[Virgin Mobile] [TUTORIAL] CM10.1 on VM GS3

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  1. other gus

    other gus Active Member


    First and foremost, the two warnings you’ll see in nearly every tutorial:
    1. I am NOT responsible for anything that happens to your phone while following these steps.
    2. I am ESPECIALLY not responsible for anything that happens to your phone if you do not fully read this tutorial. I’ve cut out all unimportant information, so it should not be too difficult.


    I’ve always hated the mood that those disclaimers set - they have always made me feel as if the instructor was against me...as if I was at fault for trying to learn and experiment with something new. That’s why I want to start off by saying that these steps worked near-perfectly for me on the first try. So just READ EVERYTHING and you’ll have CM10.1 in no time!


    This tutorial assumes that you are starting with:
    1.* A Samsung Galaxy S3 (“GS3”) with model number SPH-L710.
    2.* The Virgin Mobile stock ROM with firmware MD7.
    3. A working knowledge of tweaking Android phones.
    4. A lack of knowledge about tweaking the GS3 specifically.

    (*Check these things in your “about phone” section in settings. To check your firmware, simply look at your build number - “MD7” refers to the last three characters.)


    1. A custom recovery (ClockworkMod Recovery or “CWM”) installed on your GS3.
    2. CM10.1 installed on your GS3.
    3. Root on your GS3.


    This is the stuff most of you care about!
    1. Your previous CWM backups, all in working order. I'm investigating this at the moment but evanrobinson has run into a problem where his previous backups were moved to a different directory after installing and running CM10.1. I didn't run into this problem, though, which confuses the investigation a bit.


    Here’s the good stuff. You’ll need all of these files downloaded/programs installed. I suggest putting it all into a separate folder.

    In no particular order:
    1. Odin: Samsung’s software used to flash files onto your device. Works much like flashing from recovery, however there are differences on a technical level. Files flashed from Odin must be in a certain format, and oftentimes are made specifically for Odin. (Odin-flashable files will usually be .tar.md5 - or, tarballs with md5 checksums.) LINK: http://forum.xda-developers.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1168421&d=1341114315
    2. koush’s ClockworkMod Recovery: The custom recovery we’ll be installing. LINK: http://download2.clockworkmod.com/recoveries/recovery-clockwork-
    3. CM 10.1: Cyanogenmod 10.1 for the Sprint version (yes, the Sprint version) of the Galaxy S3. I suggest a Release Candidate (“RC”) build - the second-most stable type of build. The link will take you to the list of RC builds - download the latest one. LINK: CyanogenMod Downloads
    4. 7-zip: Needed to open .tar/.tar.md5 files. LINK: 7-Zip
    5. MD4 Baseband/Firmware/Modem zip: We’ll talk more about this later, as this is really the key component of the whole operation. LINK: Goo.im Downloads - Downloading Galaxy-S-fre3-MD4FirmwareModemAIO.zip
    6. punkmaxx’s Virgin Mobile modem file: Again, we’ll talk more about this later. LINK: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0nOJG6SOlkUQ3VfeE1RNy1zUjg/edit
    7. Google Apps (“gapps”): Relatively straightforward...the easiest part of this process. All the nice Google system apps. LINK: Goo.im Downloads - Downloading gapps-jb-20130301-signed.zip
    8. Team Epic's Root From Recovery zip: A zip used to get root. Super easy. LINK: http://www.epiccm.org/2012/06/team-epics-root-from-recovery.html


    Virgin Mobile uses Sprint’s network to provide service to its customers. The two carriers are very closely intertwined - so closely, in fact, that our GS3 is exactly the same as Sprint’s GS3 hardware-wise. (Look at the model numbers - they are both SPH-L710.)

    Where these phones differ, then, is in the software on the phone. And the root of all this difference is the firmware. Though the differences in firmware are subtle, they are just enough to prevent us from installing CM10.1 on our phones without some minor alteration. In short, what this alteration will do is make our GS3s the same as Sprint’s GS3 both hardware AND software-wise, while making sure our phones still work on the Virgin Mobile Network.

    #5 on the downloads list is the Sprint firmware MD4 - the latest Sprint firmware. (Our firmware is MD7, remember.) It is simply a zip file filled with nine other files which are essential to the functioning of the phone. In this zip, there are only a few files we are interested in.

    First are the files named sbl1.mbn thru sbl3.mbn. These files are the phone’s bootloader - the primitive software which loads the kernel/ROM. The Sprint MD4 firmware uses a Jellybean bootloader, while Virgin Mobile’s firmware uses a bootloader for ICS. If you were eager to install CM10.1 and attempted to do so, the “assert failed” errors you saw were because all versions of CM after 10.1 require a Jellybean bootloader - and, like I said, our phones have an ICS bootloader. Thus, we need Sprint’s Jellybean bootloader to install CM10.1.

    Second, and equally important, is the file called NON-HLOS.bin. This is the phone’s modem - the piece of software which handles the radios and thus your connectivity to your carrier. You currently are looking at the MD4 firmware zip, and so, the NON-HLOS.bin file you see is the modem for Sprint Galaxy S3s. Now open up download #6, or punkmaxx’s Virgin Mobile modem file. (Use 7-zip to open tar files.) You will see another file named NON-HLOS.bin - that is the modem for our phones.

    So if we were to attempt to install CM10.1 as our phones are right now - on the stock ROM and MD7 firmware - we would see “assert failed” errors. We’ve done our research, though, and we know that this is because our phones have an ICS bootloader while CM10.1 is made for the Sprint firmware MD4’s Jellybean bootloader. It then becomes apparent that maybe we need to install Sprint’s MD4 firmware, however common sense would tell us that this would affect our connection to our carrier...but again, we’ve done our research, and know where to find the modem file. I’ve been trying to guide everyone to the same conclusion, which should be pretty obvious by now...perhaps even too obvious to realize. I say “too obvious” because in the end all we really need to do is copy our modem file into the Sprint firmware and then install it!

    So that is all of the background related to and logic behind what we’ll be doing in this tutorial. We’ll start by installing recovery - then we’ll do some editing using 7zip and create a modified MD4 firmware - and lastly we’ll flash the firmware, CM10.1, and gapps.

    Sounds easy, right? Let’s get to it.

  2. other gus

    other gus Active Member

    STEP ONE: Installing a Custom Recovery
    (Adapted from CyanogenMod
    prboy1969, mtuser and spacepanda like this.
  3. other gus

    other gus Active Member


    punkmaxx, for his modem file - one of the essential components to making this all work!
    evanrobinson85, for helping with the recovery bug, the MMS fix, and numerous other problems, for being a guinea pig/crash test dummy of sorts, and for the unflagging support.
    Ping0, for help with the MMS fix. (whether he knows it or not...)
  4. punkmaxx

    punkmaxx Well-Known Member

    Mad props dude... I love a good workaround! Thanks for starting this tutorial!
    spacepanda likes this.
  5. i2f

    i2f Well-Known Member

    I'm on boost mobile right now and am thinking about getting an S3 in the somewhat distant future (maybe a few months from now). I've been following the phone's development on the two forums and was wondering if this method could be used for the boost mobile variant.

    I think what you're doing is really exciting! Thank you for posting this!
  6. other gus

    other gus Active Member

    it depends on whether the boost mobile GS3 is the same model. i suspect it is, but i can't actually find that info for some reason.

    if it is the same model, that's a good starting place. you'll then need to know about the boost mobile firmware.

    if it uses a JB bootloader, then you don't have to do any of the heavy lifting this tutorial will cover, and you'll be able to install CM10.1 pretty much out of the box (after installing a recovery...and making a backup of course!)

    if it has an ICS bootloader, then i'd bet (i'd bet - NOT i know, hahah) that this same method would work for you - all you'd need is the boost mobile modem.
  7. i2f

    i2f Well-Known Member

    oOoo! Thanks! I wish I had the phone right now to play around with it all. I'm definitely gonna keep my eye on this forum for more development. Good luck!!
  8. evanrobinson85

    evanrobinson85 Well-Known Member

    great job on the tutorial so far. I'm running sprints cm 10.1 as we speak. I'm going to send you a bit more info in a pm.
  9. FatalIll

    FatalIll Well-Known Member

    I quickly read through this, I just wanted to know if using g60's CWM was an option?
  10. lordmage

    lordmage Well-Known Member

    at the moment i would wait. first he mentions the recovery bug in "what won't work section" but then thanks a user for helping with it. you could backup your sdcard and try anyway. but i would advise waiting for a more defined answer
  11. evanrobinson85

    evanrobinson85 Well-Known Member

    I don't believe g60's recovery will work. at least I haven't had any luck with it flashing any Sprint roms. I use the recovery from austrie's root guide, or you could use the recovery from this tutorial when it's complete.

    The recovery bug is more of a little hiccup than anything. there is a very easy work around for it. no alarms there. you could still flash fully working Sprint roms with out error. you just have to do a backup on the sd card instead of the internal sd.
  12. punkmaxx

    punkmaxx Well-Known Member

    4G too?
  13. evanrobinson85

    evanrobinson85 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure to be honest. I don't get 4g anywhere near my city. someone else will have to verify if 4g works.
  14. evanrobinson85

    evanrobinson85 Well-Known Member

    other gus, I got MMS working. sent you a pm with a how to guide. also, you do not lose root when you flash to cm 10.1, it is built into the cm settings. hit menu, system settings, then scroll all the way down to # super user. ALL PROBLEMS RESOLVED. :p now we need punkmaxx or g60 to wrap it all up with a nice bow and put it in a flashable zip file.
  15. timbck2

    timbck2 Active Member

    Thanks to the information in this thread, I got CM 10.1 installed and working on my Virgin Mobile Galaxy S3, which I had already rooted and installed TWRP Recovery on (I'm not a fan of CWM) using the instructions in another thread. I ran into a few problems with the Play Store, but managed to work them out.

    EDIT: I just realized something...I no longer have the Virgin Mobile apps since I installed the CM 10.1 ROM (well of course not, it's a Sprint ROM). The only one I care about is the Visual Voicemail...any ideas how I might be able to get it back?
  16. punkmaxx

    punkmaxx Well-Known Member

    so... can i flash all the partitions in the sprint MD4 odin update (with the VM modem)... Or should i delete everything in the ZIP but the sb1-3.mbn and the Virgin Mobile NON_HLOS.BIN?

    EDIT: Still getting assert get prop errors after flashing the sprint MD4 bootloader... I'm gonna just delete those lines from the script and see if it installs... (but this may be a clue that My bootloader flash wasn't successful... I flashed it multiple times though...)
    Anybody Have any thoughts?

    Flashed without the "assert" lines in script...
    Flashed fine...
    Couldn't get more than 1x signal...
    any thoughts?

    EDIT: Nevermind I just make too many ZIPs and i was flashing my MD7 fail-safe flashable instead of the modified MD4 flashable... All good
  17. punkmaxx

    punkmaxx Well-Known Member

    any chance you could PM me this guide as well?
  18. timbck2

    timbck2 Active Member

    OK, here's what I've found so far. The Virgin Visual Voicemail app isn't available for download from anywhere (at least I couldn't find it). Even if it were, it probably wouldn't work with the Sprint CM 10.1. So I thought I'd try setting up Google Voice. Turns out they don't support Virgin. Then I tried YouMail - same thing. The reason being, Virgin doesn't allow busy/no answer call forwarding, so it isn't likely that *any* 3rd party voicemail solution will work. So it's back to the stock ROM for me, at least for now.
  19. WhiteHatHacker

    WhiteHatHacker New Member

    I was able to get everything working on this EXCEPT the 4G LTE. In order for my mobile data to work I HAD to change the Network Mode from "LTE/CDMA/EvDo" to "CDMA/EvDo auto". I can only use 3g. Has anybody solved this problem?
  20. lordmage

    lordmage Well-Known Member

    thats might be due to missing modem files did you replace them when you flashed the sprint rom also could be due to APN point information
  21. evanrobinson85

    evanrobinson85 Well-Known Member

    not a problem. will do.

    edit: sent
  22. evanrobinson85

    evanrobinson85 Well-Known Member

    you also MAY want to try a cm 10.1 nightly Rom. they are still fixing things everyday.
  23. WhiteHatHacker

    WhiteHatHacker New Member

    I did replace the modem file. For apns I did a straight backup of my apns when stock, then restored them when in cm.
  24. HiiiPowers

    HiiiPowers Well-Known Member

    I'm on boost and I'm going to be doing this so I can get cm 10.1 up and running so could you please explain how you backed up your apns or like to a guide I want 4g also and it would be much appreciated
    i2f likes this.
  25. WhiteHatHacker

    WhiteHatHacker New Member

    I used APN backup and restore from the play store. You can back up the apns unrooted. Then make sure You move the XML file before you factory wipe before flash any ROMs.
    i2f likes this.

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