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How to - No data loss root method
I was guilty of not following everyone's advise to unlock the bootloader right away before populating the phone with all my apps, data, etc. My reasoning at the time was that I wasn't sure I was going to keep the Gnex and didn't want to have to go through the trouble of unlocking and re-locking the loader if I had decided to not keep it. Well a couple of months later, I sat with an locked, unrooted phone full of stuff I didn't want to lose.
I came across a very simple method to root the phone without unlocking the bootloader. Once rooted I of course had the option to use Titanium Backup, My Backup or any number of other root only applications to backup my app data and so forth. A quick transfer of the backup folder and following the wipe from unlocking the bootloader, I can restore any of my app data or discontinued applications and system settings if I so choose.
To be clear, all the credit for this method belongs to "scary alien", a moderator over at androidforums.com, and whatever sources he credits for the process. I was just so grateful to find a method which allowed me the "alibi" so to speak for waiting to unlock. I"m sure there are others out there like I was, who are choosing the not root and unlock because they don't want to lose their app data. Absolutely no reason not to do so with this option available. The link to the posting which provides the script and instructions is below:
Root GNex without unlocking bootloader (yep! - Android Forums