switch between rooted and unrooted?


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  1. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Just curious if it's possible to continually switch between a rooted and unrooted phone. I previously used unrevoked 3.21 and rooted, and then used the unrevoked S-ON and PC36IMG.zip file to go back to unrooted.

    Is it possible to switch around between rooted and unrooted at will? Is it maybe just frowned upon/risky? Just curious. Thanks!
     

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  2. Wile-E

    Wile-E Active Member

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    There are inherent risks of switching back and forth. They are minor but it is always possible that one of the files could get corrupted, etc.

    However, the question that I have is why do you feel the need to switch back and forth?
     
  3. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Care to share said risks?

    As for why I would want to go back and forth -- I don't know, I was just asking. I rooted and deleted the Sprint bloatware but then unrooted and applied the latest 3.29.651.5 update. Yes, I could have installed that as root from someone packages online, but how do I know I can trust what other people are posting on the internet?

    Anyway, it seemed like more of a hassle to have root than it was worth. So what -- I could wifi tether? Not a big deal to me. I can USB tether without root access anyway. At least with an unrooted phone I can install the OTA updates. However, there may be something that comes along in the future that I really want which requires root. Just curious if I can root again some day without risking anything.
     
  4. Wile-E

    Wile-E Active Member

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    I respect your preference and can certainly understand it. Most root packages are fine, as long as you stay with a widely used ROM/kernel (e.g. Fresh, Baked Snack, King, etc).

    The risk in going back and forth on rooting is relatively minor. For example, the rooting program could get corrupted or something could interfere with the process midway. I'm not saying these are substantial risks, but they are risks. The biggest risk is likely user error.

    While I have a rooted phone, I do not spend my time constantly upgrading to the latest and greatest ROM/kernel/radio/PRI. For example, I am still running Fresh 3.2 (he is now on 3.301), Netarchy's 4.1.9.1-cfs kernel, PRI 1.4 (now on 1.77), etc. The ROMs and kernels are becoming mature so there are few great leaps that require constant updating.

    The main reason I rooted is because I was sick of the bloatware constantly running in the background. I got better battery life as a result of rooting. I can do complete backups of apps, data, preferences, etc which is useful if I ever need to do a factory reset. The wireless tether was merely a bonus.

    You need to do what is right for you. I'm just sharing my experience.
     
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  5. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Cool thanks for the reply. If the only risks are memory wear and user error then that is fine. It sounds like the only risks that exist are the same risks that existed then I rooted my phone originally so I'm not worried about that.

    Backups you say? I tried using Titanium backup but wasn't impressed. I'm not sure it actually backed up the apps -- just their settings? What application are you using to backup your info? I would definitely be interested in knowing. Backups might be a worthwhile reason to root again, though I suppose I can just backup the apps by using adb pull on the /system/app/*.apk files that I want. It's not automated but it should work.

    Anyway, there might be something that entices me to root again so I just wanted some confirmation that it wouldn't be a problem. Battery life is fine by me...I get about 40 hours of standby time without root. Somewhere between 55 and 60 with root (and JuiceDefender to disable my data connections while the phone was locked).

    Ultimately I realized that I shouldn't be so concerned with battery life. I have never run down the battery in one day and I charge it every night anyway. Maybe if I go camping or something I'll need better battery life but I could just purchase a spare. Dunno...I like to tinker with stuff so I might eventually root again and see what I can do. :)
     
  6. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

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    The risks are minor as long as you root and unroot in a certain way. The rooting community for HTC phones is quite mature compared to other manufacturers, so a lot of HARD lessons have already been learned, and rooting best practices have been established.

    To go from non-root to root, you want to use a procedure that not only puts superuser on your system, but also unlocks NAND. This is also known as a full root. The best method currently for a full root is unrevoked3.2. It is very user-friendly, and from the user's perspective, it's a one-step process. Historical root methods involved lots of manual input, which is fine if you know what you're doing. If you're clueless, the risks are much higher, and it's more likely that you put your phone into a weird state.

    To go from root to non-root, the best practice is to run an RUU (ROM Update Utility) which is designed to put you back to factory stock for a given version. You can go all the way back to 2.1 build 1.32 if you wanted to. What's not recommended is to try to install an OTA update. These updates assume you are completely stock. They were tested and designed to work with a completely stock setup. If you're rooted, you're not technically stock (even if you're running a rooted stock ROM). People have bricked their phones accepting OTA updates, or flashing the OTA ROM. While you're not guaranteed to brick your phone, this path is very risky and should be avoided.

    A phone is bricked when the following three conditions are met:

    1) your bootloader has NAND security turned on (S-ON)
    2) your recovery image is corrupt
    3) your operating system doesn't load (boot loop)

    Most of the ROM flashing you will ever do will never touch the bootloader, so as long as you have a full root that unlocks the NAND security (S-OFF), you can always recover (although it involves some more technical knowledge of adb, the Android Debugging Bridge). Accepting an OTA update has a high chance of corrupting both #2 and #3. People with half roots who accept an OTA are at the highest risk of bricking their phone.
     
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  7. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    @novox77:

    Good info and right along the lines of what I was looking for! I used Unrevoked 3.21 when I rooted last time and it worked like a champ. I have no problems using adb (have several times in the past). I'm a pretty skilled Linux user and am not scared of the command line. In fact -- shell/python scripts have made my life considerably easier! :)
     
  8. Wile-E

    Wile-E Active Member

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    I am using Ti Backup and My Backup Pro. I like them both and both back up the apps, data and preferences (trust me, if you ever have to do a factory reset, this is a godsend).

    I'm impressed with your stock battery life - very impressive and smart use of Juicedefender. If you need extra batteries, I suggest you try these (2x 1500mAh battery + dock charger for Sprint HTC Evo 4G - eBay (item 250641711190 end time Oct-27-10 01:08:58 PDT)). I, and several friends, have ordered them to great success. They last as long as the stock battery and its always good to have spares. And for $10 for two, how can you argue?

    Best to you on whichever road you decide to take.
     
  9. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah the only thing I didn't like about JuiceDefender (and the reason I'm not using it now) is that it always caused several seconds of lag whenever I unlocked my phone. I suspect this was due to:

    1. The phone having to renable the 3G connection
    2. The apps all noticing that the data connection was available again, and thus they all rush to pull down data and sync with their respective servers


    To be honest, I'm actually impressed with my battery life on the stock ROM. I think it's approaching the same battery life I was getting while rooted even though I'm back to a stock, unrooted ROM now! I just took a few screenshots with shootme (works perfectly on the Evo, even if you're not rooted for some reason):

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    I don't have a shortcut to testing anymore (and Froyo removed the ability to dial *#*#4636#*#*) but I can assure you that my bluetooth radio has been on 100% of the time. I even used it to stream music and make some phone calls in my car for about 45 minutes. I have Sync in my car so I always leave bluetooth on indefinitely.

    You can see that JuicePlotter predicts I have 6 hours of life left and I'm already at 44 hours of usage! I'm sure I can make it a full 50 hours on a single charge!

    I would like to point out that:

    1. I am not currently using JuiceDefender or any other battery manager
    2. I don't use any task manager (though I do use the built-in "Manage Applications" to kill off some of the Sprint bloatware every time I power cycle the phone)
    3. My bluetooth radio has been on 100% of the time since unplugging my phone yesterday morning
    4. My screen brightness is set to 50%
    5. I have made several phone calls, sent some texts, and streamed music over bluetooth since unplugging
    6. I signed out of Google Talk and disabled the "auto sign-in" feature for the Talk application (HUGE battery saver)
    7. I have scaled back Facebook synchronization to every 4 hours and Weather to every 3. The only other data that is synced is my google account data.



    Anyway, I completely agree that backups are a great idea. If you can save all of your data, apps, and preferences to the SD card that is awesome. Like I said, I enjoy tinkering with things just for the heck of it so I may try it again some day. Full backups are certainly a possible reason for root. Maybe I did something wrong in Titanium, but when I tapped backup I didn't see it copy the .apk file anywhere in /sdcard -- just some stuff that looked like it was data and/or preferences. Was I missing something?
     

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