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1st crack at rooting - advice please - 4ext and safe mode

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by kolofan, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. kolofan

    kolofan Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I have been having real memory issues with my htc desire recently so i have decided to go down the root route. So far it has gone OK, a massive thanks the the forum members here. this site is great.

    So far i have managed to complete the S-Off part, rooted, installed 4ext and busy box.

    I followed the 4ext recovery guide and seemed to successfully make a backup so that i can move onto putting on a new rom and increasing my memory.

    My question is about the following warning that 4ext has shown a couple of times:

    you are currently in safe mode. that means that some of your internal partitions are not accessible. Please wipe all partitions and then reboot recovery!

    I haven't done any partitioning (to my knowledge) so i'm not sure what this message means. My overall goal is to install a nice light Rom that allows me to have all my apps with no more memory issues. a nicer interface will be a bonus. Please can someone let me know if i need to do anything with the above message before i get into putting a new rom on my phone?

    Also, if for any reason things go wrong or i just want to go back to my current state - i assume that when i start putting on a new rom, the backup i make with 4ext will be kept safe? should i take it off my phone and keep it somewhere safe?

    Many thanks in advance for your help

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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Hi Kolofan, and welcome to AF :)

    A few people have had that 4Ext warning for no obvious reason (I've had it myself, but only when I have really repartitioned my internal storage). In some cases just rebooting the recovery fixes it.

    Otherwise, download the 4Ext recovery updater app from 4EXT Development - or the paid recovery control app if you prefer - and update to a more recent version and see whether that helps (I tend to run the latest test version, but you may prefer to be less adventurous ;)).

    The backup you made should be safe as long as you don't wipe your SD card, but it's not a bad idea to keep a copy on a computer as well (I keep a few recent backups on my laptop for insurance - was useful once when a sd card developed a problem). But if there is any problem with a new ROM, just restore the backup and you're fine. As long as your card has the space you can keep multiple backups on it if you want.
  3. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    Your phone has internal partitions as follows (/System 250MB, /Cache 40MB, /Data 147MB) /Data is where all your user apps and data is stored. Installing a ROM with a smaller system will not, on it's own, give you more space because the partition sizes remain the same.

    Your first step towards gaining more space should be to read this:

    When you are ready your options are:

    1. Partition your sd card & install a ROM that supports APPS2SD (least risky option).
    2. Install a smaller ROM & Re-partition your phone (more risky option).
    3. Both of the above

    It is down to personal preference which way you go but make sure you read the above link & understand what you are doing. If you don't understand just ask.
    Tyseyh likes this.
  4. kolofan

    kolofan Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thanks both, i am slowly getting there. i have done my back up, backed that up, and i have also fully backed up my sd card.

    I am planning on installing "MildWild MW-4 Based on Redux2 TEST" from the XDA page.

    I have read the "[FAQ]ROOT MEMORY: a2sd+ / partitions" but am unsure on the order to go in. I think that i
    1. put the mildwild rom on
    2. move apps off the sd card so i don't lose them
    3. create the partition
    But i'm not sure - is this right?

    I have saved all my data and i don't have anything on the phone that i can't get back. Is there an easier way to do this if i am happy to end up with a phone that is "new" and then i go ahead and load on stuff i want?
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    I would partition the card before installing the ROM. If you are going to use the a2sd built into the ROM, that's the simplest way. Then when you install the ROM everything will be automatic.

    Partitioning is likely to wipe the card, so a full backup of the card first was a good idea :)

    Once the card is partitioned it really is as simple as:

    * back up all data you wish to keep (e.g. with Titanium Backup)
    * copy the ROM to your sd card
    * go into recovery. Take a backup from there is you haven't already.
    * do a factory reset from recovery
    * select "install zip from sd card". Select the ROM zip.
    * reboot and restore data/set up new ROM.

    Don't try to restore system settings on a different ROM, just user apps and data.

    When you've done it a few times it becomes almost automatic :)
  6. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    Create the partition first as this will often trash any data on the card. You won't have any problems with your current ROM using a partitioned card. It just won't detect the partition.

    Back your apps up with Titanium Back up from google play.

    Back up your SMS using one of the many free apps. I use this one https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.infolife.smsbackup&feature=search_result

    Ensure contacts & calendars are synced to google.

    Place the ROM zip on your sd (but not in a file), boot into recovery, wipe data (factory reset), wipe cache, choose install zip, reboot phone.

    Set your phone up with google account again. Download Titanium & batch restore missing apps with data for the apps you want.
  7. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    Hadron obviously types faster than I do!
  8. kolofan

    kolofan Lurker
    Thread Starter

    thanks again guys - did the partition (found a very useful link on youtube by someone called SuperLinks123). Now moving onto the rom part now...
  9. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    Trying out ROMs is much more fun. Don't panic if it takes a while to boot up first time around. It's just building up the Dalvik cache.

    Let us know how you get on!
  10. kolofan

    kolofan Lurker
    Thread Starter

    so here is what happened...

    using 4ext I did the factory reset and then wiped the cache and dalvik. Both were OK. Then I installed the rom from zip which went OK. Then I went to reboot.

    I got another safe mode warning from 4ext despite doing the factory reset and having been through the partition process as per my previous posts. I just carried on.

    Then it said usb brick detected and asked if I wanted it fixed? I hit yes and it rebooted. It is currently working away, hopefully it is all ok.
  11. kolofan

    kolofan Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Looks like it hasn't worked. it's been an hour and it hasn't moved from the black screen with the pink circle (T mobile boot logo?)

    Any ideas?
  12. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    First thing - pull the battery (to shut down), return to recovery and restore your nandroid. That will get the phone working again.

    What did you use to partition the card? We normally recommend GParted, though I believe that 4Ext recovery will do a decent job (most recoveries risk misaligned partitions if you use them to partition a card). What you should not use is Minitool Partition Wizard - it frequently causes problems, but is often recommended (I think because it's the only thing the person recommending it knows). I don't know, but could imagine that if there's a problem with the ext partition it could stop the phone booting, because the ROM will be trying to install the dalvik cache to that partition.

    Re. the 4Ext warnings, have you tried updating 4Ext?
    kolofan likes this.
  13. kolofan

    kolofan Lurker
    Thread Starter

    i took out the battery, checked i could get to recovery (which i could) and then i tried installing the zip file again.

    It worked! now have the new rom on there and it is picking up my contacts and emails from google no problem.

    MASSIVE THANKS to Hadron and Nicka3200, you have helped me immensely! Now to have a play and see what can be done with the 'new' phone!
  14. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert


    With reference to the 4ext safe mode I had problems with 4ext recently after changing my hboot. It wouldn't come out of safe mode and despite formatting my phone partitions it wouldn't detect any of them. I fastboot flashed CWM and problem solved. I know it's the current recommended recovery but I find it a little flaky.

    As for the MW ROM I couldn't get MW Oxy to boot on my phone so gave up. I didn't have an ext partition so that may have been it.
    Hadron likes this.
  15. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    A quick test for you to carry out. Reinstall Titanium and launch it. At the bottom of the overview page you should see what space you have available on system, internal and sd. If there is another field for your ext partition then you have a working sd partition.
  16. kolofan

    kolofan Lurker
    Thread Starter

    i loaded titanium and it says the following - i have a 32gb card and i set 1gb aside for the partition using Gparted.
    system rom - 262mb (161 free)
    internal - 154 mb (138 free)
    SD card - 30.8gb (30.7 free)
    sd card (a2sd) - 1.03gb (953 free).

    Looks like i'm in the clear right?
  17. nicka3200

    nicka3200 Android Expert

    kolofan likes this.
  18. kolofan

    kolofan Lurker
    Thread Starter

  19. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Hmm, that is strange. Add in the number of people who report entering safe mode without having changed hboot and it's a bit worrying.

    I've searched the 4Ext thread at XDA, and the only people reporting it there are people who have changed hboot. For those cases it seems that formatting the partitions using fastboot works. But it is a real annoyance, since this doesn't happen with other recoveries (though they have had other problems).

    If it happens to me I'll be sure to note the circumstances and report it to Maxx, though I think most of his work is going on the next-gen recovery at the moment.

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