Friday, 11 November 2011

[At Your Own Risk] How to Root your Galaxy Note

[UPDATED GUIDE 11/11/2011]

You know one thing I really love about Samsung Android devices? They never really lock the bootloaders. Why do I love that? Because Root usually comes very soon after release of the device, or in the case of the Note pretty much at release. 


I just got my Galaxy Note, so naturally the first thing I wanted to do to my my brand new handset was invalidate it's minty-fresh warranty.

Now that I've done that, and can live up to our guarantee that we only do guides for things we've done to our own devices, here are the spoils for you: a guide on how to violate the conditions of your minty-fresh warranty Root your Galaxy Note.

...also we also have video guides to supplement these written ones on our YouTube channel!

Prerequisite disclaimer pre-reading here.

ROOT GUIDE METHOD ONE: 

  • Recommended method, does not increase the flash counter so you can return the Note to stock if needed for warranty purposes.

First of all, here is a video guide to illustrate the written instructions:


...and now here are the written instructions:


Here is a list of things you will need:
  • A fully charged Galaxy Note
  • A micro USB connection cable
  • A Windows PC (I have no experience with doing this on a mac, so for now the guide will only cover Windows)
  • The PC will need to have the USB drivers for the Galaxy Note installed:
    • If you simply connect the Galaxy Note to the PC with the micro USB cable it will install them 
    • To be very sure your device will be recognised by Odin connect twice - once with USB debugging enabled, and once without - different drivers are installed depending on the status of debugging (USB debugging is in Settings --> Applications --> Developement)
    • If you're still having no luck try also installing the latest version of Samsung's Kies
  • The InitialCFRootflasher.zip here
  • The correct Chainfire Root kernel from here. In order to get the correct one for your firmware you need to go to Settings --> About phone and look at the kernel version. There will be a string there that looks something like this: 2.6.35.7-N7000XXKJ4-CL641703. The bit you need to note down is the text I've helpfully highlighted in yellow. When you look at the file names in the CFRoot post that is linked to here you want the file that corresponds to that, for the KJ4 firmware the filename will look like this: CF-Root-SGN_XX_XEN_KJ4-v5.0-CWM4.zip.
    • Quick update for those finding that their current firmware does not have a corresponding CFRoot kernel:  flash a pure stock one with CFRoot support in Odin and you're good to go. Shouldn't increase the flash counter, but even if it did there is now the TriangleAway app from Chainfire to reset it. Happy flashing.

OK, once you've assembled all the required bits follow these steps:

  1. Unzip the InitialCFRootflasher.zip
  2. Unzip the CFRoot kernel, you'll get a .tar file, unzip that file and you should have a zImage file
  3. Right click the zImage file and select copy
  4. Open the folder where you extracted the InitialCFRootflasher.zip to, within that directory there should be a folder called zImage - paste the zImage file you copied into this folder
  5. Back out of that folder and you should see a file called "not-rooted-yet.bat" - open that file and you will be greeted with the program that will install the CFRoot kernel and Root the phone
  6. Connect the micro USB cable to the phone, and then the computer - just plug it in - do not do anything else at this stage
  7. If you look at the "not-rooted-yet" screen you will see a check list of things that you need to make sure you've done - if you've followed this guide to the letter then you should be good to go, but just run through them again to be on the safe side...
  8. Now simply follow the instructions within the "not-rooted-yet" screen - first you will see a story about the zergling's progress breaking past your phones security (this will take a few minutes), if that is successful you'll be prompted to hit any key again to install the CFRoot kernel - at the end of that flash your phone will reboot
  9. Congratulations, your Galaxy Note is now Rooted! You should now make a Nandroid backup, and also a backup of the EFS folder in your Galaxy Note immediately. Guide for these things is here.

Simples right? 

...or maybe not? If you have any feedback about how you think we can improve these instructions, please let us know in the comments below.

If on the other hand you found these instructions were just what you needed to Root your Galaxy Note, feel free to let us know in the comments below also (along with showering the article with all the customary social media ways of saying thank you while you're at it).

Credit: Chainfire at XDA - please donate to him to keep his amazing Android development efforts alive!



ROOT GUIDE METHOD TWO - NOT RECOMMENDED

  • Only follow this guide if your Note already has no warranty and you'd prefer to use Odin because you are already familiar with it

Just to be crystal clear: If you flash via Odin as we demonstrate in this guide there is no way to reset the flash counter. That means that your warranty is irreparably void, you cannot return the phone to a stock state for warrany purposes. You've been warned.

Here is the video guide to supplement the written instructions below:


Here is a list of things you will need:
  • A fully charged Galaxy Note
  • A micro USB connection cable
  • A Windows PC (I have no experience with doing this on a mac, so for now the guide will only cover Windows)
  • The PC will need to have the USB drivers for the Galaxy Note installed:
    • If you simply connect the Galaxy Note to the PC with the micro USB cable it will install them 
    • To be very sure your device will be recognised by Odin connect twice - once with USB debugging enabled, and once without - different drivers are installed depending on the status of debugging (USB debugging is in Settings --> Applications --> Developement)
    • If you're still having no luck try also installing the latest version of Samsung's Kies
  • A copy of a program called Odin  - you can download it here
  • The correct CFRoot kernel from here
Alright, now we've got all those things assembled, it's time to void your warranty! Here are the steps you need to follow:
  1. Start Odin, it should look like this:

    2.  Click the button "PDA", shown in the picture below. Navigate to the CFRoot kernel you
         downloaded earlier and select it


    3.  Make sure "Repartition" is NOT checked



    4.  Power down your phone, and then put your phone into download mode. Do this by
         simultaneously pressing and holding the Volume Down and Home buttons, and then
         while holding these buttons down press and hold the power button down until this
         screen appears:


    5.   Follow the instructions on that screen and press the Volume Up key to proceed into 
          download mode, you will be greeted with a screen that looks like this:


    6.   Connect your phone to your computer with the USB cable, after a few moments 
          Odin should recognise the device and look like this:


    7.   In Odin press the Start button
    8.   Odin will flash the kernel to your device, and at the end you should see this in Odin:


    9.   Your device will reboot, disconnect the device
    13. Congratulations, your Galaxy Note is now Rooted! You should now make a Nandroid
          backup, and backup the EFS folder in your Galaxy Note immediately. Guide for that is
          here.

Annotating screen grabs with the S-Pen is
awesome!
    Simples right? 

    ...or maybe not? If you have any feedback about how you think we can improve these instructions, please let us know in the comments below.

    If on the other hand you found these instructions were just what you needed to Root your Galaxy Note, feel free to let us know in the comments below also (along with showering the article with all the customary social media ways of saying thank you while you're at it).

    Credit: Chainfire at XDA - please donate to him to keep his amazing Android development efforts alive!