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[Q] A Weary Traveler [Questions About ROM Flashing]

OP BrendonButton

5th May 2014, 09:55 AM   |  #1  
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First, and foremost, hello. I am new here, and I'm glad to be a part of the forum. Secondly, I'd like to apologize if I am posting this in the wrong section.

The topic I'd like to ask you a few questions about today is ROM Flashing, and the steps I should be taking to stay safe. I originally started playing around with Android devices around a year ago, but I recently started to delve deeper. I am the proud owner of an AT&T ZTE Z998 Mustang, and I have rooted it successfully. While in the process of rooting, I saw all of the warnings of how I should do a NANDROID backup, so that was my first instinct. I tried installing Clockworkmod, but to my dismay, they did not have an official version for my phone. I did happen to get lucky and find a version someone ported on their own. I attempted for a whole night before falling prey to error after error, and decided to give up. I went on without any backups, fiddling with my device. Luckily, I did not mess anything up, except for "accidentally" deleting the AT&T startup animation. (Haha.) Tonight, though, I happened to get the urge again, so I made some more attempts. After receiving the same error, I decided to look that error up word for word, and found that I did not have enough room on my Micro SD. I managed to clear enough room, and jumped in joy when I saw that I could delete an app, then restore and have it be back again. It was quite a big accomplishment for me. I've decided that I want to try flashing a custom ROM. The ROM I have chosen is the MIUI ROM. It seems quite popular, and I enjoy the iOS-esq feel of it, as well as its seamless theme changing. The only problem is, there is not an official release for my device. In fact, I have yet to find any ROM with an official release for my device. That is why I am coming to you guys.

My Questions:
Can I use a ROM that has not been specifically made for my device?
Will I still be connected to the AT&T Network?
If so, can I expect errors?
Am I truly safe with this newly acquired backup?
Anything you think I should know?

I'd like to thank you for any help in advance.
Last edited by BrendonButton; 5th May 2014 at 10:19 AM.
5th May 2014, 04:14 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrendonButton

First, and foremost, hello. I am new here, and I'm glad to be a part of the forum. Secondly, I'd like to apologize if I am posting this in the wrong section.

The topic I'd like to ask you a few questions about today is ROM Flashing, and the steps I should be taking to stay safe. I originally started playing around with Android devices around a year ago, but I recently started to delve deeper. I am the proud owner of an AT&T ZTE Z998 Mustang, and I have rooted it successfully. While in the process of rooting, I saw all of the warnings of how I should do a NANDROID backup, so that was my first instinct. I tried installing Clockworkmod, but to my dismay, they did not have an official version for my phone. I did happen to get lucky and find a version someone ported on their own. I attempted for a whole night before falling prey to error after error, and decided to give up. I went on without any backups, fiddling with my device. Luckily, I did not mess anything up, except for "accidentally" deleting the AT&T startup animation. (Haha.) Tonight, though, I happened to get the urge again, so I made some more attempts. After receiving the same error, I decided to look that error up word for word, and found that I did not have enough room on my Micro SD. I managed to clear enough room, and jumped in joy when I saw that I could delete an app, then restore and have it be back again. It was quite a big accomplishment for me. I've decided that I want to try flashing a custom ROM. The ROM I have chosen is the MIUI ROM. It seems quite popular, and I enjoy the iOS-esq feel of it, as well as its seamless theme changing. The only problem is, there is not an official release for my device. In fact, I have yet to find any ROM with an official release for my device. That is why I am coming to you guys.

My Questions:
Can I use a ROM that has not been specifically made for my device?
Will I still be connected to the AT&T Network?
If so, can I expect errors?
Am I truly safe with this newly acquired backup?
Anything you think I should know?

I'd like to thank you for any help in advance.

Bump.
5th May 2014, 06:45 PM   |  #3  
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Hi there. Welcome to the forums!

Unfortunately, the bad thing about phones that aren't very popular in the grand scheme of things means less people have them = less people making stuff for it. Developers often end up picking phones that are going to have more support from the manufacturer and more people will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labors. This of course, is a general rule, and of course there are exceptions, but your phone doesn't seem to be one of them. Companies like ZTE aren't concerned about putting out the source code for phones like this means that it is hard, to almost impossible, to make a really custom rom work correctly due to driver issues among other things.

So to answer the questions:

1) Sometimes, but very dependent on the models, carriers, and which software updates. General rule of thumb is that if it isn't based off the same chipset, it won't have a chance of working. But there are lots of other things to consider to, like radio versions, bootloader status, partition layout, etc. Long story short, there's no easy answer and there are lots of caveats.

2) + 3) See above.

4) You SHOULD be safe if CWM told you that the nandroid was completed successfully, but just like any other software based things, things happen.


Best way to be safe is to be able to reflash the original firmware for the phone back to it, but not even sure if that's an option for you - which goes back to ZTE not giving a $^!* about these cheap little phones for small prepaid companies. They save money by not doing any extra work like providing firmware, updates, source code, etc.

The only forums I know that mess with these kinds of things are:

http://unleashedprepaids.com/forum-1491.html

Not for your phone specifically, but similar ones:

http://androidarea51.com/zte-phones/



So yea, slim pickings.
6th May 2014, 02:56 AM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by es0tericcha0s

Helpful Info.

First, thank you! I was waiting all day. I was a little disappointed with the answer, though. v.v Do you know if there are any ROMS that will work with ANY device? Like even bare minerals versions of AOSP ROMS that have yet to be touched?

Also, I am slowly saving for a 64GB Black Nexus 5, so I shouldn't be stuck but more than a month or more so.
6th May 2014, 09:03 AM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrendonButton

First, thank you! I was waiting all day. I was a little disappointed with the answer, though. v.v Do you know if there are any ROMS that will work with ANY device? Like even bare minerals versions of AOSP ROMS that have yet to be touched?

Also, I am slowly saving for a 64GB Black Nexus 5, so I shouldn't be stuck but more than a month or more so.

No, sorry. It's just not possible. Your best hope would be to use the debloated rom in the unleashed prepaids forum and use the Xposed Framework.

http://unleashedprepaids.com/thread-8769.html

http://unleashedprepaids.com/thread-8771.html

http://forum.xda-developers.com/xpos...fying-t1574401

http://repo.xposed.info/module-overview



I have the Nexus 5 (don't think they come in 64 - only 16/32) but it's awesome and there are so many roms that it'll make your head spin. lol
6th May 2014, 02:20 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by es0tericcha0s

No, sorry. It's just not possible. Your best hope would be to use the debloated rom in the unleashed prepaids forum and use the Xposed Framework.

http://unleashedprepaids.com/thread-8769.html

http://unleashedprepaids.com/thread-8771.html

http://forum.xda-developers.com/xpos...fying-t1574401

http://repo.xposed.info/module-overview



I have the Nexus 5 (don't think they come in 64 - only 16/32) but it's awesome and there are so many roms that it'll make your head spin. lol

Oops, sorry, yeah, that's what I meant. xD

But, I can not wait for it!

Just some final thoughts and questions:

I do have Xposed installed already, but have yet to look around in it due to the hundreds of modules. Do you have any suggestions about which I should look at for cosmetic needs? I have tried to use Gravitybox, but it force closed upon entry every time I used it, so I deleted it.

I understand that the limitation is very high because of the fact that it is a closed sourced company, but many ZTE Devices are listed to have compatible ROMS, such as MIUI ROM. If I try to use a ROM specified for a different phone, do you know what could happen? I feel that it may not even open, or if it does, it'll have tons of errors and not work upon entry, or even work but have certain things like the camera that will not connect. I'm only worried about high margins of fatal breakage. If it is some silly error that I won't have to "worry" about, I'm okay with fooling around.

If I do try to install a new ROM, but want to go back, will it affect anything on my previous backup? I know backups copy EVERYTHING, but I'd just like to make sure I won't do serious damage.

Lastly, thank you for all the help. It means a ton.
Last edited by BrendonButton; 6th May 2014 at 02:30 PM.
6th May 2014, 02:28 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrendonButton

Oops, sorry, yeah, that's what I meant. xD

But, I can not wait for it!

Just some final thoughts and questions:

I do have Xposed installed already, but have yet to look around in it due to the hundreds of modules. Do you have any suggestions about which I should look at for cosmetic needs? I have tried to use Gravitybox, but it force closed upon entry every time I used it, so I deleted it.

I understand that the limitation is very high because of the fact that it is a closed sourced company, but many ZTE Devices are listed to have compatible ROMS, such as MIUI ROM. If I try to use a ROM specified for a different phone, do you know what could happen? I feel that it may not even open, or if it does, it'll have tons of errors and not work upon entry, or even work but have certain things like the camera that will not connect. I'm only worried about high margins of fatal breakage. If it is some silly error that I won't have to "worry" about, I'm okay with fooling around.

If I do try to install a new ROM, but want to go back, will it affect anything on my previous backup? I know backups copy EVERYTHING, but I'd just like to make sure I won't do serious damage.

Lastly, thank you for all the help. It means a ton.

Gravity Box wouldn't work because it is for more AOSP based things. As far as theming goes, you can try HK Theme Manager or Ex Themer. For the idea of trying to install a rom for another ZTE phone, well, best case scenario is that it doesn't flash at all. Worst case is that it does flash, and you lose something like your IMEI, baseband, or one or more of your other partitions and all of those are potentially unrecoverable, no matter what kind of backups you have. This wouldn't be one of those, "Oh, shoot, that didn't work, I'll just factory reset or restore my backup and be good to go..." kind of situations.
6th May 2014, 02:32 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by es0tericcha0s

Gravity Box wouldn't work because it is for more AOSP based things. As far as theming goes, you can try HK Theme Manager or Ex Themer. For the idea of trying to install a rom for another ZTE phone, well, best case scenario is that it doesn't flash at all. Worst case is that it does flash, and you lose something like your IMEI, baseband, or one or more of your other partitions and all of those are potentially unrecoverable, no matter what kind of backups you have. This wouldn't be one of those, "Oh, shoot, that didn't work, I'll just factory reset or restore my backup and be good to go..." kind of situations.

Oh, wow! Thanks! I'm glad you pointed that out before I tried. So, I should be okay as long as I flash that ROM from the Unleashed Prepaid page? Now I am afraid, but curious.

Also, thank you for the theme modules names, I will kindly note them.
6th May 2014, 02:39 PM   |  #9  
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Should be fine. It's 95% stock and I'm sure they only had one version of android for the phone so should be pretty close to what you have now. Benefits would be the unsecured boot.img which is easier for root and other things to stick, init.d which allows you to run scripts (everything from being able to mount a partition of an SD card to use for extra space for apps to memory management stuff like V6 Supercharger), and a bit easier to theme and debloat.
6th May 2014, 02:41 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by es0tericcha0s

Should be fine. It's 95% stock and I'm sure they only had one version of android for the phone so should be pretty close to what you have now. Benefits would be the unsecured boot.img which is easier for root and other things to stick, init.d which allows you to run scripts (everything from being able to mount a partition of an SD card to use for extra space for apps to memory management stuff like V6 Supercharger), and a bit easier to theme and debloat.

Thank you.

I'll look into it tonight. I will try and tell about what happens tomorrow-ish.

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