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Suggestion:TWRP, exfat, GT-N7000 external SD Card bug

OP julian67

19th August 2014, 02:25 AM   |  #1  
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On my Samsung GT-N7000 I'm trying Omnirom again. I've tried it in the past and also tried vanilla CM stable and nightlies. I have also tried SuperNexus and PA and some other stuff that left no impression. Basically on this device for functional hardware, reasonable user control and a coherent UI it is Samsung's Touchwiz rooted, or Omnirom.

It is a bit too hard to install Omnirom and it can be horribly tedious to go from Omnirom back to stock or to another ROM. It's OK after you have done it a few times, but it is a huge obstacle for anyone trying to discover the way via inaccurate, misleading and fragmented documentation. The install guide at omnirom.org is actually utterly useless for this particular device, a complete non-starter. XpLoDWilD your GT-N7000 specific thread at http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2516933 almost guarantees a boot loop because it only mentions but doesn't identify or link to versions of CWM which are adequate. In fact unless the user by diligent searching (or more likely by blind chance) comes across a link to the specific suitable raw kernel then it is one big dead end. You could spend hours and days searching for a suitable CWM and never find it because actually you should be searching for raw_kernel_r#_j##.zip. But how is anyone meant to know this. It turns what is actually a reliable and rather trouble free 15 or 20 minute process into a some kind of waking torment. In the past the documentation on installing via CWM was so bad that I used ODIN, which is less than ideal IMO because it means that anyone switching from stock to Omni doesn't get the chance to make a full nandroid backup of the original system (so to revert means a very tedious clean install).

So assuming the end user somehow finds the right raw kernel whose recovery can install Omnirom, what should they do? Of course they should back up their current apps and also make a nandroid backup. Apps backup is easy with oandbackup or titanium or similar. How about a nandroid backup to external SD? No problem in CWM but once you have TWRP installed you can't use it to access anything on an exfat formatted external SD card! You can back up before installing Omnirom but afterwards you can't restore! This is 100% nuts. exfat has now been around for 8 years. CWM supports it brilliantly. Even my crusty old Debian stable desktop reads and writes to exfat at very high speeds even via a FUSE FS and my puny Asus EeePC netbook running XP Home handles it fine. TWRP? Nope. exfat? Wha tha? Aaaaaagh.

Sorry to rant But for these specific devices Omnirom (with an exfat SD) is really the only high quality competitor to the stock Samsung, and there surely isn't a good reason for it being so frustrating to install and also to revert? Is TWRP really such a killer facility that it is worth foregoing the ability to backup and restore to the now very common exfat microSDHC? I run plain CM 11 on another device and OTA updates work fine on that. In these days of phatter pipes is it really worth making a huge compromise in functionality simply to avoid 200MB of downloads sometimes? On this device the delta updates are going to fail for many anyway unless they use an exfat card, but if they use an exfat card they.....oooouuuurrrggg...vicious circle.

/rant over.


Loving Omnirom btw and writing as a fan.
Last edited by julian67; 19th August 2014 at 02:36 AM. Reason: typo
19th August 2014, 04:01 PM   |  #2  
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#blamesamsung

The Exynos Galaxy S2 family are some of the only devices remaining that don't have separate recovery partitions. This has always led to various annoyances for custom firmware users since it's impossible to change recovery without changing kernel.

Probably the documentation could be updated to indicate a double-flash though. Flash once to get a working recovery, flash a second time to get a working /system
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20th August 2014, 12:36 AM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropy512

#blamesamsung

The Exynos Galaxy S2 family are some of the only devices remaining that don't have separate recovery partitions. This has always led to various annoyances for custom firmware users since it's impossible to change recovery without changing kernel.

Probably the documentation could be updated to indicate a double-flash though. Flash once to get a working recovery, flash a second time to get a working /system

Thanks for responding. I do appreciate that the exynos based devices are sons-of-b...b...bad persons.

I know documentation is boring and mostly thankless but it also matters a lot, most especially for projects which invite the user to perform realtively complex and potentially hazardous tasks.

Personally I would be very happy to edit/update XpLoDWilD's guide, but of course I can't because it's a forum post, not a wiki, so he owns it and it will remain there guiding new and trusting people into disappointment and boot loop oblivion until he decides to change it.

Omnirom has some issues but on the GT-N7000 is probably the only really mature and coherent alternative UI to Samsung's Touchwiz. To me it seems simply insane to direct newcomers into an unnecessary, time consuming, badly described and potentialy hazardous obstacle course, when in fact installation can be done with only small inconvenience.
21st August 2014, 02:20 PM   |  #4  
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I'm currently looking for information about installing OmniROM (I'm currently running CM11 nightlies), and I can attest the information in XpLoDWilD's post is somewhat vague, and also doesn't fully correlate with the directions to install Omni at the official wiki -- I'm assuming this lack of correlation is partly due to the fact, mentioned in this thread, that the N7000 doesn't have a separate recovery partition.

Something which made me especially uncertain about the installation process is the following part:
Quote:
Originally Posted by XpLoDWilD

- Make sure you're running a proper working ClockworkMod-Recovery - WITH SELINUX SUPPORT!

My understanding is that SeLinux is a feature of the kernel -- not the recovery console -- am I wrong about this? Or should I look for SeLinux in the features of the recovery console as well? (if so, how?)
What I currently do, is run adb, or start a console from the normal operating mode (not recovery mode), run the command:
Code:
getenforce
and confirm the reply is:
Code:
Enforcing
which means I have a kernel with SeLinux. Is that good enough to ensure the requisites for the installation are provided?
I'd appreciate any input about this matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67

Personally I would be very happy to edit/update XpLoDWilD's guide, but of course I can't because it's a forum post, not a wiki, so he owns it and it will remain there guiding new and trusting people into disappointment and boot loop oblivion until he decides to change it.

Cant you add device-specific installation guide at the official wiki?
22nd August 2014, 10:57 PM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagie

Cant you add device-specific installation guide at the official wiki?

I'm back on rooted Samsung TouchWiz. As things stand I wouldn't encourage any normal end user with a GT-N7000 to try a ROM. Hardware support is poor and unlikely to improve, installation documentation is misleading, backup is difficult, and restoring stock Samsung successfully requires ODIN. Also you stand a real chance of bricking the device. On my B+N Nook HD CM11 nightly is, as far as I can tell, beyond criticism but on these Exynos based devices all the third party ROMs have poor hardware support, poor multimedia support, poor stability and truly terrible battery life (even with no gapps installed). I will keep trying out ROMs occasionally and if the day arrives where the hardware is truly supported I will write a guide and drink a bottle of french fizz, but at the moment I would discourage any regular end user from doing anything to their GT-N7000 except running the newest available official firmware and rooting it if required.
24th August 2014, 06:14 PM   |  #6  
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I'm pretty sure I can save my twrp backups to my exfat sdcard.

edit: yup. just touch "internal storage" on the twrp backup page and select your sdcard.
Last edited by bleggy; 25th August 2014 at 02:18 AM.
19th September 2014, 04:35 AM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67

I'm back on rooted Samsung TouchWiz. As things stand I wouldn't encourage any normal end user with a GT-N7000 to try a ROM. Hardware support is poor and unlikely to improve, installation documentation is misleading, backup is difficult, and restoring stock Samsung successfully requires ODIN. Also you stand a real chance of bricking the device. On my B+N Nook HD CM11 nightly is, as far as I can tell, beyond criticism but on these Exynos based devices all the third party ROMs have poor hardware support, poor multimedia support, poor stability and truly terrible battery life (even with no gapps installed). I will keep trying out ROMs occasionally and if the day arrives where the hardware is truly supported I will write a guide and drink a bottle of french fizz, but at the moment I would discourage any regular end user from doing anything to their GT-N7000 except running the newest available official firmware and rooting it if required.

i've been using omnirom as my daily driver for 2 weeks now. love kitkat and omnirom features, but its still very unstable i think. stuff that's bothering me for now:

-stock camera is really plain, can't even switch to front camera
-video playback sometimes fail
-music playback will fail the first time i launch and play a song or 2. have to reboot and it'll work all day long
-intermittent random reboots, about 3 times so far the whole week
-wifi signal range is somewhat lower compared to touchwiz rom
-stock clock app, can't manually input time via keypad when you want to add an alarm
-contacts app is very confusing, can't even add a contact with ease. well at least for me that is

other than that kit kat is sure a welcome on this legendary device. contemplating the switch back to stock touchwiz, but loathe at the idea of setting up everything again zzz
19th October 2014, 08:18 PM   |  #8  
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In answer to this, and if it can help.

That the second time I install a ROM on my N7000, so it was still a bit frightening for me
Based on a CM10.1, I already had an old CWM.
1) From CWM I've just installed Philz Touch
2) On Philz, i've wiped everything, formated both internal and external sd cards (well I wanted something reeeally clean)
3) Used abd for copying omnirom and Gapp zip on the root
4) installed them from Philz Touch.

And it works like a charm (... but not enough feedback yet, just 2 days).

Now the question is to know if a day Omnirom will accept CWM based recoveries for updates.
TWRP is unfortunately not available on N7000 (from what I see, only USA flavors of Galaxy Note1).

Thanks!
Polux

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