Read Before You Root


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  1. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!! VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    This thread is to all the new "rooters" and all of the people who are about to...or contemplating rooting their device. You have made the right decision :D but I recommend that you do some research and learn a thing or two before you start tinkering around.

    NOTE: If your disagree with the general mindset of this thread...save it for yourself, I don't want to start a debate here...this is an informational thread.

    I see a lot of new threads in this sub-forum with people having the same issues over and over. I am getting the distinct impression with talking to many of these people, that they are rooted, have a custom ROM and don't yet have a clue as to what they are doing. I'm not judging you...but it's true right? :)

    I'm not saying that using DroidMod's "DM Updater" and Koush's "Rom Manager" are bad things. I use the ROM Manager myself to download and install new versions of his ROM...that's a nice feature. What I am saying is that whether you root via and app that installs everything you need, or do it the "old fashioned" way, you are left without much knowledge for what you actually need to know.

    What I would love to see happen in this thread is some of the more experienced people post a unique example of the benefits of "knowing what you are doing" before you root. (unique to this thread that is). Please follow this with the information that people need to know to avoid the same types of problems. Those of you who are on this forum helping people with the same problems over and over...what's one more time? :D

    This is not an elitist, "I'm better than you" thread. I am not an ADB expert, I don't write code, and I was a noob to all of this a few months ago. I've just taken the time to read and I feel that your should too...FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT! :cool: This thread is to explain some of the things that can go wrong AFTER you are rooted and provide some infomation for you.
    ___________

    I'll start ;)

    Last weekend Koush (the dev responsible for the CyanogenMod ROM on our Droids) issues a test release of a new update for his ROM. The test release was limited to a small number of people that volunteered to test it out.

    The problem with this release was that when you flashed the ROM, the Google apps (most importantly the Market app) were not loaded, and the recovery system was completely erased. Oops! Good thing Koush released this as a Test! After reading about the problems, I got my hands on the ROM...and yep, I flashed it knowing what was going to happen....I was curious (and honestly, I have had this thread in mind for awhile) and because of my knowledge base...I'm not afraid to do anything with my phone...it can ALWAYS be recovered from any software problem...if you have the right knowledge ;)

    So I found myself without the Market app (can't download DM Updater or Rom Manager...they can't "do it all" for you right now). Well that's okay, I have DM Updater saved on my SD card...Oops, there was no built in file explorer so I couldn't just get to my SD card!

    No market, no SD card access, and no recovery (can't hold 'x' while powering on...it's not there). So think...what would you do??? Would you be screwed? Would you have to rely on adding a "Oh crap, what do I do now" thread on here?

    Here's what I needed to know to fix this...ADB! :D Many of the new rooters don't even have Android SDK loaded on a PC...DroidMod rooted and installed busybox, and SPRecovery for you, so you must not need it right? Wrong!

    I had the recovery-0.99.3b.img file on my SD card so I flashed it using ADB (you could have downloaded a recovery image if you needed to ... Let me google that for you). FYI, SPRecovery and Clockwork Recovery would have both worked the same way.

    It was an easy fix for me...this is all the code I needed to know to fix this issue:

    Code (Text):
    1. C:\android\tools>adb shell
    2. # flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery-0.99.3b.img
    3. # reboot recovery
    If you needed to download a recovery image you would have to do a few more steps. You would have to copy the 'recovery-0.99.3b.img' file to your ADB tools folder. When you install SDK, you will set this up (mine is C:\android\tools). Then you would have to "push" that file to your sd card using ADB. Here is the code:

    Code (Text):
    1. C:\android\tools>adb push recovery-0.99.3b.img /sdcard
    2. C:\android\tools>adb shell
    3. # flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery-0.99.3b.img
    4. # reboot recovery
    Now you are in recovery and can do a Nandroid Restore...and get on with life! :D

    Bottom line is that without simple ADB skills and having SDK installed and running on your CPU, that could have been very difficult to recover from (not impossible...but VERY time consuming and frustrating :mad: )

    This happened with a top notch developer like Koush...in the future, as more and more ROMs and developers surface, who knows what kinds of issues you could be left with by simply "checking out a new ROM". Verizon can't help you and you can't mail your phone to me to fix it (ie, people here can help but you have to push the buttons :) )...YOU are the only person who can fix your phone.

    Check this out...it is a nice write up (not all inclusive...but good) and it includes all the links to get ADB working. Give it a shot, get familiar with it...could save you A LOT of time in the future (not to mention it is a great tool that I use more often as I get more experience with it).
    [ HOW TO ] ADB AND WHY I LOVE ADB commands <3 - Droid Forum - Verizon Droid & the Motorola Droid Forum

    Please help me out with this guys and gals. ;) I for one always tell people that they should know what they are doing before they root and flash roms... but do not have the time or expertise personally to compile all of this on my own. What do they need to know and why? As you come up with info...please post it
     

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  2. dmodert66

    dmodert66 Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree. Knowing how to root the "old" way, has saved me a few times. It took me a few hours to do it, and some very nice people in the chat. Now when I root someone elses phone, I use shortcuts, but I know in the back of my mind if I/they screw something up, I can most likely fix it. By the way, I don't want it to come off like I offer rooting as a service..lol...Just a lot of my friends have purchased Droids and wanted what I have. I warned them repeatedly that if I am not available and something happens, they are screwed!
     
  3. scheng12

    scheng12 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I'm trying to learn how to do all this now and I'm having trouble on macs with adb. I cd to the tools folder but it says the adb command is not found. As far as I know I downloaded everything I need to since there are no motorola drivers for Macs.
     
  4. shrink57

    shrink57 Well-Known Member

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    All of those commands can be accomplished on the phone itself using a terminal program (there are some free ones in the Market i.e Terminal Emulator). I use it all the time when my PC is not available. Do yourself a favor and get comfortable using one of the terminal emulators.
     
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  5. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!! VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for making this a sticky. Hopefully over time this will be populated with a ton of great information!
     
  6. buckeyeNUTZ

    buckeyeNUTZ Member

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    Thank you for starting this thread. It is exactly what I've been looking for. I have yet to root my droid, but I am confident I will be ready soon. I feel I need to learn a little more before I make the jump. :)

    Thanks in advance to those sharing their knowledge.
     
  7. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Well-Known Member

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    Titanium Backup stopped working for me once. I had no idea what I was doing but figured I'd go through everything again; I had root, right? I went into Terminal Emulator and typed in su and got root access, so that was good. Next thing most people do is install busybox; so I figured I'd redo that. I looked around online, found the busybox file, threw it on my SD card, went into terminal emulator and, as su, did "cat /sdcard/busybox > /system/xbin/busybox" and then "chmod 755 busybox". And everything worked perfectly after that. Lesson: Learn what the helper programs do (they generally install busybox, flash_image, and a recovery) so you can redo them when stuff gets screwed up. And if you don't want to bother with ADB (I hate it personally), you can do most things with Terminal Emulator unless you need to manipulate files while your phone is in recovery or bootloader. Some commands will need to be substituted though (ex: "cp [source] [target]" doesn't work; "cat [source] > [target]" does, however).
     
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  8. Shylen

    Shylen New Member

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    I just rooted yesterday and I have to say, I was highly confused at first. I think my problem was I was trying to follow several "how to" guides instead of just sticking to one thing. Once I figured out Droidmod, everything became much more clear. One thing is for certain though, I love my newly rooted phone!
     
  9. aileendq

    aileendq Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem. I rooted using a great You Tube video (using Nandroid) but I didn't come away with an understanding of what I had actually *done*.
     
  10. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Well-Known Member

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    Really, the best thing you can do for yourself is to follow the guides in CRPercodani's stickied guide. It's one of the most manual ways to get root and install busybox,flash_image,SPRecovery,custom ROMs, etc.
     
  11. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member

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    No problem. I think this is a great thread and I will add some to it when I get a chance to sit down and write.
     
  12. garment69

    garment69 Well-Known Member

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    I gotta tell you guys, Android is a serious wake up call. I have edited my registry and loaded cab files on Winmobile, I have jailbroken Iphones and I have wiped a reloaded OS's on more blackberry's that I can count. I can say that I have no idea what you guys are talking about half the time. :confused:

    I followed the link to the ADB tutorail and I was even more confused. This is going to take some time.
     
  13. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member

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    Yea, Linux in general is a shit storm when your not used to how it works. It took me a good 2 or 3 months to root my G1 back when I got it. You will get used to it though.
     
  14. garment69

    garment69 Well-Known Member

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    I dont know. Thank god for Rom Manager. It may keep me ignorant, but its dam easy to go back and forth between roms. Ive switched between bugless beast and cyanogen three times today.
     
  15. DroidSuks

    DroidSuks Well-Known Member

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    Install AdamZ Smoked Glass: [ROM.tgz] Smoked Glass v6.0.1 *03/15* (Android 2.1 - ESE53)

    Instructions are at the bottom and fairly straight forward.


    Push yourself out of your comfort zone... ;)


    :rolleyes:
     
  16. shrink57

    shrink57 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the title of this important thread should be changed from "Read before you root" to "Read before you flash." Too many messages are from those that have a false sense of confidence after rooted, have no idea what they did, and as stated in this sticky, need to still learn the basics. I am afraid many will skip over this because they got through the easy part, rooting. Sometimes I feel like we are just preaching to the choir.
     
  17. shrink57

    shrink57 Well-Known Member

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    One other thing to add to this thread (just read a post that reminded me of this), do all your flashing when your phone is FULLY charged. I still read nightmare stories of people that have 'bricked" there phones during flashing. After a night of charging (use the AC charger instead up charging off your PC) all is well again (the dead have risen!). I have experienced this myself... It is easy to get carried away and forget to sheck your battery level.
     
  18. Droid-User

    Droid-User Member

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    Well, this is my problem too... If experts (of different levels) understood what is like to be a noob at this... You hear warnings like "Rooting can be dangerous to your health" <smile> but then you hear others say "piece of cake," then others like in this forum elevate the "rooting" process to an "art status," and say "Learn EVERYTHING young man! before attempting it..."

    Now, all these points are VALID!... All of them!... I just wish there was one that in addition to all the warnings and advise, WOULD ALSO GUIDE a noob on how to achieve these goals.

    I must give credit to human kind for wanting to share their knowledge the best way they can, and it includes this particular thread!. I'm also referring to all those people who make how-to YouTube videos (I've done some myself), from which I've learned so much and lead me to believe I could do this... the best medium you can use to teach anything, short of doing it in person, imo.

    Ok, so here I am!... I like what I hear... I love learning so yes, let's learn...

    BUT can anyone here "assist" me a bit in pointing the basic-steps, a "check list" if you will... of the things I must investigate, so that I can successfully root my Droid? and also learn the extra knowledge that can be so helpful when difficult situations arise? Or can anyone lead me to that "magical place?"

    TIA to everyone :)
     
  19. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!! VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Droid-User,

    There is a sticky thread that takes you through the entire process and what you "need" to do. I think it will work as a "check list" if you go through everything.

    http://androidforums.com/all-things-root-droid/45764-guide-s-everything-root-related.html

    Unfortunately, the links are broken (today anyway and I have notified the OP of that issue...hopefully we will have fixed links or alternative guide soon). That guide takes you through the steps needed and is a very good post! The reason I started this thread was so "key learnings" could be shared and then similar problems would hopefully be avoided by others. There is no magical place I or anyone else can take you too. Hopefully, you can get to a place where I am at...I'm not all knowing...but I know enough to not be concerned about doing almost ANYTHING to my phone. The link below is a last resort that I have not had to utilize yet...but it takes some of the fear away. If you break it...you CAN fix it...just have to know how.

    http://androidforums.com/all-things-root-droid/47349-now-you-can-live-without-fear-bricking.html

    In the meantime, post unanswered questions you may have in the main rooting sub-forum and someone will be happy to help.
     
  20. Droid-User

    Droid-User Member

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    UBRocked,

    And THAT (above) is knowing A LOT! Congratulations.

    Thank you for the links and the inspiration... I will be checking here :)
     
  21. bp328i

    bp328i Well-Known Member

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    I wished I had read this before I rooted. I used DMUpdater like a lot of others. The thing about me is after I did I wanted to know why, how, and what I had just done. I am now flashing new recoveries using Terminal Emulator, installing new ROM's (not using ROM Manager or DMUpdater anymore) removing stock app's and more, but I still have a lot to learn.
     
  22. shrink57

    shrink57 Well-Known Member

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    Just a repost of another thread I started:

    Just a heads up. I love Titanium Backup and it has saved my ass many times. Had a mini crisis (trying to fit square pegs into round holes) and needed to do a Titanium restore of my apps and app data (don't care about the apps but entering the data again is a pain in the ass). I was impressed how quickly the restore went. To make a long story short - nothing restored. Tried again, no luck. Checked my titanium directory and all looked fine. I even reflashed to a different ROM thinking that may be the problem :confused: I did a "verify all your backups" and my ENTIRE backup had errors. Not 1 file that could be restored :eek: Luckily, every couple of weeks I dump my entire SD card content to my PC's hard drive. Dumped the the Titanium directory back to my SD card and all is well in Shrinkland again. I played with Titaniums compression settings and it seems to be working now :)

    To copy you entire SD Card to your PC - adb pull /sdcard c:\yourbackup directory

    The moral of the story - Take a few extra minutes after a Titanium backup and verify it. It also never hurts to back your SD card to your hard drive. One never knows, do one? :cool:
    __________________
     
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  23. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!! VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    AGREED!!! Many of the "just in case" things that take a few extra minutes (or an hour or two in the case of backing up your SD card) WILL save you eventually. I keep backups of my sd card on an USB hard drive and I add a new backup every couple of weeks...just in case. I end up keeping the last few...again, just in case. Good post Shrink, Thanks! :D
     
  24. G.Armour

    G.Armour You know you want to. VIP Member

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    Curious, but to the op, in the problem you were having, couldn't you have just went to the droidmod website, downloaded the dmupdater directly from there again and flash recovery from there? And then reverted back to an old nandroid backup, if need be?

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
     
  25. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!! VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Possibly...I didn't think to try that but if I would have downloaded the file to the sd card what would I have opened it with? The ROM didn't come with a file manager of any kind so unless the system would run that .apk file automatically, I don't think it would have worked.

    ADB I knew would work so that's what I reverted to. I could have done a few things with ADB like: cp busybox /sdcard/system/apps but almost every fix action would require ADB skills.
     

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