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[Boost Mobile] [GUIDE][MK5][WIP]Rooting MK5 4.3 for Newbies!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by TheBritton, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. TheBritton

    TheBritton Resident Galaxy Cat
    Thread Starter

    This Guide is designed for complete newcomers including those who have acquired new devices shipped with MK5. This Guide may seem reiterative to those familiar with the rooting world ;)


    Information about Knox:
    [Q&A][i9505] Knox Q&A / Discussion Thread - ask questions here! - xda-developers
    [FAQ] KNOX and you - xda-developers

    Known Facts About KNOX:

    • Upgrading to newer Samsung firmware MK5 will upgrade the bootloader to KNOX bootloader. this will give an additional 2 lines in download mode about KNOX status.
    • Not possible to downgrade to KNOX-disabled firmwares/bootloaders without tripping the KNOX flag (An attempt sets 0x1) (even though some people state, downgrade is possible when omitting the bootloader file in a firmware package: see http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2444671, not confirmed)
    • Even if you flash a KNOX-enabled firmware via Odin (e.g. the latest fw) Knox will be set to 0x1
    • Flashing unsigned or modified images via Odin will set KNOX to 0x1
    • Once the KNOX flag gets set to 0x1 there is no way to set it back (that anyone has found yet anyway!) Samsung stated, resetting the flag is impossible
    • KNOX is mandatory and can not be completely removed
    • Warranty Void is no counter, it is a flag (0,1) it was never seen 0x2 or so
    • Mirroring all partitions from a clean 0x0-Device to a 0x1-Device via JTAG produces an unfunctional device (reversible by restoring the 0x1 partitions on the phone)
    • KNOX bootloader verifies signatures of kernels and recoveries. No custom ones possible without voiding the KNOX warranty
    • If the KNOX warranty void line says 0x1 then you cannot use KNOX software as your device has been flagged as insecure. By this I mean that if your workplace / company supports bring your own device to work for corporate emails etc and they use KNOX to keep security your device will not allow this. You are still able to use future Samsung firmware releases with the KNOX flag 0x1.
    • with the new KNOX bootloader root will work, however rooting will trip the KNOX flag

    ROOTING MK5 4.3:

    Make sure you have the Samsung USB drivers installed on your computer.
    You may find those here: Samsung_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones_v1.5.14.0.exe

    First thing you'll need to root this phone is a custom recovery. We will be using Philz Touch Recovery. It performs beautifully on this device and is packed with features. You will need to download to your computer the latest tar here: [SPH-L710][CWM ADV.] OFFICIAL PhilZ-Touch Recovery 6.0 [11.24.13]

    If you don't have Odin installed on your computer, do that now. You can find Odin here: [ tool ] Odin 3.04 - xda-developers

    Now you're going to want to download this file to your SD Card:
    SuperSU (CWM installable zip) found here: [2014.02.06] SuperSU v1.93 - xda-developers

    You have downloaded and installed Odin and Samsung USB drivers listed above? You've downloaded the Philz Recovery .tar file to your computer and you've place the SuperSU file on your SD card? Okay, great!

    Now, let's flash the custom recovery, which will be Philz Recovery, on your device! And let's root this thing!

    1. Turn off your Boost Samsung Galaxy S3
    2. On your PC, launch the ODIN.exe file you unzipped from the prerequisites.
    3. On ODIN, click the PDA section and select the Philz Recovery .tar you downloaded from the link above. Uncheck Auto Reboot! Make sure NO partition options are checked!
    4. Place phone in download mode by holding Volume Down + Home while powering up. Hold until confirmation screen appears. Confirm by pressing Volume +.
    5. Connect your phone to the PC via USB cable
    6. Check ODIN. A small box on the upper left should turn blue and the dialog box must display "Added!!"
    7. Select "Start" and wait for it to finish. After it is complete, Odin will say PASS! After you see this, disconnect the USB cable from your phone and pull your battery out of your phone.
    8. Place the battery back in. While holding the VOLUME UP + Home button, while powering up and hold it until you see the blue text that says "Booting into recovery". As soon as you see this blue text let go of all the buttons!
    9. We will now install SuperSU with the custom recovery. Click on Install in your custom recovery (Philz) and navigate to where you placed the file listed earlier which will be the SuperSU zip. Assuming the installation is successful, you will then want to select Reboot System from your Philz Recovery menu.
    10. You should now be rooted! I assume you are familiar with what rooting does so there is no need to explain how SuperSU works. ENJOY YOUR ROOTED PHONE!

    PLEASE NOTE: If you haven't updated to MK5 4.3 yet, you can do so by flashing jdsingle's Knox-Free MK5 ROM which does NOT contain Knox bootloader or apps found here: [ROM][MK5][STOCK][ODEXED/DEODEXED]- Virgin Mobile/Boost Mobile

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  2. TheBritton

    TheBritton Resident Galaxy Cat
    Thread Starter


    This root guide was originally over in the Virgin Mobile Galaxy S3 All Things Root forum.
    Since it is identical to the Boost version, it has been copied over here for you guys.

    This is a guide for complete "newbies" so it goes into detail about using Odin, installing recoveries, flashing roms, etc. More experienced users may not need this guide but it is here nonetheless and I hope it helps people who are suffering from the "Knox woes" ;)

    RuutNuBe, smith058, luis32744 and 4 others like this.
  3. ameleo

    ameleo Lurker

    Works like a charm. I was puling out my hair trying to get rid of KNOX. thanks again.
    TheBritton likes this.
  4. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Remember, the bootloader has been bestowed by Samsung on your device for all eternity, but thanks to Britton and JD, you can run Knox-free in terms of it trying to interfere, via the associated Knox apps, so long as you don't try to use a .tar file with Odin to restore a non-Knox bootloader (contained in "return to stock" files for MD7 and MG2).
    TheBritton likes this.
  5. ameleo

    ameleo Lurker

    Will Kies 3 affect root?
  6. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    If you could please clarify, but from what I think you are asking, once you are rooted with custom recovery, Kies shouldn't even recognize your phone. My recommendation is to only use Kies to get the Samsung drivers onto your computer, then uninstall it. For rooted users, it is useless, so will just become a resource hog on your computer. If you truly ever need it again, it can always be reinstalled!
    TheBritton likes this.
  7. ameleo

    ameleo Lurker

    Thanks for the heads up. My phone was rooted before I connected to Kies to back it up. That's when Kies updated it to 4.3 and I lost root. I think I'll stay away from it and use titanium back up.
    struckn likes this.
  8. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    First off, I swear by Titanium as THE number one root app, it is beyond indispensable! Second, from what I can tell, any "feature" offered by Kies, for the most part, is really geared towards regular users anyway, not rooted users, which is why it gives the rooted users issues in general or is worthless, which as stated before is my belief. Users who are on the ball have been able to make stock .tar files utilizing Kies in the past, but I don't know if that will be the case anymore now that Knox is in play. Perhaps the one benefit from the .tar file aspect will be to provide something that will reverse a hard-brick caused by Kies fighting an attempt at replacing it with an older bootloader.
  9. wetbiker7

    wetbiker7 Extreme Android User

    Since it has already been added to the STICKY SECTION I won't be adding it to the ROMs/MOds thread. If you guys think I should add it please let me now and I will do so.

    Nice work Britton! :)

    @ Struckn, I'm with you concerning Titanium Backup. I use it daily! lol :D
  10. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Expert

    The only question I have is... has Boost or VM started shipping S3's with it already pre-loaded with the Knox'd 4.3 firmware? Is that something that we should be concerned about?

    I know that on the PS3 scene, you're basically done if the system you bought shipped with a newer-than 3.55 firmware if you wanted to ever go the custom firmware route. Given how Knox seems intent on preventing downgrades, I wonder if the same situation will happen here, too.
  11. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    The VM website touts this phone as being on 4.3, so I would assume "yes" they are shipping that way now, but otherwise no different than if you accepted the OTA in terms of rooting/customizing (as in everything is still on the table, just don't try to downgrade the actual bootloader to anything not Knox).
  12. wetbiker7

    wetbiker7 Extreme Android User

    Mamma said Knox you out, I gonna Knox you out! LMAO!!! Just couldn't hep maself. :D

    struckn likes this.
  13. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Thanks for a much needed laugh on my way out the door for work!!!
    wetbiker7 likes this.
  14. wetbiker7

    wetbiker7 Extreme Android User

    LOL!! Right on bro. Have a great day at work man. :)

    EDIT: The song should actually say Boost gonna Knox you out, Sammy said Knox you out, Boost gonna Knox you out..... Sammy said Knox you out..... LMAO!!!!!!
    struckn likes this.
  15. alpha2k

    alpha2k Android Expert

    Ok just makeing sure I have this correct. I am getting a Boost mobile S3 a week from today, so I wanna make doubly DOUBLY sure I have eveerything straight so as I don't get knoxified.

    From my reading, and limited knowledge of having this issue since I am currently on an s2, I just had a few noobie questions.

    -Useing Phils recovery to flash roms will not trigger the knox counter at all....IE: I can flash cm11, or slimbean, or beanstalk, or my preferred rom, useing phils recovery without worry of triggering knox?

    -I can flash this stock deodexed or odexed rom, via phils recovery and reboot and have stock s3 touchwiz, without haveing triggered the knox counter as well? (at least that's what I am getting from reading this anyways)

    Lastly, until I know a bit more about knox and what bootloaders/recoveries to use that won't triggers knox, what signs should I look for so as to not trigger knox.

    Sorry if the questions seems a bit newbiefied, I am not new to rooting nor flashing roms via recovery or odin or mobile odin, it's just with knox introduced into the game it's something new and just that I haven't learned stuff about it yet, that's why I ask, and thanks to these forums and xda forums, I have learned SO much over this last few months, it's amazing how much I've learned, it makes my head swim sometimes just thinking about it all lol.

    My plans (for now) and that's if I'm understanding this all correctly, are to flash thsi rom odexed or deodexed (probably deodexed) then reboot to it, and then keep it as that. Once there I will probably flash an aosp rom of choice, since I am partial to aosp personally, then if I have any issues at all I can just reboot to recovery, flash this deodexed rom again from recovery and start all over from square one again. This will be a base to go from at least, considering it has no knox involved.
  16. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Knox is not a counter, it is a flag. Once the flag is tripped, it is irreversible. Therefore, if you have a phone with the Knox bootloader, your flag is either at zero or one. What trips the flag and sets it to one is the presence of a custom kernel being flashed. Root users generally don't care about tripping Knox because rooting has always voided warranty anyways, now Samsung just has a way to prove it. As far as I am concerned, rooting is always the way to go with a new device, the pros far outweigh the cons. Really, the only con I can even think of is the warranty void, and I am super careful with my phones in the first place, so non-issue for me.

    When your phone arrives, you will want to check for Knox regardless via download mode. You may get lucky and they will ship you a model that hasn't updated yet. Either way, you need to know what bootloader is on your phone. In download mode, there will be a line at the bottom of the script referring to "Warranty Bit" followed by either a zero or a one, this is the Knox flag. If that line is missing, Knox is not present-don't accept an OTA if this is the case! You will get Knoxed up by the OTA.

    Whether or not you have Knox, it is perfectly safe to use Odin to push Philz Touch as your custom recovery. Make sure to put the SuperSU .zip file on your SD card first, because you will need to flash that once Philz is installed. At that point, you will be stock/rooted, and can go back into recovery and install any ROM you want. Don't forget to make ROM backups. I would highly recommend keeping jdsingle76's stock/Knox-free ROM on your SD card no matter what so that you have a fall-back if things go south; put it on your SD card when you put the SuperSU on, prior to installing Philz.

    If you do end up getting a phone with the Knox bootloader, you absolutely must stay away from using Odin for pushing any file meant to return the phone to a previous version of stock, i.e. with the MG2 or MD7 bootloader. And completely disregard any advice to try the MD4 firmware from Sprint as well, very bad news in the Knox scenario. MD4 modem is fine to use, modems are independent of bootloader but unfortunately use the same nomenclature, so make sure you note the distinction. Many users on XDA especially can't seem to wrap their heads around this difference. Flashing any ROM you want will be fine because there is no firmware/bootloader involved.

    Please let me know if you need any clarification or any questions in general!
  17. alpha2k

    alpha2k Android Expert

    Great and no I get the gist of it all, I am just wanting to steer clear of knox at all costs if at all possible, and if I DO have it I wanna make sure I don't trigger it....if at all possible, that's why I was asking if the phils recovery is a what I call "safe knox" recovery IE: If I do indeed have a phone that has been updated (I am going to assume it is already) and does have knox, me useing phils recovery won't trigger the knox is what I was wondering, as I don't wanna trigger it. So then I could install phils recovery, reboot, then flash preferred rom.

    The rest I kinda gathered, such as the roms not having bootloaders and such.

    As for the flashing I have ALWAYS and probably WILL always avoid flashing with odin and try my hardest to use a recovery method or a mobile odin method (in that order) to flash roms/recoveries etc.....
    With this Epic 4g touch I have I do EVERYTHING via the recovery, so as to not trigger the triangle. Even though I can use an app called triangle away (except it doesn't work in kitkat), I know I can use this app, I just would rather not bothering with it if I don't have to.....I guess I'm a perfectionist at heart and don't like doing multiple steps if i don't have to, all while keeping it as simplified as possible.

    I currently have a 32GB sd card and have all the roms/recoveries/kernels/modems etc...on the sd card and I being a techy/geek that I am, do things in multiple redundancy....I have a copy of that sd card on my pc as well. I flash everything from the recovery off the sd card, unless it can't be done, then I revert to mobile odin, and if all else fails, pc odin....but in this case having knock on the phone, I will omit that from my thought process right now :).

    I also realize that if knox gets triggered it doesn't affect the phone and how it works, I am just trying NOT to trigger it. Once triggered I guess all the gloves are off then, because it won't matter anyways.

    The reason I asked about phils recovery, is because sometimes but I guess not always some recoveries also come packed with a custom kernel as well, at least I remember that being the case. If so then I wanna make sure I don't get a hold of said recovery that may trigger knox.
  18. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    It is definitely clear that you have done a lot of research on your upcoming phone and are far from being a noob! Big thumbs up. Unfortunately, in the scenario of a phone with the Knox bootloader, rooting it is guaranteed to trip the Knox flag. Realistically, since it sounds like you are an experienced root user in the first place, if your phone comes with Knox installed, just give that thing the middle finger, push custom recovery, root it, and make that phone your own in terms of choice of ROM and customization. Knox won't interfere with the actual usage of the phone, as you've already mentioned.
  19. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Also, I suspect you have a better than even chance of receiving a phone that hasn't been Knoxed up yet. Most likely it will want you to OTA upon initial activation, since it has probably been sitting in a warehouse since before the official 4.3 update started rolling out. When I bought mine a few months ago (thank God it was while 4.1.2 was still the official firmware) I received an immediate OTA to upgrade from MD7 to MG2. Just be ready to hit deny if that is the case. Once rooted and running a custom ROM, your phone will not even be detected as needing the "upgrade" to official 4.3; additionally, Kies shouldn't recognize the phone in a customized state either, so it won't try to sneak Knox on you when you plug into your computer via USB.
  20. alpha2k

    alpha2k Android Expert

    LOL, well said with the finger :).....I love it.

    Yeah I'm fairly expereinced at this stuff, just not exactly the programmer type, more along the lines of hardware, so I like to research and be as prepared as possible.

    As for rooting, I think your correct.....getting a custom recovery on the phone is gonna be a bugger of a trick without triggering knock.....I may give mobile odin a shot, since I have nothing ta lose, I just need a tar file for phils recovery, then I can mobile odin that bad boy without triggering knox, at least in theory that is, given it is the same as the triangle method, using mobile odin shouldn't trigger it....then again who knows.

    Only thing I worry about is getting a faulty hardware of a phone, in that case it would NOT be good for me.

    I may just test it with stock Touchwiz until I see everything is working correctly, gps/wifi/camera etc....then I know for certain the hardware end of it works as it is spose to. Thenonce I get that sorted and see it's working, I'll give mobile odin a shot and all else fails, I just get knoxified and deal with it.
  21. alpha2k

    alpha2k Android Expert

    I'm buying it off of amazon.com, so chances are it'll be updated....but I'm crossing my fingers it won't be.....if not first thing I'll be doing is deny, custom recovery and then root.

    Won't be but an hour of having the phone before I do that.

    First thing I'm doing is download mode, not even gonna do a setup at all.

    I'm downloading all the files needed right now, so it'll be a fast process when I finally get the phone in my hot lil hands.
  22. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Got my fingers crossed for you as well! Good luck!
  23. smith058

    smith058 Android Expert

    I would have to say chances are it will not have the new update already installed. .. the phone sits in a box with the battery out... As long as the phone was not made from scratch in the last couple weeks don't sweat it... just don't except the ota that will pop up almost immediately after it connects to wifi or data.
    wetbiker7 likes this.
  24. wetbiker7

    wetbiker7 Extreme Android User

    Darn skippy because that's gonna be one of the 1st things it's going to want to do.
  25. alpha2k

    alpha2k Android Expert

    Does the ota timer itself? Like it nags you every 5mins about an update type of thing.

    Also I'm not sure on kies. I have it installed, but if it is going to auto update I don't want to even use it, will the phone drivers stay put one you uninstall kies? I figured if you uninstalled kies it would in turn uninstall things it installed as well.

    I have uninstalled Kies, and it uninstalled the drivers it had.
    I found USB drivers listed for the Epic 4g Touch on samsungs site, but under the Samsung S3 there were no drivers, it said somthing about no data available or somthing.
    So will these USB drivers I have instaleld also work on the Samsung S3?

Samsung Galaxy S3 Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S3 release date was May 2012. Features and Specs include a 4.8" inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GB RAM, Exynos 4412 Quad processor, and 2100mAh battery.

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