Originally Posted by MisterSprinkles
You should have absolutely ZERO issues with rooting/using a custom recovery, etc... Casual couldn't be any easier.
Not necessarily. If he gets a phone that was manufactured after ~July 2013, he'll have problems. There was apparently a silent change to the firmware/hardware/boot process that prevents any of the currently-available custom recovery packages from working. (Not clear on what the change was other than they apparently back-ported it from the GS4 and it requires a change to the recovery's kernel before anything will mount.) I've been fighting to get my brand new GS3 rooted and a custom ROM on it for almost two weeks now.
Trying to do so with Casual caused an endless boot-into-recovery loop because the recovery couldn't clear the cache and reset the 'boot into recovery' flag that ADB set; I was forced to flash back to stock recovery to fix that.
I did manage to get both TWRP and CWM loaded via ODIN, but every version I tried (dozens in all) refused to mount any partitions - it couldn't mount/read from /system or /data or /sdcard or /cache, so there's no way to flash anything. The closest I've come is by using the hacked-up versions of TWRP and CWM from this thread
, but they're built for to Sprint phones, so now when booted into Recovery my phone thinks it's a Sprint and won't flash the VZW versions of anything.
So far, every person who's having this problem appears to have gotten their phone in the second half of this year, so I strongly suspect that buying one now will have the same result.