Unlocking, Rooting and Flashing Android devices: HTC G1 – Samsung Next – Galaxy Nexus

In a previous post I analyzed and wrote the structure of Android OS and my experiences with the HTC G1, but.. how did I root, unlock and flash that phone? I followed tutorials found on internet, the same (more or less) I’m going to write here – all together – and of course it’s not going to be a copy/paste rather a way to schematize the correct procedure to modify these 3 smartphones (:

The first thing to do when starting with Android is to install the Android SDK:
Download it here – the newest releases added the SDK Manager tool to run the configuration of the SDK by installing what’s necessary, Android SDK Tools – Android SDK Platform-tools – Google USB Driver – Install them.
The SDK with Platform-tools installed, will add the ADB.exe tool.
The ADB is a command that will be used often, I’d suggest to edit the Environment Variables to have ADB as a System Variable to run it on every CMD shell.
To do that open Computer Properties -> Advanced system settings -> Environment variables.
Select Path and Edit it adding the path of Platform-tools directory with an “;” at the beginning of the path. The SDK is usually located under Program filesif untouched.

;C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools

Hit Ok to save and end.

To check that drivers and tools are installed correctly simply enable the “Debugging Mode” from Settings and plug the Android phone to the PC, open then a CMD shell and give this command:

adb devices

If the phone gets recognized by the PC it will print something like this:

If so, The Environment variable works and ADB/phone drivers are installed correctly (: Good job!

– HTC G1 –

The HTC G1 or Dream is one of the first Android phones, many developers started with it and did a very good job bringing this phone to its maximum! It was imported in Italy by the operator TIM only. It came with Android 1.6 (Donut).

 

 

Unfortunately I don’t have anymore the needed file to follow the rooting procedure, the steps were:

HTC G1: Rooting

1. Reboot the phone in Fastboot mode – Holding Power + Camera button.
2. At the screen with 3 Android guys on skate, hit the “back” button.
3. PC will ask for drivers, these are the Fastboot one.
4. Give this command:

 fastboot devices 

There should appear the device connected just like using ADB.

Backup!
It would be a good idea to backup the original state of the phone… I didn’t because too lazy..
1. Download this Recovery image file -> Download here – And copy into the same ADB directory.
2. Boot the phone with this Recovery image using this code:

fastboot boot recovery.img

3. The phone will reboot into this Recovery image. Pressing “ALT” + “B” from phone’s keyboard will create the backup copy.
4. Reboot the phone with “HOME” + “BACK” button.
The backup procedure will create a folder called NANDROID inside the root of sdcard, it’s better to save into the PC.

The real root
1. Reboot in Fastboot mode.
2. Download the modified Boot image -> Download here – And copy into the same ADB directory.
3. Boot the phone with this boot image using this code:

fastboot boot boot.img

4. When the phone boots it will have root privileges, we can therefore open a shell and type these commands:

adb shell
# mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
# cd system
# cd bin
# cat sh > su
# chmod 4755 su
# exit

5. Reboot the phone – If everything went well, when plugging the phone to the pc and giving an adb shell, then “su”, it should not give errors rather will appear a sharp “#” as sign that rooting procedure went fine.

Flashing the Recovery image
The phone is now rooted but we can’t flash a custom ROM yet because the 2nd step is flashing a custom Recovery image.
A good one I used for a while was Cyanogen Recovery 1.4 also because there wasn’t need to update critical sides of the firmware like the SPL.
I moved to AmonRA after some months because I updated the SPL and AmonRA has more stuff and it’s more updated.

Links could not works because old and unmaintained.
Cyanogen Recovery 1.4 -> here
AmonRA 1.70 -> here
CWM ClockworkMod -> here

A good way to flash the Recovery image is from Fastboot BUT for some Recovery like AmonRA 1.70, the flash through Fastboot is possible only with the modified SPL.
Check in AmonRA’ page the other ways to flash it.
Usually, these command are used to flash the Recovery:
1. Boot in fastboot mode
2. Use this command:

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

To boot in Recovery mode press POWER + HOME button.

Flashing a ROM
From Recovery is now possible to flash custom ROMs, the ROM I always used is CyanogenMod, IMHO the stabler is the CyanogenMod 5.0.8 BUT it needs the DangerSPL..
The perfect ROM where to start is the CyanogenMod 4.1.999 – therefore flash this as first ROM, then the 4.2.x are perfect, BUT before flashing the 4.2.15.1 (the last from 4.2 version), it’s better to upgrade the Recovery image.

Keep in mind: Never update the SPL if using an old version of the Radio, SPL and Radio works together.
READ THIS page!!!

To quickly update the phone:
1. Flash the Radio – 2.22.19.26i or 2.22.23.02 are perfect.
2. Flash the SPL – the Danger SPL (HBOOT-1.33.2005)
3. Flash Latest Recovery – AmonRa 1.70 (if not flashed previously)
4. Flash CyanogenMod 5

The complete section on HTC G1 is behind THIS link (: check it out!

– Samsung Galaxy Next –

The Samsung Galaxy Mini, known as Galaxy Next in Italy, is between the low-end Samsung smartphones of 2011, It comes with Froyo (Android 2.2) but it had the official update who brought Android 2.3, Gingerbread. I’m going to write the complete procedure to root this phone and the way to unlock it from the network-sim lock by operator 3.

 

Rooting the Galaxy Next

The rooting procedure for the Galaxy Next with Android 2.3 is really simple, everything is done with the use of an “update.zip” package which contains all the necessary to root the phone easily.

1. Download the update.zip from HERE.
2. Copy inside the root of the sdcard.
3. Boot into Recovery with HOME + POWER button and flash this update.zip.

Done, the Galaxy Next is now rooted and ready to flash a Recovery image.

Flashing a Recovery image

A different way to flash a Recovery image or any other kind of images, is using Odin.
Download HERE Odin 4.38 + Tass v.1.ops
Here’s the link for CWM ClockWorkMod Recovery on XDA: HERE

1. Open Odin and press OPS button, select the TASS_1.0.ops file.
2. Select One Package from Option and click on One Package button, then select the Recovery.tar file downloaded.
3. To go into download mode, press VOLUME DOWN + HOME + POWER button, plug the phone to the pc.
4. Odin should detect the phone, if at the top left there’s a com port number written in yellow background, the phone is detected. Hit Start.
5. The procedure will take from 3 to 5 minutes, when it reports PASS, the phone can be disconnected.

To see the new Recovery, press HOME + POWER button!

Flashing a custom ROM

With the new Recovery we can now flash a different ROM, it took me more time to choose the ROM than complete the whole rooting and unlocking procedure.. at the end I chose the New experience 4.0, this is the Development Section of Galaxy Next where it is possible to find many good ROMs for this phone!

<b>Just remember, every time before update/flash a new ROM, always do a NANDROID backup and, before flashing, wipe the cache-data.. or better a full wipe.</b>

Unlock the network-sim card lock on Samsung

This procedure is made to unlock the phone to use any sim-card, I think that the original page is clear enough so I just link that HERE. It worked for me (:

– Samsung Galaxy Nexus –

 

Well, The Samsung Galaxy Nexus as last!
I’d just say that this phone is amazing!

 

 

Root, Recovery, ROMs, Radio

Let’s just say this: there are different ways to root and modify Android phones, some of them are based on bugs of Android system, others are instead hidden by the brander.
We’ve seen the long procedure for the HTC G1, that for sure after 2 years, should be different/easier and shorter..
I also shown the procedure to modify the Galaxy Next, very easy!
With the Galaxy Nexus you don’t even need to think!

Check THIS.
The GNex Toolkit is a great tool that does everything by itself, I used it because the way it installs the drivers is very accurate and if you choose the 1 CLICK FOR ALL, 30 seconds later the phone is modified.

Of course it “just” root and flash the Recovery image, you must choose the rom to use (if you want to use a custom one)..
I’m currently using the AOKP with the Franco Kernel. It works very well!
THIS is the Development Section of Galaxy Nexus, there are many ROMs, Basebands and Kernels to try (:

What’s the Baseband? Check it HERE
The Baseband is the Radio module, I flashed the SC04DOMLA1 because so far it’s working fine or a bit better than the original one:

SC04DOMLA1: No dedicated thread.
Fastboot: Original post, neXfiles DL
CWM: Original post, neXfiles DL
- Note: Not originally for the I9250-model, but for Japanese NTT Docomo Galaxy Nexus (SC-04D), which should contain the same hardware.
- Originally from Docomo SC-04D (yakjusc) OTA-update to ICL53F.
- Reported not using the 850Mhz band, giving bad signal for Rogers subcribers in Canada. YMMV.
- Reported not working at all for Three in the UK

Yes, I love Android (: