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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default What exactly happens in rooting?

    So I just rooted my GS3, and it was very easy, following the instructions in this forum. But -- and I say this as a very bright and relatively technical guy -- I'm not sure I completely understand what happens during rooting. This is important, I feel, because at some point I need to get 4.3 (Knox-less), and I can't find step-by-step simple instructions for doing that. All of the instructions I've found assume a level of understanding the rooting process that I don't have.

    So, anybody wanna do me -- and it can't be just me, right? -- a solid and explain what's going on in Skunkape60's otherwise excellent step-by-step guide ([GUIDE] UPDATED: How to Root Your Sprint Galaxy S3)?
  2. #2  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    So just to be clear, you're still on 4.1.2?

    All rooting itself does is change system permissions so that you, and certain apps, can access system level information on your phone that is normally locked out. Most rooting procedures, including the one you linked to, also install a custom (not Samsung, stock) recovery. What's a recovery, you ask?

    Recovery is a program in the phone's ROM that can be accessed through a special boot procedure, and let's you "recover" your phone's OS if it gets corrupted someone. The stock recovery that comes with your phone is very limited in what it will allow you to do. For example, it will only install the stock ROM, or updates to the stock ROM. A custom recovery will let you install 3rd party ROMs, create image backups of your phone's software (and restore those backups), and more. You can even use a custom recovery to install another custom recovery.

    Now that you're rooted and have a custom recovery, you can install ROMs using that recovery. You copy the ROMs zip file (do not try to unzip it) to the top level of your SD card (internal or external), boot into recovery. Then use your recovery program to navigate to that file, and chooses the install or flash option. You can do the same thing to install a customized Kernel or modem file. When installing a new ROM it's generally a good idea to clear cache and dalvik cache (doing so won't delete your data). If you're installing a significantly different ROM (e.g., going from one developers ROM to another's, or doing a major version upgrade (e.g., 4.1.2 to 4.3 or 4.4), or from a Touchwiz-based ROM to an AOSP ROM or vice-versa, it's a good idea to also wipe data / factory reset. This WILL wipe your data, so back everything up first.

    Does that help?
    PLEASE, when asking for help provide as much information as possible. We can't help unless we know what the symptoms are and what you did before they began.

    If I've helped you, please click the "Thanks" button.

    Have a Galaxy S3? Click here ==> Everything you wanted to know about your Galaxy S3
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  3. #3  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    The above statement is the very reason I would never root. Anyone who understands that must be curing cancer or designing satellites to go in space

    Sent from my SM-T310 using AC Forums mobile app
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    So just to be clear, you're still on 4.1.2?
    Correct.

    Does that help?
    Very, very much. Thank you.

    So to "recover" to a different ROM, such as 4.3, all I have to do (in theory; I did read and understand your cautions about significantly different ROMs), is put it at root of my SD cards, use VolUp+Power+Home to launch recovery, and navigate to and select the ROM on the SD card? There's no need for Odin or following Skunkape60's instructions again, and so on, right?

    (BTW, I did verify I'm rooted to 4.1.2 using a utility from the Play store.)

    I should ask: how do I clear cache and dalvik cache? I know I can Google the info, but you're being so helpful ...

    Oh, and what's a "modem file"?
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by minnieusa View Post
    The above statement is the very reason I would never root. Anyone who understands that must be curing cancer or designing satellites to go in space
    I can definitely understand that it's intimidating, for sure. But actually doing the rooting is incredibly simple. I was shocked.

    I'm in IT, so I have some advantage in grokking stuff like this once it's explained ... there's not so much different between re-imaging a laptop and a GS3, after all, in terms of concept and complexity.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    Your correct. Once the initial rooting process is complete you don't need to return to using Odin unless your flashing your device back to complete factory stock.

    You will download and place a ROM on your device as stated, boot into your custom recovery and select to install zip.

    As for the wiping option there should be a clear listed option on the custom recovery to perform the different wipes. Just make sure you do no more than wiping data/cache /dalvik cache. Wiping or formatting internal storage or /system / level of the device can and will cause you some huge headaches possibly a brick.

    Just be cautious, read and educate yourself and everything should be fine. We have a huge base of members and even AC Ambassadors that are willing to help.

    Paul
    Moderator Team Leader @ Android Central

    Posted via Android Central App
    Paul
    Moderator Team Leader @ Android Central





    Thanked by:
  7. #7  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    Wilder, I think Paul answered all your questions except "What is a modem?".

    But first, one thing I didn't say: NEVER, EVER flash (install) any ROM that you aren't 100% certain is intended for your exact make, model and carrier version of your phone. Flashing a ROM for an international S3 on a North American S3 will almost certainly hard brick your phone, as will flashing a ROM for a different model (e.g., flashing a GS4 ROM onto a GS3). Flashing a GSM ROM (AT&T, T-Mobile) on a CDMA phone (Sprint, Verizon) or vice-versa will, at a minimum, soft brick your phone. Even flashing a Verizon ROM on a Sprint phone can cause a lot of grief. Not all ROM developers are very good about making clear what device(s) their ROMs are intended for. If you're getting a ROM from XDA, make sure it's in the Sprint Galaxy S3 forums.

    Modem: The modem is what people call the firmware that directly controls the cellular radio circuitry in the phone. That's probably a misnomer, as a modem is really the combination of hardware and software. If you look in Settings / About device, you'll see an item listed as "Baseband version." That's the modem firmware.

    The firmware that controls your phone really consists of three parts. There's the OS, which is Android version 4.1.2 plus whatever tweaks Samsung and Sprint have made. There's the Kernel, which is the part that directly interacts with the hardware other than the radio (e.g., the screen, the digitizer, the speaker, etc.). And then there's the modem, which controls the radio. All three work in sync. You can see what version of each you're running by looking at Settings / About device.

    When you flash a complete ROM in Odin, or download an OTA from Sprint, you're getting all three in one package. When you flash a ROM in recovery, you're generally only flashing the OS. Kernels (stock and modified) and modems are typically available separately, and can be flashed in recovery just like a ROM. IN GENERAL, modems are independent of the OS, and you can mix and match. Say, run an LJ7 modem with an MD4 ROM (OS). Some find that a particular modem file may work better in their location than another. But the new 4.3 ROM (MK3) doesn't seem to play well with older modems, so if you decide to flash an MK3 ROM you should also flash the MK3 modem at the same time. I also suspect the MK3 ROM will work better in areas that have received the latest Sprint tower upgrades. It's available on XDA, too, and you can run it with an MD4 ROM. That's my setup right now: MK3 modem, MOAR 6.1 (MD4-based) ROM, and MD4 Kernel.

    In general, I would recommend running a Kernel of the same release as your ROM. (e.g., if you're running and MD4 ROM, run an MD4 Kernel). If you read in the Sprint forums on XDA you'll find a lot of customized, or "optimized" kernels available. Developers go in and tweak the code, removing debugging code that Samsung left behind, fixing Samsung bugs, optimize display drivers, adding options to let you under- or over-clock the cpu, change cpu voltages,and more. Some of these can significantly improve the performance of your phone. Some of them cause all sorts of glitches. And playing with options like over clocking and under-volting can prevent your phone from booting at all if you go too far. And kernels are funny. Or maybe phones are funny. A kernel that works perfectly well on some GS3s may not work well at all on other, seemingly identical phones. Before flashing custom kernels, I strongly recommend reading through the entire thread devoted to that kernel to see what issues people are reporting. I'm currently running the Decimalman optimized MD4-based Kernel.

    Actually reading complete threads, or at least the first few posts, and the last few weeks worth of posts, is a good idea before flashing any custom ROMs, too. Almost any ROM thread on XDA will have complete instructions for flashing that ROM in the very first post, with any special concerns or steps you need to follow. Most of the problems I see people having with custom ROMs are directly related to them not following instructions.

    Finally, always, ALWAYS, use recovery to make a nandroid recovery of your phone before flashing any new ROM, modem, or Kernel. That backup will be the easiest way to recover if you make a mistake and screw something up.
    PLEASE, when asking for help provide as much information as possible. We can't help unless we know what the symptoms are and what you did before they began.

    If I've helped you, please click the "Thanks" button.

    Have a Galaxy S3? Click here ==> Everything you wanted to know about your Galaxy S3
    Thanked by:
  8. #8  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by minnieusa View Post
    The above statement is the very reason I would never root. Anyone who understands that must be curing cancer or designing satellites to go in space
    Minnie, like wilder said, it's really not that hard. If you have, or think you might have, any interest in rooting and customizing your phone down the road, I would suggest starting off by reading. The Sprint rooting subforum has a lot of good information, as do the AC blog posts. Just read and absorb. After a while, I think you'll find it starts to make sense. Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not going to push anyone to root. There is some [minimal] risk involved, and most users probably have no real need to do so. My wife and two sons run completely stock phones. The only reason I rooted, initially, was so that I could run Titanium Backup and save all my application data in the event I ever needed to do a reset. But as I learned more about it, I started playing with other things I could do. I suppose to some extent it's a hobby.

    Oh, and I can only wish I was smart enough to work on curing cancer or designing satellites. I'm probably not any smarter than you: just a bit more knowledgeable in this subject area.
    PLEASE, when asking for help provide as much information as possible. We can't help unless we know what the symptoms are and what you did before they began.

    If I've helped you, please click the "Thanks" button.

    Have a Galaxy S3? Click here ==> Everything you wanted to know about your Galaxy S3
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    This is all incredibly useful to me, meyerweb. I know, as you said in another reply above, that all of this information is already available out there, but what you're providing is the structure on which I can hang the more amorphous stuff I'm reading. That makes it much, much easier to absorb and understand, so I appreciate your taking the significant time to do it.

    (I am, as we speak, running a backup from restore.)

    How stable is MOAR 6.1? Does it auto-update, or when it's updated will it require a re-flash?
  10. #10  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilder_jw View Post
    This is all incredibly useful to me, meyerweb. I know, as you said in another reply above, that all of this information is already available out there, but what you're providing is the structure on which I can hang the more amorphous stuff I'm reading. That makes it much, much easier to absorb and understand, so I appreciate your taking the significant time to do it.

    (I am, as we speak, running a backup from restore.)

    How stable is MOAR 6.1? Does it auto-update, or when it's updated will it require a re-flash?
    Many ROM developers now use a stand alone app that notifies you of a pending ROM update. From there it depends on the setup but it may auto download and update for you or you may have to still manually do it.



    Sent from my awesome HTC One
    Paul
    Moderator Team Leader @ Android Central





  11. #11  

    Default Re: What exactly happens in rooting?

    Strange, I could have sworn I answered wilder's last post, but it's not here. Sorry 'bout that.

    MOAR 6.1 is very stable. It won't auto-update or notify you of updates. OTOH, 6.1 is the last version of the 4.1.2 based MOAR ROM. The dev has now moved on to 7.x, which is based on the Sprint MK3 code. It is not, yet, as complete, customizable or stable as 6.1, but it's only a matter of time.

    And yes, updating a ROM requires another flash. Even the OTA's from Sprint require a flash, it just happens in the background without you seeing it.
    PLEASE, when asking for help provide as much information as possible. We can't help unless we know what the symptoms are and what you did before they began.

    If I've helped you, please click the "Thanks" button.

    Have a Galaxy S3? Click here ==> Everything you wanted to know about your Galaxy S3

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