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- LG Optimus S Rooting, ROMs, and Hacks
[INFO] Welcome -- Basic Optimus S Guide for Newcomers [Info]
11-30-2016 10:05 PM
- 02-10-2012 10:04 AM
- Overall I've loved Gingerbread but it's been unstable ever since I updated. Various issues from SD card unmounting and mounting, reboot cycling for no reason, incoming call voice volume too high, syncing issues etc.
I'm pretty much tired of it at this point and am now considering going to Sprint and just having them revert but I still really like Gingerbread.
My question is if you guys think that if reverting to ZVH and then once their done with it I can upgrade back to ZVD it would fix those issues?
Are those issues there regardless of a initial faulty, first time upgrade? Meaning, will these issues still persist?03-13-2012 12:08 PM
- Many of the custom ZVH ROMs have had several of the bugs worked out of them. If you are willing to root your device, you might try some.
If you go to ZVD, CM7 is a Gingerbread based ROM available to you.
Finally, a good quality SD card is a worthwhile investment for several reasons.03-13-2012 08:32 PM
- 03-14-2012 01:35 PM
- Epidenimus: Thank you for this wonderful guide which inspired me to (finally, after 1 year of wavering) get up the guts to root and install a custom ROM. It was really pretty easy but I'd like to make a few suggestions for edits to this guide that I think would make the process even easier, might reduce some fear, and therefore inspire more people to root and install a custom ROM (and donate to the devs, thereby motivating the devs to develop better ROMs for us). I realize that this guide tries to strike a balance of providing enough information for beginners without providing so much informatation that beginners get scared away by a wall of text, so perhaps some of the following suggestions could be woven in as links to separate posts or as brief mention with a "See note X below for more details".) Feel free to copy and paste any of the following (uncredited) if you like.
1) At the very top, I think it would be useful to explain in 2-3 sentences why somebody might want to root and install a custom ROM. Something like: "Why root and install a custom ROM? Custom ROMs typically provide better performance, more memory space for apps, removal of unwanted, nagging, memory-consuming Sprint apps, better features (like WiFi Hotspot. Flash, & overclocking). Rooting allows you to run certain apps with features unavailable to unrooted phones (even if you don't install a custom ROM), and rooting enables you to install custom ROMs." Inspire newcomers immediately, rather than making them read through several paragraphs to maybe figure out why they should root & ROM-- if they even bother to read further.
2) Remove fear by mentioning, at the very top of the post that if one roots by installing the one-click Xonia CWMA custom recovery (with a recommended selection of "A"), and if they then do a Nandroid backup (which is explained later), that even if they don't like a custom ROM or they want to return the phone to the Sprint store, they can VERY easily use Xonia CWMA to "restore" the phone to EXACTLY the way it was right before they loaded the custom ROM (including all of their app, data, and settings) and even to uninstall Xonia and uroot the phone.
3) Also to reduce fear (and concerns of a massively time-consuming effort) mention near the top that if they do a Titanium Backup (free download from the Market/Play-Store) of all their apps and data, that they can easily use Titanium to load ("restore") all of their apps and data onto their new custom ROM so that (if they so choose) they'll basicaly have all of their stuff just the way it was, but sitting on top of a better, custom ROM. And the whole process of rooting, backing up, installing a custom ROM, and restoring their apps to the custom ROM only takes about 30 minutes, while reverting back to their stock ROM & apps only takes about 3 minutes. (I was worried about the time and hassle involved with the upgrade and revert procedure, but it's pretty quick and hassle-free. It's not clearly mentioned in the guide.)
4) In the rooting section, mention that once rooted with the Xonia CWMA, that from within the Xonia CWMA custom recovery menu, you use the volume up/down buttons to change the selection up/down, you use the "settings" button to select, and you use the "return" button to go back. (I assumed the up/down volume buttons would control selection, but I freaked out a bit when I hit the "Home" button to select and my screen went black!)
5) Although the guide recommends doing a nandroid backup, it should also mention that the nandroid backup will fail unless they have enough free space on their SD card-- probably around 350MB for the Nandroid backup and another 100MB to accomodate a Titanium backup, for a total of about 450MB. (See next suggestion below.) If they don't have enough space, they can make space by temporarily moving some files (like music, photos, or video) onto their PC/Mac, and then moving them back to the SD card afterwards--assuming they move their Nandroid backup to their PC/Mac. (I didn't have enough space and may have concluded that I had successfully done a Nandroid backup if I hadn't noticed the smal error message that Xonia gave me.)
6) Note that the Nandroid backup will be placed in a folder named "Clockworkmod" in the top level of their SD card. Within that folder will be a folder named with the date of the Nandroid backup (and containing the Nandroid backup). To restore to that Nandroid backup and get back to EXACTLY the way you were before the custom ROM installation, just select "restore" from within Xonia and surf to the folder containing that Nandroid backup.
7) Recommend that, after rooting, people should install Titanium Backup (free from the Android-Market/Play-Store) and do a batch backup of all of their apps and data, so that after installing a custom ROM, they can quickly and easily "restore" all of their apps, data, and settings to any custom ROM that they install. Doing so makes it really easy to try new ROMs. (It would be even easier if all of the custom ROM developers also installed Titanium Backup on their ROMs so that users could immediately restore apps and settings without having to set up a Google Account on their phone and then download Titanium from the Android-Market/Play-Store.)
8) Recommend that, if people want to be able to use any Sprint apps after installing a custom ROM that they be sure to backup those apps (after being rooted) so that they can restore them onto the custom-ROM phone, because many of those aps (like SprintTV) are not available from the Android-Market/Play-Store. For example, my daughter had uninstalled SprintTV from her phone to free up some space for other apps because SprintTV was a lower priority (but desired) app. I thought that I could simply download somebody else's "SprintTV.apk" file from the web and install it to the system/apps directory of the custom ROM (since custom ROMs usually have more free space available for apps). I tried that, but the SprintTV app didn't work because it seems to have a unique user-license ID # (noted in the "Home" section of the SprintTV app) that is tied to your phone's unique ID. So after trying an hour or so of workarounds, I ended up going back to the stock ROM, choosing a Sprint ID that had Sprint apps like SprintTV, doing a Titanium backup of all apps (including the Sprint apps), then reinstalling a custom ROM, and restoring SprintTV (via Titanium) to the custom ROM. Sprint "bloatware" is typically removed by the custom-ROM devs, but one man's "bloatware" is another man's treasure. (I love SprintTV. I imagine others love Sprint Football, Sprint NASCAR, etc.)
The only other thing that would make this guide better (by reducing the reading & decision making process for 1st timers) would be to recommend (although it's kinda touchy and a matter of opinion) what people should do regarding upgrading to ZVD or ZVH. Since I don't hear people complaining about ZVH anymore and since it looks like most of the future development effort is going towards ZVH-based ROMs, I think a recommendation towards ZVH might make sense. Also, I believe that ZVH (Gingerbread) is supposed to be a bit faster with better battery life, and perhaps memory efficiency, so it may make sense to mention that in the ZVD vs ZVH section.
Thanks again for this wonderful guide.03-26-2012 02:36 PMLike 4
- @RazzMaTazz: Wow. I appreciate the suggestions and marvel that you took the time to type out that long post. I will consider all of your suggestions and how some more might be incorporated into the OP to better inform folks without inundating them.
Here are my initial thought on your points, enumerated respective to your scheme:
1. I thought I made these points, perhaps in less detail, in the "About Custom ROMs" block. I'd like to keep the stress on doing a custom recovery following a rooting, with the custom ROM being another option. Why to Root, Recovery, and ROM is almost a more general topic post or 6. I'm sure someone on AC has written it out more explicitly. Maybe I could find a post and link to it.
2. Perhaps it's worth tossing a link to an unrooting link in there for good measure. I wonder if Zefie's post is sufficient or could it use some updating. While we have a couple of great ones, I do not recommend a one-click rooting tool for any new user. I think new folks spend more time getting drivers and ADB to work and that can be a bit of a challenge, so I'd like to find a good guide on that as well. Following the instructions in Post # 2B of sfhub's thread is just as easy (even easier if you are not using Windoze) and everyone performing these actions should be able to handle cut and paste. I strongly feel that if you can't operate a manual transmission, you shouldn't have someone remove the governor on your car because it can be done. People should know what rooting is and what the script does before they do it and take responsibility for what they do to their device. They can troubleshoot a lot easier if they know what has been done to it.
3. Titanium Backup is another great tool that should be tried. I do not use it for a few reasons, mostly because I haven't found a need for it. I can just as easily copy APKs from /system/app and I always update my nandroid before trying out a root app. I find it to be an optional tool, not an essential. Also, it can cause problems if folks use incompatible backups on different baseband ROMs, not to mention system apps. I'm not inclined to promote or discourage folks from trying it either way and I think it may complicate things for the purposes of the OP.
4. Both recoveries' threads indicate their respective controls. Folks should be reading those threads for such information.
5. Excellent point!! I was thinking about mention something or perhaps even doing a separate thread about how to upgrade SD cards, since that cheap-o 2GB one that comes installed fills up so quick. I will definitely add something in to check the available space and general requirements for a nandroid. Bravo!
6. I am pretty sure instructions on restore were on the Xionia Recovery thread. If not, that's where they should be. Regarding the file structure and backup storage, I'd also like to see that there, but maybe it should be mentioned here, too.
7. Please see note 3.
8. LOL. I admit that I did not think that anyone wanted to use any of the Sprint apps. Getting rid of the NASCAR app and SprintID is one of top reasons people ask me to help them root (and I am in NC). I know that some folks like SprintTV and the Football app and that I saw a thread a couple months ago where someone posted APKs for our Opti S. Maybe link to those?
Regarding ZVH and ZVD, I think I made a fair apprisal of the situation there, enough to let folks make their own choices. If anyone can supplement the "Pros of ZVH" with true pros, I would be happy to add them in. Also, I would say that there is more activity and progress being made with ZVD ROMs of late. With the big allure of CM9 and our current ports working better on ZVD, along with the MIUI-based ports progressing, ZVD is certainly alive and kicking. I'd like to see folks try all of the stable ROMs available for this device, maybe even a couple of the less polished.03-26-2012 08:52 PMLike 2
- Epidenimus: Thanks for taking the time to consider my suggestions. I understand your points. I guess I would just like to encourage you to revise your guide to be more of a step-by-step Rooting & ROMming for Dummies guide. The devs have done some great work that should be utilized by the masses (and donated to), but I guess the vast majority of people (although they kinda know that rooting & ROMming would help them) visit places like Android Central, get overwhelmed by the numerous posts & technical jargon, and so they give up after a few minutes. Heck, most people cant figure out how to transfer a music file from their PC to their Android Music folder, which explains the popularity of iTunes/iPhones/iPods! But they can be spoon-fed.
Im a fairly tech-savvy electronics engineer, and even I waited a year before wading into rooting & ROMming because I didnt want to spend the effort and take the risk. Your guide (and the link to SFHubs guide to using optiauto-sfx.exe) was simple enough to get me to take the plunge--and Im very grateful. But, for example, Im quite certain that my wife, my fairly tech-savvy kids, my brother, and my parents would give up after reading your 1st paragraph. Thats a shame. Most people (including me) dont want to read a bunch of threads to get knowledgeable. They dont want to learn about ADB or debugging. The dont want to learn how to install APKs. They don't want to risk their precious phone. They've heard about rooting and ROMming and they kinda know that there's some benefit, but they just want to push a button, or at least be spoon-fed a step-by-step procedure-- even if that procedure isn't the way a more knowledgeable person would do it. Having just rooted & ROMmed using your prominently-placed guide, my suggested revisions (for better or worse) were targeted at making your guide more of a Dummies guide, therefore bringing this joy to the masses.
On the Sprint APKs, as I mentioned in my previous post, unlike normal APKs, simply installing somebody elses' Sprint APK won't work, since the Sprint APKs (at least SprintTV anyway) seem to have a unique phone-specific license # that only works with the phone that it was licensed to.03-27-2012 02:21 AM
- @RazzMaTazz: I wrote the guide for folks who might be considering it and want some insight and points of reference and for folks like me who want more device-specific knowledge. It's a starting point, a preface with a table of contents, if you will. If people want to wear the bling, but don't want to learn how to be king, that becomes their problem.
I think of this whole tinkering process a lot like I do visiting a foreign country where there is a language barrier:
- You know the language already and just need to pick up on a dialect and some slang. (You are the hacker.)
- You take some time to learn the language before taking the trip. (You learn a little about hacking before doing.)
- You ask a friend who knows the language to go along. (You have a geek friend.)
- You buy some crappy phrasebook, infomercial software, or "Dummies' Guide" that only serves to remove money from your wallet and render you a clueless manifestation of a stereotype. (You go to YouTube for info, root using a one-click, install ROM Manager, end up here holding a brick having no clue what just happened, expecting everyone to just know what you mean and what your problem is and solve it for you.)
I have rooted about a dozen devices now, mostly for coworkers who just wanted their lower-end phones to work better. I always find out what they are looking to do with their device that they can't already. Then I hand them a two-page general info sheet on what rooting is and does, including the warranty issues. The sheet also details the advantages of custom ROMs in general. They must agree to this before I continue. Using the information they give me, I then go learn all about their devices and try to figure out what is available and must be considered. I look for the stability equivalent of a Reborn ROM or HydroROM for them and how to get it installed and working. I realize that I am assuming responsibility for supporting and fixing anything that I might mess up.
A lot of this comes down to a matter of philosophy. No offense intended toward your family, but I'm not writing this for them, my girlfriend or the numerous co-workers that I have helped with unlocking their devices. I'm writing it for folks like us who have an idea what rooting is, want to try it on the Optimus S, and are willing to assume the support for the device (taking it from the carrier) with a little help from the forums. I aim to encourage those who are on the fence to take the leap, but if someone is not comfortable copying files to a USB storage device, they should NOT be hacking it. I try to make it clear that this is informative and optional, not a "Here's what you should do with your device."
As far as a step-by-step guide, that would get to be a long series of posts here. Also, there are those who have detailed the individual sections out already in explicit form and revise them as things progress. I feel that I have outlined the process of ROMing this phone, deferring to them for more detail.
I have no interest in reinstalling the Sprint apps, save Visual Voicemail, so I was not aware of the issue with any per device licensing. Interesting, though. Would you be willing to write a how-to thread, detailing your solution and considerations? Perhaps others have found ways to get the circulated APKs to work? I expect it's possible, especially on stock-based ROMs.03-27-2012 06:44 AM
- Thanks for taking the time to respond. I understand your perspective. To counter your travel analogy, I don’t think it makes sense for people to spend years learning how to speak Icelandic just because they have a layover in Iceland on their way to a vacation in England. Nor do they need to learn how to build or fly the airplane. Rooting and installing custom ROMs are means to the destination, not the destination itself. More people will enjoy visiting England (and spending money there) if they can simply get on a plane than if they have to row a boat and resupply in Rykjavik.
I don’t know, but I suspect that the APKs for most Sprint apps (like the Sprint Weather widget) could be installed onto a custom ROM (into the System/Apps directory) from a file manager or ADB, in the usual way, if one were able to obtain the APK from the web or from a friend. But that didn't work when I tried it for SprintTV. I suspect that the Sprint TV app (because of its ability to play valuable, licensed content, like ESPN), is licensed uniquely to each phone, thereby thwarting the unauthorized playback of licensed TV shows. Perhaps other Sprint apps that display copyrighted content (like NFL or NASCAR) are similarly licensed. I don’t know. In the ““Help” section of the SprintTV app, it says, "This product is licensed to: Customer ID: 1234-5678-abcd" (where each phone’s installation has a unique number) but on my daughter's broken SprintTV app the Customer ID was blank until I fixed the problem. I was able to launch her broken app, but when tried to watch TV, it gave an error message about not being authorized.
I spent about 1.5 hours trying a bunch of different solutions that I found posted on the web, but none of them worked. So I reverted to her Nandroid backup, deleted a few apps to make room, picked a SprintID that included SprintTV, did a Titanium backup, reinstalled gROM, and then used Titanium to restore SprintTV onto her phone. That worked. So if I were to write a guide about how to make Sprint apps work on a custom ROM, it would be a one-line guide... "If you want to be able to use any Sprint apps on your custom ROM, please be sure to back them up from your stock ROM with the Titanium Backup app (available for free) and then restore them to your custom ROM using Titanium Backup". That one sentence would have saved me about 2 hours.
Thanks again for your guide and the other great work that you do here to help the community.03-27-2012 09:21 PM
- "How a custom recovery differs from the stock recovery that comes with the phone"
I'm reading EVERYTHING I can about rooting before I take the leap. Where do I get or find the stock recovery? I'm assuming I want a copy on my PC as well. I've backed up my phone to the cloud with MyBackup free version just for the short term until I root and can use Titanium Backup.04-09-2012 06:04 PM
- "How a custom recovery differs from the stock recovery that comes with the phone"
I'm reading EVERYTHING I can about rooting before I take the leap. Where do I get or find the stock recovery? I'm assuming I want a copy on my PC as well. I've backed up my phone to the cloud with MyBackup free version just for the short term until I root and can use Titanium Backup.
To answer your questions:
1. Stock recovery. Stock recovery can be found in several of the rooting threads. Once you make the crossover to custom, you will find the stock recovery virtually worthless for doing anything except changing your baseband/radio. I have never downloaded a backup, but it never hurts to have a copy on hand on a storage medium.
2. Backups. Being able to backup and restore images was the final thing that pushed me over the edge. I had a hard reset happen with stock and had no backup whatsoever (Coincidence? It happened the one time I allowed someone elses kid play with my phone...). With a custom recovery, you can back up your entire system routinely and just before attempting a funky mod and store it anywhere you like. I will say this: If you root and do not install a custom recovery and do at least one backup, you may be an *****. Seriously, that's like playing an elaborate RPG and not ever saving; like going to ask the boss for a raise without having updated your resume; trash packing your main then jumping out of a plane without a reserve parachute. It is so easy to resurrect your device from the brickyard if you have a custom recovery and do nandroids routinely.
Finally, welcome! I hope you enjoy your experience and get bitten by the Android bug like so many of us have. Most of us lament running stock, once we see what being able to control our own destinies allows us to do. Feel free to ask if you have a question to which you can't find a solid answer or need some help.04-09-2012 09:27 PM
- After reading above discussion regarding "zvd vs. zvh" I'm a little confused. I'm running thekraven cm7.2 port for the Optimus S and the software is android 2.3.7. I thought 2.3.7 was gingerbread but above discussion says that zvh is gingerbread. Can you clarify. Also, the developers have done amazing things for this phone...what would it take to mod this phone to be 4g compatible (assuming Sprint ever gets the network for it)? Is it software or hardware that determines that? Never thought I'd get Flash for armv6, but it happened....so I hope.....04-13-2012 06:35 AM
- After reading above discussion regarding "zvd vs. zvh" I'm a little confused. I'm running thekraven cm7.2 port for the Optimus S and the software is android 2.3.7. I thought 2.3.7 was gingerbread but above discussion says that zvh is gingerbread. Can you clarify. Also, the developers have done amazing things for this phone...what would it take to mod this phone to be 4g compatible (assuming Sprint ever gets the network for it)? Is it software or hardware that determines that? Never thought I'd get Flash for armv6, but it happened....so I hope.....04-13-2012 07:00 AM
- Just wanted to put a shout-out here for Hydro ROM - it really is awesome.
I had grown accustomed to the many customizations of CM7 on my old phone, and didn't want to mess with the port and downgrading the radio back to zvd. I tried GingerROM initially and while it seems to be a good ROM it didn't have the notification power control widget nor launcher I had grown accustomed to. I installed ADW Launcher and Widgetsoid to get this functionality back, and the poor thing just wouldn't ever run right - lots of glitches even after I wiped and reinstalled only a minimal set of apps and no games.
Finally, I had some free time on one of my summer vacations to start over with a new ROM and thank God I tried Hydro ROM. The boot time had me worried - takes FOREVER - but once it's up it runs solidly and fast for a very long time. I'm a battery nazi, so for me, the notification power toggles make all the difference between a usable phone and a pile of crap. The implementation here is just shy of perfect, which is exactly what I need. All the other functions are nice and snappy, too.08-23-2012 11:21 PM
A million thanks for this guide! I've been too afraid of bricking my phone to root it (complete noob, I know), but I recently upgraded and decided to give it a shot on my old Optimus S, which I want to turn into a media controller for the house. Between your guide and everything you linked, I was able to root my phone and flash DanteRom without any major issues. You guys are awesome!06-09-2013 10:07 AM
- LG Android Phones
- More LG Phones
- LG Optimus Series
- LG Optimus S
- LG Optimus S Rooting, ROMs, and Hacks
[INFO] Welcome -- Basic Optimus S Guide for Newcomers [Info]
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