bricked again; will not boot beyond Motorola Dual Core Technology splash after waiting for 15 minutes. :(

    Conclusion - after unbricking following process from step 2) for a second time, I will just suck it up and live with a rooted version of the stock ROM by freezing the undesirable apps. :tomato:

    One question resulting from my experience:
    - Is the "external SD card" a reference to the card insterted in the provided expansion slot? If so, is it by design that it is not mountable in the Recovery Menu? My preference is to perform nandroid backup to the "external SD card" versus the "internal SD card". :confused:

    Will address any questions about what I have shared if anyone cares to entertain the notion.

    Lastly, many thanks to all the developers despite my user failings. :adore:

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  2. redsox985

    redsox985 Well-Known Member

    So, you're currently running rooted, debloated D3? Are you using bootstrap or safestrap or just flashing with Android recovery? It sounds like you may be using stock recovery (doesn't work for ROMs, only leaked updates).

    If so, I would suggest downloading Hashcode's (big D3 dev) Safestrap and learn how to use it. He has a full write up here. Many of us can answer any questions you'd have, but he details it step by step on his blog.

    How-To Safestrap Hash-of-Codes

    All you have to do is boot into safestrap, go to the safestrap sub menu, switch to the SAFE system, and flash the ROM with install .zip from SD. From safestrap, you can also make Nands to either the internal or external SD as you wish.

    If you want to start from a brand new, fresh D3, just ask and I can give your a quick step-by-step guide how to go from stock D3 to rooted, ROM'd D3. :)
  3. siohwito

    siohwito Member

    First, thank you for your time regarding my experience. I will do my best to address each aspect of your reply.

    1) I am currently running rooted by the way of Motofail: Universal Motorola Android Root Exploit (Windows version) by Dan Rosenberg (@djrbliss) as tested on Droid 3, Droid Bionic, Droid RAZR, and Droid 4.

    2) If by debloated, you mean that stock apps have been frozen or uninstalled, then yes, that is how my device is configured.

    3) Hashcode's Safestrap version 1.08 is installed on my device by installing the app from an apk downloaded and copied to the SD card straight from Hashcode's blog site.

    I have followed all the instructions that were provided with each segment of the process (rooting, Safestrap install, loading a ROM) for a third time and it just returns to brick condition. Below I am listing each step that gets me to the same point each time:

    1) Enable debugging mode through Application menu in settings. :thumbup:

    2) Connect phone to PC via USB cable. :thumbup:

    3) Select Charge Only mode on phone. :thumbup:

    4) Run the Motofail root tool by Dan Rosenberg (@djrbliss). :thumbup:

    5) Restart the phone. :thumbup:

    6) Install Hashcode's Safetstrap from apk on SD card. :thumbup:

    7) Run Safestrap by selecting Install Recovery. :thumbup:

    8) Shut down then power up phone. [​IMG]

    9) Select Menu button at Safestrap Recovery prompt. [​IMG]

    10) Enter Safe-boot submenu. [​IMG]

    11) Toggle Safe System. [​IMG]

    12) Enter nandroid backup submenu. [​IMG]

    13) Perform nandorid backup to internal card (external SD card errors as unmountable). [​IMG]

    14) Enter update/patch submenu. [​IMG]

    15) Select choose .zip from internal/external sdcard. [​IMG]

    16) Select internal SD card. [​IMG]

    17) Navigate to folder where .zip ROM is save select and apply. [​IMG]

    18) Enter wipe submenu. [​IMG]

    19) Select wipe data/cache. [​IMG]

    20) Enter reboot / power off submenu. [​IMG]

    21) Select reboot. [​IMG]

    22) Sit and watch the phone display the Motorola Dual Core Technology splash for 15 - 20 minutes.:musicus:

    23) Remove battery from phone and follow unbricking procedures (Flash Verizon DROID 3 OTA 5.6.890 to phone_psouza4). :egg:

    Do you see an obvious point of user error?:confused:
  4. redsox985

    redsox985 Well-Known Member

    My only thought is that you may want to wipe data/cache/dalvik before you flash the ROM. What ROM are you trying to flash? If it's an ICS ROM, you may need to flash GApps as well.
  5. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    I do not see an update/patch menu on Safestrap. You should instead select "install zip from SD card".

    There is no "wipe" submenu on Safestrap. There is an option on the main menu called "wipe data/factory reset" that you should choose.

    See above. There is also a "wipe cache partition" on the main menu that you can select, though it's redundant if you have just done a wipe data/factory reset

    You do not seem to have the same Safestrap 1.08 that I have if you are reporting those menu options...
  6. siohwito

    siohwito Member

    I have attempted to flash two different ROMs; the first was Steel Droid and the second was Liberty. In my first two attempts, I performed a wipe of the data/cache/dalvik prior to flashing the ROM. On the last attempt, I did the wipe as listed on Hashcode's blog:

    "
    4. If
  7. siohwito

    siohwito Member

    And it appears you have just solved the issue. My version of Safestrap is indeed different. Can't tell you where I acquired it from, but the version I have installed is labeled as "Droid3SafestrapTweaked-1.08f.apk". I have downloaded and transferred the version labeled as "Droid3Safestrap-1.0.apk" direct from Hashcode's blog site.:pound:

    As a result, there is now a successful flash of the Liberty ROM loaded on my D3.[​IMG]

    Thank you most kindly for your keen eye and guidance! Cheers!!:beerglass:
  8. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    Awesome, and congrats!
  9. redsox985

    redsox985 Well-Known Member

    That version of SS is not from Hashcode, but a modified version that someone added a command console as well as non-safe partition flashing to. It's a bit more dangerous as it doesn't name your safe system (original ROM) untouchable and I believe that all of his tweaked builds have had a few bugs.

    I would suggest grabbing the DL from this link. It makes your original, stock ROM untouchable and doesn't have some of the nandroid /systemorig mismatch errors I believe it hit while restoring with 1.08f Tweaked.

    xda-developers - View Single Post - [BOOTSTRAP] Safestrap for Droid 3 [12/16: Version 1.08 BUGFIX]

    You should be able to uninstall the recovery through tweaked SS now, uninstall the app, install the stock SS app and install its recovery smoothly. But that's just my recommendation.
  10. siohwito

    siohwito Member

    Done and done. :thumbup:

    Cheers!!:beerglass:
  11. mtva24

    mtva24 Active Member

    Didn't read but here is my idiots guide to rooting and flashing roms

    1. download and run pete's one click root (google it)
    2. download bootstrap (i think its by koush)
    3. install bootstrap (i think its by koush)
    4. flash a rom
    -download rom to sd card
    -in recovery (1. backup, 2. wipe phone, 3. wipe cache partition, 4. advanced->wipe dalvik cache, 5. go to install zip from sd, 6. find downloaded rom and install 7. if using ICS make flash GAPPS after you flash rom (unless steel droid or motoblur ICS)
    5. download & install safestrap (hash codes)
    6. boot into recovery
    7. toggel mode to safe system
    8. flash another rom (now you can switch roms by toggling safe system)

    Enjoy your phone

    9. if stuck in bootloop google sbf droid 3.

    best sites to use
    1. xda-developers
    2. rootzwiki
    3. androidforums
    4. droidforums.net
    4. androidcentral
  12. glennj

    glennj Well-Known Member

    Just watch out if you have very recently received a warrantee replacement phone, because they have been reported coming out with the long-term-tested update 5.7.906.

    If your phone has 5.7.906 installed, you caannot root it with Pete's OneClick tool and if you try to SBF it back to 5.6.890 like usual, you will run into issues because 5.7.906 has a new bootloader that is not compatible with 5.6.890. Currently there is no way to return to 5.6.890 if 5.7.906 has been installed.

    There is a new root method that is reported to work.

    I suspect 5.7.906 will be the last OTA update for our Droid3's, which is a shame on Motorola and Verizon, since this phone only released about 9 months ago and has not received a single Android OS upgrade. After the dust settles from 5.7.906 rolling out, I will finally dump the Motorola firmware for a ICS-based developer-supported ROM. If Motorola does not unlock the boot-loader, I will not consider their products favorably going forward.

    Glenn
  13. redsox985

    redsox985 Well-Known Member

    Make sure your remove bootstrap before installing safestrap because mixing them is quite similar to mixing bleach and ammonia.

    There is a 5.7.906 SBF over at XDA though. But rooting with MotoFail, flashing a ROM, then using safestrap from there forward, makes it rather tough to brick the phone since safestrap safe mode makes the /system partition untouchable.
  14. glennj

    glennj Well-Known Member

    Unless for some reason you wind up unable to flash any signed radio ?
  15. redsox985

    redsox985 Well-Known Member

    No. Only stock recovery, RSD Lite, RadioComm, and command line entries are only able to touch the radio. SafeStrap and BootStrap are not able to access it.

    I'm currently on the phone with Moto Level 2 Support trying to figure out why my phone (and Colton22's, from XDA) are unable to receive Moto signed radios. This is a very isolated issue that has even Cell Zealot puzzled.
  16. mtva24

    mtva24 Active Member

    Good analogy
  17. tirral

    tirral New Member

    Having only just recently purchased the Droid 3, I'd like to thank the OP for making this useful thread for new rooters.

    If Pete's one-click root isn't working with the current OTA release (which I got when I activated my phone), can the Ultimate Droid 3 Root thread be updated to caution users about this? Maybe also add a link to the Motofail method?

    Again, thanks for posting your experience - I'm sure I would have made some of the same mistakes, so this saves me a lot of time! :thumb:

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