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Root Root or Unlock bootloader?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Dr4ke, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Dr4ke

    Dr4ke Newbie
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    So this is going to be a completely amateur post because I'm totally lost!

    I've checked on my Xperia Z1 and I CAN unlock my boot loader; what is the difference between this and rooting?

    I'm trying to unlock my phone but I'm getting completely lost!

    1) I've tried VRoot but it won't recognise my phone is connected...

    2) I've tried unlocking the boot loader (following Sony's website: Instructions | Sony Xperia) but once I've downloaded the Android SDK I cannot open any of the .exe's or do anything. I've got no idea if I'm being completely dumb, but I can't work out what to do....

    P.s. previous iPhone user; might explain a lot :)
     

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  2. Rukbat

    Rukbat Android Expert
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    Unlocking the bootloader lets you flash ROMs. Rooting gives you administrative access to the operating system. The only connection is that most of the ROMs you'll be flashing are rooted.

    Did you install the drivers for your phone n your computer? Sony eSupport - Drivers & Software Updates

    Are you on a Windows computer or a Mac? Exe files are for Windows computers.
     
  3. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    Try Kingo root as opposed to Vroot. You won't end up with a Chinese superuser app with kingo either.

    Also, only some software versions of the Z1 are rootable. What are you running? Check in Settings > About Phone. Only the versions that end .518 or .534 are rootable.

    Also check that USB Debugging is enabled in Developer Options as a lot of the root apps need that on to work.

    Forget about unlocking the bootloader for now as well. There are ways to flash ROMs on the Z1 without the unlocked bootloader. If you do, backup your TA partition before you do or you'll lose the Bravia engine and your DRM keys.
     
  4. Dr4ke

    Dr4ke Newbie
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    Thanks both...

    So unlocking the boot loader gives you more access/features than rooting? I can't load custom ROM'S by just rooting?

    The drivers where installed but I'm going to try kingo as suggested. I was on a Windows machine, but I'm going to try on my mac soon and/or reformat my windows to a Linux which I've been meaning to do for a while and try again.

    By software do you mean the android version or build number?

    use debugging is enabled now thank you :)

    What is a TA partition, how do I back it up? What's a Bravia engine and DRM keys??
     
  5. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    Yes, with the Z1, you can load stock based custom ROMs with root alone, no need to unlock the bootloader. If you want to try Paranoid Android or CyanogenMod etc, you'd need the unlocked bootloader.

    The drivers where installed but I'm going to try kingo as suggested. I was on a Windows machine, but I'm going to try on my mac soon and/or reformat my windows to a Linux which I've been meaning to do for a while and try again.

    Build Number, it should start 14.

    No problem! :)

    The TA Partition is a partition unique to Sony phones, it contains the information for the camera software, bravia engine and your DRM Keys. The bravia engine is a display setting which supposedly makes the screen look better when you're viewing photos/videos. If you head to Settings -> Display, the option to turn it on or off is there.

    Your DRM keys are essentially there to control copyright. Without them, you won't be able to view anything you've bought via the Sony Movies app or any of the Sony services. So stuff like Elysium, Spiderman etc (which you got free with the phone), you won't be able to watch.

    You can backup your TA Partition with this: [TOOL] Backup TA v9.10 for Windows [20131228] - xda-developers

    Kinda moot if you don't unlock your bootloader though.

    Also worth noting that if you do want to unlock your bootloader, you're much better off using the unofficial FlashTool to do so. That way, you can relock if you need to return for a warranty repair or something. There's a load of info on that here: [Xperia Z1][INFO][REF] All the info you need before you begin - xda-developers
     
  6. Dr4ke

    Dr4ke Newbie
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    My build number is 14.2.A.0.290; does this mean it isn't possible to root?

    So it sounds like, at least for now, I shouldn't unlock my bootloader; just root the device (if it's possible) and then unlock it should I need to later on down the line...?
     
  7. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    Yeah, root isn't possible on that build.

    You can downgrade with flashtool to one of the earlier rootable versions, then root, do a little jiggery pokery with the Super User app (the SU app grants other apps root access) and take the OTA's up to your current build.

    Or, do what I did and flash a 4.3 Custom ROM.

    I'll walk you through the latter if you need, but not tonight. I finished night shift this morning and I'm pretty hazy so I'd be worried I borked the instructions.
     
  8. Dr4ke

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    Bugger - it is possible to unlock the boot loader, is that right? I followed the instructions on Sony's website and it says it's possible?

    How do I flash a custom ROM without rooting?

    Also - is Kingo available on Linux? I really need to reformat my laptop as it's sluggish as hell and I'm thinking of Linux; but don't want to ruin my chances of rooting/unlocking.
     
  9. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    There's no kingo in Linux, but you get flashtool which will unlock the bootloader.

    However, I don't believe the TA backup tool works in Linux so you'd need to backup in windows.

    How versed are you with Linux? I've tried to run FlashTool, but I'm having major difficulties compiling the libusbx stuff for FlashTool to work. It's not very straightforward, so if you're not familiar with it, a clean windows install might be best.
     
  10. Dr4ke

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    I'm not good with Linux whatsoever; I wanted to load it onto my laptop so I could use it to learn. Unfortunately nothing is working with Windows at the moment - Kingo Root has a 'unlock boot loader' option which doesn't seem to work and I can't even open the SDK manager from Android.

    I don't have a restore disk so can't reformat with Windows... my only other alternative is to use my Mac....

    Looks like I'm stuck.
     
  11. Dr4ke

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    I've been looking around and I can't unlock my bootloader as to take a TA backup I need to root my device, which isn't possible on my build!

    I'm a bit stuck. :-(
     
  12. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    What is it you want to do exactly? There's no real need to unlock the bootloader unless you want to flash a ROM that isn't based on Sony Firmware.

    You can downgrade to a rootable version via flashtool (I linked to it earlier in the thread). You don't need to unlock your bootloader for that.
     
  13. Dr4ke

    Dr4ke Newbie
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  14. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    There's no dual booting on the Z1 yet (to my knowledge anyway), sorry.

    As for ROM's, take a look at the selection here: http://androidforums.com/xperia-z1-all-things-root/764401-sony-xperia-z1-all-things-root-guide.html. If you want vanilla android, check under the AOSP section.

    Yeah, flashtool is linked in that thread. You'll need to download an FTF file from here: [FTF] C6902 & C6903 & C6906 & C6943 FTF Mega Collection - xda-developers

    Any with UK based build with 518 or 534 at the end should be ok. You'll only be using it to root and once you have a ROM on there, it won't matter.

    Have a read through the threads, see what you need to do and then ask if you have any questions, I'll do what I can to help.
     
  15. Dr4ke

    Dr4ke Newbie
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    Thanks - still a bit confused I'm afraid; is a FTF an image of a firmware version? So downloading an older FTF and using the flash tool, it would put on the older version on my phone so I'm able to root it?

    Do I lose any data?
     
  16. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    You can choose not to wipe the data partition during the flash meaning you'll keep apps and data, but you might run in to problems and force closes etc, I'd back up with an app like helioum before hand and then wipe everything.

    And yeah, the FTF file is an image file of a firmware version.

    I missed your response, hence the delay in mine. Sorry :eek:
     

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