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[Virgin Mobile] Knox, saferoot, and recovery on a new Virgin Mobile Galaxy S3 [L710VPUBMK5]

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by FsckAndroid, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. FsckAndroid

    FsckAndroid Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hey everyone. I'm an Android newb and would appreciate it if you could help me to make sure my understanding is correct before I do anything. I've spent a dozen plus hours reading forums and am no stranger to the Linux CLI, so please be as detailed as you like.

    I bought a Samsung Galaxy S3 [SPH-L710] from Virgin Mobile to see if I liked the Android platform as a test before buying a top model. It hasn't been activated yet, but Kies tells me the firmware is L710VPUBMK5. My understanding is that this is 4.3 JB, which means it already has the Knox bootloader and software. It also gives me the option to update to NDC for the PDA, Phone, and CSC. My understanding is that this would correspond to 4.4.2 Kit Kat. Since Knox is already present, is there any reason not to upgrade?

    I would like to be able to install different ROMs. Am I correct in my assumption that if I want to install a custom recovery, like Phil's Touch, CWRM, or TWRP, there is no way to avoid tripping the Knox warranty flag?

    Part of my confusion comes seemingly conflicting information. In this guide http://galaxys3root.com/galaxy-s3-root/how-to-root-galaxy-s3-on-android-4-34-4-2-new/ to root the phone, it uses a custom recovery to install SuperSU, which then roots the phone and disables Knox. Am I correct in that he means it disables the Knox software, but that the Knox bootloader has still been tripped?

    On the other hand, I also came across "saferoot". http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2565758 This says that the phone can be rooted *without tripping the Knox warranty flag*. Does this refer to the bootloader and is this actually correct? If it is, would I still need to install a custom recovery in order to try out different ROMs (and thereby trip the Knox flag anyway)? If saferoot does not trip the Knox flag when rooting the phone, is there a way to install custom ROMs without a custom recovery?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I RTFM and couldn't get the clear answers I need. Thanks for reading all this, and I greatly appreciate any help you can offer.

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  2. Madbat

    Madbat Android Expert

    All of your assumptions are correct. Your research shows, and paid off. I like helping people who are willing to do the work themselves.
    Yes you can root without tripping Knox. Towelroot is the most common and easiest way to do it. But installing the custom recovery is what will trip Knox. You can root without a custom recovery, but you need recovery to flash Roms. So if you want root and custom recovery, you will trip Knox.
    But in my experience, they usually don't even check for Knox trip when getting warranty work done. Best buy didn't and neither did RadioShack. For me anyways. Hope this helped clear it up.
    I have NDC bootloadet (4.4.2) rooted with philz recovery. Knox tripped, no big deal. I got the first one replaced at best buy under warranty with Knox tripped. But you can get new s3's on eBay for like $150, for virgin mobile.
    FsckAndroid likes this.
  3. FsckAndroid

    FsckAndroid Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for helping me make sure my understanding was correct. I always tend to do a great deal of research before I do anything that can cost me money. The idea that I bricked my phone or voided my warranty unnecessarily because I didn't do my homework would eat me alive. I can't really understand the mentality of those who jump in without knowing how to deal with all the possible outcomes.

    I'm not particularly worried about voiding my warranty. But, like I mentioned, if it were possible not to I would prefer that route. In reality, I probably won't have this phone long enough to worry about warranty issues. I'm just using this to get a feel for the Android platform. And, if I like it, I'll get a more current phone. So, if you have any recommendations (techniques, ROMs, apps, etc.) for a complete Android newb as how best to get "the Android experience" I'd love to hear it. The only thing I really hate is that everything seems to involve Google. The idea of my phone constantly listening for "Okay, Google" really creeps me the hell out. Anyway, thanks again for your help. I'm going to go activate it, upgrade to KK, Towelroot, and then install Phil's.
  4. devilschild26

    devilschild26 Android Expert

    So basically if u trip the Knox ur warrenty is out the window the technology these days why would the bootloader b unlocked if we are not allow to tamper with the hardware/ software wat ever the case is
  5. starkraving

    starkraving Android Expert

    Because while Google encourages development and modifications the carriers and manufacturers do not. Facts are they (manufacturers)replace many fraudulent warranty replacements every year due to soft/hard bricks due to someone with root who messed up their device during the warranty period. Carriers are on board for the same reason as well as the use of root tethering which is revenue they lose. So what it really comes down to is money...like always. Just food for thought.
  6. devilschild26

    devilschild26 Android Expert

    Ur one sharp individual I learn a lot off ur post daily ohh yea with all that being said I will just stick with my awe ;)
  7. FsckAndroid

    FsckAndroid Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Also, I suspect that much of it is an excuse just to deny warranty coverage for legitimate defects. You know those stickers on products that state something to the effect of "Removal of this sticker voids the warranty"? They're essentially meaningless, other than to trick the owner. Federal law (such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) makes it clear that the warranty may be void only if the user actually modified or tampered with the device such that it caused the problem they're seeking to have fixed under the warranty. So even if the Knox flag has been tripped, if a user wanted warranty work for a physical defect unrelated to Knox, Samsung would legally be obliged to honor the terms of the warranty. However, they use the Knox flag as an excuse not to, even though it is completely unrelated to the actual problem.

    Of course, your average individual doesn't know anything about federal warranty law, so it sounds reasonable. Plus, Samsung knows that it isn't financially feasible for an individual to sue for enforcement of the warranty. Only a class action suit could make financial sense to change their behaviour, and even then I would be surprised if they didn't have provisions in the license agreement mandating arbitration and denying class action.
  8. devilschild26

    devilschild26 Android Expert

    So if the Knox is tripped are u still able to flash ROMs
  9. starkraving

    starkraving Android Expert

    I mean there's this...
    Android and AOSP are open source protected under GNU GPL/Apache licensing... However proprietary software isn't open source...eg TouchWhiz, Sense, LG Optimus UI etc, so manufacturers can cry foul for that reason. So that's their gray area. I'd much rather deal with Knox than have a company like Kyocera for example that has a locked boot loader and isn't apologetic about it. I think it comes down to this. People need to educate themselves about rooting and learn basics of adb shell commands and have a certain level of comfort before rooting. The whole one click methodology has made things easier as have apks that root...sadly its also produced a section of people in the community who have no idea what they're doing. I'd never consider rooting, Roms and modding without having a PC at home in case something goes wrong. But that's just me. I don't cherish the idea of a potential 300-700 dollar paper weight lol. ;)
  10. starkraving

    starkraving Android Expert

    Yes you are. Its just a way that they can see that you've got a custom recovery.
  11. devilschild26

    devilschild26 Android Expert

    Cus my chick wants this phone when she's not nearby IMA mess around with it that's what I figured didn't wanna brake any thing and she kick my butt
  12. starkraving

    starkraving Android Expert

    I'd convince her to get the Moto G second Gen Unlocked, same money better specs and a factory unlockable boot loader.
  13. devilschild26

    devilschild26 Android Expert

    That what I might have to do I'm interested best buy might b the spot gotta drive 40 mins to the nearest one

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.

May 2012
Release Date

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