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Sprint unlocked bootloader ?

OP mikeprius

4th March 2014, 09:15 AM   |  #1  
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I am still new in terms of customizing Android. The Sprint Galaxy S4 has an unlocked bootloader, while the AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S4 versions have a locked bootloader. This means that the ATT/VZW required a seperate program called a 'safestrap' which keeps the stock ROM intact, and uses additional internal memory and creates a whole new memory (essentially 2 ROMs in the internal memory) due to the bootloader being locked from the carrier ? Am I understanding this correctly ?

Just making sure, a few friends from VZW knew that I have a custom ROM on my phone and asked, and I didn't realize you can just flash custom recovery wipe, then flash like with Sprint. Thanks
4th March 2014, 12:47 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeprius

I am still new in terms of customizing Android. The Sprint Galaxy S4 has an unlocked bootloader, while the AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S4 versions have a locked bootloader. This means that the ATT/VZW required a seperate program called a 'safestrap' which keeps the stock ROM intact, and uses additional internal memory and creates a whole new memory (essentially 2 ROMs in the internal memory) due to the bootloader being locked from the carrier ? Am I understanding this correctly ?

Just making sure, a few friends from VZW knew that I have a custom ROM on my phone and asked, and I didn't realize you can just flash custom recovery wipe, then flash like with Sprint. Thanks

You're correct. You guys on sprint and TMobile are lucky to have unlocked bootloaders. My Verizon s4 is mdk firmware (the original) which can use Loki to bypass the bootloader so to speak. ATT has a similar situation I believe. But every firmware since the original has locked them down further. Requiring SafeStrap.

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5th March 2014, 12:36 AM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistertac

You're correct. You guys on sprint and TMobile are lucky to have unlocked bootloaders. My Verizon s4 is mdk firmware (the original) which can use Loki to bypass the bootloader so to speak. ATT has a similar situation I believe. But every firmware since the original has locked them down further. Requiring SafeStrap.

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Thank for the reply. Since the internal memory keeps the original ROM intact does it bog down the phone and draw resources while the custom ROM is running ? Or is the original ROM essentially "frozen" ?


Will your phone brick if you try and load custom ROMs without safestrap and tamper with the locked bootloader ?
5th March 2014, 12:53 AM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeprius

Thank for the reply. Since the internal memory keeps the original ROM intact does it bog down the phone and draw resources while the custom ROM is running ? Or is the original ROM essentially "frozen" ?


Will your phone brick if you try and load custom ROMs without safestrap and tamper with the locked bootloader ?

Well if you're using SafeStrap the way it was intended ( stock slot + ROM slots ) then the only resources used will be the physical memory which the stock ROM and the custom ROM will be taking up on the internal memory. Now some have wiped the stock ROM slot and installed custom Roms onto that to have more internal memory free. That however isn't recommended because if anything gets screwed up Odin is your only option usually. Whereas if you install to ROM slots you can just keep wiping and installing.

And your chances of bricking one of these locked down s4 is really high if you do anything other than root it and use SafeStrap. If we could do it without SafeStrap we certainly would. Just can't be done that's all.

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5th March 2014, 01:59 AM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistertac

Well if you're using SafeStrap the way it was intended ( stock slot + ROM slots ) then the only resources used will be the physical memory which the stock ROM and the custom ROM will be taking up on the internal memory. Now some have wiped the stock ROM slot and installed custom Roms onto that to have more internal memory free. That however isn't recommended because if anything gets screwed up Odin is your only option usually. Whereas if you install to ROM slots you can just keep wiping and installing.

And your chances of bricking one of these locked down s4 is really high if you do anything other than root it and use SafeStrap. If we could do it without SafeStrap we certainly would. Just can't be done that's all.

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Makes sense. How would the phone get hard bricked if you can flash via Odin if you were to wipe the stock ROM slot ? The locked bootloader would still stay intact but the stock ROM would be gone. I am assuming the possibility of bricking the phone would be restoring the stock rom after it has been wiped while leaving the locked bootloader untouched. I was looking at safestrap for my friend and will pass along the information....too bad it is not like sprint where everything can be deleted haphazardly which is what I do when I flash new roms. I even format the internals so everything is completely empty when I put a new ROM.
5th March 2014, 12:21 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeprius

Makes sense. How would the phone get hard bricked if you can flash via Odin if you were to wipe the stock ROM slot ? The locked bootloader would still stay intact but the stock ROM would be gone. I am assuming the possibility of bricking the phone would be restoring the stock rom after it has been wiped while leaving the locked bootloader untouched. I was looking at safestrap for my friend and will pass along the information....too bad it is not like sprint where everything can be deleted haphazardly which is what I do when I flash new roms. I even format the internals so everything is completely empty when I put a new ROM.


When I was using SafeStrap I never ran into a hard brick myself, just soft brick that Odin would fix pretty easily. I'd say about 99% of the time that would be the case.

I'm not sure of the technical details as far as why messing with the stock slot can lead to issues. My guess , and i could be wrong, is maybe to do with the kernel. . SafeStrap Roms must be based of the same version if Touchwiz that the phone is on 4.2 4.3 4.4 etc and it must have the same kernel as well. Again I'm just guessing but when the phone boots up and runs all its checks, if there are any discrepancies i think that would lead you to a soft brick, again this is if you're flashing to the stock slot.

I think someone who is way smarter than me could explain the differences between what really is going on when soft bricks result from flashing to the stock slot vs a ROM slot. I'm just going off my experiences.

That said... Most people have no problems keeping the stock slot and running 2 or 3 ROM slots as long as they manage their internal memory well and send everything they can to external SD card.

I ran SafeStrap on my RAZR for a long time and for a little while on the s4 before I picked up an MDK build S4 that I could bypass the bootloader using Loki.
The RAZR had Kexec support or Bootstrapping, whatever you want to call it, which allowed for custom kernels and Aosp Roms. People are working on that for the s4 and hopefully that day comes because it opens up a ton of options as you can imagine.

Hope I helped a little. And like I said if you want more technical answers about SafeStrap and stock slot vs ROM slot just hop over to a SafeStrap thread I'm sure someone will know

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5th March 2014, 07:54 PM   |  #7  
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Wow, I hadn't realized how big of a hassle some of the carriers were trying to make it for you to customize your own phone. That really stinks. Sprint has always been good to me so far.

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