Rooting Galaxy S2 - Dummies Guide

Last Updated:

  1. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Last update 20 OCT 2015

    This is a step-by-step guide for absolute beginners. Please read posts #1, #2 and #3 carefully and thoroughly as they will take you through the rooting procedure and answer your queries. Particularly post #3 as this has, "Tips for using this Dummies Guide".

    This guide is for rooting the Samsung Galaxy S2, GT-i9100, GT-i9100M, GT-i9100T & GT-i9100P only and no other variant.***

    If you are unsure of the model of your phone, go to Settings > About phone > Model number

    (*** The Dummies Guide can also be used to root the, "GT-i9100G", on Gingerbread, (only), providing you use the root kernels mentioned in post #2, here)

    #1.1. What is rooting?

    Rooting gives you, "Superuser", access to your phone and its features. It allows the installation of the latest custom ROM's, kernels, modems, applications and features that are not available to un-rooted phones. All this process does is to replace the stock kernel, that comes with your phone, with a root kernel and does not affect any data stored on the phone. For more information on the advantages of rooting, see here.

    #1.2. Is it difficult

    That really depends on your ability to read and follow instructions. I would strongly suggest that you read all the links published here, carefully and thoroughly, to help you understand the process before attempting to root your phone. The actual, "flashing", process, post #2, takes about 30 seconds, however, the set-up for this is longer and can be done in advance.

    With, currently, over 150,000 views and over 600 posts, we have not lost a man, (or woman), yet!

    #1.3. What hardware do I need?

    Galaxy S2 GT-i9100/G/M/P/T phone

    USB lead that came with the phone.

    A Windows PC running, XP, Vista or Windows 7

    USB Jig. Although not needed to root your phone some people find it a useful tool for getting rid of the yellow warning triangle at boot-up, (personally I do not bother and it may not work on newer bootloaders), and for resetting your flash counter to potentially avoid voiding your phone's warranty if you flash back to your original firmware in case you need to take it to a service centre. See here.

    #1.4. What software do I need?

    7-Zip (or similar... WinRAR or WinZip) to extract the .zip files on your PC. Download, here.

    Odin. This is the PC programme that will install the rooted kernel to your phone. Unzip the file and run Odin. Download, here.

    Samsung Kies. This is a PC Suite for the Galaxy S2. Dowload and install to your PC as you will require the drivers that come bundled with it, to connect your phone to the PC and Odin3.

    Download for Windows, here.

    When you have downloaded and installed Kies, connect your phone via the USB lead to ensure that it is working. If you encounter any problems connecting your phone to Kies, see this trouble shooting guide, here.

    #1.5. The Root Kernel

    Kernel. Your choice of Root kernel depends on the Android Version you are running.

    Settings > About phone > Android version to determine which firmware you have.

    Now, depending on your firmware version, you can download one of the following 3 kernels to root your phone.

    (all the following kernels have the, "brick bug", fix where needed)

    #1.6. Android Version 2.3.?, Gingerbread

    This relies on matching the current kernel you have installed to a CF-Root kernel. To determine your current kernel...

    Settings > About phone > Kernel version (make a note of this in case of problems)

    Once you have ascertained which kernel version you are currently running you will need to go here.

    Search posts #3, #4, #5, #6, #7 and #8 for a CF-Root kernel that comes closest to matching your current kernel, i.e. KG1, KF3, KI1, KK5, LPQ, LPS, etc:

    For instance, if you are currently using #2 use CF-Root-SGS2_XW_XEF_ KJ2 If there is not a kernel which matches the letters and numbers in bold just go one number up from yours.

    Extraction for .zip kernel files only.

    Download the .zip file to your desktop and unzip it, (To extract the file, just right click on it and select 7-Zip/WinRAR/Winzip and, "Extract here". This extracted file is the one you will need.). This is the .tar file that contains the kernel that will root your phone. To avoid confusion you can now delete the original .zip file that it came with.

    #1.7. Android Version 4.0.?, IceCream Sandwich

    Download the Siyah v5.0.1 .TAR kernel file and flash via Odin as follows in post #2.

    #1.8. Android Version 4.1.2, Jelly Bean.

    Download the Siyah v6.0beta5 .TAR kernel file and flash via Odin as follows in post #2.)

    Continued in next post...

    ironass motto... "Flash in haste... repent at leisure"

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  2. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    #2.0. Rooting procedure

    Just to recap. You should by now have installed Samsung Kies and Odin on your PC and be able to connect via your USB lead. Also, you have the correct .tar file on your home screen.

    Important Now is a good time to make a note of your phone's, "Version" in case you ever need to revert back from rooting. To do this, open the dial pad and type in the following:- *#1234#

    This will give you 4 lines of information about your phones firmware and CSC code, etc: You should make a careful note of all this information and keep it somewhere safe.

    Now you can watch this video so that you know what to expect.

    #2.1. Step 1.

    Ensure that your phone is fully charged.

    On your phone, go to... Settings > Applications > Developement > USB debugging and check the box.

    (On ICS/JB ROM's.. Settings > Developer options > USB debugging and check the box)

    Put your phone into Download mode by turning it off completely and then press and hold the following buttons... Volume Down + Home (centre hard key) + (lastly) Power. Continue to hold these buttons until your phone boots into the Warning! screen asking you to press volume up if you want to continue or volume down to cancel. Press Volume Up. See video, here.

    #2.2. Step 2.

    Right click on Odin and select, "Run as Administrator", to open it. Ensure that the Samsung Kies programme is not running at the same time as this can cause problems

    With Odin displayed on your PC screen, click on the PDA button, (a.k.a. AP on later versions of Odin), and navigate to the .tar file, that you placed on your home screen, and select it.

    Make sure that Re-Partition is unchecked and that Auto Reboot, F.Reset Time and PDA are checked and that the PDA box, (a.k.a. AP on later versions of Odin), now contains your .tar file.

    #2.3. Step 3.

    Connect your phone, still in Download mode, to the PC using the USB lead. If you have successfully connected to Odin you should see the ID:COM box in Odin turn yellow or light blue, (depending on which version of Odin you are using).

    #2.4. Step 4.

    In Odin click the Start button and you should see a green progress bar above ID:COM and shortly after that the box above it will turn green with the word PASS! in it and your phone will automatically reboot.

    #2.5. Should you encounter any problems with booting automatically at this stage, put your phone into Recovery mode by turning it off completely and then press and hold the following buttons... Volume Up + Home (centre hard key) + (lastly) Power. Continue to hold these buttons until your phone boots into the Recovery screen. See video. Then select, "wipe cache partition", and under, "Advanced", "wipe dalvik cache", and then, "Go back", and select, "reboot system now". Your phone should now boot up.

    Congratulations! You have just rooted your Samsung Galaxy S2.

    You can now disconnect from the USB lead and check your App drawer where you will find 2 extra app's have been added. These are...



    If you are unsure whether your phone is now rooted you can install Root Checker Basic, free from the Market, and run it.

    ***I now strongly urge you, for your own protection, to make the following backup's in case of future problems... A Titanium Backup. A Nandroid backup. An "efs", file backup. See items, ***, below for details.

    #2.6. Removing the Yellow Warning Triangle at Boot-up

    Because you have now installed CF-Root kernel you will notice a yellow warning triangle appear briefly when booting up your phone. Personally, this does not bother me and experienced modders tend to treat this as a badge of honour that declares their phone is rooted and capable of more than the stock version.

    However, if you wish to remove the yellow triangle you can do so by either purchasing the Jig mentioned in the first post, (this may not work on newer bootloaders, see, here), or by following the instructions here.

    If you are running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean, Android 4., firmware, you can download, "Triangle Away" from the Play Store to remove the Yellow Warning Triangle.

    #2.7. I'm rooted... now what?

    Now that you are rooted you can start thinking about installing custom ROM's, kernels and modems as well as, "freezing", some of the, "bloatware" that comes with your phone.

    A good place to start is here, Samsung Galaxy S2 - All Things Root Guide

    Recovery and Download Modes. Here are two videos, mentioned previously, showing how to get into Recovery Mode and Download Mode. These are two states that modders constantly refer to and it will pay you to familiarise yourself with their operation.

    A popular Gingerbread ROM to install at the moment is CheckROM RevoHD v6.

    Some popular Ice Cream Sandwich ROM's are:-

    AndyX ROM

    Jelly Bean... Jelly Bean NEAT ROM Android 4.1.2.


    KitKat... AOSP NeatROM for Samsung Galaxy S2 I9100 Android 4.4.4

    Lollipop... CyanogenMod 12.1 Nightly Builds Android 5.1.1 for i9100

    Popular kernels at present are Siyah....

    Siyah Gingerbread kernel - A Dummies Guide

    Siyah ICS/JB kernel - A Dummies Guide

    and Dorimanx ICS/JB. See here:-

    Dorimanx kernel ICS/JB - Dummies Guide

    To change or upgrade your phone's modem, see, "Modem installation - A Dummies Guide"

    To remove, "Bloatware", and improve the performance of your phone and battery life, see, here.

    To improve your Battery life, see here.

    How to make nandroid and Titanium back-up's and restore, see, here.

    ***(I strongly urge you to make a nandroid and Titanium backups after rooting and save them on your external SD card)

    #2.8. What App's should I install

    There are a number of app's that you can install from the Market to aid and enhance your modding experience now that you are rooted.

    Titanium Backup, (a must for modders), and Pro key.

    ES File Explorer.

    *** (I strongly advise installing this app after rooting and using it to navigate to the, "/efs", file in the root directory of the phone and making a copy of this and putting it on both your external SD card and PC as its loss or corruption in future could render your phone unusable and require a Samsung repair) Also, free from the Play Store, is GSII Repair, which will backup/restore your efs folder.

    Android System Info.


    CPU Spy.


    #2.9. WARNING

    Rooting your phone could, in theory, void your warranty. See under USB Jig in first post. Also, you will no longer be able to update your phone via Kies or OTA, (Over The Air), and will need to flash ROM's via Odin or CWM Recovery... which is probably why you rooted anyway!

    Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this guide, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that may occur through its use and the decision to use this guide lies with you, the owner.


    My thanks go to the following for their help and contributions to this guide:-

    Josh at MobileTech Videos. Feel free to make a donation if he has helped you.

    Chainfire for the kernels and original instructions. Feel free to make a donation to Chainfire at the bottom of his first post so that he may continue the good work.

    Hawker whose brains and posts I have shamelessly rummaged.

    Slug whose tolerance, forbearance and guidance have made this guide possible.

    To all the Android Forum posters whose posts I have plundered in an attempt to organise a definitive guide.

    ironass motto... "Flash in haste... repent at leisure"
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  3. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Tips for using this Dummies Guide.

    I have tried to keep this, "Dummies Guide", as simple and easy to understand as possible for absolute beginners, with no prior knowledge of Android and the Samsung Galaxy S2, whilst trying to cover the most commonly asked questions about rooting.

    #3.1. Please take the time to read posts #1 and #2 carefully and thoroughly before posting a question as they should contain most of the answers you require.

    #3.2. If my reply to a question states, "See, #1.7". It means that the answer to your query is already contained in post #1, item #7. Re-read that item again, carefully, and it should answer your question and saves me the time and trouble of having to repeat myself all over again.

    #3.3. When posting a question, please include your, "Version", details as shown in post #2.0 and your, "Kernel version". as per #1.6 and if you have used another method to try and root your phone, other than the one in posts #1 and #2 of this thread, could you please post a link as this may help in discovering your problem.

    #3.4. Please, please, please, help keep this thread on topic. It is designated for the actual rooting of your phone and not for general questions about kernels, ROM's, modems, etc: There are other threads on the forum for that or you can start one of your own.

    #3.5. Please do not PM me with rooting questions. I will not answer them! Ask them on the forum so that others may benefit from the questions and answers.

    If someone has helped you then be polite and select their Thanks button.
    The "Search this Forum" button is your friend.
    Dummies Guides:- Jelly Bean update * Rooting Galaxy S2 * Dorimanx kernel * Modems * Battery Saving
    meditate, jdc061978, rkid and 3 others like this.
  4. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    Nice guide
    ironass likes this.
  5. Logan47

    Logan47 Disabled

    Excellent guide. A few weeks ago this could have saved me much anxiety but I muddled through. Bookmarked for future reference. Thanks for the time and effort. :)
    ironass, Twinn and Shotgun84 like this.
  6. sunnym1999

    sunnym1999 New Member

    I am newbie and this guide proved so simple to understand and very informative, thanks for writing such great piece of info.
    ironass likes this.
  7. iT0mm0

    iT0mm0 Well-Known Member

    i wish i had something that simple to understand when i first got my sgs2,maybe i wouldnt be so grey and bald now lol
    ironass likes this.
  8. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    Added to the all things root sticky.
    ironass likes this.
  9. Clayton1

    Clayton1 Well-Known Member

    Thank you Sir!
  10. nasirzur

    nasirzur New Member

    hello guys:
    is there any difference between rooting GALAXY S2 i9100 and S2 i9100G
    thanks for the support
  11. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum nasirzur.

    The process is the same but kernels and firmware for the international version won't work on the g version. I have put a sticky about rooting the g in the all things root forum here
  12. davejoyce

    davejoyce New Member

    hi guys! im new here.. i want to ask if you will install CheckROM RevoHD v4, Siyah and Kernel at the same time? or will i just pick one? Anyways, thank you! and very informative guide :)
  13. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

    Welcome! There's always room for one more in the asylum. :)

    I'd advise installing CheckROM first, reboot a couple of times to ensure it initialises everything correctly, then reboot to recovery and flash the Siyah kernel separately (after reading Ironass' guide to Siyah, of course! ;) ).
  14. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Cheque's in the post Slug! :D
  15. fozzwaldus

    fozzwaldus New Member

    Hi all,

    great post - I'm just the sort of dummy that needs this sort of info.

    I have a dummy question before I proceed with rooting - which Kernel from the lists in the link above should I choose? I have no idea which is closest to mine, they all look completely different.

    My current kernel info is:

    Chinese bought phone, I'm rooting in order to get rid of ugly local features (including not being able to access android market)

    thanks in advance for any help, and apologies if this is completely stupid.
  16. fozzwaldus

    fozzwaldus New Member

    PS further info as follows, just in case that helps. I obviously don't understand any of this. ;-)

    PDA I9100ZCKH2

    PHONE I9100ZCKH2

    CSC I9100oZHKH2
  17. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    fozzwaldus likes this.
  18. fozzwaldus

    fozzwaldus New Member

    thank you!
  19. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    No problem
  20. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that the biggest stumbling block for quite a few posters has been the choice of CF-Root kernel to root their phone with.

    So, with Shotgun84's help, I've expanded on that area in the original post in an attempt to clarify things.
  21. Sydney99

    Sydney99 Well-Known Member

    To be honest though, it doesn't take much reading through the threads to work out the only people who have problems with rooting seem too be those who don't use chain fire. It's like chocolate fondants on master chef.......
  22. TmdRockz

    TmdRockz Member

    So what is the use of downloading Kies ? .. Anyways Thank you very much for the guide..

    So guyz if we need to update the firmware.. we can use Kies ?

    and another question .. if we root the phone , will i loose some data of my phone ?
  23. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Well-Known Member

    ironass likes this.
  24. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member


    Yes, prior to rooting as Kies only recognises stock ROM's/kernels but after rooting Kies will not update custom ROM's/kernels. After rooting there are other methods, such as CWM Manager, to do updates. Rooting is not updating...


    No... providing....

  25. ThePunisher102

    ThePunisher102 New Member

    How would I go about backing up everything my phone is currently (which I currently understand to be a kernel and a ROM, and also things like modem etc? Anymore?)

    I have read articles about backing up apps (use titanium backup) but cant seem to find anything specific with regard to backing up the software parts of my phone.

    For example, I want to root my phone and start again from scratch, install a new kernel and ROM, have no preinstalled apps, and be able to choose my own theme/skin, and also be able to reset/roll back my phone to its original factory state/original kernel/ROM without it being noticed if I were to send it back to Samsung for repair (resetting the flash count?)

    I have read a lot of articles and am fairly well versed on the basics now I believe

Share This Page