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[International / GSM] Rooting/Not rooted

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Lohung, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Lohung

    Lohung Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    ok, i am a NEW smartphone user all together let alone to android. So i know nothing about Rooting. I read up on it a little bit and got some really good info and understanding on what rooting is and how it works and benefits/bad bad things.

    Now there is are few apps that make me want to root my phone and 1 big app that, is the Titanium Backup. I am big on backing up and managing stuff so i really want this program.

    So my main concern is totally screwing something up in the long run. Deleting somethign i shoudlnt or having a misguided friend snooping on my phone cause they have never owned an android and doing something stupid.

    My question would be, Can i root my GN, install titanium backup (and possibly others) and "UN-root" my phone. I dont know if thats possible.

    From what i understand rooting is gaining Super Admin on the phone and gaining access to the root folder/kernel. So i am wondering if that can be toggled back and lock that stuff back up lol. This way i have the apps i want and the security i want. I know little to nothing about how Linux works so this is probably a stupid question to some.


    Thanks for your help guys
     



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  2. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    Lohung,

    Well, you'll have to "keep" root permissions to continue to allow a root-only app like Titanium Backup to actually work.

    You can download / install it, but without root, it won't work anymore.

    You do get to control whether or not an app can use root permissions. This is done by the Superuser app that also gets installed with the su binary. What will happen is that when an app or program wants root access, the Superuser app will ask you if you want to allow it to have root access (and whether or not to remember your response).

    We can't stop you from yourself, of course ;), but if you exercise caution before changing some system-related setting, you should be fine (and the GNex is a very forgiving device--it should be very difficult to actually hard brick it).

    Cheers!
     
    Lohung likes this.
  3. Lohung

    Lohung Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter


    thanks for the help. i have another one now that spins off of yours. All the reading i have done i am still a little ignorant about this, some thing just come from experience and questions.

    I am mainly worried about changing something that i didnt know i should have never touched. Like your 80 grand parents opening that email that is obviously a virus.. they just didnt know. its not like i can go and tinker on my phone and accidentally Screw it over. I will KNOW when i am somewhere where i shouldn't be and thus exercise caution? see my problem is i keep thinking of this like a computer where i am jumping in and out of folders constantly on my drive moving stuff around. I am assuming this isnt the case with a phone? Also i assume that i will already know what programs want root? Common sense should tell me "this developer said nothing about root access" and also "this program as some horrible ratings no way"

    i am just being extra cautious being new to smartphone altogether.
    thanks
     
  4. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    Yeah, I totally get where you are coming from and I think that's a good, healthy point-of-view. These are small computers that just happen to be able to make phone calls ;). So, exercising all due caution is to be commended.

    Now, the Titanium Backup program itself is a pretty powerful root app, since it will do much more than just backup and restore things (which, for system apps, can be very dangerous). So, if you just limit yourself to just the backup and restore function of your user apps with TiBu, you should be fine. If you start altering system-related apps and components without knowing the impacts and consequences, then you are playing with fire (recoverable fire in this case, but fire nonetheless).

    Remember, you will still have to grant an app root rights, so you are still in control of which app can have root access. But if you do grant access and especially if you tell the Superuser whitelist app to remember that choice, you still must be cognizant of whatever subsequent actions you take using said root powers.

    Knowledge is power in this case, so keep doing what you are doing by reading and researching things. You'll also always have the good folks here at AF to bounce a question or two off of to help you determine if what you are about to do is potentially dangerous or not.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers!
     
    Lohung likes this.
  5. Lohung

    Lohung Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter


    kool thanks you been helpful.

    The only thing you didnt answer would be the general browsing. I think i might just be me not relating my concern clearly. You know how you can browse your pc content? Just go into explorer and tinker? Can you do that with the phone? OR, am is it i just need to be aware of what i am allowing apps to control, and then when using that said app i am aware of what i am DOING IN THE APP. Again, i ask this cause i dont want to be like... of crap... i deleted this while my phone was in my pocket!!!! Butt delete if you will lol. or if someone is surfing through my stuff just randomly open a "folder" and play with settings like gpu clocking and temp blah blah blah like you can do on a PC.

    i dont know if this makes sense to you. I get the part. Be careful what apps you allow root access to, be careful on how you use those apps like TiBu, or changing the way your entire UI looks cause that could cause problems. I am just worried about opening a door, that i didnt know was shut before, and throwing rocks in it just to find out it was a china shop.

    also i dont know if i asked htis before but i just thought about it. Root is reversible correct? Just, the apps you have "rooted" will not longer function the way it should. is that correct? Kind of sucks, you would think like a computer you can "run as admin" like installing a new Anti virus, then logging out of SU and going back to the next level of user down. So the app still works the way you wanted to but you just cant make any new changes to the Root directory accept through that 1 program.

    by the way.. you have been very good at helping.. kudos
     
    scary alien likes this.
  6. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    Lohung,

    Oh, sorry, I see what you mean about the file-browsing thing...

    If you ever try to change or monkey with a system-related file, you will have to do something very explicit to do this. Even then, you are usually prompted with some pop-ups / confirmations, so it would be very difficult for you to "pocket dial", if you will, a change to some system-related component that would have adverse effects.

    And yes, you can un-root...the methods for doing so vary by device, though... Also, remember, you'll have to explicitly grant an apps use of root when it requests it. If you don't tell it to remember that setting, you'll be prompted each time that an app is asking for root/superuser access.

    When you un-root or deny root access, an app's particular root functionality will just not work--but that doesn't mean the entire app will cease to function, just the parts that need root.

    Hope that helps (and that I covered everything this time ;)).

    Cheers!
     
  7. Lohung

    Lohung Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    nice.. 1 last question... small one. if i tell it to remember to allow root.. is it for just that apps like TiBu.. or will it just auto allow all apps asking?
     
  8. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    Oh, finally an easy one! :) ;)

    Its just that one particular, specific application :).

    You'll be fine...its actually not that "scary", IMO...

    Let us know if you have any other questions, too, its no problem whatsoever.

    Cheers, Lohung, and Happy Almost New Year!
     
  9. Lohung

    Lohung Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    lol thanks man.. now i just need to figure out how to root it lol... I member reading something about not using a normal way because it will brick it.. so... *sigh* more reading..

    Happy New Yrs also

    thanks for everything

    oh... does it wipe my droid if i root it? i thought i read that somewhere... which is funny cause it defeats the purpose of of the TiBu if thats the case.. lol Erase everything so you can back it all up lol
     
  10. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    Oh, the GNex should be very difficult to brick...as long as it responds to fastboot, you should be able to reflash the stock images. Just always make sure you check your MD5 sums and don't over flash the bootloader with anything other than a proper bootloader image (note: that's a task that should be very rare for you to even want or need to do, by the way).

    Unlocking your bootloader (which you need to do in order to root) will wipe your device, however, but if you do this right after you receive the device, its no impact to you.

    Cheers!
     
  11. Lohung

    Lohung Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    lol you realize.. the entire first paragraph meant nothing to me right??? lol i dontk now what a MD5 sum is.. how to check it... whats a stock image (i assume that is the "image" of the phone.. stock programs and such).. i didnt know i had to flash it i thought Flashing was only for over clocking.. Jesus... take me away... just... take me.. now...
     

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