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[Verizon] New to Rooting/ROMS

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by chewiekw, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. chewiekw

    chewiekw Lurker
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    I have a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. I have done a lot of searches on Google about rooting, but the articles i read have so much lingo i don't understand. I was hoping you guys can help me with some basics so that the articles make a little more sense.. What is unlocked? What is rooting? What is a ROM? What is a bootloader? These are the things i hear most but none of the articles really explain what each one is or does. thanks again for you help and sorry for the newbie questions...
     

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  2. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
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    Hey chewiekw, welcome to the AndroidForums! :)

    I'll take a quick crack at your questions:

    1. The lock status references your bootloader and whether it will allow you to replace/update various partitions on your Android device. An unlocked bootloader will allow you to do this. A locked bootloader will not.

    Why is this useful? Well, having the ability to update ("flash" / overwrite) the various partitions allows you to:

    - update your kernel (the core part of the operating system that controls/directs the hardware) to overclock (make the CPU run faster) or underclock (make the CPU run slower (saves battery));

    - update your radios (i.e., newer versions might have fewer issues (faster switching between towers, bug fixes, etc.--you typically won't see faster speeds or better signals, at least that's my experience);

    - update your recovery partition (the software that allows you to make updates to your operating system); this is where custom recoveries like ClockworkMod are installed and run from

    2. A ROM (read-only memory), as commonly referenced in the Android world, is basically a term for an operating system--in this case, a version of Android. Stock ROMs come from the carrier/manufacturer. Custom ROMs are alternate versions of Android that are created by lots of people (you could make one, too, if you were so inclined).

    3. A bootloader is the software that starts-up your phone and loads a particular bootable image, such as an Android operations system (Gingerbread, or Ice Cream Sandwich, or JellyBean, etc.) or a recovery (stock or custom).

    Here's some other good links that might fill-in the blanks and give a different spin on my answers, too:

    http://androidforums.com/faqs/443075-root-terminology.html

    http://androidforums.com/faqs/443432-what-root-being-rooted-mean.html

    Cheers and I hope that helps!

    :)
     
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  3. jbdan

    jbdan Extreme Android User
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    Welcome to AF chew! You're in the best of hands with scary.

    Good to see you wanting to learn it before you do it :)
     
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  4. viper689

    viper689 Android Expert
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    I had the same questions as you when I first started looking into rooting my GNex, and found all of my answers and then some here on AndroidForums, so rest assured that you're in the best of hands =)
     
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  5. VTENGR

    VTENGR Well-Known Member
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    I was in your shoes not too long ago. I took the plunge and now I'm addicted to flashing ROMs. I've yet to stay on a ROM for longer than 2 days simply b/c I want to see what they all have to offer! My overly simplistic definitions are this.

    Unlocked = means you can make changes to files on your phone that the carrier/manufacture purposely locks so that you don't accidently mess up your phone (for the casual/layman user).

    Rooting = giving yourself the ability to change files. The main Andriod operating system files are in the "ROOT" directly. So the term rooting stems from the ability to access and change this directory. I'm still unsure the difference b/w unlocking and rooting, but I'm still new at this.

    ROM = in this context, is just the operating system. Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 is a ROM. AOKP Ice Cream Sandwich Milestone 6 is a custom ROM (one that I really like) that builds and modifies/tweaks the stock ROM.

    Bootloader = I'll let the experts handle this one...
     
  6. veccster

    veccster Android Enthusiast
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    Hi newb...welcome to the forums.

    I suppose I'll throw my hat in. I too was a newb but managed to follow directions and root my phone. I followed even more directions and managed to get the AOKP ROM (one of the most popular) onto my GNEX. It is awesome!

    I'm not even sure I know how to backup or if it would work so I will probably stick with this ROM for a long time (maybe forever). But it gives me SOOOO many more options than the stock system - access to the torch using the power button, toggles in the notification bar, the addition of a search button in the nav bar (bottom of phone - like older droids had), and much more.

    Lastly, I rooted so I could use wifi tethering for my xoom - free of charge.
     
  7. viper689

    viper689 Android Expert
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    Backing up is highly recommended for someone that is rooted and very simple to do. Just boot into recovery, go to the Backup and Restore option, and choose backup. This is called a nandroid backup. Even if you only have one backup its enough. This way you can make backups for every rom you have, so if you don't like a new one, just restore that one :)
     
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  8. veccster

    veccster Android Enthusiast
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    OK...done! I rebooted into recovery and did a full backup. Once I rebooted, I used Rom Manager to rename it AOKP so I know what rom it was.

    Doesn't the backup get erased when I do a full wipe to prepare for a new rom?
     
  9. jbdan

    jbdan Extreme Android User
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    Nothing gets erased on your virtual sdcard when wiping UNLESS you format your sdcard. So don't do that! :p Full wipe leaves this out just in case you're wondering :)
     
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  10. chewiekw

    chewiekw Lurker
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    thanks for the information. It was some good reading...probably going to go over it again...

    Couple more questions if you can help me out. I will back up my phone, contacts, pictures, etc with various ways, i can't seem to find a solution that backs up the entire phone. Do you know of one?

    Once i do unlock or root the phone if all goes well will i still have everything on my phone? contacts, pictures, apps, etc? Or will i have to move everything back over?

    If i decide to add a custom ROM, (probably going to wait for the stock google JB to come out), again i will back up but once the new ROM is installed will my stuff be there or will i have to mover contacts, pictures, Apps. etc back onto my phone?

    If i can find a way to do a complete backup that if i mess things up i can get back to where i am now fairly easy, then i would feel more comfortable trying this...

    thanks again,
     
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  11. VTENGR

    VTENGR Well-Known Member
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    Unfortunetly, there's no way to backup the entire phone before you unlock/root (at least not that I know of). This will factory reset your phone. The only saving grace is Google backs up all your apps and when you restart you phone it should automatically start downloading them again. You'll just lose all your app data and settings.

    After you have rooted your phone you can back everything up via Titanium backup and Nandroid. When you flash a ROM for the first time, its recommended that you wipe all the data off your phone - so this will do a factory reset on your phone. With Titanium backup though, you'll have all you app data saved. I wouldn't recommend restoring app data on all your apps all at once. Some apps will have issues b/c you're going from one operating system to another. Once you flash a ROM, though, if you want to flash newer versions of the ROM (has to be the same ROM) you don't have to completely wipe your phone unless you really want to. This way you can update your current ROM w/o having to reset all your setting, screens, etc...
     
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  12. veccster

    veccster Android Enthusiast
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    The backing up thing is the hardest for me to grasp. Similar to Chewie, I just hate starting over after a reset. I hate losing pictures, texts, game progress and customization. Contacts and apps are not a problem. Contacts are always synced with Google (one of the greatest things in cell phone history - I HATED using VZW Backup Assistant). Apps need to be cleaned out after a while anyway. I used to use AppBrain to find my previously downloaded apps but now Play does that as well.

    Once the AOKP version of Jelly Bean comes out, I'll be upgrading my rom and will have to backup Handcent and Gallery using TiBu. Hopefully it works!

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  13. chewiekw

    chewiekw Lurker
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    So i am going to try an unlock my phone this weekend...

    1) I would like to unlock/root my phone

    2) Then back it up with Titanium

    3) then maybe install ClockworkMod

    does this sound like the right order? if so can you guys provide a link (step by step guide) to do the unlocking & rooting?

    do i need to instal the addroid sdk like this video says?
    How to install the Android SDK, ADB and Fastboot on your PC - YouTube

    And it also says to install a Samsung driver?

    thanks again for your patience guys...
     
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