Perhaps like me you recently picked up your brand new Telstra Samsung Galaxy S2 (also known as the Galaxy SII or i9100T). But like me too, you quickly realise that its full power can’t be unleashed without “rooting” your phone (like “jailbreaking” for iPhone converts). Or you may have just heard about rooting your android phone and want to know if it is right for you.
So why would you bother rooting your phone? Well there are a number of good reasons:
- Rooting allows you to remove the (mostly useless) apps that Telstra/Samsung bake in to the original ROM;
- Rooting allows you to install other custom kernels which can include various speed and efficiency tweaks;
- Rooting allows you to install software which, in conjunction with the above, can control the speed and voltages of the processor, allowing you to either increase the phone’s speed or decrease the power usage (more battery life – always a plus!);
- Rooting gives you access to ClockWorkMod recovery which lets you flash and install files more easily directly on your phone;
- Rooting is the first step to installing a custom ROM.
Interested in achieving any or all of the above? Then this is your simple guide to do just that.
I should point out that I claim no credit for any of the software or kernels you use in this procedure. Pretty much all of this is thanks to the hard work of awesome XDA-Developer Chainfire. This guide is primarily aimed aimed at Telstra users who don’t know which files to use for their phones. I also include a more visuals in my steps for those who are a bit confused.
Note: whilst extremely unlikely to cause any problems, flashing a rooted kernel is not 100% fool proof. Following this procedure is completely and utterly at your own risk, even though it worked flawlessly for on my phone. I take zero responsibility for any negative consequences you may experience as a result of following this guide.
The process takes no more than about 2 minutes once you have the requisite files. You won’t even lose any of your files or settings. What you will need:
- A trusty MicroUSB cable
- Odin3 (the Samsung ROM flashing software);
- The KF4 rooted kernel (which is the version which matches the stock July 2011 DVKF4 Telstra ROM)
The Flashing Process
- Make sure your phone is disconnected from the computer and switched off before starting.
- Download Odin3 v1.85 (first post) and the KF4 kernel (CF-Root-SGS2_ZS_OZS_KF4-v4.0-CWM4.zip – fourth post) from Chainfire’s SGS2 CF-Root thread at Xda-Developers. You will need to register on the forum to download the files – highly worthwhile anyway.
- Extract the two ZIP files into a new folder. You should have the following files in the folder:
- Open Odin3. Click on the PDA button and select the CF-Root-SGS2_ZS_OZS_KF4-v4.0-CWM4.tar file. Make sure that “Re-Partition” is not selected. Your screen should look similar to this:
- Now the only *remotely* confusing part – placing your phone into download mode. With your phone already switched off, simultaneously hold down the Home (middle) button and the Volume-Down (on the left hand side) button, then hold the Power button (on the right hand side). If you hold this button combination correctly you will see the following screen (if it didn’t work, you’ll need to switch your phone off and try again):
- Press Volume-Up and you should see this:
- Now we are ready to flash the kernel. Plug the phone into your MicroUSB cable. If you are doing it for the first time, some drivers may automatically install to allow communication with the phone in download mode. Once this is complete, check your Odin3 screen for the following changes:
- If you are still with me at this stage, you are good to go. Press Start in Odin3 and let it do its magic (the phone’s screen will change to a progress bar so you know it is doing something).
- The phone will reboot and you are done.
Now when your phone reboots you will see a yellow triangle on the Galaxy SII startup screen. Don’t fret; it just indicates that custom software is installed and there is no effect on the operation of the phone. The way to remove that triangle is also in Chainfire’s thread if it really offends you but I haven’t bothered.
That’s about it! Enjoy the new found capabilities of your rooted Samsung Galaxy S2.
Wondering what to do next? Try removing some of your useless stock applications.