[Verizon] Rooting and ROMming Guide

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  1. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

    UPDATE: There are currently other methods for rooting like vroot. I simply don't have time right now to overhaul this Guide. I respectfully request my fellow staff to feel free to revise and edit as necessary to keep this Guide current. Thanks! :)



    Here it is!

    Keep in mind that only ONE person is responsible for anything that happens to your device, and that's YOU. You assume all risks, and I absolve myself of any responsibility for anything that goes wrong on your phone. This Guide worked for me, it has worked for others... but that's no guarantee.

    That said, the Guide has pretty much everything you need in one place, with links to files and programs and what to do with them. If you have any questions, we're here to help.




    The Chief’s Quick Guide to Rooting & ROMming the Verizon Galaxy Note 3

    So you’ve decided to be a crack-flashin’ rooter and ROMmer! Good for you! You, of course, accept the risks and understand that YOU are responsible for your phone. Well, this humble little tutorial will help you. Understanding this process - and DOING it - you will hopefully be up and running on your new ROM within two hours.


    This step-by-step tutorial was written for the locked and unrooted Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but the basic concepts will not change for most modern Samsung devices that are Knox-enabled with a locked bootloader. However: if you have a different device, check your device’s forum at www.androidforums.com for more specific ROMming instructions for YOU.

    Read this entire tutorial - a couple of times, in fact - BEFORE plunging in! You will want to know what you’re about to do next, instead of trying to read as you go. That eats up precious time and battery. Okay, first things first:


    You need to understand that you can’t unlock the bootloader or root without the good possibility of tripping the Knox Counter (0x1) and voiding your warranty! So this is an all-in, no-going-back effort because there is no way to reset that Counter if it trips. I recommend that you hold on to your new Note 3 for at least a few weeks before doing this to make sure there are no glaring manufacturer defects that will need warranty repair.

    ANOTHER NOTE (no pun intended): Make SURE you have at least 80% battery charge before starting this! There is nothing worse than trying to root & ROM a phone, something goes wrong, and your battery dies in the middle of sorting things out. You want plenty of battery power to spare, believe you me… an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure here.

    Okay, that said: if you’re still all in like me, then let’s do this.

    WARNING! If you don’t understand Kies and Odin, STOP NOW. Go read up on them. They are your ticket out of trouble! You have GOT to have, at the very minimum, an understanding of Odin AND the .tar file of the latest Note 3 stock firmware. DO NOT TRY TO REPLACE A NEWER FIRMWARE WITH AN OLDER FIRMWARE! IT COULD SOFTBRICK YOUR DEVICE!
    The latest firmware for the SM-900V Verizon Galaxy Note 3 is the N900VVRUBMJE firmware. Download it from a reputable place and have it on hand in case things go south.

    Ready to root?

    The root method is Kingo. You will need the latest Kingo root exploit for the Note 3. Go here:


    Select Galaxy Note 3 and download that to the PC.

    WARNING! The Kingo app is a root exploit app from China. Right now there is serious deliberation going on about identifiable information (such as the phone's IMEI) being reported BACK to the developers and China, for possibly nefarious purposes. Possibly. We are not sure why this information MAY be reported back, and KingoSoft is being very secretive. Do NOT proceed unless you are okay with this possibility!

    Still here? Okay...

    DON’T RUN KINGO YET! You’re gonna need some more stuff!

    Go here and get Safestrap:


    Safestrap is a bootloader work-around. Basically: rather than trying to unlock the bootloader and ROM the phone, we’ll just let it do its merry thing and create another ROM partition where we can play with our ROM. Or a third. Or fourth! That way if everything on the phone messes up, you can just reboot into the phone’s stock OS and rock on until you can get things sorted out. You NEED to watch this tutorial on Safestrap right NOW. Get yourself a cold beverage, sit back and enjoy.

    If it’s down, try this one:

    Here’s our plan of attack:

    Root the phone.
    Install SuperSU
    Install Safestrap Recovery
    BACKUP the stock ROM!!! <- This is very important!
    Create ROM Partition 1
    Flash the ROM in Partition 1
    Set it up and enjoy

    ROM: You can choose any ROM that is specifically written for the Verizon Galaxy Note 3. I am personally attached to the Note 3 Hyperdrive ROM. It has all the best of the Note 3 without the bad stuff like Knox and bloatware! YAYYY! You can get the latest version here:


    Once flashed, it even does OTA updates of the ROM! How convenient is that?

    Okay, you now have Kingo&#8217;s Android Root program on the PC. You also have the Safestrap Recovery .apk and your ROM of choice&#8230; mine being Hyperdrive.

    Now you need to take some time and copy everything you want out of the phone&#8217;s internal memory to a backup folder on the PC. While rooting (or re-rooting) will not wipe the phone, I like to be cautious. The external SD card is safe enough&#8230; but we will remove it BEFORE doing this JUST IN CASE.

    However, cards DO fail&#8230; you&#8217;re always well-advised to back it up regularly too.

    We need a superuser root app manager. SuperSU is the most popular. We&#8217;ll install it after we root.

    You also need the stock firmware image. remember that Odin .tar file I told you about? Get it here:


    After you&#8217;ve copied your vital stuff, time to inventory your tools:

    Kingo program (Androidroot.exe)
    ROM of choice
    Latest stock Odin firmware

    NOTE: This is a great time to remind you to check the MD5 checksums of your downloads. Most of these downloads will have an MD5 listed on the download page. Get WinMD5 for Windows and make SURE that your downloads are good. There are few things worse than going all out, only to be stopped cold by a bad download. If you&#8217;re not sure what an MD5 file is or how to check it (it&#8217;s easy), then stop here again and look it up.


    Okay, check your pulse and let&#8217;s do the deed.


    Okay. Take a deep breath, bid your darling stock phone farewell and turn it off. I HIGHLY SUGGEST that once it&#8217;s off that you remove the battery cover and take out the SD card until you&#8217;re rooted. It&#8217;s insurance to make sure it&#8217;s okay throughout this process.

    Power the phone up and start Kingo&#8217;s AndroidRoot.exe. Install the software and run it on a PC, following the instructions. Once connected, hit the ROOT button and wait. Connect to your PC and log in, connecting as a media device as necessary.

    Once it roots, it will reboot the phone. Log back in and connect AGAIN. It will check for root status. This can take some time! When it says ROOTED! You can proceed. Don&#8217;t go forward UNTIL you get that! If it fails, try rooting on another PC. I had to use TWO PCs to successfully root... laptops are particularly vulnerable to root failure, for some reason. Try a desktop if you simply can't root using a laptop.

    Boot up normally.


    Great - you&#8217;re rooted! Halfway there! Now we need to put a superuser root app manager application on the phone. There are several to choose from, but the hands-down most popular is SuperSU by Chainfire.

    Reboot the phone normally and go to Play. It&#8217;s available in Play here:


    Install SuperSU and let&#8217;s move on to Safestrap&#8230; which is about the last tricky part in the whole process.


    Congratulations! You&#8217;re rooted with SuperSU in place! Let&#8217;s move on to isolate the bootloader and stock ROM and play a bit! Re-insert the SD card and power up the phone. Copy the following to the root of the SD card:


    Use Root Explorer (or other file manager) to install Safestrap (make sure Unknown Sources is checked in Settings). Open the app and install Recovery. Reboot to Recovery. You can do this by turning off the phone and powering it back up. If Safestrap installed correctly, there will be two options at the bottom: Recovery and Continue to the phone. Select Recovery.


    The FIRST thing you want to do is make a BACKUP of the stock partition! Back up everything, making sure the date is correct. This is the STOCK OPERATING SYSTEM and you need a fallback in case something goes wrong! When backup is complete, then we can get to the ROM. You&#8217;ll be having fun soon enough&#8230; but this is IMPORTANT!


    NOTE: At no time should you ever, EVER replace the Stock ROM slot with a custom ROM! That will almost guaranteed blow your Knox Counter and you&#8217;ll have no stock fallback if something goes wrong! You have plenty of partitions here, just put your ROM in Slot 1 and play there.

    That said... can you actually put a ROM in the Stock Slot? Yep. All day long. Do I recommend it? NO! Especially if you're an Android novice with little experience modifying the Android system. Only highly experienced, expert Android modders should play around with the Stock Slot. Trust me.

    Okay, here&#8217;s what happens:

    This is where a really big microSD card helps. I personally have a 64 GB Class 10 card, so I have room to maneuver. It&#8217;s highly recommended.

    Power down the phone and boot back up, selecting Recovery, and select Boot Options. Go to Slot 1 and create the slot. You want lots of room to play here: this is not where you want to skimp on memory. I have mine set to 3 GB system, 3 GB data, and 500 MB cache. But you can set it any way you want. Let it set up and create the slot.

    NOTE: About a week after setting up the Slot, I started getting Insufficient System Memory warnings. Apparently my Miscellaneous files were eating up all the 3GB! So if you have the space available, I'm inclined to recommend 5 GB system, 5 GB data and 750 MB cache. If I had to start all over again (and I really hope I don't have to!), I'd use these higher settings.

    Okay, on to the rest of the Guide:

    This Slot is where you will flash your ROM. Once you select Slot 1 as the boot partition,
    install the ROM and reboot, making sure to wipe cache, data, and Dalvik. Remember that the first boot will take a LONG time! Don&#8217;t panic! Once it boots up to the Language screen, then you can set it up the same as you would a new ROM or a new phone right out of the box.

    CONGRATULATIONS! You have successfully isolated the Bootloader and the Stock ROM in their happy little box, and you are free to play with your ROM!

    Last step: set up your ROM and live at peace with all! :D

    What if something goes wrong?

    Remember the Android Forums link I wrote about in the beginning? THAT&#8217;S your resource for getting things back on track. DO NOT CONTACT ME! Go to:


    See if someone else already posted the issue and the solution. If not, feel free to join us and post your problem there. Other experienced Note 3 rooters are there to help you.

    The reason I ask that you don't contact me individually isn't because I can't help you: it's because I'm a very busy Chief and it may take some time to get to you and your issue. Meanwhile, Android Forums is comprised a large group of Android enthusiasts; it is never closed or asleep, and you can very likely get help there a lot faster. Fast os good when you have a problem.

    Good Luck and Happy Flashing!

    One more little bit&#8230;


    Special shout-out of thanks to RyanCMatchett, William T Riker and MrClean who helped proof and develop this Guide into the smooth, flowing way you&#8217;re reading it. Thanks, fellas!

    Legal stuff:

    Since this Guide is updated from time to time here, it would be unwise to publish this or otherwise post it elsewhere on the Internet because that version may become obsolete very quickly. I&#8217;ve already found such re-distribution of my Guides, and do NOT approve of it. Therefore:

    This Guide is

    darkcyber, dalegg, ctnhd and 10 others like this.
  2. bassjo

    bassjo Well-Known Member

    Quick question...

    When I go to the Kingo page and select the Note 3, it only shows the Chinese version. (SM-N9006 not SM-N900V) Otherwise your guide is freaking awesome! I really want to root this device, not necessarily for installing roms, just to freeze bloatware. Maybe I'll wait till the Root de la Vega method gets updated for the MJ7 build.
    dalegg and The_Chief like this.
  3. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

    To my knowledge the Note 3 is the Note 3 as far as rooting goes. The suffixes separate out the various carriers in the US (V for Verizon, S for Sprint, etc.). I used that specific Kingo method and had no issue with it. Thanks for the compliment, too :)

    EDIT: I also just wanted to freeze bloatware, but 2 things drove me to plunge in and ROM the phone...

    #1 - Rooting gets more and more difficult and exploits are closed. I foresee a day when rooting in the USA without a Developer Edition device will be downright impossible. The last OTA broke root, and Android 4.4 will likely close the Kingo method. So the clock is ticking on opportunity.

    #2 - I simply went ROM shopping and happened upon Hyperdrive, which is a mostly stock ROM with lots of options, nothing Verizon on it and NO BLOATWARE! It even OTAs ROM updates! It was a dream ROM with the best of the Note 3 and nothing bad about it.

    So I plunged in and I'll never look back - I'd rather have a 4.4 ROM than a 4.4 OTA any day of the week :D
  4. MrClean

    MrClean Well-Known Member

    Nice Guide Chief! Very organized and informative.
    The_Chief likes this.
  5. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Chief if I decide on getting the note 3 I'll probably hit you up about this Guide :)

    Good work!
    The_Chief likes this.
  6. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

    Thank you DC! The Note 3 is a rockin' device, I think you'll love it :)
    Digital Controller likes this.
  7. bassjo

    bassjo Well-Known Member

    Well I've tried 4 times to root via Kingo using my laptop. (I don't have a Windows Desktop to use) and it has failed every time with a NotSupport error. What now? I'm going for #5 if it fails I guess I'll have to leave it stock for now.

    Tried one more time.... sucess!
  8. bassjo

    bassjo Well-Known Member

    What is the lock symbol beside the clock on the Hyperdrive Rom?
  9. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

    Beats all heck out of me, Bassjo... but from what I've read, it locks your phone by simply touching the lock icon. Whatever...


    I am suddenly getting Insufficient Memory warnings! I set up Slot 1 with 3GB system memory... hard to believe that it's full already! I might have to revise the Guide to set System memory to 5 GB.

    I don't have that many SMS messages, having wiped so recently. Any suggestions on what to clean out? :confused:
  10. bassjo

    bassjo Well-Known Member

    I set mine up according to your guide, I use a call log/sms back and restored my call logs after wiping, etc... and my sms (over 8k), I also have my all the programs installed as before and am not having a problem. (SO FAR) Let me know what you find though.

    If push comes to shove what do you do, go into recovery and delete that slot? Run from the back saved stock rom slot?

    Okay, if I go to setting > storage > It shows my internal storage as 32GB, after the breakdown it shows available space as 607MB! WTF?
  11. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

    Two different memory allocations.

    One is the internal user memory, or the 32GB of storage. The other is what's left of the 3GB of RAM or system memory.

  12. ryancmatchett

    ryancmatchett VIP Member VIP Member

    Not getting a warning and I set my slot 1 up with just the pre set settings... [​IMG]
    Although if I add many more apps I may be in trouble. I have also removed as many apps as possible and moved some to the SD card...
  13. bassjo

    bassjo Well-Known Member

    What I ended up doing was going back with my stock ROM for now. I'll back up everything with Titanium then play around with HyerDrive again later.
  14. zoom3r321

    zoom3r321 Active Member

    Is the Kingo method supposed to take longer than 20 minutes??
  15. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

    No more than about 5-10 minutes. You may want to try another computer.
  16. William T Riker

    William T Riker Well-Known Member

    bassjo likes this.
  17. zoom3r321

    zoom3r321 Active Member

    I can only assign 3gb of system of 4 to data? Why is this
  18. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

    It's really all you need. The ROM is only 1.5 GB or less. Even with Dalvik, you'll likely never approach 3 GB. I have mine set to 3 / 3 / 1. Works great.
    ryancmatchett likes this.
  19. SFWB

    SFWB Well-Known Member

    Ok. I've been reading here for a few days as I wait for my new Note 3 to arrive. It should get here Friday or Monday, depending on how much the holiday slows down UPS. I currently have a rooted Bionic, so I am "experienced" at least a little bit. This doesn't seem like a big deal, and the guide looks like it pretty much covers everything. I am just concerned because of the ramped-up anti-rooting efforts by VZ and this whole Knox security business. I use the phone for work and don't want to end up a with a brick at some point.

    I am thinking it's best to try and root it as soon as i get it set up and confirm that it works - if I decide to do actually do it.
  20. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

    SFWB, we were all very concerned that MJE firmware and new Knox "enhancements" would seal our root exploits, and I am personally worried that the coming KitKat update will lock us out of root altogether. VZW and Samsung seem bound and determined that no rooting and ROMming happens on "their" Note 3.

    'Scuse me, but I paid full retail for MY Note 3 and if I want to root & ROM it, then LET ME DO IT!

    Ranting aside, the MJE firmware still permits some root exploits. But if you're going to do it, I would certainly suggest rooting and ROMming before the KitKat OTA comes out. I'd rather have a KitKat custom ROM over a Sammy/Verizon KitKat OTA anyday.

    Just my 0.02 :)
    ryancmatchett likes this.
  21. SFWB

    SFWB Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply. I guess I won't be rooting. Given this aggressive anti-rooting stance by VZ and Samsung as you noted, for me there is just too much risk. I work in IT and get my trouble tickets via my cellphone. It just has to work, as I am on-call 24/7 at times. My company pays the monthly bill but it's my phone and it's on me if something happens (meaning I have to replace the phone, get it fixed, or otherwise resolve the problem no matter what).

    I have no use for custom ROMs or any of that stuff. I only want root to remove bloatware, use TiBU, etc. I can live without, I guess.
  22. dougdirt

    dougdirt Member

    To each his own.
    My experience, and I'm all in with rooting and romming, if you educate yourself enough you simply cannot brick this thing. Also the roms available are ALL rock solid. No "beta" BS.
    Great phone either way.
  23. tntlassiter

    tntlassiter Well-Known Member

    I can't get Safestrap to install. I put it on my SD card and go into the zip file to the install.zip files but when I click on it I get "Operation Failed". What am I doing wrong?

  24. ryancmatchett

    ryancmatchett VIP Member VIP Member

    Safestrap is app that functions like an program apk... So make sure that Unknown Sources are allowed in your settings, then try to select it again using a file Explorer to install. It is not a flashable file such as used in recovery, just an apk.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  25. tntlassiter

    tntlassiter Well-Known Member

    I understand how it is supposed to work but it wasn't working. Anyway I got it from another site and it says it is installed and I have installed recovery and it will not boot into recovery. It just boots up like regular. Not sure why? Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!

    Update: It finally worked. I am making a back up now. I will keep you informed.

    Update: Rooted and Rom'd (Hyperdrive) Working great so far with awesome battery life! Thanks Chief!
    The_Chief likes this.

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