I am writing some instructions for newbies like me that wish to root their Xperia Tablet Z. I spent a lot of hours trying to understand how things work and I try to fill this gap with this post. If anybody knows, I would like to have an answer on the DRM, and model type questions that I have colored red in the text.
I was a "proud" owner of Sony Xperia Tablet Z WIFI 32GB (SGP312) that I bought from northern Europe last September. It was my first Android device and I consider myself super newbie on this "sport". Since my last official Sony system upgrade ~1-2 months ago I had sound problems with skype. I could not make a call without a handset and also my sony speakers refused to reproduce any youtube video. Nonetheless, the alarm was working fine! I was disappointed and after a factory reset the sound problems persisted. Thus, I decided to delve into the rooting world.
So long story short, we can install whichever stock/original firmware we want if it is designed for our devices consulting the precious links in xda-developers.com forums. Then we can either stay with this or install custom "ROMs" having our tablet "rooted".
My first goal is to fix the sound problem so I tried following the stock firmware route.
I flashed the firmware(s) with the quite intuitive Flashtool. Beware that I had already installed the required Google's Android SDK/ADT kit in my windows machine, although I performed every task in my linux machine in order to have working fastboot and adb commands with the minimal fuss installation-wise. To flash the stock firmwares, or the so called FTF files, I was entering the flash mode holding/pressing down the Volume Down key while connecting the device with the USB to my PC. I note that holding down the Volume Up key, instead, connects the tablet in the fast boot mode
After/Before every firmware flashing I was trying not to forget to:
- Enable the USB Debugging mode
- Trust installation from unknown sources (this probably is redundant) and
- Use massive storage instead of MTP in my USB connection options.
So I tried with this stock firmware: SGP312 10.4.B.0.577 (UK version 32GB WIFI Unbranded) and after using my tablet for ~30mins I can say that I did not encounter any problems.
But I wanted to view the rooting world, so to do this I found out that installing a Recovery Software would help.
So I installed XZDualRecovery. I followed the instructions and downloaded TabZ-lockeddualrecovery2.7.123-BETA.installer.zip and also the *flashable.zip from the same site.
Before starting to implement the instructions, the same XZDualRecovery post was mentioning I should install a 10.3.1.C.0.136 firmware and so I did, getting the SGP312 10.3.1.C.0.136 VMo EU4 firmware. This 10.3.1.C.0.136 was also working quite well, and after unlocking the bootloader (I do not know if I have to do unlock the bootloader everytime I flash a stock FTF) it was botting properly and my speakers were working fine.
I runned the install.sh for linux (install.bat for windows). I noticed that the third option was "3/ Attempt installation on unrooted device" which I tried and was successful, since then, the "Root Checker" app was saying that my tablet was rooted. That was really cool!
I wanted to enter the recovery mode so I turned on my tablet and when the "SONY" letters appeared (or a bit earlier) I started pressing multiple times the Volume Up key and a nice purple screen (like this) with the recovery appeared. There, I chose Wipe Data/Factory Reset (it was quite fast) and then Install multiple Zip files from the SD card.
The Zips I had in my card were the Cyanogen Mod, the Google Apps and the XZDualRecovery:
- I downloaded Cyanogen Mod, pollux_windy for our devices, from here. I chose the latest stable version, cm-10.2.1-pollux_windy.zip 2014-02-01 01:07:05, but I hope another one will see the light soon.
- I also installed the latest google apps that for today are these and the latest versions can be found here.
- The TabZ-lockeddualrecovery2.7.123-BETA.flashable.zip metnioned above. I am not sure if this is really needed but I think I read somewhere that I should included or else I would not be able to Reboot to Recovery after flashing.
After all the above steps I booted my tablet and everything seems almost ok so far. I say almost because:
- I notice that my device, according to the settings is now the "SGP311" and not the SGP312 (how could I change that?), but in my free space I still see 25+GB (although I am still using only ~3GB).
- Also, some times while I am scrolling e.g. in Play Store I see infinitesimal freezes in the movement of the webpage (AnTuTu benchmark returns a rating of ~19800-20118).
- Moreover, I have installed ~30 apps, but the installing procedure seems somehow slow, and the last ~10 apps I tried to install have not been installed "due to an error 495". The above was "fixed" after a reboot, but I must say I never encountered this problem with my stock firmware.